AATMANIRBHAR BHARAT: A Vibrant and Strong India
Arvind Gupta, Director, VIF

Neither development without self-pride nor self-pride without development are desirable. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for Aatmanirbhar Bharat or a self-reliant India on 12 May 2020 goes beyond mere economic self-reliance.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought forth India’s unhealthy and unsustainable dependencies on imports, be it of goods, armaments, technology or even ideas. India, thus, needs a course correction, which the Aatmanirbhar model provides. The Aatmanirbhar programme goes beyond indigenization, and aims to make India self-reliant in political, economic, military, social, and cultural aspects while rediscovering and developing India’s inherent strengths. The idea is not to go alone, but rebalance being strategically dependent and strategically interdependent.

The editors are encouraged by the Prime Minister’s message to this publication. In his words, “India’s inner strength, intent and energy is powering the nation’s resolute efforts towards building a prosperous and Aatmanirbhar Bharat.” Aatmanirbhar Bharat’s vision is global peace, prosperity and welfare of all.

Through this book, India’s leading thinkers and policy stalwarts (including two Padma Shri awardees), dive deep into conceptualizing and outlining the way forward for this arduous, yet ardent vision of Aatmanirbharta. A broad spectrum of the policy space ranging from civilizational and historical discourses to economy, foreign policy, technology, military, rural sector, education, skills development, women, and climate change is covered in the book making it an inspiring read for the decision makers, intelligentsia and the public at large.

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