Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme or the self-reliant scheme was proposed by India’s Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. He envisions India to become self-sustainable so that it can independently meet the demands of its people. Without depending on global supply chains. It also includes a vision to make India a more competitive global player. By improving or resiliency in the face of competition and improving the efficiency of our production.
The Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative was announced during the pandemic to help people with the hardships. Due to the economic recession that hit India and the world due to Covid19. The five main objectives of this scheme are to focus on Economy, Demand, Technology, Infrastructure, and demography. A slogan that was rallied for under this program is “Make in India, for the world”. This shows the passion of the nation to finally be accepted as a major source of trade throughout the globe.
Primary Focus points
It is essential for the government and the central banks to work together to revive the economy. They must stop it from sliding into a deeper recession after the Covid19 pandemic. During the pandemic, we saw how dependant nations had become on trade. They stopped producing essential equipment that could be bought for cheaper rates from other nations. Therefore countries must strive to balance globalization and trade with a level of self-reliance. So that they can support citizens in case of an event like the current pandemic.
All nations must focus to build upon their food and pharmacology sectors. So that they can be ‘Atmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) and independent for the production of energy. This can only be done by the use of sustainable sources of energy in an efficient manner. This requires investing heavily on infrastructure developments.
Demand refers to the number of products or services that are required by users at a given price. There is an enormous demand for cheap products produced in India. We must improve our supply chains so that we can meet the demands of our growing population. We must look for new and improved methods to reduce the costs of production and improve quality. So that we can compete in a global market as well as provide economical products for our citizens at home.
The 21st century is the age of rapid technological advancements. From machine learning applications used in self-driving cars and engine governance to the use of artificial intelligence. Technology allows us to heavily reduce the costs of operating industries and improves efficiency. By constant monitoring and data analysis that humans are unable to do with precision. India is extremely behind in the applications of modern technological advancements. This is mainly due to their initial costs and the requirement to outsource these technologies. We must create government aided plans to allow access to such technology to the average factory owners. This will improve our products and put our businessmen on an even footing in the international markets and making India atmanirbhar.
Infrastructure is the economic backbone of a nation. It includes essential systems such as transportation, communication, Healthcare, energy distribution systems, and financial institutions. These systems are necessary for businesses to receive loans, to employ personnel, and for supplying the goods to the end-users. As compared to other major nations of the world, Indian infrastructure is medieval. This is because of the lack of funding in these sectors for the general public to employ. There have been massive investments in the healthcare infrastructure due to the response to the Covid19 situation. We must continually work on the same to improve the systems for the future. The Indian government has pledged to spend 1.4 trillion US dollars from 2019 to 2023 solely for infrastructure in order to support the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
Demography is the statistical study of the population that determines important characteristics. Like death, rate, birth rate, ethnicity, education, economic backgrounds. This allows us the necessary information to direct specialized programs. Also aiding us in forecasting plans and apply appropriate methods of implementation. The diversity of our populations should be an advantage if it is used appropriately. This requires a consolidated effort which would bring about economic improvements both for the individuals as well as the regions. The Indian population consists mostly of a young demographic with 50 % of the population below the age of 25. Thus providing us a massive workforce eager to work to improve their well-being.
Impact of the covid19 virus on the economy :
India was the third worst-hit country in the world by the global pandemic. Mainly since we started the lockdown considerably early in late march and extended it multiple times along the way. The Indian economy in the second quarter of 2020 shrank by approximately 24 % which was around 5% more than the rates projected. All industries that our nation depends on such as construction, manufacturing, finance, and business services, etc were severely hit.
Private expenditure dropped by a massive 26 %. The global trade was also heavily hit at around exports by 20% and imports by 40%. This massive loss in business resulted in huge layoffs all across the country. Especially in industries such as construction, manufacturing, and mining. Which included a large number of employees with subpar incomes. The unemployment rate maxed out at 25 % in April of 2020 due to the disruption in market demand. This figure is steadily improving, as of September it has declined to 6.67 %. However, there are still many people facing hardships due to the lingering effects of the extended lockdown.
Advancements in the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission
This is the perfect time for the application of schemes and initiatives like the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan that would help ease the pain. This calls for massive collaborative efforts with industries to improve the state of the economy. Some of the initiatives are as follows:
The PPE industry from being nonexistent in March has become a 1.4 billion dollar industry in India in July. Second only to china showing a massive improvement in under 3 months. This shows exactly how capable India is in adapting according to the demands of the situation.
In July 2020, India’s Make in India 5g network was announced in collaboration with Jio using entirely Indian made technology.
The minister of fertilizers and chemicals stated that India will be completely self-reliant in the production of fertilizers by 2023.
The IIT alumni council set up a fund of a whopping 2.9 billion dollars. It is the largest in the county in support of this mission.
The results of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan can be seen as the imports from large manufacturing countries like China have reduced by 25 % as a result of the boycott China policy, allowing India to grow at record rates and on the path to full self-reliance. It is long overdue yet I believe that It is better to be late than sorry and commend the prime minister for his quick action in implementation of these schemes, that have motivated industries to join his vision. The mark of a great leader is the ability to inspire, and I am proud to say that he has done just that, we are on the path to become better prepared for the trials in the future and hope to see India earn the respect it deserves as per its global market capitalization.
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