5.54       ndian      onom
              of states must thus become the national                 that, as the role of the government was
              goal, as the nation’s progress lies in the              reviewed and restructured, the role and
              progress of states. As a consequence, the               functions of the PC too needed to be
              one-size-fits-all approach, often inherent in           rethought. The PC also needed to be
              centralised planning, is no longer practical            reformed to keep up with changing
              or efficient. States need to be heard and               trends, relieving itself of the old practices
              given the flexibility required for effective            and beliefs, which had lost relevance,
              implementation. The government quotes                   and adopting new ones based on past
              Dr. B. R. Ambedkar to bring the point                   experiences of India as well as other
              home: “it is unreasonable to centralise                 nations. Specifically, the PC needed to
              powers where central control and                        be in tune with the process of economic
              uniformity is not clearly essential or is               reforms.
              impracticable”. Thus, while emanating              (ii) The Standing Committee on Finance
              from global experiences and national                    of the 15th Lok Sabha observed in its
              synergy, India’s strategies need to be                  35th Report on Demand for Grants
              calibrated and customised to local needs                (2011–12) that the “PC has to come to
              and opportunities.                                      grips with the emerging social realities
          6. Technology paradigm: Technology                          to re-invent itself to make itself more
              advancements and information access                     relevant and effective for aligning the
              have unleashed the creative energy of                   planning process with economic reforms
              India. They have integrated our varied                  and its consequences, particularly for the
              regions and ecosystems in an interlinked                poor”. This was the need of making the
              national economy and society, opening                   planning process relevant to the process
              up newer avenues of coordination                        of economic reforms.
              and cooperation. Technology is also               (iii) The former Prime Minister, Dr.
              playing a substantial role in enhancing                 Manmohan Singh, in his farewell address
              transparency as well as efficiency, holding             to the PC (April 2014), also urged
              the government more accountable. Thus,                  reflection on ‘what the role of the PC
              India needs to make it central to systems               needs to be in this new world. Are we
              of policy and governance.                               still using tools and approaches which
                                                                      were designed for a different era? What
     chAnge must come                                                 additional roles should the Planning
     The above-given changes have been recognised                     Commission play and what capacities
     by the experts for years now. With changing                      does it need to build to ensure that it
     contours of the economy, the institutions guiding                continues to be relevant to the growth
     the economy should also change. The government                   process?” This observation has quite
     quotes several such instances when appropriate                   high relevance, as Dr. Singh is himself a
     changes were advised in the Planning Commission                  “noted” economist.
     by the experts, committees, even the PC, among               Taking the clues for a change, the government
     others:                                                quotes Mahatma Gandhi before going for the
          (i) The 8th Plan (1992–97) document               change: “Constant development is the law of
              (the very first after the reform process      life, and a man who always tries to maintain
              commenced in 1991) categorically stated       his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives