The Strategy: by the people, of the people and for the people.
It has been a long journey since India achieved independence on the 15th of August, 1947. 2019 will mark the 73rd year of Independence. When we look back the picture when India finally broke away from the shackles of British rule, things were much different. In these seven decades India has undergone a sea change. While there conflicting views about India's growth story amongst its citizens, some have an high opinion of India's growth story since we achieved independence while others feel that the country's performance in the last 7 decades have been abysmal. To a certain it is but true that the Five-Year Plans which were aimed at targeting specific sectors so that the development could happen at faster pace did not work as anticipated. The country had been moving at a much slower pace to be able to catch up with the developed world.
However, we need to understand certain facts to understand how far we have really come. Not only did the independence come after great struggle, but independent India was bequeathed with an almost none existent shattered economy, shocking poverty and widespread illiteracy. The troubles did not end there, the partition brought with it more violence and bloodshed followed by mass migration. The country's already dwindling economy took further beating with the problems of accommodating and rehabilitating this huge number of post-partition refugees, who had neither roof over their head or food
and no means of livelihood.
Though India achieved independence from the colonial rule, the country found itself standing on the threshold of a new era and mammoth task of building a nation from the ruins. While India found itself independent of the colonial rule but it was far from being independent from the shackles social, economic and political problems that stood as great barriers on its way. Broadly the problems that India faced from the time it achieved its independence till the present times can be roughly divided into three phases;
Phase 1: From 1947 till 1967. The most trying time for the country when tensions reached a breaking point. With the partition came the division of assets between India and Pakistan and India had to shell out rupees 55 crores, as Pakistan's share of the assets. Not to forget the economic condition at the time with the colonial rulers siphoning off the riches of this country into their coffers. Added to this was the refugees, by the mid 1948 approximately 5.5 non Muslims had moved over to India and were without any job or could not bring any of their belongings during this transition. The Kashmir issue, linguistic reorganization, Indus water dispute between India and Pakistan, all of these loomed large but despite all of these the foundation of the world's largest democracy was laid with the general elections that were held in the year of 1952.
Phase 2: From the year 1967 till 1977. India went through lot of political turmoil during this period, specifically from the time of elections that were held in the year 1967, with death of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Shastri. The congress party had lot of internal problem within the party but the result of the election was the decline in the number of seats won by the Congress and coming together of the oppositions. The problems of violent Naxal movement followed by sharp recession and growing unemployment and scarcity of food from 1973, marked a period of growing unrest and decline of support for the congress led government especially by the poor and the middle class who were hit hard.
Phase 3: From 1977 till 1984. This period was marked by lot of political tensions. Since 1973 there was a growing dissent against the ruling party for its many unsuccessful policies that led to unemployment, food shortage, recession and rampant inflation. There was unrest, riots and the ruling Congress party was losing grounds. In order to squash the rising dissent led by Jay Prakash Indira Gandhi declared National Emergency which was a clear violation of the country's democratic foundation. This was followed by the sudden announcement of elections to the Lok Sabha to be held in March of 1977 by Indira Gandhi. This was seen as by the people as a referendum on the emergency that was imposed. The ruling congress party was defeated in the election. However, though they were almost wiped out in the Northern India, congress still managed to win considerable number of seats in the south. However, even though the JP led Janata Party won with majority, they were unable to resolve their internal conflict, they failed in implementing the policies and their socio economic programme failed to unite the people.
It was only in the 90's the economic reforms came to India's rescue. The policy of liberalization and privatization with flexible industrial licensing policy and a relaxed FDI policy the country started getting positive responses from foreign investors. The most important factors impacting India's positive economic growth post the economic reforms of 1991 were the increased FDI, the adoption and subsequent information technology boom and increased domestic consumption. The tele services and the information technology completely changed the picture. The major growth and development in the country's service sector has been the tele services and the information technology, with multinationals outsourcing their tele and IT services. The expertise in information technology along with a big talented young workforce has led to generation of thousands of new jobs which led to increased domestic consumption, and this naturally was the reason behind more direct foreign investments that have happened.
The agricultural sector too saw a healthy growth with investment in research and land reforms. The Rabobank reports reveal a 30 percent annual growth in the agri-biotech sector since last few years. The infrastructure of the country has seen major changes with Indian road network becoming one of the largest in the world. India has made remarkable progress in the power sector adopting a multi pronged approach to meet its energy demands. There has been great progress in the education and the health care sectors as well.
Though we have come a long way but we still have many areas that are a challenge. We have achieved high growth but still we have unemployment. There is issue of non inclusivity, sluggish export engine. Added to these when it comes to health care we still have high infant and maternal mortality. A large section of the population still lacks skills that make them lose job opportunities.
Niti Aayog was established in 2015 by the National Democratic Alliance replacing the Planning commission. Niti Aayog is a think tank of the Government of India, established with the aim to achieve Strategic and sustainable Development Goals by enhancing cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of the State Governments of India in the economic policy making. Niti Aayog has been in the forefront in the recent years rewriting the development agenda of India. On the 15th of August, The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi unveiled and shared his vision for New India. He called for establishing a New India 2022. 2022 is significant because it marks the 75th year of India's independence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an ambitious plan "Sankalp se Siddhi"(Attainment through Resolve) scheme which aims at good governance. It is a five year plan spanning from 2017 to 2022 during which the New India movement would take shape. The New India Movement is aimed at making India free from poverty, corruption, terrorism, communalism, casteism, and unite the whole country.
To achieve the government has launched flagship schemes such as Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Jan Suraksha Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, Food security for poor, Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana, Mission Indradhanush, Swachh Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Start UP India, Stand UP India, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Make in India and Housing for poor etc.
Niti Aayog unveiled its comprehensive national Strategy for New India on the 19th of December 2018, which defines clear objectives for 2022-23. An extremely participative approach was followed by Niti Aayog while preparing the strategy. Each and every vertical has been designed only after in-depth consultations with all the stake holders who have been divided into three groups and they include, business persons, academics including scientists and innovators, and government officials, farmers, civil society organizations, think-tanks, labor representatives and trade unions, and industry representatives.
The Strategy document has forty-one chapters and these chapters have been further disaggregated under four sections; Drivers, Infrastructure, Inclusion and Governance.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the people of this country to collectively take a pledge to build a New India by 2022.He emphasized that India needs not only a strong leadership but also responsible citizenry to make this great Indian dream a reality.
If you want to know more about the strategy for New India 2022, the full document can be accessed at: http://niti.gov.in/the-strategy-for-new-india
By: Madhuchanda Saxena
Posted By - Assistant Editor