Five Year Plan in India – Objectives, List of All Five Year Plans in India

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The Five year plan in India was a formal model of planning adopted by the Indian government after Independence, with an aim to achieve the objective of balanced and effective utilization of resources. It was introduced by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, in 1951. Since then, five year plans have been introduced for specific growth in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors in the country. The Five Year Plans were an important part economic development strategy of India for several decades.

The Five Year Plan was a series of centralized economic plans created by the government of India between 1951 and 2017. The plans were designed to promote economic growth, improve living standards, and reduce poverty by setting specific targets for industrial and agricultural production, infrastructure development, and social welfare programs. Each plan had a duration of five years and was followed by an evaluation of its success and a new plan for the following five years.

What is Five Year Plan?

The Five Year Plan was a series of centralized economic plans initiated by the government of India with the aim of promoting economic growth, improving the standard of living, and reducing poverty. Five Year Plans aimed to fix problems like poverty, unemployment, and income inequality. The plans were introduced in 1951 and continued until 2017 when they were replaced by a new development strategy called NITI Aayog.

Each Five Year Plan was developed with a specific set of goals and objectives, based on the priorities of the government at the time. The primary objective of the plans was to increase the overall level of economic output, measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while also improving the standard of living for Indian citizens.

Objectives of Five Year Plans in India

The major objectives of launching the model of five year plan in India are listed below:

  • Increased Employment
  • Economic Development
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Economic Stability
  • Regional Development
  • Comprehensive and sustainable development
  • Economic Inequality Reduction
  • Social Welfare, and Efficient Social Service Provision
  • Increased Standard of Life
  • Social Justice

Five Year Plan in India

The concept of economic planning in India dates back to the period from 1940-50. It was done to restore the economy. A decision was taken by different industrialists in the year 1944 and came up with a plan referred to as the Bombay Plan. The inclusion of a five year plan was done under the same economic planning.

The concept of the Five Year Plan in India was included after the country gained independence. The introduction of the Five Year Plan to the world was done by Stalin in 1928 when he introduced the concept for the first time in the Soviet Union. A long list of Five Year Plans was made and introduced in India post-independence.

Five Year Plans Year Goals Impact
First Five Year Plan 1951 – 1956 – The main goal was to improve the agriculture sector

– Target was to achieve an average annual growth rate of 2.1% in the gross domestic product (GDP) over the five-year period

– Net domestic product increased by 15%, while the achieved growth rate stood at 3.6%

– Five Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) were created

– University Grants Commission was established to provide money and improve higher education in India

– Industrial growth fell short of its target due to a lack of investment in heavy industries and slow growth in the private sector

Second Five Year Plan 1956 – 1961 – To promote industrialization in the country

– Mahalanobis model was used in the 2nd Five Year plan

– Target of the plan was to achieve an annual growth rate of 4.5% in the Gross Domestic Product

– The plan did not meet its target growth rate of 4.5% and only managed to achieve a growth rate of 4.27%

– New industries were established, and infrastructure was improved

– The plan also led to the establishment of hydroelectric power projects and five steel plants were built in places like Rourkela, Durgapur, and Bhilai

Third Five Year Plan 1961 – 1966 – To promote agriculture, industry, and social welfare

– Aimed to increase the economic growth rate to 5.6% per year

– The goal of this plan was to create a self-sufficient economy with a focus on agriculture and increasing wheat production. However, it failed due to wars and drought

– Only achieved an actual growth rate of 2.4%

– The plan helped set up many primary schools in rural areas and created state electricity and education boards

– The states were given responsibility for secondary and higher education

Three Annual Plans 1966 – 1969 – The third five year plan was unsuccessful due to various reasons including wars and other issues.

– Therefore, the value of the Indian rupee decreased in the global market leading to high inflation.

– This led to the postponement of the next five year plan in India.

The three annual plans focused on a revamped agriculture-based strategy which included the utilization of fertilizers on an increased level, good-quality seeds, and the conservation of soil.
Fourth Five Year Plan 1969 – 1974 – To reduce the concentration of wealth and economic power and to achieve growth with stability and self-reliance

– The Fourth Five Year Plan was created based on the Gadgil formula

– Target growth rate – 5.6%

– The plan promoted the Green Revolution, which aimed to increase agricultural productivity by using better crops, irrigation, and fertilizers

– The plan didn’t achieve its target growth rate of 5.6% and only had an actual growth rate of 3.3%

Fifth Five Year Plan 1974 – 1979 – Aimed to reduce poverty, increase employment opportunities, improve the justice system, boost agricultural production, and strengthen defence – Government introduced several initiatives like amending the Electricity Supply Act in 1975, launching a Twenty-point program in 1975, and implementing the Minimum Needs Programme

– The plan was successful as it achieved a growth rate of 4.8%, exceeding the target of 4.4%

Rolling Plan 1978 – 1980 The sixth five year plan was introduced twice, one of which was introduced by the ruling Janata Party. The party mainly laid stress on the matter of unemployment. It was majorly focused on the criticism of the Nehru government. The Janata Party lost power and the Congress government took its place. The new government later rolled out a new plan which aimed towards poverty alleviation.
Sixth Five Year Plan 1980 – 1985 – Focused on investing money, changing infrastructure, and growing the economy

– Target Growth Rate – 5.2%

– The goal was to have a 5.2% growth, but they actually achieved a 5.7% growth

– The Sixth Five Year Plan was also significant because it marked the beginning of economic liberalization in India.

– They made a new bank called the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development to help people in rural areas.

Seventh Five Year Plan in India 1985 – 1990 – The goal of the Seventh Five Year Plan was to make India more self-sufficient, create more jobs, and improve technology

– Target growth rate – 5%

– Achieved growth rate – 6.01%

– The Seventh Five Year Plan focused on agriculture, small businesses, and improving roads and technology.

– The plan aimed to promote social justice and help the poor, increase the productivity of farmers, and make India more independent.

8th Five Year Plan 1992 – 1997 – To promote entrepreneurship, support small and medium-sized enterprises, and enhance the skills of the labor force – The Eighth Five Year Plan was the beginning of a new economic approach called internationalization, relaxation, and commercialization in India.

– The plan gave priority to energy, allocating 26.6% of the budget to it.

– Overall, it was successful in achieving its objectives, and the economy of India grew at an average annual rate of 6.8% during this period.

Ninth Five Year Plan in India 1997 – 2002 – The focus of the plan was to achieve growth along with social justice and equality

– Target Growth Rate – 6.5%

– Achieved growth rate – 5.4%

– The government planned to spend a total of ₹859,200 crores on public projects

– It introduced new measures called Special Action Plans to help achieve targets on time with enough resources

Tenth Five Year Plan 2002 – 2007 – Its main goal was to increase India’s per capita income over the next 10 years and reduce the poverty ratio to 15% by 2012 – The GDP growth rate during the plan period was 7.5%, which was close to the target of 8%

– Poverty rates also decreased, and significant progress was made in the areas of health, education, and infrastructure

11th Five Year Plan 2007 – 2012 – The main focus of the Eleventh Five Year Plan was to achieve rapid and inclusive growth

– The 11th Five Year Plan aimed to increase the number of 18-23 year-olds enrolled in higher education by 2011-12

– Although the plan aimed for a growth rate of 9%, it achieved a growth rate of 8%
12th Five Year Plan 2012 – 2017 – The 12th Five Year Plan had three main objectives: growth, inclusiveness, and sustainability

– It aimed to achieve an average annual growth rate of 8%

– The key areas of focus under the Twelfth Five Year Plan were infrastructure development, skill development, health, education, agriculture, energy, and the environment

13th Five Year Plan

There is no official Current Five Year Plan in India. The Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-2017) was the last plan period for India’s planning process. After its completion, the Indian government decided to discontinue the Five Year Plan system and shift to a more flexible approach focused on achieving sustainable development goals. The government of India has since shifted to a longer-term development plan called the National Development Agenda, which is aimed at achieving sustainable development goals.

Five Year Plans in India Goals and Achievements

The basic overview of Five Year Plan in India along with the timeline, target growth, and actual growth is as under:

Plan Timeline Target Growth Actual Growth
First Five Year Plan (1951 – 56) 2.1 % 3.6 %
Second Five Year Plan (1956 – 61) 4.5% 4.3%
Third Five Year Plan (1961 – 66) 5.6% 2.8%
Three Annual Plans (1966 – 69)
Fourth Five Year Plan (1969 – 74) 5.7% 3.3%
Fifth Five Year Plan (1974 – 79) 4.4% 4.8%
Rolling Plan (1978 – 80)
Sixth Five Year Plan (1980 – 85) 5.2% 5.7%
Seventh Five Year Plan (1985 – 90) 5.0% 6.0%
Eighth Five Year Plan (1992 – 97) 5.6 % 6.8%
Ninth Five Year Plan (1997- 2002) 6.5% 5.4%
Tenth Five Year Plan (2002 – 2007) 8% 7.6%
Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007 – 2012) 9 % 8%
Twelfth Five year Plan (2012-2017) 8%

Five Year Plan UPSC

The last five year plan in India was the 12th plan which was operational till 2017. The planning commission was replaced by NITI Aayog in the year 2015 by the current union government, after that, the model of 5 year plans was terminated. For UPSC aspirants, it is crucial to be aware of all five year plans in India starting from the 1st to the 12th plan and the current model of economic planning. It is a significant topic in the Economics and Current Affairs section of the Prelims and Mains exam.

MCQ on Five Year Plans

A few of the Five Year Plan UPSC Questions for the IAS Prelims and Mains exam are as follows:

Question 1: Consider the following statements regarding the important features included by the Constitutional provisions which pertain to the objectives of planning in the country:

  1. Economic and social planning is a central subject.
  2. The Constitution includes provisions for promoting cooperation on a voluntary basis between the Union and the states.
  3. The Constitution also sets out in broad outline the pattern of the welfare state envisaged and the fundamental principles on which it should rest.

Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1 and 2 only

Answer: 3

Question 2: Which of the following five year plan worked on the motive of removal of poverty and attainment of self-reliance? – Fourth Plan, Fifth Plan, Sixth Plan, Seventh Plan

Answer: Fifth Plan

Question 3: The First Five Year Plan in India was launched in which year? – (a) 1947, (b) 1951, (c) 1955, (d) 1961

Answer: b) 1951

Question 4: Who was the architect of the Five Year Plans in India? – (a) Jawaharlal Nehru, (b) Mahatma Gandhi, (c) Indira Gandhi, (d) Rajiv Gandhi

Answer: a) Jawaharlal Nehru

Important UPSC Notes:
Fundamental Duties Panchayati Raj System
Basic Structure of Constitution Military Exercises of India
AFSPA UPSC Notes Sources of Indian Constitution
Cripps Mission Amendments in Indian Constitution
Kyoto Protocol Tiger Census 2023
Revolt of 1857 Types of Soil in India
Multidimensional Poverty Index President of India
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