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Performance of the Niti Aayog since its inception

Performance of the AYOG

The MAFAP program in India is a joint initiative by Niti Aayog and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with the goal of keeping an eye on, analyzing, and improving food and agricultural policies. In its first phase, which took place from September 23 to December 31, 2019, the program focused on reporting the National Agriculture Price Policy and National Food Security Policy for selected agricultural product marketing committees and districts.

Moving on to the second phase, scheduled from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021, the MAFAP program aims to continue its efforts in monitoring and analyzing agricultural policies. During this period, the Niti Aayog governing council has actively promoted Zero Budget Natural Farming, emphasizing sustainable farming practices. Natural farming is also being advocated through the ‘Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati’ program under the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY).

A novel concept introduced is the Village Storage Scheme, aimed at enhancing storage facilities at the village level. Furthermore, in the Union Budget of 2021, there was a proposal for the Dhaanya Lakshmi Village Storage Scheme, although its implementation is still pending. These initiatives collectively signify a concerted effort to address and improve various aspects of the agricultural sector in India.

Digital Payments Movement

  • NITI Aayog engages public, micro-enterprises, and stakeholders through advocacy and awareness efforts.
  • A committee of Chief Ministers on Digital Payment, formed by NITI Aayog, promotes transparency in the financial ecosystem.
  • States/UTs receive Rs. 50 crore central assistance to bring 5 crore Jan Dhan accounts onto a digital platform.
  • Cashback and referral bonus schemes for BHIM App encourage digital payments.
  • Incentive schemes like Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana result in over 16 lakh winners.
  • Government-organized Digi Dhan Melas across 100 cities for 100 days promote digital payments.

Atal Innovation Mission

  • The government, through Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), is setting up 500 Atal Tinkering Labs in schools across India. These labs will be like creative hubs where students can use cool technologies to come up with small inventions that tackle real-life problems they observe around them.
  • AIM is also supporting the creation of Atal Incubation Centres (AICs). These centers will be a big help for start-ups, giving them the support they need to grow faster. AIM is offering financial support of Rs. 10 crore and providing training to set up these AICs. The focus will be on various important sectors like manufacturing, energy, transport, education, agriculture, water, and sanitation.
  • AIM is not just stopping at innovation and entrepreneurship; it’s also keeping an eye on how well states are doing in key areas. They are measuring and tracking the performance of states in health, education, and water management. This way, they can guide and support states to improve in these crucial aspects.

Social Development

  1. NITI Aayog, aligning with the Prime Minister’s outcomes focus, created indices for Health, Education, and Water Management performance.
  2. The indices track annual improvements, fostering state competition for better outcomes in crucial social sectors.
  3. States can share best practices through these indices, promoting competitive and cooperative federalism.

Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Rationalisation of Centrally Sponsored Schemes

  • The sub-group recommended rationalizing centrally sponsored schemes, and NITI Aayog prepared a Cabinet note, which the Cabinet approved.
  • The sub-group has recommended several decisions which led to the rationalisation of the existing CSSs into 28 umbrella schemes.
  • Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
  • The sub-group recommended the rationalization of centrally sponsored schemes, and NITI Aayog prepared a Cabinet note, which the Cabinet also approved.
  • Most of the recommendations proposed by this sub-group have received acceptance.

Sub-Group of Chief Ministers on Skill Development

  • On March 9, 2015, a dedicated sub-group formed on Skill Development, and they shared their findings with the Prime Minister on December 31, 2015. The Prime Minister approved the key recommendations, and the Ministry of Skill Development is already implementing them.
  • On March 16, 2015, Dr. Arvind Panagariya, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, chaired the formation of the Task Force on Elimination of Poverty in India. The Prime Minister received their report on July 11, 2016. The task force primarily focused on addressing challenges in measuring poverty and devising effective strategies to combat it.
  • However, the task force encountered difficulties in reaching a consensus on adopting either the Tendulkar poverty line or a higher one. Consequently, they suggested forming a high-level committee comprising top experts to analyze the issues and recommend the best poverty measurement.
  • Moreover, the task force emphasized the need for strategies that could expedite poverty reduction, such as promoting employment-intensive rapid growth and ensuring the effective implementation of anti-poverty programs.

Task Force on Agriculture Development

  • Back on March 16, 2015, something important took place – the establishment of Agricultural Development under the guidance of Dr. Arvind Panagariya, who served as the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog.
  • This special group, led by Dr. Panagariya, worked on a paper called “Raising Agricultural Productivity and Making Farming Remunerative for Farmers.” It’s a big deal because they focused on five crucial areas in Indian Agriculture:
  • Boosting Productivity: The aim was to make farms more efficient and productive.
  • Fair Prices for Farmers: Ensuring that farmers get paid well for their hard work.
  • Land Leasing, Land Records & Land Titles: Sorting out issues related to land use, ownership records, and titles.
  • Second Green Revolution – Eastern States Focus: Trying to bring a new wave of agricultural progress, especially in the Eastern states.
  • Addressing Farmers’ Distress: Tackling the challenges and difficulties faced by farmers.

Transforming India Lecture Series

  1. NITI Aayog sees knowledge building as crucial for transforming States and UTs.
  2. The ‘NITI Lectures – Transforming India’ series, launched in 2016, aims to build knowledge systems.
  3. The series targets top policymakers, including Cabinet members and bureaucrats.
  4. Its key goal is to present cutting-edge development ideas for India’s transformation into a modern, prosperous economy.

Read Also: Genesis of NITI AYOG and its Objectives

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