NITI aayog and its role in promoting federalism.
NITI Aayog has endeavoured to pursue its twin mandate of promoting cooperative and competitive federalism through partnerships with States for designing and reviewing development plans. It has a key role in helping India undertake reforms and implement policy initiatives in a scalable and impactful manner through partnerships with States. Difference between Planning Commission and NITI Ayog • The Planning Commission operated through the lens of Five-Year Plans, using financial resources as the primary lever for guiding development. NITI Aayog, on the other hand, is driven primarily through intellectual firepower as well as the mandate and capability of forging meaningful partnerships with State Governments, civil society organisations, the private sector, and innovators for accelerating the pace of India’s development. • While the Planning Commission acted as a fund disburser, NITI Aayog works as a thought partner with all stakeholders, especially the States, which are the principal agents for fostering economic development in the country. While the Planning Commission impinged on the fiscal sovereignty of the States, they are now empowered to decide how best to use their funds, without being mandated to follow a top-down direction. • The Niti Aayog has replaced the Central Government's practice of unilaterally designing the pan-Indian development strategy-while working with State Governments to jointly prepare development blueprints that are suited to and take into account the special circumstances of each State. • Notably, the Planning Commission adopted a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach towards the Indian States. NITI Aayog, on the other hand, is guided by a ‘States-first’ approach. Its founding principles include cooperative federalism (a collaboration between the Central and State Governments) and competitive federalism (spurring healthy competition among States). It is noteworthy that both pillars of the dual mandate are complementary and are being implemented in tandem for guiding the Centre and States towards shared objectives, albeit through customised approaches. Thus, instead of a straitjacket approach, NITI Aayog has adopted a decentralised and bottom-up strategy, to ensure that Central and State Governments work together as equal partners in Team India. Specialized forums for different tasks: • The NITI Forum for North East Promoting competitive federalism through the indices on water, education, health, innovation, export preparedness, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). • ‘Performance in Health Outcomes’ • Composite Water Management Index • ‘School Education Quality Index’ • ‘Aspirational Districts Program’ • Ayushman Bharat • POSHAN Abhiyaan • SATH – ‘Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital’ program in 3 States Several policy suggestions are contained in NITI’s document ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’. The preparation of this seven-year strategy, encapsulated in this document required extensive consultations with subject experts, State and Central Government ministries/departments, industry representatives, and civil society organisations. Overall, around 1,400 stakeholders, within and outside the Government, were consulted and several iterations were undertaken to ensure that the document reflected the whole-of-the-government approach. Monitoring Framework: an output–outcome monitoring framework. The Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO) undertakes this. To improve governance at all levels of government, DMEO is collaborating with State Governments for establishing similar capacity. Flagship initiative : Atal innovation mission Conclusion: In the years to come, India needs to make persistent efforts wherein both the Central and State Governments come together to solve the country’s most complex issues and unleash growth. To meet the rising aspirations of our young population, India needs to achieve and sustain a high rate of GDP growth for the next three decades. In pursuit of this goal, continued structural reforms are crucial for laying new foundations that can ensure sustained and inclusive growth.