Modi 3.0 and the NDA: One Nation, One Agenda for Economic Resilience and Social Welfare

In the wake of the 2024 Indian General Elections, the political landscape has seen a notable shift. This new political equilibrium brings with it opportunities, particularly in the realm of development—a critical area that transcends political affiliations. The Indian populace, more than ever, is vocal about its demand for tangible developmental progress. Now is the […]

In the wake of the 2024 Indian General Elections, the political landscape has seen a notable shift. This new political equilibrium brings with it opportunities, particularly in the realm of development—a critical area that transcends political affiliations. The Indian populace, more than ever, is vocal about its demand for tangible developmental progress. Now is the time to shine the spotlight on new development-led initiatives and policies. The post-2024 election period presents a unique opportunity for India’s political class to rise above partisan politics and prioritise the nation’s development. The nation’s clear message is that they seek progress and tangible improvements in their quality of life, irrespective of which party is in power. Both the ruling and opposition coalitions must heed this call, ensuring that development-led initiatives remain at the core of their governance strategies. As India navigates this new political landscape, the focus on development will not only sustain the political entities involved but will also propel the nation towards a more prosperous and equitable future. At the heart of the political mandate is the undeniable need for grassroots development. Both coalitions understand that to sustain their political viability and prove their worth to the populace, they must focus on concrete development at the ground level.
With the advent of Modi 3.0 and the strengthened NDA coalition, India is poised to embark on a transformative journey under the unifying banner of “One Nation, One Agenda: Development.” This renewed mandate signals a robust commitment to propelling the nation towards unprecedented growth and modernization. The focus on development transcends political divides, aiming to uplift every segment of society and bridge regional disparities. By prioritising infrastructure, digital innovation, and social welfare, the government is set to create a cohesive and prosperous India, where progress is not just a goal but a shared reality for all citizens. In this era of unified vision, development will be the cornerstone that defines the nation’s path forward, fostering economic resilience and global competitiveness.
The NDA focus will likely be on highlighting gaps in governance and presenting a unified front on issues that matter to the common man, such as employment generation, infrastructure projects, healthcare improvements, educational reforms, grassroots development, the environment, and economic policies aimed at uplifting the rural and urban poor. The ruling coalition will leverage its governance experience to push through key development projects swiftly. However, the coalition nature of the government means that consensus-building and accommodating diverse viewpoints within the coalition will be crucial. The introduction of new policies should not only aim at short-term gains but also focus on sustainable and inclusive growth. Policies that drive rural development, enhance agricultural productivity, support technological transformations and digital infrastructure, and support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be essential for long-term prosperity.
In “One Nation, One Agenda: Development,” the complex and multifaceted nature of India’s development journey should be explored through a humanistic lens. This thought-provoking concept delves into the broad and often elusive concept of development, dissecting its many components and revealing the intricate web of definitions and contexts that surround each term. In an ideal scenario, the NDA should begin by acknowledging the myriad challenges and complexities inherent in achieving holistic development. It emphasises that there is no single theory or approach that can address the diverse and dynamic issues faced by India. Instead, it argues for a tailored and multifaceted strategy, recognising that different problems require different solutions.
“One Nation, One Agenda” calls for collaborative and collective efforts, stressing the importance of empowering the entire ecosystem—from policymakers to grassroots organisations, from urban planners to rural communities. It calls for the adoption of innovative policies and approaches that are inclusive and equitable, ensuring that no one is left behind in the nation’s pursuit of development. This concept also challenges traditional notions of development economics, proposing a new framework that is adaptable, empathetic, and responsive to the unique needs of different sectors and regions. It underscores the importance of rewriting development economics in a way that prioritises human well-being and sustainable progress.
According to the report titled “Systemic Impact Exemplars: Unique Approaches Towards Solving India’s Development Challenges” by The Convergence Foundation, the Indian government spends about 18–19% of GDP on social development. In 2022–23, the Central Government and the State Governments together are budgeted to spend approximately Rs. 48 lakh crores (USD 600 billion) on developmental projects. Civil society too has made significant contributions with organisations working primarily at two ends—grassroots NGOs deeply embedded in communities and delivering services and/or building the capacity of the community at one end and academic and research organisations creating evidence and policy recommendations on the other. Despite all these efforts by the government and civil society, India is far from reaching its SDG targets. Progress has undeniably been made, but we still rank 112th out of 166 countries. There are many reasons for this gap—notably the size of the problem in relation to the resources deployed, the complexity and interconnectedness of the issues, the wide range of actors and stakeholders involved, and the need to contextualise solutions to local needs. Therefore, silver bullets rarely, if ever, exist. India now needs systems change approach for large-scale impact. There is a need to address the root causes of problems to develop long-term solutions, avoiding quick fixes. Systems change can be adopted by any social-purpose organisation, regardless of sector or domain. In an emerging economy like India, addressing issues on a large scale and sustainably is critical. These social-purpose organisations work closely with governments to enhance their effectiveness and capacity, recognising that governments are the primary actors in addressing India’s growth and development challenges. Systems change is the road to achieving One Nation, One Agenda.
As India strives to position itself as a global leader and a truly developed nation, “One Nation, One Agenda” serves as a crucial guide and inspiration. It provides a roadmap for meaningful and holistic development, urging readers to rethink and reimagine the pathways to a better future for all. By embracing a humanistic approach, this concept offers a powerful vision of development that is not only about economic metrics but also about enhancing the quality of life and fostering a just and equitable society.

Sumit Kaushik, a PhD candidate at O.P. Jindal Global University and a Social Impact Consultant
Arunansh B. Goswami, Historian and Advocate, Supreme Court of India