NITI Aayog was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on 1 January 2015. The Governing Council of NITI Aayog, comprising Chief Ministers of all the States and Union Territories with legislatures and Lt Governors of other Union Territories, came into effect on 16 February 2015 via a notification by Cabinet Secretariat. The Governing Council was reconstituted vide a notification dated 19 February 2021 by Cabinet Secretariat.
So far, six meetings of the Governing Council have been held under the chairmanship of the Hon'ble Prime Minister with Chief Ministers/Lt Governors of the States/UTs and other members of the Governing Council.
- Sixth Meeting: 20 February 2021
The sixth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held on 20 February 2021 under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi via video conferencing. It was attended by 26 Chief Ministers, 3 Lieutenant Governors and 2 Administrators, apart from Union Ministers, who are Ex-Officio Members, and Special Invitees. NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairman, Members and CEO; Principal Secretary to the PM and other senior officers from PMO; Cabinet Secretary; and Chief Secretaries of States/Union Territories also attended the meeting. Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh moderated the meeting.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister highlighted that cooperative federalism is the foundation of India’s progress. Cooperative and competitive federalism should be made more effective and taken to the district level. The country has succeeded in managing the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic only because the Centre and the States have worked together in a spirit of partnership.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister emphasized the significance of the Governing Council meeting in providing an opportunity to brainstorm and further strengthen cooperative and competitive federalism.
The sixth meeting was preceded by a detailed interaction with senior State officials on 6 February 2021, the feedback for which was duly incorporated while curating the agenda of the meeting. The agenda comprised the following items:
- Making India a Manufacturing Powerhouse
- Reimagining Agriculture
- Improving Physical Infrastructure
- Accelerating Human Resources Development
- Improving Service Delivery at Grassroots Level
- Health and Nutrition
The Council deliberated on several steps for making India a manufacturing powerhouse, such as reducing compliance burden, initiating reforms at the State level, improving logistics, promoting exports through district-level competition, and creating jobs. States/UTs mentioned efforts made to improve water accessibility, supply of quality and reliable power, internet connectivity and bandwidth availability, quality healthcare services, and sustainable agricultural practices to mitigate the risks of climate change. They also mentioned undertaking suitable reforms to build an advanced manufacturing and innovation ecosystem, thereby bolstering exports through the One District One Product initiative, apart from building on futuristic tech and inclusive governance models. The Chief Ministers also noted marked improvement in the development of physical infrastructure, including digital connectivity, across the North-Eastern region, along with a greater thrust on the Act East Policy, with the aim of providing impetus to the economies of the NE states.
Keeping in mind the aspirations of a young country like India, the Hon’ble Prime Minister stressed on the need to build modern infrastructure. Innovation must be encouraged, and more technology should be used to provide better opportunities for education and skill development.
The Governing Council meeting seeks to build on the strength of every state so that everyone can learn from each other’s best practices. The Council members deliberated on strengthening institutions for skilling, reskilling, and upskilling of workforce. Focus was also laid on improving service delivery at the grassroots level, by ensuring digital infrastructure for the rural regions.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister emphasized on policy frameworks and better coordination between the Centre and States. He welcomed the rich discussion and constructive suggestions by the Council members.
The Governing Council meeting paved the way for synergies across all tiers of the Government, with substantial collaboration and cooperation in the agenda items. The meeting provided an opportunity to address the objectives of advancing economic, social, and demographic welfare.
- Fifth Meeting: 15 June 2019
The fifth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhawan on 15th June, 2019. It was attended by the Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, 26 Chief Ministers and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, apart from Union Ministers, who are ex-officio members and special invitees. Vice Chairman, Members, CEO and senior officers of NITI Aayog also attended the meeting.
The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog as a platform to inspire cooperative federalism, stressing the need to collectively combat poverty, unemployment, drought, pollution, pockets of under-development and all such factors that constrain India’s progress. He emphasized that the goal is to realize the potential of this great country, to create a New India by 2022 and a USD five trillion economy by 2024.
The Prime Minister emphasized the need for every State to focus on increasing its share in the country’s GDP by evaluating the export potential of the State and determining the steps necessary for increasing exports and boosting employment.
Welcoming the constructive discussion and suggestions made by various Chief Ministers, the Prime Minister assured the Council that these suggestions would be seriously considered in the course of decision-making. On the Agenda before the Fifth Council Meeting were the following items:
Drought Situation and Relief Measures
Aspirational Districts Programme – Achievements And Challenges
Transforming Agriculture: Need For Structural Reforms With Special Emphasis On:
Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Act
Essential Commodities Act (ECA)
Security Related Issues with Specific Focus On LWE Districts
The Prime Minister appreciated the efforts of the States towards water conservation and urged all States to streamline and implement innovative water management measures. The creation of the Ministry of ‘Jal Shakti’ is a key step by the Union Government to develop an integrated and holistic perspective on water as a developmental resource.
The Prime Minister announced the creation of a high-powered committee on structural reforms in agriculture. He further said that global circumstances currently offer a unique opportunity to India. He said India is establishing itself on global benchmarks such as Ease of Doing Business. To achieve the goal of becoming a five trillion dollar economy by 2024, the Prime Minister urged States to aim to increase their economy by 2 to 2.5 times, which would also increase the common man’s purchasing power. He called upon Chief Ministers to study their State's export potential and work on export promotion.
The Prime reiterated that that the Union Government is keen to partner with the States, and work together for India's development.
- Fourth Meeting: 17 June 2018
The fourth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held on 17 June 2018 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Through the day, the Council held discussions on:
Measures taken to double farmers’ incomes, which include:
e-National Agriculture Market
Soil Health Cards
Rural / Agricultural Haat/ Gramin Agricultural Markets (GrAM)
MGNREGs and its contribution towards water conservation
Progress made under the flagship schemes of the government,
Steps taken to address developmental needs of specially identified districts under the Aspirational Districts Programme
Suggestions received for the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019.
At the end of the day-long deliberations, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog as a platform to inspire cooperative federalism, stressing the need for effective center-state cooperation to advance development outcomes and achieve double-digit growth for India. He called upon States to fix growth targets for their economies as the world looks towards India soon becoming a USD 5 trillion economy. He advised the States to pay special attention to expanding their exports and attracting export oriented investment while organizing their investments summits and events.
The Prime Minister also called upon the Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Sikkim, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh to work together to make recommendations on a coordinated policy approach on the subject of ‘Agriculture and MNREGA’. He also encouraged States to explore opportunities to increase corporate investment in agriculture, such as in food processing, warehousing and logistics
He reiterated the Union Government's commitment to provide 100% coverage of seven flagship schemes to 45,000 additional villages and those in 115 Aspirational Districts by August 15th, 2018. He urged States to identify 'aspirational blocks’ to take development to the grassroots.
- Third Meeting: 23 April 2017
The third meeting of the Governing Council was held on 23 April 2017 at the RBCC, President Secretariat, New Delhi.
Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog made a presentation on a 15 year term vision, accompanied by a 7 year strategy and a 3 year action agenda. He gave an outline of the draft Action Agenda circulated at the meeting, which had been prepared with inputs from the States.
CEO, NITI Aayog made a presentation on the Action Taken Report and initiatives of NITI Aayog, and the Revenue Secretary made a presentation on GST, explaining the benefits of the system and the way forward.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan, made a presentation on doubling of farmers’ income, touching upon areas such as irrigation, technology generation and dissemination, policy and market reforms, e-NAM, livestock productivity etc.
The Prime Minister, in his address, touched upon various issues relating to regional imbalance; use of the GeM platform by the States to reduce corruption and increase transparency in Government procurement; preparation of a roadmap for better planned and sustainable utilization of funds like the District Mineral Fund and the CAMPA Fund by the States, as per requirements of individual States, etc.
- Second meeting: 15 July 2016
The second meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held on July 15, 2015. The Prime Minister reiterated the vision of his Government, that state units should be the focus of all development efforts, as part of "Team India."
The Council held consultations on the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act.
In his opening remarks at the meeting, the Prime Minister said the Centre and States must move together to end poverty. He said the political deadlock over land acquisition was seriously impacting rural development, including the creation of schools, hospitals, roads and irrigation projects.
The Prime Minister appealed to everyone that political considerations should not come in the way of a solution that would facilitate development of the rural areas, and greater prosperity for the farmers.
- First Meeting: 8 February 2015
The first meeting of the Governing Council of the NITI Aayog was held on 8th February, 2015 where the Hon’ble Prime Minister urged all Chief Ministers to work with the Centre to forge a model of cooperative federalism, whereby the Centre and the States – Team India – can come together to resolve differences, and chart a common course to progress and prosperity.
In the spirit of cooperative federalism, therefore, the Governing Council had decided that the NITI Aayog would constitute three major Sub-Groups of Chief Ministers:
In addition, it was also decided that the States will set up two Task Forces under the leadership of the NITI Aayog:
- Agriculture Development
- Poverty Elimination
The reports of all the sub-groups have been submitted by the NITI Aayog to the Prime Ministers Office. The Sub-Group of Chief Ministers meet helped arrive at a consensus on many contentious issues, not only for the States represented in the Sub-Groups, but even the others through regional meetings, consultations, etc.