5.52         ndian      onom
     growth and development. We see a pronounced                      trAnsforming inDiA
     policy shift in the direction of ‘empowering and                 The government aims at ‘transforming the
     keeping state in front’ by giving them more                      development agenda of India’ with the help of the
     financial space and responsiblities.104 Keeping                  NITI Aayog and has given a slogan, ‘from planning
     its promises in the direction, the government                    to NITI’. India has undergone a paradigm
     abolished the Planning Commission (PC) and                       shift over the past six decades—politically,
     replaced it by a new body—the NITI Aayog. The                    economically, socially, technologically as well
     acronym NITI stands for National Institution                     as demographically. The role of the government
     for Transforming India. We see the government                    in national development has seen a parallel
     aspiring for the emergence of the ‘Team India’ in                evolution. Keeping with these changing times, the
                                                                      government decided to set up the NITI Aayog as
     the new body. It will be premature to be conclusive
                                                                      a means to better serve the needs and aspirations
     on this shift from “Planning to NITI” (as the
                                                                      of the people of India. The government thinks
     government calls). Even an academic comparison                   the new institution to function as a catalyst to
     between the old and the new bodies will also                     the developmental process—nurturing an overall
     not serve enough purpose as it needs some time                   enabling environment, through a holistic approach
     when the outcome of the change will be available.                to development going beyond the limited sphere
     Judgments on this shift will be only good once it is             of the public sector and the GoI, which will be
     done after some period of time. In the meantime,                 built on the foundations of:
     India remains a planned economy. The discussion                       (i) An empowered role of states as equal
     given here is mainly based on the documents and                           partners in national development;
     releases which came out from the GoI before                               operationalising the principle of
     and after the NITI Aayog was set up (January 1,                           Cooperative Federalism.
     2015). In these documents, the government has                        (ii) A knowledge hub of internal as well as
     not only provided the reasons as why does India                           external resources, serving as a repository
                                                                               of good governance best practices, and a
     need to go in for a new body, but charts out a very
                                                                               Think Tank offering domain knowledge
     encouraging and out of tradition role/function
                                                                               as well as strategic expertise to all levels of
     for the new body. An attempt has been made to                             the government.
     closely follow the ‘government line’ of thinking so                 (iii) A collaborative platform facilitating
     that the ‘spirit’ of it is not lost.                                      Implementation; by monitoring progress,
      104.  Such a stance in the process of planning we find in                plugging gaps and bringing together the
            the document of the th lan                  for the first          various ministries at the Centre and in
            time when the government of the time (the NDA-led)                 states, in the joint pursuit of developmental
            made the call : ‘if states are developed, the nation
            is developed’. We find a pronounced shift towards
                                                                               goals.
            ‘decentralised planning’ (the Plan was nicknamed as the
            ‘People’s Plan’). The new idea of ‘monitorable targets’   chAnging contours of inDiA
            also commenced in this plan giving states more say and
            accountibility in the process of planned development      The government agrees that the Planning
            (these targets were continued within the forthcoming      Commission has served India well. However,
            Plans). Several other steps were also taken in this Plan  India has changed dramatically over the past 65
            aimed at bringing the states in the mainstream of the
            developmental process, viz., by giving them increased     years at multiple levels and across varied scales.
            role and accountibility.                                  These transformatory forces have changed the