Narendra Modi, India’s Prime Minister since 2014 and its present incumbent, has launched quite a few schemes aiming to ameliorate the condition of living for the Indian citizens. Most of these endeavour to empower Indian socially and financially by providing them with additional wealth or by providing ample opportunities for progress. These schemes and policies also attempt to make India on par with the developed nations in terms of its infrastructure and economy.
Schemes and Initiatives launched by PM Modi
Some of his more prominent schemes are
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
This campaign was launched in Modi’s first year as Prime Minister, on October 2nd, Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. It aims at a ‘Clean India’ (its official slogan being ‘One Step towards Cleanliness’) by encouraging people to cease defecating in public areas and in open spaces. The government believes that it will achieve its target through the construction of toilets and by spreading awareness about proper sanitation. The government of India has also teamed up with various celebrities, NGOS, schools and colleges to promote this initiative and, therefore, it has gained quite a strong community-driven character.
Digital India seeks to empower Indians through electronic media, by making important government information and services available on a digital medium. Under this the government plans to build the necessary digital infrastructure required to connect the entirety of India via the Internet, provide its services on a digital medium, and ensure digital literacy all around. It was launched on 1st July 2015, and has notably resulted in the creation of the UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) mobile app, an all-in-one platform for accessing government services and the my.gov.in website for suggestions and counsel from the public. Annual Digital India summits are held too and awards are given to individuals who have made a difference or have performed excellently in the digital realm.
Make in India
Make in India hopes to stimulate the Indian economy by pushing companies to manufacture and conduct operations in India. The Indian government hopes to fulfil this aim by promoting incentives like tax concessions for companies that invest in India. It was launched on 25th September 2014 and is supposed to benefit a large number of Indians by generating employment and skill enhancement and by making India a prime business destination and commercial hub. Twenty five sectors of Indian economy have been selected for the Make in India project. They include some major industrial sectors like the automobile industry, defence, food processing, electronics, mining, pharmaceuticals, railways, textiles and healthcare.
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) is a financial inclusion initiative inaugurated on 15th August 2014. Under this scheme, Indian citizens between the age of 20 and 65 will be able to avail a wide range of financial services like opening a minimum balance-free bank account, getting quick loans, insurance plans, pensions and a complimentary RuPay debit card. Government subsidies will be directly transferred to an individual’s bank account. This facility is primarily intended at the rural and urban low-income masses or those who do not have enough financial literacy.
Atal Pension Yojana
Introduced on 9th May 2015, the Atal Pension Yojana seeks to extend the pension facility to people employed in the unorganised sector. Anyone who avails of the National Pension Scheme (NPS) will be a beneficiary of this scheme, which will enable him or her to receive between one thousand to five thousand rupees every month on attaining sixty, depending on the pension plan he or she chooses. The government will contribute fifty per cent or one thousand rupees, whichever is lower.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd.)
This scheme was launched on 8th April 2015 with the aim of providing credit up to ten lakh rupees to minor businesses and entrepreneurs. It also serves to regulate micro-financiers and similar institutions. It categorises loans into three types, depending on the credit amount. These are in ascending order – Shishu, Kishor and Tarun.
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana
Under this scheme, which was put into effect from 22nd January 2015, the Modi government seeks to improve India’s much skewed sex ratio and aims to empower women by raising the female literacy rate. This campaign encourages Indian families to save their daughters by sending them to school to get a proper education. Strategies to popularise this campaign include utilising social media, roping in prominent celebrities and famous Indian sportswomen, and conducting communal awareness-raising activities. It’s mainly centred in the northern and north-western states of India.
Smart City Mission
Initiated by Prime Minister Modi on 25th June 2015, this policy aims to create a hundred smart cities, akin to the top developed cities of the world. These cities are selected through a competition, the Smart City Challenge, where each state is supposed to send in a specific number of cities, as allotted before. The winning cities receive a bounty of five hundred crore from both the centre and the state government, thus totalling to a thousand crore. The government, however, does not intend to upgrade the entire city. Rather, the focus will be on a small area in the city, which will function as a model to be replicated in its other parts.
Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) App
The BHIM App is a mobile software developed by the Government of India based on Unified Payments Interference (UPI). It allows users to directly transfer money from one person’s bank account to another’s. Customers of all banks which provide UPI services can use this app. It was launched on 30th December 2016, after the 2016 demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, in an effort to push people into opting for online and cashless transactions. Since it supports thirteen official Indian languages, it is expected to reach a wide base.
UDAN Regional Connectivity Scheme (UDAN-RCS) concentrates on building air connectivity in India. The scheme, therefore, provides for construction of appropriate airport infrastructure, making air travel affordable for the common masses, and convincing people to embrace it over other modes of long-distance travel. Its motto is Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik, meaning ‘let the common citizens of the nation fly’. It was started on 27th April 2017.
Goods and Services Tax Bill
A comprehensive Goods and Services Tax (GST) has replaced the various other service and value added taxes all over India, with effect from the 1st of July 2017. There are different rates of taxation for various commodities; the tax slabs are 0%, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%, with daily necessities falling under the lower slabs and luxury and imported goods being levied the highest. This taxation system attempts to simplify the tax structure for businesses including both manufacturers and merchants as well as lessening the tax burden on consumers. The GST collected is usually divided between the state and the central government.
Ayushman Bharat Yojana
Also called the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or National Health Protection Scheme is another of Modi’s central government-backed policies, inaugurated on 15th August 2018. The objective of this healthcare policy is to provide ten crore low-income families with health insurance up to five lakh rupees. 1.5 lakh crore health and wellness centres will also be established and certain existing ones will be turned into AYUSH centres.
Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana
This scheme was rolled out in 2015 with the intention of enabling the entirety of rural India with continuous, 24×7 round the clock power supply. This is supposed to be a substitute for Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY). Seventy five lakh crores have been set aside for the electrification of rural India. An app, GARV-II, has also been introduced, where rural folk can make suggestions, inputs or air their grievances regarding this scheme.
Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana
Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana is one of Modi’s rural development measures, rolled out on 11th October 2014. It aspires to create model villages by mobilising the village community to bring about social and communal upliftment. Under this, each Member of Parliament has been tasked with choosing a particular village from his or her constituency, adequately developing it and promoting it as a standard model to be followed by the other ones.
Skill India is an employment generation policy put into force on 15th July 2015. Its purpose is to impart vocational training to over forty crore Indians over the course of seven years. Initiatives that fall under this programme include the National Skill Development Mission, National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and the Skill Loan scheme. The National Skill Development Corporation India (NSDC) was established under this heading too. Measures include providing apprenticeships, creating vocational training institutes, giving financial aid like education grants, and so on. It is applicable to all unemployed Indians, even school and college dropouts.
Launched on 25th December 2014, Mission Indradhanush aims at immunising children against eight diseases: Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, severe form of Childhood Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B and meningitis & pneumonia. This scheme has been structured like the very successful Pulse Polio Immunisation programme.