Empowering Niti Aayoga for Transforming India


I am a critic by nature but a fair one. I don’t mind speaking a spade a spade but also giving credit where its due.

As we celebrate seventy years of Indian independence, the seed of changes can be seen now with full visibility. Therefore we need to congratulate the PM Narendra Modi under whose able leadership, one can see many of his team members performing with full dedication and devotion.

While analyzing the achievements of the Narendra Modi government one cannot ignore the contributions made by two of its vital arms i.e. PMO and Niti Aayoga. Both of these offices are working in tandem with the Prime Ministers vision, ambition, passion and desire to transform India. Both the offices are working over time to accomplish the work and agenda of the government. In this post we shall talk about Niti Aayoga while leaving PMO office for a future date.

As we are aware the Planning Commission was scrapped and instead Niti Aayoga was bought to life by the hon’ble Prime Minister in one of his early moves after forming the government. Presently Niti Aayoga is being served by some of the best and competent officers. Amitabh Kant as the CEO and Arvind Panagariya as the Vice Chairman are both close to the PM and are entrusted to analyse and get implemented the PMs and various ministries to implement their policies.

Besides the Aayoga also has members like VK Saraswat who work 24 hours, day and night belying the concept of time bound 8 hours of plush government job. While it is know that Sh VK Saraswat who was in DRDO and was also the architect of missiles, not many would know that he also discovered the Wheeler Island on the coast of Orissa when he was in DRDO. VK Saraswat has a passion for work and getting ideas implemented. He is ideally suited for the type of work that the PM envisages. Walk any day to his office , there will be people waiting for a discussion with him, and he will be entertaining one after other teams of people deliberating on various issues of national importance. No doubt than, his office keeps buzzing with ideas and tries to find out better and efficient solutions on how to transform India.

Besides Sh Saraswat, there are other members too who are equally engaged with policy matters. Than there are Advisors each of whom given an area of focus and subject line to deal with.

Unfortunately as the Prime Ministers vision gets broader touching many important subjects and diverse issues, Niti Aaayoga is already suffering from man power issues. Most of the people in the upper categories of hierarchy are over burdened and therefore this may may lead to stress and delayed work.

The government must therefore suitably look into the affairs of Niti Aayoga to empower it in a better way and also providing it with better facilities and manpower requirements.

While most of the ministries and government offices are lighting on the eve of independence day, this office which burns the oil day and night was not having any light on its buildings on 15th August and after. This might shows the apathy of the government towards one of the most prominent part of its policy analysis and implementation wing.

As one walks into the office of country’s largest policy analysis office, one gets the feeling of being into just another typical Indian office. Simplicity is the mantra.

Niti Aayoga need to be made one of the best offices ( technologically speaking ) into the country with facilities to work day and night and most advanced state of the art equipment. It should have a large library both in the physical and digital form. It should have best of the scanning and electronic / computing facilities for archiving the documents in digital form and other ICT usages. Each of the officer working here should have facility to access information at the tip of his fingers and cross check data.

These are no big deals. There are a number of other smaller things that can make life at Niti Aayoga better, simpler and efficient. Why do we pretend to be poor by sacrificing efficiency and technology. And please mind, we are not talking about plush Sofas and AC driven office culture but a technology and automation driven environment that may help to speed up work and provide better returns in terms of efforts and man hour invested.

How else can the government expect the largest organization in the country to look upon its policies and work on fast track. It has to be at par with the best of corporate or MNC offices. The gates of the Aayoga are handled with a make shift wire arrangements that looks crude as one exits from the Aayoga gates.

Its not just Niti Aayoga the same holds for may other important offices of the country. Shastri Bhavan which houses many ministries is a case in example. The government perhaps may look into the infrastructure up gradation and with technology driven office culture to bring efficiency at some of its central offices which need to be top class.

While Niti Aayoga is doing its bit despite all these, may be the government can also show its confidence through better funding and empowering the premier agency.

Asheesh Shah
Author: Asheesh Shah

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