Two years of Modi government: a review
Exactly two years back, on May 26, President Pranab Mukherjee administered the oath of office to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a lavish ceremony that was attended by Premiers of SAARC nations, several Chief Ministers, Opposition leaders, besides a host of celebrities, corporate honchos and religious heads. Here’s how Team Modi has perfomed in last two years :
|Best of Modi Government|
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana :
This financial inclusion campaign was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 28 August 2014 to ensure access to financial services, namely Banking Savings & Deposit Accounts, Remittance, Credit, Insurance, Pension in an affordable manner. On inauguration day, 1.5 Crore (15 million) bank accounts were opened under this scheme.
The yojana entered the Guiness Book of World Records for the maximum number of accounts opened in a week. The scheme is a big boost in moving towards direct subsidy transfer.
Yemen evacuation (Operation Raahat) :
Indian Armed Forces launched Operation Raahat to evacuate Indian citizens and other foreign nationals from Yemen during the 2015 military intervention by Saudi Arabia and its allies.
The operation was huge success as more than 4640 Indian citizens in Yemen were evacuated along with 960 foreign nationals of 41 countries. About 23 countries had requested India for help to evacuate their nationals from strife torn Yemen.
LPG subsidy reforms :
Ignoring political risks and fear of vote bank, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government barred LPG subsidy to customers who earn more than Rs. 10 lakh per annum.
This move was a real justice to the Asia’s third largest economy and government’s exchequer as huge money was spent on subsidy.
The amount saved was used to give over five lakh new LPG connections to those who still use firewoods or kerosene stoves for cooking.
Swachh Bharat Mission :
On 2 October 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Mission, which aims to eradicate open defecation by 2019, thus restructuring the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a national campaign, covering 4,041 statutory cities and towns. It is India's biggest ever cleanliness drive and 3 million government employees and school and college students of India participated in this event.
India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement :
A revised version of India-Bangladesh land boundary agreement 1974 was adopted by the two countries on 7 May 2015, when the Parliament of India passed the 100th Amendment to the Indian Constitution.
Under this agreement, India received 51 Bangladeshi enclaves covering 7,110 acres (2,880 ha) in the Indian mainland, while Bangladesh received 111 Indian enclaves covering 17,160 acres (6,940 ha) in the Bangladeshi mainland thus ending one of the world's most difficult border disputes that has kept thousands of people in stateless limbo for almost 70 years.
Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code :
The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Bill 2015 passed by the Parliament creates time-bound processes for insolvency resolution of companies and individuals.
These processes will be completed within 180 days. If insolvency cannot be resolved, the assets of the borrowers may be sold to repay creditors. This law will being down the huge rise in non-performing assets and create more entrepreneurs.
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act :
The act passed by the Parliament seeks to protect home-buyers as well as help boost investments in the real estate industry. If effectively implemented by the States it will prove to be a game-changer in the housing sector.
The bill aims at greater accountability, investor protection, transparency and efficient working in the real estate sector. As per the bill appellate tribunals and regulatory authorities will now have to adjudicate cases in 60 days as against 90 days proposed earlier.
Yoga Day :
It was a big success for the NDA govt as United Nations General Assembly declared June 21 as International Yoga Day on the suggestion of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The mass yoga performance at Rajpath led by Mr. Modi himself, set the record of most number of people participating in such an event.
It should be noted that June 21, is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and shares special significance in many parts of the world.
Digital India :
Digital India campaign was launched by the NDA government to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically by improving online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity. Every minister and every ministry is now on Twitter.
Railway minister has acted on tweets. A slew of e-governance measures like DigiLocker, Attendance.gov.in, MyGov.in are some notable initiatives.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana :
Government has launched Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) with an objective of making India the skill capital of the world.
Objective of this scheme is to train 24 lakh youths with an estimated training cost of Rs. 1, 500 crores so that they can increase the overall production of the country and in turn have a better employed life.
|Failures of the Modi Government|
Bringing back black money :
Bringing back money was among the electoral promises made by the govt but the govt failed to bring back any black money although it should be appreciated that we have entered in to various information sharing agreement under which the countries would inform RBI if a person deposits huge sum in foreign banks.
GST Bill/Land ordinance :
The government failed to pass the GST Bill in Rajya Sabha for the past two years which is as the biggest tax reform in Independent India.
The government also falied to pass land bill. Although the Centre took the ordinance route to clear the bill but it was re-promulgated twice and lapsed on August 31, 2015.
Women’s Bill :
The government failed to pass Women’s Bill seeking one-third representation for women in Parliament and State Assemblies. The bill was been passed in Rajya Sabha in 2010, but is pending in the lower House, in which the BJP front enjoys comfortable majority.
If the Lok Sabha were to approve the bill, it would then have to be passed by half of India's state legislatures and signed by the President. Since,there will be more women participation in politics and society,reservation for women is expected to considerably increase opportunity for women
India-Nepal relations :
Nepal promulgated its new Constitution in 2015 but the Madhesis immigrants, the Janajatis and the Tharus, who are considered as the marginalised groups felt they were being left out in the new constitution so in protest they blockaded the border points.
However, the Nepalese government accuses India of deliberately worsening the embargo by not allowing vehicles to pass from check-points where no protests were held. All of these happened within a year of the Himalayan quake, when Nepal thanked India’s help in rescue and rehabilitation.
Although Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was among chief guest during swearing-in ceremony of Mr. Modi but both governments failed to re-start the dialogue process. Even Modi’s surprise stop-over at Lahore too failed to cut the ice. The relation worsened much after Pathankot attack.
Protest in various institutions :
These two years saw a series of protest in various central educational instiutions as the protest in Hyderabad Central University after the sucide of Dalit Research Scholar than sedition charges against students of Jawaharlal Nehru University than FTII students’ strike than closing down Ambedkar-Periyar Study circle in IIT-Madras than protest at NIT Srinagar and the list goes on.
Pathankot attack :
On 2 January 2016, a heavily armed group attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station. The gun battle and the subsequent combing operation lasted about 17 hours on 2 January, resulting in five attacks and three security personnel dead. The attack raised questions on the security-level at India’s military bases. The United Jihad Council claimed responsibility for the attack on 4 January.
The attack was an attempt to derail a fragile peace process meant to stabilise the deteriorated relations between India and Pakistan, as several pieces of evidence were found linking the attackers to Pakistan.
|Wait and watch|
Bullet train Project :
The Mumbai–Ahmedabad bullet train would run some 500 kilometers between India’s financial capital Mumbai and the western city of Ahmedabad, at a top speed of 320 km/h and covering the entire journey in just two hours.
The project cost of Rs. 980 billion would be partially financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which agreed to provide a loan of about Rs 79,380 crore, which amounts to 81 per cent of the total project cost.
The soft loan would have a tenure of 50 years and a moratorium of another 15 years and would come at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent.
Various welfare schemes :
The NDA government has launched various welfare schemes namely crop insurance for farmers, Atal Pension Yojana for the unorganised sector, affordable health insurance coverage, and the Jan Aushadhi Yojana for retail sales of generic drugs in the last two years.
In addition, the government has re-launched Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi Scheme but it is to be seen if these schemes really work out .
Namami Gange project
In the budget tabled in Parliament on 10 July 2014, the Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced an integrated Ganga development project titled 'Namami Ganga' and allocated Rs. 2,037 crore for this purpose.
Uma Bharti who heads the project claims Ganga will be cleaned by 2018 but it seems very difficult as no firm result has came yet.
Make In India
Make in India is one of the pet project of Mr. Modi launched on 25 September 2014 in a function at the Vigyan Bhavan to encourage multi-national, as well as national companies to manufacture their products in India.
The major objective behind the initiative is to focus on job creation and skill enhancement in 25 sectors of the economy. Mr. Modi has travelled several countries to gather support. Many multi-nationals have pledged their support.
Smart City plans
Smart Cities Mission launched by the Union Ministry of Urban Development aims to develop 100 cities all over the country making them citizen friendly and sustainable.
A total of Rs. 980 billion has been approved by the Indian Cabinet for development of 100 smart cities and rejuvenation of 500 others.
Smart cities are projected to be equipped with basic infrastructure, assured water and power supply, sanitation and solid waste management, efficient urban mobility and public transport, robust IT connectivity, e-governance and citizen participation along with safety of its citizens.