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Sindhushree Khullar appointed NITI Aayog's CEO

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

Sindhushree Khullar



The Government has appointed Sindhushree Khullar as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of newly constituted NITI Aayog. NITI stands for National Institution for Transforming India and it has replaced Planning Commission.

According to the Department of Personnel and Training, Khullar will be on this post for one year starting January 1. She is 1975 batch Indian Administrative Service officer. She was earlier Secretary of the erstwhile Planning Commission since March, 2012.

With, this full time executive structure of the new body is in place. Earlier, the Government appointed, noted free market economist Arvind Panagariya as the Vice Chairman besides noted economist Bibek Debroy and former Defence Secretary (R&D) V K Saraswat as Members. The Prime Minister is the head of the body.

The Aayog has the Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and the Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh as the ex officio members while the Road Minister Nitin Gadkari, the Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot and the HRD Minister Smriti Irani will be special invitees.

The new body has three layered structure. First, there will be Governing Council comprising of Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories. Second, there will be Regional Councils to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region. These will be formed for a specified tenure.

The Regional Councils will be convened by the Prime Minister and will comprise of the Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in the region. These will be chaired by the Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee. Both these councils will have experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister. The third fold will be full-time organisational framework.

New Body

The new body will serve as ‘Think Tank’ of the Government- a directional and policy dynamo. It will provide Governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy. This includes matters of national and international import on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support.

A Cabinet resolution for new body has listed 13 point objectives for the new body with focus on providing ‘national agenda’ for the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers to provide impetus to. It also aims to foster cooperative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on a continuous basis, recognising that strong States make a strong nation.

One of the critical differences from previous avatar is change in approach i.e., ‘Bottom Up’ than ‘Tops Down.’ This is also reflected in one of the approach which says, “To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of Government.”

Published on January 10, 2015

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