'Modi's vision and determination is yielding positive results': Mahendra Nath Pandey

With the right leadership and policies, anything is possible, he says

1010436670 Power on: Beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana in Delhi | Getty Images
Mahendra Nath Pandey Mahendra Nath Pandey

India today is a leading global power with a strong economy, diverse culture, and technological advancements that have made it a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. The country has been able to achieve significant progress in the last nine years with a focus on economic reforms, infrastructure development and social welfare programmes that have improved the standard of living for millions of people. The government has focused on strengthening national security, implementing structural reforms, supporting women-led development, fostering entrepreneurship, serving the poor and marginalised, ensuring farmer welfare, providing inclusive healthcare, facilitating the middle class, improving infrastructure, promoting Indian civilisation heritage and developing every corner of the country. India has shown significant progress in areas of renewable energy, ease of living, digitalisation, space exploration, electrification, sanitation, social justice, financial inclusion and digital connectivity, which was once considered unimaginable in the past. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision and determination to bring positive change to India are commendable and his efforts are already yielding positive results.

Under the inspiring guidance of Prime Minister Modi, India has emerged as a shining example of a nation committed to progress, development and prosperity. Prime Minister Modi's government has made significant strides in foreign policy, forging strong relationships with key countries and international organisations. India has emerged as a key player in the global arena with Prime Minister Modi’s assertive foreign policy approach and his emphasis on India’s strategic interests. With the world looking towards India for solutions, the country has the potential to lead the way in shaping the future of the world. The efforts of the people and the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Modi have brought India to the forefront of global affairs and there is no doubt that the country will continue to march ahead towards even greater heights of success and prosperity. The G20 presidency is a testament to India's growing influence on the world stage. As a responsible global leader, India is committed to promoting peace and stability in the region and beyond. With its rich cultural heritage and diverse population, India has a lot to offer the world. As it continues to make strides towards progress and development, India is poised to become a major player in shaping the future of our world.

Our government has linked India's development goals with the aspirations of its people, and we are committed to creating an Atmanirbhar Bharat that is capable of fulfilling the needs of its citizens while also empowering them to become active participants in the country's growth story. Since taking office in 2014, Prime Minister Modi has launched several initiatives to build a robust economy that is resilient to external shocks and is self-reliant in critical sectors such as defence, technology and healthcare. His policies have led to significant improvements in areas such as infrastructure, education and access to basic amenities for millions of Indians. The construction of 11.5 crore toilets under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the provision of electricity to 2.6 crore households under the Saubhagya Yojana, 17.9 crore people's healthcare coverage by Ayushman Bharat, the construction of over 2.3 crore houses with the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, and 9.1 crore LPG connections provided through the Ujjwala Yojana are some of the key initiatives taken by the Modi government to improve the standard of living and uplift the socio-economic status of its citizens, especially those belonging to marginalised communities. The Ayushman Bharat Scheme has ensured free cancer screening for 31 crore Indians. This is not just a figure; it shows our steps towards becoming a healthy nation along with a developed nation. The government has also implemented a range of measures aimed at improving the lives of farmers and boosting agricultural productivity, including increasing access to credit, providing subsidies for inputs and introducing crop insurance schemes.

The government has also placed an emphasis on infrastructure development. The government has launched several ambitious projects, such as the Bharatmala Pariyojana, which aims to build a network of highways connecting the length and breadth of the country. The Sagarmala project, which aims to develop India's ports and coastal areas, is another important initiative. The government has also made significant investments in the railways, with the aim of modernising the country's rail network and improving connectivity. Infrastructure is being developed at an unprecedented pace under the Modi government. Over 38 kilometres of highways and five kilometres of rail lines are being built every day, making India's infrastructure one of the fastest-growing in the world. These initiatives have already had a significant impact on the lives of millions of Indians, especially those living in rural areas.

In these nine years, India has moved from women's empowerment to women-led empowerment. In rural villages, where women once had limited opportunities, they are now leading changes in the economy and society. Women entrepreneurs are starting businesses with Mudra Scheme loans, contributing to family income and creating jobs. Out of the crores of people who were given Mudra loans, about 70 per cent of the beneficiaries are women. The distribution of Ujjwala Yojana LPG connections has also eased the burden on women who previously spent hours collecting firewood for cooking, freeing up time for education or work. In rural areas, women are running self-help groups that address issues such as sanitation, health and education. In the past few years, the enrolment of women in engineering, science and technology streams has increased to 43 per cent. Prime Minister Modi's initiatives have played a significant role in empowering women in India and bringing them to the forefront of the country's progress. Be it in medicine, sports, business, or politics, women are breaking barriers and proving their mettle in every field. With the support of government schemes and initiatives, the future looks bright for women in India and they are poised to lead the country to even greater heights.

With a focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development, the government is taking steps to promote domestic manufacturing, enhance digital infrastructure, and encourage the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, all of which are crucial for achieving our vision of a self-reliant India. The scheme for the enhancement of competitiveness in the capital goods sector has played a significant role in boosting the domestic production of capital goods in India by providing financial assistance to universities that conduct research and development, technological upgrades, and skill development in this sector. The scheme sanctioned Rs. 583.312 crore for 33 projects between 2014 and 2020. This includes the establishment of eight centres of excellence, 15 common engineering facilities, six virtual technology innovation platforms (TIPs), four industry 4.0 enablement centres, the acquisition of five critical technologies from abroad, and the establishment of an integrated machine tools park in Karnataka.

The government's efforts to promote domestic manufacturing will not only create job opportunities, but also reduce our dependence on imports, making India a self-sufficient nation. To further enhance India's manufacturing capabilities for Advanced Automotive Technology (AAT) products and create a competitive ACC battery in the country, the government has launched two production-linked incentive schemes, which aim to establish a world-class ecosystem of research and development, manufacturing, and recycling of advanced batteries in India. This will not only reduce our dependence on imports, but also position India as a global hub for advanced battery technology.

As the nation continues to progress towards becoming a developed nation, the integration of new digital technology and Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing sector will play a crucial role in shaping the future of India's economy. The government's initiative to set up centres in association with CII, FICCI, EEPC, Samarth Udyog Industry 4.0 Centres and other affiliated organisations is a step towards creating awareness about Industry 4.0 and its potential benefits. The adoption of advanced technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) will increase efficiency, productivity and competitiveness in both domestic and international markets. Furthermore, Industry 4.0 will create new job opportunities that require advanced skills in technology and data analysis. The government's initiatives, such as the Digital India campaign, Make in India and Skill India are paving the way for a tech-driven and sustainable economy. India has the potential to become a global manufacturing and technology hub, and the government is committed to making this a reality.

India is also progressing to fulfill Prime Minister Modi's commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2070, which will contribute to global efforts to combat climate change. The government is investing heavily in renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power with the aim of reducing India's dependence on fossil fuels. By 2047, the centenary year of the country's independence, India will get nine per cent of its total electricity from nuclear sources. The country has set a target of achieving 20GW of nuclear power capacity by 2030. After achieving this target, India will become the third-largest producer of nuclear energy in the world after the US and France. These initiatives not only promote sustainable development but also create opportunities for businesses and investors in the renewable energy sector. With India's growing population and economy, these initiatives are crucial for ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come. Under the supervision of the ministry of heavy industries, BHEL has developed Advanced Ultra SuperCritical (AUSC) technology in collaboration with NTPC and IGCAR for 800MW power plants, one of the most efficient technologies for coal-fired power plants. The targeted efficiency is around 46 per cent, with 11 per cent less coal consumption and a lower CO2 emission level as compared to supercritical plants. As India continues to grow economically and in population, it is crucial to prioritise sustainable energy solutions to ensure a brighter future for generations to come.

Additionally, Prime Minister Modi has focused on implementing sustainable transportation initiatives that will benefit future generations and ensure a cleaner and greener India. The FAME India Scheme is a prime example of this, as it not only promotes the adoption of electric vehicles but also supports the development of charging infrastructure. This scheme provides incentives for both manufacturers and buyers of electric vehicles, as well as for the development of charging infrastructure. The government has also set a target of achieving 30 per cent electric vehicle penetration by 2030. In fact, in 2022–2023, electric vehicles are expected to account for around 5 per cent of total automotive sales. With the government's focus on sustainable development, we can expect a brighter future for India, where economic growth is not at the cost of the environment.

Despite facing challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic and tensions with neighbouring countries, India has emerged stronger and more resilient. Instead of being deterred by these obstacles, India has registered its name in the global fight against Covid-19 by providing essential medical supplies to more than 150 countries. The country has also developed its own vaccine, Covaxin, which has been approved for emergency use. India's successful handling of the pandemic has not only earned it international recognition, but also boosted its economy. India has adapted to the new normal, demonstrating its ability to overcome adversity and continue on a path of growth and development. In addition to these achievements, the Modi government has also taken significant steps towards ensuring the security and well-being of its citizens. The government has implemented various measures to combat terrorism and strengthen national security. Following the vision of Prime Minister Modi, India has also started manufacturing fifth-generation fighter jets. India is working on developing a fifth-generation medium-weight fighter jet with advanced features to significantly enhance its air capability.

Prime Minister Modi has turned the administration into a proactive and innovative force working for the people of India. The government has abolished more than 2,000 rules and laws in the last nine years for ease of governance and business that were causing inconvenience to the citizens. Unlike previous governments, Prime Minister Modi showed courage and conviction to implement bold and necessary reforms for the betterment of the country. His bold reforms and emphasis on peace and development have brought new hope to regions like the northeast and Kashmir, and many old disputes have been resolved amicably.

The government's efforts to streamline governance and digitise government services reflect Prime Minister Modi's innovative and proactive approach to improving the country. To help the elderly, the government has simplified the process of receiving a pension by converting most of the work online and minimising the human interface to ensure transparency, accountability, and citizen participation. The GST concession on purchasing a car for physically disabled people has also been digitised to make the process smoother and more accessible. These efforts demonstrate Prime Minister Modi's commitment to serving all citizens, including the elderly and disabled and making their lives easier. The government's focus on simplifying procedures and reducing bureaucracy, coupled with innovative and proactive reforms, has brought new hope and progress to the country.

The effect of the development plans and resolutions of the Modi government is visible throughout the country. India has emerged as a strong and capable nation that is poised for even greater achievements in the years to come. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, every corner of India is now witnessing the transformative changes brought about by the Modi government. With the country's economic growth on the rise, new job opportunities being created, and initiatives being taken to improve the lives of every citizen, it is clear that the future of India is bright. Today, the people of the country are active in building 'Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat', matching step by step with Prime Minister Modi. With the support and participation of its citizens, India is moving on the path of progress with the mantra 'Sabka-Saath, Sabka-Vikas, Sabka-Vishwas'. This is a testament to the power of collective effort, determination, and visionary leadership. The people of India have shown that with the right leadership and policies, anything is possible. All this is a testament to the prime minister's vision for a modern and prosperous India and his dedication to bringing about positive change for all citizens. While there may still be challenges and obstacles to overcome, the government's bold and innovative approach to governance has set the country on a path towards a brighter future. With continued focus and dedication, India can continue to make strides towards progress and prosperity under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.

Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union minister for heavy industries