In the UPSC (IAS) Prelims exam syllabus, apart from the Government schemes, various programs and initiatives launched by NITI Aayog are an integral part that can be asked in the UPSC (IAS) Prelims exam 2020. NITI Aayog is an advisory body constituted by the Prime Minister of India. It is neither a constitutional nor a statutory body. Read ahead to know the functioning of NITI Aayog and important programs incepted by the body.
The National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog, was formed via a resolution of the Union Cabinet on January 1, 2015. NITI Aayog is the premier policy ‘Think Tank’ of the Government of India, providing both directional and policy inputs. While designing strategic and long term policies and programs for the Government of India, NITI Aayog also provides relevant technical advice to the Centre and States. The Government of India, in keeping with its reform agenda, constituted the NITI Aayog to replace the Planning Commission instituted in 1950.
Let’s read about some of the key initiatives started by the NITI Aayog since its inception:
Aspirational Districts Programme
- Launched in January 2018
- aims to transform and develop some of the most underdeveloped districts of the country efficiently and effectively
- The program focuses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in the burgeoning economy
- Core areas of focus- Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure
- The districts have been ranked on a transparent basis on parameters across various performance indicators like Health and Nutrition, Education, Skill Development and Basic Infrastructure among others. o The rankings are based on the data that is publicly available through the Champions of Change Dashboard
Young Champions Awards
- NITI Aayog’s Atal Innovation Mission and UNICEF announced Young Champions Awards on the occasion of Children’s Day.
- The awards were presented to the top six most innovative solutions from across the country shortlisted through the Atal Tinkering Marathon.
- AIM’s Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) had launched a six-month-long nationwide challenge called the Atal Tinkering Marathon, across six different themes - clean energy, water resources, waste management, healthcare, smart mobility, and agri-technology.
- The objective was to encourage students to observe community problems and develop innovative solutions.
Atal Innovation Mission
- Aims to promote innovation and entrepreneurship nationwide in schools, universities, and industry.
- It promotes a network of world-class innovation hubs, Start-up businesses, and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology-driven areas.
Digital Payments Movement
- An action plan on advocacy, awareness, and coordination of handholding efforts among the general public, micro-enterprises and other stakeholders
- Aims to incentivize the States/UTs for promotion of digital transactions, Central assistance of Rs. 50 crore would be provided to the districts for undertaking Information, Education and Communication activities to bring 5 crores Jan Dhan accounts to the digital platform.
Aspirants of UPSC Prelims 2020 can also check other important government schemes launched by various ministries here: