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Last Updated : May 24, 2019 12:02 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

NITI Aayog 2.0 may have new priorities and mandate

NITI Aayog brought the curtains down on a 64-year-old institution founded on the former Soviet Union's command-style development model.

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A decisive mandate to the Narendra Modi government means it needs to move quick on its economic promises. Its premier policy think tank the NITI Aayog's contribution has received considerable criticism on some front from policy experts.

On August 15, 2014, in his first Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government would replace the Planning Commission with a new body.

Modi did not name the successor institution, which he had said would give a “new direction to lead the country based on creative thinking, public-private partnership, optimum utilisation of resources, utilisation of youth power of the nation, to promote the aspirations of state governments seeking development, to empower the state governments and to empower the federal structure”.

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The announcement paved the way for bringing the curtains down on a 64-year-old institution founded on the former Soviet Union's command-style development model.

Four-and-a-half months later the NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog was set up, setting the stage to for a creating the government’s go-to policy think tank, abandoning the earlier one-size-fits-all approach to contemporary challenges.

Five years later, many believe that Narendra Modi might take a relook at NITI Aayog, redrawing the government’s go-to policy think-thank with a redrawn mandate.

The Planning Commission had come under increased scrutiny in its later years, with questions raised on the body’s relevance in an economic environment where private entrepreneurship were the main growth engines.

NITI Aayog is housed in New Delhi’s Yojana Bhawan, the same place where the erstwhile Planning Commission’s headquarters, tasked with “providing both directional and policy inputs”.

According to its website, “while designing strategic and long term policies and programmes for the Government of India, NITI Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre and States”.

Over the last four years, NITI Aayog has played a significant role in shaping many signature policy initiatives, but it also had its share of controversies, including the recent decision to release the back series GDP data, a leaked report of an unpublished jobs and employment data.

Historically, GDP data has always been released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), and experts questioned the NITI Aayog’s role in the new data that showed that growth during the UPA government was lower than earlier estimated.

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First Published on May 24, 2019 12:02 am
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