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01 May 2017

NITI Aayog vision document: Setting targets for a "New India"

NITI Aayog delivers: 15 year development strategy released

NITI Aayog Chairperson Arvind Panagariya released its 15 years vision document at the third meeting of the Governing Council.

The document strives to "transform India into a prosperous, highly educated, healthy, secure, corruption-free, energy-abundant, environmentally clean and globally influential nation by 2031-32".

A draft of the three year action plan was also circulated in the meeting.

Let us see what it says!

In context

NITI Aayog delivers: 15 year development strategy released


What is the NITI Aayog?

The Aayog was set up by the Modi government in 2015, intending to replace the erstwhile Planning Commission.

The Commission set up by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1950 had been criticized on account of its top-down approach, resulting in minimal development and slowdown of India's economic growth over six decades.

Deviating from a top-down approach, the Aayog was touted to function like a think tank.

Moving on from five year plans

Panagariya in 2016 announced that five-year plans would conclude after the 12th plan period. They were to be replaced by three vision documents including a three year short term road map, a seven year medium term strategy and a 15 year long term vision document.

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What does long term strategy outline?

The only available public document on the strategy is a powerpoint presentation on the document.

The document mentions PM Modi's eight-point vision for a new India. While drawing comparison to Chinese growth statistics, it outlines a 22 crore increase in population and Rs. 332crore increase in GDP respectively.

It further adds, citizens of new India would have access to personal vehicles and universal healthcare.

Three year action plan

While the Aayog directly got around to setting targets within the long term vision document, a document on the three year action plan was also circulated in the meeting. Aayog looks to fuel economic growth under eight heads including governance, sustainability and region-wise development.


What do the critics say?

The document has stopped short of setting growth targets, without elaborating on how this would be achieved. For instance, India cannot keep up the growth rate without a strategy on revival of its sluggish investment cycle.

While access to white goods has been outlined as a priority, the document stays silent on means to bridge the income gap between the rich and the poor.

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