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States seek to build NITI Aayog clones to drive inclusive growth

NEW DELHI : Rajasthan, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh have approached the NITI Aayog, seeking its help to set up their own public policy institutions to boost development and drive inclusive growth.

Five Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states — Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Maharashtra — have made similar requests to constitute state institutions for transformation, or SITs, along the lines of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog to “give effect to the commitment of cooperative federalism”, according to the Central government policy think-tank.

“We have received requests from the state governments of Rajasthan, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, for setting up SITs to prepare their development strategies,” said a senior NITI Aayog official.

In July, NITI Aayog started working on a State Support Mission to assist BJP-ruled states prepare development strategies. As part of the effort, the Maharashtra Institution for Transformation, or Mitra, was set up along the lines of NITI Aayog.

Under the mission, the central body will be supporting states to set up SITs or help the governments to “reimagine” the role of planning departments.

“The State Support Mission has been conceived in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for making India a developed country, or Viksit Bharat by 2047,” the official added.

“There has also been growing demand from states seeking support from NITI Aayog to prepare development strategies, and vision document for 2047. NITI Aayog has a mandate to actualise cooperative federalism and decided to play the lead role in bringing states to work towards this national development agenda.”

Health, education and infrastructure development are the responsibilities of state governments. There is a need for states to plan better to ensure meeting growing demand and ensure ease of doing business.

“We are providing assistance to states to reimagine the role of their planning departments. We have already identified knowledge partners like the Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management in states to provide necessary assistance to the SITs,” he said.

SITs can play a crucial role in bringing various stakeholders, such as the private sector, and experts to address important state-specific issues. and work on strategies to carry out development work, he added.

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