Atmanirbhar Bharat

Atmanirbhar Bharat, which translates to 'self-reliant India' or 'self-sufficient India', is a policy formulated by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi for making India "a bigger and more important part of the global economy", pursuing policies that are efficient, competitive and resilient, and being self-sustaining and self-generating. Atmanirbhar Bharat doesn't mean "self-containment", "isolating away from the world" or being "protectionist".[1][2][3] The first mention of this came in the form of the 'Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan[4]' or 'Self-Reliant India Mission[5]' during the announcement of India's COVID–19 pandemic related economic package on 12 May 2020.[6]

Atmanirbhar Bharat
Type of projectEconomic development
CountryIndia
Prime Minister(s)Narendra Modi
MinistrySecond Modi ministry
Launched12 May 2020; 6 months ago (2020-05-12)
StatusActive
Websitewww.aatmnirbharsena.org

DefinitionEdit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said "Aatmanirbhar Bharat is not about being self-contained or being closed to the world, it is about being self-sustaining and self-generating. We will pursue policies that promote efficiency, equity and resilience."[1] Its proponents have said that this self-reliant policy does not aim to be protectionist in nature; the Finance Minister said, "self-reliant India does not mean cutting off from rest of the world".[2] The law and IT minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said that self-reliance does "not mean isolating away from the world. Foreign direct investment is welcome, technology is welcome [...] self-reliant India [...] translates to being a bigger and more important part of the global economy."[3] Further, in May 2020, Prime Minister Modi laid down the five pillars of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' are stated as economy, infrastructure, technology-driven systems, vibrant demography and demand.[7]

Self-reliance or Self-sufficiencyEdit

According to Indian Express, "Atmanirbhar" can be understood as either "self-reliance" or as "self-sufficiency". The confusion, according to the Express started on 12 May itself, the day the phrase was first announced,[8]

The state of the world today teaches us that (Atma Nirbhar Bharat) "Self-reliant India" is the only path. It is said in our scriptures — EshahPanthah. That is — self-sufficient India.

— Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PIB

Swaminathan Aiyar says the same, "atmanirbhar" can be translated as both self-reliance and self-sufficiency. India in the 1960s-70s tried self-sufficiency and it didn't work out.[9] Aiyer says that "to go back to self-sufficiency again appears to be going in the wrong direction."[9] In May, in an article, Livemint translated the term as "self-sufficiency".[10]

InitiativesEdit

As part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, numerous government decisions have taken place such as changing the definition of MSMEs,[11] boosting scope for private participation in numerous sectors,[12] increasing FDI in the defence sector;[12] and the vision has found support in many sectors such as the solar manufacturers sector.[13]

Examples of initiatives towards self-reliance:

  • The growth of India's personal protective equipment (PPE) sector from zero before March, to 4,50,000 pieces a day by the beginning of July, is considered as a fine example of a self-reliant India.[14][15] The PPE industry in India has become a 10,000 crore (US$1.4 billion) in three months, the second largest after China.[16]
  • The largest fund in the country worth 21,000 crore (US$2.9 billion) was setup by the IIT Alumni Council with the aim of supporting the mission towards self-reliance.[17]
  • India's own 'Made in India' 5G network was announced in July 2020 by Reliance Jio.[18] Mukesh Ambani announced in mid-July "Jio has created a complete 5G solution from scratch, that will enable us to launch a world-class 5G service in India, using 100 per cent homegrown technologies and solutions".[18] In September 2020, Tech Mahindra announced that they have "the capability to build and run an entire 4G or 5G network in India [...] We have done that already."[19]
  • In August 2020, the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced that the Defence Ministry is "now ready for a big push to Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative" by imposing an "import embargo on 101 items" in a staged manner over a period of 5 years.[20][21] The Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP 2020) and Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 (DAP) also aims towards self reliance.[22]
  • Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers, D V Sadananda Gowda , in September 2020, said that "India will be self-reliant in fertiliser production by 2023".[23]
  • Three farm bills passed in September 2020 provides the legal framework to give the farmers the right to choose the price and people to whom they want to sell.
 
The Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh addressing an Atmanirbhar Bharat Defence Industry Outreach Webinar, jointly organised by the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers (SIDM), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence (MoD), in New Delhi on 27 August 2020. Also seen are General Bipin Rawat, General Manoj Mukund Naravane, Admiral Karambir Singh, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria, the Defence Secretary, Ajay Kumar, the Secretary (Defence Production) and the Secretary, Raj Kumar, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman, DRDO, G. Satheesh Reddy.
  • Coir Udyami Yojana aims to develop the coir-related industry’s sustainable development.[24]

Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0Edit

On 12 November, Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman announced 12 new fresh stimulus measures that can be called the subsequent step in the series of stimulus announcements - Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0.[25][26][27] The intent of this announcement is to give a much-needed boost to COVID-19 hit economy and stimulate employment in the formal as well as the informal economy, enriching ease of doing business, prolonging the deadline for the CLGS Scheme (Credit Line Guarantee Scheme), upgrade housing infrastructure, etc.[28] One of the objectives behind the recent announcements under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 is to lend benefit to individuals and companies who lost their jobs because of the Coronavirus induced lockdown.[29][30][31]

SlogansEdit

Slogans initiated under Atmanirbhar Bharat include 'vocal for local', 'local for global' and 'make for world'.[32][33]

Vocal for localEdit

Not only should products be 'made in India', but the promotion of those products should take place so as to make those products competitive.[33] During the Independence Day speech in 2020, Prime Minister Modi said that "The mindset of free India should be 'vocal for local'. We should appreciate our local products, if we don't do this then our products will not get the opportunity to do better and will not get encouraged."[34][35] Amul Managing Director RS Sodhi explained that the phrase vocal–for–local[36] "meant that products be made competitive vis-a-vis global brands" and that "it didn’t mean that one must only buy products that have a logo 'made in India' on it."[33] An extension of this slogan is 'local for global', that local products in India should have global appeal and reach.[33]

Make for the worldEdit

Prime Minister Modi, during the 2020 Independence speech, said that 'make for world' should go hand in hand with 'make in India' and that the slogan 'make for world' should be a key slogan like 'make in India' is.[34][37] A variation of the slogan is "Make in India for the world".[38]

CommentaryEdit

Atmanirbhar Bharat has been called by some as a re-packaged version of the Make in India movement using new taglines such as 'Vocal for Local'.[39][40] Other opposition members spoke about how India had enacted policies and built companies since its creation to make India self-reliant - SAIL for steel production, IIT for domestic engineers, AIIMS for medical science, DRDO for defence research, HAL for aviation, ISRO for space, CCL, NTPC and GAIL in the area of energy; criticising the advertising tactics.[41] Some have re-phrased it to "Fend For Yourself" Campaign.[42]

At least don't buy Ganesha idols from China.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister[43]
25 June 2020

Calls for India to boycott Chinese products (and promote an Atmanirbhar Bharat instead), are practically difficult in the short term for India as India imports $75 billion worth of goods every year from China, to the extent that parts of Indian industry are dependent on China.[44] Following the Galwan Valley skirmish on 15 June 2020 in which around 40 Chinese soldiers and 20 Indian soldiers died, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch said that if the government was serious about making India self-reliant, Chinese companies should not be given projects such as the Delhi-Meerut RRTS.[45][46] Results of the boycott China movement started showing in early August, with Government of China's customs data showing that Chinese exports to India had fallen by 25% as compared to the same period in 2019.[47]

According to an Indian Express article on 23 September 2020, unfinished reforms in the Atmanirbhar Bharat agenda include:[48]

civil service reform (the steel frame has become a steel cage), government reform (Delhi doesn’t need 57 ministries and 250 people with Secretary rank), financial reform (sustainably raising credit to GDP ratio from 50 per cent to 100 per cent), urban reform (having 100 cities with more than a million people rather than 52), education reform (our current regulator confuses university buildings with building universities), skill reform (our apprentice regulations are holding back employers and universities), and labour reform (our capital is handicapped without labour and labour is handicapped without capital).

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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Further readingEdit

External linksEdit