lannin in ndia            5.7
     and almost no dependence on foreign capital and                some AreA-Wise rePorts
     technology, land reforms, self-dependent villages
                                                                    The idea for the need of a planned development
     and decentralised participatory form of planning
                                                                    of India became more and more popular by the
     and economic progress, to name the major ones.25
                                                                    decade of the 1940s. It was under this popular
     Some of the acceptable ideas of the plan got their
                                                                    pressure that the Government of India started
     due importance when the Government of India
                                                                    taking some planned actions in this direction.
     promoted five year plans.
                                                                    In the 1940s, we see several area-specific reports
          By the early 1960s, Jayaprakash Narayan had               being published:28
     become highly critical of the Indian planning
                                                                          (i) Gadgil Report on Rural Credit
     process, especially of its increasing centralising
     nature and dilution of people’s participation                      (ii) Kheragat Report on Agricultural
     in it. Basically, the very idea of democratic                              Development
     decentralisation was disliked by the established                  (iii) Krishnamachari Report on Agricultural
     power structure, namely, the MLAs/MPs, the                                 Prices
     bureaucracy and the state-level politicians.26 This               (iv) Saraiya Report on Cooperatives
     led the Jayaprakash Narayan Committee (1961)                       (v) A series of reports on Irrigation (ground
     to decide against the centralising nature of Indian                        water, canal, etc.)
     planning. The committee pointed out that after
                                                                         All these reports, though prepared with
     having accepted Panchayati Raj as the agency
                                                                    great care and due scholarship, the government
     responsible for planning and execution of plans,
                                                                    had hardly any zeal to implement the plans on
     there is “no longer any valid reason for continuing
                                                                    their findings. But independent India was greatly
     the individual allocations subjectwise even to serve
                                                                    benefited when the planning started covering all
     as a guide.”27
                                                                    these areas of concern.
          Disregarding the humble advice of the
                                                                         There is no doubt in drawing the conclusion
     committee, central schemes like small farmers
                                                                    that prior to Independence, there was thus a
     development agency (SFDA), drought-prone area
                                                                    significant measure of agreement in India between
     programme (DPAP), intensive tribal development
     programme (ITDP), intensive agricultural district              the Government of India under the Secretary of
     programme (IADP), etc., were introduced by                     State, the Indian National Congress, prominent
     the government and were put totally outside the                industrialists and the others on the following
     purview of the Panchayats.                                     principles:29
          It was only after the 73rd and 74th                             (i) There should be central planning, in
     Amendments effected to the Constitution (1992)                             which the state should play an active part,
     that the role of local bodies and their importance in                      for social and economic development to
     the process of planned development was accepted                            bring about a rapid rise in the standard of
     and the views of Jayprakash got vindicated.                                living;
                                                                        (ii) There should be controls and licencing
       25.  A.H. Hanson, The Process of Planning, p. 175.
                                                                                in order, among other things, to direct
       26.  George Mathew, Power to the People, in M.K.
            Santhanam (ed.), 50 Years of Indian Republic (New
                                                                                investments into the desired channels and
            Delhi: Publications Division, Government of India,                  ensure equitable distribution;
            200), p. 32.
       27.  L.C. Jain, et al., Grass without Roots (New Delhi: Sage   28.    A. H. Hanson, The Process of Planning, p. 180.
            Publications, 1985).                                      29.    Publications Division, The Gazatteir of India, p. 5.