The alleviation of poverty, the fair distribution of natural wealth, and the assurance of social justice are some of the essential components of good governance. To achieve this, the State needs to apply the precepts of the Directive Principles, contained in Part IV of our Constitution. The essence of the Directive Principles lies in Article 38, which echoing the Preamble, reads:
“38. State to secure a social order for the promotion of welfare of the people.
(1) The State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life
(2) The State shall, in particular, strive to minimise the inequalities in income, and endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status, facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations”
To foster the above goals, the other provisions of Directive Principles exhort the State to ensure that citizens have an adequate means of livelihood, that the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment, and that the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good, that the health and the strength of the workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused; and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength; and that children are given opportunities and facilities to develop in a healthy manner; and that childhood and youth are protected against exploitation and against moral and material abandonment and are to have a standard of living that allows them to enjoy leisure and social and cultural opportunities.
Among the primary duties of the state is to raise the level of nutrition and the general standard of the living of the people. The Principles express the hope that within 10 years of adoption of the Constitution, there would be compulsory primary education for children upto the age of 14 years. The other provisions of the principles seek equally to secure the renovation of Indian society by improving the techniques of agriculture, animal husbandry, cottage industry etc.
The Directive Principles, though not justiciable, are nevertheless fundamental in the governance of the country. They direct the state to utilise the material resource of the community for the common good of all, and not just for the rich and the powerful without any consideration of the human suffering. The extraction of such resources imposed on those who are sought to be dispossessed and disempowered. Complete justice - social, economic and political- is what our constitution promises to each and every citizen.
Yet, today even the basic necessities are unavailable for millions of Indians. Half of the population remains hungry, with no access to clean drinking water nor to social justice.
The Supreme Court in NandiniSundar vs State of Chattisgarh (2011) 7 SCC 547, has aptly observed in paragraph 17 and 25 as follows:
“17. Policies of rapid exploitation of resources by the private sector, without credible commitments to equitable distribution of benefits and costs, and environmental sustainability, are necessarily violative of principles that are "fundamental to governance", and when such a violation occurs on a large scale, they necessarily also eviscerate the promise of equality before law, and equal protection of the laws, promised by Article 14, and the dignity of life assured by Article 21. Additionally, the collusion of the extractive industry, and in some places it is also called the mining mafia, and some agents of the State, necessarily leads to evisceration of the moral authority of the State, which further undermines both Article 14 and Article 21. As recognized by the Expert Committee of the Planning Commission, any steps taken by the State, within the paradigm of treating such volatile circumstances as simple law and order problems, to perpetrate large scale violence against the local populace, would only breed more insurgency, and ever more violent protests.”
“25. The primary task of the State is the provision of security to all its citizens, without violating human dignity. This would necessarily imply the undertaking of tasks that would prevent the emergence of great dissatisfaction, and disaffection, on account of the manner and mode of extraction, and distribution, of natural resources and organization of social action, its benefits and costs. Our Directive Principles of State Policy explicitly recognize this. Our Constitution posits that unless we secure for our citizens conditions of social, economic and political justice for all who live in India, we would not have achieved human dignity for our citizens, nor would we be in a position to promote fraternity amongst groups of them. Policies that run counter to that essential truth are necessarily destructive of national unity and integrity.”
The Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949 after the Hon’ble members appended their signatures on 24th January 1950. The Constitution came into force on 26 January 1950. On that day the Constituent Assembly ceased to exist, transforming itself into a provisional Parliament until a new Parliament was constituted in 1952. Within 7 weeks of the adoption of the Constitution, the Nehru government through a Cabinet resolution dated the 15th March 1950 set up the Planning Commission of India whose role was, among others, to implement these Directives. This resolution specifically refers to the Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles in the following words:
“The Constitution of India has guaranteed certain fundamental rights to the citizens of India and enunciates certain Directive Principles of the State Policy, in particular that the state shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political, shall inform all the institutions of the national life and shall direct its policy towards securing, among others things:
That the citizens, men and women, equally have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;
That the ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good; and
That the operation of the economic system does not result in the concentration of wealth and means of production to the common detriment.”
After having referred to these Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy, the Cabinet Resolution proceeds:
“4. Having regard to these rights and in furtherance of these principles as well as of the declared objective of the government to promote a rapid rise in the standard of living of the people by efficient exploitation of the resources of the country, increasing production, and offering employment opportunities to all in the service of the community.
The Planning Commission will:
(1) make an assessment of the material, capital and human resources of the country, including technical personnel, and investigate the possibilities of augmenting such of these resources as are found to be deficient in relation to the nation's requirements;
(2) formulate a Plan for the most effective and balanced utilisation of the country's resources;
(3) on a determination of priorities, define the stages in which the plan should be carried out and propose the allocation of resources for the due completion of each stage;
(4) indicate the factors which are tending to retard economic development, and determine the conditions which, in view for the current social and political situation, should be established for the successful execution of the Plan;
(5) determine the nature of the machinery which will be necessary for securing the successful implementation of each stage of the Plan in all its aspects;
(6) appraise from time to time the progress achieved in the execution of each stage of the Plan and recommend the adjustments of policy and measures that such appraisal show to be necessary; and
(7) make such interim or ancillary recommendations as appear to it to be appropriate either for facilitating the discharge of the duties assigned to it; or on a consideration of the prevailing economic programmes; or on examination of such specific problems as may be referred to it for advice by Central or State Governments.
It is extremely important to note here that whereas Article 39 (b) of the Constitution of India speaks of “the ownership and control of the material resources of the community” which has also been quoted in the opening of the Cabinet Resolution as such. But in paragraph 4 of the cabinet resolution quoted above the words “resources of the country” have been used. That shows the malafide intention of the government to deprive the community of “the ownership and control of the material resources” by describing it as “resources of the country”.
There was no transparency in the working of the Planning Commission. In regard to the constitutional functionaries there are safeguards in the constitution itself to make them accountable. The Planning Commission has been working on the wide terms of the reference in the resolution dated 15thMarch 1950, ever since then it has been evolving its own methodology and procedure.
As mentioned above, the Planning Commission was set up to carry out the Directive Principles as per the terms of reference dated. 15th March 1950. It was required of the Planning Commission to make an assessment of material, capital and human resources of country, including technical personnel, and formulate a plan for the most effective use of the country’s resources, and to determine the nature of machinery, suitable for securing a successful implementation of each stage of the Plan in all of its aspects. By giving such a wide power to the Planning Commission of India, there was nothing much left for the other constitutional functionaries to do so far as the governance on fundamental principles contained in Part IV of the Constitution is concerned. For more than 68 years, the governments at both Central and State levels have been totally negligent and have been putting aside implementing the Directive Principles apparently under the belief that this task was entrusted to the Planning Commission of India.
The Planning Commission had no constitutional status, as it was created by a cabinet resolution.It came into being through a mere Executive Order and then it just continued to grow, taking over the functions assigned to other institutions like the Finance Commission, for example. Allocation of funds to the states was the responsibility of the Finance Commission sanctified by the Constitution but the Planning Commission appropriated this task to itself. Because of a different historical context it even got into micromanagement of devolution of funds, determining how schemes should be run and how the states should spend those funds.
The Planning Commission drew criticisms for being overly centralised and for applying a single model of development for the entire country despite the great diversity of conditions in different states and territories. This excessive centralisation resulted in the exclusion of the skills and entrepreneurial spirit that the people of India could have contributed to the economic growth.
It must be noted here that the Cabinet Resolution of 15th March 1950, drafted by Jawahar Lal Nehru does not speak of the rights like education, health and the right to work etc. The net result was that the functioning of the Planning Commission resulted in great economic and social disparity and deprivation of the basic rights like, education, health and the right to work etc., which are necessary to enjoy the right to live with dignity.
The Constitution of India as initially enacted preferred a representative democracy with a centralized system of governance. Experiences of its 68 years of working show that this kind of representative democracy prevents people’s participation in the formulation of policies and Governance. As the root meaning of the word democracy indicates, it is about the “rule of the people.” The representative democracy which we have seems to be a farce.
In India, all along, development as a process has always been conducted from the top down style of functioning. Naturally so, because with our freedom we inherited a bureaucracy, designed by the British to rule and not to serve. The British way of doing things was to get things done through a government department and after independence, we Indians merely continued with that system. Unfortunately, we forget that the biggest asset of India is its people. Any sensible government must learn to unleash the energy of its people and get them to perform instead of trying to get a bureaucracy to perform.
Dr. Verghese Kurian, who made an enormous contribution to the development of rural India, with customary candour says about bureaucratic governance in his auto-biography “I Too Had a Dream” as follows:
“Our bureaucracy today is too bloated and therefore it is burdensome. For example, 95 per cent of the agriculture budget goes into paying staff’s salaries and I would not be surprised if the remaining 5 per cent goes towards the maintenance of its jeeps. Where is the planning in that? As an interested and concerned citizen who has witnessed our planning process for the last five decades, I can see why the fruits of development today are not commensurate with the money spent.”
In a centralized system of governance with a strong bureaucracy where discretionary powers are given to the authorities concerned some corruption is unavoidable, but the magnitude of corruption prevailing in our country is on account of the institutional decay, the processwhich started in 1971. If those in power are corrupt, the governance at their hands will be chaotic. Corruptionin government exacerbate poverty in many ways, most directly, it diverts resources to the rich people, who can afford to pay bribes, and away from the ordinary people, who cannot. Corruption also weakens government and lessens its ability to fight poverty. It reduces tax revenues, and thus resources available for public services. And if administrations are viewed as corrupt, the honest people tend to avoid public service, and the quality of personnel suffers. More generally, corruption eats away the fabric of public life leading to increases in lawlessness and undermines social and political stability.
For about 68 long years, both central and state governments of this country have been negligent and have been putting aside the Directive Principles of State Policy, resulting in great economic and social disparity and deprivation of the basic rights like education, health, the right to work and so on. The so-called development which has taken place in our country until now through a centralized system of governance has only brought disasters. Forest conservation, pollution-free rivers, clean air, pure water, primary education and other necessities of life will become impossible in the foreseeable future if this centralized system of governance continues and is not replaced by a decentralized system of governance; of the people, by the people and for the people as envisaged in Part IX and IX-A of the Constitution of India. If this is not done, depletion of natural resources will eventually create a total chaos in our society.
Now part IX and IXA of the Constitution have brought, through Article 243 to 243 ZG, the Panchayats, ZillaParishads and Municipalities as constitutional instrumentalities to elongate the socio-economic and political democracy under the rule of law. Articles 243G and 243W enjoin preparation of plans for economic development and social justice. The State, i.e., the Union of India, the State Governments and the local bodies constitute an integral executive to implement the directive principles contained in Part IV through planned development under the rule of law.
The Constitution decentralizes the governance of the nation by a four-tier administration system: 1) Central Government, 2) State Government, 3) Union territories and 4) Muncipalities and Panchayats. Part IX (Panchayats) and Part IX-A (Municipalities) introduced through the 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts, made peoples’ participation in the democratic process from grass roots level a reality. Participation means that people are closely involved in the economic, social, cultural and political processes that affect their lives. People may, in some cases, have complete and direct control over these process - while in other cases, the control may be partial or indirect. The important thing is that people have constant access to decisionmaking and power. Participation in this sense is an essential element of human development.Participation of the people in governance of the State is a sine qua non of a functional democracy. It implies people’s participation not only in decision making about preparation of plans for economic development and social justice but also in the execution of such plans. What should be the model of development can be decided by people themselves.
Disadvantaged sections of the people in our country have been living in rural as well as in urban areas. In the past, it was always assumed that urban areas would develop automatically whereas concerted efforts were required to plan the development of rural areas.
The above two Constitutional amendments show that the path to the city runs through villages.It is just not possible to create healthy cities surrounded by sick villages. If we look at the items in Schedule 11th and 12th, we would find that health, culture, education, poverty elevation programmes, the public distribution system, small-scale industries, rural housing, and things like that have become a subject-matter of decentralized planning by people’s participation without any bureaucratic interference for development of rural as well as urban areas.
We have to appreciate how wide the powers of these institutions are, including the power of “preparing plans for economic development and social justice” and the execution of such plans. The development activity has been brought at the grass root level available at the doorstep of “We the people of India” who would involve themselves in economic development and social justice, which means human development on the Fundamental Principles of governance, contained in Part IV.
In Air India Statutory Corporation Vs. United Labour Union, 1997 S.C.645 (at 667), the Supreme Court says “In Minerva Mills Limited vs Union of India [(1981 (1) SCR 206 = AIR 1980 SC 1789], the Constitution Bench has held:
“Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles are two wheels of the chariot in establishing the egalitarian social order. Right to life enshrined in Article 21 means something more than survival of animal existence. It would include the right to live with human dignity ……….Right to means of livelihood and the right to dignity, right to health, right to potable water, right to pollution free environment and right to education have been held to be part of right to life. Social justice has been held to be Fundamental right in Consumer Education and Research Centre vs. Union of India [(1995) 3 SCC 42 = 1995 (1) SCALE 354 at 375]. Directive Principles in our Constitution are fore-runners of the U.N.O. Convention on Right to Development as inalienable human right and every person and all people are entitled to participate in, contribute to and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development in which all human rights, fundamental freedoms would be fully realized. It is the responsibility of the State as well as the individuals, singly and collectively, for the development taking into account the need fuller responsibility for the human rights, fundamental freedoms as well as the duties to the community, which alone can ensure free and complete fulfillment of the human being. They promote and protect an appropriate social and economic order in democracy for development. The State should provide facilities and opportunities to ensure development and to eliminate all obstacles to development by appropriate economic and social reforms so as to eradicate all social injustice. These principles are imbedded, as stated earlier, as integral part of our constitution in the Directive Principles. Therefore, the Directive Principles now stand elevated to inalienable fundamental human rights. Even they are justiciable by themselves.Social and economic democracy is the foundation of a stable political democracy. To make them a way of life in the Indian polity-law as a social engineer- is to create a just social order, remove the inequalities in social and economic life and socio-economic disabilities with which people are languishing; and to require positive opportunities and facilities as individuals and groups of persons for development of human personality in our civilised democratic set up so that every individual would strive constantly to rise to higher levels”
Nani A Palkiwala in the Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Lecture at Trinity College, Cambridge University, November 7, 1990 set off alarm bells with the following:-
“History will record that the greatest mistake of the Indian republic in the first forty years of its existence was to make far less investment in human resources-investment in education, family planning, nutrition and public health-than in brick and mortar, plants land factories. We had quantitative growth without qualitative development. Our gross national product increased, but not gross national happiness. Different parts in India still live in different centuries, so far as basic amenities and cultural awareness are concerned. The quality of life cannot improve in India so long as the population keeps on increasing at the present alarming rate. In the time I shall take to deliver this lecture, the population of India will have increased by 2,000. It has been said that development is the best contraceptive. But development itself would not be possible if the present increase in numbers continues. Education, particularly education of girls, is another excellent contraceptive. But we have totally failed to use education as an instrument of national development. Two-thirds of our people, and four-fifths of our females, are literally illiterate after more than forty years of independence.’
It is often said that the development is the best contraceptive. The question though is what type of development may serve as the best contraceptive. There are basic issues of social and human development discussed in this paper that intend to bring in the focus those wider issues of such development,which can possibly be “the best contraceptive”. The issues of population, consumption, technology, environment and sustainability are interlinked with the issues of human development like health, education, family planning etc.
It is human development which may prove to be the best contraceptive.The prefix “Human” before the word “Development” is important. A further question arises: What is Human Development? The answer is: “Human Development is development ofthe people, for the people and by the people.” Development of the people means investing in human capabilities, whether in education, health or skills, so that they can work productively. Development for the people means ensuring that the fruits of the economic growth are distributed widely and fairly. And development by the people means a decentralized system of governance where the people participate in its process — as outlined in the 73rd and the 74th Constitutional Amendments:, providing for governance by locally elected representatives at the urban and rural grassroots. But it has been literally rendered ineffective on account of a centralized political authority where none other than the corrupt bureaucrats set the agenda for development of the people even at the grassroots, and while they do so, they are seen today to be working more and more under the control and supervision of the multinational corporations.
With this backdrop we proceed to look at the constitutional scheme emerging after the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts and the addition of Part IX and IX A the constitution. Now part IX and IXA of the Constitution have brought, through Article 243 to 243 ZG, the Panchayats, ZillaParishads and Municipalities as constitutional instrumentalities to elongate the socio-economic and political democracy under the rule of law. Articles 243G and 243W enjoin preparation of plans for economic development and social justice. The State, i.e., the Union of India, the State Governments and the local bodies constitute an integral executive to implement the directive principles contained in Part IV through planned development under the rule of law.
It is extremely unfortunate that the political activity in this country ignores the provisions of Part IX and IX-A in the Constitution of India. Many debates take place on issues like corruption and criminalization of politics. There is no debate, however, on the core issue of “Governance” on the Fundamental Principles contained in Part IV. The issues like corruptionand criminalization of politics are the outcome of a centralized system of governance and a strong bureaucracy that works as a coordinator between the various evil forces. The debates of administrative reforms and electoral reforms remain confined to the centralized politics.
Now under part IX of the Constitution Panchayats “shall be constituted in every state” at the village, intermediate and district levels in rural areas, and under part IX-A, Municipalities “Shall be constituted for (a) transitional areas, i.e. to say an area in transition from rural area to an urban area (b) for small urban areas, and (c) for larger urban areas, to be known as Nagar Panchayat, Municipal Council and Municipal Corporation respectively, for urban areas. Kindly see Article 243-B and 243-Q of the Constitution. These panchayats for rural areas and municipalities for urban areas are the creation of the Constitution and not a creation of an ordinary Statute. These institutions are Constitutional functionaries. These institutions can be used to realize the rights contained in the Directive Principles of State Policy which is evident by the perusal of the relevant provisions of the Constitution. Article 243-G give power to the Panchayats in rural areas and Article 243-W gives power to the Municipalities in urban areas “to function as institution of Local Self Government” having powers with regard to “the preparations of plans for economic development and social justice” as well as the implementations of the schemes for the economic development and social justice as may be entrusted to them including those in relation to the matters listed in Eleventh Schedule(for rural areas) and Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution(for urban areas).
The Eleventh Schedule and Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution of India are reproduced below:
1. Agriculture, including agricultural extension. 2. Land improvement, implementation of land reforms, land consolidation and soil conservation. 3. Minor irrigation, water management and watershed development. 4. Animal husbandry, dairying and poultry. 5. Fisheries. 6. Social forestry and farm forestry. 7. Minor forest produce. 8. Small scale industries, including food processing industries. 9. Khadi, village and cottage industries. 10. Rural housing. 11. Drinking water. 12. Fuel and fodder. 13. Roads, culverts, bridges, ferries, waterways and other means of communication. 14. Rural electrification, including distribution of electricity. 15. Non-conventional energy sources. 16. Poverty alleviation programm 17. Education, including primary and secondary schools. 18. Technical training and vocational education. 19. Adult and non-formal education. 20. Libraries. 21. Cultural activities. 22. Markets and fairs. 23. Health and sanitation, including hospitals, primary health centresand dispensaries. 24. Family welfare. 25. Women and child development. 26. Social welfare, including welfare of the handicapped and mentallyretarded. 27. Welfare of the weaker sections, and in particular, of the ScheduledCastes and the Scheduled Tribes. 28. Public distribution system.29. Maintenance of community assets.
1. Urban planning including town planning.2. Regulation of land-use and construction of buildings.3.Planning for economic and social development.4.Roads and bridges.5.Water supply for domestic, industrial and commercial purposes.6.Public health, sanitation conservancy and solid waste management.7.Fire services.8.Urban forestry, protection of the environment and promotion ofecological aspects.9.Safeguarding the interests of weaker sections of society, including the handicapped and mentally retarded.10.Slum improvement and upgradation.11.Urban poverty alleviation.12. Provision of urban amenities and facilities such as parks, gardens,playgrounds.13. Promotion of cultural, educational and aesthetic aspects.14.Burials and burial grounds; cremations, cremation grounds; and electric crematorium15.Cattle pounds; prevention of cruelty to animals.16.Vital statistics including registration of births and deaths.17.Public amenities including street lighting, parking lots, bus stops and public conveniences.18.Regulation of slaughter houses and tanneries.
In the Eleventh and Twelfth Schedule of the Constitution there is hardly any item which might be required for the exercise of the collective right to human development, which are not included in these two lists.
According to the 2010 report of the Ministry of Rural Development, there are 2,26,188 village panchayats in the country with 31,98,554 members. That works out to an average of about fifteen members per panchayat. At the intermediate level, which in some States is referred to as the Taluk, Mandal or Block panchayat, there are 5,736 such panchayats with 1,51,412 members. Additionally, there are 467 district panchayats with 17,935 members. Compared to this the number of urban local bodies and their elected representatives is rather limited. In 1998, there were 95 Municipal Corporations, 1436 Municipal Councils and 2,055 Nagar Panchayats. Elections have
always been a large-scale event in India. Even by these standards the panchayat and nagarpalika elections following the 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution have been an exercise on an unprecedented scale.
Article 243G and Article 243W of the Constitution provide the powers, authority and responsibilities of the panchayats and the municipalities and provide that the panchayats and the municipalities shall have the power to prepare plans for economic development and social justice. Article 243ZD(1) provides that there shall be constituted in every State at the district level a District Planning Committee to consolidate the plans prepared by the Panchayats and the Municipalities in the district and to prepare a draft development plan for the district as a whole.Article 243ZD(3) provides as follows :
(3) Every District Planning Committee shall, in preparing the draft development plan,—
(a) have regard to—
(i) matters of common interest between the Panchayats and the Municipalities including spatial planning, sharing of water and other physical and natural resources, the integrated development of infrastructure and environmental conservation;
(ii) the extent and type of available resources whether financial or otherwise;
(b) consult such institutions and organisations as the Governor may, by order, specify.
A careful perusal of sub-article 1 and sub-article 3 of article 243ZD goes to show that the plans prepared by all the panchayats (at the village level, Intermediate level and district level) in a district and all the municipalities constituted in a district for (a) transitional areas, i.e. to say an area in transition from rural area to an urban area (b) for small urban areas, and (c) for larger urban areas, to be known as Nagar Panchayat, Municipal Council and Municipal Corporation respectively” for urban areas, have the powers to prepare plans for their economic development with social justice, which have to be consolidated by the District Planning Committee and then DPC has to prepare a draft development plan for the district as a whole. Meaning thereby that the plans prepared by the Panchayats and the Municipalities in the district shall be merged into the draft development plan for the district as a whole prepared by DPC. The district planning committee has to have regard to matters mentioned in sub-clauses (i) to (iii) of sub-article (3) of article 243ZD. The matters mentioned in these sub-clauses show that material resources of the community mentioned in article 39(b) have been entrusted to the panchayats, municipalities, and the DPC. It further goes to show that all the matters which the DPC has to have regard, will lead to a sustainable development which will also be a human development. Kindly see that this is a Constitutional mandate which has to be given effect to.The present model of development adopted since the notification of the cabinet resolution in 1950 has given birth to critical problems of environmental pollution and unethical distribution of material resources of the community. Article 243ZD(3) of the Constitution mandates to take care of the problems arising out of the present model of development regarding environmental pollution etc.
Note: On 15th August 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision of his government to abolish the Planning Commission of India. In fact, it was not an independent decision of his government. The process of reviewing the Planning Commission’s relevance began during the UPA government with the setting up of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) with Ajay Chibbar as its Director General (DG), who submitted his report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 23rdJune 2014. The IEO after examining the role of the Planning Commission recommended that it be abolished, as it had no relevance in the changed economic environment. Even though the Cabinet decided to form the IEO in 2010, it took 3 years for the institution to be established fully and it was only in August 2013 that MrChibbar was appointed DG and a full-fledged office of IEO could be started in early February 2014, when the actual work began.It came as no surprise, when the Prime Minister declared from the ramparts of the Red Fort that the time had come to dismantle “The Old House and build a new structure in its place”. After abolishing Planning Commission of India (PCI), the Modi government has set-up Neeti Ayog in its place. There is no difference between Planning Commission of India (PCI) and newly formed Neeti Ayog in as much as it has also been set-up by an executive order (cabinet resolution), it is also an extra-constitutional authority, and it has also assumed wide powers as was done by Planning Commission of India (PCI) including allocation of fronts to the states.