India’s response to challenges – UPSC GS1

Utility: It can be used in essays and answers (as a diagram/chart)
Challenges faced by India after Independence and its response:
  • Challenge: 1962’s Sino-India War
    • Response: Defence reform
      • The new defence minister was appointed.
      • The financial allocation for the defence was increased.
      • Alters India’s understanding of the world and foreign policy in a fundamental way.
  • Challenge: 1966 Severe Drought: In 1966, due to drought, food grain production fell by 20 per cent. Foreign food aid came to the rescue of the starving population.
    • Team: Indira Gandhi (PM), C Subramaniam (agriculture minister) and M S Swaminathan (scientist).
    • Response:
      • Start of Green Revolution.
      • Science and technology were relied on and organizational innovations like the Food Corporation of India [FCI] were made.
  • Challenge: 1975 National Emergency, political shock
    • Team: Indira Gandhi (PM) and Sanjay Gandhi.
    • Response:
      • The harsh family planning programme was launched by PM Indira Gandhi on her son’s insistence. Despite the efforts to create awareness and support for sterilization, the camps were receiving a lukewarm response.
  • Challenge: 1991, External sector shock
    • Team: P V Narasimha Rao (PM), Manmohan Singh (FM), M S Ahluwalia (finance secretary) and S S Tarapore (from the RBI).
    • Response:
      • S S Tarapore played a key role by not acceding to the capital account convertibility requirement of the IMF.
      • Both policy and organizational change was brought about slowly, without disrupting the economy.
  • Challenge: COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Team: No clarity about who is in the team.
    • Response:
      • Not clear if the Covid-19 task force and control room in the NITI Aayog are the same.
      • Mismanagement in providing information regarding Covid-19 response.
      • There are some vaccine-related issues such as the gap between the two shots and taking two different vaccines. This contributes to vaccine hesitancy.
      • Confusion related to vaccine procurement.
      • Allowing huge gathering such as Kumbh Mela, election rallies were obvious cases of not following science.
      • Few cases of which reveal the unimportance the government gives to science.
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