Economic planning is the process of allocating physical as well as human resources among different uses. For this, detailed schemes are prepared. Through economic planning, endeavors are made to achieve the stipulated objectives.

By adopting a proper planning, growth is achieved  and nations as well as citizens get benefit and the standard of living raise. In fact, the objectives of economic planning are to abolish poverty, illiteracy, and ignorance and opening new avenues.

Planning commission was constituted on 15 the March 1950.  Now it is renamed and restructured as NITI Aayog, which came into existence on 1st January, 2015. It is an advisory body.

First Five Year Plan (1951-1956)

First five year plan was launched on 1st April, 1951.  It was focused in the development of the primary sector. Agriculture was on the top priority. It was during this plan that five IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) were established. This plan was success as the set targets were achieved. The University Grants Commission was established to improve the standard of higher education in the country.

Second Five Year Plan (1956-1961)

In this plan, the highest priority was given to industrialization. This plan was based on the model prepared by Prof P C Mahalanobis.  Special focus was made on the development of basic and heavy industries. During this period, five steel plans were set up in Bhilai, Durgapur and Rourkela.  North east India was connected with more railway lines.  Apart from it, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Atomic Energy Commission were established.

Third Five Year Plan ( 1961-1966)

The primary objective of this plan was the long term development of Indian economy. Stressed was made to improve the production of wheat.  War with China in 1962 and with Pakistan in 1965-66 weakened the economy and led to inflation.  In the third plan the target growth rate was 5.6 % but the actual growth rate was 2.4%.

Plan Holiday (1966-1969)

During this period three annual plans were prepared

Fourth Five Year Plan (1969-1974)

Growth with stability was the primary objective. In this plan, efforts were made to enlarge the income of rural population and supply of goods of mass consumption.   During this plan period a war with Pakistan was fought. The targeted growth rate was 5.6, but the achieved growth rate was 3.3.

Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-1978

During this plan period, Indira government gave the slogan Garibi Hatao. New employment opportunities were discovered and created.  The Twenty-point programme was launched in 1975. The Minimum Needs Programme was introduced in the first year of this Plan. The objective of the programme was to provide certain basic minimum needs and thereby improve the living standards of the masses. The targeted growth rate was 4.4% but the attained growth rate was 4.8%.

Annual or Rolling Plan (1978-1980): When Janta Party government came into power it rejected the Fifth Five-Year Plan and introduced a new Sixth Five-Year Plan (1978–1980). This plan was again rejected by the Congress government in 1980 and a new Sixth Plan was made. Continuous revisions due to political instability resulted in lack of stability in the economy.

Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-1985)

It was the beginning of economic liberalization.  Emphasis was made to improve the rural India and in this direction NABARD – National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development was set up. Steps were taken to control the overpopulation. This plan was a success as the targeted growth rate was 5.2% and the achieved growth rate was 5.7%

Seventh Five Year Plan (1985-1990)

Basic priorities of this plan  were  to increase  the productivity level of industries through upgradation  of technology.  Food for work and productivity was also an important point of this plan. The targeted growth rate was 5% and the achieved growth rate was 6.01%.

Annual Plans (1990-1992)

Due to political instability the eighth plan could not be initiated, hence these two years were treated as annual plans.

Eighth Five Year Plan (1992-1997)

Under the leadership of then Prime Minister P.V. Narsimha Rao and Finance Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, our country went to reform and liberalise the economy.  Free market reforms such as liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation were carried out. Industries were modernized. More and more employment opportunities were created.

Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002)

The basic objective of this plan was growth with equality and distributive justice.  Public and private sector played important role in development of the country. Special Action Plans (SAP) was also significant in this period.  Priority was given to population control, urban and rural development, and uplifting the disadvantaged classes of the society. Population control, giving priority to agriculture and rural development. Targeted growth rate was 7.1 and achieved growth rate was 6.8%.

Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-2007)

The primary objectives of this plan were attaining 8% growth rate, enhancing literacy, alleviating poverty, raising wage rates etc.

Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-2012)

‘Faster and more inclusive growth ‘was the primary objective of this plan.  Increasing growth rate in agriculture, industry and services to 4%, 10% and 9% respectively.

Twelfth Five Year Plan (2012-2017)

Faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth ‘was the primary objective of this plan .  Emphasis was made  to reduce poverty by 10%.


NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog came in to existence on 1st January, 2015 replacing the Planning Commission which was set up in 15th March, 1950.  NITI  Aayog works as a Think Tank’ for Government of India. NITI Aayog also provides relevant advice to the Centre and States. At the core of NITI Aayog there are two hubs – Team India Hub and the Knowledge and Innovation Hub. The Team India Hub leads the engagement of states with the Central government, and the Knowledge and Innovation Hub builds NITI’s think-tank capabilities.

NITI Aayog has become a State of the Art Resource Center, with the necessary resources, knowledge and skills, that will enable it to act with speed, promote research and innovation, provide strategic policy vision for the government, and deal with contingent issues. NITI Aayog acts as an essential platform of the Government of India to bring States to act together in national interest. Prime Ministers the Chairman of NITI Aayog. A Vice Chairperson is appointed to run it. Apart from it, NITI Aayog has a team of experts, who assist the Vice Chairperson to frame and implement the plans.