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After the NDC

polity, is in a more confused state today than ever before. This is in contrast to the feeling in 1960-61, at the beginning of the Third Plan, that we were set on a very well charted course. This feeling had not diminished very much even after the Chinese aggression. But since 1964, after Nehru's death, there has certainly been a feeling of increasing purposelessness, lack of direction and drift. The change was marked in the very institution which was supposed to provide a stable and sustained direction to the economy, namely, the Planning Commission. The approach to the Fourth Plan in the Planning Commission before and after Nehru's death indicated significant changes. The Notes on the Perspective of Development prepared by the Perspective Planning Division in April 1964, were tentatively accepted as the basis for further discussion in a Planning Commission meeting held before Nehru's death; but the whole approach to the Fourth Plan became uncertain after Nehru's death. Ideas like having a 'plan holiday' or a 'plan pause', or completing the Third Plan before starting on the Fourth, etc, had begun to be voiced even during 1964-65. Nehru's successor, Lai Bahadur Shastri, was known to be somewhat sympathetic to these ideas. The gradually increasing drift in economic and developmental policy had thus started even before the Indo-Pakistan conflict and the the disastrous harvests from which the country undoubtedly suffered.

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