NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India)

The Government abolished Planning Commission and replaced it with a new body “NITI Aayog” It was established on 1 January 2015 by NDA Government.

The NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) is a ‘Public Policy Think Tank’ of the Indian Government that emphasizes a ‘bottom-up approach to economic policies, which functions as a catalyst for developmental process-nurturing an overall enabling environment, through a holistic approach, with the vision of Cooperative Federalism, good governance, and plugging the gap and bringing together the ministers at the Center and State in joint pursuit of developmental goals.

Composition of NITI Aayog:

The NITI Aayog consists following members:

  • Chairperson: Prime Minister of India
  • Governing Council: Chief Ministers of all states and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.
  • Regional Council: Comprising Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors Chaired by Prime Minster Or his nominee (to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region)
  • Special invitees: These are experts, specialists with domain knowledge nominated by Prime Minister.

Full-Time Organizational Framework: In addition to its chairman it comprises:

  • Vice Chairperson: Appointed by Prime Minister
  • Adhoc Membership: Two members in ex-officio capacity from leading research institutions on a rotational basis
  • Ex officio membership: Nominated by Prime Minister, maximum of four from Union Council of ministers.
  • Chief executive officer: These officers are appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure, with the rank of secretary to the government of India who looks after the administration and a secretariat.
  • Secretariat: as deemed necessary.

Functions of NITI Aayog:

Aimed at following the idea of vision and scenario planning, the NITI Aayog has been working on the 15-year vision, 7-year strategy, and 3-year action agenda.

The NITI Aayog is designed to live up to the principles of ‘Team India’ and comprises the following officially demarcated functions:

  • Cooperative and Competitive Federalism: NITI Aayog will be the ‘primary platform’ for operationalizing cooperative federalism, enabling states to have active participation in the formulation of national policy, as well as achieving time-bound implementation of quantitative and qualitative targets through the combined authority of the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers.
    • The replacement of the one-way flow of policy from center to state, with a genuine and continuing Centre-State partnership.
    • The Aayog is supposed to enhance Competitive Federalism; in the pursuit of national development.
  • Shared National Agenda: The Aayog will evolve a shared vision of national development priorities and strategies, with the active involvement of the states.
    • This will provide the framework ‘national agenda’ for the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers to implement.
  • State’s Best Friend at the Centre: NITI Aayog will support states to address their own challenges as well as build on strengths and comparative advantages. It will be in various manners like ‘coordinating with ministers; championing their ideas at the Center; providing ‘consultancy’ support and building capacity.
  • Decentralized Planning: It is to restructure the planning process into a ‘bottom-up model’ to empower states, and guide them to further empower local governments in developing mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level, that are progressively aggregated up the higher levels of government.
    • NITI Aayog functions as a think tank and will carry out a directional role, strategically charting the future of the nation.
  • Vision and Scenario Planning: It drives the national reforms agenda, especially focussed on identifying critical gaps and harnessing untapped potentialities.
    • NITI Aayog to design medium and long-term strategic frameworks, a broad vision of India’s future.
  • Domain Strategies: To build a repository of specialized domain expertise, both Sectoral and cross-sectoral; to assist ministers of the Central and state governments in their respective development planning.
  • Sounding Board: To be an ‘in-house sounding board’ whetting and refining government positions, through objective criticism and comprehensive counter views in the economy.
  • Network of Expertise: To mainstream external ideas and expertise into government policies and program through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners, and other partners.
    • To entail being governments link to the outside world, roping in academia, private sector expertise, and the people at large, for close involvement in the policymaking process.
  • Knowledge and Innovation Hub: It should be an accumulator as well as a disseminator of research and best practices on good governance.
  • Harmonization: It has to facilitate the harmonization of actions across different layers of the government.
  • Conflict resolution: To provide a platform for mutual resolution of inter-sectoral, interdepartmental, inter-state as well as center-state issues.
  • Coordinating interface with the world
  • Internal consultancy
  • Capacity building
  • Monitoring and Evaluation

NITI Aayog is supposed to follow a development model which is “all-round, all-pervasive, all-inclusive and holistic”.

Specialized Wings of NITI Aayog:

It has a number of specialized Wings:

  • Research wing: It will develop in-house sectoral expertise as a dedicated think tank of top-notch domain experts, specialists, and scholars.
  • Consultancy Wing: It will provide a marketplace of whetted panels of expertise and funding, for Central and state governments to tap into; matching their requirements with solution providers, public and private, national and international.
  • Team India Wing: It will comprise representatives from every state and ministry and will serve as a permanent platform for national collaboration.


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