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The Planning Commission of India supervised the five-year plan for the economic development of the country. However, in 2014, the 65-year-old Planning Commission was dissolved and a think tank – NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India) took its place. The NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), is a think tank of the Government of India established on 1 January 2015 as a Commission to give suggestions to the Governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic, directional and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy and development process.

The Prime Minister of India heads the Aayog as the Ex-officio Chairperson.  Further, it has some full-time as well as part-time members along with four Union Ministers serving as ex-officio members. It also has a governing council which includes all State Chief Ministers and Lt. Governers of the Union Territories. The council works towards fostering cooperative federalism for providing a national agenda to the Center and the individual States. Additionally, there are specific regional councils and the Prime Minister invites some special invitees who are experts and specialists in various fields too. Since it serves as a think tank of the government or as a directional and policy dynamo, it provides advice on strategic policy matters to the governments at the Center and the States. Further, it includes economic issues of both domestic and international importance. The Aayog provides direction to the Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) activities in India. It also pegs importance to the quality standards, ethical procedures and provides appropriate institutional mechanisms.

Composition of NITI Aayog:

1. Chairperson - Prime Minister of India

2. Governing Council - comprising the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories.

3. Experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister

4. Vice-Chairperson - appointed by the Prime Minister

5. Full-time members

6. Maximum of 2 part-time members.

7. Ex Officio members -Maximum of 4 members of the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister.

8.Chief Executive Officer - appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.

Functions of NITI Aayog

  • Cooperative and Competitive Federalism
  • Shared National Agenda
  • Decentralized Planning
  • State’s Best Friend at the Centre
  • Vision & Scenario Planning
  • Network of Expertise
  • Knowledge and Innovation hub
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Internal Consultancy
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Capacity building


  • Creating an effective administration paradigm in which the Government is an enabler rather than a provider of the first and last resort.
  • To focus on technology upgradation and capacity building for implementation of programmes and initiatives.
  • To undertake other activities as may be necessary in order to further the execution of the national development agenda, and the objectives mentioned above.
  • Attaining progress from food security. Focusing on a mix of agricultural production and the actual returns that farmers get from their produce.
  • Ensuring that India is an active participant in global debates and deliberations.
  • Ensuring that the economically vibrant middle-class is actively engaged and utilized to its full potential.
  • Leveraging India’s pool of entrepreneurial, scientific, and intellectual human capital.
  • Incorporating the geo-economic and geopolitical strength of the NRI Community.
  • Using urbanization as an opportunity to creating a secure habitat via modern technology.
  • Using technology to reduce opacity and potential for misadventures in governance.
  • To pay special attention to the sections of our society that may be at risk of not benefitting adequately from economic progress.