NITI Aayog GC discusses crop diversification and achieving self-sufficiency in pulses, oilseeds and other agri-commodities
The seventh meeting of Governing Council of NITI Aayog has been held. The Prime Minister highlighted the need for India to focus on modernized agriculture, animal husbandry, and food processing to become self-sufficient and a global leader in the agriculture sector. He said that rapid urbanization could become India’s strength instead of weakness by leveraging technology to ensure ease of living, transparent service delivery, and improvement in the quality of life for every citizen of urban India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on August 7, heralded the collective efforts of all the States in the spirit of cooperative federalism as the force that helped India emerge from the Covid pandemic. This was stated in a NITI Aayog press release.
Addressing the seventh meeting of the Governing Council (GC) of NITI Aayog, the Prime Minister said, “Every State played a crucial role according to its strength and contributed to India’s fight against Covid. This led to India emerging as an example for the developing nations to look up to as a global leader.”
This was the first physical meeting of the GC since the onset of the pandemic, with the 2021 meeting held via video conferencing. The meeting was attended by 23 Chief Ministers, three Lieutenant Governors and two Administrators and Union Ministers. The meeting was moderated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
In his inaugural address, the Prime Minister said India’s federal structure and cooperative federalism emerged as a model for the world during the Covid crisis. He said that India had sent a powerful message to the developing nations — that it is possible to overcome challenges with resilience despite resource limitations. The PM said that the credit for this went to the State Governments, which focused on grassroots delivery of public services to the people through cooperation across political lines.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the seventh meeting was a culmination of months of rigorous brainstorming and consultations between the Centre and States to identify national priorities. “All Chief Secretaries met together in Dharamshala and over three days deliberated issues of national importance.”
The GC discussed four key agenda items this year: (i) crop diversification and achieving self-sufficiency in pulses, oilseeds and other agri-commodities; (ii) implementation of National Education Policy (NEP) in school education; (iii) implementation of NEP in higher education; and (iv) urban governance.
The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of all of the above issues, especially the need for India to focus on modernized agriculture, animal husbandry, and food processing to become self-sufficient and a global leader in the agriculture sector. He said that rapid urbanization could become India’s strength instead of weakness by leveraging technology to ensure ease of living, transparent service delivery, and improvement in the quality of life for every citizen of urban India.
The PM also spoke about India’s G20 presidency in 2023 and called it a unique opportunity to show the world that India was not just Delhi — it was every State and Union Territory of the country. The PM said we should develop a mass movement around G20. This will allow us to identify the best talent available in the country.
Union Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar said, “The G20 Presidency presents a great opportunity and a great responsibility. For the first time in the history of G20, India will host the G20 meetings over the year, not only in Delhi but in every State and Union Territory.”
While highlighting several initiatives undertaken to boost learning outcomes, capacity-building of teachers, and skilling, Union Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan thanked and requested further support from the States for the successful implementation of the NEP.
Suman Bery, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, reiterated that India’s transformation had to take place in its states. He reaffirmed the need for the combined efforts of the Centre and the States to realize the vision of a resurgent India post the pandemic.
In his closing remarks, the Prime Minister said that each state should focus on promoting its 3Ts — Trade, Tourism and Technology — through every Indian mission around the world. He said that the States must focus on reducing imports, increasing exports and identifying opportunities for the same in every state. “We should encourage people to use local goods wherever possible,” he said. “‘Vocal for local’ is not the agenda of an individual political party but a common goal,” he added.
The PM said even though the GST collection had improved, our potential was much more. “Increasing GST collection requires collective action by the Centre and States. It is crucial for strengthening our economic position and becoming a $5trn economy,” he said.
He said that the issues discussed in this meeting would define the national priorities for the next 25 years, adding that the seeds we sow today will define the fruits reaped by India in 2047.