During pre-independence phase (1918 to 1947), the Swadeshi movement became the key focus of freedom struggle and was described as ‘the soul of Swaraj’. However, the post-independence Swadeshi movement developed quite differently as compared to its pre-independence counterpart. While the pre-independence Swadeshi movement was essentially a response to colonial policies, the post-independence Swadeshi movement rose as an answer to compete with the highly-advanced industrialized economies of the West. The country witnessed a sudden rise in indigenous industries during this period. Though rapid industrialisation and modernisation were aimed at creating a self-sufficient India, there was a growing need to balance it with a predominantly agrarian set-up of the country. This need necessitated a resurgence of a slightly recast Swadeshi movement that preserved the old framework of an agrarian country while promoting modernizing. Thus, post-independence, the Swadeshi movement took a twist under the gamut of Five Year Plans.
Between 1948 and 1991, there were huge restrictions on international and interstate trade, with a complicated system of industrial licensing (known as the Licence Raj or Permit Raj) in place to establish and operate businesses in India. In 1991, the Indian government introduced a liberalisation policy and significantly reduced the Licence Raj. The licensing regulations, taxes and duties were drastically relaxed to pave way for international trade and investment. Post liberalization and globalization, India witnessed a considerable growth in the Indian economy. However, the Swadeshi movement promoting the use of Indian products still remained widely prevalent.
More recently, the Swadeshi movement got popularised as the ‘Make in India’ movement. The ‘Make in India’ is an initiative of the Government of India, launched on 25th September 2014 by our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji. It is a major national program designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure within the country. It also aims to adopt high-quality standards and minimizing the adverse impact on the environment. The “Zero Defect Zero Effect” slogan was coined by Modiji to emphasize on the production mechanism that produces no-defects goods with no adverse environmental and ecological effects.
The thoughts and ideas of the Make in India campaign and the Swadeshi movement run on parallel tracks and have emerged as two sides of the same coin. While the Make in India campaign runs on a much larger scale and is non-violent (involves no boycotting, or burning of foreign goods), the essential ideology is the same: people are urged to use indigenously-made products and thus boost the economy. The Make in India movement encourages the feeling of ‘swadeshi’ to make India economically independent and self-sufficient. Keeping in mind the patriotic sentiment and the main purpose behind the initiative, the Make in India logo has been aptly designed to represent a lion on the prowl, made entirely of cogs, symbolising manufacturing, strength, national pride and confidence.
The Make in India campaign focuses on 25 key sectors of the economy. To ensure the success of this launch, various measures were taken by the Government such as relaxation of foreign equity caps in various sectors, online availability of applications for licenses, increase in the validity of licenses to 3 years besides, and relaxation of many other norms and procedures.
The Make in India initiative has encouraged Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and invited global companies to manufacture their products in India. As per the current policy, 100% foreign direct investment is permitted in all 25 sectors, except for space, defence and news media. As a result, thousands of foreign firms, modern entrepreneurs, start-ups, small to medium scale industries, and even large enterprises are driven to set up their manufacturing units in India.
The Make in India campaign has reaped several benefits since its inception and put India on global charts already. Combined with other initiatives by the end of 2017, India jumped from 130th place in 2016 to 100th place out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2017 Ease of doing business index, and 32 places World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. With the government’s consistent efforts, the Make in India initiative has put India on roads to transform into a global design and manufacturing hub.
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