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Rediff.com  » Business » After Plan Panel revamp, evaluation office to go as well?

After Plan Panel revamp, evaluation office to go as well?

September 08, 2014 14:33 IST

The PEO was established in 1952 as an independently functioning body under the Planning Commission.

ParliamentAfter terminating the services of its director-general, the government is now likely to wind up the office of the Independent Evaluation Office for the Planning Commission.

And, instead, strengthen the existing Programme Evaluation Organisation within a new body that will replace the PC.

The IEO’s head, Ajay Chibber, was told to go last month.

Officials said as part of the reorganisation in the Commission, a move is afoot to strengthen the PEO with new roles, powers and jurisdiction.

A cabinet note for replacing the PC with a new body has been issued.

“It  envisages a wider role for the PEO,” a senior official said. With its vast network and three-tier structure, it is best suited to undertake ground-level evaluation of projects, he said.

The PEO has a three-tier structure, starting with the headquarters in the PC.

Then, there are seven regional evaluation offices at Kolkata, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai. And, eight project evaluation offices at Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Shimla, Bangalore, Bhopal, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad.

Each regional office is headed by an officer of the rank of director or deputy adviser. Project evaluation offices are headed by someone of the rank of senior research officer. Adviser (evaluation) is the top boss at PEO.

The PEO was established in 1952 as an independently functioning body under the PC.

It was to evaluate the community development programmes and other Intensive Area Development Schemes.

It was strengthened with the extension of programmes and schemes in a variety of sectors — agriculture, cooperation, rural industries, fisheries, health, family welfare, rural development, rural electrification, public distribution, tribal development, social forestry, etc.

Later, other important centrally sponsored schemes were added.

The office of IEO was created only in November 2010 by the previous government, as an attached office of the PC, which would fully fund it. It was meant to strengthen the existing evaluation process by drawing the best resources available from leading research organisations.

It was headed by a full-time DG in the rank and status of a PC member. Chibber was the first and last DG.

The 2014-15 Budget of the Narendra Modi government had allocated Rs 15.5 crore for the IEO, almost 34 per cent more than the revised estimate of 2013-14. The IEO had, in fact, suggested winding up of the PC and replacing it with a new body. The Prime Minister had announced this in his maiden Independence Day speech.

Subsequently, a special open forum was created on the website mygov.nic.in to invite suggestions on the new institution. The government also held a high-level consultative meeting to frame the shape of the new body to replace the PC.

A NEW BODY?

  • Government may wind up independent evaluation office after Ajay Chibber’s sacking
  • More powers likely for programme evaluation office under the new body to replace Planning Commission
  • IEO had recommended replacing the commission with a new body
  • PM had announced this in his August 15 speech

Image: Parliament House

Sanjeeb Mukherjee in New Delhi
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