3rd Five Year Plan
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Introduction || Planning Commission
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This report sets out the objectives, policies and programmes of development for the Third Five Year Plan.

Two Five Year Plans have helped strengthen the foundations of economic and social life and stimulated industrial and economic growth and scientific and technological advance.

The Third Five Year Plan seeks to give a more precise content to the social objectives of the Constitution and represents a large advance towards their realisation. It takes account of the successes and the failures in the first two Plans and sets the tasks to be fulfilled in the perspective of development over the next fifteen years and more.

Work on the preparation of the Third Plan commenced towards the end of 1958 and was carried out in three main stages. The first, leading to the publication of the Draft Outline early in July, 1960, comprised detailed studies by working groups set up at the Centre and in the States. Parliament gave its general approval to the Draft Outline in August, 1960.

The Draft Outline was discussed throughout the country and served as the basis for the preparation of the plans of States. These were considered with the Chief Ministers of States between September and November, 1960. In January, 1961, the National Development Council made its recommendations concerning the overall size and the structure of the Third Plan; the Council also set up a Committee on Savings to suggest ways of securing the maximum mobilisation of resources for the Third Plan. Finally, on May 31 and June 1, 1961, the National Development Council considered the Draft Report on the Third Plan and generally approved it.

The objectives and priorities of the Third Plan were considered carefully by five Parliamentary Committees in November, 1960, and every effort has been made in this Report to avail of the suggestions and comments offered by these Committees. Several aspects of the Plan were placed from time to time before the Committee of Members of Parliament from different political parties presided over by the Prime Minister. The Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament associated with the Planning Commission also reviewed the Plan at various stages.

Throughout the preparation of the Plan, leading public men and scholars, professional associations, organisations representing industry and labour, and independent experts generously gave of their time and experience. The Planning Commission had the benefit of advice and suggestions from its Panel of Economists, Panel of Scientists, and Panels on Land Reform, Agriculture, Education, Health and Housing. It was also helped by studies initiated by the Programme Evaluation Organisation, the Research Programmes Committee, the Committee on Plan Projects, the Central Statistical Organisation, the Indian Statistical Institute and other leading organisations engaged in research. Efforts to prepare plans at the district, block and village level, specially for the development of agriculture, cooperation, education and rural industries, were an integral part of the process of drawing up the plans of States as well as the National Plan. These local plans are a vital element in the success of Panchayati Raj, which places in the hands of the people of each area the initiative and responsibility for their own development and the means and resources for rapid advance.

The preparation of the Third Plan has been, thus, a vast national undertaking in which valuable contributions have come from many sources, and at every stage there has been the closest collaboration with the State Governments and the Central Ministries.

The Third Plan represents the first phase in a scheme of long-term development extending over the next fifteen years or so, the preparation of which will now be taken in hand. In the course of this period, India's economy must not only expand rapidly but must, at the same time, become self-reliant and self-generating. This' long-term approach is intended to provide a general design of development for the country's natural resources, agricultural and industrial advance, changes in the social structure and an integrated scheme of regional and national development.

The Plan sets large objectives and targets for the five-year period. They are large only in comparison with the past, not in relation to needs or to the nation's capacity to achieve. They constitute a minimum which must be assured, but their true purpose is to open the way to a still more intensive endeavour and a deeper sense of urgency.

The size of the task and the many-sided challenge should not be underestimated. The greatest stress in the Plan has to be on implementation, on speed and thoroughness in seeking practical results, and on creating conditions for the maximum production and employment and the development of human resources. Discipline and national unity are the very basis of social and economic progress and the achievement of socialism. At each step, the Third Plan will demand dedicated leadership at all levels, the highest standards of devotion and efficiency from the public services, widespread understanding and participation by the people, and willingness on their part to take their full share of responsibility and to bear larger burdens for the future.

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