It was on May 30, 2019, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi again took charge of the Government of India. Since the time he has taken office, certain important decisions have been taken by the Cabinet. Let us try to recollect the important programs and projects that our Government announced for the development and welfare of the country.
1. Digital India
On August 21, 2014, the “Digital India” campaign was launched. The idea is to change India into an electronically empowered economy. According to this program, the Government of India wants all Government departments and the people of India to connect with each other digitally or electronically, so that there is effective governance. It also aims at reducing paperwork by making all the Government services available to the people electronically. There is also a plan to connect all villages and rural areas through internet networks.
There are three major components of Digital India: Digital infrastructure, digital literacy and digital delivery of services. The Government plans to complete this project in five years. That is, by 2019, the Digital India project is expected to be fully functional.
2. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
On August 28, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. This scheme was announced when he gave his first Independence Day speech on August 15 , 2014. This is a prestigious financial inclusion programme. On the very first day of the launch of the programme, 15 million bank accounts were opened and each of the account holders was given Rs 1,00,000 insurance cover. By September 2014, 3.02 crore accounts were opened and around Rs 1,500 crore were deposited. According to the yojana, anyone can open new bank accounts with zero balance too.
3. Swachh Bharat Abhiyan
On 24 September 2014, Prime Minister approved the Swachh Bharat campaign, which was a modification of the Nirmal Bharat Programme, launched by the previous Government. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched formally on October 2, 2014, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The objective is to make India a clean India by 2019, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The plan is to provide toilet and sanitation facilities in all rural and remote areas, to create public awareness of cleanliness, to clean roads, streets, encroachments and make India one of the cleanest countries of the world.
4. Make in India
This was basically a slogan, coined by Narendra Modi on September 25, 2014 to attract the global world to invest and manufacture in India. It then became an international marketing campaign. “Make in India” campaign was initiated so that India has ample job opportunities and the economy gets a boost. ‘Make in India’ seeks to make India a self-reliant country. It also aims to allow FDI in the country as well as bring back to health the loss-making Government firms. The Make in India campaign is completely under the Central Government, in which the Government has identified 25 major sectors which have the potential of becoming a global leader.
5. Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana
On October 11, 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. According to this yojana, each MP will take the responsibility of developing three villages by 2019. The idea is to make India’s villages to be fully developed with physical and institutional infrastructure. There are certain guidelines for this scheme, which has been formulated by the Department of Rural Development. The Prime Minister released the guidelines on October 11, 2014 and requested all MPs to develop one model village by year 2016 in their constituency and two more by 2019.
Apart from the above schemes, PM Modi launched several other schemes in his first tenure as the Prime Minister. After taking oath as the Prime Minister of India for the second term in 2019, PM Modi has again been revamping many of his schemes to benefit people belonging to all sections of the society.
Following are some of the other important schemes launched by PM Modi:
The PM-KISAN scheme was launched in the interim budget in February 2019 before the general elections, as agriculture is considered a priority sector. PM Modi has now announced the extension of the Rs 75,000 crores PM-KISAN scheme to all 14.5 crore farmers in the country. Under this scheme, each farmer will get Rs 6,000 per year in three equal installments, irrespective of the size of their landholding. Farmer families holding constitutional posts, institutional shareholders, serving or retired state/central government officials, doctors, engineers and pensioners (getting above Rs 10,000 per month) etc. are excluded from the scheme. The onus of identifying the beneficiaries lies on the state governments. The revised scheme will cost upwards of Rs 87,000 crores.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (NREGA) launched a welfare scheme to generate employment and work opportunity for the rural labourers in India. Although this scheme was passed as a labour law in the beginning, later it was implemented in 200 districts in 2006. Then, it spread in the entire country in 2008. This scheme was modelled to provide at least 100 days work in a year to the landless rural labourers. Later its name was changed and it came to be known as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS).
Under MGNERGS, Jal Shakti Abhiyan has been started in rural India in 2019. To provide safe drinking water to the rural people, Rs. 15,000 crores is to be spent in the first phase from July to September 2019. Apart from this, more than 200,000 projects are to be carried out for water conservation in more than 1,100 districts in the country.
Scheme to Provide Quality Education in Madrasas (SPQEM)
SPQEM is a scheme to bring about qualitative improvement in Madrasas in order to make it possible for Muslim children to attain standard education in national education system. For which, Narendra Modi led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government has announced to provide scholarships to the minority communities including 50 percent girls.
Under this scheme, madrasa teachers will be trained in subjects like English, Hindi, Science, Maths and so on. After getting the training, these teachers can transmit their knowledge to madrasa students. Government is also planning to make a new educational infrastructure for them in the near future. Free coaching classes will be provided to the economically weaker sections from the minority communities and prepare them for the competitive examinations so that their participation in the government and private jobs can increase. Apart from this, opening of polytechnic, ITIs, residential schools etc are in the pipeline under the beneficial schemes of the present government for the minorities.
One Nation One Ration Card Scheme
By June 30, 2020 ‘one nation one ration card’ scheme will be launched as decided by the Union Government. The scheme is being launched in order to overcome the on- going malpractices in the Public Distribution System (PDS) shops. Under this scheme, beneficiaries such as migrants can take ration across the country from any shop of their liking. This was revealed by Ram vilas Paswan, the minister of ‘Consumer Affairs Food and PDS’. Government is mulling to link ration cards with Aadhaar and launch Point of Sale (POS) scheme so that the downtrodden of the society can get maximum benefit. POS scheme has been running successfully in several states.
Retail Pension Scheme
The Central Government has approved a pension scheme for the shopkeepers, retailers and self-employed persons of over 60 years of age. Under this scheme, beneficiaries will get Rs 3,000 per month. Shopkeepers and self-employed persons whose GST turnover is below 1.5 crore, and people of the age group of 18-40 years, can also enrol through this trader friendly scheme announced by the government.
Sagarmala Project for smooth trade
On March 25, 2015, Sagarmala project was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The aim of the project is to connect 600 ports to improve the performance of country’s logistics sector. It is expected that this would make India’s trade smoother and potent. The Central Government has already spent 7.73 billion since the start of this project. Another objective of the scheme is to find out new regions and their proper connectivity with major economic centres through railways, inland waterways, coastal and road services. One more positive aspect of the project is to modernise the new ports and set up all the modern facilities to entice tourists. This way, coastal tourism will get a big boost and the employment opportunity will enhance for those living around the coastal areas.
Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh (PAHAL) Scheme
PAHAL was launched on January 1, 2015 by Narendra Modi with the aim to gradually provide LPG cylinders to all. Under this scheme, more than 9.75 LPG consumers have been identified. Consumers will get cooking gas cylinders at market price and their subsidy will go directly into their bank accounts. But Aadhar linkage and bank account linkage are necessary for this. This scheme has helped eliminate bogus and duplicate LPG connections. Another purpose of the scheme is to help the poor of the society, who are deprived of the cooking gas cylinders. Therefore, people are being encouraged to give up their subsidy to encourage the weaker sections of the society to have access to LPG cylinders.
Pradhan Mantri eBasta scheme is an online application platform where school books based on the curriculum will be accessible in digital form i.e. e-books. The motive of this scheme is to bring teachers, students and publishers together on one platform and make the study material easily accessible. In order to use this, users are required to download the application first.
Digital Locker Scheme
In 2015, DigiLocker (e-locker) scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in order to enhance the Digital India initiative. The objective of this scheme is to provide online documents storage facility for people of this country, but Aadhar card is the pre-requisite for availing this facility. Through Digi Locker, one can store important documents such as Voter ID, PAN card, BPL card, Driving License, educational certificates and degrees online. This scheme will help reduce the physical document management issues and the hassle faced when the hard copy is lost. Its main advantage is that people will not have to carry original documents with them. DigiLocker is accessible through Umang app and other agencies will have its accessibility too.
Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT)
In 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched AMRUT with the aim to transform nearly 500 cities and towns into well-planned urban living spaces. The objective of this project is to provide basic civic amenities like water supply, sewage, urban transport, parks and so on to improve the quality of life and health altogether. The Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Rs 50,000 crore for the entire project.
Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana
On October, 2014, ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (BBBP) scheme was introduced as a joint initiative of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development. The prime motive of this scheme is to address the issue of decreasing Child Sex Ratio in India (the number of girls per 1000 boys). To enhance the scheme further, the amount of annual deposit for the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana for the girl child has been reduced from Rs 1,000 to Rs 250. Since the launch of the scheme, positive results have started coming. The Sex ratio has increased in several states, especially in Rajasthan. At present Rajasthan’s Child Sex Ratio has increased to 948:1000, while it was 929:1000 in 2015-2016 (as per the state health department).
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)
On January 22, 2015, Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The primary objective of this scheme is to promote and implement the welfare programme for the girl child. As per the scheme, parents or any legal guardian can open a bank account on behalf of their girl child who is below the age of 10. However, as per the criteria, only two accounts can be opened in one family. And the minimum investment is Rs. 250 while maximum is 1,50,000 in one financial year respectively. Money can be withdrawn when the girls reach the age of 21 or get married after turning 18. Another benefit is that the contribution is exempted from income tax under section 80C, and the interest earned and maturity amount are also tax free.
Mudra Bank Yojna
Announced on February 2015, in the Union Budget, this scheme was launched on April 8, 2015 with the aim to create business opportunity and curb unemployment from the nation. Under this scheme, small amount of loan will be provided to people to motivate them to start their own business. This will help the small business owners meet their capital expenses and operating costs. The interest rates on Mudra loan vary between 8.40% and 12.45%. Moreover, taking this loan is easy, as it is available without guarantee. Besides, there are no processing charges and the payment period is extendable up to five years.
Top Five Programmes Launched by Modi
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
The Central Government started Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna in 2015 with the objective to encourage youngsters to take up industry-relevant skill training which will be based on the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF). And it is believed that the skill training will cover 10 million youth during the period 2016 – 2020. This will help people get jobs in different vocations or start their own machinery business. Moreover, this training is free of cost i.e. the government will bear all the expenses.
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY)
Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojna was launched on July 1, 2015. The objective of this scheme was to provide proper irrigation facilities in the farms and convert the barren land into cultivable fields. Also, it is meant to minimise wastage of water and expedite implementation of water-saving technologies, which is indeed important for the bumper growth of crops. This project was intended to enhance the income of farmers.
Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY)
Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana was first dug out by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in February 2015 budget. But this scheme was formally launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 in Kolkata. Government has realised that accidents on Indian roads are frequent, but the underprivileged section of the society finds it difficult to opt for accidental insurance due to high premiums. Hence, this scheme was launched in order to address this problem and encourage people to go for insurance. At present, only 20 per cent Indians have any kind of insurance. People between the age group of 18 to 70 with valid bank accounts can get benefit through PMSBY. Under this insurance scheme, nominee of the victims (accidental death or full disability) will get Rs 2 lakhs, while an amount of Rs 1 lakh is available for partial disability.
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana (PMJJBY)
Launched in the year 2015, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana is another innovative step taken by the Central government to prosper the weaker section of the society. The objective of this scheme is to provide a renewable insurance scheme to offer life insurance coverage upto Rs 2 lakhs to all savings bank account holders on death due to any reason. This facility is available to people between the age group of 18 to 50, with valid bank accounts. All bank holders can fill the form and get this facility. Net-banking is also available for this service.
The annual premium of PMJJBY is just Rs 330 and another encouraging point is that GST is also exempted from this scheme. In case of sudden demise of the insured persons, their nominee will get Rs 2 lakhs. Under PMJJBY, the future of the poor and the low income group is financially safe if sudden tragedy occurs in the family.
One Rank One Pension Scheme (OROP)
In response to the long-standing demand of the armed forces personnel, OROP scheme was announced in July 2018, with retrospective effect from July 1, 2014. It envisaged uniform payment of pension to the Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement. Future enhancements in the rates of pension are to be automatically passed on to the past pensioners, and pension is to be re-fixed every 5 years. However, those taking voluntary retirement were kept out of its ambit, though all widows and war widows are covered.
Start-up India, Stand up India
The campaign ‘Start Up India, Stand Up India’ was first announced by Narendra Modi on August 15, 2015. The motive of the scheme is to extend tax benefits, patent fast tracking etc. to start-ups less than 10 years old, in order to create more and more employment opportunities and wealth. Another objective of this scheme is to enhance entrepreneurship among SC/ST sections and women. India is on the third spot in the world with 4200 registered start-up industries. The project is looking positive for the start-up industry in the country. Young entrepreneurs have the chance to expand their businesses easily, with help from DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)
On June 1, 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has introduced ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’ with the aim to provide affordable housing to the urban poor by the year 2022. Under PMAY, houses will be built using eco-friendly construction methods to benefit the urban poor in India. This scheme can be availed only by a family which comprise of husband, wife, unmarried sons or unmarried daughters. Also, the beneficiary family should not have pucca house in either of the family member’s name.
Atal Pension Yojana (APY)
Announced by the Government of India in the 2015-2016 budget, the objective behind the Atal Pension Yojana is to provide pension to people engaged in the unorganised sector, like maids, gardeners, delivery boys and so on. This scheme is regularised by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). Also, it is not a mandatory but a voluntary scheme for people employed in the unorganised sector.
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