“Planning nothing is planning to fail”
The Planning Commission (PC) of India was a non-statutory and non-constitutional body which was established by the Government of India. The Planning Commission was responsible for formulating five-year plans for economic and social development and welfare of the country. The Advisory Planning Board constituted in 1946 under the chairmanship of K.C Neogi gave recommendations for the establishment of the Planning Commission and it was established on 15th March 1950 in accordance with the Article 39 of the Indian Constitution which falls under the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP),which reads – ‘Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State’.
The essence of Article 39 is that the State should formulate and create such policies that every citizen of the country irrespective of gender and other differences can live adequately, the material resources of the community shall be distributed in their best form to fulfil the purpose of common good and every one should get equal opportunities in every aspect of the society, whether it be equal work pay, equal health facilities etc. Keeping all of this in mind the Government established a separate commission, whose main function was to promote economic and social development of the country.
COMPOSITION OF THE COMMISSION
- The Planning Commission consisted of- The Prime Minister is the ex-officio Chairman of the commission. He presides over the meetings of the commission.
- Deputy Chairman is the de-facto chairman of the commission. He is given the rank of a Cabinet Minister. He is responsible to formulate and submit the draft Five Year Plan to central cabinet.
- The Finance Minister and the Planning Minister are the ex-officio members of the commission. In addition, some other central ministers may be appointed as part-time members of the commission.
- The commission has four to seven full-time members who are experts in various fields such as economics, industry, science and general administration. They enjoy the rank of a Minister of State.
- Usually, a senior IAS officer is the member-secretary of the commission.
- The Ex-Officio members of the Planning Commission included the Health Minister, Finance Minister, Home Minister, Agriculture Minister, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister, Information Technology Minister, Law Minister, Human Resource Development Minister and Minister of State for Planning
PRIMARY FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION
- To make an assessment of the material, capital and human resources of the country, including technical personnel, and investigate the possibilities of augmenting those are related resources which are found to be deficient in relation to the nation’s requirement.
- To utilise the country’s resources in the most effective and balanced way and formulate a plan for the same.
- To define the stages, on the basis of priority, in which the plan should be carried out and propose the allocation of resources for the due completion of each stage.
- To indicate the factors that tends to slow down the economic development of the country, in short identifying the weaknesses and threats.
- To determine the conditions which need to be established for the successful execution of the plan.
- To determine the nature of the machinery required for securing the successful implementation of each stage of the plan.
- To appraise from time to time the progress achieved in the execution of each stage of the plan and also recommend the necessary adjustments of policy and measures necessary for successful implementation of plan.
- To achieve public co-operation in national development.
- Hill Areas Development Programme.
- Perspective Planning.
CONCEPT OF FIVE YEAR PLANS
As the name suggests, a five-year plan is considered to be a long-term plan for the economic and social development of the country. The first five-year plan was implemented in the year 1951, and so far till now 12 five- year plans have been implemented in the country. The objectives of these five-year plans were: Economic Growth, Economic Equity and Social Justice, Full Employment, Economic Self-Reliance, Modernisation.
During this timespan of five years the Government is supposed to make policies and implement those in a way that the objectives of the five-year plan gets accomplished. The first five-year plan (1951-1956) was based on the Harrod-Domar Model and its main focus was on the agricultural development of the country and the plan was successful and achieved the growth rate of 3.6% (more than the target).
The second five-year plan (1956-1961) its primary objective was to promote the industrial development in the country and was based on the P.C Mahalanobis Model. This plan was also successful and achieved the growth rate of 4.1% We can divide the five-year plans into two segments, namely before the Liberalisation period and after that period. In the past decade India faced many challenges like war with the neighbouring countries like China and Pakistan. Apart for wars the political situation in the country was quite unpredictable. All these factors cause hindrance in the implementing and successful functioning of the plans.
Few plans were proved to be successful as we over-achieved the targets where as some of the plans failed and didn’t performed as per the expectation. The 12th five-year (2012-2017), the primary objective of this plan was “Faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth”. This was the last five-year plan as the BJP Government scrapped the idea of these plans and introduced a new concept of three-year action plan. A new organisation by the name of ‘Niti Ayog’ ‘National Institution for Transforming India’ was established in 2015 which will regulate the upcoming planning.
NITI AAYOG: BEGINNING OF A NEW ERA
The Niti Aayog is National Institution for Transforming India. It is a policy think tank that was established to achieve sustainable development goals through cooperative federalism. Cooperative Federalism encourage healthy competition among states. Niti Aayog was established in 2015 replacing the 65year-old Planning Commission. The initiative consists of 5 years road map plan and 7 years vision, strategy and action plan. Prime Minister is the chair-person of NITI Aayog. It also includes governing council that is composed of CM of all states and union territories
FUNCTIONS OF NITI AAYOG
- To enhance the involvement of States in decision making process by fostering cooperative federalism.
- To promote innovation, knowledge and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts.
- Incorporating National security in economic strategy and policy.
- To maintain state-of-the-art resource center for best practices in sustainable and equitable development and promote good governance.
- Formulate the strategies at village level and integrate these at higher levels of government.
- To work towards the technology up-gradation for implementation of policies.
- The design framework for strategic and long-term policies and monitor their progress.
BOARD OF NITI AYOG
The board consists of a Chairperson (Prime Minister of India), Vice Chairperson (Rajiv Kumar), Ex-Officio members, Chief Executive Officer (Amitabh Kant), Special invitees, Full time members and Governing Council (All Chief minister of Stated and LG of Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Special Invitees).
OBJECTIVES OF NITI AAYOG
- To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of States.
- To foster cooperative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on a continuous basis, recognizing that strong States make a strong nation.
- To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.
- To ensure, on areas that are specifically referred to it, that the interests of national security are incorporated in economic strategy and policy.
- To pay special attention to the sections of our society that may be at risk of not benefiting adequately from economic progress.
- To design strategic and long-term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives, and monitor their progress and their efficacy. The lessons learnt through monitoring and feedback will be used for making innovative improvements, including necessary mid-course corrections.
- To provide advice and encourage partnerships between key stakeholders and national and international like-minded Think tanks, as well as educational and policy research institutions.
- To create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners and other partners.
- To offer a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter departmental issues in order to accelerate the implementation of the development agenda.
- To actively monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes and initiatives, including the identification of the needed resources so as to strengthen the probability of success and scope of delivery.
- To focus on technology upgradation and capacity building for implementation of programmes and initiatives.
- To undertake other activities as may be necessary in order to further the execution of the national development agenda, and the objectives mentioned above.
This article is written by Kush Bhardwaj and edited by Rupreet Kaur Dhariwal.
 Article 39 Indian Constitution Bare Act.