The Centre on Thursday named Union Home Minister Amit Shah an ex-officio member of a reconstituted NITI Aayog. Vice Chairperson Rajiv Kumar will continue in his position, while Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar will also be ex-officio members.
Apart from Kumar, the other full-time members of the panel are its chairperson Prime Minister Narendra Modi, VK Saraswat, Ramesh Chand and VK Paul.
“Special invitees” to the NITI Aayog include Union Minister of Road Transport Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal, and Minister of State for the Ministry of Statistics (Independent Charge) Rao Inderjit Singh.
Economist Bibek Debroy has been dropped from the think-tank. Besides him, the minister of human resource development has not been included in the new list. The new human resource development minister is Ramesh Pokhriyal.
NITI Aayog Chief Executive Officer Amitabh Kant’s name did not figure in the list released by the Press Information Bureau, but is present in the list of members on the policy-making organisation’s website.
The reconstitution of the top policy-making body comes ahead of a meeting of its Governing Council on June 15, to be chaired by Modi. This will be the first meeting of the NITI Aayog’s Governing Council since the new Cabinet took oath on May 30. The council includes all chief ministers, lieutenant governors of Union territories, several Union ministers and senior government officials.
Rajiv Kumar had said on May 31 that “big bang reforms” are likely to be passed during the first 100 days of Modi’s second term. The Governing Council is likely to discuss matters related to the economy, agriculture and security, The Indian Express reported.