NITI Aayog’s Three Year action agenda: An Objective Analysis

Here is a further objective analysis of the 15 years vision, seven year strategy and three year action agenda of the NITI Aayog. We have already discussed that that the 12th Five Year Plan was the last of the five year plans and with increasingly open and liberalized economy and given the new realities of global economy, there was a need to rethink the tools and approaches to conceptualizing the development process. The NITI Aayog maintains that the new plan would allow the government to better align the development strategy and changed reality of India. The agenda has covered the wide range of sectors including agriculture, industry and manufacturing. It has discussed the policies necessary for urban and rural transformation and a range of growth enabling ingredients including transport, digital connectivity, entrepreneurship etc.

What can be potential advantages of the Agenda?

The cited advantages for the agenda are as follows: Firstly, the electoral cycles don’t synchronise with the five year plans and quite often, this results in the loss of accountability for the outgoing government and rests on incumbent government. If there is a continuous plan, then, the successive government take ahead the works left by previous government. Thus, whichever is the ruling dispensation at centre, the agenda makes the government more directly accountable for implementation of these plans. Secondly, a shorter period of three years gives government an improved prospect to make corrections and adaptations during its own term in office. Thirdly, the 3, 7 and 15 years plans allow flexibility to adapt to the changing circumstances and exogenous variables. This would enable the government to look into future, particularly at evolving technology, demography and ecology, and accordingly align the policies. Fourthly, this 15 year vision document is somewhat coterminous with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN.

How can this Agenda be realised?

There are several proposals by print media commentators. For your examination, the below suggestions would be helpful to add value to your answers. First, there can be a separate parliamentary committee to meaningfully engage with NITI Aayog about its policy prescriptions. Second, state level sub-institutions can be created (Su-NITI). Third, there is a need of taking states together and giving them wider say.

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