The principal function of planning, especially in a federal system, is to evolve a shared vision of and commitment to the national objectives and development strategy not only in the government at all levels, but also among all other economic agents.
NITI Aayog acts as the quintessential platform of the Government of India to bring States to act together in national interest, and thereby fosters Cooperative Federalism.
At the core of NITI Aayog’s creation are two hubs – Team India Hub and the Knowledge and Innovation Hub. The Team India Hub leads the engagement of states with the Central government, while the Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds NITI’s think-tank capabilities. These hubs reflect the two key tasks of the Aayog.
NITI Aayog is also developing itself as a State of the Art Resource Centre, with the necessary resources, knowledge and skills, that will enable it to act with speed, promote research and innovation, provide strategic policy vision for the government, and deal with contingent issues.
Planning Commission plays an integrative role in the development of a holistic approach to the policy formulation in critical areas of human and economic development. In the social sector, schemes which require coordination and synthesis like rural health, drinking water, rural energy needs, literacy and environment protection have yet to be subjected to coordinated policy formulation. It has led to multiplicity of agencies. An integrated approach can lead to better results at much lower costs.
Planning Commission has the following functions :
- Make an assessment of the material, capital and human resources of the country, including technical personnel, and investigate the possibilities of augmenting such of these resources as are found to be deficient in relation to the nation’s requirement;
- Formulate a Plan for the most effective and balanced utilisation of country’s resources;
- On a determination of priorities, define the stages in which the Plan should be carried out and propose the allocation of resources for the due completion of each stage;
- Indicate the factors which are tending to retard economic development, and determine the conditions which, in view of the current social and political situation, should be established for the successful execution of the Plan;
- Determine the nature of the machinery which will be necessary for securing the successful implementation of each stage of the Plan in all its aspects;
- Appraise from time to time the progress achieved in the execution of each stage of the Plan and recommend the adjustments of policy and measures that such appraisal may show to be necessary; and
- Make such interim or ancillary recommendations as appear to it to be appropriate either for facilitating the discharge of the duties assigned to it, or on a consideration of prevailing economic conditions, current policies, measures and development programmes or on an examination of such specific problems as may be referred to it for advice by Central or State Governments.
The National Development Council comprises the Prime Minister, the Union Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers of all States or their substitutes, representatives of the Union Territories and the members of the NITI Aayog.
National Development Council is an extra-constitutional and non-statutory body.
It has been set up with three objectives:-
- to strengthen and mobilize the effort and resources of the nation in support of the Plan
- to promote common economic policies in all vital spheres and
- to ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country.
The functions of the Council are:-
- to prescribe guidelines for the formulation of the National Plan, including the assessment of resources for the Plan;
- to consider the National Plan as formulated by the Planning Commission;
- to consider important questions of social and economic policy affecting national development; and
- to review the working of the Plan from time to time and to recommend such measures as are necessary for achieving the aims and targets set out in the National Plan.