NITI Aayog interactive session : 14 June 2017

An interactive session with delegates from NITI Aayog was held at the CDS on 14 June, 2017. Dr VK Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog along with Dr Yogesh Suri, Adviser, NITI Aayog visited the Centre to discuss issues pertaining to Kerala with members of the academia, represented by  the faculty of the CDS, representatives from the Department of Economics, University of Kerala, Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation, Achuta Menon Centre for Health Studies, Sri Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences. From the Industry, senior officials and representatives from the Confederation of India Industries, Techno park and Airport Authority of India and from Civil society organizations, members from Thanal and Costford.

Prof. Sunil Mani, Director, CDS welcomed Dr Saraswat and Dr Yogesh from the NITI Aayog  and guest from other institutions. Shri.  KM Chandrasekhar, Chairman CDS chaired the session. The Director welcomed the gathering and gave a presentation on the activities of the Centre detailing its aims, objectives and future plans. A self introduction of the CDS faculty and guests from outside followed.

Dr Yogesh Suri , made a brief presentation on the activities and what the NITI Aayog’s aims and objectives are. Dr VK Saraswat pointed out that the NITI  Aayog aims to bring about more involvement of the various States into the planning of programmes and schemes.

The floor was now open for representatives from various organizations to put forward their concerns and suggestions. The representatives from the tourism sector felt that more improvements in facilities and manpower should be made; in agriculture and plantation sector also more skill development is needed. The growing sector of Aviation needs to explore possibilities of increasing its R&D. In autonomous institutions teaching programmes are to be encouraged. Environmental concerns need to be taken heed of in planning activities for protecting the degradation of environment. Issues in housing, particularly green architecture and management of materials and resources are matters of concern. In higher education also there needs to be an improved allocation of funds for improvement in this sector. It was pointed out that labour force participation rates for women were on the decline and research has shown that one of the main reasons to why women were keeping away from the labour market was the absence of quality child care facilities. Changes in the morbidity profile from communicable to non-communicable diseases warrant more attention to deal with frequent episodes of non-communicable diseases.

Prof. Sunil Mani concluded the interactive session by thanking the representatives from NITI Aayog and other institutions from outside for participating in the discussions and sharing their views. It was decided that these various suggestions, concerns would be as a whole taken note of and sent to NITI Aayog to be taken note of in planning of its various schemes for the state and nation as a whole.