Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept his promise by establishing the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) as part of revamping the 65-year-old Planning Commission.
The reborn planning agency will foster a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of states and develop mechanisms to formulate credible grass-roots level plans and monitor and evaluate the implementation of all programmes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in his Independence Day address, proposed plans to establish the National Institution for Transforming India, as replacement for the Planning Commission.
This comes after extensive consultation across the spectrum of stakeholders, including state governments, domain experts and relevant institutions.
NITI Aayog will seek to provide a critical directional and strategic input into the development process. The centre-to-state one-way flow of policy, that was the hallmark of the Planning Commission era, is now sought to be replaced by a continuing partnership of states.
NITI Aayog will emerge as a "think-tank" that will provide governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy.
The new mechanism will also seek to put an end to slow and tardy implementation of policy, by fostering better inter-ministry coordination and better centre-state coordination. It will help evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, and foster cooperative federalism, recognising that strong states make a strong nation.
It will develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans to the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government. It will ensure special attention to the sections of society that may be at risk of not benefitting adequately from economic progress.
The NITI Aayog will create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners and partners. It will offer a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter-departmental issues in order to accelerate the implementation of the development agenda.
In addition, the NITI Aayog will monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes, and focus on technology upgradation and capacity building.
Through the above, the NITI Aayog will aim to accomplish the following objectives and opportunities:
- An administration paradigm in which the government is an "enabler" rather than a "provider of first and last resort;"
- Progress from "food security" to focus on a mix of agricultural production, as well as actual returns that farmers get from their produce;
- Ensure that India is an active player in the debates and deliberations on the global commons;
- Ensure that the economically vibrant middle-class remains engaged, and its potential is fully realized;
- Leverage India's pool of entrepreneurial, scientific and intellectual human capital;
- Incorporate the significant geo-economic and geo-political strength of the non-resident Indian community;
- Use urbanisation as an opportunity to create a wholesome and secure habitat through the use of modern technology; and
- Use technology to reduce opacity and potential for misadventures in governance.
The NITI Aayog aims to enable India to better face complex challenges, through the following:
- Leveraging of India's demographic dividend, and realization of the potential of youth, men and women, through education, skill development, elimination of gender bias, and employment;
- Elimination of poverty, and the chance for every Indian to live a life of dignity and self-respect;
- Reddressal of inequalities based on gender bias, caste and economic disparities;
- Integrate villages institutionally into the development process;
- Policy support to more than 50 million small businesses, which are a major source of employment creation; and
- Safeguarding of our environmental and ecological assets.