Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan- Five Pillars, Objectives, UPSC Notes

By K Balaji|Updated : November 3rd, 2022

Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India was launched by the PM in the wake of the Covid pandemic to manage the economic disruption in the country. The objective of the Atmanirbhar Bharat program is to make the country and its people self-reliant and independent by all means with the help of a full-fledged economic stimulus package. Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan refers to the measures taken by the central government to make India self-sufficient in areas like infrastructure, services, etc. The value of the economic package is INR 20 lakh crore or 10% of India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

On India's 72nd Republic Day, Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan was emphasized through the COVID-19 vaccine development process and was displayed by the Department of Biotechnology in their tableau. Learn more about the scheme's four tranches, important pillars, the latest news, and more. The Atmanirbhar Bharat is an essential segment of the UPSC syllabus. The aspirants preparing for the IAS exam must be wholly cognizant of all the factors pertaining to this topic.

Table of Content

What is Atmanirbhar Bharat?

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is a mission initiated by the government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who initiated it in May 2020 to make India a self-reliant nation. This mission was launched during the pandemic.

  • The main purpose of launching this program was to support the country during the pandemic, for which the prime minister announced an economic package worth 20 lakh crore.
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat is based on 5 basic components: economy, demography, system, demand, and infrastructure.
  • Although this mission was launched to combat the vaccination crisis during the Coronavirus pandemic, later on, it developed drastically, and today many sectors are seen performing in the same field working in other dimensions.

Latest Updates on Atmanirbhar Bharat UPSC

The Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan was recently in the news as the United Kingdom India Business Council released a report in 2021 named ‘Road To A UK-India Free Trade Agreement: Enhancing the Partnership and Achieving Self Reliance’.

  • In this report, an annual survey was conducted on doing business in India, in which about 77% of United Kingdom companies believed in Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan as an opportunity for their business ideas and did not take it as a challenge to them.
  • But the UK India Business Council focused on the point that some reforms included under the Atmanirbhar Bharat program may create negative consequences for the United Kingdom and many other multinational companies.

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan in India

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan includes a package that was announced at the beginning of the pandemic period. This package incorporated some of the measures from the Reserve Bank of India and some payouts from the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKP). The package released by the Prime Minister of India focused on four major fields: land, labour, laws, and liquidity.

  • The goal of the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme is to reduce the import of products by improving the quality and quantity within the country itself.
  • This mission does not signify any exclusionary strategy but is more of creating a helping hand to the world by empowering the country's population.
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat mission's primary focus is on the promotion of local products.
  • It was carried out in two phases; wherein the first phase will work in the sections related to electronics, medical, textiles, and plastics, and in the second phase, it considers the products related to pharmacy, steel, gems, and pieces of jewelry.
  • Atmanirbhar Bharat is more complimentary to the Make in India initiative, where manufacturing in India is encouraged.

Objectives of Atmanirbhar Bharat

The Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan has the higher objective of reducing the dependency on the import of any foreign products and focuses on the production of its substitute within the boundaries of the country to improve the compliance and production of quality goods to create a global market share.

  • The Atmanirbhar Bharat program focuses more on becoming vocal for locals and promoting the products produced locally that benefit the rest of the country.
  • It has already released a package worth 20 lakh crore and will keep on releasing more funds to cater to the laborers, MSMEs, cottage industries, and Middle-Class industries.
  • By reducing imports, increasing production within the country, and increasing export, it is a vision to become a helping hand and partner for the economic growth of the entire world.

Five Pillars of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

By now, we have been discussing the five pillars of Atmanirbhar Bharat. In his 12th May 2020 speech, PM Narendra Modi declared the five pillars for developing a self-reliant India. Walk through the points that have been illustrated here to gain insights into the five pillars of the Abhiyan.

  • Economy: To build a type of economy that is sufficient enough to take a Quantum jump rather than growing and changing incrementally.
  • Infrastructure: To create more and more Infrastructures within the country that become the spotlight and identity for modern India.
  • System: To create a system that runs on technology and can fulfill the needs and dreams of 21st-century requirements. The present system would be entirely upgraded, unlike the past conditions.
  • Demography: The vibrant demographic is the present millennials in the country who are ambitious enough to bring the nation to a global level and upgrade it from a developing to a developed country. Being the world's largest democracy, the vibrant demography would be given chances to come up and be part of a self-reliant India.
  • Demand: To create a demand cycle, there has to be proper supply there for Atmanirbhar Bharat aims to create a proper cycle of demand and supply chain within the economy, which will boost the needs of the country to be harnessed at its fullest.

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan - MSME Reforms

Through the project, the government of India has announced a slew of measures to encourage and attract investment, increase the ease of conducting business and make the 'Make in India' initiative successful. Read about several other reforms taken to boost Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Emergency credit lines to businesses from banks

  • The loan was available for borrowers without any outstanding balances up to 25 crores and turnovers up to 100 crores.
  • Principal repayment was suspended for 12 months on the loan with a tenor of 4 years.
  • A cap on interest was imposed.
  • Principle and credit interest guarantee 100% credit coverage for NBFC and banks.
  • For MSME, there was no guarantee fee and no fresh collateral.
  • SME loans were collateral-free for 12 months.

20,000 crore subordinated debt for the MSMEs

  • A subordinate debt facility of rupees 20000 crores has been announced for stressed MSMEs. About 2 lakh MSMEs benefited from this.
  • The program was available to functioning MSMEs who were NPA or worked under stress at that time.
  • The government provided an amount of rupees 4000 crores to CGTMSE, providing a partial credit guarantee for supporting the banks.
  • People who promoted the MSME were given that by the banks which letter was to be confused by the promoter as equity in the unit.

Equity Infusion

  • The government had announced a sum of rupees 50000 crores equity infusion for the MSMEs who had an available business but could not accomplish it due to lack of funds and support under the then-current conditions.
  • This fund was operated by the mother fund and a few other types of funds.

Government Procurement

  • Government procurements up to 200 crores were prohibited from using global tenders.
  • There was a smooth payment process for all the pending payments from the government and other CPSEs to the MSMEs within the coming 45 days.

EPF Support businesses

  • The Eligible establishments received 12% of the employer and 12% of the employee contribution under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package.
  • It was provided for the salary month of March, April, and May in 2020. Never this support was extended to another three months for June, July, and August.
  • Later on, for the coming 3 months, the EPF contributions were reduced for both the businesses and the workers.
  • CPSE and state PSUs were to be continuing their 12% employer contribution, but the statutory PF contribution for each was to be reduced from 10% to 12%.
  • The workers who were not eligible for 24% EPF support under the Pradhanmantri Garib Kalyan package their extension were covered by this scheme.

Tranches of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

After announcing a package for Atmanirbhar Bharat, the finance minister, Nirmala Sitaraman, also announced tranches worth 20 lakh crores as the Atmanirbhar Bharat stimulus package.

  • The first tranche extensively focused on supporting the MSMEs hit by the pandemic and the lockdown imposed.
  • The second tranche focused on measures to revive the economies of the migrant workers and street vendors who have to leave their working places and move to their hometowns in adverse conditions.
  • The third tranche focused on the agriculture and marketing reforms where the package was pending for a long period and was expected to relieve the farmers and consumers during the pandemic.
  • The fourth tranche was related to the special sectors related to the defense mineral atomic space, Aviation, and power, where privatization was a major concern and emphasized.

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan Salient Features

The primary aim of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is to make India a self-reliant economy and help the government achieve the massive target of making India a US$5 Trillion economy. Here are the salient features of the Atmanirbhar Bharat stimulus package announced by the government of India in May 2020 -

  • Insurance cover of Rs 50 Lakh per health worker
  • 80 crore poor people received 5 kg wheat or rice per person for 3 months from May 2020
  • Each household received 1 kg pulses for 3 months from May 2020
  • 20 crore women Jan Dhan account holders received INR 500 per month for 3 months from May 2020
  • Free gas cylinders were provided to 8 crore low-income families for 3 months
  • MNREGA wage was increased to INR 202 a day from INR 182. This benefitted 13.62 crore families.
  • Front-loaded INR 2,000 paid to farmers under PM-KISAN. This benefitted 8.7 crore farmers.
  • RBI increased the Ways and Means advance limits of States by 60% and the Overdraft duration limits
  • The last date for Income Tax and GST Returns was extended to 30th June 2020
  • Moratorium of three months on payment of installments and interest on Working Capital Facilities of all Term Loans
  • INR 3 lakh crores Collateral free Automatic Loans for Business, including MSME
  • INR 50,000 crore equity infusion through MSME Fund of Funds
  • 25 lakh new Kisan Credit Cards approved with a loan limit of Rs. 25,000 crore
  • 63 lakh loans of Rs. 86,600 crores were sanctioned in Agriculture between 1.3.2020 to 30.04.2020
  • Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital for farmers through NABARD

The Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme also faced numerous criticisms pertaining to the structure and the statistics. The concerns and criticisms related to the Atmanirbhar Bharat have been illustrated here-

  • The efforts of the Reserve Bank of India were also added as a part of the package. However, the RBI and the government initiatives cannot be added cumulatively. 
  • According to some renowned economists that more spending will be required to prevent an economic contraction. More spending will lead to a surge in the fiscal deficit and higher rates of inflation.
  • There will be an issue in generating the demand, as it cannot surge with ease.
  • Concern was also raised for the state governments, that adequate funding was not furnished to them during the pandemic.
  • It is also criticized for being the restructured model of the Make in India.

Atmanirbhar Bharat UPSC Notes

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan UPSC topic is included in the current affairs section of UPSC exam. It is an important topic to learn as 30 to 40% of questions prelims are asked about current affairs, out of which Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is an important one. To ensure all related topics are covered, refer to UPSC Books and download UPSC Question Paper for revision.

Atmanirbhar Bharat UPSC PDF

It is of high essentiality for the candidates to get in touch with the essential segments of the syllabus, to perform exceptionally well in the exam. The candidates can also practice the previous year papers to get ideation of the types of questions asked in the exam, and the frequency of the questions.

Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan UPSC Question

The aspirants can practice the UPSC question that has been elaborated here and get a reference and ideation for solving the questions in the stipulated time frame. The questions will provide the aspirants with an idea of the type of questions that are prevalent in the exam.

Question. How much is emergency working fund facility was announced under the Atmanirbhar Bharat for MSMEs?

  1. 2 lakh crores
  2. 3 lakh crores
  3. 7 lakh crores
  4. None of the above

Answer. Option B

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FAQs on Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan

  • The main aim of the Atmanirbhar Bharat program is to make its citizens self-reliant on the pillars of the economy, demand, infrastructure, demography, and the system. The primary purpose of the economic package under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is to provide much-needed policy and financial support to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the cottage industry in India.

  • The concept of Atmanirbhar Bharat describes India being on a global platform and showcasing its importance in the global economy by showing the policies which are efficient and competitive enough for self-sufficiency and sustainability.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated the concept of Atmanirbhar Bharat on 12th May 2020 by announcing a special package of 20 lakh crores which was almost equal to 10% of India's total GDP.

  • The program Make-in-India and Atmanirbhar Bharat are nearly the same as both the programs seek to encourage the existing vibrant demography in India to work in the field of domestic industry and reduce the reliance on importing products from overseas.

  • Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan refers to the measures taken by the central government to make India self-reliant in areas like infrastructure, services, etc. The five pillars of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan are-

    • Economy
    • Infrastructure
    • System 
    • Demography
    • Demand
  • The main objective of the economic package under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is to facilitate the needed policy and financial support to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the cottage industry in India. The reforms are listed here-

    • Facilitating emergency credit lines to businesses from banks.
    • Providing 20,000 crore subordinated debt for the MSME
    • Government Procurement
    • Equity Infusion
    • EPF Support businesses
  • There are in cumulative five tranches for reviving the economy and catering to the needs of the sections of the population hit by the pandemic. The five tranches of the Atmanirbhar Bharat have been listed here-

    • The first tranche emphasized uplifting the MSMEs that were severely hit by the pandemic.
    • The second tranche aimed to bring back the economics of the laborers and migrant workers.
    • The third tranche aimed to emphasize agricultural and marketing reforms.
    • The fourth tranche pertains to special sectors such as defence, aviation, and power.
  • The topic Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is essential for the IAS exam, as it forms an eminent part of the UPSC syllabus. The candidates must have an in-depth knowledge of the factors pertaining to the essential topics. The candidates can download the notes for comprehensive preparation. The aspirants must also practice UPSC mock test and the previous year question papers.

  • There are many concerns and issues related to the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. Some of the concerns raised by the economists are that it will need more expenditure than expected. Generating the demand will not be easy. It is also criticized as the restructured model of Make in India. More spending will surge the fiscal deficit which will lead to a surge in inflation.

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