lannin in ndia        5.55
     himself into a false position”. The government             as achieving time-bound implementation
     adds further, keeping true to this principle our           of quantitative and qualitative targets
     institutions of governance and policy must evolve          through the combined authority of the
     with the changing dynamics of the new India,               Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers.
     while remaining true to the founding principles            This will be by means of systematic and
     of the Constitution of India, and rooted in our            structured interactions between the
     Bharatiyata or wisdom of our civilizational history        Union and state governments, to better
     and ethos. It was, in every sense, a kind of pledge        understand developmental issues, as
     to devise India’s own means, methods, tools and            well as forge a consensus on strategies
     approaches to promote development.                         and implementation mechanisms. The
          For the government, the NITI Aayog is to              above would mark the replacement of
     be the institution to give life to these aspirations       the one-way flow of policy from centre-
     (discussed above). The Aayog is being formed               to-state, with a genuine and continuing
     based on extensive consultation across a                   Centre-State partnership. The Aayog is
     spectrum of stakeholders, including inter alia             supposed to further this cooperation with
     state governments, relevant institutions, domain           the enhanced vibrancy of Competitive
     experts and the people at large.                           Federalism; the Centre competing with
                                                                the states and vice versa, and the states
     functions of niti AAyog                                    competing with each other, in the joint
                                                                pursuit of national development.
     With the process of maturity and deepening in
                                                             2. Shared National Agenda: It will ‘evolve’
     Indian nationhood, the country has embraced a
                                                                a shared vision of national development
     greater measure of pluralism and decentralisation.
                                                                priorities and strategies, with the active
     This necessitates a paradigm shift in Central
                                                                involvement of the states. This will provide
     government’s approaches to the governments in
                                                                the framework ‘national agenda’ for the
     the state, as well as at the local levels. The state
                                                                Prime Minister and Chief Ministers to
     governments and the local bodies must be made
     equal partners in the development process through
     the following changes:                                  3. State’s Best Friend at the Centre: It
                                                                will support states in addressing their
          (i) understanding and supportng their
                                                                own challenges, as well as building on
              developmental needs and aspirations,
                                                                strengths and comparative advantages.
         (ii) incorporating varied local realities into         This will be through various means,
              national policies and programmes with             such as coordinating with ministries,
              the required flexibility.                         championing their ideas at the Centre,
          This way the new body, NITI Aayog, is                 providing ‘consultancy’ support and
     designed to live up to the principle of ‘Team              ‘building capacity’.
     India’ with its following officially demarcated         4. Decentralised Planning: The new
     functions:                                                 body is to ‘restructure’ the planning
          1. Cooperative and Competitive Federalism:            process into a ‘bottom-up model’,
              It will be the ‘primary platform’ for             empowering states, and guiding them
              operationalising cooperative federalism,          to further empower local governments
              enabling states to have active participation      in developing mechanisms to formulate
              in the formulation of national policy, as well    credible plans at the village level, which