India and its position at international level is the result of several developments that took place since 1951. Let us, in brief, see each of these developments decade wise.
This decade marked the beginning of the first five-year plan which reflected the Nehru’s. These ideologies were based on socialism taken from USSR making a friendly relation with them. The major focus of this era was to restructure the economy, to increase industrialisation, development of dams and canals for irrigation, etc. All these were done with the support from foreign grants.
This decade was the combination of both development and destruction. India faced two major wars in 1962 and 1965 leading to the creation of enemies surrounding the borders. Relations with the US also worsened during this period. During this period, India lost Nehru, and there was a change in the country’s leadership. Indira Gandhi succeeded Lal Bahadur Shastri and changed the Nehruvian ideologies. The decade witnessed some other significant development like green revolution, nationalisation of banks, and devaluation of money to bring the economy back on track after the wars. During this period, the cold war between the US and USSR intensidfied due to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Furthermore, the United Nations declared this decade as the first developmental decade followed with the formation of UNCDF, UNIDO, OPEC, UNCTAD whose major focus was to increase trade and industrialisation worldwide by supporting least developing countries.
In 1971-72, once again India went to war with Pakistan. India supported the formation of Bangladesh( earlier known as East Pakistan). The decade was also seen as the darkest times in democracy after then PM Indira Gandhi declared an emergency in 1975. During this period, all the civil rights were suspended, and Sanjay Gandhi’s controversial family planning project was forced upon people. However, there are more positives associated with the emergency period. The Indian economy saw growth after years of slowdown, and the inflation was significantly reduced. However, the negatives cannot be ignored which includes unrest in the country in the form of strikes and labour conflicts. At the same time, several events were happening at the international level which included advancement in technology.
The 1980s saw several communal violences across the country. Along with this, the government established a dedicated bank, NABARD, to extend micro-financing to rural India. The Election Commission of India commissioned EVM machines during this period. It was first used in Kerala in 1982. During this decade, institutions such as UNDP, WHO, IMF and World Bank focused on promoting social, economic, energy and trade-related development.
This decade marked the IT revolution in the country. India also witnessed communal violence and terrorist attack like the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 followed by 1993 serial bomb blasts in Bombay.
This decade is also known as a liberalisation period where the government liberalised, privatised, and globalised Indian economy to battle Balance of Payment (BOP) crisis. Due to thse reforms, the license raj (started in 1947) came to an end.
However, this didn’t come without a price. The funds received by IMF was with certain terms and conditions. USA being the major stakeholder in IMF forced India to support them in Gulf war. Later in this period, there was one of the famous scams in Indian history named as Harshad Mehta scam that involved then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. Consequently, Security Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to avoid such scams in future and regulate the stock market.
It was during this period that India started to focus significantly on human development. Several social schemes such as MNREGA, RTI, RTE, etc. were launched during this decade. This was due to the formation of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from the UN making India follow a similar framework to be in the race with other countries.
This period was more of a trade-off between economic and political development. The Congress government lost to BJP with a huge margin, marking the rise of India’s current PM Narendra Modi.
The second term of UPA government faced allegations of numerous scams like Coalgate and Commonwealth scam, to name a few. The BJP promised to reverse the situation and provide corruption-free governance. Hence, the new government BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) came to power whose major focus is to have social development from the people’s finances. After taking charge of the office, the new government started regulating the institutions and their roles. In a more refined way, BJP is more of a watchdog rather than an administrator, keeping an eye on each individuals income, spending, and other activities.
Thus, it can be said that whatever policies and actions that Indian institutions took since 1951 was directly or indirectly influenced by international institutions and their strategies.