NITI Aayog- A Critical Appraisal - General Studies (Download PDF)

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The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) is a Government of India policy which was established by the Narendra Modi government to replace the Planning Commission with the aim of creating foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India. On 1 January 2015 the Union Government of India had announced the formation of NITI Aayog, and on 8 February 2015 the first meeting was arranged.

Structure of NITI Aayog

Structure of NITI Aayog

Current Members of NITI Aayog

Members of NITI Aayog

Highlights of Planning Commission and NITI Aayog

Highlights of Planning Commission and NITI Aayog
DesignationPlanning CommissionNITI Aayog
Established15 March 19501st January 2015
DiedAugust 2014 (After Narendra Modi become PM)
ChairmanPrime MinisterPrime Minister
Vice ChairmanMontek Singh Ahluwalia a former Cabinet minister

(Last Vice Chairman)

CEOMs. Sindhushree Khullar the Member-Secretary (IAS)Ms. Sindhushree Khullar (A secretary

level bureaucrat with fixed tenure)

Ex-officio membersFinance Minister and Planning MinisterNominated by PM and current

members are:

Home

Finance

Railway

Agriculture

Full time members4 to 7 memberscurrent members are:

Bibek Debroy the Free

market economist)

Dr. V. K. Saraswat the technocrat, missile scientist and Ex-DRDO chief.

Special Invitees(Recommended by PM) Current

Union ministers

Transport

HRD

Social Justice

Part-time membersTech exports from research institutes
Governing CouncilChairman Prime minister

Chief ministers of all states

Lieutenant governors of all Union territories.

Ad hoc Regional CouncilsCMs of states are fall in the region

with specific issue concerning a group

of states

Seven Pillars of NITI Aayog

Seven Pillars of NITI Aayog

Functions of NITI Aayog

  1. Think tank for Government policy formulation.
  2. Find best practices from other countries, partner with other countries so that they accept India.
  3. Cooperative Federalism Involvement of state governments and villages in planning process.
  4. Sustainable development Modi՚s Zero defect-zero effect manufacturing mantra.
  5. Urban Development
  6. Participatory Development with support of private sector and citizens
  7. Inclusive Development or Antyodaya to ensure SC, ST and Women too enjoy the fruits of Development.
  8. Poverty elimination to confirm dignity and self-respect.
  9. To generate more employment for weaker sections Focus on 5 crore Small enterprises.
  10. Monitoring and feedback.
  11. Make policies to reap demographic dividend and social capital.
  12. Regional Councils to address “issues” for a group of states.
  13. Extract maximum benefit from NRI՚s geo-economic and Geo-political strength for India՚s Development.
  14. To ensure transparency, accountability and good governance use Social media and ICT tools.
  15. Help sorting inter-departmental conflicts.

Functional Comparison: NITI Aayog vs. Planning Commission

Functional Comparison: NITI Aayog vs. Planning Commission
Planning CommissionNITI Aayog
It Designs FYP-Five year plansIt Designs national agenda and cooperative federalism
Select two “money” matters:
  • For centrally sponsored schemes (CSS) how much money to be provided to each state
  • How much money to provide to each state՚s own state-five-year-plans.
  • It work as a “policy-formulation-hub” .
  • The Press release is ‘silent’ on money/funding that՚s way it will be left to finance ministry most probably.
  • Some specialists have faith in Inter-state council which decide money allocation to states, then finance ministry will release the fund.
States/UT were represented in National Development Council.
Image Shows the Process
States/UT represented in Governing council. But it was not specified that whether they can approve/reject/amend NITI Aayog՚s proposals?
One size fits all, top-down socialist planning by Armchair Nehruvian economists and IES cadre officers (Indian Economic Service) .Press release talks about participatory planning but not specified details how they do so.

IES officers are hardly invited in Modi՚s meetings.

But Free market economists and Technocrats, are invited

Niti Aayog: Criticism/Anti-Arguments

  • Like planning commission, it՚s also a non-constitutional body which is not responsible to parliament.
  • Major critic is dismantled planning commission without consulting the states.
  • Fund allocation to welfare schemes may get affected. For example, there is a 20 % reduction in gender budgeting.
  • At present, India had more than 60 sponsored schemes. PM Modi wants to combine them into just 10 schemes so that poor and marginalized communities will suffer.
  • Planning commission monitor human development in the States, Sub-plans for women, SC and ST where as in Niti Aayog this is not mentioned at all
  • Niti Aayog mainly focused on manufacturing sector.
  • Nehruvian Economists of Planning Commission advocated decentralized planning where as free market economists and technocrats of NITI Aayog will focus on centralized planning and e-monitoring.

- Published/Last Modified on: July 19, 2016

Policy/Governance

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