PM Modi to chair NITI Aayog meet tomorrow; Telangana’s KCR to skip

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the seventh governing council meeting of the NITI Aayog on Sunday. The meeting will be attended by chief ministers of states, lieutenant governors of Union Territories, Union ministers, the Vice Chairman of Niti Ayog and members of the body at the cultural Centre of the President’s House.

This will be the first highest level of physical meeting post-pandemic as the last governing council meeting was physically held in February 2015. The council meeting was not convened in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the chairman of NITI Aayog, will make the opening statement at 10.15 am and then the session will be moderated by the Defence Minister.

All parties will discuss various issues, including crop diversification, a self-reliant mechanism for the agriculture sector and the economy. Significantly, the governing council will also discuss the national education policy and its implementation.

The government council meeting will also discuss achieving self-sufficiency in Oilseeds & Pulses and other Agri Commodities, as per the agenda of the meeting.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar will also make a presentation to the governing council on G20.

The meeting is also significant to improve better center and state relationships and cooperative federalism. Recently, many Chief Ministers from the opposition camp accused the Centre government of violating cooperative federalism and center-state relationships.

The National Conference of Chief Secretaries was held in Dharamshala in June 2022.

However, the day before this meeting, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao refused to be part of it.

At this meeting, however, the archrival of the BJP Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, will be attending this meeting.

Telangana CM KCR in a statement said, “I will not be a part of the 7th Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog which is going to be held in Delhi tomorrow, as a mark of protest”.

In a strongly-worded letter to PM Modi, Rao, KCR expressed anguish against center, for states not being given “flexibility to design & modify schemes based on their needs & conditions to ensure maximum benefit to people.”

Responding to KCR’s letter to PM Modi, Niti Aayog, in a statement, said that the institution has already taken a number of measures to work closely with the states.

“It is unfortunate that the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Telangana has chosen not to participate in the Governing Council meeting of NITI Aayog to be held on August 7. The Governing Council is a forum where the highest political leadership in the country at Centre and State levels deliberates on key development-related issues and agrees on appropriate outcome-oriented solutions for national development,” it said.

NITI AAYOG:

NITI Aayog was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. The Governing Council of NITI Aayog, comprising Chief Ministers of all the States and Union Territories with legislatures and Lt Governors of other Union Territories, came into effect on February 16, 2015 via a notification by the Cabinet Secretariat. The Governing Council was reconstituted via a notification dated February 19, 2021 by the Cabinet Secretariat.

The Governing Council is the premier body tasked with evolving a shared vision of national priorities and strategies, with the active involvement of the States, in shaping the development narrative. The Governing Council, which embodies the objectives of cooperative federalism, presents a platform to discuss inter-sectoral, inter-departmental and federal issues to accelerate the implementation of the national development agenda.

So far, six meetings of the Governing Council have been held under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister with Chief Ministers/Lt Governors of the States/UTs and other members of the Governing Council.

The sixth meeting of the Governing Council of NITI Aayog was held on February 20, 2021 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi via video conferencing. It was attended by 26 Chief Ministers, 3 Lieutenant Governors and 2 Administrators, apart from Union Ministers who are Ex-Officio Members, and Special Invitees. NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairman, Members and CEO; Principal Secretary to the PM and other senior officers from PMO; Cabinet Secretary; and Chief Secretaries of States/Union Territories also attended the meeting. Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh moderated the meeting.

The sixth meeting was preceded by a detailed interaction with senior State officials on February 6, 2021, the feedback for which was duly incorporated while curating the agenda of the meeting.

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