NITI Aayog – Vision for New India (RSTV debate)

Recently the 3rd meeting of the NITI Aayog’s Governing Council was held at Delhi. With an aim to transform India (as called by the Prime Minister), the NITI Aayog has envisioned an aspiring agenda for the country to be achieved by the year 2032.

NITI Aayog | Agenda for 2032

  • As we know that the five-year plans have now been replaced by a three-year action plan which will be sub-part of a 7-year strategy which itself would be a sub-part of realising a 15-year long term vision for the country.
  • The targets set by NITI Aayog for the next 15 years include a threefold rise in country’s GDP, Rupees 2 lakh increase in per capita GDP of the country and other necessary facilities for people such as electricity, housing with toilets and digital connectivity for all people in the country with a fully literate population having unhindered access to healthcare and most importantly, ‘a clean India with clean air and water’.

NITI Aayog | Analysis

  • The immediate requirement of NITI Aayog should have been to identify the immediate challenges that our country is facing to realize a developmental vision, rather than writing a manifesto-like document for coming years such as consistent poverty in the country and global environment that may affect regional inequalities among many others. Real challenges should be addressed after taking a 360-degree view of the issues around us.
  • It is not a herculean task for India to receive 8% GDP growth rate because in the last 25 years, the average growth rate was 6.7% of GDP. When our economy is consistently increasing at a sustainable pace, we need to bring few issues under our focus –
  • Inclusive growth can be achieved by providing education for all, skill development, healthcare facilities and raising expenditure on rural infrastructure to fill the concerned gaps.
  • Resilience in the path of realisation of development by strengthening our public institutions, regulatory environment, banking system and management of our natural resources.
  • Government has promised clean and quality air which is enshrined in the NITI Aayog’s agenda but this objective stands contradictory to the aspiration which envisions a private car or two-wheeler for every citizen in the country. At a time when the world is moving towards maximising environment friendly public transport and eco-friendly approach towards energy consumption, this step looks retrograde.

NITI Aayog | Primary sector development

Development of agriculture should be focused on –

  • Enhancing productivity
  • Land leasing reforms
  • Remunerative prices
  • Risk management
  • Second Green Revolution in eastern India

NITI Aayog |  | Fiscal situation

  • The combined expenditure of Centre and States would rise by almost 92 lakh crore rupees to reach 130 lakh crore rupees by the financial year 2031-32.
  • India’s urban population would rise by 22 crore and reach around 60 crores by that time.
  • NITI Aayog also projects per capita income in the country to rise by 2 lakh rupees up to 3,14,667 rupees approximately.
  • Hence, the economy is expected to grow three-fold in the next 15 years. If the economy grows at an 8% average rate of GDP for the next 15 years, our nominal GDP will reach almost 469 lakh crore rupees by the year 2030 (around USD 7.25 trillion).

NITI Aayog | Social situation

  • NITI Aayog has also come up with indices to measure states’ performance in the field of health, education and water management. This will help states to measure the results of various social programmes and compete with each other and simultaneously share best practices and innovations in line with cooperative yet competitive federalism.
  • It has also suggested to club various social programmes and various centrally-sponsored schemes under 28 umbrella projects. For example – The panel has suggested few changes in Swachh Bharat Mission and other flagship schemes like skill development, poverty measurement and Atal Innovation Mission (AIM).

NITI Aayog | Conclusion

Soviet form of central planning may have its limitations but yearly targets and monitoring mechanisms can help the Government to better streamline plan performance for the ambitious goals set out by NITI Aayog. Unwavering political will and public support from all quarters will be the prerequisites to realise the true potential of the aforementioned ambitious targets.

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