NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog will be a lean organisation, modelled as a network of expertise; focusing on functionality, flexibility and domain knowledge. It came up through the cabinet Resolution on January 1,2015.

NITI Aayog Structure

Chairperson: Prime Minister of India

Governing Council: Comprising the Chief Ministers of all States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories. Formed to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or region. Strategy and Planning in the NITI Aayog will be anchored from State-level; with Regional

Regional Councils: Councils convened by the Prime Minister for identified priority domains, put under the joint leadership of related sub-groups of States (grouped around commonalities which could be geographic, economic, social or otherwise) and Central Ministries.

Regional Councils will:

  • Have specified tenures, with the mandate to evolve strategy and oversee implementation.
  • Be jointly headed by one of the group Chief Ministers (on a rotational basis or otherwise) and a corresponding Central Minister.
  • Include the sectoral Central Ministers and Secretaries concerned, as well as State Ministers and Secretaries.
  • Be linked with corresponding domain experts and academic institutions.
  • Have a dedicated support cell in the NITI Aayog Secretariat. States would thus be empowered to drive the national agenda. As a consequence, deliberation would be more grassroots informed, and recommendations would have more ownership, given their joint formulation.

Special Invitees: experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister.

Full-time Organizational Framework: will comprise of, in addition to the Prime Minister as the Chairperson:

  • Vice-Chairperson: to be appointed by the Prime Minister.
  • Members: full-time.
  • Part-time Members: maximum of 2, from leading universities, research organisations and other relevant institutions in an ex-officio capacity. Part time members will be on a rotational basis.
  • Ex-Officio Members: maximum of 4 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.

The Specialised Wings are:

  • Research Wing that will develop in-house sectoral expertise as a dedicated think tank of top notch domain experts, specialists and scholars.
  • Consultancy Wing that will provide a market-place of whetted panels of expertise and funding, for Central and State Govenment to tap into; matching their requirements with solution providers, public and private, national and international. By playing match-maker instead of providing the entire service itself, NITI Aayog will be able to focus its resources on priority matters, providing guidance and an overall quality check to the rest.
  • Team India Wing comprising representatives from every State and Ministry, will serve as a permanent platform for national collaboration.

Each representative will:

  • Ensure every State/Ministry has a continuous voice and stake in the NITI Aayog.
  • Establish a direct communication channel between the State/Ministry and NITI Aayog for all development related matters, as the dedicated liaison interface. A national Hub-Spoke institutional model will be developed, with each State and Ministry encouraged to built dedicated mirror institutions, serving as the interface of interaction. These institutions, in turn, will nurture their own networks of expertise at State and Ministry level. NITI Aayog will function in close cooperation, consultation and coordination with the Ministries of the Central Government, and State governments. While it will make recommendations to the Central and State Governments, the responsibility for taking and implementing decisions will rest with them.

Functions of NITI Aayog

As Indian nationhood has matured and deepened, we have embraced a greater measure of pluralism and decentralization. This necessitates a paradigm shift in how the Central government approaches govenments at the State as well as local levels. They must be made equal partners in national development. Their developmental needs and aspirations understood as well as supported. And their varied local realities incorporated into national policies and programs, with the required flexibility.

Actualizing this principle of Team India, NITI Aayog will strive for:

  1. Cooperative and Competitive Federalism: 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. This will be by means of systematic and structures interactions between the Union and State Governments, to better understand developmental issues, as well as forge a consensus on strategies and implementation mechanisms. The above would mark the replacement Source: The Government All India of the one-way flow of policy from Centre-to-State, with a genuine and continuing Centre-State partnership. This Cooperation would be further enhanced by the vibrancy of Competitive Federalism; with the Centre competing with the States and vice versa, and the States competing with each other, in the joint pursuit of national development.
  2. Shared National Agenda: Evolve a shared vision of national development priorities and strategies, with the active involvement of States. This will provide the framework of a �national agenda� for the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers to implement.
  3. State�s Best Friend at the Centre: Support States in addressing their own challenges, as well as building on strengths and comparative advantages. This will be through various means, such as coordinating with Ministries, championing their ideas at the Centre, providing consultancy support and building capacity.
  4. Decentralized Planning: Restructure the planning process into a bottom-up model, empowering States, and guiding them to further empower local governments; in developing mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level, which are progressively aggregated up the higher levels of government. The maturing of India�s governmental institutions has enabled increasing the specialization of their functions. There is thus a need to separate as well as energize the distinct �strategy� element of governance from the usual �process� and �implementation� element. As a dedicated Think Tank of the Government, NITI Aayog will carry out this �directional� role, strategically charting the future of the nation. It will provides specialized inputs�strategic, functional and technical�to the Prime Minister and the Government (Centre as well as State), on matters critical to the fulfilment of the national development agenda.
  5. Vision & Scenario Planning: Design medium and long term strategic frameworks of the big picture vision of India�s future�across schemes, sectors, regions and time; factoring in all possible alternative assumptions and counterfactuals. These would be the drivers of the national reforms agenda, especially focused on identifying critical gaps and harnessing untapped potentialities. The same would need to be intrinsically dynamic with their progress and efficacy constantly monitored for necessary mid-course recalibration; and the overall environment (domestic and global) continuously scanned for incorporating evolving trends and addressing emerging challenges. The above would mean a fundamental transition from merely planning for where the Nation�s money goes, to planning where we want the Nation to go. And given its unique position as the aggregator and integrator of all developmental initiatives of the Government of India and States, the NITI Aayog would be ideally suited for the same.
  6. Domain Strategies: Build a repository of specialized domain expertise, both sectoral and cross-sectoral; to assist Ministries of the Central and State governments in their respective development planning as well problem solving needs. This will especially enable the imbibing of good governance best practices, both national as well as international; especially with regards to structural reform.
  7. Sounding Board: Be an in-house sounding board whetting and refining government positions, through objective criticisms and comprehensive counter-views.
  8. Network of Expertise: Mainstream external ideas and expertise into government policies and programmes through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners, and other partners. This would entail being Government�s link to the outside world, roping in academia (universities, think tanks and research institutions), private sector expertise, and the people at large, for close involvement in the policy making process.
  9. Knowledge and Innovation hub: Be an accumulator as well as disseminator of research and best practices on good governance, through a state-of-the-art Resource Centre which identifies, analyses, shares and facilities replication of the same. An increasingly mature Indian population has steadily increased the focus on, and demand for actual delivery and results. To keep up with such enhanced aspirations, NITI Aayog�s mandate will have to go beyond mere planning and strategizing, to facilitating Implementation of the development agenda as well. This would involve making implementation central to the planning process, through an emphasis on tangible outcomes, realistic targets, strict time lines and robust monitoring and evaluation�a transition from the isolated conceptualization of merely �planning�, to planning for Implementation�. NITI Aayog will also act as a catalyst to the government machinery at large; filling gaps, enhancing capabilities and de-clogging bottlenecks, as and where required:
  10. Harmonization: Facilitate harmonization of actions across different layers of government, especially when involving cross-cutting and overlapping issues across multiple sectors; through communication, coordination, collaboration and convergence amongst all stakeholders. The emphasis will be on bringing all together on an integrated and holistic approach to development.
  11. Conflict Resolution: Provide a platform for mutual resolution of inter-sectoral, inter-departmental, interstate as well as center-state issues; facilitating consensus acceptable and beneficial to all, to bring about clarity and speed in execution.
  12. Coordinating interface with the World: Be the nodal point for strategically harnessing global expertise and resources coming in from across nations, multi-lateral institutions and other international organizations, in India�s developmental process.
  13. Internal Consultancy: Offer an internal consultancy function to central and state governments on policy and program design; providing frameworks adhering to basic design principles such as decentralization, flexibility and a focus on results. This would include specialized skills such as structuring and executing Public Private Partnerships.
  14. Capacity building: Enable capacity building and technology up-gradation across government, benchmarking with latest global trends and providing managerial and technical knowhow.
  15. Monitoring and Evaluation: Monitor the implementation of policies and programmes, and evaluate their impact; through rigorous tracking of performance metrics and comprehensive program evaluations. This will not only help identify weaknesses and bottlenecks for necessary course correction, but also enable data-driven policy making; encouraging greater efficiency as well as effectiveness.

Written by princy

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