Nehru’s Five Year Plans: a vision that inspired Growth with Equality

This was the day when Jawahar Lal Nehru initiated the first Five Year Plan for the integrated economic development of the country. The Modi govt replaced the concept of FYPs with Niti Aayog

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NH Web Desk

As India is facing the worst economic scenario in the recent history, this day is most relevant to remember Nehruvian approach to economic development.

This day in 1951, Jawaharlal Nehru presented the First Five-Year Plan to the Parliament.

1. India's tryst with failed economy reminds us of Jawahar Lal Nehru's vision

Effective implementation of the Plan led to India registering 3.6% GDP growth per year, in the early yrs of independence, outperforming even the Plan’s target of 2.1% of GDP growth per

2. Effective implementation of the Plan led to India registering 3.6% GDP growth in early years of independence

Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, saw “Five Year Plans” (FYPs) as vital to the implementation of his vision of a modernised and socialist India.

3. Five Year Plans proved vital to the implementation of a modernised and socialist India

First introduced in 1951, FYPs comprised economic and social programmes that were centrally designed, executed and evaluated by the Planning Commission of India.

4. FYPs comprised economic and social programmes that were centrally handled by planning commission

Over the years, India’s Planning Commission, in their efforts to generate economic growth and social equality,  prioritised different aspects of the economy based on changing contexts.

5. FYPs endeavoured at generating economic growth and social equality

With the First FYP of independent India, the government aimed to meet the needs of refugees, and address food shortages and rising inflation. The government initiated the construction of dams in Damodar Valley and Hirakud (among other irrigation projects).

6. Food shortages were addressed and construction of Damodar Valley and Hirakud Dams were initiated

The government also worked with the World Health Organization to reduce infant mortality and other aspects of children’s health. The government was able to  meet these demands by a targeted focus on agriculture, power, transport and stabilising prices.

7. Targeted focus on agriculture, power, transport and price stabilisation was the key of FYPs

The Twelfth FYP, that ended in 2017, was the last of the FYPs.The Modi government ended the FYPs that aimed at “inclusive growth,” .

8. Modi government ended the FYPs that aimed at inclusive growth

The National Democratic Alliance government chose to replace the Planning Commission with Niti Aayog, calling it a think tank that provides advice on policies.

9. NDA government replaced the Planning Commission with Niti Aayog

A key difference between the Niti Aayog and the Planning Commission is that the former is an advisory body, that is, it does not have the power to allocate funds or make choices on behalf of states.

10. Niti Aayog is merely an advisory body that has no power to allocate funds

Since the replacement of the Planning Commission with Niti Aayog, India failed to meet the balanced economic growth, the government's approach to economy became centralized

11. In the absence of FYPs, India's vision of integrated growth was lost

In the present time of crisis the country is suffering like never before both on the pandemic front and also on the economic front with people turning jobless and GDP decelerating

12. India suffers double with pandemic and economic blues

The Nehruvian vision of an all round development of the human resource and economy seems relevant and required as India struggles through the multifaceted Covid-19 battle

13. Nehru's Vision of a socialist, economically strong India is being missed.

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