In line with the Government of India’s approach of less government and a move away from centralised planning, the NITI Aayog with a new structure and focus on policy will replace the 64-year old Planning Commission that was seen as a vestige of the socialist era. The new body, conceived more in the nature of a think-tank that will provide strategic and technical advice, will be helmed by the Prime Minister with a Governing Council of Chief Ministers and Lt. Governors, similar to the National Development Council that set the objectives for the Planning Commission. The NITI Aayog seeks substitute centralised planning with a ‘bottom-up’ approach where the body will support formulation of plans at the village level and aggregate them at higher levels of government. In short, the new body is envisaged to follow the norm of cooperative federalism, giving room to States to tailor schemes to suit their unique needs rather than be dictated to by the Centre. This is meant to be a recognition of the country’s diversity. The needs of a State such as Kerala with its highly developed  – Read more


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