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Agriculture expert Ramesh Chand appointed to Niti Aayog

Agriculture expert Ramesh Chand has been appointed as new member of the Niti Aayog. Chand is the third member to join the government's think tank which has replaced the erstwhile planning commission. The Aayog, which is headed by eminent economist Arvind Panagariya, has two other members—economist Bibek Debroy and former DRDO chief V K Saraswat. Chand's appointment came at a time the Modi government is keen to revive the agriculture sector and reaffirm its commitment to farmers. The BJP government has already formed a task force to suggest ways to boost agriculture sector in a follow up to first meeting of the Niti Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The task force, under the aegis of Aayog, is mandated to recommend ways to reinvigorate agriculture, strategies for reforms and identify successful experiments from which all states can learn. Faced with the Congress-led opposition's onslaught, the BJP government has been trying to project an image of being pro-farmer and pro-poor.

About NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog  is a Government of India policy think-tank established by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his having dissolved the Planning Commission.  the acronym stands for National Institution for Transforming India. The stated aim of NITI Aayog's creation is to foster involvement and participation in the economic policy-making process by state governments of India, a "bottom-up" approach in contrast to the Planning Commission's tradition of "top-down" decision-making. The Prime Minister heads the Aayog as its chairperson. Thus, while the Planning Commission had no representation for state and Union Territories, the NITI Aayog has.The Union Government of India announced formation of NITI Aayog on 1 January 2015,and the first meeting of NITI Aayog was held on 8 February 2015.

There are a couple of things to be considered here. NITI Aayog would therefore mean:

• A group of people with authority entrusted by the government to formulate/regulate policies concerning transforming India.

• It is a commission to help government in social and economic issues.

• Also it's an Institute of think tank with experts in it.

India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made the following observation on the necessity of creating NITI Ayog: “The 65-year-old Planning Commission had become a redundant organisation. It was relevant in a command economy structure, but not any longer. India is a diversified country and its states are in various phases of economic development along with their own strengths and weaknesses. In this context, a ‘one size fits all’ approach to economic planning is obsolete. It cannot make India competitive in today’s global economy”