Career aspirants must understand as to why a 64-year old “Planning Commission” went down the drain replacing it by “NITI Aayog”. It, indeed, is a historical move by the new government in Indian history that took place thrashing the age old Planning Commission. LPG (Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation) in 1991 was a foot-print in the India’s economic development. NITI Aayog made also made waves ever since it crawled in to the public domain. We have made it easy for you to understand the major differences between Planning Commission and NITI Aayog in simple words for you to understand.
Roles and Functions of NITI Aayog
NITI Ayog stands for National Institution for Transforming India. The Government of India officially swapped previously known – the Planning Commission with a new agency called NITI Aayog on 1st January 2015. The objective of NITI Ayog is to play a significant role as the “Think Tank” of the Government. The vision and mission of NITI Ayog are to help providing as an intermediary between the central and State Governments. This agency came into existence to work as an arbitrator to provide significant guidance on key policies and developmental practices of the economy. NITI Ayog can be labeled as a land mark in Indian Economy, replacing formerly – known, 64-year old planning Commission (also known as Yojana Aayog)
NITI Aayog is expected to focus on priority areas both at Central and State levels for Transforming India into a developed nation. The chairman of NITI Ayog is the Prime Minister of India as was done in Planning Commission. It is studded with Vice- Chairman, Full time members with high – repute Economists, Ex-officio members, Special invitees, special invitees and also State Chief Ministers or Heads of Union territories.
Planning Commission Vs NITI Aayog:
The first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawahrlal had head-started the Central agency called “Planning Commission” in the year 1950. During that time, Planning Commission used to come up with its policies once in every 5-years also known as – Panch Varsh Pranalika. We can conceive Planning Commission as Central Government – driven agency with a formulation of socio-economic policies for the States and Union Territories. Under the Planning Commission, the flow of budgetary policies moved from the Central Government to state Governments and Union Territories; the policies such as assessment of resources of the country and foresee the balanced utilization of material and human capital so as to make each state prosperous.
Why NITI Aayog?
The new Government agency NITI Aayog came into existence trashing the 64 year-old Planning Commission is expected to provide constant and consistent involvement, and partnership of all State Governments and Union Territories. Unlike the objective of Planning Commission, NITI Aayog is foreseen as more like a State-Driven agency, giving priority to the needs of each state or Union territory. Thus NITI Aayog gives a free-hand to express their ‘Say’ in it. So, the central government won’t dictate its terms to the States and Union Territories. So, we can call NITI Aayog as more like a State – driven agency in which the states get a chance to enable in formulating their own plans. The salient feature of NITI Aayog is the members or states and Central Government meet more often on a stipulated-consistent basis to avoid any communication gap between the central government and a state. It is envisaged as an effective implementation of plans.
The main differences between Planning Commission and NITI Aayog:
- The main difference is that, earlier, the funds – allocation was in the hands of Planning Commission and in NITI Aayog the funds-allocation is undertaken by the Finance Ministry.
- Planning Commission was embedded with eight full-time members, whereas in NITI Aayog it is only two full-time members.
- Planning Commission used to hold more discretionary powers in its hands; In NITI Aayog, State Governments get more pro-active and better stake.
- NITI Aayog, depending on the necessity, will have more “part-time members” in an interchangeable manner whereas in the past– existing Planning Commission had never entertained any Part-time members.
So, NITI Aayog is envisaged more as an “Inclusive Governance”, making complete Involvement of Citizens, Empowering Women, providing assistance to underprivileged people i.e., SC, ST and OBC groups, Equal opportunity to the youth and most importantly giving more priority to the “Rural Areas”, particularly agrarian areas. Since the advent of NITI Aayog, the governance is more transparent, using the latest technologies thus by making the people aware of the happenings in the nation as a whole. RTI (Right to Information) is one quick example to understand the objective of NITI Aayog. This new agency can be envisioned to help encourage the participation of stakeholders, “think tanks”, “educational and policy research institutions”, to offer a common dais for solving any sort of inter-departmental-issues to accelerate the implementation of development agenda.