Modi has done India more good than bad in first 20 months
The PM still has two-thirds of his tenure left to build upon the achievements of his government.
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As India celebrates its 67th Republic Day, January 26, 2016 coincides with the completion of one-third of the Narendra Modi government’s tenure at the Centre – it has completed 20 of the 60 months since it was sworn in on May 26, 2014. There have been several hits and some misses during this period, but the high point of the day the Modi government completed one-third of its tenure in office was French President Francois Hollande’s presence as the guest of honour at the Republic Day parade, symbolising the country’s quest for investment, Make in India and fight against terror.
India signed an intergovernmental agreement with France on January 25 to buy 36 Rafale combat jets valued at around Rs 60,000 crore. The two countries also signed a series of agreements on urban development and renewable energy projects. Hollande said France would also contribute to the development of three “smart cities” - Chandigarh, Nagpur and Pondicherry.
With both India and France facing the brunt of terror attacks, Modi and Hollande shared concerns over the menace and pledged that “together along with other countries will eliminate terror forces and terrorism”.
Even during US President Barack Obama’s visit to India on Republic Day last year, the two countries had stressed on “counter-terrorism cooperation”. Modi and Obama had agreed that there was a need for comprehensive global strategy and approach to combat terrorism. Besides, the two countries had also sealed the civil nuclear deal and agreed to strengthen defence and trade ties.
At the domestic front, during the past 20 months of the Modi government, if the so-called secular-liberal lobby exaggerated and extrapolated issues such as the Dadri lynching, Hyderabad University suicide, Award Wapsi, beef ban, church attacks to suit their design in view of the Delhi and Bihar Assembly elections, there have also been several initiatives of the current dispensation which deserve greater attention.
"Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat", "Beti Bachao Beti Padhao", Mudra mission, skill develpoment scheme, Digital India, smart cities mission, Make in India, Startup India, social security schemes like the Jan Dhan Yojana, doing away with interviews for central governments at Class III and IV levels, self attestation, crop insurance scheme and LED scheme are just some of them.
There have of course been some weak spots for the government such as its failure to contain price rise, unemployment, poor delivery of services, inability to fulfil the 2014 Lok Sabha promises on bringing back black money, implementing uniform civil code and abrogating Article 370.
The government has also failed to implement big ticket reforms like the Land Acquisition Bill and Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill. The government is as much responsible on this front as the Opposition, particularly the Congress. While the Congress stuck to its obstructionist attitude, the government was accused of arrogance and fell short of reaching out to them.
However, Modi still has two-thirds of his tenure left to build upon the achievements of his government, remove the weaknesses and overcome the challenges in order to repeat 2014 in 2019.