Each year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech on the rampart of the red fort creates some anticipation. Because the pattern has been that the PM comes with a specific goal or an announcement in his speech every year. But what is more noteworthy is that these promises were properly followed-up and they are delivered as promised. In some of his speeches, PM Modi did set more than one objective. However, we will take one prominent pledge he made in the Independence Day speech of each year and will see how far it has been delivered. Let’s start with his last year’s promise and travel back in order all the way to August 2014.
15th August 2019
Promise: Creation of Chief of Defence Staff
PM Modi: “Today we have decided that we will now have a Chief of Defence Staff- CDS and after formation of this post all the three forces will get effective leadership at the top level. The CDS System is a very important and compelling task in our dream to reform the strategic pace of Hindustan in the world.”
A little over 4 months after PM Modi made the historic announcement from the ramparts of the Red Fort, General Bipin Rawat took over as India’s first Chief of Defence Staff on 1st of January, 2020. The appointment of CDS has already showing its impact which we have documented in our article CDS General Bipin Rawat Hits the Ground Running
15th August 2018
Promise: Granting Permanent Commission in Army to Women Officers
PM Modi: Dear Countrymen, today I wish to share some wonderful news with my brave daughters. On this occasion, I declare with pride the grant of Permanent Commission for the appointment of women officers in Short Service Commission of Indian Armed Forces. The process will be transparent and similar to the selection process of male officers. This is a gift from my side from the ramparts of the Red Fort, to the daughters who are in uniformed services and have dedicated their lives to the nation.
On July 24, 2020 the Defence Ministry issued an order that specified that women short-service commission (SSC) officers will be granted Permanent Commission – if found eligible by a selection board – in Army Air Defence (AAD), Signals, Engineers, Army Aviation, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME), Army Service Corps (ASC), Army Ordnance Corps (AOC), and Intelligence Corps. They are already eligible for PC in the Judge and Advocate General (JAG) and Army Educational Corps (AEC) branches.
15th August 2017
Promise – Life of Dignity for Muslim women
PM Modi: “I heartily commend those sisters who have launched this movement, who have been fighting against the ‘Triple Talaq’ and I’m confident that the country will help them in this struggle. The country will help these mothers and sisters in securing this right.”
Despite much obstruction by the opposition parties, the Union government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was successful in getting the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019 passed. The government had introduced the bill on June 21, 2019. It was passed by Lok Sabha on July 25, 2019, and by Rajya Sabha on July 30, 2019, and got President’s assent on August 1, 2019.
15th August 2016
Promise – Health Insurance for the poor
PM Modi: “The Government will bear the treatment expenses of a poor family up to one lakh rupees.”
- Ayushman Bharat launched to provide comprehensive Health Coverage to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approx. 50 crore beneficiaries) upto Rs. 5 lakh per family per year for secondary and tertiary hospitalization.
- As on August 13, 2020 more than 1 crore people benefitted from the scheme. More than 12 crore e-cards have been issued and 22,796 hospitals empanelled.
15th August 2015
Promise: Electrify every village in 1,000 days
PM Modi: “I, therefore, announce the pledge of the ‘Team India’ of our 1.25 billion countrymen, from the Red Fort, that electricity would be made available to 18,500 villages within the next 1000 days, with the help of states and local bodies.
- 18,452 villages electrified 12 days before target date (completed on 29thApril, 2018).
- Moving forward, under Saubhagya scheme every willing household is getting electricity. Out of 2,63,03,084 households in October 2017, 2,62,84,350 households electrified which is 99.93% accomplishment.
15th August 2014
Promise: Jan Dhan accounts for all
PM Modi: “I wish to connect the poorest citizens of the country with the facility of bank accounts through ‘Pradhanmantri Jan-Dhan Yojana’.
- 40 crore beneficiaries banked so far
- During the Lockdown it came to give relief to crores of people as the government that announced that all account holders under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana would receive cash transfers of Rs 500 every month, for three months.
It is this illustrious pattern of specific promises which is followed by the delivery of that pledge makes everyone to look forward for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech every year.