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Good Bye Planning Commission, Welcome NITI AYOG

NITI Ayog or National Institution for Transforming India” is a "policy think-tank" of Union Government of India that replaces Planning Commission of India which was established in 1950 and aims to involve the states in economic policy-making in India. It will be providing strategic and technical advice to the central and the state governments.

"Having served as a CM in the past, I am very much aware of the importance of actively consulting the states. NITI Ayog does precisely that,” tweeted Modi, who had in his Independence Day speech mooted the idea of replacing the Planning Commission.

In Hindi, NITI (Hindi: नीति) means Policy, and Ayog (Hindi: आयोग) means Commission.


The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Ayog will discuss implementation and evaluation framework of 12 pet projects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi such as Make in India, Digital India and Swachh Bharat with state governments. The new institution has to zero in on what will work in and for India. It will be a Bharatiya approach to development.
Union Government of India had announced formation of NITI Ayog on 1st January 2015.

NITI Ayog would therefore mean:
  •  A group of people with authority entrusted by the government to formulate/regulate policies concerning transforming India.
  •  It is a commission to help government in social and economic issues.
  •  Also it's an Institute of think tank with experts in it.

The NITI Ayog comprises the following:
  • Minister of India as the Chairperson
  • Governing Council comprising the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories
  • Regional Councils will be formed to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region. These will be formed for a specified tenure. The Regional Councils will be convened by the Prime Minister and will Prime comprise of the Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in the region. These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Ayog or his nominee
  • Experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister

Full-time organizational framework (in addition to Prime Minister as the Chairperson) comprising
  • Vice-Chairperson: Arvind Panagariya
  • Members: Two (2) Full-time
  • Part-time members: Maximum of two from leading universities research organizations and other relevant institutions in an ex-officio capacity. Part-time members will be on a rotational basis
  • Ex Officio members: Maximum of four members of the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister
  • Chief Executive Officer: To be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India
  • Secretariat as deemed necessary

Present Members:
The various members of NITI Aayog are:
  • Chairperson: Prime Minister Narendra Modi
  • CEO: Sindhushree Khullar
  • Vice Chairperson: Arvind Panagariya
  • Ex-Officio Members: Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Suresh Prabhu and Radha Mohan Singh
  • Special Invitees: Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Zubin Irani and Thawar Chand Gehlot
  • Full-time Members: Bibek Debroy & V. K. Saraswat
  • Governing Council: All Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories

Difference between Planning Commission and NITI Ayog (Old VS New):

Financial clout
NITI Ayog: The powers to allocate funds might be vested in the finance ministry.
Planning Commission: Enjoyed the powers to allocate funds to ministries and state governments.

States' role
NITI Ayog: State governments are expected to play a more significant role than they did in the
Planning Commission
Planning Commission: States' role was limited to the National Development Council and annual
interaction during Plan meetings

Member secretary
NITI Ayog: To be known at the CEO and to be appointed by the prime minister
Planning Commission: Secretaries or member secretaries were appointment through the usual

NITI Ayog: New posts of CEO, of secretary rank, and Vice-Chairperson. Will also have five full
time members and two part-time members. Four cabinet ministers will serve as ex-officio members.
Planning Commission: Had deputy chairperson, a member secretary and full-time members.

NITI Ayog: Consulting states while making policy and deciding on funds allocation. Final policy
would be a result of that.
Planning Commission: Policy was formed by the commission and states were then consulted about
allocation of funds.

PM seeks Budget ideas at NITI Aayog's first meet on 6th February 2015

Ahead of his government's first full year budget, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 6th Feb sought ideas from economists to attract investments, create jobs and finance infrastructure to put India back on high growth path.
The meeting also discussed suggestions with regard to effective implementation of several flagship schemes of the government and how poverty levels can be brought down.

Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, Aayog's full time members Bibek Debroy and V K Saraswat, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha, Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh, ex-RBI governor Bimal Jalan, Subir Gokarn, Ashok Gulati and G N Bajpai were also present in the meeting. Economists invited to the first meeting of the NITI (National Institute for Transforming India) Aayog on Friday drew Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention to the need for a renewed focus on India’s high-cost, low-productivity farm sector, in addition to the manufacturing sector that is being given a push through the “Make in India” campaign.

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