India needs a National Vision Document – UPSC GS2

National vision documents of other countries:
  • China: 
    • It released a ‘Made in China 2025’ document in 2015, that talks about a 10-year plan for the development of 10 key high-tech industries.
    • The target is to be 70% self-sufficient by 2025 and to achieve a dominant position globally by 2049.
    • China’s 2019 defence white paper stated that by 2035, the armed forces would complete the “modernization of national defence and the military” and by 2049, “fully transform the people armed forces into world-class forces.”
  • USA: USA introduced its vision in 1969 to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. A 10-year time frame was given to scientists with required financial support, and they met the national goal.
  • India: India announced its aim of sending astronauts into space by 2022. India carried out only two space launches in 2021 (of which one failed) while China set a world record of 47.
What lessons does India need to learn from other countries?
  • China initiated its economic reforms in the 1980s, when Deng Xiaoping asked his countrymen to “hide your capability and bide your time.” They were focused on first augmenting national power by gaining economic capability. Now, it is taking further strides with Made in China 2025 plan, a long-term space exploration program, and a military technology enhancement vision.
  • In the case of India, the announcements are made first, and later we think properly about it. For example, Atmanirbhar campaign.  In the era of globalization where technologies are protected by nations, international cooperation is the only way out. Some advancements by DRDO in UAV and drone technology have been made.
  • During the pandemic, India was not able to fulfill its vaccine export commitments during the second Covid wave showed that the world is interdependent. This also raised questions about India’s self-sufficient capabilities.
  • The fact that every military emergency, like Kargil or Pulwana, has resulted in emergency arms purchase shows that there is a lack of national vision.
How should India frame its national vision policy?
There is a need of formulating a comprehensive and coherent multi-sectoral and multi-ministerial policymaking. This calls for a three-step process:
  • Adequate time should be given to experts to draft national policy.
  • Vision should include economic and technological analysis to ensure a realistic national dream.
  • Plan should be implemented by an experts body that will have political backing.

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