NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog

  • NITI Aayog = National Institution for Transforming India
  • formed via a resolution on January 1, 2015.
  • Premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India
  • Fostering the spirit of cooperative federalism.


Structure of NITI Aayog

  • NITI Aayog  = Planning Commission + National Development Council (State’s CM and UT Lt Governors included within policy making)
  • Regional Councils : NITI Aayog has Regional Councils too .  Regional Councils will have Chief Ministers of states that fall in the region & will  be dealing with specific issue concerning a group of states for example irrigation, naxal-problem, infrastructure etc.

Mandate of NITI Aayog

  1. Think tank for Government policy formulation.
  2. Cooperative Federalism: Involve state governments and even villages in planning process.
  3. Documenting best practices from other countries,  help their adoption in India.
  4. Sustainable development
  5. Monitoring and feedback : Will help in Midway course correction, if needed.

Difference with Planning Commission

  • Functions : It  has a structure similar to the Planning Commission, but its functions will be limited to only acting as a policy think-tank relieving it of the two more functions viz. formation of five year plans and allocation of funds to the States.
  • Involvement of States in Policy Making : – NITI will have greater involvement of the states  , while in case of Planning Commission , it was Minimal . 
  • Development Approach :  Planning Commission  took a top-down approach with a one-size-fits-all plan but NITI Aayog has bottom up approach from village to state to union and give enough maneuvering space to States  .

Significance / Assessment of NITI Aayog

  • Cooperative Federalism : Due to its composition, NITI Aayog gives better representation of states which facilitates direct interactions
  • NITI Aayog has come up with Perspective Document which has three parts and this is the biggest achievement as now country has  Vision what policy makers have to achieve in long term as well as short term
    • Vision Document : For 15 Years (keeping in view SDG 2030)
    • Strategy Document : For 7 Years
    • Action Agenda : For 3 Years (from 2017-20)
  • Sectoral Works : NITI Aayog has done various works in various sectors
Agriculture Model Law on Agricultural
Produce & Livestock Marketing (APLM) Act
Land Leasing : Came up with Land Leasing Model Act 
– Index : Came up with Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reform Index  
Health Recommended abolition of Medical Council of India and to be replaced by  National Medical Commission  
Innovation – Came up with various schemes to promote innovation and startups like AIM (Atal Innovation Mission)  
Digital Payment Promotion Started various schemes like Digi Dhan Yojana, Lucky Grahak Yojana etc

  • Indexes/ Competitive Federalism : Various Indexes have been started . Main Indexes started are in following Areas .
    • Water
    • Agri Related
    • Ease of Doing Business
  • Focus on inclusive development:
    • Started initiative focusing on transformation of 115 aspirational districts.
    • It is also the nodal body for monitoring implementation of Sustainable Development Goals
  • Knowledge and Innovation hub: It acts as a Repository of information => best practices around world


  • Created by Executive Order and doesn’t have Statutory or Constitutional backing.
  • Functions overlap with Constitutional Bodies like Inter State Council
  • Favour advanced states: Its promotion of competitive federalism may work in favour of already advanced states to the detriment of others.
  • Limited focus on implementation : Just Policy Think Tank with less focus on implementation
  • Old Wine in New Bottle : Nothing revolutionary different from Planning Commission
  • Lack of decentralization power : One of the envisaged goals of the NITI Aayog was to develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at the higher level. Very little of this cherished goal has indeed been accomplished.

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