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Eight Years of Modi Govt: More Achievements than Failures

By taking bold steps on major economic, social, and foreign policy issues, the Modi government has indeed surprised not only the citizens of India but people across the world who are watching in awe the meteoric rise of India on the global stage.

Akanksha Rathor | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government completed eight years in office on 30 May with a plethora of achievements both on domestic and international fronts but there were setbacks too on some key issues.

By taking bold steps on major economic, social, and foreign policy issues, the Modi government has indeed surprised not only the citizens of India but people across the world who are watching in awe the meteoric rise of India on the global stage.

Modi has become the fourth longest-serving Prime Minister in India’s history, after Jawaharlal Nehru (16 + years), Indira Gandhi (11+ years), and Dr Manmohan Singh (10 + years). In the process, he has also surpassed another BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was at the helm for six years.

Aspecting Modi’s Gujarat Growth Model

In 2001, Gujarat’s then Chief Minister Narendra Modi proved what it’s like to be the chief executive of a state. When Modi took over as the CM, Gujarat was staggering under the effects of a devastating earthquake. And within three years of his leadership, Gujarat’s development model and its journey received tremendous praise both on the national and international platforms.

Modi becomes the 14th Prime Minister of India in 2014  

Modi became the 14th Prime Minister of India on 26 May 2014. The vote share of the BJP was 31% of all votes cast and won a total of 336 seats. It was the first time that a party had won enough seats to govern the country without the support of other parties. Around 2.7% or 23.1 million of the total eligible voters were youngsters, aged 18–19 years.

Issues and crises persisting in the country already before the election

‘Inflation’ and ‘corruption’ were noted to be the main issues during the election campaign in 2014. Besides the issues that were raised like the lack of infrastructure, job opportunities, religious division, communalism, rising terrorist activities, national security, and corruption, there was an economic slowdown as per the survey conducted by a leading TV news channel. Even Bloomberg spoke about the slowing of the Indian economy amidst a record high current account deficit and a falling rupee in 2013.

PM’s response to India’s previous foreign policies, geopolitical order, and China’s Belt and Road (BRI) initiative

Alfred Thayer Mahan was a United States naval officer and historian, who once said, “Whoever Conquers the Indian Ocean will dominate the whole of Asia.” At present, China is looking to expand its presence and increase its profile beyond its immediate neighbourhood.  In 2013, China’s  President Xi Jinping launched the BRI project which involves development and investment initiatives that would stretch from Asia to Europe and beyond. India questioned the initiative’s transparency and process. During those days, PM Modi said, “the era of expansion is over, this is the era of development.”

During the first few years of his term, the PM visited a large number of countries across the globe to attract foreign investments. The Opposition constantly attacked him for his frequent foreign visits, ignoring the fact that his trips abroad were also aimed at reducing China’s growing economic clout and positioning India as an equally attractive destination for investments. India refused to become a part of the BRI initiative because its signature project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), runs through what India calls its territory in Jammu and Kashmir.

BJP Govt. in 2014:

Just after getting into power, Modi launched a financial inclusion programme in August 2014, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, open to all Indian citizens. The aim was to make available affordable financial services such as bank accounts with zero maintenance amount, remittances, insurance services, bank accounts, credit, and pensions. Shramew Jayate Yojana, a plan dedicated to labour rights, was launched on 16 October 2014. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (“Clean India”) campaign on the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday in October 2014 was launched to encourage sanitation as an important health aspect. The aim was to eliminate open defecation, and manual scavenging, and to improve waste management practices.

The unique talent and creativity of Indians needed a campaign like Make in India to transform the country into a global design and manufacturing hub. The government took the initiative and it proved to be a timely response to the critical situation like Covid 19.

During his foreign visits, Modi advocated Yoga and traditional forms of medicine like Ayurveda. The medical journal Lancet stated in an article that the country “might have taken a few steps back in public health” under Modi.

On September 27, 2014, during his speech at the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Modi put forth his suggestion for the occasion of  ‘Yoga Day ‘.  Since then Yoga Day is celebrated every year on 21 June.

In 2014, PM visited countries such as Bhutan, Brazil, Myanmar, Japan, the United States, Fiji, and Nepal to strengthen the relations and build strategies for future security and development of India and the respective nations.

BJP Govt. in 2015:

After observing the declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and a growing number of female infanticides in critical states and regions, especially in the clusters of northern parts of India like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Bihar, and Delhi, the PM launched on 22 January 2015 the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme to address the issue and empower women.

A major flagship programme of the Modi Government, Digital India, and Skill India Mission was launched to improve the country’s digital infrastructure, make India the world’s human resource capital, and give opportunities to the EWS category. This was the call of the hour as the world was and is transitioning towards digitalisation. China has already emerged as a global manufacturing factory. The aim of these two missions was to offer more government services online and make people skilled. This has remained another timely and advanced step to deal with the unforeseen Covid-19 Pandemic.

The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana was launched by the government on 25 June 2015 to address the increasing number of slums dwellers and EWS/LIG categories unable to find affordable houses. The mission aims to provide housing for all in urban areas by the year 2025. Till now 122.69 lakh houses have been sanctioned.

Other policies launched by the government included Smart City Mission, Gold Monetisation Scheme, Heritage City Development, and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY).

BJP Govt. in 2016:

The government launched the Start-up India campaign in New Delhi to aid the young businesses in areas like simplification and handholding, funding support and incentives, industry-Academia partnership, and incubation.

Demonetisation affected everyone as the two high-value currency notes were withdrawn, and at least 80% of the currency in circulation was sucked out. The aim was to fight black money and counterfeiting. This demonetisation issue still remains a debatable subject among scholars although the Modi government has given it a virtual burial because of its fallout on the common man.

The Modi government also passed the National Waterways Act, 2016 to develop 111 National Waterways in India. In a response to the Uri terror attack on 18 September in which 19 soldiers were killed, India launched surgical strikes across the LoC in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). A team of commandos from the Army’s Para Special Forces crossed the LoC and destroyed at least four launch pads used by terrorists. In an interview with ANI, Modi explained what he told the soldiers who went across the LoC. ”I gave clear orders that whether you get success or failure, don’t think about that but come back before sunrise. Don’t fall for the lure and prolong it (the operation).”

A new LPG subsidy reform initiative was implemented by the Modi government, which has proved to be different from the previous LPG scheme as it directly helped the poor and eliminated any trickle-down timeline. The initiative brought the price of LPG to the market level for domestic consumers. Along with the PAHAL programme, this reform gave subsidies directly to consumers in the form of cash transfers to their bank accounts.

BJP Govt. in 2017:

In the history of tax reforms, the implementation of GST has remained the boldest. The one national tax–Goods and Services Tax (GST)– replaced many other states and federal taxes. The step was taken to bring down tax leakages and have greater efficiencies in the business environment.

After observing some100 cases of triple talaq in the country, the BJP government formulated The Muslim Women Bill (Protection of Rights on Marriage) in 2017.  The bill makes instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddah) illegal and void, be it in any form, spoken, in writing, or by electronic means such as email, SMS, and WhatsApp, and with up to three years in jail for the husband.

In August 2017, the Modi government launched the Khelo India 2017-18 scheme with the aim of recognising and grooming young and budding sporting talent in the country. It also started an online National Sports Talent Search Portal for young sportspersons to reach out.

PM Modi launched another scheme to empower Muslim women, Shaadi Shagun Yojna, in which Muslim girls will receive a gift of Rs 51000 once they complete their graduation.

Other schemes launched by the government are Saubhagya – Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, Sankalp Se Siddhi- launched by the Ministry of Culture in September 2017, and UDAN scheme.

BJP Govt. in 2018:

The year 2018 was a period when the government expanded its wings and launched schemes in untapped areas which needed attention, such as sports, villages, women’s health, and poverty.

On 23 September 2018, the PM launched the Ayushman Bharat Yojana which focuses on the wellness of poor families and provides health insurance coverage of up to Rs 5 lakh. Only the bottom 50% of the country qualifies for this scheme.

The National Nutrition Mission was also launched as part of the expansion of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao programme by Prime Minister Modi on Women’s Day on 8 March.

BJP Govt. in 2019:

On 5 August, Parliament passed a resolution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by removing article 370 and took steps to change rules for governing this region, a decision that has ramifications for the state’s people, the country’s politics, and its relationship with Pakistan.

The nation heaved a sigh of relief on the long-standing Ayodhya dispute when on 9 November the Supreme Court ordered the setting up of a trust that would eventually pave the way for the construction of a temple at the disputed site and allotment of 5-acre land to Muslims for the construction of a mosque.

The Green Revolution-Krishonnati Yojana was launched for the welfare of the farmers, and is seen as a major step towards “Doubling the Farmers Income by 2022”. Additionally, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) was launched as well, under which the government provides Rs 6,000 annually (in three equal instalments) to 140 million farmers. The government removed the income-tax surcharge on FPIs and allowed 100% foreign investment in coal mining and contract manufacturing. “The changes in the FDI policy will make India a more attractive FDI destination, leading to increased investments, employment, and growth,” the government said.

A law was passed to provide 10% reservation to Economically weaker sections.

The Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM), which was launched on 15 August 2019 by PM Modi, is a flagship programme of the Union Government. It aims to provide ‘Functional Household Tap Connections’ (FHTC) to every rural household in the country by 2024.

BJP Govt. in 2020:

Despite the Covid 19 pandemic, the BJP government took various steps to boost the economy as well as reform the education sector. On 29 July, the first National Education Policy (NEP) of the 21st century came into being after 34 years with an aim to develop all aspects of the existing Indian education system. The policy will be completely implemented by 2026.

The government consolidated 44 labour laws into four codes, under the Wage Code Bill, Health & Working Conditions Code 2020, Industrial Relations Code 2020, and Occupational Safety and Social Security Code 2020. These laws had remained unchanged since independence.

The government introduced three farm laws, which had led to massive protests across the country for more than a year. The government had claimed that these laws were aimed at ending the monopoly of traders and benefitting the farmers. Per the farm laws, they proposed to free the farmers from restrictions on the sale of their agricultural produce, and to sell their farm produce at a price they want, thereby leading to better rural incomes. But as the protests continued, the PM in November announced the Centre’s decision to withdraw the three controversial laws.

BJP Govt. in 2021:

During the covid-19 pandemic, India achieved a significant milestone of administering over 100 crores (1billion) doses of COVID vaccines to its eligible adult population within 9 months of the vaccination drive. India took an iconic move to develop its own Covid-19 vaccines –Covidshield and Covaxin. Moreover, India has supplied vaccines to more than 100 nations, including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan.

Other schemes launched in 2021 include Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) Insurance Scheme, Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana, and e-Shram Portal.

The government extended the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) Insurance Scheme in the month of June 2021 for health workers who were fighting the pandemic.

In the health sector, the Centre took proactive and pre-emptive steps to respond to the pandemic and initiated the preparedness of the health system to address all aspects of COVID-19 management. Now, all adults are eligible for COVID vaccination.

BJP Govt. in 2022:

Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, India has refused to take sides despite the global pressure. India, which has been purchasing oil from Russia and has age-old ties with Moscow, has called for an immediate ceasefire and the resolution of the issues between the two countries through diplomatic talks.