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A giant leap towards Indian policy framework – NITI Aayog

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Recently the Prime Minister of India unveiled one of his dream reform agenda, a re-structured Planning Commission to formulate the economic policies for the Government of India. The name NITI Aayog, is not entirely clear, with two components, “NITI” & “Aayog”, where the word NITI has been further expanded as National Institution for Transforming India. The key constituents of the new commission are at the core of this change which the Prime Minister emphasises to include the stakeholders from all over the country.

In today’s development eminent free market economist Arvind Panagariya, an Indian-born economics professor at Columbia University in New York, has been appointed as the first Vice Chairperson of the body.

For the first time, the Chief Ministers of all the States and the Lieutenant Governors of the Union Territories have been included in the Governing Council of the body. Further, there would be region based regional councils consisting of the Chairperson of the body, the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors of the region.

The earlier model of the Planning Commission was also headed by the Prime Minister and primarily managed by the Deputy Chairman and an expert body consisting of Economic Advisers and a few Union Ministers. The Commission had 31 divisions to look after different areas of the economy.

There is also a new role of Chief Executive Officer in the new commission, however, his role is not very clear at this stage, though we can assume that, he would report to the Governing Council representing the external experts, representatives from the Union Council of Ministers and the executive members who’d be appointed by the Prime Minister. Detailed criteria to become the executive member are awaited. Also, no other member of parliament has been included in any role of the Commission.

The new Commission is definitely a major leap from the earlier structure which was in force for almost seven decades. However, it’d be interesting to find out how in practical life, the Governing Council of all the Chief Ministers agree on a common path for the entire nation to formulate critical policies which are meaningful, specific, target oriented and inclusive to all the sections across geographies and demographics. As the time will tell how successful the change is, the intention is certainly there, now the determination of all the stakeholders would decide the course of the nation on the verge of Gen Y growth.

You can read the original announcement on the formation of NITI Aayog Here
By Shantanu Sarkar and he can be reached at Twitter at @shansarkar

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