INDIA- Self Reliance mission and vision

INDIA- Self Reliance mission and vision

In just a couple of months, the coronavirus or COVID-19 has claimed over a quarter of a million lives and disrupted economies worldwide. Approximately 3.9 billion people or half of the world’s population have now been asked or ordered to stay at home by their governments to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. The coronavirus is, therefore, a reality now and is not going to go away easily.
The main reason behind this is ,  no perfect solution or vaccine or medicine has been found so far to end the effects of deadly virus. As long as the virus persists somewhere, there’s a chance that one infected traveller would reignite a fresh occurrence in countries that have already extinguished their fires. This is already happening in China, Singapore, and other Asian countries that briefly seemed to have the virus under control. Under these conditions, it appears that the world has to play a protracted game of whack-a-mole with the virus until an effective treatment regime or vaccine is developed.

Hence, we have to learn to live with COVID-19 and at the same time address the problems caused by this-virus-induced-lockdown, including a deteriorating economy. The International Monetary Fund described the current global economic decline as the worst since the Great Depression of 1930s.
India has been no exception to the corona virus effects . With a nationwide lockdown imposed since 25th March 2020, the fallout from the suspension of nearly all economic activities is expected to be massive, as experts are predicting a significant slump in India’s growth for the current fiscal.
In a developing country like India, MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) are the backbone of the economy. The MSME sector contributes to 45% of India’s Total Industrial Employment, 50% of India’s Total Exports and 95% of all industrial units of the country under which more than 6,000 types of products are manufactured.


With the growth of MSME industries the economy of the country grows as a whole and flourishes. The government has already issued an advisory asking companies not to lay off people during the lockdown period. Good companies are already following this. However, the MSME sector, the largest employment generator after agriculture, requires help. It means the informal segment of economy is the worst-hit in this scenario, since they lack the cushion to cope with the lock-down.It is estimated that More than 90% of the people in India directly or indirectly depend on the informal sector for their survival. Currently, most of them are out of employment. 
A New World Ahead For India: Self Reliance

Some potential countries are looking at this ‘crisis’ as an opportunity to punish China for its gross negligence in handling the corona outbreak. And US President Donald Trump represents this category of countries. On a naturalistic side, he might be right. So far, there have been more than 1.4 million cases with over 80,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the US, and the pandemic has shut down progress of the economy. As a result, he is seeking recovery of these damages from Beijing.
In contrast, some leaders think that one should never let a ‘serious’ crisis go waste. Here, PM Modi’s mission and vision needs attention. He believes that the pandemic has shown up new challenges that the country had never faced before, but it has also offered fresh opportunities. “The biggest message COVID-19 has given, the biggest lesson it has taught, is to become self-reliant,” PM Modi said while interacting with gram panchayat heads and members to mark Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April 2020. 
In short, heavy dependence on Chinese imports has already weakened the Indian economic base; and it may now encroach upon India’s sovereignty. All these are having an impact on the level of employment. The Indian economy is facing a lot of problems, majorly because of unemployment and under-employment.
How To Move Forward With This New Vision?
To initiate the process of a ‘self-reliant’ economy, India has to focus on two of its problems: agrarian unrest and job crisis. Any durable solution to agrarian unrest requires non-farm jobs.
Furthermore, the nation needs to create 10-12 million jobs every year in the coming decades to provide quality of life for its growing population. Young Indians, particularly members of the emerging middle class — a billion strong by 2034 — have rising aspirations, as per the PricewaterhouseCoopers.
In addition, India has to improve the basic infrastructure with special reference to uninterrupted cheap power supply. There is a positive relationship between job creation and availability of uninterrupted cheap power supply.
Moreover there are many reforms that are required to achieve the goal of a ‘self-reliant’ economy. However, two reforms, are the need of the hour. These are:
· Improving basic infrastructure with special reference to uninterrupted cheap power supply, and
· Unlocking human potential to propel the formation of human capital.
We have to keep in mind that , economic growth in India relies greatly  on the mobility of labour, but there is little done in return for their security and well-being, as we have seen during the lockdown. An overwhelming 120 million people or more are estimated to migrate from rural areas to urban labour markets, industries and farms. There is an urgent need for a solution to transform migration into a more dignified and rewarding opportunity.
Lastly, any action agenda to achieve self-reliance must be based on a participatory dialogue between the centre and states.
Going Back To Work Is The Need Of The Hour
Now the question arises: What next? The total lockdown cannot be indefinite. The middle and upper class with savings can survive, but others are struggling. Many from the middle class are losing their jobs in the current scenario and struggling to survive. The government is aware and looking to get out of this situation. We can’t be locked down for such long periods. Time to get back to work with abundant precautions is the need of the hour. This could help millions amongst us from privations that the coronavirus has already brought about.
As testing goes up and economic activity opens up, India’s coronavirus numbers may somewhat rise — authorities must refrain from getting affected by it. We can’t afford to neglect other health problems and economic issues that are currently hidden by the COVID-19 dashboard. I will say that the lockdown must be lifted gradually and all economic activities and movement of people should be allowed with necessary precautions after 17th May, except in the hotspots.
In sum, the vision of self-reliance and its proper implementation will not only help PM Modi politically, but will also help India emerge as a major gainer in the post-COVID world. There will be opportunities for the country, but we will end up missing them if we do things in a short-sighted or half-heartedly manner. 

PM Modi described the five pillars that serve as the foundation for a self-reliant India. Here is what he said:
We need an economy that doesn't bring incremental change but makes quantum jumps.
We need infrastructure that will become the identity of modern India.
We need a system that is no longer based on the rules and rituals of the past but one that actualises the dreams of the 21st century. This system needs to be technology-based.
We are the world's biggest democracy. A vibrant demography is our strength. It is the source of energy for our efforts to make India self-reliant.
The cycle of demand and supply in our economy is an asset. We need to utilise this power fully.

In a big push to revive the Covid-hit economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on also announced massive new financial incentives on top of the previously announced packages for a combined stimulus of Rs 20 lakh crore, saying the coronavirus crisis has provided India an opportunity to become self-reliant and emerge as the best in the world.

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Anonymous said…
Yes, India should become self reliant.
Unknown said…
I am little bit confused on self reliant.. what does it really mean and on which area? Whether it's economic or not dependent on government or any thing else?