Atmanirbharta for New India


    In Context 

    The Atmanirbhar experiment and the lessons that India is learning today as a nation can help usher in a new model of sustainable development.

    About Atmanirbharta 

    • Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan or Self-reliant India campaign is the vision of a new India envisaged by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. 
      • In 2020, He raised a clarion call to the nation giving a kick-start to the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan (Self-reliant India campaign).
    • The aim is to make the country and its citizens independent and self-reliant. Five pillars of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.


    Impacts of colonisation 

    • India has historically been known for innovation and intellectual accomplishments — in governance, spiritual thought, education, healthcare, industry, trade, and several other fields. 
      • However, colonial rule forcibly put a stop to that prosperity and forced us to become a supplier of raw materials and indentured labour.
    • Centuries of colonisation and invasions created a sense of inferiority amongst people in the country, led to intellectual stagnation and fostered a slavish mentality amongst Indians at the time of Independence. 
    • When the British left Indian soil, they did not just leave us with political freedom. 
      • A large section of Indians continued to think and behave like the subjects of a benign crown.
    • Unfortunately, for several decades after Independence, the ecosystem in the country did not nurture adequately the idea of engaged citizenship — people continued to look at the state as the “provider”, leaving a large section of Indians feeling unsure about their capabilities. 

    Controversy and Issues 

    • the economy is already struggling with a low number of jobs and the job situation in the country is poised to face severe damage due to the pandemic.
      • India’s low state capacity, poor healthcare infrastructure, and highly populated urban centres have left it particularly affected by the pandemic, which has weighed further on the economy.
    • If the government does not undertake the opening of various sectors to private enterprises, ease overbearing regulation, and privatise loss-making PSUs, India’s manufacturing sector will become further uncompetitive. 
      • Also, this would make future governments averse to opening up the economy again.
    • More protectionist trade stance and any increase in tariff rates for imports may lead to punitive tariffs or the revocation of trade benefits from its partners.


    • Programmes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Startup India, Standup India, Yoga Day celebrations and Ayushman Bharat nurtured Atmanirbharata in their own ways.
    • The government is committed to supporting scientific research under fundamental science, technology development, and supporting startups.
    • India’s Defence sector is witnessing a significant wave of indigenisation as a part of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make In India initiatives. 
      • The government of India has rolled out several policies to encourage and motivate self-reliance in defence manufacturing and technology in the country

    Suggestions and Conclusion 

    • Atmanirbharta should be seen as a means for regaining India’s share in the global economy while simultaneously improving the quality of life for the common Indian.
      • It will require a huge concerted effort from all stakeholders to restore India’s share in global trade to pre-colonial levels.
    • Atmanirbhar Bharat envisages a self-reliant India working for Vasudaiva Kutumbakam.
      • This is a time when the legitimate aspirations of the diverse peoples of our country need to be reconciled, and differences overcome.
    • Achieving global scales of production, improving the quality of our services to world standards and promoting goal-oriented R&D are efforts that will yield the desired goal of a higher share in global trade and manufacturing. 
      • It will also generate high-quality employment
    • Moving towards self-reliance from the historical dependencies of the past several decades is more than just a paradigm shift. 
      • It needs to change the mindset of not just citizens, but also of the political class and the bureaucracy. 
    • No nation can progress without engaging its citizens in the development process. Citizenship is not just about participating in the electoral process.
      •  It is also about enlightening oneself with information, engaging with the state and its agencies and operating with a sense of empowerment. 
    • India has performed well in producing new knowledge, the focus should be now on harnessing this knowledge for economic growth.
      • Today, a generation of young people are qualified, competent and confident in deciding not just their future but that of the nation as well. 
      • There is a need to promote an ecosystem that promotes self-respect and self-belief
    •  The country’s science and technology infrastructure needs to be restructured to align with the desired outcomes for the country, not just the short-term outputs.

    Mains Practise Question 

    [Q] Atmanirbharta is neither protectionist nor isolationist but it refers to a self-reliant India dealing with the world on its own terms. Comment