Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Five-Year Plans or Piatiletkas (пятилетка) were a series of nation-wide centralized exercises in rapid economic development in the Soviet Union. Fulfilling the plan became the watchword of Soviet bureaucracy. (See Overview of the Soviet economic planning process)
Several five-year plans did not take up the full period of time assigned to them (some were successfully completed earlier than expected, while others failed and were abandoned). The initial five-year plans were created to serve in the rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union, and thus placed a major focus on heavy industry. Altogether, there were 13 five-year plans. The first one was accepted in 1928, for the five year period from 1929 to 1933, and completed one year early. The last, thirteenth Five-Year Plan was for the period from 1991 to 1995 and was not completed, as the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.
Other developing countries have emulated the concept of central planning, setting integrated goals for a finite period of time: thus we may find "Seven-year Plans" and "Twelve-Year Plans".
The People's Republic of China has also used Five-Year Plans, and still nominally does so, though their relevance to the rapidly-developing parts of China where Socialism with Chinese characteristics (to all intents and purposes, market capitalism) has taken off are doubtful.
Jawaharlal Nehru, impressed with the Soviet Union's industrial progress, implemented similar principles in India. India has an extensive network setup to formulate 5-year plans under the supervision of the Planning Commission. India is currently in its 10th 5-year plan(2002-2007) or Panch-Varsh Pranalika.
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