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"Revisiting 2 years of Resilient Modi 2.0"

WebdeskMay 26, 2021, 04:11 PM IST

"Revisiting 2 years of Resilient Modi 2.0"

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clearly been, the most popular and powerful leader in post-independent India. As the Modi government completes two eventful years at the end of May 2021,it is time to take stock of some of the most pathbreaking measures. Socio-Political Measures: On the socio-political front, clearly, the historic step of abrogating Article 370 which came into effect in 1950 and Article 35-A, which came into effect in 1954, figure high on the list of achievements. What was Article 370? Article 370, was a 'temporary provision' that granted special, autonomous status to Jammu & Kashmir. Under Part XXI of the Constitution of India, which deals with "Temporary, Transitional and Special provisions", Jammu & Kashmir had been accorded special status. All the provisions of the Constitution which were applicable to other States were not applicable to J&K. According to this Article, except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communications, Parliament needed the J&K government's concurrence for applying all other laws. Thus J&K's residents lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights, as compared to other Indians. As a result of this provision, Indian citizens from other States could not even purchase land or property in Jammu & Kashmir. However,after Kashmir's special status gone, vide a Presidential order and a historic decision on the floor of the Parliament on August 5,2019,people from anywhere in India can now buy the property and permanently settle in the State. A separate Union Territory was created for Jammu & Kashmir and the Ladakh region was also given the status of a Union Territory, without legislature.In a masterstroke, the Modi government, by revoking Article 370 and Article 35-A, mainstreamed Jammu,Kashmir and Ladakh, with the rest of India, as Article 370, was always discriminatory in more ways than one.With it's revocation,the ball was set rolling for the return of Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to flee their homes in 1990,in one of the most horrific genocides in 1990. The declaration of instant triple talaq as illegal and unconstitutional,was yet another landmark move,to ensure gender parity and the right to a dignified life to Muslim women.Rajiv Gandhi,in 1986,denied a Muslim woman,Shah Bano,the right to a paltry monthly maintenance,by passing the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act . The Act was passed by the Rajiv Gandhi government to nullify and dilute the secular judgement of the Supreme Court,in 1985.In sharp contrast,the Modi government,by ensuring that instant triple talaq was made a punishable offence, did,what no Prime Minister before Modi had done.While the Congress treated Muslims and Muslim women only as "vote banks",the Modi government ensured that an inhuman practice,driven by gender discrimination was eradicated. Women Centric Measures: On August 15, 2020,in keeping with his women centric governance model,PM Narendra Modi pointed out that now women have an opportunity to have permanent employment in the Indian Army and Indian Navy, something that was unthinkable earlier. He added, “Whenever women got an opportunity, they made India proud and further strengthened it. The country is now determined to provide equal opportunities of self-employment and employment to women. Now, women are also working in coal mines. Our daughters are scaling heights by flying fighter planes". But if there was one thing that stirred the imagination of 1.38 billion people,more than anything else,it was Prime Minister Modi's unabashed acknowledgement from the ramparts of the Red Fort,of how over 7700 Jan Aushadhi Kendras had provided over 6 crore sanitary pads at Re 1, to poor women in rural India. Despite all the bombast of how 21st century women,both in India and across the globe,are ready to take on the world, having broken every conceivable glass ceiling,the harsh reality is that, even in the most educated, elite,modern and seemingly civilised societies, menstruation is often,a topic that is taboo.It should not be,but it has come to become a source of embarrassment, with men squirming at the very mention of the word "menstruation",not only in traditional,dogmatic societies but even in supposedly progressive ones,both at home and abroad. Hence,for Modi,an international leader of towering repute,to openly embrace and mainstream the issue of women hygiene,is not mere symbolism.By doing what he did,Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent a strong message,that for him, good governance is all about walking the talk,tackling the issue at hand, head-on,with no "ifs" and "buts" whatsoever and doing what needs to be done, without the fear of opprobrium. Modi_1 H x W: From defining the nation's first menstrual hygiene protocol, amending the Medical Termination Pregnancy Act of 1971,giving women reproductive rights over their bodies and increasing the foetal gestation period from 20 to 24 weeks, welcoming more women recruits in the NCC,which will now be extended to border and coastal areas, to criminalising the inhuman and unconstitutional practice of instant triple talaq and, setting up a committee to explore an increase in marriageable age from 18 to 21 years for women,the Modi government has truly exhibited a bold,women friendly approach which is both mature and modern,and something,which no other government in post Independent India can dare boast of. Banning commercial surrogacy which had led to mushrooming of illegal IVF and surrogacy clinics, was yet another bold move by the Modi government. According to the new laws, only married Indian couples, who have been together for a minimum of five years and have been deemed medically unfit by a doctor or practitioner to conceive children naturally,will be allowed to depend on a surrogate. The move now makes it difficult for people to run a 'rent a womb' business and exploit women in the economically weaker sections,who were earlier, often left in the dark about their rights. Foreign Policy Highlights: One of the big achievements of Prime Minister,Narendra Modi,in the last two years,has been on the foreign policy front.For instance,while the Quad was initiated in 2007,it stayed dormant and was revived only in 2017.However,it was only on March 12, 2021,that the first, serious,leader level,Quad summit was held.The focus area of Quad is maritime security; the Quad leaders spoke of the need for a free and open Indo-Pacific. The expansion of the Malabar exercise, a regular military drill India and the US conduct, to include the Quad could be seen as a big sign that India will benefit militarily. With the US prepared to increase deployment in the Indo-Pacific region, the expanded Malabar exercise will send out a signal to China that the Quad is serious about its China containment strategy. While India has traditionally been against militarisation of the Quad, it may soften its stance in the wake of continued Chinese policy of expansionism and aggression,that neither India nor like minded nations,have taken kindly to. One of the other big achievements of the Modi government was, forcing China to undertake a syncronized and organised disengagement,starting February 2021,post the Galwan stand-off. Both sides decided to remove the forward deployment in a phased, coordinated and verified manner. China pulled back its troops on the north bank towards the east of Finger 8. Similarly, India positioned its forces back to its permanent base at the Dhan Singh Thapa post,near West of Finger 3. Both sides agreed that the area between Finger 3 and Finger 8 will become a no-patrolling zone temporarily, till both sides reach an agreement through military and diplomatic discussions,to restore patrolling. While under an incompetent Nehru,India was forced to cede 38,000 square kilometre of Aksai Chin,under Modi,India forced China to disengage,without ceding an inch of territory. Be it the surgical strike in 2016 or the Balakot strike in 2019,or for that matter the Galwan disengagement,strongman Narendra Modi's foreign policy has always been driven by the "India First" approach. The fact that over 40 countries and global bodies like the WHO and the United Nations came out in strong support of India,in its big fight against the Covid pandemic, is a glowing testimony to Modi's diplomatic prowess and how the world now treats India as a powerful and equal stakeholder, in the global sweepstakes. The Invincible Modi Factor (Elections): The moot question then is,what about the "Modi Factor"? The charisma, respect, ground-connect with the electorate,popularity and indomitable capacity for relentless hard work,are factors that make Prime Minister Narendra Modi,a leader who is in a league of his own.PM Modi,the tallest leader in post independent India,has no competition. To even try and create a false equivalence between the indefatigable,Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee,a fascist,rabble rouser,limited to Bengal,is doing a great disservice to even the basic understanding of Indian polity. The Congress has ceased to matter,after a string of debilitating defeats,with Rahul Gandhi turning into a vacuous paper tiger on Twitter,whom no one takes seriously.The Left,barring in Kerala,has been wiped out. Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav never had any national stature to start with and both these Parties were almost reduced to nothingness in the Uttar Pradesh (UP) assembly polls in 2017,with SP winning only 47 seats compared to the massive 312 that the BJP won.Even in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls,while the BJP secured 62 seats from UP,Congress was reduced to 1 seat, Samajwadi Party,merely 5 seats and Mayawati's BSP,to 10 seats. Modi 3_1 H x W The "Khan Market Gang",has tried to resurrect the political fortunes of many failed regional satraps in a bid to checkmate the Modi aura,but these efforts repeatedly came to nought. Winning Bihar in 2020, despite a 15 year anti-incumbency,winning Assam for the second time in a row in 2021,with a thumping majority,raising BJP's tally by 2467% from 3 to 77 seats in Bengal,forming the government in Puducherry,winning 483 of the 576 seats in local body polls in Gujarat with a 84% strike rate,raising tally in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls by 4x from 4 to 48 seats,winning the erstwhile,impregnable bastions like Dubbaka in Telangana and Pandharpur in Maharashtra,are a reflection of PM Modi's unmatched,winnability quotient. Modinomics (Farm Reforms): On the economic front,the Modi government passed the historic Farm laws in September 2020,to empower India's farm community. These laws had been pending for fourteen long years since 2006,based on recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission and National Commission of Farmers.It needs to be mentioned here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's agrarian reforms have been sweeping,far reaching and inclusive. Over 6 crore farmers are taking benefit of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana,(PMFBY) paying a meagre premium of just between 1.5-2.5%. To cut to the chase, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, famously said, "Mind is never a problem; Mindset is". Well, it is time for India's hapless opposition and pressure groups to wake up, smell the coffee and change their mindset, because the agri-reforms by the Modi government are pro farmers and the Farm Bills are indeed ,India's "Glasnost" moment,as these reforms will usher in greater transparency,in India's farm economy.For the Modi government, "Jai Jawan,Jai Kisan", is not a mere slogan.The journey of the "Bharatiya Kisan" from being the "Annadata",to also becoming the "Urjadata",is at the core of Modinomics. What has the Modi government done for uplifting the well being of India's farm community?The Modi government has been transferring cash directly to farmers, as is evident from the Rs 6000 per year that is paid to over 14 crore farmers, under the PM Kisan scheme. Over Rs 1.35 lakh crore,has been paid via PM-KISAN, since it's inception,in December 2018.What has the Modi government done for agrarian infrastructure? Talking of infrastructure, the Modi government launched a new Agriculture Infrastructure Fund worth Rs 1 lakh crore, meant for setting up storage and processing facilities, which will help farmers get higher prices for their crops. The government launched the "Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana" – a flagship scheme for focussed development of fisheries sector in the country,with an estimated investment of Rs 20,050 crore during a period of next five years.The Modi government also launched a Rs 15,000 crore Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund with an interest subsidy scheme to promote investment by private players and MSMEs in dairy, meat processing and animal feed plants, a move which is expected to create 35 lakh jobs.So the government has been working at strengthening farm infrastructure. This, along with the new Farm Laws (in abeyance temporarily), will boost productivity of the agrarian sector to areas beyond just growing traditional crops like paddy or wheat. The Farm Laws also allow for contract farming, whereby farmers can enter into contracts, at a pre-determined price, even before the crop has been harvested, with private companies, aggregators, food processors and exporters. This is an unprecedented reform, as it allows farmers to lock in a good price for their harvest and insulates them from any post-harvest, product-related or price volatility.The formation of 10,000 Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs),is on track. These FPOs are largely clusters or groups of farmers who are brought together so that credit and other assistance can be extended to them. There are already about 5000 FPOs in India,of which only a handful are private. More than 3900 FPOs are affiliated to NABARD or small farmers' agri-business consortium (SFAC).Hence allegations of corporatisation and blanket privatisation of Indian agriculture,are baseless. From just 255 million tonnes in 2012-13,under an inept Congress regime,to 285 million tonnes in 2018-19 and 296 million tonnes in 2019-20,is a vindication of how India's self sufficiency, with exportable surplus in the foodgrain space,has added to India's economic heft.Besides agriculture,a bright spot has been the foreign portfolio investments (FPI) amidst the pandemic,with December 2020 recording the single highest-ever monthly inflow from FPIs at Rs 62,016 crore,surpassing the previous high of Rs 60,358 crore recorded in November 2020. The year 2020 also recorded the highest-ever yearly net inflow of FPIs into equities, at over Rs 1.70 lakh crore. Do note that the huge surge of FPI money,is a vote of confidence from international investors,in the Modi government's structural reforms. Labour Reforms: The new Labour Code specifically mandates the equality of women employees, who can now be engaged in all types of work in all businesses. The law says no business can employ a woman for six weeks following the delivery of a child, miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy.Then, in a pathbreaking provision, this Code mandates businesses to provide separate toilets and locker rooms for male, women and transgender workers.The fact that this law specifies safety standards that have to be followed by different sectors and mandates the number of hours that employees can be made to work,is hugely empowering for workers.The new Social Security Code will replace nine Social Security laws, including Employees’ Provident Fund Act, Employees’ Pension Scheme, Employees’ Compensation Act and Maternity Benefit Act, among others. This Code brings workers in the unorganised sector as well as freelance workers, who are sometimes called gig or platform workers, into the ambit of social security coverage and mandates companies such as Uber, Ola, Zomato and others, to set aside 1-2% of their annual turnover in a social security fund, to be administered by the Government of India, for their workers.It also extends social security cover for agricultural workers for the first time and eases the conditions for payment of gratuity to employees, including those on fixed term contracts.All employees will now have an offer letter and both the Centre and the state will create a database on migrant workers and offer them several benefits including the portability of the public distribution system and construction cess benefits. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s groundbreaking Labour laws have been envisaged by recognising the changes in the global scenario in a post-Covid world. The new Labour Code seeks to transform India and rid it of outdated technologies and methodologies. The reduction in compliance burden would also facilitate the expansion of establishments, helping to create jobs on a large-scale,across a plethora of segments and sectors, giving Prime Minister Modi’s transformational ‘Make in India’,a huge boost. Banking: You can put lipstick on a Pig, but it does not become a princess. Dressing up a loan and showing it as restructured and not provisioning for it when it stops paying,was simply postponing the bad debt issue Unfortunately,evergreening of loans,which was rampant during the Congress led UPA regime, happened when banks gave a new loan to a borrower on the verge of default,near the repayment date of an existing/old loan, to facilitate repayment of the old loan. Such transactions went undetected as banks were not required to disclose them, unlike restructurings that warrant disclosures.The decision on forbearance or allowing temporary suspension on loan repayments resulted in an increase in lending to unproductive firms, popularly referred to as “zombies”. The share of new loans to such “zombies” increased from 5% in FY08, to 27% in FY14,thanks to rampant transgressions by bankers,under successive Congress dispensations. However,the Modi government decided to bite the bullet, reclassifying restructured standard advances as non-performing,due to asset quality review (AQR).The brilliant turnaround of Yes Bank in 2019-20 will remain as an ode to how an efficient Modi government,with zero tolerance for corruption,engineered one of the most successful resurrections in banking history in recent times. Growth Vs Fiscal Deficit: Is higher fiscal deficit bad?No,certainly not,under the current circumstances! In order to overcome economic challenges arising from the worst global pandemic in over a 100 years and in the face of revenue shortfalls,most major economies and central banks infused money by way of fiscal stimulus,so a higher deficit is only natural.Clearly,it was a Hobson's choice for the Modi government,between growth and fiscal prudence.It has chosen growth and rightfully so,because a rising tide can lift all boats.Higher GDP can take care of higher deficit,eventually.Also,between FY15 and FY19,the Modi government did a stellar job in reining in fiscal deficit at sub 4%,with primary deficit (fiscal deficit minus interest payments) falling to as low as 0.3% in FY18! Aatmanirbhar Bharat: The Modi government announced a stimulus of Rs 2.65 lakh crore under Aatmanirbhar Bharat 3.0, taking the total stimulus since the onset of Covid, to Rs 29.88 lakh crore, which was akin to almost a massive 15% of GDP. The government’s contribution to the stimulus was 9%, with the remaining 6% came from the RBI. It is true that the Rs 1.46 lakh crore expenditure in the form of production-linked incentives (PLIs) to ten new sectors will be over five years. That said, there is no denying the fact that Aatmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 will have a multiplier impact on consumption, especially across stressed sectors, accelerate economic recovery and incentivise job creation through a virtuous cycle. Despite Covid second wave,most global rating agencies and the IMF,are predicting between a 9.3% and 11.5% GDP growth for India,in FY22,amongst the highest worldwide.No other leader could have,or would have done what Narendra Modi did,in terms of unleashing some of the most historic reforms,during the pandemic,to shape a new India,better equipped to deal with a post Covid global order. Comparisons are most often odious, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outstanding handling of the Covid-19 crisis and resultant challenges have one defining message,which is,focus,calibrate and move forward without over-indulgence. The plan for a self-reliant India, or “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, aims to focus on land, labour, liquidity and laws. Similarly, PM Modi’s “Vocal for Local” is not about import substitution or exclusion;it is about being self-sustaining and self-generating, but without the trappings of an outdated Nehruvian model, that was steeped in isolationism. Garib Kalyan: The Rs 1.93 lakh crore allocated for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP), Rs 11.03 lakh crore allocated towards the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan 1.0, Rs 82,911 crore for the PMGKP Anna Yojana (which was extended till November 2020) and Rs 12.71 lakh crore infused via RBI measures, announced till 31 October 2020, not only injected liquidity into money markets, but also increased purchasing power via direct benefit transfer (DBT), improved cash flows by recalibrating EMIs and provided access to cheap credit for MSMEs, migrants and farmers. Since jobs have been at the forefront of every recent debate, the Modi government decided to provide subsidy for two years in view of the newly eligible employees engaged on or after 1 October 2020 under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar scheme, at an additional cost Rs 6,000 crore. The overall allocation under this scheme is Rs 36,000 crore.. The Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana will be operational until 30 June 2021. Besides, under the stimulus package, an additional Rs 10,000 crore have been set aside for the PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana in the current financial year. It is to be noted that this scheme is in progress in 116 Indian districts and Rs 37,543 crore have already been spent. Employment: Moreover, Rs 73,504 crore has already been released by the Modi government for rural jobs under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), leading to the creation of 251 crore man-days of employment. Rs 65,000 crore support for agriculture, in the form of fertiliser subsidy, Rs 18,000 under PM Awaas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U), that will help 12 lakh houses to be grounded and 18 lakh houses to be completed, besides generating 78 lakh jobs, are all indicative of the Modi government›s commitment to empower weaker sections. In 2016-17, the fertilizer consumption was 499 lakh metric tonnes, which is slated to rise to 673 lakh metric tonnes in 2020-21, showcasing how the rural growth story under Prime Minister Modi has had a big head start. Infrastructure: Again, Rs 10,200 crore for industrial infrastructure and domestic defence equipment, Rs 10,000 crore towards rural employment and Rs 6,000 crore for equity infusion in national infrastructure investment fund (NIIF)'s debt platform have been significant steps. NIIF's debt platform has a loan book of Rs 8,000 crores and a deal pipeline of Rs 10,000 crore. NIIF and its investors/affiliates will raise debt of Rs 95,000 crore from the market and will provide infra project financing of over Rs. 1.10 lakh crore by the year 2025. NIIF funds have already invested in downstream funds and companies to the tune of Rs 19,676 crore, showcasing how infrastructure development is a continued focus area for the Modi government. Additionally, replacing earnest money deposit (EMD) with bid security declaration (BSR) and relaxing performance security fees on contracts, to 3% from 5-10%, should hasten project completion. Exports: A Rs 3,000 crore boost for project exports under the IDEAS scheme and Rs 900 crore as R&D grant for Covid Suraksha and vaccine development are the other defining features of Aatmanirbhar Bharat 3.0. Exim Bank has extended lines of credit (LOC) to provide assistance to developing countries under IDEAS, which promotes Indian exports by mandating recipient countries to import at least 75% value of the LOC. MSMEs have always been a focus area for the Modi government and the emergency credit line guarantee scheme (ECLGS),worth Rs 3 lakh crore, proves this. ECLGS, for supporting stressed sectors, by giving collateral-free loans with a tenor of five years, including a one-year moratorium on principal repayment, is a clear example of how a targeted and calibrated approach is paying rich dividends. The eligible entities under this scheme are MSMEs, business enterprises, individual loans for business purposes and MUDRA borrowers. Housing: To fuel demand in the residential housing sector, the Modi government has raised the differential from 10% to 20% (under section 43CA of Income Tax Act) for the period from the date of the announcement to 30 June 2021 in the case of primary sale of residential units of value up to Rs 2 crore. A consequential relief up to 20% shall also be allowed to buyers of these units under Section 56(2)(x) of IT Act for the said period. Focus on real estate sector is also evident from SWAMIH scheme, where 135 projects with an outlay of Rs 13,200 crore, have already been approved. This will result in the completion of 87,000 stuck houses. Mega Covid Vaccination Drive: Every sixth person in the world is an Indian.Also,India,has a high population density of 455 persons per square kilometre.In the given circumstances, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to vaccinate everyone from 18 years onward,is not only an extraordinarily bold move but completely do-able too.The adult population in India is 940 million.To vaccinate the entire adult population requires 1880 million doses,assuming two doses per person. To vaccinate entire adult population in the next 6 months, requires vaccine production of 220 million doses,per month. SII,in the next couple of months,will scale up production to 100-120 million doses per month,while Bharat Biotech will scale up production to 70-100 million doses,monthly.Zydus Cadila, Dr.Reddy's,which will produce Sputnik-V,production of vaccines by by Biological-E, the Johnson& Jhonson drug,Bharat Biotech's Nasal spray,SII's Novavax and production by Gennova Biopharma, will ensure that India,between August and December 2021,will have anywhere between 216-300 crore doses per month,which will be enough to not only vaccinate India's entire adult population,but leave India with a big surplus too,even after assuming a 5% wastage rate. India,Better than Global Peers: Though Health is a State subject,by May 22,2021,the Modi government had provided over 32 crore vaccines,free of cost to States,with over 19 crore people,vaccinated.India has the fastest vaccination rate,ahead of USA and China and the lowest mortality Covid fatality rate at just 1.1%. India has a population that is four times larger than USA and yet US has reported,more than double the number of deaths that India has.Even today,bodies of those who died due to the Corona virus in the US in 2020,are still lying in refrigerated trucks,as the US has run out of mortuaries,crematoriums and burial places.In Italy,which supposedly boasted of the best health infrastructure,till the pandemic struck,the government actually threw in the towel and encouraged and allowed senior citizens to take their own lives as Italy ran out of ICU beds. Again,Brazil and Uttar Pradesh (UP) have almost the same population size.Yet,while Brazil has reported more than 4.5 lakh deaths due to the Coronavirus,UP has reined in that number at less than 20,000,despite the fact that Brazil has a population density of only 25 persons per square kilometre,versus 828 persons,in the case of UP. Successful Varanasi Model Vs Failed Congress: In India,Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done a phenomenal job,with the Command and Control (CAC),Varanasi model,being a huge success story.While India's electorally puny opposition has done absolutely nothing apart from blaming the PM,it is the Modi government which has done all the heavy lifting.The Congress ruled India for sixty years and could not even provide 47,000 ventilators.In just 14 months,the Modi government provided 60,000 ventilators to States. Despite ruling for 10 years between 2004-2014,the Congress under Manmohan Singh,could set up only one AIIMS.In sharp contrast,in just the last 7 years,the Modi government has set up 15 AIIMs and the number of medical seats too has gone up by 70%,from 52,000 in 2014,to 88,250,now.Hence the Congress and it's paid brigade of jaded acolytes, journalists and "Durbaaris", have no political or moral authority whatsoever to wax eloquent about India's health infrastructure.While the Nehru-Gandhi parivaar and their family retainers left India's healthcare in a shambolic state,it is PM Modi who has been steadfastly putting the system back on track,with over Rs 2.3 lakh crore dedicated to health spending in 2021-22, alone. Modi's Indefatigable War Against Covid: On a daily basis, over 9200 MT of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) is delivered to States.The production of Remdesivir has been upped from just 1 lakh vials a day,to over 3.5 lakh vials a day and the price of Remdesivir,slashed by anywhere between 50-80%. When the pandemic struck,India had only 2 testing laboratories but today we have,over 3000.In March 2020,we were importers of PPE kits but today,we are the world's second largest producer of PPE kits. While the Modi government is waging an incessant war against the pandemic,parties like the AAP and its narcissistic leader,Arvind Kejriwal,had the audacity to completely abdicate all responsibility,for which he was castigated by the Delhi High Court,no less.The yearly advertisement budget of the AAP is Rs 822 crore,good enough to vaccinate one crore people for free,in Delhi. But governance has always been an anathema to Kejriwal. Speaking of vaccines,Bharat Biotech's homegrown Covaxin,made alongwith ICMR,is a tribute to India's stellar Make in India, initiative. Hence,while Rahul Gandhi did nothing for the people of his constituency in Wayanad,besides trolling the Modi government on Twitter and Sonia Gandhi did zilch for the people of Rae Bareli,it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi,who has been toiling hard 24/7,to ensure India's war against Covid,is taken to its logical conclusion. The good news for Indians and India lovers is the fact that,Prime Minister Narendra Modi ran the world's biggest food security program amidst a full fledged lockdown in 2020,where-in every month,for 9 months in a row,810 million people,including daily wage earners and migrant workers, were given free food grains.Basically,every month,for 9 months at a stretch,India fed a population that was almost 2.5 times,the size of the US. In 2021,in yet another ambitious turn of events,India is in the midst of the largest and most ambitious vaccination drive,ever,in mankind. Given his past track record of seamlessly translating vision into reality,PM Narendra Modi is set to deliver,yet again!Don't forget,India is a massive country with a population that is equal to the population of 196 countries. Solely due to the courage of conviction of Prime Minister Modi,despite being a country that is widely spread out geographically,India has in the shortest time span vaccinated over 190 million people,despite the opposition promoting "vaccine hesitancy". And yes,190 million is more than half the population of America! Conclusion: In the movie, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", there is a quote which goes: “Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones that we miss.” Well, the last two years of the Modi government have been extraordinary,for the sheer number of opportunities that were seized to create new milestones. India trumped France in 2019 to become the sixth largest and then surpassed the United Kingdom in early 2020, to become the world’s fifth largest economy. In the next one year,despite the pandemic, India is slated to reclaim it's the pride of place as one of the world's fastest growing economies,thanks to the incredible and extraordinary work being done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi . “When the world is in crisis, we must pledge—a pledge which is bigger than the crisis itself. We must strive to make the 21st century India’s century. And the path to do that is self-reliance”—this powerful quote by PM Modi,sums up the ethos of Modinomics in more ways than one. The writer is an Economist, National Spokesperson of the BJP and the Bestselling Author of ‘Truth & Dare: The Modi Dynamic’.

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