Friday, January 02, 2015

How Cabinet Secretariat’s January 1 note on formation of NITI Aayog covers RajNITI, ArthNITI and beyond

Quoting sage-poet Tiruvalluvar
IN AN unusual sarkari note on the formation of NITI Aayog replacing the Planning Commission of India, the cabinet secretariat on Thursday touched upon several aspects of politics and economy of the nation by quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Ambedkar and poet scholars Tiruvalluvar and Sankar Dev. Excerpts:

1. Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position. This is a quote of Mahatma Gandhi as mentioned by the cabinet secretariat note arguing that the institutions of governance and policy have to adapt to new challenges.
2. From being preoccupied with survival, our aspirations have soared and today we seek elimination, rather than alleviation, of poverty, the note further says.
3. The note calls India’s middle class a “formidable group” thanks to its size and purchasing power, and the entry of the neo-middle class.
4. It also says that we reside in a ‘global village’, connected by modern transport, communications and media, and networked international markets and institutions. India needs to be an active player in the debates and deliberations on the global commons, especially in relatively uncharted areas, the note adds.
5. The Non-Resident Indian community, which is spread across more than 200 countries, is larger in number than the population of many countries of the world. This is a significant geo-economic and geo-political strength, the note says.
6. India’s pool of entrepreneurial, scientific and intellectual human capital is a source of strength waiting to be unleashed to help us attain unprecedented heights of success. In fact, the ‘social capital’ that is present in our people has been a major contributor to the development of the country thus far and, therefore, it needs to be leveraged through appropriate policy initiatives, the note says.
7. The cabinet secretariat note describes urbanisation as an irreversible trend.  Rather than viewing it as an evil, we have to make it an integral part of our policy for development, it says.
8. Transparency is now a sine qua non for good governance.  We are in a digital age where the tools and modes of communication, like social media, are powerful instruments to share and explain the thoughts and actions of the government. This trend will only increase with time, the note adds.
9. The sage-poet Tiruvalluvar (who was incidentally quoted by P Chidambaram in all his Budget speeches) said, “Nothing is more dreadfully painful than poverty”, and “gripping poverty robs a man of the lofty nobility of his descent”. These words are as true today as they were when written more than two thousand years ago, the note says.
10. The note also quoted verses from Kirtan written by Assamese saint Sankar Dev: “To see every being as equivalent to one’s own soul is the supreme means (of attaining deliverance)”.


  1. How come you forgot to mention reference to BJP ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay in the Cabinet Resolution ?

  2. The erstwhile Planning Commission was constituted by a cabinet resolution. Similarly, as long as this new NITI Commission will work,this cabinet note will be an historic document......... therefore, this literary and philisophical touch.........