What is Niti Aayog :
- NITI ( National Institute for transforming India ) was announced by the Union government on 1st January 2015. A resolution was passed by the parliament to replace the Planning Commission of India with NITI Aayog.
- Planning Commission of India had two key duties to perform i.e.; to implement five-year plan and second was to provide the finances to the state, whereas, Niti Aayog does not provide the finances to the states. The function of funds allocation is now transferred to the finance ministry. Niti Aayog is a think tank and advisory body of the government.
- The council members of the Niti Aayog include all the states chief ministers and the governors of the union territories.
- In the past two years, NITI Aayog has worked in several sectors, such as the promotion of digital payments, reforms in agriculture, education and railways.
- Before the introduction of NITI Ayyog, annual finance allocation to the states was done by the planning commission which made chief ministers dependent on the planning commission for the finances, which is not the case with NITI Aayog.
- Niti Aayog has made the taskforce of chief ministers to work on the development of agriculture and also to work in the field of poverty.
- It has led to the creation of innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country through its Atal Innovation mission.
- It empowered the committee for innovative projects and played an important role in the launch of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail line.
- It has also launched a survey of 3500 firms to measure the ease of doing business with other states.
- One new function of Niti Aayog is the national security in economic terms which was not the function of the planning commission.
- Things are working in the NITI Aayog, but not with the pace it should be, which should not be the case.
- Niti Aayog was given more powers to make it relevant but giving too many powers to a single body is not good for governance.
- NITI Aayog was set up with the intention to encourage public involvement and participation in the economic policy – it has done neither.
- Its work was to keep the ears on the demands of the states and fulfill their needs which it has been unable to do till now.
- The prime minister himself feels that the NITI Aayog has not done enough to promote the initiatives like Make in India, Swachh Bharat Mission, and smart city projects among the states.
- The governing council, which has all chief ministers of states and administrators of the Union Territories sounds much like the National Development Council.
- It does not have the power to evaluate the performance of the various government schemes.
Rather than focusing on policy level recommendation, NITI Ayog should focus the implementation part. It should also focus on the process reforms and tell the government, where it is falling short or have to face the consequences. Overall, the introduction of NITI Ayog gave positive results and can be termed as a success.
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Photo Credits : Narendra Modi under CC 2.0
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