Setting the agenda for the NITI Aayog, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked chief ministers to suggest new ‘national priorities’ that can ‘transform’ India and has proposed a committee of chief secretaries to give a necessary push to the infrastructure sector, apart from pursuing labour and economic reforms.
The 50-point background note circulated to all chief ministers for the first meeting of the governing council of the NITI Aayog on Sunday also mentions about a dozen flagship programmes initiated by the UPA government such as Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Integrated Child Development Scheme, in a paragraph.
However, the emphasis appears to be on 12 programmes initiated by Modi such as Swachh Bharat, Skill India, Digital India, Clean Ganga, Make in India, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sanchiyi Yojana to which most of the background note has been devoted.
The states’ suggestion has also been asked on expanding the Clean Ganga concept to some other polluted rivers in western and southern India and to make the smart cities project a reality. The note also talks about how Make in India is an opportunity for the state governments to spur economic growth.
In line with Modi’s ‘cooperative federalism’, the note proposed setting up of a committee of chief secretaries to remove bottlenecks in implementation of the infrastructure projects in the proposed framework of the NITI Aayog.