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Thursday, December 13, 2018

NITI Aayog Year End Review 2018

Press Information Bureau 
Government of India
NITI Aayog
12-December-2018 13:43 IST

Year End Review 2018-NITI Aayog 

INITIATIVES AND PROGRAMMES:

(i) Measuring performance and ranking States on outcomes in critical sectors

With emphasis on outcomes, NITI finalized indices to measure incremental annual outcomes in critical social sectors like health, education, water and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

The District Hospital Index was developed to measure and monitor the performance of hospitals with a focus on outputs and outcomes. A guidebook was released on World Health Day 2016. Presently, the implementation phase is underway in collaboration with MoHFW and the Indian Statistical Institute is assisting in data analytics.
Year+End+Review+2018+NITI+Aayog

NITI Aayog has developed the ‘Healthy States, Progressive India’ Report also known as the ‘Health Index’ in February 2018. The Composite Water Management Index was also launched in June 2018. The ‘School Education Quality Index (SEQI)’, ‘SDG India Index’ and the ‘Digital Transformation Index’ (DTI) which will measure states’ progress in respective sectors are in the works.

(ii) Sustainable Action for Transforming Human Capital (SATH)

SATH is aimed at initiating transformation in two key social sectors—education and health, by hand-holding States towards improving their social sector indicators and providing technical support over three years. It was launched with selection of states through an unique challenge method. Roadmaps for State transformation have been finalised with quarterly milestones for each initiative.

 A major school consolidation and integration programme has been initiated with over 26,000 schools merged for better efficiencies and utilisation of resources. Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Karnataka were selected to improve their healthcare delivery and key health indicators. In education, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Jharkhand were selected.

(iii) Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat 

          EBSB was conceptualized to make our country united, strong and promote excellence in all walks of life by means of long-term inter-state engagements through cultural exchanges and education. MoUs were entered with six paired States/UTs. Dept. of Higher Education, MHRD continued the initiative.

        Towards further integration, 100 commonly used conversational sentences throughout India were identified, translated into 22 Indian languages, compiled in a form of book and widely disseminated.

(iv) Development Support Services to States (DSSS) for Development of Infrastructure

      To establish a Centre-State partnership model and reignite and establish Private Public Partnership across infrastructure sectors, DSSS was launched to de-risk projects and address key structural issues in project development and build institutional and organizational capacities.

          Over 450 projects from 20 States were received, out of which 10 projects from 8 States in 10 sectors were shortlisted using the challenge method, for structuring and implementation.

(v) Public-Private Partnership in Health

         To help States achieve the health goals of the government in the area of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of select Non-Communicable processes, viz. Cardiac Sciences, Oncology and Pulmonary Sciences, a guiding framework was developed for States, for implementation at the district hospital level, focusing on tier II/ tier III cities and by engaging services of private/voluntary sector providers.

        A model concessionaire agreement was also launched in October 2018 along with the guidelines for promoting PPP in Healthcare.

(vi) Resolution of pending issues of States with Central Ministries

        All pending issues with the Central Ministries from all States and UTs have been expeditiously resolved. Issues received from the States of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Puducherry have since been resolved.

(vii) State Human Development Report

      The State of Maharashtra, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, Nagaland, Bundelkhand region and Delhi were supported in the preparation of State Human Development Reports.

(viii) Transforming of 115 identified Aspirational Districts

      To realise the vision of ‘SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas’, and ensure that India’s growth process remains inclusive, the ‘Aspirational District Programme (ADP)’ was launched by the Prime Minister on January 5, 2018. It is a special initiative to rapidly transform 115 identified districts that have shown relatively lesser progress in key social areas and have emerged as pockets of under-development, thereby posing a challenge to ensure balanced regional development.

     Under ADP, 49 key performance indicators (KPIs) have been identified across such sectors with the aim to improving ease of living, as well as enhancing the economic productivity of citizens residing in these districts. Health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development and basic infrastructure are main sectors where rapid transformation is envisaged.

       On April 1, 2018, NITI Aayog released the baseline ranking of these districts from which the districts can ascertain their status in these sectors, and work to becoming the best district in the State and eventually the best in the country. To realise this vision, district teams have finalised district action plans, following the principle of convergence of efforts of the State and Central government. In addition, the ADP offers a unique platform for different segments of population as well as institutions like civil service organisations, private sector foundations, philanthropies etc.to come together and work with the State and central government to contribute to this important initiative of inclusive development.

         An Aspirational Districts Dashboard has been developed, called ‘Champions of Change’, which captures real-time data and ranking across all indicators. The District Collectors/ Magistrates are providing self-reported data through this dashboard to capture progress.

PROMOTING INCLUSIVE GROWTH –GIVING FILLIP TO GOVERNMENT’S GOAL TO ‘SABKA SAATH, SABKA VIKAS’
  • New Guidelines have been issued to Ministry of Panchayati Raj for transparent and equitable allocation of funds amongst the States who were deprived of the central fund under the areas covered under sixth schedule of the Constitution.
  • To leverage the pivotal role of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), the expert committee constituted under the chairmanship of former Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog recommended restructuring of the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA). RGSA has since became a centrally sponsored scheme from 2018-19 to 2021-22 to address the challenges faced by the States.
  • After discontinuation of planning and merger of Plan and Non-Plan Expenditure, new guidelines for earmarking of funds for SCs and STs in the new budgeting system have been prepared and forwarded to the Ministry of Finance for necessary action. 
  • A report prepared on Revamping of Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs) to promote them as top class research institutes is being examined by NITI Aayog for further necessary actions.
  • Monitoring framework for SCSP and TSP has been developed and circulated to the nodal Ministries for online monitoring of SCSP andTSP.
  • Gaps in the National Policy for Persons with Disabilities, 2006 have been identified and forwarded to the department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities for revision of the Policy.
  • A concept paper:“Means of livelihood in LWE Areas: Prospects of Aroma, Honey, Dairying and other Traditional Industries” has been finalised and circulated to the concerned Central Ministries, States and other stakeholders for necessary actions.
  • The new NGO-Darpan Portal which went live in April 2017 was developed as a dynamic database of NGOs in the country, and for NGOs to obtain Unique ID to be eligible to apply for grants from any central Ministry/Department. 43,000 NGOs have already registered.
ENABLING EVIDENCE-BASED POLICY MAKING AND ENHANCING PRODUCTIVE EFFICIENCY WITH LONG-TERM VISION

(i) Three Year National Action Agenda and the Strategy for New India @75

         NITI Aayog prepared a Three Year Action Agenda covering the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The Action Agenda framework allows better alignment of the development strategy with the changed reality of India.

        Strategy document for India’s 75th year of independence covering the period 2017-18 to 2022-23 is being prepared by NITI Aayog. It presents goals for 2022-23 as well as a way forward on how to achieve them and shall be launched soon.

(ii) Reform of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs)

      NITI Aayog in consultation with administrative ministries has made recommendations in four tranches for strategic disinvestment in PSUs. So far, based on NITI Aayog's recommendations, more than 30 CPSEs have been approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for in-principle strategic disinvestment. The process of divestment is being carried out by DIPAM and the first transactions are expected in the current financial year after a long gap of 14 years.

      A report was submitted to the Government on 74 sick/loss-making/non-performing CPSEs. The recommendations are under implementation and so far more than 15 CPSEs are undergoing closure.

(iii) Balanced Regional Development
  • Release of Special Funds: To promote regional development NITI Aayog recommended release of balance funds to States namely Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal under the Special Plan (BRGF-State component) approved during the 12th Five Year Plan period, and release of one-time special assistance to the States namely Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura for the areas covered under sixth schedule of the Constitution.
  • Development support to the North East: A Committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of CEO, NITI Aayog to examine and suggest a road map for a new industrial policy for the North Eastern and the Himalayan States. The Committee finalized its recommendations after having consultations with the NE States and other stakeholders. Based upon those recommendations, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) prepared North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017, with an outlay of INR 3,000 crore up to March 2020, which was approved by the Cabinet in March, 2018.
  • NITI Forum for North East: It is the first ever regional forum constituted by NITI Aayog with representation from all the NE States and the concerned Central Ministries/Departments. This forum was constituted to identify various constraints in the way of accelerated, inclusive but sustainable economic growth in the North East Region of our country, and also to recommend suitable interventions for addressing the identified constraints. The forum also has eminent experts and reputed institutions (IIT, IIM, NERIST, RIS, RFRI etc.) as members.
  • Holistic Development of Islands:NITI Aayog has been mandated to steer the process of holistic development of identified islands as unique models of sustainable development. Accordingly, in consultation with key stakeholders, NITI Aayog has shortlisted 10 islands in the first phase. Final Site Potential Development Reports have been prepared for all the Islands. Carrying capacity of these islands have been determined and environmental zoning have been carried out to ensure sustainable development. A Global Investor’s Conference was held in August 2018 to showcase Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands as hubs for self-sustaining eco-tourism projects, provide fillip to local employment and grow maritime economy.
  • Island Development Agency (IDA):The IDA was set up in June 2017 under the Chairmanship of the Home Minister of India, with the CEO, NITI Aayog as the Convener. It undertakes reviews on the progress relating to holistic development of identified islands. So far, three meeting of the IDA have been held. The last meeting of the IDA was held on 24th April, 2018.

  • UNDP Projects – GIS Based Planning: NITI Aayog has, identified the possibility of using the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the planning, management and monitoring of government service delivery, based on the innovative GIS model, “Village Profile and Talukka Planning Atlas” developed at BISAG Gujarat. BISAG is developing the customized software based on the actual requirement of each State/UT separately. NITI Aayog organized the in-depth capacity development programme of State Officials at BISAG in November 2017 for customized State softwares prepared by BISAG.
(iv) Health & Nutrition Sector Reforms: NITI has been initiating radical reforms in the health sector.
  • National Commission for Homoeopathy (NCH) Bill, 2017 and the National Commission for Indian Systems of Medicine Bill, 2017 have been finalized after extensive deliberations.
  • Evolving the National Nutrition Strategy: NITI formulated the National Nutrition Strategy through an extensive consultative process. The strategy provides the rationale and roadmap for policy makers to bring nutrition to the centre of the stage in India’s Development Agenda. It focuses on inter-sectoral convergence and identifies priority districts to tackle malnutrition and meet the country’s nutrition needs and targets.
  • Launch of the POSHAN Abhiyaan: The POSHAN Abhiyaan has been launched with the aim of improving nutrition outcomes in India in the next three years. The National Council responsible for steering of the programme is anchored in NITI Aayog and is chaired by the Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog. September 2018 was designated as the POSHAN Maah, a massive awareness and outreach campaign launched across the country to make nutrition a true janandolan.
  • Pushing Reforms in Pharmaceuticals Sector: NITI provided policy inputs for making available affordable drugs and devices.
  • National Institute for Pharmaceutical Education and Research(NIPER) - Evaluation of NIPERs was conducted and a way forward for pharmaceutical education suggested.
  • An ordinance was promulgated in September 2018 to establish a Board of Governors under the Chairmanship of NITI Aayog Member Dr V K Paul, to replace the Medical Council of India (MCI).
(v) Driving India’s Energy Sector
  • India Energy Security Scenario (IESS), 2047 was revamped in 2015 and was used to determine INDC targets. NITI also supported Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Assam for the “Development of State Energy Calculator”. On 16th November, 2017, Andhra Pradesh State Energy Calculator 2050 was launched while the other two states are ready with their respective first draft. In the second phase, three more states- Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have been taken up.
  • In a stakeholder-driven, roadmap development exercise, NITI has prepared and launched a report on ‘India’s Renewable Electricity Roadmap 2030.’ The report summarizes the opportunities and barriers in the sector.
  • NITI Aayog had engaged Deloitte and PwC to prepare the state action plan (SAP) for re-integration in eight states. These SAPs have now been finalized.
  • Draft National Energy Policy (NEP) developed by NITI following large scale consultation with other departments and public feedback is being finalized.
  • NITI Aayog has developed the State Energy Index to measure the status and the efforts undertaken by the States towards ensuring accessibility and affordability, of energy, as well as gauging its sustainability and environment friendliness. The Index has been sent to concerned Central Ministries and to the States for their feedback and to start developing the same.
  • NITI Aayog is also developing a dynamic GIS Energy Map of India in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The consolidated energy map would provide requisite energy related information to all stakeholders which would help in better decision making.
CROSS SECTORAL INTERVENTIONS
  • Task Force on Employment and Exports: In September 2017, NITI Aayog constituted a high level Task Force under the chairmanship of Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog on employment and exports. The Task Force comprises senior secretary-level officials of the government of India and external experts. The Task Force has made several sector-wise recommendations to give an impetus to jobs and exports to the Union Minister of Commerce.
  • Rural Drinking Water - Rs 1000 crore was released for developing water resources in 19 arsenic and fluoride affected States for providing safe drinking water. More than 3100 arsenic/fluoride affected habitations of 14 States have been covered so far with safe drinking water.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) –The mission was launched on 2 October 2014. Since then then about 3.64 lakh villages, 385 districts and 13 States and 4 Union Territories have also declared themselves Open Defecation Free (ODF). Coverage of rural households with toilets has increased from 39% to 84%. The coverage of rural households with individual household latrines has more than doubled in the last four years. Some of the surveys conducted recently found that now more than 90% of rural households who have access to toilets are using them. In the urban areas, 100 per cent door to door collection of solid waste has been achieved in 62,436 out of 84,049 wards and 2,618 cities have declared themselves ODF out which 2089 cities have been certified as ODF by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs through third party verification.
  • Short-term measures for reforms - Recommendations have been made for short-term measures for reforms in higher education sector, including proposals for graded autonomy; reforms in accreditation framework and many more targeted recommendations to push for quality and remove out-dated regulatory aspects of UGC and AICTE. Ministry is in advanced stages of implementing these recommendations.
  • Providing Efficiency in Port Ecosystem:NITI drove the Port Ecosystem Efficiency movement through a series of inter-sector meetings. During the review, notable achievements were reported in cutting down delays in customs processing, loading of railway rakes in Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust and documentation.
  • Working of 679 Autonomous Bodies under the Central Government reviewed and the draft report of Phase-I submitted to the Government while the Phase-II is under progress.
  • Recommendations to transform India’s gold market has been finalised and submitted to the Finance Minister.
  • Training and practice guide for the social sector - ‘Manual on Gender Inclusive Planning’ and ‘Manual for Social Audit’ has been published for use as training and practice guide for the Social Sector programme facilitators.
  • Strategy reports: Reports on strategies for ‘Self-reliance in critical and strategic resources of rare earths’ andfor effective utilisation and monitoring of ‘Fly Ash and Slag”.
  • Roadmap for revising the National Mineral Policy, 2018 to revitalise the growth of Mineral sector
  • A Challenge Method Guidelines for selection of sites for key Central Government assisted projects has been evolved.
  • Strategic Mobility Framework for tier 2 and tier 3 cities to improve public transport and non-motorised transport is being worked out by NITI Aayog.
  • A sub-group of 10 Chief Ministers on Skill Development was serviced by NITI Aayog which made recommendations for improving access, equity, relevance, quality and enhanced sources of finances. The Ministry of Skill Development is taking forward the key recommendations of the committee.
  • For management of water resources in the North Eastern Region, a high level Committee under Vice Chairman set up. Expert Committee also set up under CEO to examine policy for revitalisation of rivers.
  • The merger of 36 Tribunals to 18 Tribunals is being coordinated and implemented by NITI Aayog with all the concerned Ministries. 

INSTITUIONALISE PROJECT MONITORING TO IMPROVE IMPLEMENTATON AND EFFICACY OF GOVERNMENT SCHEMES

(i) Output Outcome Monitoring Framework 2018-19:

Given the increased focus on outcome-based monitoring, DMEO initiated an exercise to develop well-defined output and outcomes, along with measurable indicators, for all CS and CSS outlays.

The activity started by identifying all the relevant outlays, the number coming to around 600 CS/CSS outlays, covering a budget of about Rs. 8.14 lakh crore for the financial year 2017-18. These outputs, outcomes, and indicators were developed using a standardized process, which was based on international best practices in performance monitoring.

The resultant Output Outcome Monitoring Framework 2018-19 is going to be monitored through a newly developed web-based interactive dashboard. Ministries/Departments have been given access to the dashboard to upload achievement data. Work is in progress to enable the dashboard to automatically fetch performance data from the MIS of Ministries, expenditure details from PFMS, and to also have granular information i.e. State and District level data. Screenshots of the dashboard are given below.

(ii) Sectoral Reviews by PMO:

As the Government moves towards realising the outcomes of a scheme or a sector, rather than just outputs, outcomes of 15 sectors are being monitored. While the reviews had been on-going for several years, in the last two years, they’ve moved from tracking physical progress to outcome progress. To facilitate this, an interactive dashboard was developed in 2016. For the 2017 PMO reviews, the sectors covered included Road, Railways, Airports, Ports, Digital India, Coal PNG, Power, NRE, Urban Housing, Rural Housing, and PMGSY. 

(iii) Outcome Budget

A dashboard for updating progress of Union Outcome Budget, 2017-18, was developed. Ministries/Departments were given access to this dashboard to upload data.

(iv) Programme Monitoring and Evaluation

DMEO has, based on specific requests, undertaken monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for specific schemes. Following the paradigm shift from outlays to outcome-based governance, efforts have focussed on identifying expected outcomes, measuring progress on the same correctly, and analysing the bottlenecks in their achievement.

In this regard, a web-based interactive dashboard has been developed by DMEO to monitor the progress of houses being sanctioned and constructed under the Pradhan MantriAawasYojana (Rural and Urban). 

Additionally, evaluation of selected programmes that are currently being implemented has also been taken up, along with quick assessment studies in order to identify gaps in scheme implementation.

A quick assessment study was carried out for eNAM and submitted to PMO. Evaluation studies and quick assessment studies being finalized are: Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme, National Scheduled Caste Finance Development Corporation, RTE: Harmonized Sarv Siksha Abhiyaan, PMAY (Urban), MGNREGA, Pradhan MantriKaushalVikasYojana, Swachh Bharat (Gramin), Pradhan Mantri Krishi SinchayeeYojana (Integrated Watershed Management), Pradhan Mantri Fasal BimaYojana, Bharat Net, and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

(v) Implementation and Monitoring Progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • (a) In the light of the global SDG indicators endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission, the Ministry of Statistics and programme Implementation (MoSPI) has developed an elaborate list of National SDG indicators. NITI Aayog is entrusted with the task of overseeing the implementation of SDGs in the country. A Task Force on SDGs has been constituted by NITI Aayog involving participation of Central Ministries, State governments and think tanks to review the progress on implementation of SDGs.
  • (b) In order to facilitate better understanding and faster implementation, NITI Aayog has mapped out Central Ministries as well as centrally sponsored/central sector schemes and other government initiatives on the SDGs and associated targets. Many States/UTs have also conducted similar mapping of their departments, schemes and initiatives
  • (c) NITI Aayog has held 21 National /Regional Consultations on SDGs with Central Ministries, States/UTs, CSOs, academia, international organisations and other stakeholders to improve awareness and coordination. Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog has presented India’s Voluntary National Review Report on the implementation of SDGs on 19th July 2017 at the United Nations High Level Political Forum in New York.
  • (d) NITI Aayog is developing a comprehensive SDG India Index comprising a set of indicators for measuring performance of States/UTs on SDGs. A dynamic national dashboard on SDGs is also being created to continuously monitor the progress on SDGs in the country.
  • (e) NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres signed the Sustainable Development Framework 2018-22 for India in October 2018.
  • (vi) Project Appraisal Wing of Govt. of India: Since 1st January 2015, NITI Aayog has appraised 584 public funded projects with a total cost of Rs. 45,14,389 crore. In addition, 277 Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects with a total cost of Rs. 2,16,703 crore, including 229 Central sector projects and 48 State sector projects have also been appraised.
(vii) Monitoring of performance of Union Territories: Development of UT progress Tracker

NITI Aayog has developed the Dashboard, a progress tracker for Union Territories of India (UTs) to monitor and track the monthly progress of various developmental schemes/ projects/ initiatives of the government. The UTs feed the data, the Ministries verify it and NITI Aayog/MHA monitor it on a monthly and quarterly basis. Currently, the tracker is monitoring the progress of 42 developmental schemes/ projects/initiatives. This monitoring has helped improve the delivery of services in UTs significantly. The URL is Niti Aayog

PARTNERSHIPS WITH NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS AND PROMOTE STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION IN POLICY MAKING
  • NITI has provided the platform to collaborate with national and international think tanks on wide-ranging areas. Through conferences, workshops and joint research projects NITI has enabled expert inputs in the policy making exercise of the government.
  • ‘SAMAVESH’, - a major initiative aimed at networking and partnership with knowledge and research institutions using a hub and spoke model was launched. Thirty four such Institutions have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with NITI with the aim to share knowledge and link policy with practice.
  • Champions of Change - Two workshops of young CEOs and young entrepreneurs were organised to make policy making responsive to stakeholder consultation. This was a unique exercise held for the first time which saw Prime Minister along-with his senior Cabinet Ministers directly interacting with young influencers. The interaction centred around varied themes, viz. New India by 2022; Digital India reaching last mile; Education & Skills; Energizing a Sustainable Tomorrow; Health and Nutrition; and Soft Power Incredible India, Make in India; Doubling Farmers’ Income; World Class Infrastructure; Cities of Tomorrow and Reforming the Financial Sector.
  • Conferences organised to build consensus on critical issues relating to judicial system –A Global Conference on Arbitration was organised to discuss dispute resolution mechanisms in the country. Global Arbitration Review (GAR) Awards, the most prestigious arbitration award in the world, declared India as the winner in the category ‘Jurisdiction that has made great progress’. Anotherconference on balancing roles of the threewings of the State towards India’s Development,was organized in association with Law Commission of Indiaon the occasion of the National Law Day, 2017. In October 2018, a training-cum-brainstorming workshop on Best Practices in International Arbitration was organised.
  • In partnership with the Government of Singapore, NITI Aayog organized Capacity Building workshops for State urban leaders wherein about 200 officers from seven States attended different workshops in Delhi and Singapore. The Second Phase of the workshop was held in November 2018, with a focus on Water Management in Urban planning.
KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION HUB
  • One of the mandates of NITI is to maintain a state-of-the-art resource centre, be a repository of research on good governance and best practices in sustainable and equitable development, and to help in dissemination of knowledge to stakeholders. Several initiatives have been taken to develop the repository of knowledge:
  • Compendium on exhaustive set of case studies that reflect the best practices of States across all sectors: “States Forward: Best Practices from Our States”
  • Compendium “Skilling for Employability: Best Practices” highlighting best practices addressing challenges of equity, access, quality, relevance and finance by state governments, private sector & civil society was published by NITI.
  • The Good Practices Resource Book (2015) to consolidate the innovative work in social security, infrastructure, child protection and local governance.
  • A real-time knowledge portal to share best practices across sectors and States will be shortly launched. It is reflective of the spirit of cooperative federalism. The portal will give key government officials at State level, including District Magistrate, the right to upload best practices.
PROMOTE ENTREPRENEURIAL ECOSYSTEM

(i) Atal Innovation Mission 

Atal Innovation Mission is a flagship initiative of the Government of India, setup under the aegis of NITI Aayog, to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the country. The programs in the first phase have established a network of innovation institutions, at the school and higher education levels.

Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) 

Under its flagship program of establishing Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) at the high school level, AIM has selected 2400+ ATL schools across all states of India. On average, more than 300,000 school students have been engaged in ATLs, over 3500 innovations created, 1000 teachers trained, through multiple series of activities. Under the programme, students from Class VI onwards work with Robots, 3D printers, internet of things.

Additionally, 1500+ mentors in early and middle stages of their careers have been engaged on a voluntary basis to expose young innovators to 21st century skills. Some of the top performing Tinkering Labs participated at multiple external events including World Robotic Olympiad, Maker Faire, Nobel Prize series and several other robotic and technology innovation challenges across India. In fact, some of the tinkering labs are also winning innovation challenges at international level.

Atal Incubation Centres (AIC)

Under the Atal Incubation Centres (AIC) program, more than 100 institutions have been selected for setting up incubators around the country, in a mix of tier 1, 2 and 3 cities. Startups incubated at the 19 AICs selected in the first round have already started showing examples of good growth and rapid progress, having created an estimated 6000 jobs in the last one year. Close to 10% of the 500+ startups have a focus on women’s empowerment. These incubators and their incubateestartups have won several awards at various fora, including two at the Economic Times Startup of the Year 2017.

Atal New India Challenges (ANICs)

A program titled Atal New India Challenges (ANICs) to support creation of tech products from existing patents and prototypes. In partnerships with five ministries, these challenges will reward innovators looking to develop technologies for Indian priorities in the areas of housing, transport, agriculture, and water and wastewater management. Over time, AIM will assist ministries to deploy these innovations in the field, and create pathways to bring more innovations into the mainstream operations.

Atal Innovation Mission is working at the grassroots level in different parts of the country, to help students and teachers transform into innovators, develop an entrepreneurial mindset, which will pave the way forward for developing a ‘New India’ by 2022.

(ii) Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017: Women First: Prosperity for All

NITI hosted the GES 2017 at Hyderabad inNovember 2017. Itwas launched by the Prime Minister and the US Delegation was led by the Advisor to the US President Ms. Ivanka Trump. GES connected top entrepreneurship talent with investors and the start-up ecosystem across the globe to develop innovate solutions to the challenges facing the world. Over 2500 entrepreneurs, investors and speakers from over 150 countries participated in the 53 sessions held over three days with the theme‘Women First: Prosperity for all’.

In the run-up to GES, more than 50 events centring around entrepreneurship and innovation were organised in collaboration with various partner organisations all over the country. As a follow-up to GES it was announced that NITI Aayog would set up a Women Entrepreneurship Cell.

(iii) Women Entrepreneurship Platform

NITI Aayog launched the Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP), on the occasion of International Women’s Day, aimed at building an ecosystem for women across India. It aims to help women realize their entrepreneurial aspirations, scale-up innovative initiatives and chalk-out sustainable, long-term strategies for their businesses.

The portal http://wep.gov.in launched on the occasion, is an informative, interactive website that is also acts as a dedicated resource and knowledge base. WEP aims to address the bottlenecks faced by both aspiring and established women entrepreneurs by streamlining information across government and private sector schemes and initiatives.

CATALYSING REFORMS IN AGRICULTURE

In view of the goal of the government to double farmer’s income by 2022, a series of initiatives have been taken by NITI to usher in critical reforms in the agriculture sector. Some major initiatives are:

(i) Model Act on Agricultural Land Leasing, 2017

To recognize the rights of the tenant and safeguard interest of landowners NITI Aayog formulated a Model Agricultural Land Leasing Act, 2016 that would enable investment, technology, economy and employment in agriculture. Several States like Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have either already adopted or have initiated work to amend their respective laws.

(ii) Reforms of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee Act

NITI Aayog in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture, States and other stakeholders launched in February, 2017 the Model Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Committee (APLMC) Act 2017. States are being asked to adopt the APMC Act.

(iii) Agricultural Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index:

NITI Aayog developed the first ever ‘Agriculture Marketing and Farmer Friendly Reforms Index’ to sensitise States about the need to undertake reforms in three key areas of agriculture market, land lease and forestry on private land (felling and transit of trees). The aim of the index is to induce healthy competition between States.

(vi) Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana: A roadmap for Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana was prepared and shared with the concerned Central Ministries/Departments, the States and other stakeholders.

(v) Price Deficiency Payments Concept of price deficiency payments as an alternative to physical procurement of agricultural produce by the government under Minimum Support Price (MSP) has been proposed by NITI. Pilots are being proposed in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for cotton and pulses, respectively.

(vi) Rejuvenating Fertilizer Sector: To achieve the aim of India becoming self-sufficient in the production of urea by 2022, NITI steered several committees for revival of new plants at Gorakhpur, Sindri, Barauni and Ramagundam, and selection of technology for Talcher plant. Pilot project of introduction of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in fertilizer was successfully completed in several States and taken forward for implementation across all States. 

(vii) Alternative Mechanisms for Implementation of Minimum Support Price (MSP): Consequent to the announcement made under the Budget 2018-19, NITI Aayog has been tasked with developing alternative mechanisms for implementation of MSP for different agricultural crops. NITI Aayog, in consultation with the Central Ministries, States and other stakeholders, has laid down a mechanism comprising three options: Market Assurance Scheme, Price Deficiency Payment Scheme, and Private Procurement and Stockist Scheme.

(viii) TASK FORCE ON PILOTING BUSINESS MODEL FOR DOUBLING FARMERS’ INCOME NITI Aayog has constituted a task force to develop a business model that will focus on the implementation of the pilot projects to demonstrate the doubling of farmer’s income. The initiative will promote 10 pilot projects in different agro-climatic regions of India, preferably through social entrepreneurs. The key principlesdriving the initiative are market driven approach, encouraging application of science and technology in agriculture production, minimizing farmer’s risks and using of modern business practices for value addition in agriculture sector.

PROMOTING ADOPTION OF FRONTIER TECHNOLOGY

(i) Promoting Digital India 

NITI acted as the key driver of the digital payment movement post-demonetisation. It undertook an extensive advocacy and outreach programme to promote pan-India digital payment. A mass literary movement across Ministries, industry bodies, educational institutions and States was undertaken. 100 Digi Dhan Melas were organised over 100 days in 100 cities. Undertaking information, education and communication to incentivize States/UTs,five crore Jan Dhan accounts were brought to digital platform. The Lucky GrahakYojana and the Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana schemes were also launched to promote digital payments across all sections of society. Over 16 lakh consumers and merchants won cashback rewards amounting to Rs. 256 crore under these two schemes.

NITI constituted a Committee of Chief Ministers on digital payments with Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, as the convener to make recommendations on promoting digital payments. Several of the recommendations of the interim report submitted to the Prime Minister in January 2017 have since been implemented.

NITI also promoted the development of the BHIM App to enable ease of digital payments, especially in remote areas.

NITI launched the Less-Cash Townships Scheme and based on third party verification. 75 townships certified as less-cash townships were where more than 80 percent of transactions within the townships were through digital mode. ThePrime Minister declared these as less-cash townships on April 14, 2017.

(ii) Shared, Connected and Clean Mobility Solutions

NITI has been extensively working on shared, connected and clean mobility solutions for the country to be adopted readily in smart cities. It came out with the report ‘India Leaps Ahead: Transformative Mobility Solutions for All’ and policy briefs on ‘India’s Energy Storage Mission: A Make in India Opportunity for Globally Competitive Battery Manufacturing’ and ‘Valuing Society First: an Assessment of the Potential for a Feebate Policy in India’.

EV Charging Stations were setup at NITI to provide charging services to electric vehicles.

NITI Aayog has formed six inter-ministerial committees in February, 2018 to decide on the matters and issues related to strategies to scale up transformative mobility.

The MOVE: Global Mobility Summit was held in September 2018. The focus of the summit was on raising awareness about various aspects of Mobility and bringing various stakeholders involved in enhancing mobility across different platforms. Representatives from various Intergovernmental Organizations, Academia, Policy Think tanks from India and abroad, Global leaders from across the mobility sector such as OEMs, Battery Manufacturers, Charging Infrastructure Providers, technology Solution Providers participated in the summit.

(iii) Adoption of frontier technologies in governance

Artificial Intelligence: NITI Aayog has been mandated to develop the National Program on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and assess their impact on India’s economy, society and governance. In order to understand the development, adoption and impact of these technologies, NITI is engaging with ministries, academia, industry, researchers and startups. Based on these, a draft discussion paper on National Strategy for AI is being prepared.

In partnership with IBM and ISRO, a pilot project to develop a crop yield prediction model using AI to provide real time advisory to farmers is being implemented in 10 aspirational districts across the States of Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Similar pilot projects in the areas of healthcare and re-skilling in collaboration with various developers are being finalised.

A National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence was released in the month of June 2018, detailing core strategies and recommendations on promoting the use of AI in key areas of governance.

Blockchain: NITI is preparinga discussion paper on India Chain, a proposal on India specific infrastructural platform leveraging elements of India Stack such as Aadhaar, UPI and eSign. This paper will delineate the conceptual framework and architectural design of India Chain.

Projects under consideration where technical partners have been identified are pharmaceutical supply chain for identification of spurious drugs, fertilizer supply chain eliminating subsidy leakage and digitisation of land records.

To promote AI and Block chain, NITI Aayog has entered into several collaborations with governments of other countries, State Governments, companies involved in developing AI and academic institutions.

(iv) Methanol Economy: 

To reduce dependency on fossil fuel and to minimize imports, an apex committee and fivetask forces are working on a roadmap for implementation of methanol economy. Initiatives identified include production of methanol from high ash coal and municipal solid waste, storage, transportation and R&D on methanol engines. Minister of Shipping has decided use of methanol blended fuel for inland waterways transportation. Government is contemplating a 'Methanol Economy Fund' to promote indigenously-produced methanol that could reduce 10 percent of India's crude oil imports, thereby reducing the fuel bill by around 30 percent by 2030.

(v)Roadmap for ‘Make in India’ in Body Armour: 

A NITI Aayog committee has prepared a roadmap for making the body armour in India and submitted the same to the Prime Minister’s Office. The major recommendations made include, promotion of indigenous manufacturing of body armours including raw materials, creating more testing facilities, adopting Indian standards in body armours, setting up of Centres of Excellence to pursue R&D in nano-technology materials for lightweight body armours and simplification of the procurement process. All these initiatives would help in indigenous production of body armour and meet the requirements of defence, para military and security agencies. The PMO has accepted all the recommendations made in the report.

INTERNATIONAL ENGAGEMENTS
  • 4th India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) was hosted by India under the co-chair of NITI Aayog and National Development & Reform Commission, People’s Republic of China on October 6-7th, 2016
  • Energy Data Management meetings of US DOE-Energy Information Administration (EIA) with Indian Energy Ministries and Departments held on October 24-27th, 2016 in New Delhi.
  • The NITI Aayog- Development Research Centre (DRC) Dialogue, People’s Republic of China was formalised in 2016, the Second edition and Third Edition of which was held in New Delhi in November 2016 and in Beijing in December 2017. The Fourth NITI-DRC dialogue was held in Mumbai in November 2018.
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