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Political Science Class 12 Notes Chapter 12 Politics of Planned Development

Political Contestation

  • In a democracy or in a democrative country the final decision must be a political decision, taken by people’s representatives who are in touch with the feelings of the people.
  • After independence, everyone agreed that the development of India will take place by, economic growth alongwith social and economic justice.
  • There was disagreement on the kind of role that the government must play in ensuring economic growth with justice.

Ideas of Development

  • Any discussion on development is bound to generate contradictions, conflicts and arguments.
  • ‘Development’ was about becoming more ‘modern’ and modern was about becoming more like the industrialised countries of the West.
  • Modernisation was associated with the ideas of growth, material progress and scientific rationality.


  • Despite the various differences, there was a consensus on one point: that development could not be left to private sectors. So, there was the need for the government to develop a design or plan for development.
  • In 1944, the big industrialists drafted a joint proposal for setting up a planned economy in the country known as Bombay Plan.
  • Soon after India became independent, the Planning Commission came into being as Prime Minister its chairperson.

The Early Initiatives

  • The draft of the First Five Year Plan and then the actual Plan Document, released in December 1951, generated a lot of excitement in the country.
  • The excitement with planning reached its peak with the launching of the Second Five Year Plan in 1956 and continued somewhat till the Third Five Year Plan in 1961.
  • The First Five Year Plan (1951-1956) addressed mainly the agrarian sector including investment in dams and irrigation.
  • One of the basic aims of the planners was to raise the level of national income, which could be possible only if the people saved money than they spent.

Rapid Industrialisation
The second Five Year Plan stressed on heavy industries. It was drafted by a team of economists and planners under the leadership of PC Mahalanobis.

Key Controversies
The strategy of development followed in the early years raised several important questions.

Agriculture Versus Industry

  • After first two plans agriculture could not develop at appreciable level. Gandhian economist J.C. Kumarappa proposed an alternative blueprint that put greater emphasis on rural industrialisation.
  • Some others thought that without a drastic increase in industrial production, there could be no escape from the cycle of poverty.

Public Versus Private Sector

  • India adopted ‘mixed economy’ where elements of both public and private sector exist together.
  • Critics argued that the planners refused to provide the private sector with enough space and the stimulus to grow. The enlarged public sector produced powerful vested interests that created enough hurdles for private capital.

The First Five Year Plan Major Outcomes

  • The early initiatives for planned development were at best realising the goals of economic development of the country and well-being of all its citizens.
  • Those who benefitted from unequal development soon became politically powerful and made it even more difficult to move in the desired direction.

There were three major outcomes. These are
1. Economic Foundations

  • During first two plan foundations of India’s future economic growth were laid. Mega dams like Bhakhra-Nangal and Hirakund for irrigation and power generation were built.
  • Some of the heavy industries in the public sector-steel plants, oil refineries, manufacturing units, defense production etc.-were started during this period.
  • Infrastructure for transport and communication was improved substantially.

2. Land Reforms

  • Colonial system of Zamindari was abolished.
  • Attempts at consolidation of land-bringing small pieces of land together in one place was initiated.

3. Green and White Revolution

  • During 1960s the government offered high-yielding variety seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and better irrigation at highly subsidised prices. This was termed as Green Revolution.
  • The rich peasants and the large land holders were the major beneficiaries of this.
  • Some regions like Punjab, Haryana, and Western Uttar Pradesh became agriculturally prosperous, while others remained backward.
  • In 1970 the rural development programme called Operation Flood was started.
  • Operation flood organised cooperatives of milk producers into a nationwide milk grid, with the purpose of increasing milk production.
  • This was termed as White Revolution. Verghese Kurien is known as ‘Milkman of India.’

Later Developments

  • The period from 1967 onwards witnessed many new restrictions on private industry. Fourteen private banks were nationalised.
  • Between 1950 and 1980 the Indian economy grew at a sluggish per annum rate of 3 to 3.5%.
  • The presence of inefficiency, corruption etc forced people to lose faith in country’s economic system thus it results in decreasing the significance of state in India’s economy from 1980s onwards.


1. Due to rising Global Demand for Iron, the reserved Iron-resource of Orissa has been an important investment destination to be signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to bring in capital investment and employment opportunities. Some conflicts arose in Orissa like tribal population feared to be displaced from home and environmentalists became worried about environmental pollution.

2. ‘Development’ refers to process of living standard and attaining an economic level of industrial production. Immediately after independence, the Indian government took up the tasks of poverty attenuation, social and economic redistribution and development of agriculture.

3. Planning is a systematic regulation of purposeful activity to achieve national goals. India was inspired by USSR for planning to provide basic necessities of life i.e. advanced education, medical care and technological skills. ‘Bombay Plan’ was drafted in 1944 to make the states to take major initiatives in industrial and other economic investments.

4. The Planning Commission of India was set up in 1950 as an ‘Extra-constitutional body’ alongwith Prime Minister as its chairman, ministers incharge and some other members to be advisory in nature. It helps to reduce the wastage of time and increase the per capita income.

5. Before independence, the need for planning was felt to set up National Planning Committee in 1930s to collect data and setting aims as well as opted for five year plans and annual budget.

6. The first five year plan, commenced in 1951, drafted by economist K.N. Roy aiming at
investment in dams and irrigation, land reforms and to raise the level of National Income. It differed from second five year plans which stressed on heavy industries by bringing about quick structural transformation. 1

7. India did not only follow capitalist or socialist economy but adopted mixed economy to co¬exist private and public sector also, to attain rapid economic development aiming at social welfare and private owned means of production to be regulated by the state.

8. Second five-year plan emphasised on heavy industrialisation even in rural areas, being criticised for the creation of prosperity in urban and industrial sections at the cost of rural welfare. It was argued also on the ground to be a failure not that of policy but of its non¬implementation of politics of land owning classes.

9. During the planning period, the Agrarian sector witnessed a serious attempt at land reforms to abolish Zamindari system, consolidate the lands. These were not much successful due to some drawbacks i.e. people violated laws under considerable political influence and some laws remained only on papers.

10. Between 1965 and 1967, severe droughts occurred in many parts of country and it was in Bihar to feel a famine situation. On the other hand food prices also hit a high in Bihar and due to government’s policy of zoning, trade of food across states was prohibited, which reduced the availability of food in Bihar.

11. The Green Revolution emphasised on new strategies of agricultural practice to be offered by government i.e. high yielding variety of seeds, fertilizers, pesticide better irrigation at highly subsidised prices. Green Revolution produced favourable conditions for poor peasants and made the ‘Middle Peasant Sections’ politically influential Green Revolution had some negative effects also i.e. it created a gap between landlords and poor and it delivered only a moderate agricultural growth.

12. The ‘White Revolution’ in Gujarat was started by Varghese Kurien known as the Milkman of India’. He launched Gujarat Cooperative Milk and Marketing Federation Ltd., which further launched ‘Amul’. The Amul pattern became a uniquely appropriate model for rural development and poverty alleviation which came to be known as white revolution.

13. The Kerala model was based on ‘Decentralised Planning’ to focus on education, health, land reforms, effective food distribution and poverty alleviations taken initiative to involve people in making plans at panchayat, block and district level.


  1. Planning: A systematic regulation to optimum use of resources and to reduce wastage of time.
  2. Capitalist Economy: The economy in which private sectors are prioritised in place of social welfare.
  3. Socialist Economy: It aims at the public sector and planning with the aim to establish egalitarian society.
  4. Bombay Plan: It was a joint proposal of a section of big industrialists for setting up a planned economy in the country to be drafted in 1944.
  5. Planning Commission: It is an ‘extra-constitutional body’ to make plans for the country to set up in March 1950 with the Prime Minister as its Chairman.
  6. Plan Budget: It is the amount that is spent on a five-year basis as per the priorities fixed by the plan.
  7. Mixed Economy: The economy in which the private and the public sector both co-exist.

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