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Vision 2020 Vs What We Achieved– Free PDF Download


  • Book, written by late former President of India A P J Abdul Kalam & Dr. Y S Rajan  in 1998.
  • Examines the weaknesses & strengths of India.
  • Offers a vision of how India can emerge to be among the world’s top  four economic powers by the year 2020.
  • Spurred on by P.J. Abdul Kalam,
  • The Planning Commission came up with an omnibus document that defined and  articulated India’s vision 2020.


  • In 2000, India was being counted among the then-famous BRIC economies.
  • They were supposed to rapidly increase their dominance over the global economy.
  • While Brazil and Russia China and India have indeed done well.


  • Annual GDP growth rate would be between 5% and 9% over the next 20 years.
  • India would move from being a least developed country (LDC) to an upper-middle-income country.
  • India’s rank in the World Bank’s classification of economies would go from 11th in 2000 to 4th in 2020.

What we achieved?

  • On this front, India did move very fast.
  • It was no longer an LDC even by the end of the first decade of the millennium.
  • However, this was not enough to reach the upper-income bracket where China
  • India remains a lower-middle- income economy.





  • Higher growth would result in quadrupling of the real per capita income.
  • Poverty would be completely eliminated.

What we achieved?

  • According to the United Nations’ 2019 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), India lifted 271 million people out of poverty  between 2006 and 2016.
  • This was the fastest reduction in the MPI values during the period, with strong improvements in areas such as assets,  cooking fuel, sanitation and nutrition.
  • Poverty could, however, not be eliminated, as envisioned 19 years ago.






  • Life expectancy that was 64 years in 2000 to grow to 69 years in 2019.
  • Providing more employment opportunities through skilling 500 million people.

What we achieved?

  • Sadly the goal of providing skill was not realized and it remained a distant dream.
  • The percentage of skilled youth moved up marginally from 2% in 2000 to 4.4% by 2019.
  • The country has been seeing jobless growth for nearly two
  • The rate of unemployment is at a 45-year high, with the educated unemployment rate rising to more than 23%.



  • To provide education to all.
  • To provide quality education.
  • The country would require at least 1,500 universities by 2020 to provide education to its youth.

What we achieved?

  • The education story is a mixed one.
  • Enrolments have gone up significantly, with big moneys spent on midday meal schemes, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and  village school buildings.
  • What is really a matter of concern is that despite nearly complete enrolment at the primary level, very few youth  reach college.
  • The quality of education is abysmal.
  • ASER survey shows the prevalence of learning deficit.
  • There are 993 universities today compared to the 642 universities in 2011-12 and 229 in 1998.
  • So we are still more than 500 universities short.
  • Only one-fourth of our youth in the 18-24 age group is going to college and university.



  • Health for All, we promised.

What we achieved?

  • With huge supply-side problems, this vision is as far from being reached.
  • The private sector caters to 75% of outpatient care and 60% of inpatient care.
  • An estimated 60 million Indians are pushed into poverty every year because they are forced to spend nearly half their  annual household income on medical needs.
  • There is one government hospital bed  for every 614 people  in Goa compared to only one for 8,789 people in Bihar.
  • Although the government has introduced a very ambitious programme Ayushman Bharat.
  • But it suffers from gross under supply of doctors even as it increases demand substantially.


  • Expenditure on human development must rise
  • Universal healthcare, Easy access to quality education, Elimination of hunger, Provision of sanitation infrastructure,  Pollution control.
  • One leading indicator of growth and development in any economy is urbanization.
  • India’s population remains persistently rural, particularly in the east.
  • With its 35% urban population today,
  • India is way behind most developed countries where the share is upwards of 50%.


  • India continues to be an economy with great potential, but will need concerted efforts in the  next 20 years if it must go on to become a  developed country by 2040.



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