A formal notification is yet to be issued about his appointment to the National Advisory Council but Planning Commission member Narendra Jadhav is ready with his agenda of action in the Sonia Gandhi-led panel: education, labour, employment and skill development, and social justice and empowerment.
An official release has so far only named Rita Sharma, a retired IAS officer, as secretary of the Council.
But according to reports, besides Jadhav, who is an educationalist, the other names the PMO cleared for NAC membership include social activists Jean Dreze, Aruna Roy, Farah Naqvi, Harsh Mander, Deep Joshi, Madhav Gadgil, retired bureaucrat N.C. Saxena, economist A.K. Shivakumar, businesswoman and philanthropist Anu Agha and agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan.
Jadhav, who said that he got a call from the PMO on May 29 about his inclusion in the council, will hold dual charge as member of the Planning Commission and NAC and enjoy the status of minister of state.
“There will be no conflict of interest in the two roles…
they would be complimentary and reinforce each other,” he claimed in response to a query on his dual role. While as a Planning Commission member he would decide the quantum of allocations to be made for various programmes, as a member of the NAC he may come out with policies such as the Food Security Bill that carry a heavy price tag.
“During UPA-I, the NAC was set up to implement the common minimum programme. Now, its role is to foster the social agenda of UPA-II.
I look at it as a very good opportunity to work more on a bigger canvas,’’ he said in an interaction with the media on Monday.
The first meeting of the NAC is expected sometime in June.
As a Planning Commission member his emphasis is to ensure that states implement the scheduled caste and scheduled tribes subplans. Towards this end, a committee under his chairmanship is revisiting the guidelines for the subplans.