First Prime Minister of Free India and Economic Policy of Jawaharlal

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First Prime Minister of Free India and Economic Policy of Jawaharlal

First Prime Minister of Free India

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of Free India. He remained on this post, as the nation’s favourite leader, from 15th August, 1947 (1st Independence Day) until the day of his death -i.e., 27th May, 1964. It was on Nehru’s suggestion that secularism and parliamentary democracy were accepted in the Constitution of India.

Economic Policy

Nehru believed that the nation would make rapid progress with proper planning. Hence, in March 1950 a ‘Planning Commission’ was formed. Nehru was appointed its chairman. The first Five-Year Plan was presented in 1951. Inflation after war, partition of the country, communal riots, etc. had taken their toll on the economic condition of the nation; it was completely destroyed. There was scarcity of food grains in the country. Taking all these conditions into consideration, the first Five-Year plan was created. In all the speeches he gave during this time, Nehru presented his goal to create a classless society based on cooperative efforts.

The wish that eveiy person would get equal opportunities in a peaceful manner and democratic method was the mainstay of these speeches. He sanctioned the construction of huge multi-purpose projects like Bhakhra-Nangal Dam, Hirakud arid Damodar and recognised them as ‘modern pilgrimage sites’. At the successful completion of this Five-Year plan, the production of food grains increased, many new industries were established and there was marked progress in the field of transport and communication. The First Five-Year plan was successful in attaining all its goals.

In the Second Five-Year plan, heavy and basic industries were given importance. Cottage industries were given protection and stress was laid on their development. The main goals of the Second Five-Year plan were to decrease the imbalance of distribution of wealth among the rich and the poor, to curb the centralization of economic power, to ameliorate people’s standard of living, the improve national income, etc.

The Third Five-Year plan dealt with development and progress in the field of agriculture. At the end of the Third Five-Year plan, electricity production went up five fold.

Nehru propagated rapid progress in research in the fields of science, technology, etc. He established laboratories and research centres. In this way, he was a strong supporter of modernisation.

During Nehru’s time, the rate of increase in India’s economy remained steady. However, the problem of long-standing unemployment remained as it was due to abject poverty prevalent in the nation.