2018 was a unique year for India, as the Nation witnessed the emergence of a new trend. It is customary of politicians to make tall promises to citizens. However, this was the year, when promises made to the Nation and its people were fulfilled by the top leadership itself, thereby, inculcating a culture of accountability in the political office. Some of them include:
1. 2018 Saw a Growing Economy
- Doing Business has become easy in India: India made a quantum leap in the ease of doing business rankings. From 142 in 2014 to 100 in 2017 to 77 in 2018, it has been an exemplary trajectory, on the back of reforms like Goods and Services Tax (GST), single-window clearances of licenses, digitization of land records and efficient processes for getting electricity.
- India’s share in the World GDP has grown from 2.6% in 2014 to 3.1% in 2017.
- India became the world’s 6th largest economy and GDP growth rate touched 8.2% in the first quarter of 2018-19.
- For the first time ever in the last 20 years, India with 235 deals in its kitty (USD 38 billion) has received more foreign investment than China (USD 32 billion).
2. Every Poor Got Health Cover in the Year 2018 – Modi Care
- Ayushman Bharat, the public health game-changer is ensuring that Indian citizens are not financially crippled in the event of a health crisis. The health insurance scheme provides a cover of up to 5 lakh/family/year and covers 50 crore beneficiaries. This is the largest insurance program in the world.
- Mission Indradhanush: Over 3 crore children have been vaccinated.
- Pradhan Mantri Dialysis Program: Over 2.5 lakh people have availed services under this program.
3. We were vibrant, energetic and winning all the way in 2018
- Hima Das claimed a gold medal at the (International Association of Athletics Federations) IAAF World U20 Championship. She is the first Indian woman to win an athletics gold on this international stage.
- Mary Kom created history by winning a sixth gold medal in the 48kg category at the Women’s World Championships.
- In 2018 Commonwealth Games, India clocked a tally of 12 Gold, 5 Silver and 12 Bronze medals.
- PV Sindhu became the first Indian to win a World Tour Finals gold after defeating Nozomi Okuhara.
- Vinesh Phogat is the first female Indian wrestler to win an Asian Games gold medal.
- Asian Para Games 2018: It was indeed a matter of immense pride when India stood 9th at the Asian Para Games 2018. India clinched 72 medals, including 15 Gold, 24 silver and 33 bronze medals in Jakarta. India beat its own tally of 2014 of 33 medals, finishing the year at a new high.
4. Even the Last Home Village Lighted in 2018
With the help of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), even the last village in Manipur, named Leisang now has the access to electricity. In 2018, all the villages in India have been electrified, and a commitment that the Prime Minister made to all his fellow citizens has been successfully fulfilled.
5. 2018 Saw Women Empowerment in Action and Spirit
- Empowering kitchens through UJJWALA: One of the ways to empower women was to provide them with cleaner cooking fuel through Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). This scheme has had a multitude of positive spill overs, right from providing women with additional time at hand to reducing indoor air pollution, to making cooking a comfortable experience. More than 83 crore BPL LPG connections have been provided.
- Sex ratio at birth improved in 104 districts.
- Over 80 lakh pregnant women have been immunized under Mission Indradhanush.
- The Maternity Benefit Act amended in 2017, now allows for 26 weeks of paid maternity leave. This is amongst the longest in the world
6. Bank Credit is no More a Luxury
Access to the bank credit which has traditionally been a luxury reserved for the privileged was made available to common citizens of India under the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, of which 5 crore beneficiaries are first time entrepreneurs.
- More than 31 crore new bank accounts were opened and around 25 crore RuPay cards were issued during 2014-18. Low-interest rates and access to credit provided a fillip to the lives of Indians.
- The launch of India Post Payments Bank was a significant initiative to ensure financial inclusion meets its stated objective.
- By empowering 3 lakh postmen or “Grameen Dak Sevaks” with smart phones and digital devices, people in remote areas will also be able to transfer money, government benefits, bill payments and other services such as investment and insurance.
7. 2018 Saw More Youth Trained and Employed
We all are standing at a juncture that is dominated by ‘change’. There is a perceptible change in the mode of communication, change in social constructs (entry of women in the job market, education for the girl child, abolishment of Instant Triple Talaq etc.) and change in the world order.
- To promote research and innovation, over 30,000 students are engaged with 2,400 Atal Tinkering Labs.
- One of the ways promote affordable education is through an increase in digital awareness.
- 1.7 crore digital books are now available to the 30 lakh users registered with the National Digital Library of India.
- Over 3,444 audios, 698 e-books & 504 flip books available on e-pathshala portal and mobile applications.
- Launching SWAYAM, which is an integrated platform for online courses, using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and covering school to Post Graduate Level. There are 44 courses of NIOS offered on SWAYAM platform.
9. When the Wings of Development Touched Every Citizen
- Taking the vision of Late Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee forward, Narendra Modi led NDA Government has been able to increase rural connectivity from 56% in 2014 to 82% in 2018.
- More than 25 crore houses were built under the Prime Mantri Awas Yojana.
- Every senior citizen in India deserves a life of dignity; the Atal Pension Yojana, for unorganised sector workers, has more than 24 crore subscribers.
10. Making Space in Space
With every passing day, ISRO has set new benchmarks in India’s space program chapter in 2018. This year was one of the busiest years for ISRO.
- ISRO launched 31 satellitesin a single flight in January for six countries – Canada, Finland, France, Republic of Korea, UK and USA.
- ISRO launched India’s Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite (HySIS) and 30 international co-passenger satellites, making India’s space mission internationally competitive.
- The GSAT-29 was successfully launched with an aim to solve the communication barriers faced by Village Resource Centres (VRCs), which are responsible for providing space-based services to ISRO from rural areas. It is the heaviest satellite that has been launched from India till date.
There is always an element of excitement in looking back at the year gone by. The happiness of counting the successes, and learning from new ventures that did not pass through, coalesce together to form a collage that gives us the motivation and excitement to enter the New Year in a more optimistic way. Good Bye 2018, you were a year of delivering the Promised Governance, with many more to come in the year 2019.