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Achievements in the year 2017-18

Grants-in-Aid for Research

In line with the NITI’s mandate to develop as a Knowledge and Innovation hub, a new set of guidelines viz. “Research Scheme of NITI Aayog 2015 (RSNA-2015)” were framed in December 2015 with provisions for providing funding for research studies, seminars/ workshops/conferences, publications, NITI fellowships and use of NITI Logo Support for various events.  In the last two years, the scheme has helped in getting a large number of research studies conducted besides supporting public debates in issues of national importance.  The entire set of guidelines issued under RSNA- 2015 is available on the website of NITI Aayog.

During the year 2017-18 (up to December 2017), a total Grant of Rs. 106.39 lakh was released which comprised Rs.96.09 lakh on Research Studies and Rs.10.30 lakh on Seminars/Workshops/ Conferences.

Proposals for funding 8 new research studies (Table 1.1) and financial support for 6 Seminars (Table 1.2) were approved during the year 2017-18. During the year, 5 ongoing Research Studies, as per the old guideline, have also been completed and are listed at Table 1.3. The organisations, permitted to use NITI Aayog Logo for specific events, are given in Table1.4.

The study reports/seminars proceedings are received both in hard and soft copies. All these research study reports are uploaded on the website of NITI Aayog for easy accessibility, exchange of views and wider use in research as well as development.  Copies of these reports and seminar proceedings are also circulated to concerned verticals/divisions within NITI Aayog. The concerned divisions in the NITI Aayog examine these reports and send them to their concerned Ministries/Departments for further action.


Networking with Other Think Tanks

NITI Aayog has 14 Chair Professor Units which are located at various universities/Institutions (Table 1.5). Further NITI has launched a major initiative viz. SAMAVESH aimed at networking and partnership with knowledge and research institutions using a hub and spoke model. The brainstorming session on SAMAVESH was convened in December 2016 under the chairmanship of Principal Adviser (Social Sector) which was followed by a focused meeting on IMPRINT (Impacting Research, Innovation and Technology) in February 2017 wherein a lot of Inter-Ministerial issues regarding research proposals were resolved.  In May 2017, first meeting of the National Steering Group on SAMAVESH was held under the co-chairmanship of CEO and Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog to discuss the roadmap for SAMAVESH, policy theme groups and Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) to be signed between NITI and the partner institution.  By December2017, a total of 38 reputed institutes/ think tanks across different sectors have been identified for partnership under Samavesh and 34 MoUs have been signed.  Over a period of time, SAMAVESH is expected to help in NITI’s role as the apex Think Tank of the Government while at the same time the partner institutions can be developed as Centres of Excellence for specific thematic priorities and can further reach out and mentor similar institutions that would together help create a knowledge ecosphere in the country. 


Policy Perspectives

The Governance and Research Vertical is the nodal Division for 7 Departments of Government of India viz. Personnel & Training, Public Grievances, Pensions, Food and Public Distribution, Consumer Affairs, Fertilizer and Chemicals & Petrochemicals.  During the year 2017-18, the Vertical examined a number of policy references from these Departments. The Vertical has also been represented in many Inter-Ministerial Committees on the subjects handled by it.


1. DBT in Fertilizers: A Committee was constituted by PMO in March 2016 under the Chairmanship of Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog to recommend and finalize modalities of the pilot roll out of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in Fertilizer.  Phase-I of DBT in Fertilizers envisages transfer of fertilizers subsidy to companies on sale of fertilizers at retailer point through Point of Sale (PoS) device.  A number of meetings of the Committee were held during the year guiding the pilot roll out in 17 districts, which was followed by prospective Pan India roll out in Phases.  NITI Aayog conducted an evaluation study of DBT in Fertilizers through M/s Microsave, which has shown encouraging results and remarkable success in implementation. 


2. Revival of closed Urea units: Three closed urea units of Fertilizers Corporation India Limited (FCIL) and two closed units of Hindustan Fertilizers Corporation Limited (HFCL) are being revived by consortium of PSUs. An IMC under the Chairmanship of CEO, NITI Aayog has been actively monitoring the revival of these units and resolving the issues encountered during the process. Another Committee under the Chairmanship of NITI Aayog has been reviewing the issue of technology selection for revival of Talcher unit of FCIL being set up through the coal gasification route. A Committee has been constituted by NITI Aayog to examine the issue of formulation of policy for payment of subsidy for urea produced through coal gasification route.


3. Committee on Millets in PDS: A Committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Prof. Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog for Introduction of millets under PDS to provide Nutritional Support. The Committee has held its first meeting recommending several measures to promote the millets under PDS.


4. Working Groups on issued related to National Development Agenda for New India @75: NITI Aayog decided to hold consultations on vide ranging subjects to evolve a way forward for the National Development Agenda for New India @75. To facilitate the same under Governance and Research Vertical Working Groups on “Civil Services Reforms” and “Legal, Judicial and Police Reforms” with participation of outside experts were constituted under the Chairmanship of Shri Ratan P. Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog. Brainstorming sessions were held and recommendations were submitted by both Working Groups.


5. National Law Day Conference: A two day Conference was organised by NITI Aayog in November 2017, in association with Law Commission of India, on the occasion of the National Law Day 2017. The theme of the conference was “Balancing Roles of Three Wings of the State towards India’s Development”.  Hon’ble President inaugurated the Conference in the presence of Lok Sabha Speaker and Chief Justice of India, while Hon’ble Prime Minister delivered the valedictory address. The Conference was attended by over 1700 persons including senior Ministers in the Central Government including Minister of Finance and Minister of Law, Justices of Supreme Court, High Courts & other Courts, advocates, academia, Government Officials and law students.


6. Review of duty structure on Yellow Peas: The matter of import duty structure on yellow peas was examined in a meeting held under the Chairmanship of Prof Ramesh Chand, Member, NITI Aayog.  The Committee examined the issues in a holistic manner and suggested the duty structure togetherwith development of a trigger mechanism wherein trade policies respond to sharp fluctuations in prices both upward and downward, also taking into account difference between domestic and international prices.


Review of Autonomous Bodies

The Ministry of Finance had requested NITI Aayog to undertake an in-depth review of the Autonomous Bodies (ABs) of Union Government. Accordingly, NITI Aayog has constituted a Committee in January 2017 under the chairmanship of Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog to review the ABs and make recommendations for enhancing their outcomes, effectiveness, efficiency and governance through consultative process.  Eight Meetings of the Committee have been held during the year so far.  In Phase-I, the Committee has reviewed ABs set up under the Societies’ Registration Act under the Ministry/ Department of Health & Family Welfare, Ayush, Higher Education, Culture, Sports, Information & Broadcasting. The draft report of Phase-I of the review has been submitted during the year.  Phase II of the review has commenced covering Ministries/ Departments of MSME, Textiles, Tourism, External Affairs, Women & Child Development and School Education & Literacy.  Preliminary discussions were held with the concerned Ministries/ Departments during the year.


Transform India’s Gold Market

The gems and jewellery industry of India contributes around 7% to India’s GDP and has 15% share in India’s merchandise exports.  About 90-95% of units in the sector are MSMEs which provide jobs to around 61 lakh people. In order to support this sector and push manufacturing & exports as part of the “Make in India” strategy, NITI Aayog has set up a Committee under the Chairmanship of Shri Ratan P. Watal, Principal Adviser for looking at ways and means to transform the India’s Gold Market.  The Committee held various meetings during the year and different sub-groups were set up to address specific areas concerning the sector.  The draft report of the Committee is in the process of being finalized.


Table 1: Research Studies Approved during the year 2017-18 (up to 31st Dec’ 2017)


Sl. No Title of the Study Institution / Researcher
1 Central Transfer to States in India: Rewarding Performance while Ensuring Equity National Institute of Public Finance & Policy, New Delhi
2 Judiciary Reforms & Education DAKSH Society, Bangalore
3 Judicial Case Studies in India Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, New Delhi
4 Highlighting Impact of the decision in Highway Matter Economy in General & Stake Holders Consumer Unity & Trust Society, Jaipur
5 Development of Conceptual Framework to Rationalize Trains using Operational Research Tools Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay
6 Development of an Enhanced Version of India Energy Dashboards Prayas, Bangalore
7 Impact of Special Package for Drought Mitigation Implemented in Bundelkhand Region of UP & MP The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi
8 Diagnostic Study for Power Distribution CRISIL Infrastructure Advisory, Gurgaon


Table 2: Seminars approved during the year 2017-18 (up to 31st December, 2017)


Sl. No Title of the Seminar Name of Institution
1 International Conference on “The SCOSTEP/ISWI International School on Space Science” Smt. Kasturbai Walchand College, Sangli
2 National Conference on “Role of Biological Science in Sustainable Development & Biodiversity Conservation” Arni University, Kangra (HP)
3 International Seminar on “Transforing India 2030: Strategies for Sustainable Development Goals” Symbiosis International University, Pune
4 Workshop on “Effective & Efficient Realization of the Extensive Bioenergy Resources of India” The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi
5 Workshopon “Merger of Plan & Non-Plan Expenditure and Future of SC Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan. CDS, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
6 National Conference on Revisiting Agricultural Extension Strategies for Enhancing Food and Nutritional Security, Sustainable Livelihoods and Residence to Climate Change “ Participatory Rural Development Initiatives Society (PRDIS), Hyderabad


Table 3: Studies completed during the year 2017-18 (up to 31st December, 2017)


Sl. No Title of the Study Institution / Researcher
1 Coal Mining, Displacement & Rural Livelihoods : A Study in Mahanadi Coalfields, Odisha National Institute of Technology, Rourkela
2 Use of ICT (Information Technology) in Secondary Schools in Six States Education Quality Foundation of India, New Delhi
3 Socio Economic Impact Study of Mining and Mining Policies on Livelihoods of Local Population in Vindhyan Region of UP Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun (Centre for Social Forestry & Eco-Rehabilitation)
4 Effectiveness of PRIs in Health Care System in the state of Madhya Pradesh Shri Ram Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources, New Delhi
5 Socio Economic Empowerment of Rural Fisherwomen SHGs Through Enhanced Market Access. Tamil Nadu Fisheries University, Nagapattinam


Table 4: NITI Logo Support for Non-financial events: (up to 31st December, 2017)


Sl. No Title of the Study Institution / Researcher
1 Intercollege Entrepreneurship competition Cum Award show on Women Entrepreneurship Indian Business Chamber, New Delhi
2 Air and Water Pollution : Innovations in Regulation, Abatement and Monitoring Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, New Delhi
3 LoT India Congress 2017 The Institute of Engineering and Technology
4 The Business of Govt. Learnings from the India & US Experience FICCI, New Delhi
5 India Healthcare : A patient View FICCI, New Delhi
6 Envisioning Skills 2022: Scoping Opportunities for India’s Engagement with Global Skill Eco-System YES Global Institute (YGI), New Delhi
7 National Consultation on Gender, Political Economy and Energy. M.S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai
8 The Shared Value Summit 2017 The Institute for Competitiveness, Gurgaon


Table. 5: Chair Professor Units of NITI Aayog


Sl. No Name of University/Institution
1 Jadavpur University, Kolkata
2 University of Allahabad, Allahabad
3 Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi
4 Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi
5 Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
6 Punjabi University, Patiala
7 University of Rajasthan, Jaipur
8 Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics Research, Pune
9 University of Mumbai, Mumbai
10 Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram
11 University of Mysore, Mysuru
12 University of Madras, Chennai
13 M S University of Baroda, Vadodara
14 Visva-Bharti, Shanti Niketan