Unlike any newly-formed governments, it is evident that the Modi government doesn’t believe in terminologies like ‘honeymoon period’ that refers to a rather relaxed way of governance in the initial months. Instead, it has hit the ground running right away, a characteristic of the Modi government even in its earlier avatar. Before deliberating on this issue, we present you snapshots of media reports in May 2014 and May 2019, that itself narrate a story of Modi’s model of governance.
The first decision of this government is for those who protect the nation. Thus, the BJP has shown its commitment on the issue of national security, something which the opposition parties in this election have treated as insignificant.
Modi Government 2.0 - The First Decision
In his first decision after assuming the power for the second term, PM Modi has approved an increase in scholarships given to widows and wards of deceased or ex-service personnel of armed and paramilitary forces from the National Defence Fund (NDF). For the first time, state police also come under the ambit of this scholarship. The details are here:
- The rates of scholarship have been increased from Rs. 2000 per month to Rs 2500 per month for boys and from Rs. 2250 per month to Rs 3000 per month for girls.
- The ambit of the Scholarship Scheme is extended to the wards of State Police officials who are/were martyred during terror/Naxal attacks. The quota of new scholarships for wards of state police officials will be 500 in a year.
Other Significant Decisions
The first Cabinet meeting on May 31, 2019 has evidently served the ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ slogan effectively. If scholarship related to the family of security forces has been addressed first, the promise BJP had given to the farmers in the manifesto was sought to be fulfilled without any delay. Beyond this, there are other decisions that strive to transform the lives of the people in the coming days. They are:
- As promised in the BJP manifesto, PM KISAN has been extended to benefit all farmers benefitting 14.5 crore farmers. To understand how the scheme works for the betterment of farmers, you may read our earlier piece Reaching Out to Farmers: Uniqueness of PM-KISAN in Terms of Scale and Sustainability. Besides, the promise of a scheme providing social security to small and marginal farmers has also been made good on.
- Similarly, BJP in its manifesto had promised a pension scheme to cover all the shop keepers. It has also been cleared in the first meeting of the Cabinet benefitting 3 crore people. The scheme will cover all shop keepers and traders who have a turnover below Rs 1.5 crore.
- BJP had promised an ambitious ‘Nal Se Jal’ in its manifesto which aims to provide piped water connections to every household in India by 2024. Without wasting any time in this direction, ‘Jal Shakti’ ministry has been formed merging the erstwhile Ministries of Water Resources and drinking water. Considering the fact that Modi government 1.0 has made its name for seamless delivery in housing, toilets, LPG cylinder and the electricity connection, the ‘Jal Shakti’ ministry seems to kindle great expectations at the very beginning itself.
Track Record and the Road Ahead
As pointed out earlier, in 2014 also, the Modi government took decisive steps from the first day of its office and the results are there for all to see. If we evaluate the first decision of Modi government back then, there are clear indications that its fight against black money has earned significant results though the Opposition as usual has tried to present a false picture. The fact is, Indian deposits in Swiss bank have come down; Swiss banks which are infamous for facilitating the deposit of ill gotten wealth, have already started the process of sharing the details with Indian government; shell companies have been closed in India and so on. So, there need not be any doubt about the ability to quickly implement things by the Modi government with regard to the decisions taken in the first Cabinet meeting post-announcement of Council of Ministers in 2019.
Rest assured that the news space will be abuzz with governance related developments in the days to come. Again, the 2014 track record makes way for such expectations. If you revisit the headlines of 2014 immediately after Modi 1.0 government was formed, these are the headlines you come across.
The Economic Times on May 30, 2014 had titled a report Modi prepares 10-point agenda for India’s turnaround. The Hindu reported on May 31, 2014, Modi abolishes Ministerial panels, explaining how it expedites the decision-making process and brings accountability.
Keeping the honest and time-bound work culture intact, Modi government 2.0 has set things in motion on the first day in office itself, which is a sign of great things to come for the country, as the journey goes forward.