Skip to Main Content

Deliberating Development: Archives of the National Advisory Council, India

Explore NAC Archive on Brown Digital Repository:


The National Advisory Council, constituted by the United Progressive Alliance as an advisory body to the Prime Minister of India first between 2004 and 2007 and then between 2010 and 2014, has drawn both derision and praise.

March led by the Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan demanding a national Right to Work law.
Image credit: Sohrab Hura

Despite its contested legacy of being an extra-constitutional authority with undue influence on public policy, the NAC can be credited for bringing rights-based legislation into the center of conversation on welfare in India in the early 2000s. It played an influential role in designing key legislation and policies that have expanded the reach and scale of India’s welfare architecture. Undeniably, the NAC left a lasting impact, and its processes of shaping social policy have not ceased to be of interest to the public and scholars alike, in India and internationally. 

Members and Policies

The NAC was populated by several leading civil society actors as well as reformist bureaucrats, key progressive Ministers. Amongst the prominent laws discussed by the NAC, which were eventually enacted by the Indian Parliament are the National Rural Employment Guarantee, Right to Information and National Food Security Act. NAC deliberations on new policies and amendments to existing laws spanned a wide range of welfare issues from children’s health and nutrition and protecting the rights of religious minorities to housing and skill development. A full list of members and policies discussed by NAC I (2004-2008) and NAC II (2010-2014) can be found in the Members and Policies page

Digital Collection

When the NAC ceased functioning in 2014, the website which should have continued as an archive of its work was pulled down with its records no longer available to the public. This digital archive is a collection of important documents that capture the range and depth of deliberations of the NAC such as minutes of meetings, working papers, policy proposals, reports and draft bills. The archive also includes media coverage of the NAC and independent studies and reports.  

Please visit the glossary page for descriptions of the types of documents contained in the archive and the keywords used for cataloging.