When Narendra Modi stormed into power in 2014 by winning Lok Sabha election with a massive mandate, he delivered a strong message: “We are not here for any positions but for a responsibility”. Though some may say that the Modi Sarkar has failed to deliver on what it has promised, there are few things that are hard to ignore even by his strongest critics and opponents: like his style of governing has resulted in more foreign direct investment, improved global relations, removal of bottle-necks for doing business, corruption free governance, direct subsidy payments, coal and telecom auctions, and much more. In the wake of recent spate of events, including the rising intolerance debate and the Opposition calling the Centre an all talks and no action government, take a look at below examples that show how Modi’s ministers are fairing:
Piyush Goyal, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Power, Coal, New, and Renewable Energy
He recently launched the Grameen Vidyutikaran Android app, which lets anyone track the progress in the field of rural electrification in India through a real-time dashboard.
The dashboard of the app
The dashboard presents the total number of un-electrified villages, and details the status of the un-electrified villages and the work in progress – whether they’ve been surveyed, or if work has yet to start. Can you imagine a minister saying hold us accountable?
Smriti Irani, Human Resource Development minister
In line with the Modi government’s Digital India initiative, the HRD minister has launched a number of mobile apps and web-based platforms allowing students to access study material online, and parents to keep a track of the performance and attendance of their children. She has also launched initiatives like website ‘E-pathshala’ and Saransh.
General (Retd) V K Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs
Like a true soldier, the minister successfully led a rescue operation for the evacuation of stranded Indians in Yemen.
“I salute General V.K. Singh. Can you imagine? Bombardment is going on in Yemen 24-hours; everybody is out to kill each other and we, after talking to so many countries, manage to stop this mayhem for two hours to evacuate as many Indians as possible. It is not a small task,” PM Modi had said.
India’s successful evacuation of its citizens from war-torn Yemen also received global accolades.
Following it, around 26 countries including the US, France, Germany, Egypt, Singapore, Iraq and Lebanon, sought the Indian government’s assistance in the rescue efforts.
There were also reports that suggest Mr Singh was in Indonesia right before the arrest of Chhota Rajan. If reports are to be believed, he has played a role in the arrest.
Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs
She played a key role in bringing back Geeta, the deaf-mute Indian woman living in Pakistan after accidentally crossing the border over a decade ago, to India.
On August 22, a 33-year-old Indian aspiring air hostess, who travelled to the UAE to fulfill her dream but was allegedly held captive by traffickers, was rescued after Sushma Swaraj intervened following her brother’s desperate tweet to the External Affairs Minister. Swaraj tweeted back promising to intervene. “I have asked our ambassador in the UAE to help. He will speak to you and do the needful,” she said in her tweet.
Likewise, Agratha Dinakaran, who was in Berlin, Germany, tweeted that she had lost her passport and money, and the Indian embassy was closed. Within a few hours, Dinakaran received a direct tweet from Sushma Swaraj’s official twitter handle asking her for her phone number and assured her that the Indian embassy in Berlin will be contacting her.
A similar incident happened, when a woman in Yemen tweeted out a picture of her baby, asking for evacuation. Sushma Swaraj replied to her personally, ensuring evacuation. Sabah Shawesh safely made home and thanked Swaraj on Twitter.
Modi has also lauded Sushma Swaraj saying that the Ministry of External Affairs had never before worked like it was doing under her leadership. “If somebody (in distress) tweets to her at 1am., she replies by 1.10am. The embassy concerned is alerted within no time. Has anybody ever seen India’s External Affairs Ministry work like this?” he asked.
Manohar Parrikar, Defence Minister
During his tenure, the government on paper has cleared around 40 new defence acquisition proposals, worth over Rs 1 lakh crore. This much-needed accelerated decision making process will ensure that the modernisation drive of armed forces remain on the track.
As a defence minister, he has also revived several long-pending mega projects, which were virtually stuck in files during A K Antony’s eight years at the helm in the defence ministry. The government is also expected to come out soon with a “simplified and time-bound” defence procurement procedure (DPP). The DPP is the master manual of capital defence procurements in India. The latest version, the 351-page DPP 2013, has for the first time listed buying from within the country as priority.
Parrikar has said that ‘Make in India’ “is a very important aspect of the current government’s policy, and the one department where it can be a success is the defence industry.” The defence minister has also assured the country that India will take “pro-active” steps to prevent a 26/11 type attack hatched from foreign soil.
Suresh Prabhu, Railway Minister
The minister has promised to bring all contracts on e-tendering platform by the end of this year, or earliest, in the early part of next year. “Since I took over as Railway Minister, we have upgraded the website of IRCTC, launched paperless ticketing, allowed hygienic and cheaper water at stations, allowed private caterers in running trains, (undertaken) cleaning of toilets and railway premises, mechanised washing of linen, (initiated) changing the internal design of coaches, expanded the railway network, etc,” the minister had said.
He has also said that all budgetary announcements made in the Railway Budget this year have been fulfilled.