100 Days of Modi Sarkar – Day 30
Modi sarkar completed one month in office today. There have been some hits and few misses, but it is incorrect to pass any sweeping judgment about government’s performance so soon. However, we are nowhere close to “minimum government maximum governance” promised by Narendra Modi as evident from the increasingly ugly UGC-DU spat.
Delhi witnessed high drama today with conflicting news coming in of the resignation of DU VC Dinesh Singh. Initially, DU sources said that VC has resigned and other top functionaries are likely to resign soon. But later it was clarified by VC Dinesh Singh’s lawyer that he hasn’t put down his papers. The bone of contention between DU and UGC is the abolition of controversial four-year programme (FYUP) at the undergraduate level. DU started the course last year and is unwilling to discontinue it despite largely negative feedback from students. UGC has advised DU to scrap the course claiming their permission was never taken.
But as usual there is a political twist to it. Many believe UGC is acting on behest of HRD Ministry run by Smriti Irani. Some reports suggest that UGC will also probe financial dealings made by DU VC. The question however is why UGC was silent for so long if it was aware about anomalies. This indicates a possible witch hunt against Dinesh Singh for not being in the same page with current regime. Meanwhile, in a late night development, UGC has sent another letter to DU to admit students under the 3-year programme. Reportedly, 57 out of 64 colleges have already agreed to comply with UGC’s suggestion. This drama may well end tomorrow.
DU authorities believe that UGC has no right to dictate terms to them as it is merely an advisory body. Supreme Court today refused to intervene in this issue asking the petitioner to file a case in the Delhi High Court. Congress and BJP true to their nature traded charges against each other. Congress called for scrapping FYUP which was started by their government in the first place. BJP alleged that DU VC is a fraud and a Congress loyalist. The future of nearly 2.7 lakh applicants continues to remain unclear amidst this mudslinging.
One of the chief complaints against Modi government has been its lack of communication. Many bitter pills have been imposed so far but their rationale hasn’t been explained properly to the common folks. Hence, apprehension has been raised from some quarters that Modi government may soon slip into “Manmohan” mode.
But it seems like government has finally woken up to this concern. Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar today said that they will start interacting lot more from next week onwards. According to Javadekar, ministers were initially busy understanding their duties and priorities. He also said that large numbers of volunteers are being recruited to answer public grievances posted in various social media. In order to communicate more with people, Modi has asked all ministers to start account in Facebook and Twitter.
Today, Modi held a marathon meeting with officials of four key ministries. Secretaries of industry, heavy industry, public enterprise and industrial policy and promotion gave detailed presentation to Modi about current state of manufacturing industry in the country. Manufacturing has suffered due to low growth in the last few years. Modi is looking to gather information before laying out a comprehensive roadmap to revive the sector.
Modi government had initially decided to hike train fare in order to cut loses. The “bitter pill” resulted in wide spread protest across the nation but perhaps the most vocal voices were heard from BJP, Shiv Sena leaders of Maharashtra. Assembly polls are due shortly and many believe this price hike is likely to have negative impact on NDA’s future. Ticket prices were hiked starkly in Mumbai’s local trains – the lifeline of the city. Now, the government has decided to partially roll back the ticket fare in local trains. According to revised notification, there will be no increase in second class suburban ticket fare upto 80 kms. Relief has also been provided to the monthly pass holders. This is seen as a move to placate the large middle-class section of the country which voted emphatically for NDA in the general elections.
Government is likely to continue in its path of fiscal prudence by slowly cutting down on subsidies. Oil Ministry is looking to increase price of LPG cylinder by Rs 5 and that of kerosene by Re 1. There is a proposal that such small increases may be engineered every month to “lessen” its impact on the public.
Government probably will also bite the bullet on hiking gas prices. However, prices may not be increased as steeply as it was earlier projected. The Modi sarkar is looking to tweak the formula given by Rangarajan committee to fix it at an acceptable $5.5-$6.8 dollars per unit. Another school of thought is that government should delay taking decision by forming another committee.
Sensex was in the green after four trading sessions, registering a gain of nearly 338 points. Nifty was also up by 87 points. Oil stocks registering some gains predominantly buoyed the market according to experts.
Indians in Iraq:
Situation continues to remain grim in Iraq currently facing violent sectarian battle. MEA today informed that they have evacuated 17 more Indians who were stranded in the battlefield. Government now has decided to open camps in major Iraqi cities to facilitate the safe return of those who are willing to come back. An advisory has been also issued urging Indians in Iraq to show caution.
Sushma Swaraj is travelling to Bangladesh tomorrow to formally kickstart Modi sarkar’s engagement with India’s eastern neighbour. Bangladesh continues to remain one of India’s trusted allies despite certain problems between the two countries.
The current regime of Sheikh Hasina is perceived to be close to Indian establishments. India will try to leverage this fact to keep Chinese interests away from Bangladesh. Talks are likely to be held about Teesta water treaty, land boundary agreement. Increase of trade between the two countries and closer coordination to fight terror groups are also going to be on the agenda.
The Modi sarkar is unwilling to privatise Air India but it is looking at different ways to nurse it back to health. Air India today formally joined the Star Alliance. The move is projected to increase its revenue by 5%. States may soon be urged to reduce ATF tax to give boost to the airlines currently suffering huge financial pressure.
Finally, a look at the key economic parameters as of today…
30 Days of Modi Sarkar
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6|
|Day 7||Day 8||Day 9||Day 10||Day 11||Day 12|
|Day 13||Day 14||Day 15||Day 16||Day 17||Day 18|
|Day 19||Day 20||Day 21||Day 22||Day 23||Day 24|
|Day 25||Day 26||Day 27||Day 28||Day 29||Day 30|