A look back in to National Institution for Transforming India Aayog
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The Planning Commission of India oversaw the five-year plan for the country’s economic development. However, in 2014, the sixty-five-year-old institution was finally dissolved and made way for a new institution with upgraded values and objectives, National Institution for Transforming India Aayog (NITI Aayog).

The Planning Commission had outdone its usefulness, its methodology slow and outdated, and its value wholly diminished. Planning as a way for progress was a novel attempt for the post-independent India. However, today the rate at with things are changing, planning as a path to propagate a country’s progress is not only short-sighted by antiquated. 

What the government needs today is a think tank oriented towards sustainable development, something as menial as the Planning Commission cannot accomplish. NITI Aayog fosters the principles of cooperative federalism, much like the Good and Services Tax and Council, it involves the State Governments of India in the economic policy-making process.

On 13th August 2014 diluted the Planning Commission of India, on the recommendation of the Independent Evaluation Office. The report was submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and recommended scrapping the Planning Commission with a “control commission.”

The first day of the year 2015, i.e., 1st January, the Cabinet decided to replace the Planning Commission with the new-founded NITI Aayog. Narendra Modi chaired the first meeting of NITI Aayog on 8th February 2015.

Also Read: Niti Aayog, McKinsey to Launch First Digital Capability Centre

Then finance minister Arun Jaitely very rightly observed the redundancy of the planning commission. While addressing the parliament he stated that “It was relevant in a command economy structure, but not any longer.

India is a diversified country, and its states are in various phases of economic development along with their strengths and weaknesses. In this context, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to economic planning is obsolete. It cannot make India competitive in today’s global economy. It is a reformation scheme of day-to-day lifestyles of the people of India.”

The Aayog has sustainable initiatives which include a15 year road map, 7-year vision, strategy and action plan, Digital India, AMRUT, Atal Innovation Mission, and Medical Education Reform. 

Other initiatives include Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index for ranking states, agriculture reforms such Model Land Leasing Law, Reforms of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act, Agricultural, and Indices Measuring States Performance in Health and Education.  

Today NITI Aayog is at the helm of innovation as it steps into the field of artificial intelligence. The national AI programme will be run under the Principal Scientific advisor K. Vijay Raghavan. The objective is to identify projects and spaces where AI can augment growth. The finance ministry recently cleared NITI Aayog’s proposal for a Rs 7,000 crore plan.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at vidushi.kala@cleartax.in

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