The fourth longest-serving Prime Minister of India, currently in office, Narendra Modi turned 71 today. His vision has taken shape in the form of various long-term policies defining India’s future.
Some of the key policies which have been a major highlight of Modi’s tenure as Prime Minister are:
1. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP)
Launched by the Prime Minister on 22nd January 2015 at Panipat, Haryana, it is one of the most significant schemes to uplift the condition of women.
BBBP sought to improve the declining child sex ratio (CSR) and other deteriorating conditions of living for women. It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare, and Human Resource Development.
The scheme has been launched at both the local level and the national level. Some of the crucial elements of the scheme include Enforcement of PC & PNDT Act, nation-wide awareness and advocacy campaign, and multi-sectoral action in select 100 districts (low on CSR) in the first phase.
The aim is to usher in a change in molding the way people think and act. The efforts would be towards raising awareness and community mobilization.
2. Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY)
This financial inclusion scheme was launched by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on 28 August 2014. According to this scheme, Indian citizens were encouraged to open bank accounts (minors of age 10 and older with a guardian to manage them).
The aim was to make easy access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance, and pensions.
Under PMJDY, 43.29 Crore beneficiaries have been banked so far, ₹145,050.76 Crore Balance in beneficiary accounts, and 1.26 lakh Bank Mitras are delivering branchless banking services in Sub-Service Areas currently.
This scheme is headed by the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance and on the inauguration day itself, 15 million bank accounts were opened creating a Guinness world record.
The Guinness Book of World Records recognized this achievement, stating: “The most bank accounts opened in one week as a part of the financial inclusion campaign is 18,096,130 and was achieved by the Government of India from August 23 to 29, 2014”
3. Swacch Bharat Mission
Swacch Bharat Mission or Clean India Mission was launched by PM Narendra Modi on 2nd October 2014 as a nationwide campaign.
“A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019,” said Shri Narendra Modi as he launched the Swachh Bharat Mission at Rajpath in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister urged the people across the country to spread the message of Swacch Bharat to fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of having a clean India. Narendra Modi himself started the cleanliness drive at Mandir Marg Police Station.
Picking up the broom to clean the dirt, making Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a mass movement across the nation, the Prime Minister said people should neither litter nor let others litter. He gave the mantra of ‘Na gandagi karenge, Na karne denge.’
A sense of responsibility has been instilled into the people to keep their surroundings clean by making it a collective effort to keep the whole country clean.
4. Goods and Services Tax
Delayed for seventeen years, on 1 July 2017 finally the GST tax came into effect through the implementation of the One Hundred and First Amendment of the Constitution of India by the Indian government.
The GST replaced existing multiple taxes levied by the central and state governments. This tax is collected from the point of consumption and not the point of origin like previous taxes.
GST has proved to be beneficial for the small businesses claimed The Financial Express amidst criticism, it said that the small businesses became much more manageable now. “Under the old tax regime, aspiring entrepreneurs who wanted to start a small business had to get a Value Added Tax (VAT) registration.
While this seems simple, it was anything but because of rules governing GSTs predecessor, the VAT differed from state to state. Besides processes varying from state to state, the process of getting a VAT registration was very cumbersome.
To get a VAT requires going to many government offices and meeting with many officials. Graft played a big part in getting a VAT registration,” The FT Express added.
5. Environment Policy
Under Narendra Modi’s Premiership various initiatives to protect the endangered wildlife species like tigers, elephants and dolphins were pursued. In 2015, at the third India Africa Forum Summit, Modi also launched the International Solar Alliance. It was an alliance of 124 sunshine countries.
The ISA aims to reduce the expenditure on solar technology and make it more accessible in the coming time as one of the significant renewable sources of energy.
The ISA said in its launch: “It seeks to share collective ambitions to reduce the cost of finance and technology that is needed to deploy solar power widely; generation and storage technologies would be adapted to the individual countries’ needs,” reported The Hindu.
Moreover, India is going to participate in the world’s biggest climate summit of the coming time, the COP26 convention to be held in Glasgow in November under Narendra Modi’s leadership.
6. Awards and Recognitions
Among many other recognitions, in 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2020, Narendra Modi was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
He has appeared on the cover page of Time Magazine and has been given the title of the 15th Most Powerful Person in the World in 2014 and the 9th Most Powerful Person in the World in 2015, 2016, and 2018 by Forbes Magazine.
He was awarded the Global Goalkeeper Award on 24 September 2019 in New York City by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in recognition of the Swachh Bharat Mission.
In 2020, Modi was among eight world leaders awarded the parodic Ig Nobel Prize in Medical Education “for using the COVID-19 viral pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can”.
On 21 December 2020, President Donald Trump awarded Modi with the Legion of Merit for elevating the India–United States relations along with Prime Minister of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
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