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NITI Aayog Meeting: Crop Diversification, NEP & Urban Governance on Top of Agenda

The Governing Council met this year to discuss four key agenda items: Crop diversification and self-sufficiency in pulses, oilseeds, and other agricultural commodities; Implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) in school education; Implementation of National Education Policy in higher education; and Urban governance.

Shivam Dwivedi
7th Meeting of NITI Aayog's Governing Council
7th Meeting of NITI Aayog's Governing Council

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, today lauded the collective efforts of all states in the spirit of cooperative federalism as the force that helped India emerge from the Covid pandemic. Prime Minister stated during the seventh meeting of the Governing Council (GC) of NITI Aayog, "Every State played a crucial role according to its strength and contributed to India's fight against Covid." As a result, India has emerged as a model for developing countries to look up to as a global leader."

The Governing Council met in person for the first time since the pandemic began, with the 2021 meeting held via video conferencing. 23 Chief Ministers, 3 Lieutenant Governors, 2 Administrators, and Union Ministers attended the meeting. The meeting was presided by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

During the Covid crisis, the Prime Minister said, India's federal structure and cooperative federalism emerged as a model for the world. He stated that India had sent a powerful message to the world's developing nations, demonstrating that it is possible to overcome challenges with resilience despite limited resources. The PM attributed this to state governments, which focused on grassroots delivery of public services the people through cooperation across political lines.

The Prime Minister emphasized that the seventh meeting was the culmination of months of intensive brainstorming and consultations between the Centre and the States to identify national priorities. "All Chief Secretaries convened in Dharamshala for three days of deliberation on issues of national importance." "The agenda for this meeting was developed through a collaborative process," the PM said.

The Governing Council met to discuss four key agenda items:

  • Crop diversification and self-sufficiency in pulses, oilseeds, and other agricultural commodities;

  • Implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) in school education;

  • Implementation of National Education Policy in higher education; and

  • Urban governance

The Prime Minister emphasized the significance of all of the aforementioned issues, particularly the need for India to focus on modernized agriculture, animal husbandry, and food processing in order to become self-sufficient and a global leader in the agriculture sector. He believes that rapid urbanization can be used to India's advantage rather than its detriment by leveraging technology to ensure ease of living, transparent service delivery, and an improvement in the quality of life for all urban Indians.

While highlighting several initiatives undertaken to improve learning outcomes, teacher capacity-building, and skilling, Union Minister of Education, Dharmendra Pradhan, thanked and requested additional support from states for the successful implementation of the National Education Policy.

SumanBery, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, reiterated that India's transformation must take place in its states. He reaffirmed the importance of the Centre and States working together to realize the vision of a resurgent India after the pandemic.

Every Chief Minister and Lieutenant Governor in attendance addressed the meeting, emphasizing the priorities, accomplishments, and challenges of their respective States and Union Territories, with a particular emphasis on the four key agenda items.

The Prime Minister stated in his closing remarks that each state should focus on promoting its 3Ts, Trade, Tourism, and Technology, through every Indian Mission around the world. He stated that the states must focus on reducing imports, increasing exports, and identifying opportunities in each state. "Whenever possible, we should encourage people to use local goods," he said. 'Vocal for local,' he says, is not the agenda of a single political party, but rather a shared goal.

Even though GST collection has improved, the PM stated that our potential is much greater. "In order to increase GST collection, the Centre and States must work together." "It is critical for us to strengthen our economic position and become a USD 5 trillion economy," he said.

He thanked the CMs and LGs for attending the meeting and sharing their perspectives and experiences. He stated that NITI Aayog will investigate the states' concerns, challenges, and best practices before deciding how to proceed. He stated that the issues discussed at this meeting will define the country's priorities for the next 25 years and that the seeds we plant today will determine the fruits reaped by India in 2047.

The seventh meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman, Members, and CEO, the Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries (DoPT, Culture, DoSE&L, Higher Education, and MoHUA), Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories, and other senior officers from the PMO, Cabinet Secretariat, and NITI Aayog.

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