Jawaharlal Nehru also favored education for India’s children and youth and he believed that it was necessary for India’s future progress. His government saw the establishment of many institutions of higher learning including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and the National Institute of technology.
Nehru also incorporated a commitment in his five year plan to guarantee free and compulsory primary education to all Indian children. He also oversaw the creation of the mass village enrollment programmes and the construction of thousands of schools for the fulfillment of this goal.
Jawaharlal Nehru too launched the provision of meals in schools and adult educational centers for adult education. Under him, the Indian Parliament enacted many changes in Hindu law to criminalize the caste discrimination and to increase the legal rights and social freedom of women.
Jawaharlal Nehru also favored secularism and religious harmony thus increasing the representation of minorities in government. Jawaharlal Nehru led the newly independent India from the years 1947 to 1964 during the initial years of freedom from the British rule. His stand in the international scenario was of pacifism and he was a strong supporter of the UN.
He pioneered the policy of non alignment and also founded the Non-Alignment Movement of nations by professing neutrality between the rival blocs of the nations led by the US and the USSR. He also favored cordial relations between all nations.
His policy of pacifism and appeasement with respect to China also came unraveled when border disputed led to the Sino-Indian War in 1962. Nehru was hailed by many people for working to defuse global tensions and the threat of nuclear weapons.
He also signed the Indus Water treaty with Pakistani ruler Ayub Khan to resolve the long standing disputes about sharing the resources of the major rivers of the Punjab region.
Jawaharlal Nehru envisioned the developing of nuclear weapons and established the Atomic Energy Commission of India (AEC) in the year 1948. He also called Dr. Homi. J. Bhabha, a nuclear physicist and entrusted him the authority to all nuclear related affairs and programs.
Jawaharlal Nehru led the Congress party to a major victory in the 1957 elections, though his government was facing rising problem and criticism.
Although the Pancha Sila was the basis of the 1954 Sino-Indian border treaty, in the later years, Nehru’s foreign policy suffered through increasing Chinese assertiveness over border disputes and Nehru’s decision to grant political asylum to the 14th Dalai Lama.
After years of failed negotiations, Jawaharlal Nehru authorized the Indian Army to liberate Goa in the year 1961 from Portuguese occupation and formally he annexed it to India. Though this increased his popularity, he was criticized for the use of military force. In the 1962 elections, Nehru again led the Congress party to victory.
From the year 1959, in a process that accelerated in 1961, Jawaharlal Nehru adopted the ‘forward policy’ of setting up of military outposts in the disputed areas of the Sino-Indian border, including in 43 outposts in the territory not previously controlled by India.
China then attacked some of the outposts which led to the Sino-Indian War. This war exposed the weakness of the Indian military and Jawaharlal Nehru was widely criticized for his government’s insufficient attention to defense. In response to this, Nehru sacked the defense minister K. K. Menon and sought military aid.
Jawaharlal Nehru also was a prolific writer in English and wrote a number of books such as the ‘Glimpses of World History’ and ‘The Discovery of India’ and his autobiography ‘Towards Freedom’.