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NITI Aayog Conducts First Samavesh Meeting

NITI Aayog has conducted the first Samavesh meeting of the National Steering Group and other knowledge partners under the co-chairmanship of Amitabh Kant, CEO and Ratan P Watal, Principal Adviser, NITI Aayog. The meeting was also attended by representatives of four States- Kerala, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Salient Highlights

The objective of the meeting was to bring together 32 premier educational and policy research institutions to boost the development process, improve institutional capacity and forge a field level interface with the community in pursuance with the Prime Minister’s call for a New India 2022,

In the meeting, Memorandum of Understands (MoUs) were signed between NITI Aayog and major think tanks across the country with an aim to create an atmosphere of evidence based policy research.

This is the first ever initiative undertaken by the government to bring a huge number of institutions across diverse domain themes to deliberate together to promote inclusive development of the country. This network is expected to promote efficient knowledge sharing and information exchange among all partners in order to achieve a sustainable and more inclusive development in line with the National Development Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals and the 15 year Vision, 7 year strategy and 3 year action plan.

NITI Aayog has been emphasizing upon the role that can be played by the country’s Premier institutes to promote for inclusive development of the country. As a part of Samavesh initiative, NITI Aayog will launch a new link in its website that would serve as a major repository of knowledge based reports and case studies across different sectors of the economy.

NITI Aayog

NITI Aayog or National Institution for Transforming India was established on January 1, 2015 through a government resolution. NITI Aayog is essentially an advisory body that seeks to provide critical directional and strategic inputs across spectrum of key elements of policy to the centre as well as to the states. NITI Ayog was established by the government as a “Think Tank” which has no power to impose policies. NITI Aayog seeks to put an end to the slow and tardy implementation of the policy by fostering inter-ministry, inter-state and centre-state coordination. It has been envisaged to follow the bottom-top development approach whereby, it would develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans to the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government.

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Government Sets Up Task Force for Reliable Employment Data

The government has set up a task force headed by NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya to come up with a methodology to generate timely and reliable employment data. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has initiated the process and has asked the task force to submit its recommendations at the earliest. The other members of the task force are labour secretary M. Sathiyavathy, secretary of the statistics department T.C.A. Ananth, NITI Aayog’s Pulak Ghosh and Manish Sabharwal, chairman and co-founder of staffing firm Teamlease Services Ltd.

Need

India does not have reliable data on jobs. The available data is currently outdated. The data on jobs in the informal sector which employs country’s majority of the workforce is not easliy available. Also, the data released by the Labour Bureau is restricted to the organized sector. National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data which is the most comprehensive data available on jobs is generated with a time lag.

Better data on jobs data will help policy planners assess the impact of policies on jobs and will shed light on the actual size of the informal economy

Labour Market

India’s labour market constitutes of over 470 million people. According to CRISIL, around 18 million people enter the workforce every year. As per the data with the NSSO, India had created around 59.9 million jobs between 1999-2000 and 2004-05 and created nearly two million jobs between 2004-05 and 2009-10. Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, 13.9 million jobs were created in the country.

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Madhya Pradesh becomes First State to Shift Financial Year to Jan-Dec Format

Madhya Pradesh has become the first state in the country to shift its financial year from the present April-March cycle to January-December. The state’s budget session for the next financial year would be held in December-January. Hence, the state government plans to finish the current budget proceedings by December this year.

Implications

Shifting of the financial year format to January-December would require shifting of the tax assessment year. It also necessitates changes to be made in infrastructure especially at the level of companies.

Background

The decision of the Madhya Pradesh state government comes in the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s suggestion of shifting the fiscal year to January-December period during NITI Aayog governing council meeting on April 23 held at New Delhi. He had reasoned that as agricultural income is exceedingly important, budgets need to be prepared immediately after the receipt of agricultural incomes for the year.

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