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UPI to Ice Cream with Sportspersons & More IITs: 'Aatmanirbhar' Bharat's Journey with Grounded Modi

By: News Desk

Edited By: Vidushi Sagar


Last Updated: September 17, 2022, 11:02 IST

New Delhi, India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the inauguration ceremony of the 'Make In India' week in Mumbai, India, February 13, 2016.(Reuters/FILE)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks during the inauguration ceremony of the 'Make In India' week in Mumbai, India, February 13, 2016.(Reuters/FILE)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has long been praised for providing his steady gaze over the plethora of subjects that concern India. Here's a lowdown of some of them:

The leader of a country has to be an all-rounder to be able to guide the nation into progress. And from education to defence, sports to environment and much more, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has long been praised for providing his steady gaze over the plethora of subjects that concern India. LIVE UPDATES on Modi’s Birthday

On Friday, PM Modi on Friday pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the conflict in Ukraine soon, saying “today’s era is not of war" even as he called for finding ways to address the global food and energy security crisis. He called on the Russian President in a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in this Silk Road city. Modi also underlined the importance of “democracy, dialogue and diplomacy" while calling for an early cessation of hostilities in Ukraine.

“Today the biggest worry before the world, especially developing countries, is food security, fuel security, fertilisers. We must find ways on these problems and you will also have to consider it. We will get an opportunity to talk about these issues," Modi said in his opening remarks. “I know today’s era is not of war. We discussed this issue with you on phone several times, that democracy, diplomacy and dialogue touch the entire world. We will have the opportunity to talk today about how we can move forward on the road of peace in the coming days," Modi said.

The Prime Minister is getting praised, by US media too, for his message of peace amid turbulent times. And according to the government, India’s foreign policy has prospered under the Prime Minister’s leadership.

‘Citizen-centric Diplomacy’

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar had highlighted earlier this year the transformation in India’s foreign policy under PM Modi’s leadership on Friday as the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government had completed eight years in office. In a tweet, Jaishankar stated that Prime Minister Modi has led the nation from the front.

“Under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, India has excelled tremendously in various areas such as development, security, diaspora connection, trade, and foreign policy, among others," according to a video shared by the EAM on his social media account.

READ | Narendra Modi Birthday: A Look at International Awards Received by PM Modi

The Three Tenets

8 yrs of foreign policy that PM Narendra Modi has led from the front. In a polarized world, we have maintained our independence. In a pandemic world, we have been a source of relief. In addressing global challenges, we are a force for good. Welcome to citizen-centric diplomacy," he had said.

The EAM stated that diplomacy is central to developing India. “Priorities include attracting technology and capital, absorbing best practises, and promoting exports. Foreign partnerships are being used to help build our cities, increase agricultural output and access, upgrade infrastructure, and clean up the environment," he had stated.

Delegitimising Terrorism

“It is equally important to ensure India’s security through trusted relationships. Our forces have access to cutting-edge technology from a variety of sources. We have gained international support and understanding for our efforts to defend our northern borders and deter terrorism in the west. Delegitimizing terrorism and denying safe havens is no small feat. The movement to project India on the global stage has gained traction," he had said.

Vaccine Maitri Programme

Jaishankar praised India’s Vaccine Maitri programme, saying it “underscores our credentials as the pharmacy of the world," and added that “we are rightly rewarded as a first responder in difficult situations, particularly by neighbours."

Vaccine Maitri is a humanitarian initiative undertaken by the government that provides Covid-19 vaccines to countries around the world. The government began providing vaccines on January 20, 2021. As of February 21, 2022, India had delivered approximately 16.29 crore vaccine doses to 96 countries.

‘Different from the Others’

Furthermore, recalling his first meeting with Modi when he was Gujarat’s chief minister, Jaishankar stated that 11 years ago, in November 2011, Jaishankar, who was China’s Ambassador at the time, spoke about how Modi was “different" from the others.

Jaishankar recalled that during his meeting with Modi at the time, the former Gujarat chief minister had said, “I may be the Chief Minister of Gujarat, but I am an Indian citizen. When I go outside, I will not deviate even an inch from what our national sense is."

Sports Leadership

The golden period of Indian sports is knocking on the doors, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier said while hailing the gutsy show of the Indian contingent which returned with 61 medals from the Commonwealth Games. Modi had hosted the Indian contingent at his residence to felicitate the players.

The Indian athletes had produced a sensational show in Birmingham, claiming 61 medals, including 22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze. “The real assessment of this performance can’t be made with just number of medals, our athletes competed neck-to-neck. There may have been a difference of 1s or 1cm but we will make that up I am confident of that," Modi said during his speech. “It is just a start and we are not going to just sit quietly, golden period of Indian sports is knocking on the doors. We have the responsibility of making a sporting system which is the best in the world, inclusive, diverse and dynamic. No talent should be left out as they are all assets," the Prime Minister had said.

And there has been much praise for Modi’s efforts to further the country’s progress in sports.

Cheering Sportspersons

Many athletes have repeatedly praised PM Modi for his active and consistent support. PM Modi promised PV Sindhu that he would take her out for ice cream after she returned from the Olympics in Tokyo, and he kept his promise. The Indian Deaflympics contingent recently made history by winning seven bronze, one silver, and eight gold medals, the country’s best-ever performance at the event. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted the entire Indian Contingent at his residence.

Big Budget, Sports Authority of India

The Modi government allocated Rs. 3062.60 crore to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, the highest ever in India’s history. This represents a Rs 305.58 crore increase over the previous year, according to reports. The Sports Authority of India is an autonomous body in charge of infrastructure, camps, games, player care, and other activities. SAI’s budget allocation has gradually increased over the years, as well.

Khelo India is another scheme launched by the current administration. The scheme aims to identify talent and promote sporting culture at the country’s grassroots level. This scheme’s budgetary allocation has also gradually increased over time.

Defence Reforms

PM Modi’s cabinet prioritised the Ministry of Defence. Respective Defence Ministers worked tirelessly to establish defence as the face of the new India.

Make-in-India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat have made defence manufacturing a priority. India produces indigenous defence products in three categories: Make-I, Make-II, and Make-III. Projects in the Make-I category are funded by the Union government. The government contributes 90% of the funds needed for this category.

Some of these reforms:

Chief of Defence Staff & Department of Military Affairs: The appointment of India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and creation of Department of Military Affairs (DMA) were among the major decisions taken by the Government. The post of CDS was created to increase efficiency & coordination among the Armed Forces and reduce duplication, while DMA was established to ensure improved civil-military integration. General Bipin Rawat was appointed as the first CDS who also fulfils the responsibilities of Secretary, DMA.

AatmaNirbharta in Defence: To promote ‘Make in India’ in defence sector, a list of 101 defence items was notified in August 2020, while Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 was unveiled in September 2020. Rs 52,000 crore budget was earmarked for indigenously made defence equipment in 2020-21. Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) was approved in May 2020 for greater efficiency and productivity. There was an unprecedented push towards new technology developments within India. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) developed a ventilator in record time to meet Covid-19 requirements in May 2020.In November 2020, Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile, indigenously designed & developed DRDO, hit bullseye at medium range and medium height, while indigenously built Pinaka rocket system cleared test of 45-60 km range.

Increased Defence Exports: The increased partnership with the private sector has led to a substantial rise in defence exports. The value of total defence exports rose from Rs 1,941 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 9,116 crore in 2019-20. Also, for the first time, India figured in the list of defence equipment exporting nations, as the exports expanded to more than 84 countries.

Modernisation & increased transparency in Defence Acquisition: In highest-ever thrust towards modernisation in last 10 years, there was 10 per cent budget increase in 2020-21 over the previous year. Policy reforms for increased transparency included launch of new Defence Acquisition Procedure in September 2020 and revision of DRDO Procurement Manual in October 2020. To encourage start-ups, a provision was introduced for procurement as Buy Indian-IDDM, while leasing for non-mission critical requirements was introduced for the first time.

Defence Acquisitions: First five Rafale fighter aircraft arrived in India in July 2020 and several more since then, adding firepower to the arsenal of the Indian Air Force. Despite the COVID-19 challenge, the aircraft were delivered timely and inducted into IAF.

Reforming Defence R&D: To promote innovation by young minds, five Young Scientists Laboratories of DRDO were launched in 2020 in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. DRDO has joined hands with the private sector in design & development and identified 108 Systems & Subsystems for the industry to design, develop and manufacture.

Digital Transformation: For the first time, several organisations of Ministry of Defence went digital. Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) started online Pre-Delivery inspection in May 2020 to address security threats, while Armed Forces Tribunal began digital hearing for the first time in August 2020. Defence Estates, Canteen Stores Department, services in Cantonment, MoD Pension and National Cadet Corps (NCC) also went online providing faster and transparent services.

Education Push

Under Modi, the Modi government has prioritised rapid transformation of the education sector, with a focus on primary, secondary, and higher education. Since 2014, the Modi administration has announced the establishment of new IITs, IIMs, IIITs, NITs, and NIDs. Every year since 2014, a new IIT or IIM has been established.

There are currently 23 IITs and 20 IIMs in the country. Since 2014, a new university has been established every week, and two new colleges have been established every day. As a result, the number of students enrolled in higher education has increased significantly.

Economic Policies

Since taking office in 2014, the Narendra Modi government has implemented a number of economic reform measures through a combination of legislative and policy changes. The following are eight measures that stand out.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) on August 28, 2014, promising to end “financial untouchability" through the world’s largest banking-for-all scheme.

Bad Bank: The government has established a “bad bank" as part of a larger strategy to clean up banks’ balance sheets. The National Asset Reconstruction Co (NARCL), also known as the government-backed bad bank, is quickly emerging as a key player in the management of distressed assets.

NITI Aayog: The successor to the Planning Commission, NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), is quickly evolving as the government’s go-to policy think-tank to deal with contemporary challenges, rejecting the previous “one size fits all" approach.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code: In 2016, the government enacted the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, which allows lenders to immediately suspend the board, deprive promoters of their powers, and allow for time-bound loan recovery.

RERA: Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Authority, Act 2016 was enacted, paving the way for the establishment of a quasi-judicial body that requires builders to obtain approval from the authority before launching or even advertising a housing scheme.

GST: The Goods and Services Tax (GST), billed as independent India’s most significant reform initiative, will complete its five-year rollout on July 1, 2022.

United Payments Interface (UPI): In 2016, UPI launched a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), combining several banking features, seamless fund routing, and merchant payments under one hood.

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    Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme: Launched in 2020, the PLI scheme aims to make India a preferred global manufacturing destination. The scheme provides a cash incentive for three to five years based on the incremental sale of goods manufactured in India over the base-year sales.

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    first published:September 17, 2022, 09:07 IST
    last updated:September 17, 2022, 11:02 IST