NITI Ayog's Analysis: Is it relevant

Date: September 24, 2018

planning commission India effective planning

The National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog, was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. While designing strategic and long term policies and programmes for the Government of India, NITI Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre and States.

The Government of India, in keeping with its reform agenda, constituted the NITI Aayog to replace the Planning Commission instituted in 1950. This was done in order to better serve the needs and aspirations of the people of India. An important evolutionary change from the past, NITI Aayog acts as the quintessential platform of the Government of India to bring States to act together in national interest, and thereby fosters Cooperative Federalism.

Development of Panning strategy in India:-

1- Directive Planning:- During 1947-1991, India had a closed economy with Public sector having dominant role. It was planner, financer as well as implementer. At this stage we followed dirctive planning approach.

2- Directive and Indicative Planning:- In 1991, we opened up our economy. It increased the role of private sector as financer and implementer and restricted the role of government to that of planner or facilitator. So we followed Directive and Indicative Planning approach.

3- Indicative planning:- In the changed scenerio and needs Govt has adopted indicative planning approach through NITI ayog.

Role of NITI Ayog-

At the core of NITI Aayog’s creation are two hubs – Team India Hub and the Knowledge and Innovation Hub. The Team India Hub leads the engagement of states with the Central government, while the Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds NITI’s think-tank capabilities. These hubs reflect the two key tasks of the Aayog.

NITI Aayog is also developing itself as a State of the Art Resource Centre, with the necessary resources, knowledge and skills, that will enable it to act with speed, promote research and innovation, provide strategic policy vision for the government, and deal with contingent issues.

pPoints in Favour of NITI Ayog's relevance:-

1- As a think tank:- The NITI Aayog was formed to bring fresh ideas to the government. Its first mandate is to act as a think tank.
It can be visualised as a funnel through which new and innovative ideas come from all possible sources — industry, academia, civil society or foreign specialists — and flow into the government system for implementation.

2- Innovation Agenda:-

The Atal Innovation Mission, which is also established under NITI Aayog, has already done commendable work in improving the innovation ecosystem in India. It has established more than 1,500 Atal Tinkering Labs in schools across the country and this number is expected to go up to 5,000 by March 2019. It has also set up 20 Atal Incubation Centres for encouraging young innovators and start-ups.

Initiatives like Ayushmaan Bharat, our approach towards artificial intelligence and water conservation measures, and the draft bill to establish the National Medical Commission to replace the Medical Council of India have all been conceptualised in NITI Aayog, and are being taken forward by the respective Ministries.

3- Bringing more Accountability:- NITI Aayog has established a Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office which collects data on the performance of various Ministries on a real-time basis.The data are then used at the highest policymaking levels to establish accountability and improve performance. This performance- and outcome-based real-time monitoring and evaluation of government work can have a significant impact on improving the efficiency of governance.

Problems with NITI Ayog:-

 It donot have any influence in policymaking with long-term consequences (for instance, demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax).It cannot transform a deeply unequal society into a modern economy that ensures the welfare of all its citizens, irrespective of their social identity. it is also a commission seems like working in the hands of government.

 

Source: Editorial of the Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/is-niti-aayog-relevant/article24998885.ece