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Envisioning a more self-reliant India with ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ Abhiyan

By : Envisioning a more self-reliant India with ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ Abhiyan

February 10, 2022

AatmaNirbhar Bharat

Post-independence, India focused on becoming self-reliant by minimizing imports and manufacturing essentials and goods within its domestic boundaries. While this led to self-sufficiency, it also caused limitations in terms of the availability of financial and intellectual resources. This was countered by the economic liberalization of 1991 that opened up the country to global resources and in time brought India into the world’s limelight.  

Once we had exposure and access to what the world had to offer, Prime Minister Narendra Modi strategically leveraged these learnings. ‘Make in India’ campaign, launched in 2014, aimed to encourage global firms to tilt to India—to open up avenues for influx of foreign capital in India. The follow-up ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign launched in the eye of the COVID-19 storm (May 2020) took this idea forward and focused on making India economically, technologically and infrastructurally self-reliant. Furthermore, it aimed to harness the demand potential of India and to match it using domestic supply. It aimed to transform India from a passive market to an active manufacturing hub at the core of global value chains.  

Demand vs. supply was one of the most crucial issues of the pandemic. As countries went into lockdown, the focus shifted from global to local resources. The need of the hour became local manufacturing, local demand, local supply, and effective local supply chains. India stood up to this challenge by resolving to become ‘AatmaNirbhar’ and in doing so also contributed globally. In addition to ramping up local production of protective gear and medical supplies at break-neck speed, we also supplied COVID-19 related medical assistance to more than 150 countries. We were at the forefront of the vaccine development research, eventually becoming one of the largest manufacturers and exporters. As of end-November, we have supplied over 7 Crore COVID-19 vaccine doses to more than 90 countries.

Apart from COVID-19 related products, this campaign is also aiding policies and schemes that shall help the country harness its full potential. For example:   

  • Aatmanirbharta in the defence sector: aimed at making the manufacturing of defence equipment more self-reliant. Some of the recent successes are MBT Arjun Mk-1A Tank in Army, LCA (Tejas) fighter aircraft in Indian Air Force, ALH Mk-III helicopter in the Indian Navy.
  • Indian Space Association (ISpA): Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally launched ISpA on 11th October 2021, echoing his vision of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat. ISpA is the industry association for space and satellite companies in India. It is the forum for experts and stakeholders to come together, from both the public and private sectors, and guide the vision of India becoming a leader in the space race.

Thus, the vision of becoming ‘AatmaNirbhar’ promises progress and policy continuity as we commemorate 75 years of India’s Independence.