The National Development Council (NDC) or the Rashtriya Vikas Parishad is the apex body for decision making and deliberations on development matters in India presided over by the Prime Minister. It was set up on 6 August 1952 to strengthen and mobilize the effort and resources of the nation in support of the Plan, to promote common economic policies in all vital spheres, and to ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country.
The Council comprises the Prime Minister, the Union Cabinet Ministers, and Chief Ministers of all States or their substitutes, representatives of the Union Territories and the members of the Commissions.
It is an extra-constitutional and non-statutory body. Its status is advisory to Planning Commission but not binding.
The first meeting chaired by Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru on 8–9 November 1952. So far 57 meetings had been held. The 57th Meeting of National Development Council was held on 27 December 2012 at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
Must Read: National Development Council
It has been set up with objectives:
- To strengthen and mobilize the effort and resources of the nation in support of the Plan
- To promote common economic policies in all vital spheres and
- To ensure the balanced and rapid development of all parts of the country.
The NDC is the highest body, below the Parliament, responsible for policy matters with regard to planning for social and economic development. NDC makes its recommendation to the Central and State Governments and should meet at least twice every year.
NDC acts as a bridge and link between the Central Government, the State governments, and the Planning Commission, especially in the field of planning, to bring about coordination of policies and programs of plans.
The functions of the Council are:
- To prescribe guidelines for the formulation of the National Plan, including the assessment of resources for the Plan;
- To consider the National Plan as formulated by the Planning Commission;
- To consider important questions of social and economic policy affecting national development; and
- To review the working of the Plan from time to time and to recommend such measures as are necessary for achieving the aims and targets set out in the National Plan.
The Draft Five – Year Plan prepared by the Planning Commission is first submitted to the Union Cabinet. After its approval, it is placed before the NDC, for its acceptance. Then, the Plan is presented to the Parliament. With its approval, it emerges as the official Plan and published in the official gazette.