Recently I came across a tweet of one of the most celebrated “intellectual” by the liberal media circle, Shashi Tharoor.

The argument of this tweet is not only laughable, moronic, myopic, misleading and false, it also reeks of a condescending, elitist attitude as Mr Tharoor himself admits in his tweet. Many people have already exposed the arguments of this tweet. But I will address an issue which is the central point of this tweet. Mr Tharoor is trying to imply that people voting for Modi have a “backward-regressive” mentality, aren’t as intelligent as English speaking people like him. This is his way of demeaning Modi government by demeaning his voters while he can’t argue on actual points. To counter him in the most comprehensive way possible, I am reproducing a list of 101 reasons that I had compiled in March 2019 in favour of Modi government. Mind you, this ONLY lists achievements of the Modi government till March 2019. Some of my expectations such as Ayodhya Ram Mandir and nullification of article 370 are already fulfilled! The article is over 20000 words long. So take your time in reading and critiquing it while keeping in mind that the 101 reasons were compiled in March 2019.

101 reasons in favour of Modi government

  • Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen: 13
    “A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019,” said Shri Narendra Modi as he launched the Swachh Bharat Mission at Rajpath in New Delhi. On 2nd October 2014, Swachh Bharat Mission was launched throughout length and breadth of the country as a national movement. The campaign aims to achieve the vision of a ‘Clean India’ by 2nd October 2019.
    As a part of SBM-Grameen, India witnessed toilet building and expansion in rural areas like never before and is on the verge to achieve 100% sanitation coverage by Oct 2, 2019. One noticeable aspect here is, as a part of Swachh Suverkshan Grameen (by Minister of drinking water and sanitation), the centre also keeping a close tab on actual usage of toilets and carrying out mass social drives to promote construction and usage of toilets.1
  • Swachh Iconic Places:Ministry of drinking water and sanitation has taken up a multi-stakeholder initiative focusing on cleaning up 100 places across India that are “iconic” due to their heritage, religious and/or cultural significance. The goal of the Initiative is to improve the cleanliness conditions at these places to a distinctly higher level. This initiative is in partnership with Ministries of Urban Development, Tourism and Culture with MDWS being the nodal ministry. Some of the iconic sites from the first phase are Taj Mahal, Mata Vaishnav Devi, Kamakhya Temple, Ajmer Sharif.
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – Urban: (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs)
    India’s many of the megacities have been plagued by pollution mainly due to exploding population, unplanned expansion, lack of and mismanagement of funds by urban local bodies. This government has played a pro-active role by first ensuring mass construction of toilets as they did for rural areas.
  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – Urban: Another big role, the government has been playing is in infrastructure building, financial facilitation of various agencies and urban local bodies and timely, accurate, competitive survey of cities by giving them star ratings. Many cities have come out as big success stories in these four years. Indore, Bhopal, Pune, Chandigarh, Bilaspur are notable mentions. Some of the success stories: Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Urban) success stories.
  • Swachh survekshan: Government has come up with the annual rankings of different cities based on their performance in various cleanliness indicators. Indore, Bhopal, Chandigarh has emerged as the cleanest cities of India. While this is just a ranking, it has started a healthy competition among municipal corporations and governments of the state. Also, its a good indicator of progress (or lack of progress for the dirtiest cities of the country).
  • Namami Gange Program: Carried out by National Mission for Clean Ganga, Ministry of water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation, the current government has given a big push for cleaner, sustainable, uninterrupted flow of the lifeline of our country, Ganga. Rs 20,000 crore has been approved by the central government for the same. Nitin Gadkari has made big promises about the cleaning of the river and its tributaries by Dec 2019. They have already made some big progress and are certainly going in the right direction. Namai Gange youtube.
  • Namami Gange Achievements: 
    1. Creating Sewerage Treatment Capacity:- 63 sewerage management projects under implementation in the States of Uttarakhand,Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.12 new sewerage management Projects Launched in these states.Work is under construction for creating Sewerage capacity of 1187.33 (MLD).Hybrid Annuity PPP Model based two projects has been initiated for Jagjeetpur, Haridwar and Ramanna, Varanasi. 2. Creating River-Front Development:-28 River-Front Development projects and 33 Entry level Projects for construction, modernization and renovation of 182 Ghats and 118 crematoria has been initiated. 3. River Surface Cleaning:-River Surface cleaning for collection of floating solid waste from the surface of the Ghats and River and its disposal are afoot and pushed into service at 11 locations. 4. Bio-Diversity Conservation:- Several Bio-Diversity conservation projects are namely: Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation, Fish and Fishery Conservation in Ganga River, Ganges River Dolphin Conservation Education Programme has been initiated. 5 Bio-Diversity center’s at Dehradun, Narora, Allahabad, Varanasi and Barrackpore has been developed for restoration of identified priority species. 5. Afforestation:- Forestry interventions for Ganga through Wildlife Institute of India; Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute and Centre for Environment Education has been initiated.Forestry interventions for Ganga has been executed as per the Detailed Project Report prepared by Forest Research Institute, Dehradun for a period of 5 years (2016-2021) at project cost of Rs.2300 Crores. Work has been commenced in 7 districts of Uttarakahnd for medicinal plants. 6. Public Awareness:- A series of activities such as events, workshops, seminars and conferences and numerous IEC activities were organized to make a strong pitch for public outreach and community participation in the programme. Various awareness activities through rallies, campaigns, exhibitions, shram daan, cleanliness drives, competitions, plantation drives and development and distribution of resource materials were organized and for wider publicity the mass mediums such as TV/Radio, print media advertisements, advertorials, featured articles and advertorials were published. Gange Theme song was released widely and played on digital media to enhance the visibility of the programme. NMCG ensured presence at Social Media platforms like FacebookTwitterYou Tube etc. 7. Industrial Effluent Monitoring:- Real Time Effluent Monitoring Stations (EMS) has been installed in 572 out of 760 Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs). Closure notice have been issued to 135 GPIs so far and others have been given deadlines for compliance to stipulated norms and for installations of online EMS. 8. Ganga Gram:- Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) identified 1674 Gram Panchayats situated on the bank of River Ganga in 5 State (Uttarakhand,Uttar Pradesh,Bihar,Jharkhand,West Bengal). Rs. 578 Crores has been released to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MoDWS) for construction of toilets in 1674 Gram Panchayats of 5 Ganga Basin States. Out of the targeted 15, 27,105 units, MoDWS has completed construction of 8, 53,397 toilets. Consortium of 7 IITs has been engaged in the preparation of Ganga River basin Plan and 65 villages has been adopted by 13 IITs to develop as model villages. UNDP has been engaged as the executing agency for rural sanitation programme and to develop Jharkhand as a model State at an estimated cost of Rs. 127 Crore.
  • Various programs at work, pictures after transformation of ghats:
    12219476_10205417049052759_7763997150436351441_nVaranasi ghat  
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Effluent treatment at Kanpur. Kanpur: No untreated industrial, household waste to flow into Ganga
  • Some environmentalists suggest too radical and naive measures for cleaning Ganga. While all those measures sounding idealistic on papers and talks may have a huge deterrent to millions of people living on its banks. Creating proper infrastructure, tightening norms and preventing untreated water from draining into Ganga and its tributaries are the first important steps and this government is actually moving forward in the right direction. Though they were a bit slow in starting years {till Uma Bharti was the minister}.
  • Massive infrastructure construction: Infrastructure building is an important part of Modi’s agenda for development (implemented well in Gujrat). As PM of India, he again has given massive thrust to the infrastructure sector. Be it roads, development of ports, bridges, infra development in remote areas of north-east, development of airports, railway tracks, bullet train approval, GIFT city, Statue of Unity, etc. I will be describing some of these developments in the next points.
  • Sagarmala: Ministry of Shipping. India has a massive coastline of 7500km and modernisation of ports, improving connectivity is one of the obvious ways to go for giving massive thrust to our economy. Interestingly, this project’s idea was originally mooted during the Vajpayee government in 2003 and was cleared by the Modi government in 2015.img_1001As part of Sagarmala Programme, more than 604 projects (Cost: Rs. 8.8 Lacs Cr.) have been identified for implementation, during 2015-2035, across the areas of port modernization & new port development, port connectivity enhancement, port-linked industrialization and coastal community development. As of 30-Sep-2018, a total of 522 projects (costing around Rs. 4.32 Lac Crore) were under various stages of implementation, development and completion.
  • Bharatmala: Focusing on improving national road connectivity, quality, removing bottlenecks {north-east, Himalayan states}, freight connectivity are some of the main objectives of this project. A whopping 34,800km! of roads are to be constructed by 2022. Under NHDP, budget: Rs.5,35,000 crore.
  • The speed of road construction:
A massive jump in road construction/day under NDA
  • Development of the North-East: North-eastern states have been neglected for years by previous governments. Reason being rough topography (high cost for development projects), lower population implying lower seats and hence lower returns on votes. However, the Modi government has infused north-eastern states with massive infrastructural projects. I am listing a few of them.
  • Bogibeel bridge: India’s longest railroad bridge: India’s first fully welded steel-concrete bridge capable of withstanding earthquakes of 8 on the Richter scale completed in Assam.
  • Pakyong airport: Sikkim’s first airport, it’s a greenfield airport, a structural marvel considering the topography of the location and providing much-needed connectivity to the people of Sikkim and to the travellers visiting Sikkim, in turn boosting the economy of the state.untitled-design-50
  • Speeding road construction and connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh: Arunachal Pradesh is topographically very challenging and has poor road connectivity. With China building its infrastructure on the other side, connectivity and logistics development in Arunachal becomes particularly important. Road network in Arunachal has increased from 1804 to 2885km in last 4 years. This involved building bridges and roads on some of the most challenging topographies. There are multiple projects either completed, in the process of completion or planned for the north-eastern states. The pace of these projects is much faster than the previous governments.dhola-sadiya-bridge-on-river-brahmaputra
  • Arunachal Pradesh on the rail map: Apart from the road constructions, Modi government has brought Arunachal Pradesh on the railway map of India with India’s longest rail-cum-road bridge — the 4.94-km long Bogibeel bridge over the Brahmaputra. The government is also aiming for converting all meter-gauge tracks in the northeastern states to broad-gauge. In Arunachal, the Centre has started a location survey to connect Tawang, Aalo, Pasighat with broad gauge railway networks.
  • Gujrat International Finance Tech City (GIFT city): This city is envisioned to be India’s Hong Kong emerging as a world-class centre for financial services.3.jpg
Plan of samrudhi sarovar GIFT photo gallery
  • Statue of Unity: have been many cries over this statue but I just loved the fact that first time, proper recognition is given to Sardar Patel, the man because of whom united India exists today. Also, the statue itself apart from being the world’s tallest is also equipped with world-class infrastructure and amenities. Sardar Patel Rashtriya Ekta trust earned total Rs.2,10,47,325 in last 10 days! And this is just from the tickets. Imagine the boost in economy and tourism for the locals of the region. I am really looking forward to my visit to this statue. Earnings of Sardar Patel statue
  • Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor: A mammoth $100bn mega-project that will massively boost our economy and infrastructure. You might be noticing a pattern now. Japan will be aiding India technically and financially in this project.4
  • Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project: Japan giving helping hands to India in yet another dream project. Now, why bullet train? Why not? India is the fastest growing economy in the world. Yes, we have a large population of people below the poverty line but poverty isn’t eliminated by distributing money (socialist policies). And time has come for India to adopt the next generation of high-speed trains. The project is estimated to cost ₹1.1 lakh crore (US$15 billion). The cost includes interest during construction and import duties. JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) agreed to fund 81% of the total project cost ₹88,087 crore (US$12 billion), through a 50-year loan at an interest rate of 0.1% with a moratorium on repayments up to 15 years and the remaining cost will be borne by the state governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat. 20% of the components used on the corridor will be supplied by Japan, and manufactured in India. (Source: Wikipedia).
  • Mumbai trans-harbour link, Shivaji memorial: This will be country’s longest sea bridge at 22.5 km. It will connect Mumbai’s eastern suburbs with the mainland across the harbour through a 16.5 km sea bridge and a viaduct. The project will cost around Rs18,000 crore and completed by 2019. It will connect Sewri in central-east Mumbai with Nhava Seva across the harbour. The government is also building a Rs 3600 crore grand memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Mumbai (on the lines of Statue of Unity).
  • Setu Bharatam Project: This project aims to ensure highways without railway crossings by 2019 and an overhaul of 1500 British-era bridges. Total budget: 50,800 crores.
  • Rashtriya Rajmarg Zila Sanjoyokta Pariyojna: This project aims to connect 100 of the 676 district headquarters in the country with world-class highways (total length: over 6,600km, cost: 60,000 crores).
  • Chardham-highway project: The Chardham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojna, or the Chardham highway development project, is an ambitious initiative to improve connectivity to the Char Dham pilgrimage centres in the Himalayas. The project’s main objective is to develop around 900 km of national highways. These highways will be built in Uttarakhand at an approximate cost of Rs 12,000 crore.
  • The highest bridge in the world on Chenab: The tallest bridge in the world is under construction at Doda over the Chenab river (359m over the river) with an estimated cost of Rs 1198 crore.
  • Inland waterways: PM Modi recently inaugurated India’s first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in Varanasi and received the country’s first container cargo transported on inland waterways from Kolkata. This is the first of the four multi-modal terminals being constructed on the National Waterway-1 (river Ganga) as part of the World Bank-aided Jal Marg Vikas project of the Inland Waterways Authority of India. The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 53.6918 billion, which will be equally shared between the Government of India and the World Bank. India has a large potential for cargo transportation through waterways. This is the first step towards utilizing that potential.
  • UDAN: Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagarik- RCS (Regional Connectivity Scheme, Ministry of Civil Aviation) is aimed at developing airports of tier 2 and tier 3 cities and improving flight connectivities. Airports and flights at such cities have been on a big rise. The number of aircraft jumped 38% to 548 in December 2017 from 395 in 2014 and 50 aircraft are being added every year. Total passengers travelling trough planes have surpassed the total passengers travelling through AC coaches of the Indian Railways!
  • Solar projects: Even the most biased Modi haters have praised Narendra Modi for pushing for solar projects in India. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has said that the government has invested over $42bn in renewable energy in the last 4 years. Globally, India ranks fourth in wind, fifth in renewable power and sixth in the solar power installed capacity, respectively. Solar energy capacity has increased by over 8 times from 2.63 GW in 2014 to 22 GW and the winds energy capacity increased by 1.6 times from 21 GW in 2014 to 34 GW. India in on track to achieve 100GW installation of solar power by 2022. The government has also come up with innovative schemes such as Kusum yojana where solar powered water pumps are installed in the agricultural fields at a highly subsidised price.cm1-att111
  • Ujala scheme: LED bulbs: The Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All was launched in 2015 with a target of replacing 77 cr incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. To nullify the high-cost of LEDs that acted as a barrier previously in the adoption of energy efficient systems, the scheme was implemented to set up phase wise LED distribution across the nation to provide people with affordable LED bulbs and energy efficient appliances. The objective is to promote efficient lighting, enhance awareness of using efficient equipment that will reduce electricity bills and preserve the environment. Every grid-connected consumer having a metered connection from their respective Electricity Distribution Company can get LED bulbs at about 40% of the market price under the Ujala scheme. Currently, 32,38,29,279 LEDs have been distributed under this scheme.
  • FAME: Electric vehicles are the future. The pollution problems of megacities such as Delhi, Mumbai can be solved by electric vehicles (and more reliance on renewable sources for electricity production). While I would personally like the government to incentivize (or even spend themselves) more on building the charging stations infrastructure and subsidizing and even reducing customs on imported electric vehicles and bicycles. Imported bicycles are still taxed heavily which is really unfortunate. The FAME India (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles) Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises in 2015 to incentivize the production and promotion of eco-friendly vehicles including electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles.FAME India is a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan. The main thrust of FAME is to encourage electric vehicles by providing subsidies.  Vehicles in most segments – two wheelers, three wheelers, electric and hybrid cars and electric buses obtained the subsidy benefit of the scheme.5
  • Green Urban Transport Scheme: To reduce carbon footprint as committed under the Paris agreement, the government has launched this scheme with the support of Rs 25000 crore. This scheme is set to encourage transport along a low carbon path to provide a sustainable and measurable reduction in pollution and provide a permanent sustainable framework for urban mobility projects at various levels. The government has also set an ambitious target of achieving 175GW of electricity from renewable sources, reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Ethanol blending, biofuels: India meets more than 80% of its oil demands through imports. Not only does oil cost India large sums of foreign exchange but oil also is a major source of air pollutants. Ethanol blending is aimed at reducing India’s import dependence on oil with the added benefits of lower pollutant levels (as ethanol burns cleaner than petrol). India has huge biofuel potential as it generates huge masses of agricultural wastes. National policy on biofuel is aimed at mainstreaming of biofuels and, therefore, envisions a central role for it in the energy and transportation sectors of the country in the coming decades. The Policy will bring about accelerated development and promotion of the cultivation, production and use of biofuels to increasingly substitute petrol and diesel for transport and be used in stationary and other applications while contributing to energy security, climate change mitigation, apart from creating new employment opportunities and leading to environmentally sustainable development. This could be a potential source of side income for farmers as well as reducing the incidence of stubble burning and release of air pollutants.
  • Startup India: (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) Key points: 10,000 crore startup funding pool, reduction in patent registration fees, Improved Bankruptcy Code, to ensure a 90-day exit window, freedom from mystifying inspections for first 3 years of operation, Freedom from Capital Gain Tax for first 3 of operation, freedom from tax for first 3 years of operation, self-certification compliance, create an Innovation hub, under the Atal Innovation Mission, to target 500k schools, and involve 1m children in innovation-related programmes, new schemes to provide IPR protection to startup firms, encourage entrepreneurship within the country, promote India across the world as a start-up hub. 6
  • Make in India: (Ministry of Finance) Probably, one of the most talked about and well-recognised government initiative. It has given a big thrust to Indian manufacturing. Make in India, a type of Swadeshi movement covering 25 sectors of the economy, was launched by the Government of India on 25 September 2014 to encourage companies to manufacture their products in India and also increase their investment. As per the current policy, 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is permitted in all 25 sectors, except for Space industry (74%), defence industry (49%) and Media of India (26%). Japan and India had also announced a US$12 billion “Japan-India Make-in-India Special Finance Facility” fund to push investment. After the launch, India received investment commitments worth ₹16.40 lakh crore (US$230 billion) and investment inquiries worth ₹1.5 lakh crore (US$21 billion) between September 2014 to February 2016. As a result, India emerged as the top destination globally in 2015 for foreign direct investment (FDI), surpassing the USA and China, with US$60.1 billion FDI. Several states launched their own Make in India initiatives, such as “Make in Odisha”, Vibrant Gujarat, “Happening Haryana” and “Magnetic Maharashtra”. India received US $60 billion FDI in FY 2016-17. Combined with other initiatives by the end of 2017, India rose 42 places on Ease of doing business index, 32 places World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, and 19 notches in the Logistics Performance Index. This initiative converges, synergies and enables other important Government of India schemes, such as Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Dedicated Freight Corridors, Industrial corridors, UDAN-RCS, Bharat Broadband Network, Digital India. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • Digital India: (Ministry of electronics and information technology) India has been undergoing massive digitization since the very start of Modi government. The main aim of this program is to provide rural connectivity and ensure digital benefits to poor and underprivileged sections of the society as well. 1,23,489 Gram Panchayats have now been connected with broadband services through Bharat Net project. As of 31 December 2018, India had a population of 130 crore people (1.3 billion), 123 crore (1.23 billion) Aadhaar digital biometric identity cards, 121 crore (1.21 billion) mobile phones, 44.6 crore (4460 million) smartphones, 56 crore (560 million) internet users up from 481 million people (35% of the country’s total population) in December 2017, and 51 per cent growth in e-commerce.
  • Jan Dhan Yojana:(Department of financial services, Ministry of Finance) PMJDY is a National Mission on Financial Inclusion encompassing an integrated approach to bring about comprehensive financial inclusion of all the households in the country. The plan envisages universal access to banking facilities with at least one basic banking account for every household, financial literacy, access to credit, insurance and pension facility. In addition, the beneficiaries would get RuPay Debit card having inbuilt accident insurance cover of र 1 lakh. The plan also envisages channelling all Government benefits (from Centre / State / Local Body) to the beneficiaries accounts and pushing the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) scheme of the Union Government. The technological issues like poor connectivity, online transactions will be addressed. Mobile transactions through telecom operators and their established centres as Cash Out Points are also planned to be used for Financial Inclusion under the Scheme. Under this scheme, 1.5 Crore (15 million) bank accounts were opened on inauguration day. The Guinness Book of World Records recognised this achievement, stating: “The most bank accounts opened in one week as a part of the financial inclusion campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Government of India from August 23 to 29, 2014”. By 27 June 2018, over 31 crores (318 million) bank accounts were opened and over ₹792 billion (US$12 billion) were deposited under the scheme. Near 6 lakh crore rupees of benefits have been directly transferred to the bank accounts of beneficiaries saving thousands of crores of rupees and corruption in the manual transfer of money under DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer). Atal Pension Yojana: (Ministry of Finance)
  • Atal Pension Yojana is a government-backed pension scheme targeted at the unorganised sector. As of May 2015, only 20% of India’s population has any kind of pension scheme, this scheme aims to increase the number. Under the APY, the subscribers would receive the fixed minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month, Rs. 2000 per month, Rs. 3000 per month, Rs. 4000 per month, Rs. 5000 per month, at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which itself would be based on the age of joining the APY. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. Therefore, the minimum period of contribution by any subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more. The benefit of a fixed minimum pension would be guaranteed by the Government. The government would provide (i) fixed pension guarantee for the subscribers; (ii) would co-contribute 50% of the total contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower, to eligible subscribers; and (iii) would also reimburse the promotional and development activities including an incentive to the contribution collection agencies to encourage people to join the APY. Source doc: APY details.
  • Skill India: National Skill Development Corporation under the guidance of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship has introduced an initiative which allows aspirant candidates to register for skill training/learning and employment opportunities through the online portal. The aim is to train 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022. It includes various initiatives such as “National Skill Development Mission”, “National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015”, “Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)” and the “Skill Loan scheme”. Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana: (Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation)
  • Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana (DAY) with an aim to uplift the urban poor folks by enhancing sustainable livelihood opportunities through skill development. Keeping in view the objective of Make in India, Skill Development is essential for socio-economic betterment. The government of India has provisioned Rs.500 crore for the scheme. The scheme is the integration of the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) and National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM). Under the scheme urban areas extends the coverage to all the 4041 statutory cities and towns, thereby covering almost the entire urban population. Currently, all the urban poverty alleviating programmes covered only 790 towns and cities.
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushal Yojana: The Vision of DDU-GKY is to “Transform rural poor youth into an economically independent and globally relevant workforce”. It aims to target youth, in the age group of 15–35 years. DDU-GKY is a part of the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM), tasked with the dual objectives of adding diversity to the incomes of rural poor families and cater to the career aspirations of rural youth. A corpus of Rs 1,500 crore is aimed at enhancing the employability of rural youth. Under this programme, disbursements would be made through a digital voucher directly into the student’s bank account as part of the government’s skill development initiative.33
  • SAUBHAGYA: For years, politicians promise electricity in their manifestoes. Modi government is on the verge of achieving 100% electrification (of all the households) in the country. Isolated and remote areas which are inaccessible by grid are electrified by solar power. President praises govt’s marquee schemes such as Ujjwala, Saubhagya7
  • Housing for all: (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Rural Development) Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) is an initiative by the Government of India in which affordable housing will be provided to the urban poor with a target of building 20 million affordable houses by 31 March 2022. It has two components: Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) (PMAY-U) for the urban poor and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin) (PMAY-G and also PMAY-R) for the rural poor. This scheme is converged with other schemes to ensure houses have a toilet, Saubhagya Yojana electricity connection, Ujjwala Yojana LPG gas connection, access to drinking water and Jan Dhan banking facilities, etc. Cumulative total number of funded houses approved thus far is 39,25,240 in the urban area including the subsumed RAY scheme and completion of construction of 5 million rural houses by March 2018 and 10 million rural houses by March 2019. Total houses completed under this scheme till now is 1,53,00,000. Another commendable initiative in the housing and real estate sector is the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. Unregulated real estate sector creates a bubble in the economy where real estate prices go skyrocket and consumers are exploited by the builders and developers. It was common for builders to delay the construction, increase the prices, do not meet the standards in safety and other standards. RERA act has put in various checks to protect consumer’s interests. The act is also aimed to push investments in the real estate sector. This is one of the important steps taken by the government to address problems in the real estate sector which common Indians generally are unaware of.
  • AMURAT: (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) The purpose of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) is to (i) ensure that every household has access to a tap with assured supply of water and a sewerage connection; (ii) increase the amenity value of cities by developing greenery and well maintained open spaces (e.g. parks); and (iii) reduce pollution by switching to public transport or constructing facilities for non-motorized transport (e.g. walking and cycling). All these outcomes are valued by citizens, particularly women, and indicators and standards have been prescribed by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) in the form of Service Level Benchmarks (SLBs). This is an infrastructural building scheme targetting cities with a population greater than 100,000. AMRUT scheme, the pace of basic development of cities.
  • SMART cities mission: (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs) Smart City Mission, is an urban renewal and retrofitting program by the Government of India with the mission to develop 100 cities across the country making them citizen friendly and sustainable. Total funding of the project is ₹98000 crores.These 100 cities will be developed as model areas based on an area development plan, which is expected to have a rub-off effect on other parts of the city, and nearby cities and towns. Cities will be selected based on the Smart Cities challenge, where cities will compete in a countrywide competition to obtain the benefits from this mission. As of January 2018, 99 cities have been selected to be upgraded as part of the Smart Cities Mission after they defeated other cities in the challenge.It is a five-year program in which, except for West Bengal, all of the Indian states and Union territories are participating by nominating at least one city for the Smart Cities challenge. Financial aid will be given by the central and state governments between 2017-2022 to the cities, and the mission will start showing results from 2022 onwards.
Naya Raipur (Atal Nagar), though Naya Raipur has been in the making before this scheme
How Naya Raipur Is Emerging as One of the Most Well-Planned Smart Cities in India
  • POSHAN: (Ministry of Women and Child development) POSHAN abhiyaan is India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescents, pregnant women and lactating mothers by leveraging technology, a targeted approach and convergence.
POSHAN dashboard
  • Mission Indradhanush: The ultimate goal of Mission Indradhanush is to ensure full immunization with all available vaccines for children up to two years of age and pregnant women. The Government has identified 201 high focus districts across 28 states in the country that have the highest number of partially immunized and unimmunized children.Earlier the increase in full immunization coverage was 1% per year which has increased to 6.7% per year through the first two phases of Mission Indradhanush. Four phases of Mission Indradhanush have been conducted till August 2017 and more than 2.53 crore children and 68 lakh pregnant women have been vaccinated. To further intensify the immunization programme, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) on October 8, 2017. Through this programme, the Government of India aims to reach each and every child up to two years of age and all those pregnant women who have been left uncovered under the routine immunisation programme/UIP. The special drive will focus on improving immunisation coverage in select districts and cities to ensure full immunisation to more than 90% by December 2018. The achievement of full immunisation under Mission Indradhanush to at least 90% coverage was to be achieved by 2020 earlier. With the launch of IMI, the achievement of the target has now been advanced.
  • PMJAY: Ayushman Bharat: (NHA: National Health Authority)9
    This is the single largest government-sponsored healthcare insurance scheme in the world covering 10 crore Indian families (50 crore individuals). The scheme offers an insurance cover of up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year. This is probably one of the top 5 groundbreaking schemes of the present government as out of pocket expenditure on healthcare is one of the biggest contributors to poverty in India. The ease of using the scheme is also fairly simple. Once the eligible individuals have been issued the e-cards, they can avail healthcare benefits in the registered hospitals. Apart from Delhi, Telangana and now Chhattisgarh, all states have implemented this scheme. Stupid CMs of these states not implementing this scheme due to anti-Modi bias. Kejriwal wants the name of the scheme to be Mukhya Mantri Aam Aadmi Swasthya Bima Yojana in Delhi, then only he will implement this scheme. Ayushman Bharat Scheme: Name game stalls implementation in Delhi8.jpg
  • Ujjwala Scheme: Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for providing LPG connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households. Total 6,29,18,784 connections have been provided till now under this scheme.pmuy
  • Khelo India: (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports) India has a great potential in sports. While our cricket teams are doing well, we are performing way below our potentials in other sports (especially Olympic sports) such as athletics, football, swimming, etc. The reason being good sportsmen require world-class infrastructure, nutrition, coaching and regular competition to compete at the top of the international level. This can’t happen overnight. This will require a shift in Indian culture as well as the government to see sports as another venue of employment and make the positions of at least the top sportsmen as good as that of a top government official. There are some positive signs and some Indian athletes have made their names at the top of international competitions (Hima Das, Dipa Karmakar, P. V. Sindhu, strong Badmintion, wrestling, Boxing teams).The Khelo India programme has been introduced to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level by building a strong framework for all sports played in our country and establish India as a great sporting nation. Talented players identified in priority sports disciplines at various levels by the High-Powered Committee will be provided annual financial assistance of INR 5 lakh per annum for 8 years.27
  • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao: (Ministry of Women and Child Development) Unfortunately, India has seen an alarming decline in Child Sex Ratio from 2001 to 2011 census (927 to 918). This is mainly due to gender bias and preference of a male child over females in some parts of India. This is one awful aspect of our society which needs to addressed immediately. Although there are strict laws against female foeticide (abortion of female children), many doctors still perform these operations secretly. Objectives of this scheme are to Prevent gender biased sex-selective elimination, Ensure survival & protection of the girl child, Ensure education of the girl child
  • Triple Talaq Bill: In 1985, the Supreme Court gave a historic judgement in favour of Shah Bano where his husband was to provide for the maintenance of his aggrieved divorced wife (a right which was already available to non-Muslim women). However, the then Rajiv Gandhi government in the pursuit of appeasing Muslim vote banks enacted a law which overruled the Supreme Court judgement and the maintenance of divorced Muslim women fell on to her family members.
    About 30 years later, the Supreme Court gave another historic judgement wherein it banned the practice of Triple Talaq terming it as unIslamic and against basic human rights. Once again, Mulsim boards were unhappy with the decision and political parties (which are used to appeasing Muslim vote banks) started opposing the decision. Modi government, however, acted swiftly and has passed the Triple Talaq bill (making Triple Talaq offendable) in Lok Sabha. However, opposition parties have stalled the bill in Rajya Sabha as of now. Imagine a Congress government (with the coalition of Left in the centre). No such bill would have been introduced in the parliament for sure. Minority and vote bank appeasement has hit such a low that parties are willing to go against the basic human rights of the citizens. What they don’t realize is that a large proportion of Muslims (especially women) are in favour of the bill. Political parties seriously underestimate the wisdom of the Indian citizens and always try to play on the emotional aspects of the voters.
  • Improvement in Indian Railways:
Vande Bharat express: the fastest train in India manufactured in record time under “Make in India” initiative. Photo credits: Hindustan Times
  • I will share some of my own objective views at this point. I am a regular commuter and I have been travelling through Indian railways quite frequently (at least twice in 4 months) since the last 10 years. I didn’t had a good impression of Indian railways and railway stations, especially the sleeper class and cleanliness and hygiene of the platforms. After 2014, railways have undergone significant positive transformations. I have travelled on sleeper and AC coaches and to be fair, cleanliness and hygiene of sleeper classes have improved massively. Now, I don’t hesitate much before booking my ticket in sleeper classes. Also, cleanliness of railway stations has improved by miles and there is free wifi in most of the big stations (not needed though due to JIO revolution).
    If we compare the status of Railways under the UPA government and under NDA government, we come across sharp differences between the two. Indian Railways did track laying work, which includes laying new tracks, doubling the existing lines, and converting narrow gauge to broad gauge, 11.5% faster during the NDA’s initial three-year rule than the Congress-led UPA government. The Railways has laid 7,666 km of tracks during 2014-17 (NDA’s rule), which is 794 km more than the UPA’s between 2009-12. Therefore, a considerable change has been brought under the NDA led government.
    Indian Railways under Modi government.cc7x1myumaanch410
    However, that doesn’t mean Indian railways is suddenly world class and all our problems are solved. Indian railway is suffering from immense pressure in terms of quantities of trains and freight traffic. And to please people and meet regional demands and an increasing number of passengers, the number of trains keep on increasing. Also, unfortunately, there have been some big train accidents in these past 5 years (although few of them seem to be due to potential sabotage by anti-national elements/terrorists). Indian railways are facing a tough challenge to meet the increasing demands of passengers, modernise its services all while improving punctuality and efficiency. These challenges can be met by infrastructure building and lesser political interference (remember Lalu, Mamta as railway ministers?). I am hopeful of the current government and railway minister compared to any railway minister we had in the past decade.
    Piyush Goyal on QuoraPiyush Goyal’s answer to “What has Modi government done for the improvement of Indian railways?”
  • Doubling farmers income: It doesn’t matter how well a government does in finance, external affairs, economy, infrastructure; until and unless a government doesn’t please farmers, they will lose elections. Agriculture in India is facing some serious challenges. We have a problem of having too many people involved in a sector that is volatile and unpredictable. Also, the return of profits on agricultural products isn’t very lucrative to the actual farmers (due to the problem of middlemen and lack of proper market, Mandi for farmers to directly sell their produce). Previous governments and many state governments (including BJP) have employed the tactic of appeasing farmers by offering loan waivers (which is a terrible idea as said by Raghuram Rajan and Narendra Modi himself).
    The policy-making of the present government for the agricultural has undergone a significant shift wherein the government is trying to find sustainable ways to relieve the distress farmers and also to maintain and boost the growth in the agricultural sector. The present government has announced that it will take the necessary steps and reforms to double the farmer’s income by 2022-23 (compared to 2015-16). Few committees have been appointed and studies are been conducted as to how this could be achieved.
    The sources of growth in output and income can be put in four categories.
  1. Development initiatives including infrastructure
  2. Technology
  3. Policies and
  4. Institutional mechanisms

The quantitative framework for doubling farmers income has identified seven sources of growth. These are:

  1. Increase in productivity of crops
  2. Increase in production of livestock
  3. Improvement in efficiency of input use (cost saving)
  4. Increase in crop intensity
  5. Diversification towards high-value crops
  6. Improved price realization by farmers
  7. A shift of cultivators to non-farm jobs
    Report of the Committee on Doubling Farmers’ Income
  • Soil health card: (Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s welfare)
    Launched in 2015, the scheme has been introduced to assist State Governments to issue Soil Health Cards to all farmers in the country.  The Soil Health Cards provide information to farmers on the nutrient status of their soil along with the recommendation on appropriate dosage of nutrients to be applied for improving soil health and its fertility.
    This government website provides some interesting data obtained through this scheme such as a map of the Nitrogen content of soil in the country. Soil Health Card
  • National mission for sustainable agriculture: (Department of Agriculture, Cooperations and Farmers Welfare; Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)
    The agriculture sector is the most adversely affected sector due to climate change. At this time, it’s not enough just to boost agricultural productivity in the short run. We have to look for ways to adopt sustainable agricultural practices. NMSA is a step towards sustainable agriculture mission. Following are schemes under NMSA
    Rainfed Area Development (RAD): RAD is being implemented by RFS Division; Soil Health Management (SHM): SHM is being implemented by INM Division; Sub Mission on Agro-Forestry (SMAF): SMAF is being implemented by NRM Division; Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY): PKVY is being implemented by INM Division; Soil and Land Use Survey of India (SLUSI): Being implemented by RFS Division; National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA): Being implemented by RFS Division; Mission Organic Value Chain Development in North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER): Being implemented by INM Division; National Centre of Organic Farming (NCOF): Being implemented by INM Division; Central Fertilizer Quality Control and Training Institute (CFQC&TI): implemented by INM Division
  • Neem Coated Urea: (National Fertilizers Limited) This scheme is initiated to regulate the use of urea, enhance the availability of nitrogen to the crop and reduce the cost of fertilizer application.  NCU slows down the release of fertilizer and makes it available to the crop in an effective manner. The entire quantity of domestically manufactured and imported urea is now neem coated.  It reduces the cost of cultivation and improves soil health management. Production and distribution of Neem Coated Urea almost doubled in the year 2015-16.National Fertilizers
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY): (Department of Agriculture, Cooperations and Farmers Welfare; Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)
    Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) has been formulated with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet ko pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘More crop per drop’ in a focused manner with end to end solution on source creation, distribution, management, field application and extension activities.
    Micro irrigation: targets and achievements
*data for 2018-19 incomplete
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana: The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY), launched in 2015, is an extended component of Soil Health Management (SHM) under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA). PKVY aims at supporting and promoting organic farming, in turn resulting in the improvement of soil health. In his 2016 budget speech the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley came out strongly in support of the implementation of the scheme. According to the scheme, farmers will be encouraged to form groups or clusters and take to organic farming methods over large areas in the country. To avail the scheme, each cluster or group must have 50 farmers willing to take up organic farming under the PKVY and possess a total area of at least 50 acres. Each farmer enrolling in the scheme will be provided INR 20,000 per acre by the government spread over three years time. This fund can be utilized for obtaining organic seed, harvesting of the crops, and transporting the produce to the local markets. The aim is to form 10,000 clusters over the next three years and bring about five lakh acres of agricultural area under organic farming. The government also intends to cover certification costs and promote organic farming through the use of traditional resources. Organic food, thus produced will be linked with modern marketing tools and local markets. The northeastern states of India shall be in special focus and the government shall step up efforts to connect the organic produce in these parts with both domestic and export markets. A sum of INR 412 crore has been allocated by the government to implement the Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana in the financial year 2016-17.
  • National Agriculture Market: (Department of Agriculture, Cooperations and Farmers Welfare; Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)
    National Agriculture Market (NAM) is a pan-India electronic trading portal which networks the existing APMC mandis to create a unified national market for agricultural commodities. Agriculture marketing is administered by the States as per their agri-marketing regulations, under which, the State is divided into several market areas, each of which is administered by a separate Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) which imposes its own marketing regulation (including fees). This fragmentation of markets, even within the State, hinders the free flow of agri commodities from one market area to another and multiple handling of agri-produce and multiple levels of mandi charges ends up escalating the prices for the consumers without commensurate benefit to the farmer.
    NAM addresses these challenges by creating a unified market through online trading platform, both, at State and National level and promotes uniformity, streamlining of procedures across the integrated markets, removes information asymmetry between buyers and sellers and promotes real-time price discovery, based on actual demand and supply, promotes transparency in auction process, and access to a nationwide market for the farmer, with prices commensurate with quality of his produce and online payment and availability of better quality produce and at more reasonable prices to the consumer.
  • Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana:(Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare)
    This scheme is aimed at supporting farmers in case of crop failure, disaster or post-harvest losses. In 2017 Kharif season, 34,776,055 farmers were insured under this scheme and 13,793,975 farmers benefitted from the scheme where claims worth 17,210 crore rupees were paid. Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) aims at supporting sustainable production in the agriculture sector by way of –
    providing financial support to farmers suffering crop loss/damage arising out of unforeseen events
    stabilizing the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming
    encouraging farmers to adopt innovative and modern agricultural practices
    ensuring the flow of credit to the agriculture sector; which will contribute to food security, crop diversification and enhancing growth and competitiveness of the agriculture sector besides protecting farmers from production risks.
  • Pradhanmantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna:(Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer’s welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers welfare)The government announced a fixed yearly income for small and marginal farmers. This scheme will benefit about 12 crore farmers who have 2 Hectare land. Under the scheme, income support of Rs.6000/- per year in three equal instalments will be provided to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of up to 2 hectares. The benefit under this yojna will be given retrospectively from December 2018. Rs. 75000 crore allotted for this scheme (100% centrally funded). This is a shift from loan waiver policies (which are clearly not healthy for our country’s economy). This kind of scheme has been fairly successful in states such as Odisha.
  • Pradhanmantri Shramyogi Maan-Dhan Yojna:  Launched in this year’s budget, it’s a mega Pension Yojna. It is expected to be the largest in the World. It is for the unorganised sector (which is much larger than the organised sector in India) and organised workers who earn up to Rs. 15000 monthly income. A fixed pension amount of Rs 3000 per month will be given after 60 years of age. They will have to pay a minimum contribution of Rs 55 starting from age of 18 (an equal amount will be contributed by the government towards the premium). Minimum premium means if 29 years old person enters into it, he will have to pay only Rs. 100 per month. Rs. 500 crore for this scheme.
  • MUDRA:(Ministry of Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises)
    MSME sector is the backbone of India’s GDP growth. Not only does it contribute to a large percentage of Indian export, but it also employs the largest section of the Indian population after agriculture. MUDRA scheme is aimed at infusing capital to deserved entrepreneurs, boost the economy and create jobs.
    Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on April 8, 2015, for providing loans up to 10 lakh to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises. These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY. These loans are given by Commercial Banks, RRBs, Small Finance Banks, Cooperative Banks, MFIs and NBFCs. The borrower can approach any of the lending institutions mentioned above or can apply online through this portal. Under the aegis of PMMY, MUDRA has created three products namely ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ to signify the stage of growth/development and funding needs of the beneficiary microunit/entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation/growth.12MSME ministry is implementing various schemes: MSME schemes
  • Planning commission to NITI Aayog:(National Institute for Transforming India) Many of the policies and schemes I have described are results of NITI Aayog’s ideas, research and planning. While it is similar in role to the erstwhile Planning commission, they are some key structural improvements. The biggest improvement is the role of states. NITI aayog’s governing council also includes chief ministers of states while Planning commission was all central body. NITI Aayog serves as a knowledge hub of internal as well as external resources; serving as a repository of good governance best practices, and a Think Tank offering domain knowledge as well as strategic expertise to all levels of government. NITI Aayog is also a collaborative platform facilitating implementation; by monitoring progress, plugging gaps and bringing together various ministries at the Centre and in States, in the joint pursuit of developmental goals. A lot of indexes and ranks (such as the performance of aspirational districts) are published by NITI Aayog. This page on statistics is very informative. NITI Aayog: statistics.
  • Revitalising Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE): The RISE scheme will be financed via a restructured higher education financing agency (HEFA) that is functioning for the last two months as a non-banking financial company. It aims to lend low-cost funds to government higher educational institutions. Presently, HEFA is looking to raise Rs20,000 crore and Budget announcement hiked this number to Rs1 trillion. While HEFA was granted a budgetary allocation of Rs250 crore in the fiscal year 2018, in FY19, the lending body will be provided with a budget of Rs2,750 crore.16
  • Institute of eminence: (MHRD) IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IISc Banglore are among the public sector institutes selected under this scheme.
    It is expected that the above-selected Institutions will come up in the top 500 of the world ranking in 10 years and in top 100 of the world ranking eventually over time. To achieve the top world ranking, these Institutions shall be provided with greater autonomy to admit foreign students up to 30% of admitted students; to recruit foreign faculty upto25% of faculty strength; to offer online courses up to 20% of its programmes; to enter into academic collaboration with top 500 in the world ranking Institutions without permission of UGC; free to fix and charge fees from foreign students without restriction; flexibility of course structure in terms of number of credit hours and years to take a degree; complete flexibility in fixing of curriculum and syllabus, among others.
    Each public Institution selected as ‘Institution of Eminence’ will get financial assistance up to Rs. 1000 Crore over a period of five years under this scheme.
  • Foreign policy & International relations: Foreign policy has been one of the biggest highlights of the Modi government. Both Modi and Sushma Swaraj have played big parts in uplifting India’s image in the world. Modi is talked about on the same level as Xi Jinping, Shinzo Abe. He has very good relations with Putin, Trump, Shinzo Abe, Benjamin Netanyahu, and even Arab and Iran leaders. His speeches in Wembley, Madison Square garden were brilliant and projected India to the world in ways which had not been done after Vajpayee. Modi managed to play well with Left (Macron, Merkel) and Right (Trump, Netanyahu) all while acting like a neutral central figure. His government also managed to expose Pakistan’s state-funded terrorism (Pakistan currently on the grey list of FATF regarding terror financing) on a global level, while also going toe to toe with China at Doklam making them back off from their aggressive strategy. I will list some of the successes of India’s foreign policies.
  • International Day Of Yoga: “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.”

— Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly

  • Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Today it is practised in various forms around the world and continues to grow in popularity. Recognizing its universal appeal, on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga by resolution 69/131. The International Day of Yoga aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practising yoga.
  • International Solar Alliance: It is the first UN-based organisation initiated by India and having its headquarters in India (Gurugram).
    The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 121 countries initiated by India, most of them being sunshine countries, which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. now extended to all members of UN. The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient exploitation of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. This initiative was first proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a speech in November 2015 at Wembley Stadium, in which he referred to sunshine countries as Suryaputra (“Sons of the Sun”). The alliance is a treaty-based inter-governmental organization. Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can join the alliance and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights.
  • India-Russia:political
    The strongest and most consistent ally of India, Russia’s partnership with India has only gotten better since 2014, especially in defence. Despite USA’s constant warnings, India is buying the S-400 missile defence systems from Russia. The first-ever TriServices exercise –‘INDRA 2017’ took place in Vladivostok from October 19 to 29, 2017. Around 1,000 Indian servicemen and two naval ships took part in the Exercise along with more than a thousand Russian Servicemen. The exercise focused on Counter-terror operations. Joint India-Russia Airforce exercise ‘Avia Indra’ took place in Lipetsk from September 17-28, 2018.
    Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KKNPP) is being built in India with Russian cooperation.
    Intensifying the trade and economic relations has been identified as a priority by both the leaders. In December 2014, the leaders of the two countries set a target of US$30 billion bilateral trade by 2025. Russian investments in India in 2017 has reached USD 18bn and India’s total investment in Russia so far is USD 13bn. The overall investment target of USD 30 bn that were set for 2025 has already been reached. The investment target has been raised from USD 30bn to USD 50bn by 2025 during the 19th Annual Bilateral Summit in October 2018.
    More details on India-Russia relations: Embassy of India, Moscow, bilateral relations: India-Russia.
  • India-USA: It seems like the USA has finally come to its senses that it is India they should be backing in South Asia (and not Pakistan). Also, India is the only potential power in South Asia that can counter PRC (Peoples Republic of China). Unlike others such as China (allies with Russia), Israel (allies with the USA), India is one of the few countries who have good relations with the USA and Russia at the same time. US politics and world politics took an interesting turn with the revolutionary election of Donald Trump. Trump on the surface seems to be an admirer of Modi. This funny clip from Trump’s campaign will give you an idea: Abki Baar Trump Sarkar.
Trump is known for undermining world leaders through his power hand-shakes but Modi smartly downplayed his power game with smile and use of his other hand in undermining Trump’s right hand which is trying to dominate over Modi.
Politics is tricky. Alpha and strong personalities are highly desirable traits in the leader of a country. It’s obvious here that Trump is the powerful alpha while Trudeau was uncomfortable.
  • US is India’s largest trading partner in goods and services. The overall India-US bilateral trade in goods and services has increased from US$ 114 billion in 2016 to US$ 126 billion in 2017.
    USA, India, Japan, Australia (QUAD) have been cooperating in the Indo-Pacific region maritime security and free trade. But the main aim of this group is to counter Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific region.
    Hon’ble Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu visited the USA on 8-9 September 2018 to deliver an address at the 2nd World Hindu Conference held in Chicago.
Trade going strong between the two nations, the jump in services is especially significant as most of these are from India to the USA
  • India-Pakistan: This page of Indian embassy of Pakistan summarizes Indian-Pakistan relations in nicer words: High commission of India-Pakistan: India-Pak relations. Narendra Modi played a masterstroke even before becoming PM by inviting all the leaders of SAARC countries (including Nawaz Sharif) in his oath-taking ceremony. His message was clear: “We are ready for dialogue if you can get your act and Army together.” We all know this was never going to happen. Modi most probably knew it too. However, he wanted the ball to be in Pak’s court. And Pak army as usual massively increased ceasefire violations across LoC in Kashmir. Indian Army was replying strongly and more freely under Modi and search and kill operations in Kashmir intensified (elaborated further under Kashmir situation point). Also, India continuously exposed Pakistan’s support for terrorism at various international level summits. Finally, FATF (Financial Action Task Force) put Pakistan in greylist due to its suspicious acts of terror funding. Another highlight was India taking Pakistan to International Court of Justice in the case of Kulbhushan Jadhav whom the Pakistani army & government have falsely framed in a spying case and awarded death penalty without even giving him a proper defence.
    If you breed terrorism, terrorists will ultimately bite you also. Pakistan witnessed major terror attacks including a cowardly attack at a school in Peshawar. That should have forced them to take strong actions against all kinds of terrorism. But else, trained terrorists in PoK executed a series of terror attacks in Pathankot and Uri. The second attack was the tipping point, the whole nation was angry. The government gave a green light to surgical strikes. And Indian army in a series of surgical strikes destroyed multiple terror bases in PoK killing dozens of terrorist without a single casualty (Uri: The surgical strike is an excellent movie on the same). After that, India-Pakistan relations strained even worse which is a good thing as we don’t want anything to do with a nation whose Army and intelligence is constantly planning evil against my nation (to hell with Aman ki Aasha). Pakistan’s funding by the USA also saw major setbacks. Now, Pakistan is heavily reliant on China for investments, funding, international support. And China is using Pakistan for its belt and road initiative and giving huge loans to Pakistan (which obviously they won’t be able to pay, going into a debt trap, a strategy China has been employing against many smaller nations). Things aren’t looking so good for Pakistan (considering even a bigger moron in Imran Khan is their new PM). I don’t have anything against Pakistani citizens (I wish to visit sites of Harappa and Mohenjodaro someday) and I really do wish peace and prosperity for them. However, their government and army’s biggest point of interest is their hatred for India. This government finally is acting in a tit for tat manner, working smartly in various fronts to isolate Pakistan and also not hesitating in a strong attacking (defensive offence as termed by Ajit Doval) response across LoC.
    Edit: After writing the above section on India-Pak relations, an unfortunate incident happened in Pulwama where 40+ CRPF Indian soldiers were martyred in a jihadi suicide bombing terrorist attack. Pakistan based terror outfit- Jais-e-Mohammad (JeM) took responsibility. The whole nation was sad, angry and wanted a stern response to Pakistan (not just a limited surgical strike). The government first took away MFN (Most Favored Nation) status from Pakistan, imposing duties of 200% on goods coming from Pakistan. India also declared that it will divert the waters of three rivers (Ravi, Beas, Sutlej) for its own use (still within the limits of Indus water treaty). Almost the entire world (including China) was with India this time and the pressure was on Pakistan to take action against terrorists. As usual, Pakistan instead resorted to protecting terrorists, shifting them from LoC fearing another surgical strike.
    India went a step ahead this time. On 26th February, between 3:45 and 3:55 am, Indian Air Force carried out a series of operations, dropping explosives of around 1000kgs, destroying multiple terrorist camps at Balakot, Muzaffarabad, Chakoti. The strike that made the biggest headlines was Balakot because Balakot is inside the main Pakistani territory (and not PoK which is legally a part of India). This is not an easy task. It was carried within 13 days of Pulwama attacks. Pakistan was alert this time around. Still, IAF managed to finish off a few hundred terrorists (exact numbers unknown as Pak is obviously covering up the incident). This strike was carried out on terrorist camps avoiding civilian and military casualties. The next day, Pakistan foolishly tried to air-attack Indian military bases in Kashmir but was chased away by IAF piolets. A MIG-21 piolet Abhinandan shooting down an advanced F-16 plane of PAF. His plane, however, crashed in PoK and he was captured and harassed by Pakistani citizens and army. However, due to the Geneva convention and fear of India declaring PAF’s attack as an act of war, the Pakistani government quickly said that they are releasing Abhinandan, the next day.
    Three big conclusions can be drawn from these whole series of incidents.
    Indian Army, Airforce and Navy (along with the intelligence) are badass and if they are allowed to do their jobs with proper resources and without political interference, they will finish their tasks without any doubt (even Pakistanis know this). Modi is one strong, nationalist leader. There is no doubt that his leadership is one of the reasons why IAF could carry out such bold operation and such international pressure could be mounted on Pakistan where even OIC (Organization of Islamic countries) invited Sushma Swaraj as chief guest despite the protest of Pakistan. The third conclusion is that many of the opposition parties and lefty, pseudo-liberal morons can stoop to any level just to oppose Modi. While the whole world was supporting the Indian government on this issue, these morons were busy trying to find anything to weaken India’s case because Narendra Modi is the prime minister(one stupid website even published a piece of fake news regarding caste of martyrs, another moronic media house displayed the details of the family of Abhinandan Varthaman).
    This is obviously not the end of India-Pak saga and I hope the Indian government have learnt their lessons and formulate a long term anti-Pak policy (economic, international, military, etc.). At this moment in time, only the Modi government is capable of carrying out such a policy of defensive-offensive mode in the larger interest of our nation. How to tackle Pakistan by Ajit Doval India National Security Adviser.
  • India-China (Doklam): Many people consider China to be the biggest threat to India. Many however see India as the powerhouse that can counter China in South Asia. In fact, for this very reason, the USA can’t afford to have bad relations with India. China has been flexing its muscles and the Chinese Communist Party is very-very ambitious and greedy (usual for a communist dictator regime). China has a very cunning way of giving big loans to smaller countries, which those countries fail to repay (they even struggle with the interests), then forcing those countries into serving all sorts of Chinese purposes (leasing a port for Chinese navy, e.g. Hambantota port, Sri Lanka). This is part of China’s string of pearls strategy.image11
  • To counter the string of pearls, India has been making strategic ties with multiple countries and island nations. Some of these are Assumption islands in Seychelles, Agalega islands (Mauritius), Chahbahar port (Iran), QUAD navy exercises in the Indian ocean, ties with Indonesia, Malaysia, etc.14
    India is the one South Asian country that is not backing down from the CCP’s bullying tactics. The best example of this was the Doklam situation. People’s Liberation Army of Chinese Communist Party (yes, the army is affiliated to CCP, not China) started building roads in the Doklam plateau which belongs to Bhutan. Also, the plateau is at a strategic location and road could have been a potential threat to Indian security. Anyways, obliging the friendship agreement between India and Bhutan, the Indian army confronted the Chinese intrusions. There was intense face-off for months. CCP’s state-run media houses started publishing war-threats against India hoping that India would back down due to these threats. India didn’t. Meanwhile, Modi met Xi Jinping at G20 summit and both agreed to send their delegates for talks about the Doklam issue. After a series of talks, CCP’s army retrieved and stopped its construction and then, Indian army also retrieved from the plateau. Excellent video explaining the situation with light humour: Who won the India/China border war, China Uncensored.
    One area, however, where China has a massive edge is in the trade. India has the largest trade deficit with China (nearly  $51.72 billion). But that is the case with almost any other country in the world. Most of the countries have huge trade deficits with China due to low manufacturing, SEZ and development of manufacturing hubs such as Shenzen. However, the Chinese manufacturing boom has reached its peak growth rate (increasing wages in China though due to communist rule and little human rights and labour laws, it’s way easier and cheaper to manufacture iPhones in China). India has a chance to at least start reducing the trade deficit by boosting Make in India initiatives (Samsung Inaugurates World’s Largest Mobile Factory in India).
    The world is facing two big problems which will shape the geopolitics in the coming years. First is the refugee, immigration crisis leading to unrest in many countries (especially in Europe) and second is the CCP’s aggressive policies and how countries especially the Chinese neighbours tackle these aggressive policies. India in such times has shown a way by not backing down to the Chinese tactics and protesting Belt and Road initiative. At the same time, India is not cutting off trade ties and still a partner of Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank, Shanghai corporation, BRICS and other such major international institutions.
  • India-Israel: Israel has been the most reliable and true friend of India since independence. It was Israel (along with Russia) who always backed India in wars against Pakistan (despite the USA openly supporting Pak). Israel was also supportive of India in the Kargil war. This is because Israel truly understands India’s situation with a terror breeding neighbour state (Pakistan). Despite being such a small nation, Israel has emerged as the leading centre of innovation in defence, agriculture, all kinds of technology possible. It is only in the best interests of India to learn from Israel and adapt their solutions to some of our own problems (agriculture, terrorists). Despite all this Israeli support, no Indian PM had ever visited Israel (because of the soft corner of Muslims for Palestine). Modi however, acknowledging the Israeli support became the first Indian PM to pay a visit to Israel. In return, Israeli PM Mr Benjamin Netanyahu made a very warm, eventful visit to India leading to further strengthening of Indo-Israel ties.
    Some areas of cooperation between the two countries are listed below.
    India and Israel have a bilateral agreement for cooperation in agriculture.  India has benefited from Israeli expertise and technologies in horticulture mechanization, protected cultivation, orchard and canopy management, nursery management, micro-irrigation and post-harvest management particularly in Haryana and Maharashtra. Israeli drip irrigation technologies and products are now widely used in India. Some Israeli companies and experts are providing expertise to manage and improve dairy farming in India through their expertise in high milk yield.
    India imports critical defence technologies from Israel. There are regular exchanges between the armed forces. There is cooperation on security issues, including a Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism. Since 2015, IPS officer trainees have been visiting the Israel National Police Academy every year for a one-week long foreign exposure training at the end of their training in the National Police Academy, Hyderabad.
    More details: Indian embassy, Israel.
  • Other countries:15Modi made visits to numerous countries one after another. What you might not know is the fact that the number of visits by Modi was, in fact, similar in numbers to the number of visits made by former PM Manmohan Singh. Modi’s foreign trips bringing better dividends than Manmohan.
    The reason you remember Modi’s foreign trips are because of course they are more recent and secondly, they are more impactful, way more impactful than any Indian PM has ever managed. You think about his speeches at jam-packed Madison Square Garden, Wembley or him receiving 27 standing ovations in his 52 minutes speech in the US Senate. Some of the achievements of this government I could think of over the top of my head are resolving decade-old border issues with Bangladesh, rescuing Indians and some other nationals from war-torn Yemen (Operation Raahat), Modi receiving the highest civilian awards in Afganistan (The Amir Amanullah Khan Awardand Saudi Arabia (Abdulaziz Al Saud Award), and more recently, the prestigious Seoul Peace prize (South Korea). Each of these foreign trips also benefitted India in numerous deals and negotiations (details of which require comprehensive research and outside the scope of this article). You can be a big Modi hater but you can’t deny the fact that he has presented India as an emerging global power and make people of the world talk about India in a positive way that was not seen during 10 years of Manmohan era. That’s the personality of Modi and what he brings to the table. He is making friends with the leaders of Russia, Israel, USA, Japan, Suadi, Afganistan, France, etc. Name a leader in the world who can do that (apart from neutral nations like Switzerland).
  • Internal Security & Defense:
As a trusted man of the Prime Minister, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval has been given the authority to lead the way to shape and bring up to speed India’s national security architecture.  (Ajay Aggarwal/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
  • I have already touched upon Modi government’s success in Doklam and giving befitting reply Pakistan sponsored terrorism in previous points. Other success includes calmer North-east, declining Naxal influence (details in a later point), no major terrorist attack on civilians and faster, transparent procurement of defence equipment (explained in a later point) and thrust to indigenous defence manufacturing under ‘Make in India”.
    This is an excellent review of the Modi government’s policy in the defence and security sector by Lt Gen (retd) Syed Ata Hasnain: Four Years Of Modi Government: India’s Security Sector
  • Kashmir situation: On the surface, if you do a naive analysis, you will conclude that there has been an increase in the insurgency in the valley with the coming of Modi government. However, if you truly understand the Kashmir problem, this would come to you as no surprise. See, roots of the Kashmir problem are in the Islamic radicalization, Pakistan funded jihadists and articles 370 and 35A. With the coming of Modi into power, it was easier for Pakistan and separatists to radicalize more people in the valley. The thing is, a large number of Muslims still think that Modi is anti-Muslims (with a little more research, they could find out that Muslims are way more prosperous in Gujrat than at West Bengal, Kerala). Also, the failure of BJP-PDP alliance meant a political vacuum in the valley for long durations. Another reason for unrests in the valley is the stern actions of security forces this time around (as they have the full backing of the central government now). There have been many crackdowns on separatist leaders and their fishy finances (funding from Pakistan, Saudi). Recently, the government banned another fishy and most possibly a terror breeding organization Jamaat-e-Islami and Rs 52 crore in cash has been recovered just from their Srinagar offices! In a country where a large majority of political parties lack the spine to take actions against any fishy Islamic organizations (for Muslim vote appeasement), the agencies under this government are going after these organizations and their finances one after the another. And fishy Islamic organizations (and their strong financial network) are at the centre of all the nonsense that is going on in the Kashmir valley (you don’t hear about stone pelting in Ladakh or Jammu, do you). 
  • Naxalism: I am from Chhattisgarh (a native Chhattisgarhi) and one of the stupidest assumptions amongst many people I have come across is that Chhattisgarh is a Naxalite state. Wrong. Chhattisgarh is very much like the other states of India. There are small pockets of areas (mostly forests) in few districts (Sukma, Dantewada, Bastar) where Naxalism is still a menace. Major portions and people of Chhattisgarh aren’t under any kind of Naxal influence. In fact, Bastar, Dantewada is one of the major tourist hotspots of the state. Naxalism has its roots in Maoism. If anyone has ever done even 15-minute half-decent research on Mao, they would instantly know that this isn’t a good thing.  Whatever Maoists are up to can’t be good. However, Naxalism has many sympathizers and supporters in our universities, media, politics. And the people who have to ultimately suffer are the villagers and security personnel of our country. Thankfully, areas of influence of Naxalites are shrinking day by day. Maoist influence shrinks: Centre removes 44 districts from affected lists.
    The centre has also launched various schemes targeting development of Naxal affected districts, such as aspirational district program and Eklavya schools.Sukma ambush: Improving connectivity is the only way to reach out to naxal affected villagers.
  • Defence procurements and manufacturing: India is the largest importer of arms and ammunition in the world. It’s not something to be proud of. For years, governments have neglected R&D and indigenous manufacturing of defence products. Modi government has given a big boost to the indigenous defence manufacturing through Make in India. AK-203 rifles to be Made in India in partnership with a Russian Company.
    Also, the defence procurements over the years have been slow and plagued by long negotiations, corruption scandals leading to a depletion of the squadrons of Air Force to 32 (ideally, it should be 42). The  Defence Acquisition Council has been taking swift decisions in most cases for procurement of necessary types of equipment and services. It is to be noted that one can’t just restore 32 squadrons to 42 squadrons within a year or two. It will take a long time (probably another 10 years), to restore our squadron strength to 42 as buying, manufacturing and maintaining fighter jets aren’t as simple and there are various constraints (speed of productions, changing requirements of IAF, high cost, the constraint of the budget, retirement of existing planes, etc.). Some of the notable acquisitions, approved by the council ar Rafale fighter aircraft from France, S-400 missile defence systems from Russia.18.jpg
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  • 21OROP:22
  • Income tax slab raised to Rs. 5 lakh: This was announced in this year’s budget wherein income tax relief has been increased to Rs. 5 lakh (a welcomed and much-awaited announcement for years).23
  • Inflation under control:
Inflation rate over the years (includes a projection for the future)
  • Now, analyzing economic parameters aren’t that straightforward. I mean I can’t give 100% credit of this controlled inflation to the central government. A good amount of credit also goes to RBI for striking a balance between various interest rates. The global economy also plays a big part. However, one incident is worth mentioning. A few months back, petrol and diesel prices caught fire. Everyone from the opposition started criticizing the government and even called for a Bharat Bandh. This all played out for about a few weeks and then, everyone just forgot about the issue and moved on. What actually happened? The petrol and diesel prices got under control. The central government reduced excise duty by Rs 2.5 and all of the BJP ruled states reduced their taxes by the same amount (on the advice of FM) in between. The government took swift steps it could to control the prices which isn’t one can say about a lot of other governments (AAP in Delhi, Mamta in WB didn’t cut down on taxes even during high prices). How Modi reduced Petrol Prices in India is a great success story.
  • GDP & economic growth: Notably, in the last four years, since the election of Narendra Modi to power in 2014, India has beaten four big economies to secure its position as the world’s sixth largest economy, piping France last year, the World Bank said in a recent report. India to overtake United Kingdom as 5th largest economy in 2019: Three key things to know.
A steady GDP growth rate
  • India is the fastest growing trillion dollar economy in the world. Modi government has brought in various economic reforms and measures (demonetization, GST, digitization, ease of doing business, startups, credits, etc. all explained in later points). Many of these measures take time to reflect into the macroeconomic parameters (e.g. GST). Even, then the economic growth rate has been steady and strong and will remain so according to various projections even though the world might experience an economic slowdown.
  • Fiscal discipline:
Fiscal deficit of India over the years as % of GDP
  • In very simple terms, the reduced fiscal deficit means a stable economy, controlled inflation, less payment of interests (waste of tax money). The state of a healthy economy is very much dependent on fiscal consolidation by the government. Many times, governments spend money recklessly on policies and schemes which may not have any long-lasting returns. For example, loan waivers. But for spending money higher than their incomes, governments borrow money from various means (bonds, loans). For borrowed money, they obviously have to pay interests. This is a vicious debt trap which many countries have fallen to (Sri Lanka, Greece, Venezuela and India in the past). Other effects include high inflation, high credit interest rates by banks, volatility in the market. Modi government has been praised by many economists for maintaining fiscal discipline much better than the previous governments. Finance ministry is targetting a fiscal deficit of less than 2.5% of the GDP by 2022-23.
  • Demonetization: Probably the most talked about and the most misunderstood policy of Modi government was demonetization. Before going into the details of demonetization, I would like to share some of my personal opinions regarding some cries that were spread by some journalists and some of my friends on facebook. The cries were that demonetization caused the common Indian public so much inconvenience while the rich, corrupt people got away with their money by eventually making them white and depositing them into the Indian banks. Firstly, these cries that some people make don’t reflect the opinion of the masses. From so many people that I met during the waiting lines outside ATMs or after the whole exercise, the majority of the people were united in this exercise. I have never seen such a large number of Indians cooperating so beautifully outside the ATM lines. A big kudos also go to the thousands of bank employees who worked so hard during the whole exercise. My point, the majority of the public and bank employees were willing to sacrifice their convenience for a few months in the fight against black money and corruption. Demonetization had some negative effects especially in businesses heavily reliant on cash (such as real estate). It also had a negative effect on the informal sector. However, the number of income taxpayers increased by 25% in just one year. Digital transactions multiplied many times. Crores of fake currencies circulated in our economy (mostly by terrorists from across borders) became useless. Also, since the majority of the cash returned back to the banks, they have now a better account of incomes of various bank accounts. Money returning to banks doesn’t mean it’s automatically becoming white. It means easier jobs for Income Tax departments, EDs to crackdown on the black money. This guy has a very interesting alternative theory on why demonetization was done by the government: Yashas Shukla’s answer to “”99.3% demonetised notes came back, concedes Reserve Bank of India” Does this mean that Modi’s demonetisation did nothing for India?”Was Demonetization the crown jewel of Modi government’s economic policy? No.
    Could demonetization have been planned better? Yes.
    Was it a complete failure? No.
    Was it a complete success? No.
    What I liked about the exercise was the intent of the government to take bold, decisive steps and the support it got from the masses. This is a divided issue where economists are split in their assessments. I am kind of in the middle where I see both the achievements and failures (mostly short term) of the move.
  • GST (Goods & Service Tax): If demonetization was a misunderstood policy of the government, GST is the un-understood policy of the government.
More than Rs. 18 lakh crore collected through GST
  • Before explaining GST in brief, it is important to note that GST implementation was inevitable in the Indian economy. It’s is step forward in unification and simplification of taxes that has been in the planning for more than a decade since the later years of the Vajpayee government. I don’t know why it took so long. But eventually, the Modi government went ahead with the GST (with the support of the states and other political parties).
    GST is often termed as one nation one tax. It is because it will subsume and merge various indirect taxes imposed by centre and states. Prominent central taxes that are merged are CENVAT, Service tax, additional and special customs duty, central surcharge, central cess and additional excise duty.
    Similarly, prominent state-level taxes like state-level VAT, entertainment tax, luxury tax, taxes on gambling and lottery, entry tax, octroi etc are be subsumed. Every decision regarding GST is made by GST council which has a representation of the centre and states.  GST explained in detail.
    What’s the benefit of GST?gst-benefits-infographicGST is the biggest reform in the Indian economy after 1991. Many saw GST as a disruptive measure for the Indian economy. However, the tax collections and compliance by the merchants have been promising. Also, many advanced economies such as New Zealand have suffered bigger shocks in the past due to GST implementation. Compared that to India and the Indian economy has been adopting decently to the GST era. Also, the GST council makes necessary changes from time to time depending upon the feedback and needs of the consumers and merchants.
  • Insolvency & Bankruptcy code: A common Indian may not understand the importance of the IBC code. But this code has played a big role in India’s improvement in ease of doing business rankings.
    The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (IBC) is the bankruptcy law of India which seeks to consolidate the existing framework by creating a single law for insolvency and bankruptcy. The bankruptcy code is a one-stop solution for resolving insolvencies which were a long process and did not offer an economically viable arrangement. A strong insolvency framework where the cost and the time incurred is minimised in attaining liquidation has been long overdue in India. The code will be able to protect the interests of small investors and make the process of doing business a less cumbersome process.
  • Fugitive economic offenders act: Some of the economic offenders made big headlines in the past 5 years by leaving the country to escape the jurisdiction of our agencies and court. Despite this, there was no proper law to confiscate the property of these offenders for resolving their loans and taxes. Fugitive economic offenders act is that law which has been passed recently by the parliament. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 is an Act of the Parliament of India that seeks to confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders that evade prosecution by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts. Economic offences with a value of more than Rs 100 crores, which are listed in the schedule of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, come under the purview of this law. Recently, on 5 January 2019, Special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court has declared Vijay Mallya a fugitive economic offender. His properties can now be confiscated by the government. Also, the bungalow of Nirav Modi was destroyed as it violated various environmental guidelines. Things aren’t looking so good for these offenders, especially if their properties are based in India. Nirav Modi runs away in London taxi after British journalist asks him about his fraud.
  • Ease of doing business: (World Bank)
Ease of doing business rankings, the lower the better.
  • This is a very significant index. The economic history of independent India isn’t very good, especially till 1991. We were one of the poorest countries at the time of independence. We had the potential to be the next superpower because of our geographic, demographic strengths. But our leaders crippled our economy by socialist policies (which has been worldwide failure latest victim being Venezuela). “Garibi Hatao” was the cry for every election for decades. PSUs were running on huge losses. The country hardly had any foreign exchange when our government was kind of forced to liberalise our economy in 1991. However, our government and bureaucracy still have many elements of the archaic, socialist, regulatory, corrupt and business disruptive policies.
    This government made many significant and big reforms (such as digitization, ease of getting government/environment clearances in timely manners, insolvency code, ease of credit, permit for construction, etc.). These reforms started showing their results and India made the biggest jumps (improvements) in ease of doing business rankings. Meaning, it is comparatively much easier to open and operate businesses in India. However, India has still a long way to go and the government is aiming for under 50 rank within a few years.
  • India no longer home to the largest number of poor people in the world: We are so bombarded by negative news by media outlets (especially leftist media) all the time with overanalysis (and misleading) of government policies and writing long essays (just like this one) on issues without making any sense. However, this point is to appreciate the fact that extreme poverty (number of people living on less than $1.90 a day) in India is falling at a very high rate (306 million in 2011 to 70 million in late 2018). That’s from 25% of the population to less than 3% of the population today. Extreme poverty in India is falling fast!
    A steady government with economic reforms, DBT (direct benefit transfer), Jan Dhan, MUDRA, ease of doing business and other policies I described above will certainly maintain (if not increase) this rate of poverty drop for the next 4-5 years.
  • Proper respect and recognition to Subhash Chandra Bose and INA:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi gives a helping hand to INA veteran Lalti Ram during a flag hoisting ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the ‘Azad Hind government’ at Red Fort in New Delhi on Sunday, PTI
  • If you ask an average person that “How did India got freedom?” They will probably tell you, because of Gandhi. Wrong. Gandhi had a big role in uniting India and he was without a doubt the biggest mass leader of that era. However, the reason Britishers had to leave India so rushedly after second world war is because of the shrewd politics of Netaji and the role played by INA soldiers in making even the soldiers of the British Army, Navy and Airforce go for mutiny. The public trials of INA soldiers that time created a huge wave of sympathy for them and Congress, Hindu Mahasabha, RSS, CPI, and even Muslim League were with INA and against Britishers. You can say that Netaji’s tactics and sympathy created by INA soldiers gave a knockout blow to the British empire. Despite such a big contribution to the Indian freedom struggle, Netaji has been ignored by the governments for years in every forms possible (naming of stadiums, schemes, history books).
    Finally, when Modi came to power, India had a prime minister who was a true admirer and was inspired by Netaji.
    Is Narendra Modi really interested in Netaji? (Views of Anuj Dhar author, the go-to man to know anything about Netaji).
    As Anuj mentioned in the video that Modi was interested in Netaji long before he became India’s PM. The government declassified 100 files related to Netaji.Netaji files.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined a flag-hoisting ceremony on Oct 21, 2018, to mark the 75th anniversary of ‘Azad Hind Government’ headed by Subhash Chandra Bose. Netaji was again remembered in Modi’s visit to Andaman and Nicobar islands (Saheed and Swaraj dweep as named by Netaji). Also, for the first time, INA soldiers took part in this republic day parade. For me, Lokmanya Tilak (pioneer of Swaraj and mass movements in India), Mahatma Gandhi and Netaji S. C. Bose were the three biggest and revolutionary freedom fighters against the Britishers. Finally, the government is recognizing the legacy of Netaji.
  • Ram Janmabhoomi, Ayodhya: We all know what is the stance of BJP vs rest of the parties on Ram temple in Ayodhya. Hindus are demanding Ram temple at a site which has been established by Archaeological Survey of India, originally as a site of a temple (or temple like structure). Now, people will say, “But that was history, why do you want to do what Babur did again?” My answer to this is, thousands of temples were destroyed in India due to Islamic invasions. Hindus aren’t demanding temple at every location. This particular temple was important as it is regarded as the birthplace of Lord Ram. Also, Babur was a racist Islamic invader. He hated Indian culture and Indians (he bragged about these things himself). Baburi Mosque was the symbol of that hate (although destruction of the mosque was a mistake and made this issue much worse). Even many Muslims want to help Hindu community rebuild the temple and Hindus want to build a mosque for Muslims at another location. That is the ideal solution. However, Sunni board and mullahs are creating a lot of problems and lawyers from Congress and other opposition parties are supporting them in their cases (vote bank politics). Supreme Court has set a mediation board (which will probably fail). After these efforts by the Supreme Court, only the central government can build the temple as the land legally belongs to the government and we all know which party takes pride in Indian culture and will go ahead with the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
  • Minimum Government, Maximum Governance:This starts from the top with a lesser number of ministers. Minimum Government, Maximum Governance: Narendra Modi.
    A citizen friendly and accountable administration is the focus of the Government. A series of steps to achieve this goal have been initiated. These include simplification of procedures, identification and deletion of archaic laws/rules, identification and shortening of various forms, leveraging technology to bring in transparency in public interface and a robust public grievance redress system. Promotion of Self-Certification in place of affidavits and attestation by Gazetted Officers is one important step in this regard. This greatly reduces the time and effort on the part of both the citizen as well as the Government officials.”
    Leveraging the power of information technology brings with it the advantage of transparency and speed. One of the focus areas of Government is to reduce the decision making layers to the minimum while allowing for faster means of information sharing/dissemination.
    The Government has launched a website for this purpose. This is a citizen-centric platform to empower people to connect with the Government and contribute towards good governance.
    These and some other steps by the government had positive impacts on the ease of doing business in our country.  
  • Competent, uncorrupt ministers:
Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs, Minister of State (I/C) for Information & Broadcasting. A true youth icon, charismatic, fit minister.
  • We are so used to nepotism and favouritism in politics. I mean look at even the distant family members of the Yadav family (both Mulayam and Lalu), Gandhi family and friends, Karunanidhi, etc. Rabri Devi was CM of Bihar. This was the standard of Indian politics. This government has competent ministers none of whom have faced any kind of corruption charges. I will be describing some of the important ministers in the next few points.
  • Rajnath Singh: He has M.Sc. in Physics and he was a Physics lecturer early in his career. He is a veteran of Indian politics being in charge of various ministries under Vajpayee government, UP CM, president of BJP. He was in charge of the Home Ministry and apart from many initiatives, the one which I would like to mention is “Bharat ke Veer.
  • Sushma Swaraj: She was a former Supreme Court lawyer. I have been a fan of her speeches since the time of Vajpayee government when I was 8-12 years old and I used to watch Doordarshan news almost daily. She was called India’s ‘best-loved politician’ by wall street journal. If not Modi, then she could easily have been the PM. The foreign ministry was one of the best performing ministries of GOI and Sushma was at the epicentre of it. Sadly, this was her last political innings and she won’t be contesting elections now. My best wishes to her. Mindblowing facts about Sushma Swaraj by Vishal Kaul, Quora.
  • Arun Jaitley: Another highly qualified, senior advocate of the Supreme Court of India. Finance Ministry was probably the most dynamic ministry in the last 5 years bringing so many changes all while maintaining steady growth, controlled inflation, fiscal discipline. Despite the economic slowdown in the World Economy, the Indian economy is projected to grow at a steady, solid rate and some credit of this also goes to the Finance minister of this government.
  • Nirmala Sitharaman, Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goyal, Manohar Parrikar etc.: Nirmala Sitharaman joined BJP only in 2006 and 11 years later, only because of her abilities and competence, she became the first female Defence minister of India.
    Mr Piyush Goyal is the 2018 Carnot Prize Recipient for distinguished contributions to energy policy. He has served on the boards of SBI and Banks of Baroda.
    Suresh Prabhu is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI). Since 1996, Prabhu has been a repeatedly elected Member of Parliament from Rajapur Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra.
    Ministers under this government had proven track records and shown their competence with time. Compare that to ministers of the previous government and there is a difference of day and night. It’s not even close.
  • Worst opposition in years:5c122ef524000001018c80d5
    That is one scary picture. Democracy is about choices. In the end, ultimately you have to choose between the candidates. I don’t have a problem with the fact that Rahul Gandhi is dumb. My problem with RG is that he is a liar. And when an idiot starts lying, things get messy and dangerous. He peddles lies of all kinds, lies like Rafale scam (against National Security), lies about China-Doklam, stupid statements against India’s foreign policy (which are then used by enemy countries against India). He doesn’t have any kind of understanding of the weight of issues. He has no idea how policies and governments work. His constituency, Amethi is one of the most backward constituencies. The sad truth is, it is highly likely that one day, he will be India’s PM unless Congress is out of power for the next 30 years.
    The dangerous thing is Rahul Gandhi is probably the best amongst these lot (except maybe Chandrababu).
    There are many incidents when these politicians stooped to new lows just to be on the opposite side of Modi. Be it surgical strikes, India-China Doklam standoff or the anti-nationals of JNU (Kanhaiya Kumar chargesheeted).
    Indians, however, are getting smarter, united and people like Kanhaiya, Dhruv Rathee, Kunal Kamra are employed only because Modi is in the power. You tell me a profit-making, successful company (NDTV’s TRPs are down) that will hire an unqualified, useless PhD like Kanhaiya whose thesis appeared in a black-listed journal. Kanhaiya Kumar’s PhD thesis appears in a journal internationally blacklisted as a ‘predatory journal’.
    And then, there is the biggest fool of them all, Mr Kejriwal. You thought Donald Trump is a trolling politician. Kejriwal is on whole another level. He is like an Ekta Kapoor serial star saying all sorts of meaningless nonsense with emotional drama. Recently, he accused PM Modi of sacrificing lives of CRPF soldiers in Pulwama to win 300 seats in Lok Sabha. That is an utterly disgusting, irresponsible statement from a CM.
  • Modi: the most complete politician:
A glimpse at PM Modi’s schedule
  • Hard-working, charismatic, a natural leader, statesman, modern, culturally rooted, incorruptible, selfless, strong, smart, experienced. India once had a leader with all these qualities and they voted him out of power in 2004. It was such a shame (MMS’s first term wasn’t so bad though). This time, India has a chance to re-elect the leader India needs and deserves. You know what you’re going to get. A hard-working leader who wouldn’t waste a day even in his second term.

Conclusion: This is not a comprehensive analysis of the Modi government’s policies and achievements. I have missed out a lot of schemes. This, however, was an attempt to make you realize a pattern that I noticed while going through schemes and government policies. Firstly, government policies are suddenly working at a much faster speed. Be it infrastructural projects, social schemes or defence projects. Secondly, we have had a strong, decisive government who didn’t hesitate to take strong actions against terrorists and taking a stance against China. Thirdly, this government is maintaining fiscal discipline and also bringing out innovative reforms and solutions such as Digital India, Ayushman Bharat, Jan-Dhan, GST. The thing is, these schemes worked. Do I think this government was perfect? Of course not. The government made some bad decisions (such as reversing the Supreme Court’s order on SC/ST act). However, overall, I was more than satisfied with the government and its performances given the challenges we faced as a country in forms of bad loans, slowing world economy, terrorists, China, Pakistan, etc.
This well oiled, well-functioning government with its new way of functioning is a breath of fresh air which not only instils a sense of confidence in India’s future but also a sense of pride and belief that we can achieve impossible targets if we continue working hard in the right directions.

This list originally published in personal website on March 15, 2019.

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.