The last nine years of the history of our great country have been exceptionally remarkable for the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with his motto of ‘Seva, Sushasan and Antyodaya’, noted that the Amrit Mahotsav is a festival of awakening of the nation and fulfilling the dream of good governance, global peace and development.
Prime Minister Narender Modi’s commitment to nation building and governance has been way ahead in every respect. A sterling leader, with unimaginable vision and ground level experience of public service, what is extra ordinary in him is his original thinking, quick grasp of each situation, calm demeanour, penchant for detail (both planning and execution) and his unbelievable capacity for hard work.
He started this journey re-building India with the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ which gradually grew into ‘Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas’. Under the leadership of PM Modi, we have entered the Amrit Kaal, which is the 25-year-long lead up to India’s 100th Independence Day. Since assuming office in 2014, he has ensured ‘India first’ in every policy formulation. He has brought ‘vikasvaad’ into the mainstream. The last nine years have witnessed a great leap in economic reforms, healthcare, serving the poor, nari shakti, ease of doing business, promoting a tech – driven India, environment and sustainability and an overall growth in all sectors, coupled with a successful foreign policy.
In the last nine years, India has become a $3.5 trillion economy and we took a leap from 10th to 5th rank and, thus, it will become a global powerhouse by 2024-25. And undoubtedly, the government is doing all what it takes to make the vision of macro-economic growth, technology-enabled development, and developing a digital economy a reality.
The Indian economy has achieved several milestones under PM Modi’s ingenious economic and development strategies which have come to be known as Modinomics. The bold policy decisions that PM Modi took in his first term – clamping down on black money through demonetisation and institutionalising a ‘one nation, one indirect tax system’ through the introduction of Goods and Service Tax, are yielding positive revenue outcomes. The Indian economy has built resilience against the pandemic-induced instabilities. At a time when much of the world, whether the advanced economies or emerging economies, followed a policy of fiscal stimulus to counter the acute slowdown brought about by the pandemic, PM Modi chose the path of relative fiscal prudence. Today, India stands out as an island of stability.
There are several standout features of his economic philosophy. First is the government’s emphasis on making India a favourable place for doing business to deliver faster private sector-led economic growth. Cutting red tape in business has been a priority for the Modi government. Secondly, PM Modi is laying emphasis on empowering and acknowledging the potential of our small farmers, entrepreneurs, small and medium sized enterprises, cottage industries and micro industries. Third is the government’s effort to build a Digital India, be it through the movement of developing semiconductors, entering the 5G era spreading the network of optical fibres or a proposed leap in quantum technology. In-fact, the Atal Innovation Mission, the incubation centres and the startups are developing a whole new sector, opening up new opportunities for the younger generation.
Further, the impetus given to infrastructure, be it roads, railways, airports, or ports, has been instrumental in revolutionising India’s logistics sector. There have been various initiatives like Bharatmala, Sagarmala, inland waterways, dry/land ports, UDAN, Parvatmala, and now PM Gati Shakti, which have ensured seamless connectivity for movement of people, goods and services. Finally and most importantly is the idea of self-reliance. With the clarion call of Make in India, PM Modi has urged manufacturers to move with a sense of removing dependencies on foreign sources in sectors such as semiconductors and electric vehicles. Similarly, there has been a revitalized focus on indigenous manufacturing in areas such as steel and medical equipment. The concept of self-reliance has assumed new importance today, as the Russia-Ukraine war has rattled global supply chains.
Another visionary reform is the New Education Policy, which is an outcome of the unprecedented collaborative and highly participatory consultation process that involved over 2 lakh suggestions from 2.5 lakhs Gram Panchayats, 6,600 Blocks, 6,000 Urban Local Bodies and 676 Districts since January 2015. The introduction of the new National Education Policy (NEP) in August 2020 has set the stage for much needed transformational reforms in school and higher education systems. As noted by the PM Modi, this initiative will enhance the understanding of the subject for young learners while simultaneously increasing classroom participation, reducing the number of dropouts and grade repetitions.
The NEP is focused on a holistic improvement in the education system which entails empowering the teachers by giving them opportunities to be re-skilled and up-skilled.
Nari Shakti has been a major priority of the Modi Government. Today, women in India are prolific leaders, be it business or politics, useful hands in the labour force and the nerve centre of Indian economy. The participation of women in the country’s democracy is also increasing. The flagship scheme of the Modi government, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, is essentially a behavioural-change project, aimed at sensitisation of the masses regarding prevalence of gender bias and the role of the community in eradicating it, focusing on important issues of female infanticide, lack of education amongst girls and deprivation of their rights on a life cycle continuum.
Coming to the empowerment of women, the government is running the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana to improve entrepreneurship among women through self-help groups. Another initiative of the Modi government that has transformed the lives of women in India is the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana which promises concessional LPG connections to women beneficiaries in vulnerable households. The most profound step towards ensuring the empowerment of women and making Indian women the architects of their own destiny is the revocation of the undignified practice of instant triple talaq through the Muslim Women (protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019 which crirninalises talaq-e-biddat or any other similar form of talaq having the effect of instantaneous and irrevocable divorce pronounced by a Muslim husband.
Since 2014, through several initiatives, campaigns and programmes, the Modi government has worked tirelessly towards country’s balanced development, social justice and social security. To reiterate what PM Modi said, social justice means equal opportunity for every section of the society. The country can march forward only when women, dalits, divyangs, backwards and tribals of the country will move forward. In this regard, the Modi government is working with the mantra of ‘development with dignity’ and ‘empowerment without appeasement’. In the last nine years, the Modi government, in its commitment to tolerance, harmony and inclusivity, has made all sections of the society, including minorities, an equal partner in peace and prosperity.
Employing the JAM trinity of Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile technology, PM Modi has transformed the way the government provides service to the citizens. So far, almost 10,000 services of the central, state and local self-government have become available online. From scholarships to payments to farmers to government assistance – everything is transferred directly to the account of citizens.
India is steadily marching towards a glorious future. There has been a paradigm shift towards people-centric governance with the government led by PM Modi completing nine years of ‘Seva, Sushasan and Garib Kalyan’.
There is a renewed sense of belief among policymakers and entrepreneurs so that India’s problems can be solved by its human capital. The recognition of the need to come together to build a better future is reflective of the reigniting of the nation’s collective spirit.
And this is one of the many enduring legacies of the Prime Minister’s stewardship. A new India is rising. Let us celebrate the rise of this New India!
R.K. Pachnanda is former chairman of Haryana Public Service Commission.