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NITI Aayog turns 1; focus on 'think-tank' role in '16

Having completed its first year with focus on being an enabler for creating 'Team India' of states, NITI Aayog will now look at strengthening its role as a 'think tank' of the government in the New Year.

"First year was about setting up of the institution NITI Aayog. Next year, we will focus on building the think tank function of the organisation," NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya said. The National Institution for Transforming India, or NITI Aayog came into existence on January 1, 2015 through a Union Cabinet resolution, while replacing the nearly five-decade old Planning Commission of Yoyana Aayog.

In 2016, the Aayog will mainly focus on increasing its talent pool to prove its mettle as a think tank for Central as well states to improve the quality of policy making and monitoring of the government schemes and programmes. It will also hire experts in various areas from outside the government system for development of its think-tank capabilities. The process for hiring Officers on Special Duty, Consultants and Young Professionals has already begun. NITI Aayog spent a considerable part of its first year on restructuring the setup it had inherited from the erstwhile Planning Commission.

Following the spirit of 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance', the number of sanctioned staff in the secretariat was reduced from 1255 to 500 with several persons repatriated to other arms of the Government.
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