Mission Atmanirbhar Bharat

There is always a beautiful sunrise of hope after a dark night. Despite multiple challenges, Atmanirbhar Mission is on track and will gain pace soon

By Col. Alok Mathur, SM (Retd)



Atmanirbhar mission (ANB) is brainchild of Prime Minister (PM) of India. It literally means self-reliant India. The economic development project was launched on 12 May 2020, when the whole world was fighting the Covid 19 pandemic triggered by China as biological warfare (bio war)and all nations were closing down in to own shells counting the dead, India took on the challenge head on as Internal discovery of its huge potential. PM of India highlighted that adverse situation not only builds strength but also brings out resilience mid April 2021, the second wave of Covid 19 suddenly hit like Tsunami especially India. We are fighting back. Till now, approx. 150 million have been vaccinated in phases, highest in the world. Third phase vaccination including 18+ citizens have commenced on 1 May.  Tropicalized Covaxin and Covishield vaccines produced in India of are best in the world. Sputnik V will also be produced in India. Acute shortage of Oxygen also being tackled on war footing. IAF and Navy have launched Samunder Setu 2 to bring Oxygen plants / generators from friendly countries. We will overcome the crisis shortly.

The aim of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is to make India more competitive, efficient and larger part of World economy and convert India from exporter of agricultural products and raw materials to exporter of finished top quality products including machinery and defence equipment. It is different from going into self-Isolation or containment, but to make a good rapport for Indian goods.

The objectives of self-reliant mission are, firstly, to cut down import dependence, by focussing on local substitutes but without compromise on quality and safety norms and gain global share, secondly, boost to indigenous products and local manufactures even with collaboration, thirdly, save foreign exchange and fourthly, give employment to local human resources and finally change mind set of local buyers for Indian swadeshi clothes and goods. The keywords will remain quality, zero defect goods and safety of buyers/users. The mission will be carried out in two phases, Phase 1 will consider sectors like defence, pharma, electronics, plastics, and toys and Phase 2 will include Gems, Jewellery, food processing, and steel industry.

Five pillars of ANB Mission are economic revival, infrastructure development, new technology driven initiatives, supply chain reforms, demand enhancement and vibrant demography.

Financial Package for Atmanirbhar Abhiyan. Due to prolonged lockdown and disruption in movement of means of transport the economic rate of growth of most of developed countries slowed down to near zero. The central government released a massive economic package of almost 10% of Gross Domestic Product of financial year 2019 -2020, to boost the economic development in May 2020. The eco package was worth Rs 20 lakhs crores including Rs 1.70 lakhs relief package under PM Garib Kalyan Yojna for poor, towards achieving the mission. The package was distributed in five Tranches.

Five pillars of ANB Mission are economic revival, infrastructure development, new technology driven initiatives, supply chain reforms, demand enhancement and vibrant demography.

Tranche 1 The package was released on 13 May 2020. The amount was Rs 5, 94,550 crores. The basic aim was enabling employees and employers, businesses, micro, small and medium enterprises to get back to work and restart production process.

Tranche2 the second package was released on 14 May 2020. The amount was Rs 3, 10,000 crores. This fund was meant for Short term and long term measures for supporting poor including migrants, street vendors, small farmers, shop keepers.

Tranche 3 Released Rs 1, 50,000 crores on 15 May 2020 for assistance to Infrastructure, logistics, Fisheries, and food processing sector

Tranche 4     50% 0f Total amount of Rs 25,000 crores was released on 14  May 2020, for reforming coal, minerals, defence production, airports and air space management , power distribution grid, space and atomic industry

Tranche 5   this package released on 15 may of amount Rs 23, 100 crores and was meant for Education and health sectors and also for Govt reforms for providing employment, ease of doing business etc.

Initially an ad hoc assistance package of 1.9 lakh crores was Garib Kalyan Yojna before May 2020 to mitigate effect of lockdown and loss of livelihood. And Reserve bank was also given additional finances worth Rs 8 lakh crores to introduce reforms due to negative growth rate.

Reforms – A series of reforms and measures were introduced to make India move on path of self-reliance and mitigate negative effects of slow down due to unforeseen pandemic. Some of the reform are; simple and clear laws, rational taxation, efficient and suitable skilled man power, robust financial system, and smooth supply chain, on line permits for faster logistics movement and exclusive freight corridor

War against Pandemic by India. – Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS COV 2) was first identified in Wuhan, China. In December 2019, World Health Organisation termed it as Covid 19. The first three cases were reported on 30 Jan 2020, all imported from Wuhan and more were detected in a group of Italian tourist groups and Tabligi Jamat members. COVID 19 was declared a Pandemic by WHO and has spread in almost 100 countries of world. India started screening international passengers in Jan 2020 among the first countries in the world. India also introduced Rapid antigen tests, which WHO also appreciated. By 24 March 2020, India had 500 cases when PM announced complete Lockdown 1, followed by   extended Lockdown 2 and Lockdown 3 launching   all-out war against the pandemic. India was the first country to wear protective masks mandatory in April 2020, whereas developed countries were still double minded.   India with 135 crores population was in danger of multimillion deaths but timely action by Central and state governments saved the day. Entire Europe and America with best of health facilities were worst affected. Meanwhile, The Central govt utilised period of lockdown to create almost 15,400 dedicated Covid 19 hospitals,  16 lakh  isolation beds,  3 lakh  oxygen supported beds, 80,000 ICU beds and also procured 32,000 additional ventilators for govt hospitals. The govt also provided N95 Masks and 20 million PPE kits to state govt, whereas even developed countries were facing acute shortages. As part of self-reliance mission, within three months became self-sufficient in N95 and other variety of surgical masks but also in production of Personal protection Equipment (PPE) kits .and supplied free of cost to all friendly neighbouring countries. The PM led from front and introduced slogans like “Do gaz ki doori, mask hein zaroori” and suggested refrain from mass social gatherings. Gradually, Unlock down phase commenced .The PM praised all Doctors, Medical Staff and Security forces personnel’s who worked beyond working hours and call of duty and welcomed them with Lighting lamps and sounding bells and honoured them as Corona Warriors .Throughout all these phases, PM assured every Indian that they were in safe hands and were following medical protocols with objective of saving lives. Consequently, India infection per million and death rates are lowest and recovery rate is highest in the world by March 2021, but due to various factors like State assembly elections, Kumbh Mela, Negligence of masses etc, second wave struck . All achievements were neutralised but with coordinated efforts of Armed forces, DRDO and foreign assistance, the situation is limping back to near normal. We fight back as a united nation.

Pharmacy Of The World – Over the last 120 years, lndian pharma industry has become known as the Pharmacy of the world due to its role in delivering cost effective and high quality generic drugs globally. The industry has annual revenue of US 38 Billion $. It has 3000 pharma companies and 10,500 manufacturing facilities. The cost of production of drugs is 1/3 0f US costs and ½ of European costs. Moreover, lndian Pharma companies produces 63% of World vaccines and 20% of generic medicines. Biotechnology facilities are best in the world and presently leading in production and trials of vaccines.  PM was closely monitoring progress of development of anti-Corona vaccines in Indian viriogical facilities. On 4 Dec 2020, ambassadors of many nations visited Serum lnstitute of India and Gennova biopharmaceuticals to study development of Corona vaccines. India has taken initiative and granted approval for two covid 19 vaccines. Covishield (Serum lnstitute of India, Pune) and Covaxin (Bharat Biotech international Ltd, Hyderabad). The largest vaccination programme against Corona virus 19 was initiated in 16 Jan2021. Approx. 15 crores have already been administered vaccines at various state centres. Not only this, India exported free of cost huge consignments of vaccines to 60 nations of underdeveloped world including Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles by Air lndia. Contractual supplies to Brazil and Morocco already reached destination. Saudi Arabia and South Africa has already placed orders for Indian vaccines. This is greatest achievement of Atmanirbhar Bharat. ln a surprise move, USA banned essential raw material for lndian vaccine. The matter has been resolved with intervention of Prime minister.

Atmanirbhar mission will be force multiplier in recovering lndian economy. Sensex are already soaring as indicator of economy back on track. We will also win the bio war with made in India vaccines.

Defence Production Sector – DRDO Chief G  Satheesh Reddy said  in the forum of  CII on 21 Jan 2021  that within next 5 years , there will be tremendous increase in indigenous contents in  weapon and equipment of lndian Armed forces and also world will witness tremendous increase in defence exports under Amanirbhar abhiyan. The govt has approved export of indigenous developed surface to air missile system to various countries. India is the largest importers of arms globally and likely to spend 130 billion dollar in capital procurement, however govt wants to reduce dependence on imported military equipment. The defence ministry has already set up goal of 25 billion US dollars in defence local manufacturing and has target of exporting 5 billion US dollars’ worth of military hardware. On 13 Jan 2021, political approval for Rs 48,000 crores have been cleared by govt for procurement of 83 Tejas MK l A including trainers, fighter aircrafts have been given .A great step towards self-reliance mission. Main battle tank Arjun Mk 2 is also been procured for two more armoured regiments. Aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines are also under production under Atmanirbhar mission. 155mm self-propelled Arty guns, Third generation antitank missile (NAG), Anti-radiation missile (Rudram), Astra (Air to air BVR Missiles) are a[ready deployed. A great march towards self-reliance.

Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) – ISRO has been rated as top five government space agencies of the world, which has acquired reliable launch platform, mastered cryogenic engines technology and launch of lnter planetary missions. On 15 Feb 2017, ISRO created a world record by launching and successfully deploying 104 satellites of seven countries on board 39th flight of C37 Polar satellite launch vehicle. As on date, two Indian satellites are orbiting moon and mars. A live story of Atmanirbhar Bharat. India has as self-sufficiency in Food grains. We are exporting spices to world over since long. We are the largest milk producer in the world .we are now producing almost all automobiles in India although with collaboration. We are also producing smart phones, lap tops under make in India initiative.

The mental set up of Indian consumers also have undergone a tremendous change after “China India standoff” in Eastern Ladakh on Line of Actual Control. A wave of swadeshi movement of Gandhian era has been injected in lndian citizens. Atmanirbhar mission will be force multiplier in recovering lndian economy. Sensex are already soaring as indicator of economy back on track. We will also win the bio war with made in India vaccines.

There is always a beautiful sunrise of hope after a dark night. Jai Ho, Bharat.

-The writer is an Indian Army veteran and a defence analyst. He has keen interest in geo-strategic affairs and writes regularly on internal and external affairs issues related to India and neighbours