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With just 300 staffers, Niti Aayog leaner than Planning Commission

india Updated: Mar 27, 2015 00:33 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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The National Institutional for Transforming India (Niti) Aayog will be a lean body unlike its predecessor, the Planning Commission, which had over 1,100 employees.

The Niti Aayog that replaced the plan panel on January 1, 2015, would have about 300 people including the members and the support staff, government sources said.

This would be less than one-third of the total strength of the Planning Commission.

In the new structure the government plans to have a large number of domain experts, scientists and researchers in Niti Aayog for making it a true “think tank” of the government. And, therefore a large number of bureaucrats who got posted in the plan panel in the last decade or so will be eased out.

“There would be just six advisors in Niti Aayog much less than the number the panel used to have in the past,” a senior government official said. And they would be administrative in-charge of the different wings of Niti Aayog.

The Aayog will have primarily three wings — research, consultancy and Team India for strengthening cooperative federalism.

The research wing will develop in-house sectoral expertise as a dedicated think tank of top notch domain experts, specialists and scholars. The consultancy wing will comprise panels of experts and will look at funding for central and state governments.

Team India will have representatives from states and every central ministry and will serve as a permanent platform for national collaboration.

“The wing will create an institutional communication channel for all development related issues between the states and the Centre,” an official said.

In addition, the Aayog will have project appraisal division whereas the state plan division will be disbanded. The officials also said that a large number of secretariat staff will be transferred to different ministries as the Niti Aayog would work on a small number of such personnel.