The 65-year-old Planning Commission was on Thursday replaced by a new body, NITI Aayog or National Institution for Transforming India, which will serve as a policy think-tank for the central as well as state governments and have PM Narendra Modi as its Chairperson.
The NITI Aayog will have a governing council comprising of all state Chief Ministers and Lt Governors and will work towards fostering a ‘co-operative federalism’ for providing a national agenda to the Centre and States.
The body will have a CEO and a Vice Chairperson, to be appointed by the Prime Minister, in addition to some full-time members and two part-time members, while four union ministers would serve as ex-officio members.
Besides, there would be specific regional councils, while experts and specialists from various fields would be there as “special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister”.
NITI Aayog will serve as a ‘Think Tank’ of the government as a directional and policy dynamo and would provide the governments at the Centre and in states with strategic and technical advice on key policy matters including economic issues of national and international importance, an official statement said on Thursday.
NITI Aayog follows Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement in his Independence Day speech in August 2014 that there is a need for replacing the Planning Commission by a new body keeping in view the changed economic scenario.
The government has set up the new body through a Cabinet Resolution, wherein it has invoked words of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, B R Ambedkar, Swami Vivekanand and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.
While the two part-time members would be from leading universities and research organisations, the number of full time members has not been specified as yet.
As per the Resolution, the NITI Aayog will provide a ‘national agenda’ for the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers to foster cooperative federalism while recognising that strong states make a strong nation.
It will also interact with other national and international Think Tanks, as also with educational and policy research institutions.