GD Topic - Is NITI AYOG serving able to replace Planning Commission

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: February 29, 2016

6 people are having a discussion on the topic (Anish, Manish, Ray, Swati, and Allen & Vimal)

Category: Politics, Economics

Group Discussion Starts

Anish: Good morning friends. Today we are here to discuss on the topic “Is NITI AYOG serving able to replace planning commission” NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) AYOG is the policy of government of India, introduced by Narendra Modi in the 2015 to replace Planning commission of India which was introduced by former prime minister of India in 1950.Is NITI Ayog a better alternative to planning commission?

Manish: Basically planning commission was established for socio-economic development of a country which is primarily a top-down approach. Whereas NITI Ayog was mainly established as a bottom-down approach with the interpretation that planning commission is of no more use in the modern era.

Ray: Our present economy is more market focused when compared to the socialistic era of 1950’s. Planning commission might be quite planned at that time, but with the globalised economy of our country it may not give appropriate results.

Image: indianexpress

Swati: I agree with u Ray. The top-down approach generally means the plans and strategies are formulated by the central governing body of planning commission, once the policies are made then the resources are allocated to the state governing bodies with their respective plans. In contrary to this, NITI Ayog is implementing the bottom up approach, which is formed by the state governments and is supervised by CEO

Allen: I see the NITI Ayog merely another form of planning commission which is wearing another mask with a different name tag. In fact the basic approach is common in both the policy. NITI Ayog doesn’t seem to be significantly different from planning commission.

Vimal: Yes, It is simply a representing the Chinese NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission). Chinese NDRC has a macro –economic policy wherein our fiscal policy are formulated by Finance ministry and monetary policies are determined by RBI (Reserve Bank of India).

Anish: In fact NITI Ayog was introduced to provide structural inputs and directional strategies to the economic policy and development. It is also based on Co-operative federalism which focuses on empowerment and equality of stakeholders.  So, NITI is a better alternative to planning commission.

Allen: I don’t agree with you. Planning commission was strong at the centre formulating strategies to implement for the development. The complete power lies in the central body, the state bodies has to ask the necessary funds required by the government to implement the policies. The changes played a great role in the development of a country.

Ray: Might be true, but Planning commission was not successful up to the mark where plans are formulated once for every five years with a specific agenda for a five-year plan. It did not make sufficient remarkable changes to the development of our country. State governments were rarely involved in decision making process.

Swati: It is true. The NITI Ayog mainly plans are formulated based on need and long term with the mechanism which support course correction. It also facilitates the coordination among sectors and departments. It did not have power neither to formulate policies nor to allocate funds.

Anish: NITI Ayog also focuses on sustainable development in both rural and urban. Also encourages entrepreneurial thinking, social media and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) to maintain transparency. Policies are made to develop social capital and regional councils.

Atlee: It also focuses on National security. It also introduced SETU (Self Employment and Talent Utilisation) which supports technically and financially. It also monitors its activities unlike the Planning commission which primarily concerns about formulation polices and the implementation has very less scope.

Vimal: In contrary to this, Planning commission remained as most powerful body and also  it has brought considerable in changes in many sectors like Agriculture, Industry, Education, irrigation, telecommunications, and Transport. There is prominent rise in Net Domestic Product (NDP) and savings

Ray: Of course but there are also failures. Planning commission failed to eradicate poverty and decrease unemployment. Inequalities in income have also not been reduced.

Anish: Agreed. In order to overcome these discrepancies and to put an end to slow and tardy growth that was implemented by the planning commission.


NITI Ayog is a think tank. Planning commission when introduced was effective in its nature. Then later on, it turned to be ineffective due to high political involvement. Rather the growth has curbed due to the people who lack the commitment and it lead to more corruption. Both planning commission and NITI Ayog are advisory bodies. Will NITI Ayog be more efficient by replacing Planning commission? The answer may depends. Since it is also not focusing on the grass root level problems and recommendations (from the villages). And the power is now delivered from central to state governments. So, there are no specific changes. The people doesn’t change. The same mind set of people who worked for planning commission will now work for NITI Ayog. So, how can we expect development? Eventually, NITI Ayog success entirely depends on the people who lead it for transformation

Facts related to the Topic

• 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.

• The stated aim for NITI Ayog' s creation is to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by the State Governments of India

• New function of NITI Ayog is to address the need of the National Security in the economic strategy.

• Achieved >9% GDP growth-rate during 2005-07 which might be due to planning commission

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