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Five Year Plans

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India has adopted the five-year plan model which was practiced in the earlier communist Soviet Union. The Five-Year Plan exercise is a detailed work plan. To begin with an Approach Paper is prepared to identify the growth target and the sectors to be prioritised in the five year plan. After the Approach Paper is discussed and finalised in the highest policy making body viz; the National Development Council, the subject divisions in Planning Commission representing the different Central Ministries set up Working Groups wherein subject experts, state government officials and central government officials are Members and they discuss and chart out the course of action to be implemented in the next five years. The Working Groups are mainly headed by the Head of Division of the concerned subject in the Central Ministry. After the Working Groups submit their Reports, Steering Committees chaired by the Members of Planning Commission examine these Reports and may support/reject/add to the recommendations made in the Working Group Reports. After this exercise the officers of Planning Commission utilise these Reports and the inputs received from the discussions held with State Government officials during plan discussions start drafting the chapters that form part of the Five Year Plan document. Once all subject divisions prepare their chapters, the Plan Coordination Division consolidates these chapters and the First draft the five year plan document is circulated among Members, to the Deputy Chairman, discussed in the Full Planning Commission meeting after which it is again placed before the National Development Council which approves the plan document. This plan document is the referral guide for officers in the Planning Commission as well as the Central Ministries in scheme formulation and implementation for the next five years. India has so far completed XI Five Year Plans and the XII Five Year Plan is presently underway.

In the event of creation of NITI Aayog to replace Planning Commission, apprehensions were raised regarding the continuation of five year plans. In the first meeting of the Governing Council of National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, which was held on February 8, 2015, it was decided that the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) would continue. NITI Aayog would suitably undertake its Mid Term Appraisal so that a shared vision of national development agenda and important national initiatives are incorporated for their effective implementation in the remaining two years of the Plan.

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