Third Five Year Plan (1961 – 1966)

 Third Five Year Plan (1961 – 1966)

The Third Five Year Plan (1961-1966) was introduced to stress agricultural development and improvement of wheat plantation and production in India. Know more on this topic here.

In 1961, the third five-year plan was enforced by the Indian government in order to develop the economy of India. Developed in April 1961, this plan aimed to take the initiative of economic development of the country a step ahead that was initiated about a decade ago. The objectives and magnitude of this plan along with its priorities were all set based on the economic changes over a decade ago and the presumed economic needs for the next ten years. There are several questions regarding this topic that need to be answered. For example, various objectives and causes of failure of this plan need to be discussed. 

Third five year plan (1961-1966)

Economic planning in India is usually based on a long-term development perspective across various sectors such as education, agriculture and others. The first plan of economic development was proposed in 1951 by the Indian National Congress to ensure the economic growth of the nation for 30 years. This model envisioned that by 1970-1971 national income of the nation’s population could be double that of 1950-1951. The economic performance of the nation exceeded expectations due to the first plan. Favourable outcomes of the first plan had favoured the revision of the plan and establishment of the Second plan that aimed to double the nation’s income by 1967-1968 and per capita income of India by 1973-1974. However, an excessive increase in population during the period of the Second plan had made it difficult to fulfil its objectives of doubling the per capita income of the Indian economy by 1973-1974. 

In the Third plan of economic planning, it was estimated that the nation’s population would grow at the rate of 2 percent per year and for the next 15 years from 1960, the growth rate can be accumulated to be 6 percent. Therefore, this plan envisioned to grow the income rate of the nation by 100 percent and per capita income was estimated to increase by 61 percent. Besides, this plan is estimated to increase the rate of employment outside agriculture for about two thirds of the estimated labour force of 70 million. 

Facts related to the third five year plan

Some of the most common facts related to the Third Five Year Plan  of economic development of the country have been discussed below:

The Third Five Year Plan (1961-1966) of the Economic Development of India is also popularly called “Gadgil Yojna”.

This economic planning was established to increase the income level of the Indian population by 100 percent taking into consideration the estimated population growth in the next 15 years. 

This plan majorly focused on improving the agricultural production along with the industrial sector of India to enhance the self-sufficiency of food grains which was important to meet the exporting needs of industry. 

Causes of failure of third five year plan

Major reasons responsible for the failure of the Third Five Year Plan of the Indian Economy were Chinese aggression against India during the third plan period. Tensions between both countries caused the devaluation of the Indian currency. Besides, conflicts with Pakistan after the partition continued for a long period which added to the failure of this plan. India experienced a major drought due to poor monsoon from 1964 to 1966 due to which its agricultural production growth objectives were not met. Moreover, the lack of coordination between central and state governments also resulted in the failure of this plan. 

The objectives of the Third Five Year Plan were met only in some sectors such as transportation, social services and communications. Agricultural growth objectives of this plan failed miserably with agriculture production falling from 82MT to 72MT per annum. Due to this reason, there was a significant rise in the prices of food and consumer products. Besides, the industrial sector of India also fell below expectations. 

What were the objectives of the third five year plan and why could it not be achieved?

The primary objective of the Third Five Year Plan of the Indian Economy was to develop India as a self-reliant and self-economy generating country. Besides, this plan included agricultural growth as the sector slowed down during the Second Five Year Plan. It involved agricultural development to ensure balanced regional development of the nation. However, misfortunes like conflicts of India with nations like China and Pakistan along with poor monsoon has drained all the funds invested in this plan. 


The study efficiently answers all the questions aroused at the beginning of this post to provide a clear understanding of the topic. It concludes various aims of the Third Five Year Plan of the Indian Economy. It further summarises various causes for the failure of this plan. It can be stated in this context that understanding important facts about the plan provides us with vivid ideas on economic development plans established by the Indian government. It summarises effective and uncommon facts regarding the plan that assists an individual to understand the deeper insight of the plan.