Renowned economist Arvind Panagariya is likely to be appointed Vice Chairman of the revamped Planning Commission, which has now been named NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog. The Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog will be given Cabinet rank. Sources says an official announcement on the same will be made by the government latest by next week.
The body will be headed by the prime minister and comprise a vice-chairperson, besides full-time and part-time members. Aside from that, it will have up to four members of the council of ministers and a chief executive officer of secretary rank.
The NITI Aayog will work towards the following objectives; to evolve a shared vision of national development priorities; to foster cooperative federalism; to develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level; to focus on technology upgradation, among other things.
The Planning Commission, which was set up in 1950, was among the principal targets of the Narendra Modi government that came to power in May, seeing it as symptomatic of a way of thinking that was obsolete.
The decision comes nearly three weeks after Modi held consultations with chief ministers at a meeting where most favoured restructuring of the Socialist-era Planning Commission while some belonging to Congress opposed disbanding the existing setup.