Planning Commission vs Niti Aayog

The concept of this 5-year plan was used in Russia for working towards different methods for  development of the country. And at that time Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was much under the influence of Russian way of functioning. So inspired from the same procedure, India also formed planning commission which led to the  better and sequenced development of the country and with the purpose of increasing economic growth of the country. So after independence a cabinet resolution took place and planning commission was formed on 15 March 1950 with prime minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru as the chairman. The aim and the objectives of the planning commission was economic development, increasing of employment, introduction of new schemes for welfare of the people, industrialisation, development of agriculture in the country etc.

So from 1951 to 2017, total of 12 five year plan was held in consecutive years with different aims and objectives. So here is the description of all of 12 five year plans:

First plan (1951-56)

  • Jawaharlal Nehru presented the first five year plan to the parliament of India and needed urgent attention. The first five year plan was launched on 1951 which mainly focused in development of the primary sector.
  • The target growth rate was 2.1% annual gross domestic product growth and the achieved growth rate was 3.6% the net domestic product went up by 15%.

Second plan (1956-61)

  • This plan was particularly in the development of public sector and rapid industrialisation. The target growth rate was 4.5% and the actual growth rate was 4.27%

The third plan (1961-66)

  • Stressed agriculture and improvement in the production of wheat, but the brief Sino Indian war of 1962 and due to drastic weather conditions led to decrease in  targeted growth and the objectives of that plan was not so successful.
  • The targeted growth rate was 5.6% but the actual growth rate was 2.8%.

The fourth plan (1969-74)

  • Indira Gandhi was the prime minister. The Indira Gandhi government nationalised 14 major Indian banks and the green revolution in India advanced agriculture and nuclear program started during this plan.
  • The target growth rate was 5.7% but the actual growth rate was 3.3%.

The fifth plan (1974-78)

  • Plan laid stress on employment, poverty alleviation and justice. The plan also focused on self-reliance in agriculture production and defence. The target growth rate was 4.4% and the actual growth rate was 4.8%. there is a lot of political instability at that time and in 1980 emergency was also declared.
  • The target growth rate was 4.4% and the actual growth rate was 4.8% due to starting of capitalism and privatisation.

The sixth plan (1980-85)

  • This plan was led by congress party with Rajiv Gandhi as the prime minister. During this plan many schemes were launched like NREP, biogas program, dairy development program etc. and marked the beginning of liberalisation. The national bank for agriculture and rural development was established.
  • The target growth was 5.2% and the actual growth rate was 5.7%.

The seventh plan (1985-90)

  • The plan was led by the congress party with Rajiv Gandhi as the prime minister. During this plan cactus operation was held, modernisation, social justice etc.  improvements and development took place which led to increase in economic growth of the country.
  • The target growth was 5.0% and the actual growth was 6.01%.

The eighth plan (1992-97)

  • Modernisation of industries was a major highlight of the eighth plan. India became a member of the world trade organisation on January 1, 1995.
  • The target growth rate was 5.6% and the actual growth rate was 6.8%.

The ninth Plan(1997-02)

  • During this plan Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister. The objectives of this plan was universalisation of primary education, national support to children, public distribution were come into force. And also the Kargil was also occurred during this plan.
  • The target growth was 7.1% and the actual growth was 6.8%.

The tenth plan (2002-07)

  • Set monitorable targets for few key indicators of development besides 8% growth target.
  • Target growth was 9% and achieved growth was 8%.

The eleventh plan (2007-2012)

  • Focused on distant education, convergence of formal, non formal, distant and I.T. education institutions. Rapid and inclusive growth.
  • Target growth 9% and growth achieved 8%.

Twelfth plan (2012-17)

  • This plan focuses on growth which is faster, inclusive, sustainable.
  • Aims at a growth rate of 8%.

Limitations of planning commission

  • It is based on top-bottom approach which is one of the big limitation of this commission because grass root level problems of small villages and towns can’t be solved with this approach or strategy.
  • It has power to grants and aids to the state instead of that and also the financial sanctions should be in hands of the financial minister of lok sabha because he is directly choosen person.
  • Cannot divide every project or policies to 5 years plan because it does not suit any lohic because there are projects which heed more than 5 years and some projects need less than 5 years so it would be assumed as wastage of resources. So functions uniformly by giving a specific time to all projects whether it needs more or less, in this non uniform world does not seems like proper utilisation of resources.


So due to their limitations government thought that there is need of an other organisation which is not a alternative of the government but works as a think tanker for the government that is NITI AAYOG (national institute of transforming india) was formed on January 1, 2015 which works only as think tank and financial sanctions is not in hands og niti aayog  and having down top approach so that grass root level problems can als be solved and more flexible as compared to planning commission.

Features of Niti Aayog

  • Niti aayog was constituted by central government on January 1, 2015 in place of planning commission.
  • It will serve as a think tank of the government and will provide relevant, important and technical advice to the central and state governments regarding policy making.

Structure of Niti Aayog

  • Chairman of the niti aayog will be the prime minister of india.
  • The governing council includes the chief ministers of all the states and lieutenant governors of union territories (union territories having chief ministers in the legislative assembly).
  • Part time members: upto 2 ex-officio members from the universities, research institutes and other relevant institutions, part time members will be on the basis f category.
  • Ex-officio members: maximum 4 members from the union council of ministers nominated by the prime minister.
  • Chief executive officer: an officer of the rank of secretary to the government of inda appointed by the prime minister for a fixed term. The current CEO is Amitabh Kant.
  • Secretariat: establishment will be done as per requirement.
  • Regional council to look into specific issues and contingent matters relating to more than one date or region. These councils are made for a specific term.
  • Regional councils will meet the instructions of the prime minister of India and will include the chief ministers of the states of the respective regions and the lieutenant governors of the union territories(they will be chaired by the deputy chairman of niti aayog)

Functions of Niti Aayog

  • To provide direction and strategic advice in the development process.
  • To develop collaborative federalism.
  • Cooperate in practical planning at local level and help in progressive development of plans. To develop knowledge and innovation through national and international experts, practitioners etc.
  • To develop technology and capacity building for implementation of programs and policies.
  • To develop a common vision for national development.
  • Ensuring national security through economic planning and policy making.


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