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NITI Aayog's recent decision to hire 65 more young professionals is another attempt in its series of measures to engage people from outside the government system to enhance its working. This is something that it started right since its inception in 2015 with the hiring of around 20-odd young professionals and consultants. The process was further enlarged when people at the level of secretary and joint secretary were engaged from outside to lend more diversity to the Aayog's working and job.
The appointment of noted agriculture economist Tajmul Haque as the Aayog's head of land policy cell was one such initiative.After a new Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) was carved out of the Aayog, it became imperative that more hands and professionals would be required to handle the work of these additional bodies. These professionals would also be needed to help out the Aayog's new members. Recently, the Aayog engaged five top students from IIMs to help in its work. The members and the vice-chairman are assisted by a team of consultants drawn from outside the government machinery and also young professionals who are recruited from time to time. In the previous Planning Commissions, too, there had been attempts to rope in people from the private sector into the government set-up. In its earlier attempts to engage people as consultants and young professionals, the Aayog received an overwhelming response from people. Officials said that when it first started recruiting for the seven consultant posts, the Aayog received around 3,500 applications, while for the 20 post of young professionals, it received over 4,400 applications. The consultants and young professionals are either attached to the vice-chairman and Aayog members or with the different bodies and cells within the Aayog.