The economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 gave birth to the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. While the idea was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, some of its features are similar to the Swadeshi movement launched on August 7, 1905, to take on the British regime of the time.
What is Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission?
Atmanirbhar means 'self-reliant'. On May 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in his address to the nation an economic package of Rs 20 trillion to tide over the coronavirus crisis under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. He said the economic package would play an important role in making India 'self reliant' and that it would benefit labourers, farmers, honest tax payers, MSMEs and the cottage industry. He said making the country self-reliant was the only way to make 21st century belong to India. According to the government, it is not protectionist in nature.
5 pillar on which Atmanibhar Bharat is to be based:
India’s self-reliance will be based on five pillars
3. Technology driven system
4. Vibrant demography
What comes under Atmanirbhar Bharat?
According to the government, self-reliance does not advocate a self-centered protectionist system.
Controversy around Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission
The government has said 'self-reliant India does not mean cutting off from rest of the world.' However, some have called Atmanirbhar Bharat as a re-packaged version of the Make in India drive using new taglines such as 'Vocal for Local'. Some Opposition members have spoken about how India had enacted policies and built companies since its creation to make India self-reliant - SAIL for steel production, IITs for domestic engineers, AIIMS for medical sciences, DRDO for defence research, HAL for aviation, ISRO for space, CCL NTPC and GAIL in the area of energy, for example. These politicians have criticised the so-called advertising tactics in the re-packaged scheme. Some have also panned the scheme re-phrased as "Fend For Yourself" Campaign.