NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) was formed on January 1, 2015 through a Union Cabinet resolution. NITI Aayog is a policy think-tank of the Government of India. It replaced the Planning Commission from 13th August, 2014. The Prime Minister is the Chairperson of NITI Aayog and Union Ministers will be Ex-officio members. The Vice- Chairman of the NITI Aayog is the functional head and the first Vice-Chairman was Arvind Panangariya.
Functions of NITI Aayog
1. Cooperative and Competitive Federalism: To enable the States to have active participation in the formulation of national policy.
2. Shared National Agenda: To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities and strategies with the active involvement of States.
3. Decentralized Planning: To restructure the planning process into a bottom-up model.
4. Vision and Scenario Planning: To design medium and long-term strategic frameworks towards India’s future.
5. Network of Expertise: To mainstream external ideas and expertise into government policies and programmes through a collective participation.
6. Harmonization: To facilitate harmonization of actions across different layers of government, especially when involving cross-cutting and overlapping issues across multiple sectors; through communication, coordination, collaboration and convergence amongst all the stakeholders.
7. Conflict Resolution: To provide platform for mutual consensus to inter-sectoral, inter-departmental, inter-state as well as centre-state issues for all speedy execution of the government programmes.
8. Coordinating Interface with the World: It will act nodal point to harness global expertise and resources coming from International organizations for India’s developmental process.
9. Internal Consultancy: It provides internal consultancy to Central and State governments on policy and programmes.
10. Capacity Building: It enables to provide capacity building and technology up-gradation across government, benchmarking with latest global trends an providing managerial and technical know-how.
11. Monitoring and Evaluation: It will monitor the implementation of policies and progammes and evaluate the impacts.
Initiatives like Atal Innovation Mission, Ayushmaan Bharat approach towards water conservation measures and the draft bill to establish the National Medical Commission to replace the Medical Council of India have all been conceptualized in NITI Aayog.
NITI Aayog is also bringing about a greater level of accountability. It has established a development monitoring and evaluation office which collects data on the performance of various ministries. Using such data, the Aayog makes performance based ranking of states to foster a spirit of competitive federalism. The success of NITI Aayog can be evaluated after a substantial period of time