A drastic change in Indian politics can be observed since the BJP formed the government in 2014. The longest ruler of one time, INC (Indian National Congress), is now struggling to maintain whatever they’re left with across the country (considering the recent developments in Karnataka assembly election results). So, what went wrong for the Congress or what went in favor of BJP? These are different questions of two extremes but maybe, the answer will turn out to be singular. With TV ads like, “Achhe din aane wale hai” and slogans like, “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”; suddenly a, debatably, popular Gujarat CM had become a face of national politics and created a Modi and consequently, BJP wave across the country. Development was the key to his election campaigns. Narendra Modi, the then-candidate for Prime Minister of BJP, had prospected the people what he can turn India into.
Today, we’re standing after (almost) four years of Modi government, debating about the commitments and their implementations that the BJPians made. No doubt they have introduced a number of schemes and policies, like any other government and at the same time, took some terrific (or horrible?) decisions that shook the nation – nearly, if not completely.
Critical analysis of Mile-stones of Modi Government
The concept of Aadhar card, however, was introduced by the UPA government in 2009. Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) was working as an attached office to Planning Commission in UPA time, while the new government has allocated the UIDAI under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, in September 2015. Also, UIDAI has become a statutory authority through Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 aka Aadhar Act, 2016.
UIDAI was created with the objective to provide every Indian a unique identification number (UIN) in order to eliminate duplicate and fake identities and easy, cost-effective verification and authentication. Introduction of Aadhar and its objective were a prospective idea. The UPA government failed in putting the necessary efforts on the utilization of Aadhar’s effectiveness.
Modi government retained the Aadhar scheme launched by the UPA, and in 2015 revised and upgraded the whole Aadhar system. NDA government definitely invested a lot of manpower and finance in making Aadhar a new trend. It did the necessary changes, gave Aadhar a legal framework and started rolling out the advertisements of one identity.
Here is a list of advantages of Aadhar:
- One identity, elimination of other fake identities.
- Easy and cost-effective authentication
- Transparency in the implementation of schemes to the government
- Providing services and subsidies
- Easy linkage to bank accounts and other services.
Although, section 4(3)[i] provides that the Aadhar number is accepted as a proof of identity, but still banks and other governmental/non-governmental offices, institutions deem fit to validate Aadhar card as a valid address proof.
The same way, it is also not a valid document of citizenship[ii], but still, the use of Aadhar card can widely be observed in applying for a passport and other documents, which is illegal in nature. The passport website itself has mentioned the validity of Aadhar as a proof of address and photo identity. If only I didn’t have to cover the other points up, I would’ve mentioned the Rohingya community’s illegal migration to Jammu and Kashmir turned into legal-holding Aadhar story.
While, the purpose of Aadhar was to facilitate the populace with government services and schemes initially, but is it still the same? Everything was fine until the government added linking of Aadhar everywhere, from your SIM card to your Bank Account.
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said, “Aadhaar will not prevent an individual from operating layers of commercial transactions. It won’t prevent bank frauds either. It can only help in providing benefits, subsidies under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act.” The SC also observed that the government cannot insist on mandatory Aadhar. But going through the FAQs on UIDAI website, the answer to “Will getting Aadhar be compulsory?” is so irrelevant to the question.[iii]
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana:
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY) was launched in 2015-’16 in order to fulfill the objectives like, enhancing water supply to farms, increase cultivable area, introduce sustainable conversations and effective use of water in agriculture.
PMKSY has had a couple of shifts in a matter of its relevance to the ministry. It was first attached to the Ministry of Water Resources but later shifted to the Agriculture Department. But since the PMKSY deals with the effectiveness of water, again it was shifted to the Ministry of Water Resources in 2016.
This scheme of the Modi government hasn’t been in practice before 2014 and hence can be said that the scheme is entirely grateful to this government only. The government has allotted 50,000 crores for five years to this scheme.[iv] The funding of the scheme will be in 75:25 proportion of Centre: State formation; except in North Eastern states, where the formation is 90:10 of the respective governments.
The scheme has identified 99 projects to be completed by Dec 2019 – out of which, 23 projects (priority 1) have been identified to be completed by 2016-’17, 31 projects (priority 2) by 2017-’18 while the rest 45 projects (priority 3) have been identified to be completed by Dec 2019.
The different components have been framed for the implementation of the scheme consists of, Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP), Har Khet ko Pani, Per Drop More Crop and watershed development.
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan:
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a mission to make India clean. The scheme was launched on the 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, on 2nd Oct 2014 and is targeted to be completed on 2nd Oct 2019, 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi as a part of the tribute to our national father.
The ambitious mission of government has a number of advantages, like a boost in tourists, increase in health measures of individuals, reduce ill-health causes, reduce lethal disease across the country, solve the sanitation problems, draw attention to the business investors and consequently enhance GDP growth, various sources of employment, etc.
While the mission serves great purposes, there are a few disadvantages of the same as well. The first being is, it needs more support, a handful of people definitely cannot bring cleanliness across the whole country.
Secondly, it lacks the sustained efforts from the government side. The mission can provide employment to a number of people throughout the country if the cleanliness programme is taken more seriously and held on an everyday basis than just on an occasional basis, like elections or Gandhi Jayanti, etc.
Thirdly, the cost is greater than the actual implementation. The government has put a lot of finances in advertising and campaigning for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan than focusing on ground level work. The whole mission has been allocated 14,662 crores in total.[v]
Also, the mission lacks long-term goals. There has to be a goal to achieve in long-term, rather than just dumping the waste from different places to one place. The waste has to be disposed of in an effective manner. It lacks a proper vision.
Demonetization, GST, and Employment:
The two most discussed moves and emerging topics in elections as well. Demonetization and GST have created a lot of buzz throughout the country.
Demonetization was a bold move for a few, while it worked as a vicious practice to the rest. On the other hand, GST was appraised by a number of people, but criticized by the others.
We’re all aware of the after-effects of 8th November 2016. No doubt, demonetization was a bold move but wasn’t it possible to implement it in a better way? I believe that the government could put more contemplation into the motion especially in the aftermath of demonetizing 500 and 1000 rupees currency notes.
On the other hand, we should not forget that it was UPA government to first introduce GST when the then opposition, i.e. BJP had opposed it. Later on, after coming in power BJP government introduced GST bill with a rate of 28% tax. Which definitely was the exaggerated amount. But thanks o Gujarat assembly elections, in Nov 2017, the rates were cut down and the highest amount now is 18%. Introduction of the GST has been the most decisive and effective reform in taxation sector in the history of India. But we can’t solely provide credits for GST to the NDA government, as it is not their idea in the first place. They implemented it, 100%, and that’s where they deserve the credits (though the UPA government tried introducing, the opposition didn’t let the bill pass).
So, both the most talked moves of the NDA government made a lot of buzz around the corners regarding the employment ratio. Employment, however, was one of the basic priority of the BJP since the election campaigns. But the question arises when we talk about the employment growth in the country before and after 2014.
There has been no major growth in employment observed after the NDA government came into power, in fact comparing the data provided by the labor ministry in its annual report of 2016-17, Unemployment Rate (UR) in 2013-14 was 4.9%, which increased in 2015-16 to 5%[vi]. 2016-17 Economic Survey, based on the labor ministry’s data, stated: “employment growth has been sluggish.”[vii]
Since we hear demonetization has cost many people their employment, the data show a different story altogether, at least on paper. The UR in July ‘17 went as low as 3.39% but have been increasing gradually since then. The data provided by CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy) shows the unemployment rate in February ’18 was 6.06%. The unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in April 2018 compared to the over 6 percent rate seen in the preceding two months.[viii]
100% electrification feat:
28th April 2018. A milestone achieved of 100% electrification of all villages across the country. Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in Aug 2016, claimed that they would electrify all the Indian villages within upcoming 1000 days, and it happened too.
An electrified village is defined as one that has the following: (i) provision of basic infrastructure such as distribution transformers and lines in the inhabited locality, (ii) provision of electricity in public places like schools, panchayat office, health centres, dispensaries, and community centres, and (iii) at least 10% of the total number of households in the village are electrified.[ix] The Standing Committee on Energy (2013) had observed that according to this definition, a village would be called electrified even if up to 90% of households in it do not have an electricity connection.[x]
The data from the Central Electricity Authority tells a different though. The total number of villages, according to 2011 census, in India are 5,97,464. Out of which already 5,78,967 villages were electrified before the Modi government announced its new electrification scheme. That means only 18,452 villages were left to be electrified in three and a half years.[xi]
But, definitely, acknowledgment goes to Modi government as most of the 18,000 left villages that the new administration had to go through, were located in remote and distant areas, which seeks for double efforts and even tougher than the rest. Apart from this, 31 million Indian households are still in dark, which is the government’s next priority.
Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana:
India is a diversified nation in various terms like culture, geographical location, and occupation. Occupational diversity is one of the major factors that affect the socio-economic growth of the country.
According to the 70th NSS0 survey in 2013, it was reported that 51.4 % of farmer households are financially excluded from both formal/informal sources of credit. Also, only 27% accessed formal credit and 73% have no access to formal sources of credit.[xii]
All loans under MUDRA are disbursed on a collateral free basis. This implies that the borrowers who could not apply for a loan due to an absence of a collateral can now avail financial services with the help of Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana.
There are 3 types of loan offered under the MUDRA scheme. The lending amount depends on the requirement of the borrower.
- SHISHU Loan– Offering financial support of up to INR 50,000
- KISHOR Loan– Offering financial support of amount ranging between INR 50,000 and INR 5,00,000
- TARUN Loan– Offering financial support of amount ranging between INR 5,00,000 and INR 10,00,000
An essential feature of the MUDRA loan is that the loan amount is provided through the MUDRA Card (RuPay Card). The card is provided by the bank through which the loan is being sanctioned. The card can be utilized for different purposes like–
- Online payments
- Used as a Debit Card, and
- ATM cards
Along with the above-mentioned points, there are various other schemes and benefits provided by the NDA government. To name some,
- Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
- Make in India
- Digital India
- Start-up India scheme
- Atal Pension Yojana
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (rural/urban)
While many talks around the corner about the NDA government, it works and promises before 2014 general elections, it’s always up to the people how they think of a new administration. There are people claiming no government did as much development as Modi government did and on contrary, there is a part of people who believe Modi government didn’t make any progress of the country. In my personal capacity, I disagree with both the sections of the society. One cannot say that the Modi government hasn’t promoted the country in any way, any bit; and the same way, one definitely cannot claim that the previous governments didn’t do anything for the country either.
Whichever government that comes to power, (at least to say) has only one goal – that is to develop the nation, to take it a step further than it was. Just like any other governments, even Modi government has a number of issues in front of it. Be it external or internal. But the government, along with fighting the issues, has made progress in various sectors and sections of India and we can hope that no matter which party comes to the throne, it doesn’t break the development chain of India.
– Swapnil Fatania
Content Writer at Legal Bites
[i] Section 4(3) of the Aadhar Act, 2016
[ii] Section 9, Aadhar Act, 2016
[v] Swachh Bharat Financial Progress
[vi] Chapter 17: Labour Statistics of “Annual Report 2016- ‘17”, Ministry of Labour and Employment
[vii] Chapter 8: Review of Economic Development of “Economic Survey 2016- ‘17”, Ministry of Finance, Jan ‘17
[ix] “Office Memorandum: Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana” Ministry of Power, 3rd December 2014.
[x] “41st Report: Implementation of Rajeev Gandhi Grameen Vidhyutikaran Yojana”, Standing Committee on Energy, Dec 13th, 2013.
[xi] “Growth of Electricity Sector in India from 1947 to 2017”, Ministry of Power, May 2017.
[xii] “Key Indicators of Situation of Agriculture Households in India” NSS 70th round, Jan-Dec 2013.
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