In September 2014, the government launched the Make in India campaign, focusing on initiatives to facilitate investments into India and promoting it as a global manufacturing hub.9 The program aims to improve the ease of doing business in India by reducing red tape, improving infrastructure, opening up more sectors to FDI, and most importantly, changing the image of the government from a 'permit-issuing authority' to a true business partner. The program has been a stellar success with India reducing dependency on imports and turning many sectors into domestic manufacturing hubs that cater to global demand. The Make in India program dismantled outdated frameworks and brought in transparent mechanisms that disbanded investor complaints and helped drive investment in the Indian market.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister announced his vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat (translated to Self-reliant India). In line with the Make in India program, the government has appealed to the citizens to focus on being self-reliant and vocal for local products. The Atmanirbhar Bharat program has five pillars, namely economy, infrastructure, system, vibrant demography, and demand.
The Aatmanirbhar Bharat program aims to achieve self-reliance through a five-stage plan:10
Broadly, this program provides thrust in the form of government reforms relaxing state borrowing limits, plans to privatize Public Sector Units (PSUs), redefining Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises to be more inclusive, reducing tax deduction rates and support in managing working capital amongst others.
Atmanirbhar Bharat is not intended to promote protectionism or isolationism by erecting trade barriers but instead seeks to make the Indian economy robust in the long run by scaling up manufacturing, accelerating infrastructure development, attracting investments, and promoting consumption-led growth.