15 March 1950
Planning Commission formed.
The Planning Commission of India was formed on 15 March 1950. It formulated the Five-Year Plans of India. On 17 August 2014, it was dissolved and replaced by the NITI Aayog.
- The Planning Commission was a Government of India-institution and its main function was to formulate the country’s Five-Year Plans.
- The Five-Year Plans were the plans crafted for the Indian economy. The idea was inspired by Joseph Stalin’s Five Year Plan in the USSR which was implemented in the late 1920s.
- Even before independence, a National Planning Committee was established by Subhas Chandra Bose in 1938. He was convinced by scientist Meghnad Saha to set up one.
- Initially, eminent engineer M Visvesvaraya was heading it. He was replaced by Jawaharlal Nehru after he stepped down.
- The British government had also formed an Advisory Planning Board headed by K C Neogy. It functioned for two years from 1944 to 1946.
- After independence, Nehru set up the Planning Commission in 1950 to formulate economic policies and bring about a welfare state.
- The first Five Year Plan focused on agriculture more than industry, which was focused more in the second Five Year Plan. The thrust was on a mixed economy.
- The chairman of the Planning Commission was the Prime Minister ex-officio. The Deputy Chairman had the rank of a cabinet minister.
- Other fulltime members were experts from various fields like economics, science, agriculture, industry, commerce, administration, etc.
- Other members of the Commission also included ministers of finance, chemicals, home, agriculture, fertilizers, law, information technology, etc.
- The Commission assessed the resources of the country, material, human and capital. Then, it generated policies for the balanced utilization of the resources.
- It also evaluated the progress achieved and the changes needed in policy or mechanism for optimal growth of the economy and the country.
- The Narendra Modi government in 2014 announced the decision to do away with the Planning Commission and replace it with the NITI Aayog which is a more robust institution and one that is more adaptable to change.
- The 12th Five Year Plan was going on from 2012 to 2017.
- The dissolution of the commission marked an end of a Nehruvian legacy.
Also on this day
1888: Start of the Anglo-Tibetan War. 2011: Start of the civil war in Syria.
See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.