an economically underdeveloped country at the time of Independence. The framers
of the Constitution had opted to develop the country as a socialist democracy,
so that ensuring social justice was an important priority for the government.
the first priorities of the government was therefore to undertake measures to
improve conditions in agriculture. Reforms were initiated to eliminate the
institutional weaknesses, by doing away with landlordism (zamindari), reforming tenancy and imposing land ceilings. These
were partially successful but did not really improve conditions in agriculture.
shortage of food grains was acute by the 1960s, and the government therefore
switched to the technological alternative of improving agriculture through the
introduction of high- yielding varieties of seeds and investment in major
irrigation, chemical pesticides and fertilizers. This succeeded in ensuring
food security in India, but also had negative effects on the environment.
no reduction in the ratio of people living in poverty, especially in rural
areas. The IRDP was a concerted effort to tackle rural poverty. Though the
level of rural poverty did come down, the number of persons below the poverty
line did not decrease because the population was growing.
MGNREGA, which gives rural households the legal right to demand work, is now
the major employment generation programme
determined to create a socialist society, and he proclaimed that the state
would direct industrial growth by investing in heavy industrial units and also
exercise control over private industry to ensure long term objectives of growth
and preventing exploitation by private business houses and capitalists.
to produce steel, heavy engineering and machine tools which required large investments
were set up by the state in various parts of the country. While this strategy
pushed India into becoming an industrially developed economy, the
over-extension of the public sector into too many products and services
ultimately led to heavy losses. This eventually made the government liberalise
the economy and do away with licences and controls and allow free market forces
to guide the economy.
Planning Commission was set up to formulate five year plans which would assess
the resources of the country and specify targets for the growth of the economy
as a whole and the various sub-sectors of the economy. Considerable improvement
has been made in literacy and establishment of schools and colleges in the
been an impressive increase in the number of institutions of science research
(pure and applied). Similarly, many institutes of technology have been set up
across the country for education in various engineering disciplines. In
addition, there has been an explosion in the number of private engineering