NITI Aayog’s eighth Governing Council meet
May 28, 2023

Why in news?

  • PM Modi chaired the eighth Governing Council Meeting of NITI Aayog. The meeting was conducted at the new Convention Centre in Pragati Maidan, Delhi.
  • The theme for this meeting was ‘Viksit Bharat @ 2047: Role of Team India’.

What’s in today’s article?

  • NITI Aayog
  • News Summary

National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog:

  • About:
    • NITI Aayog, was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on 1 January 2015. It was constituted to replace the Planning Commission - instituted in 1950.
    • It is the premier policy think tank of the Government of India, providing directional and policy inputs.
    • NITI Aayog acts as a platform to bring the States to act together in national interest and thereby fosters cooperative federalism.
  • Composition
    • Chairperson: The Prime Minister of India
    • Full time organisational framework:
      • Vice Chairperson: Appointed by the PM, s/he enjoys the rank of a Cabinet Minister.
      • Full-Time Members: Enjoys the rank of a Minister of State.
      • Part-Time Members: Maximum 2.
      • Ex-Officio Members: Maximum of 4 members of the Union Council of Minister to be nominated by the PM.
    • Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Appointed by the PM for a fixed tenure, s/he enjoys the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
    • Special Invitees: These will be experts with relevant domain knowledge to be nominated by the PM.
  • Governing Council of NITI Aayog:
    • The council is the premier body tasked with evolving a shared vision of national priorities and strategies, with the active involvement of States.
    • It presents a platform to discuss inter-sectoral, inter-departmental and federal issues to accelerate the implementation of the national development agenda.
    • Composition of Governing Council:
      • It is chaired by the PM and comprises Chief Ministers of all the States and UTs with legislatures and Lt Governors of other Union Territories.
      • The council also comprises of Vice Chairman
    • Before 2023, seven meetings of the Governing Council had been held (7th meeting was held in August, 2022).

Performance of NITI:

  • As an action Tank: By collecting fresh and new ideas and sharing them with the government at the Central and State level, it ensures that there is no inactivity in any organisation or institution.
  • Improving innovation: A commendable work has been done by the Atal Innovation Mission (established under NITI Aayog), which has helped in improving the innovation ecosystem in India.
  • Bringing greater responsibility in the system: Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO) has been established by the NITI Aayog, which collects performance data of various Ministries on a real-time basis.
    • These data are then used at the highest policy-making levels to improve performance and establish accountability.
  • Some important initiatives of NITI Aayog: Some of the initiatives like Ayushman Bharat, water conservation measures, approach towards artificial intelligence, have been conceptualised in NITI Aayog and respective Ministries are taking them forward.

NITI Aayog: Promoting Federalism

  • Cooperative Federalism
    • NITI Aayog has provided a platform for direct issue-based interaction between States and Central Ministries thereby helping quick resolution of outstanding issues.
    • The NITI Forum for North East has been constituted and tangible sectoral proposals are being implemented by the States in partnership with the North East council.
    • NITI Aayog has designed some major initiatives for island development which are being implemented under the overall guidance of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
    • It is also envisaged that like the NITI Forum for the North East, other regional councils of contiguous States could be formed.
      • The first step has been taken by forming the Himalayan States Regional Council and forming a coalition of all thirteen central universities in these states.
  • Competitive Federalism
    • It promotes competitive federalism principally through pushing its sectoral indices which are put out in the public domain.
      • The indices on water, education, health, innovation, export preparedness, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have attracted significant positive attention.
    • It has also introduced a competition element in ‘Aspirational Districts Program’ by focusing on governance improvement on the ground.
      • These districts have shown significant improvement in indicators pertaining to health and nutrition, education etc.
    • Besides, several best practices in governance have emerged from these districts which are now being scaled up and replicated at the block level in some states.

News Summary: NITI Aayog’s eighth Governing Council meet

Key highlights of the speech delivered by PM Modi

  • To achieve the goal of Vikasit Bharat by 2047
    • PM Modi asked the states and districts to develop a long-term vision to make India a developed country by 2047.
    • In this context, he said it was essential to combine the vision of states and districts with the national vision to reach the goal of Vikasit Bharat by 2047.
  • Urged the states to take financially prudent decisions
    • This would make them fiscally strong and capable of undertaking programmes for the welfare of citizens.
  • Urged the States to proactively use the Gati Shakti Portal
    • He urged the States to proactively use the Gati Shakti Portal not only for infrastructure and logistics but also for local area development and creation of social infrastructure.
      • PM Gati Shakti - National Master Plan for Multi-modal Connectivity, is essentially a digital platform to bring 16 Ministries together for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects.