The NDA led by Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 with a promise to change the polity in India. Since his ascension to the prime minister's post with a huge majority, Modi's popularity has grown.
Modi, the second prime minister from the Other Backward Caste (OBC) category, brought in initiatives to eliminate the socio-economic backwardness of citizens, which had been undermined or played down by governments in the past. With the NDA government set to complete its term in office in a few months, here's a list of Prime Minister Modi's 10 major achievements.
1. Mann Ki Baat
A regular conversation between the leader of the nation and the common public was introduced with Mann Ki Baat, a monthly radio programme. Since Independence, prime ministers have used radio as a medium to talk to the public. But with the advent of television and the internet, this was reduced to special occasions like Republic Day and Independence Day.
Modi, by introducing Mann Ki Baat, emphasised the importance of the government-run All India Radio and broadcast platforms like Doordarshan. In the 20-minute programme, Modi covered several topics, starting from cleanliness in the first episode in October 2014 to the importance of the Constitution in November 2018.
The programme has been a newsmaker and almost all television and radio channels now play the show on their networks. According to data released by the government, more than 61,000 ideas have been received from listeners.
2. Swachh Bharath Mission
Wielding a broom, Modi took to the streets on Gandhi Jayanti to launch the Swacch Bharath (Clean India) mission in 2014.
Cleanliness and waste management have been major issues plaguing both cities and villages across the country. Swacch Bharath made each citizen responsible for cleaning streets and neighbourhoods. The initiative was welcomed by the public and small neighbourhoods created history by cleaning their surroundings. Leaders and people's representatives of the areas led the mission at the local level.
Along with Swacch Bharath, India launched the 'open defecation free' mission and intensified the construction of toilets in each household. The government publicised the importance of sanitation and raised funds for construction of toilets. For this purpose, the government introduced Swachh Bharath Cess, which added to the service tax income.
According to Modi's speech on Oct. 2 last year, 25 States have been declared 'open defecation free' so far.
3. Make in India, FDI, Startup India & Mudra Yojna
Brand India got a boost under Modi's rule. He launched the lucrative 'Make in India' project to attract global investment in India. The government also liberalised Foreign Direct Investment in 25 sectors.
This resulted in a rise in India's rankings in the 'ease of doing business' of the World Bank, the World Economic Forum's 'Global Competitiveness Index' and in the 'Logistics Performance Index'. The move also helped India's other projects - Bharatmala, Sagarmala, Dedicated Freight Corridors, Industrial corridors, UDAN-RCS, Bharat Broadband Network and Digital India.
Global giants, though sceptical, set up manufacturing units in India. Samsung spearheaded the move with the establishment of their largest production unit in Gujarat.
The government encouraged young entrepreneurs to propose new ideas with government help. The government initiated a flagship programme 'Startup India', which aimed to grow startups in the country. The government eased norms to start businesses, set up incubation centres and made tax exemptions available to those trying to establish startups.
Around 15,000 startups were recognised under the project. The aim was to turn job seekers into job creators. The Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana is another initiative of the Modi government. Under Mudra Yojana, small-scale enterprises get 100 per cent funds to start businesses with relaxed terms.
Establishment of small and micro enterprises has created jobs in both rural and urban India.
4. Jan Dhan Yojana & Ujjwal Yojna
In an attempt to bring the majority of the country into the formal economy, the Modi government provided zero-balance bank accounts. Facilities like the direct transfer of subsidies and pensions to rightful beneficiaries were made available. This project also made people economically self-sufficient and helped root out middlemen who preyed on citizens. A total of 132 million new accounts were opened.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yojna, more than five crore BPL households got cooking fuel connections for a nominal amount of Rs 1,600. The connections were issued in the names of the women in the households, which aimed to empower women by transferring the subsidy amount to their bank accounts. At the same time, the government also urged affluent people to give up the subsidies so as to strengthen BPL households.
5. Affordable healthcare
A slew of measures and schemes have been launched in the healthcare sector to provide the economically backward section of society with the benefit of modern healthcare.
The National Health Protection Scheme, also known as Ayushman Bharat, aims to provide an Rs 5-lakh medical insurance cover to 50-crore low-income citizens. Annually, Rs 10,000 crore is the budget estimate of the scheme being touted as the biggest universal medical care programme in the world.
The government also took steps to reduce the prices of thousands of essential drugs. Also, the number of Jan Aushadhi outlets and generic medicines sold in the outlets have shot up under the Modi government.
6. Implementation of GST
The bill for a single tax all over the country was stuck in Parliament for years but could not be passed due to several hurdles. After continuous consultations with all stakeholders, the Modi government passed the GST bill and brought it into effect.
Although there was a lot of confusion in the beginning, the government streamlined the slabs and methods of paying the Goods and Service Tax. The government established the GST Council to conduct a periodical review of the effectiveness of the tax regime and to take measures for its meaningful implementation.
There were now common prices for commodities all over the country, irrespective of changes in the manufacturing and selling regions.
7. Expansion of electricity and roads
Rural electrification gained momentum under the Modi government with a large number of villages getting connected to the electricity grid.
Likewise, the speed of road construction has also increased. Now, 40 km of new roads are constructed each day, which is more than double the number under the previous government (17 km). Several isolated areas in the country have now become accessible.
8. Triple Talaq bill
The government is committed to social justice for all citizens, irrespective of religion, caste and gender. For this purpose, the Modi government was in favour of banning triple talaq in the Muslim community, which has been a bane for women. When the Supreme Court pronounced the verdict banning triple talaq, Modi himself came forward and showed his joy about the fight for social justice.
The government also brought a bill to implement the Supreme Court order by introducing punishment for culprits. Although the bill has cleared the Lok Sabha, the bill has stalled in the Rajya Sabha due to the numbers wielded by the Opposition.
9. Push for Yoga
Yoga, a traditional physical and mental discipline originating from India, has spread all over the world. Modi, a regular yoga practitioner, has promoted yoga worldwide. With India's push, the United Nations declared June 21 as International Yoga Day and since then, the world celebrates yoga with enthusiasm.
Modi himself leads the yoga day programmes. Leaders with various political affiliations take part in the programmes. Modi also participated in a viral workout challenge to spread awareness about the importance of living a healthy life.
10. Digital India
With the number of internet users in India growing by leaps and bounds, the Modi government encouraged the growth by launching the Digital India programme. Introduction of low-cost internet services has made the internet easily accessible to nearly 500 million users.
The Modi government pushed the digital initiative by launching various applications and websites to serve citizens. United Payment Interface and card scheme RuPay have spurred the growth of online transactions in the country.