Monday, 19 January 2015

Daily News Mail

U.S. worried at 'Make in India' rule

  • On January 11, 2010, GoI launched Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The mission aimed at deploying 20,000 MW solar power by 2022.
  • On October,2013, Cabinet approves Domestic Content Requirements (DCR). Hence, solar power developers must use solar cells and modules made in India.
  • On February 2014, U.S. challenges India's solar policy in WTO. WTO rules prohibit measures that discriminate imported goods.
  • On December 2014, Cabinet approves scheme to set up 1,000 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic power projects that has a mandatory condition that all photovoltaic cells and modules to be used in solar plants set up by the scheme will be made in India. U.S. President Obama may announce funds for project during is India visit.
  • India maintains that U.S. subsidies on solar products threaten Indian manufacturers, and the domestic solar industry has accused the U.S. of "dumping cheap outdated technology" on India.
  • New and Renewable Energy minister Piyush Goyal is confident of ironing out(iron out -to ease a problem; to smooth out a problem) the issue with the U.S. officials, while maintaining that India is committed to its recently announced target of 1,00,000 MW solar power by 2022.

NITI Aayog - 'Think Tank' of the Government
The government has replaced Planning Commission with a new institution named NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). The institution will serve as 'Think Tank'  of the government - a directional and policy dynamo. NITI Aayog will provide government at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy, this includes matters of national and international import on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support.
This comes after extensive consultation across the spectrum of stakeholders, including state governments, domain experts and relevant institutions.

Difference between Planning Commission and NITI Aayog

  • In 1950, Jawaharlal Nehru, who admired Joseph Stalin's drive to industrialise the Soviet Union, set up and chaired the Commission to map out a development path for India's agrarian economy. Thus, Planning Commission was soviet inspired National Development Plans.
  • "Niti", that is "policy" and "Institutional change for 'Transforming India' ". The country has transformed from under-developed economy to an emerged global nation with one of the world's largest economy. The people of India require institutional reforms in governance and dynamic policy shifts that can seed and nurture large-scale changes.
Transformation in Niti Aayog
  • From being preoccupied with survival, our aspirations have soared and today we seek elimination, rather than alleviation, of poverty. The people of India have great expectations for progress and improvement in governance, through their participation.
  • At the heart of the dynamics of transforming India lies a technology revolution and increased access to and sharing of information.  In the course of this transformation, while some changes are anticipated and planned, many are a consequence of market forces and larger global shifts.   The evolution and maturing of our institutions and polity also entail a diminished role for centralised planning, which itself needs to be redefined.
  •  The role of the government as a ‘player’ in the industrial and service sectors has to be reduced. Instead, the government has to focus on enabling legislation, policy-making and regulation.
  • The reference to the role of urbanisation as an aid to a technological catching up, suggests an understanding of the links between technology gaps and per capita income gaps. This further links to welfare gaps through the statement “Equality of opportunity goes hand-in-hand with an inclusiveness agenda.
  • Transparency is now a sine qua non (Sine qua non refers to an indispensable and essential action, condition, or ingredient) 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.  Government and governance have to be conducted in an environment of total transparency – using technology to reduce opacity and thereby, the potential for misadventures in governing.
  • India’s middle class is unique in terms of its size and purchasing power.  This formidable  group is increasing with the entry of the neo-middle class.  It has been an important driver of growth and  has enormous potential on account of its high education levels, mobility and willingness to push for change in the country.  Our continuing challenge is to ensure that this economically vibrant group remains engaged and its potential is fully realised.
  • 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 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.  Future national policies must incorporate this strength in order to broaden their participation in the new India beyond just their financial support.  Technology and management expertise are self-evident areas where this community can contribute significantly.
Source - Press Information Bureau, Government of India

Objective of Niti Aayog

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