Four years of BJP Government
The BJP government headed by Mr. Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, with a promise to make ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat (One India, Great India), ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ (With All, Development for all). Close to four years in office, the government has been able to bring in reforms in all sectors, push growth bringing down red-tapism, take corruption head on and introduce financial discipline to make India one of the most advanced nations in the world.
“This nation has been built by our farmers, our workers, our mothers and sisters, our youth. The country has reached here today because of generation to generation rigours undertaken by our sages, our saints, our maestros, our teachers, our scientists and social workers. These great people and these great generations, who had worked for the country throughout their lives, deserve our deepest respect.”
-Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to nation on August 15, 2014
The major initiatives by the Union Government in various sectors are –
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised a ‘Paardarshi Bharat’ or Transparent India, free of corruption. He took a bold decision to demonetize Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes. The revolutionary step was to uproot the cancer of corruption and black money. It would curtail the shadow economy and crack down on the use of illicit and counterfeit cash to fund illegal activity and terrorism, threatening national security.
The consolidation of demonetization was sought to be achieved through Digital Economy, which would make transactions transparent and restrict illegal cash transactions. One of the key advantages of digital economy is it empowers people as government can easily transfer incentives and subsidies directly to Adhaar-linked bank accounts. An offshoot of the digital economy is e-governance, where delivery of all government services would be done electronically, cutting down red-tapism and inconvenience to people.
Goods & Services Tax (GST)
Rolled out on July 01, 2017, GST seeks to bring the entire nation in one tax bracket. The ‘One Nation, One Tax-One Nation-Market regime would entail reduction in overall taxes on goods, by an estimated 25-30%. The new tax regime would also lead to ease of doing business and increase in tax revenue collections.
Clean India-Green India (स्वच्छ भारत-हरित भारत)
On his first address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had vowed to make India clean and green and launched an initiative named “Swatchh Bharat Abhiyaan’. The biggest ever cleanliness drive was launched by Mr. Narendra Modi on Gandhi Jayanti, 2nd October, 2014 at Rajghat in New Delhi. The Mission Clean India by 2nd October, 2019, to coincide with the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Clean India Mission also aims to provide provide sanitation facilities to every family including toilets, solid and liquid waste system, village cleanliness and safe and adequate drinking water supply. So far, more than 3 crore toilets were constructed taking the sanitation coverage to 60% from 42%.
Green India is one of the eight missions outlined under the National Action Plan on Climate Change. The Mission goals are to increase forest/tree cover to the extent of 5 million hectares, respond to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures. It envisages a holistic view of greening and focuses on multiple ecosystem services, especially, biodiversity, water, biomass, preserving mangroves, wetlands, critical habitats etc. along with carbon sequestration as a co-benefit. Besides, increasing forest based livelihood income of about 3 million households is also the goal of the mission.
A National Air Quality Index has also been launched on April 06, 2015 to monitor the quality of air in major urban centres across the country on real-time basis.
Jan Dhan Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana is a national mission for financial inclusion of financially less privileged sections to ensure access to financial services in an affordable manner. It is the biggest financial inclusion scheme in the world.
It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his maiden address to the nation on August 14, 2014 and launched on August 28, 2014 across the country. As on April 26, 2017, 60% bank accounts were opened in rural areas. The balance in 28.44 crore accounts as at April 26, 2017 was Rs. 64,567 crores.
The Union Government has advanced presentation of budget to 1st February to enable the ministries to operationalise all activities from the commencement of the financial year. Merger of General and Railway Budgets has brought Railways to the centre-stage of Government’s Fiscal Policy. The third financial reform is removal of plan and non-plan classification of expenditure to facilitate holistic view of allocations for sectors and ministries.
Revamping Banking Sector
Merger of five State Bank subsidiaries into State Bank of India to take on global competition. The merger is expected to lead to greater operational efficiency and lower cost of operations.
Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana is a scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 08, 2015 to provide loans upto 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. The lending target of the scheme is Rs. 2.44 lakh crores and priority will be given to Dalits, Tribal, Backward Classes and Women.
Digital access to information is the bedrock for a participative, transparent and responsive government. It is a key element to bridge the gap between the government and the stakeholders towards transforming India into a digitally empowered knowledge economy. The government has embarked on an ambitious plan to lay 7.5 lakh kilometres of Optical Fiber Cables (OFC) to connect 2.5 lakh villages with WiFi Hotspot enabled internet connectivity. Already 2.37 kilometres of OFC has been laid, connecting 1.1 lakh gram panchayats from a mere 59 panchayats in May 2014. The government has also launched a National Digital Literacy Mission, to make at least one person in every family digitally literate with the requisite skills by 2020.
Make in India
In a bid to make India self-reliant, Prime Minister Modi had launched an initiative named ‘Make in India’ to make India the hub of manufacturing. It would make ‘Saksham Bharat-Swawalambi Bharat’ or Empowered India, Self-reliant India. With almost 35% of Indian population in the productive age-group and a large pool of skilled workforce, India has the capability to become the manufacturing hub. An added advantage to the industry is that India is a huge market for its products.
Skill building is the basic and foremost step towards the success of Make in India. With this in mind, the government has taken up various initiatives for the upgradation of the skill set, especially of the rural masses and people in the north-eastern region. It would facilitate new avenues of employment and income generating activities through the intervention of science and technology. By the end of 2015-2016, 13,000 training centres were opened across India for training in 375 trades and 19.85 lakh youth were trained, of which almost 50% were girls.
Stand up India
Two major initiatives that complement the Make in India programme are Stand up India and Start up India. Stand up India seeks to promote entrepreneurship among scheduled castes and tribes and women.
Start up India
Start up India movement is intended to promote entrepreneurship among youth and harness their knowledge and skill to contribute to national growth.
Farmers’ Honour-India’s Respect (किसान का मान, देश का सम्मान)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised, to bring in conducive policy initiatives to drive the growth of agriculture sector so that farming remains the mainstay of Indian economy and sustain the livelihood of a nearly 70% of the population. The target by 2022 is to double the income of farmers.
Prime Minister’s Crop Insurance Scheme (प्रधान मंत्री फसल भीमा योजना)
In a bid provide financial support to farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests and diseases, the government had launched Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana on January 13, 2016. This is the biggest financial support till date by the Union Government in crop insurance. The scheme was implemented by 23 states during Kharif 2016, covering 401.54 lakh farmers at an insured sum of Rs. 1,35,00,572.17 lakh. During Rabi 2016-17, the scheme covered 390.79 lakh farmers at a sum insured of over Rs. 1,29,58,383.40 lakh.
Prime Minister’s Housing Scheme (अपना घर, अपनी छत)
A shelter is the dream of every human being, and it is one of the major promises of Narendra Modi government. The government is committed to achieve the objective of Housing for All by 2022 – 75th year of independence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana on June 25, 2015. It aims to construct 2 crore affordable houses for economically under privileged in urban areas in a span of seven years, till 2022. So far 17.68 lakh houses were sanctioned for financing in 2508 identified cities in 26 states. Between 2014 to 2017, 4.66 lakh houses were built. Annually, number of houses built between 2014-17 have almost doubled to 1.55 Lakh per year during 2014-17 as against 80,000 per year during 2004-14.
Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana with an initial allocation of Rs. 500 crores on July 25, 2015 in Patna. It seeks to provide round the clock power to rural households and adequate power to agricultural consumers. The initial target of the scheme was to electrify 2,800 villages, but 7,108 villages have been electrified in one year. The target now is to cover all the 18,452 un-electrified villages by May, 2018.
UJALA – Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All
The initiative was launched on January 05, 2015 with an objective to provide people with affordable energy efficient appliances across the country. As on January 15, 2018 28.45 crore LED bulbs were distributed, saving 36,954 million units of electricity. This has helped the government save 14,782 crore rupees per year and reduction in carbon dioxide emission upto 28.67 MT/year.
Healthy India-Able India (स्वस्थ भारत-सबल भारत)
Mission Indradhanush was launched in 2014 to cover all those children who have been partially vaccinated or not vaccinated during routine immunization rounds. The objective of Mission Indradhanush is to increase full immunization coverage in India to at least 90% children by 2020. Four rounds have been implemented so far, covering more than 2.53 crore children and 68.43 lakh pregnant women. A total of 528 districts have been covered in four phases of the programme. India is now aiming to achieve 90% immunization coverage of its children by December 2018.
Healthcare for all
In order to provide affordable and quality healthcare for all, the government has brought 1054 essential medicines, including lifesaving drugs, under price control regime after May 2014. The decision has benefitted consumers to the tune of Rs. 9113 (as on September 29, 2017). Besides, the government also has brought Cardiac Stents and Knee Implants under price cap. The decision has brought the cost of Stents to the tune of 85% and Knee Implants by 69%, providing relief to a large number people.
Besides, under the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana, 2,734 Janaushadi outlets have been opened (as on Nov 02, 2017) to ensure availability of quality medicines at affordable prices to all. Apart from Janaushadhi Stores, the government has also opened 83 Amrit stores, which provide drugs for cancer and cardio-vascular diseases with cardiac implants at a 60 to 90 per cent discount on prevailing market rates. So far 17.97 lakh patients have been benefitted from Amrit outlets, with a total saving to the tune of Rs. 103.55 crores to patients.
National Dialysis Service Programme
Under the Prime Minister’s Dialysis Programme, support is being provided to all states for provision of free dialysis services for poor. Dialysis services will be started in all district hospitals, with six machines, which will be extended upto 10 machines per facility. So far, 2,319 Dialysis Machines have been made operational, which helped 1,06,717 patients.
New Health Protection Scheme
The government has proposed to launch a new improved healthcare scheme, which envisages health cover of up to Rs. 1.0 lakh per family for poor and economically underprivileged families. For senior citizens of 60 yeas and above, there is an additional top-up package up to Rs. 30,000.
Yoga for Health
“Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and wellbeing.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his maiden address at the UN General Assembly made an impassioned plea to adopt International Yoga Day. Recognising the universal appeal of Yoga, the United Nations proclaimed the June 21 as International Yoga Day by a resolution. It aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing Yoga. A year later, UNESCO inscribed Yoga on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the first International Yoga Day celebrations in New Delhi on June 21, 2015.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
In a bid to arrest the trend of decline in the Child Sex Ratio (CSR), Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative, with an initial funding of Rs. 100 crore.
This is a joint initiative of Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Human Resource Development. Its objectives are prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination, ensure survival and protection of the girl child and ensure education of girl child. It also promotes compulsory registration of pregnancies and institutional deliveries It is now being implemented in 161 districts across the country, which have low Child Sex Ratio at Birth. The scheme will progressively extended to all districts of the country.
Sukanya Samridhi Yojana
Under the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign, special bank accounts will be opened to every girl child to meet the expenses of education and marriage. The account provides small affordable deposits at the highest rate of interest. More than one crore Sukanya Samridhi accounts were opened so far.
The Union Government amended the Maternity Benefit Act in March 2017 to provide 26 weeks’ paid maternity leave mandatory for women working in any organisation. This will enable the mother to take care of the new born child and provide exclusive breast feeding for the first six months.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (स्वच्छ ईंधन, बेहतर जीवन)
The Union Cabinet launched the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana on May 01, 2016, which envisages of smoke free rural India. It aims to benefit five crore families especially women living below poverty line by providing free LPG connections by 2019. It will help reduce health disorders, air pollution and deforestation. The Cabinet has approved Rs. 8,000.00 crore for the next three years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the scheme in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh on May 01, 2016. So far 2.07 crore LPG connections were provided to BPL Households. The scheme spread all over the country, now in 694 districts.
Ganga Cleaning Programme – Namami Gange
‘It's my destiny to serve Maa Ganga’
PM Narendra Modi at Varanasi on May 17, 2014.
Mr. Narendra Modi in the thanksgiving speech, after his election from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, vowed to clean up the River Ganges. A year later, the Union Government launched a programme to clean up Ganga. The Union Cabinet approved a budget outlay of Rs. 20,000/- crore for the ambitious Ganga rejuvenation programme – Namami Gange. Its twin objectives are effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga.
Resurgent India, Self-Reliant India (संवर्धित भारत-स्वालम्बी भारत)
India has leapfrogged in technology, especially spacefaring. India is the first nation in the world to successfully reach Mars orbit in the first attempt, when the Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) was launched on November 05, 2013,
On February 15, 2017, Indian again scripted history with the successful launch of a record number of 104 Satellites by ISRO in a single mission. Of these, 96 co-passenger satellites were from USA.
On January 12, 2018 India successfully launched the 100th satellite – Cartosat 2 series for weather observation.
2018 also witnessed the unveiling of the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world – Pratyush. The 6.8 petaflops system is dedicated for weather and climate research. India is the fourth country in the club of super computers of such capacity.
Play India (खेलो इंडिया)
Khelo India marks a watershed moment in the history of India sports, as it aims at mainstreaming sports as a tool for individual development, community development, economic development and national development. The Union Government has approved funds to the tune of Rs. 1,756 crores for the period 2017-2020. It has a component to identify and assist medal probable for 2020 Olympics.