NEW DELHI: While NITI Aayog has completed three years in existence after the scrapping of the Planning Commission, the think tank panel continues to search for its identity amid a lack of clarity of purpose, with ad hocism the norm. While NITI Aayog lists unleashing competition among states as its achievement, the think tank panel is seemingly off track from the original mandates given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to prepare short, medium and long-term agendas for the country’s development.
The Governing Council of NITI Aayog, consisting of all the chief ministers, has met thrice. The first meeting was held within a month of the formation of the think tank panel, and the third in April last year, when it failed to adopt the “Three Years Action Plan” following complaints by chief ministers of lack of consultation. The first vice chairman of NITI Aayog, Arvind Panagaria, left last year, leaving his successor Rajeev Kumar a divided house in legacy.
“With the constitution of the PM’s Economic Advisory Council headed by NITI Aayog Member Bibek Debroy, the think tank panel continues to be more divided than ever. NITI Aayog is now functioning as a consultant that organises events like promotion of cashless transactions, and Global Entrepreneurship Summit,” said a senior official of the think tank panel.
Aayog claims to have unleashed competition among states while working with them to solve their pending issues with various ministries. However, a report sponsored by Aayog noted that redesigning and scrapping of scores of centrally sponsored schemes has harmed the states more than benefiting.