Five Year Plans and Planning Commission (India)

The Five Year Plan was the method adopted for the planned development of India. During the initial stages of formation of the country, it was decided to follow the principle of planned economy to have a successful economic journey. 

What were the objectives of the five year plans?

The objective of five year plans was multi-dimensional. Political, economic and social objectives were behind implementation of five year plans. Politically, the plans were aimed to ensure civil and political rights and personal liberties. Five year plans were designed to promote equitable distribution of resources to ensure economic justice.  Establishing the country as a just and democratic society was main social objective. These are  the main constitutional goals too.  Achieving the plan objectives became both constitutional requirement and socio-economic obligation. The central and state governments lived up to the expectations by ensuring success of five year plans. 

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Who was responsible for implementation of the five year plans?

Planning commission  was responsible for design execution and monitoring of the five year plans from 1951 to 2014. Planning commission was established on March 15, 1950 with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as its first chairman.  In 2015, the same was replaced by Niti Aayog. The country has seen twelve five year plans since independence. First five year plan was launched in 1951 and the twelfth  plan ended in  2017. Five year plans were basically centralized and integrated national economic programs. Every plan was formulated for periods of five years each.  

What were the key focal points of various five year plans?

First five year plan was one of the most crucial plans. It focused on agriculture and formation of institutions. It also launched industrialization.  The second plan focused on developing existing facilities and bringing scientists to national laboratories. Creation of an extensive network of scientific research institutions was the highlight of third five year plan. Integration of industrial research, industrial development, technology and agricultural research got attention during the next five year plans. Globalisation of business and research, growth with equity and social justice, protecting intellectual property rights, balanced growth across sectors, attracting youth towards science and research, private public partnership, stimulation and strengthening of scientific eco system etc were at focus during the five year plans that followed. 

What roles dis science and technology play in the five year plans?

From very beginning, it was clear that science and technology play a crucial role in national development. The role of science and technology in making the economy vibrant and self-reliant was  realized in the initial periods of policy formation itself.  They became integral parts of the five year plans. India has always endeavored to bring socio-economic changes through science and technology. Traditional skills have been upgraded to make it relevant. Women and weaker sections have always been part of scientific and technological development. Decentralised planning has played a vital role in disseminating the technological developments to grass roots level to ensure sustainable development and inclusive growth. India can now boast of leading science and technology research centres and well known scientists working both inside and outside the country. In fact, Indian researchers are the backbone of many globally established research centres. Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO) is a classic example for Indian contribution to space research.  

It can be stated without an iota of doubt that the farsightedness of  our leaders in formulation and implementation of the five year plans succeeded in converting an under developed country to the present stature of fastest growing world economy. 
 

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Five Year Plans and Planning Commission (India)
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Five Year Plans and Planning Commission (India)
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The Five Year Plan was the method adopted for the planned development of India. Planning Commission was responsible for implementation the plans.
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