NITI Aayog or National Institution for Transforming India Aayog is a policy think-tank of Union Government of India that replaces Planning Commission of India and aims to involve the states in economic policy-making in India.
It will be providing strategic and technical advice to the central and the state governments. Prime Minister of India heads the Aayog as its chairperson.  Union Government of India had announced formation of NITI Aayog on 1 January 2015.  There are couples of things to be considered here. In Hindi, NITI (Hindi: ???? ) means Policy,And Ayog(Hindi: ???? ) means Commission. NITI Aayog would therefore mean: • A group of people with authority entrusted by the government to formulate/regulate policies concerning transforming India. • It is a commission to help government in social and economic issues. • Also it's an Institute of think tank with experts in it. India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made the following observation on the necessity of creating NITI Ayog:
“The 65-year-old Planning Commission had become a redundant organisation. It was relevant in a command economy structure, but not any longer. India is a diversified country and its states are in various phases of economic development along with their own strengths and weaknesses.
In this context, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to economic planning is obsolete. It cannot make India competitive in today’s global economy”  GENESIS[EDIT] ?1950 : Planning commission was established ?May 29, 2014 :
The first IEO(Independent Evaluation Office ) assessment report was submitted to Prime Minister Modi on May 29, three days after he was sworn in. According to Ajay Chibber, who heads the IEO, views in the report are based on the views of stakeholders and some Planning Commission members themselves. Planning Commission to be replaced by "control commission" ?
August 13, 2014 : Cabinet of Modi govt. scrapped the Planning Commission ?Aug. 15 2014 : Modi mentioned to replace Planning Commission by National Development and Reform Commission(NDRC) on the line of China MEMBERS[EDIT] The NITI Aayog comprises the following: 1. Prime Minister of India as the Chairperson 2.
Governing Council comprising the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories 3. Regional Councils will be formed to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region. These will be formed for a specified tenure.
The Regional Councils will be convened by the Prime Minister and will comprise of the Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in the region. These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee 4.
Experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister 5. Full-time organizational framework (in addition to Prime Minister as the Chairperson) comprising 1. Vice-Chairperson: Arvind Panagariya 2. Members: Two (2) Full-time 3. Part-time members: Maximum of two from leading universities research organizations and other relevant institutions in an ex-officio capacity. Part-time members will be on a rotational basis 4. Ex Officio members: Maximum of four members of the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister 5. Chief Executive Officer: To be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India 6. Secretariat as deemed necessary  PRESENT MEMBERS[EDIT] The various members of NITI Aayog are:.
1. Chairperson: Prime Minister Narendra Modi 2. CEO: Sindhushree Khullar 3. Vice Chairperson: Arvind Panagariya 4. Ex-Officio Members: Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Suresh Prabhu and Radha Mohan Singh 5. Special Invitees: Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Zubin Irani and Thawar Chand Gehlot. 6. Full-time Members: Bibek Debroy & V. K. Saraswat 7. Governing Council: All Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories DI? ERENCE BETWEEN NITI AAYOG AND PLANNING COMMISSION[EDIT]  Financial clout NITI Aayog - To be an advisory body, or a think-tank.
The powers to allocate funds might be vested in the finance ministry Planning Commission - Enjoyed the powers to allocate funds to ministries and state governments Full-time members NITI Aayog - The number of full-time members could be fewer than Planning Commission Planning Commission - The last Commission had eight full-time members States' role NITI Aayog - State governments are expected to play a more significant role than they did in the Planning Commission.
Planning Commission - States' role was limited to the National Development Council and annual interaction during Plan meetings Member secretary NITI Aayog - To be known at the CEO and to be appointed by the prime minister Planning Commission - Secretaries or member secretaries were appointment through the usual process Part-time members NITI Aayog - To have a number of part-time members, depending on the need from time to time Planning Commission - Full Planning Commission had no provision for part-time members. Constitution Niti Aayog - Governing Council has state chief ministers and lieutenant governors. Planning Commission- The commission reported to National Development Council that had state chief ministers and lieutenant governors. Organization Niti Aayog - New posts of CEO, of secretary rank, and Vice-Chairperson. Will also have five full- time members and two part-time members. Four cabinet ministers will serve as ex-officio members. Planning Commission - Had deputy chairperson, a member secretary and full-time members. Participation Niti Aayog- Consulting states while making policy and deciding on funds allocation.
Final policy would be a result of that. Planning Commission- Policy was formed by the commission and states were then consulted about allocation of funds. Allocation Niti Aayog- No power to allocate funds Planning Commission- Had power to decide allocation of government funds for various programmes at national and state levels. Nature Niti Aayog- NITI is a think-tank and does not have the power to impose policies.
Planning Commission- Imposed policies on states and tied allocation of funds with projects it approved. AIM'S AND OBJECTIVES OF NITI AYOG[EDIT]  NITI Aayog will seek to provide a critical directional and strategic input into the development process. The centre-to-state one-way flow of policy, that was the hallmark of the Planning Commission era, is now sought to be replaced by a genuine and continuing partnership of states.
NITI Aayog will emerge as a "think-tank" that will provide Governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy. The NITI Aayog will also seek to put an end to slow and tardy implementation of policy, by fostering better Inter-Ministry coordination and better Centre-State coordination.
It will help evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, and foster cooperative federalism, recognizing that strong states make a strong nation. The NITI Aayog will develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans to the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.
It will ensure special attention to the sections of society that may be at risk of not benefitting adequately from economic progress. The NITI Aayog will create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners and partners. It will offer a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter-departmental issues in order to accelerate the implementation of the development agenda. In addition, the NITI Aayog will monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes, and focus on technology upgradation and capacity building. Through the above, the NITI Aayog will aim to accomplish the following objectives and opportunities:
An administration paradigm in which the Government is an "enabler" rather than a "provider of first and last resort. " · Progress from "food security" to focus on a mix of agricultural production, as well as actual returns that farmers get from their produce. · Ensure that India is an active player in the debates and deliberations on the global commons.
· Ensure that the economically vibrant middle-class remains engaged, and its potential is fully realized. · Leverage India's pool of entrepreneurial, scientific and intellectual human capital. · Incorporate the significant geo-economic and geo-political strength of the Non-Resident Indian Community.
· Use urbanization as an opportunity to create a wholesome and secure habitat through the use of modern technology. · Use technology to reduce opacity and potential for misadventures in governance. The NITI Aayog aims to enable India to better face complex challenges, through the following: · Leveraging of India's demographic dividend, and realization of the potential of youth, men and women, through education, skill development, elimination of gender bias, and employment.
· Elimination of poverty, and the chance for every Indian to live a life of dignity and self-respect · Reddressal of inequalities based on gender bias, caste and economic disparities · Integrate villages institutionally into the development process · Policy support to more than 50 million small businesses, which are a major source of employment creation.
· Safeguarding of our environmental and ecological assets.................. MAJOR HIGHLIGHTS[EDIT]  1. The new National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) will act more like a think tank or forum and execute programs by taking the States along with them. This is in sharp contrast with the defunct Planning Commission which imposed five-year-plans and allocated resources while running roughshod over the requests of the various States.
2. NITI will include leaders of India's 29 states and seven union territories. But its full-time staff - a deputy chairman, Chief Executive Officer and experts - will answer directly to the Prime Minister of India, who will be chairman.
3. The opposition Congress mocked the launch as a cosmetic relabelling exercise - the new body's acronym-based name means 'Policy Commission' in Hindi, suggesting a less bold departure than the English version does. Several believe that is consistent with the negativism that has become the hallmark of the Congress.
4. Despite being blamed by critics for the slow growth that long plagued India, the Commission survived the market reforms of the early 1990s, riling Mr Modi with its interventions when he was Chief minister of industry and investor friendly Gujarat. 5. Mr Modi, elected by a landslide last year on a promise to revive flagging growth and create jobs, had vowed to do away with the Planning Commission that was set up in 1950 by Congressman and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
6. But his plans have been derided by the Congress party, which wants to defend the Nehru legacy and describes Mr Modi's vision of "cooperative federalism" as cover for a veiled power grab.
7. India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, a socialist who admired Joseph Stalin's drive to industrialize the Soviet Union, set up and chaired the Commission to map out a development path for India's agrarian economy.
8. In 2012, the Planning Commission was pilloried for spending some Rs. 35 lakh to renovate two office toilets, and then it was lampooned for suggesting that citizens who spent Rs. 27 or more a day were not poor. 9. The commission had remained powerful over the decades because it had emerged as a sort of parallel cabinet with the Prime Minister as its head.
10. The Commission's power in allocating central funds to states and sanctioning capital spending of the central government was deeply resented by states and various government departments. CRITICISMS OF NITI AYOG[EDIT] . The government's move to replace the Planning Commission with a new institution called 'NITI Aayog’ was criticised by opposition parties of India. The Congress sought to know whether the reform introduced by the BJP-led government was premised on any meaningful programme or if the move was simply born out of political opposition to the party that ran the Planning Commission for over 60 years.
The vast majority of the country see this as continuation of the negativism and policy paralysis approach of the Congress. "The real issue is do you (the government) have a substantive meaningful programme to reform the Planning Commission? " Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said. "If you (the BJP government) simply want to abolish it (the commission), because it is something which (Jawaharlal) Nehru created for this country and you don't like Nehru or simply because it was run by the Congress for 60 years and you don't like the Congress, that is pitiable," he said.
Many believe that the recasting of the Planning Commission was necessitated by the arrogance that besotted it during the Congress / UPA regime. The Communist Party of India-Marxist said a mere change in the name would not yield the desired results. "Mere changing this nomenclature, and this sort of gimmickry is not going to serve the purpose. Let us wait and see what the government is eventually planning," CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said. The Planning Commission used to plan policy.
I don't know what is the government trying to do by merely changing the nomenclature from Planning Commission to Neeti Ayog," said Congress spokesman Manish Tewari. However, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman of BJP accused the critics of being “ignorant of facts”.
“With the new set of changes, the state governments no longer need to have a begging attitude and instead take independent steps for development,” said Sitharaman. With this the NDA government is fulfilling one more of its key promises of robust federalism.
"The idea to create an institution where states' leaders will be part and parcel of the collective thinking with the Centre and other stakeholders in formulating a vision for the development of the country is right on as compared with the previous structure, where a handful of people formulated the vision and then presented it to the National Development Council (NDC). This was not entirely absorbed and adopted by the latter," said former Planning Commission member Arun Maira.