This page will describe and link to various documents and websites relevant to our mission. Items may be moved from current activities and activism pages to archives. Photo records of our events will also find a place here.

Resources for businesses to track:

McKinsey & Company, Insights& Publications, India

June 21, 2015

Consulate-General helps organize International Day of Yoga event in Atlanta

Nearly 40 different organizations and all ethnicities and ages were represented among the 950 people who showed up at the Heritage Park, Sandy Springs, Atlanta, for a three hour Yoga program on Sunday, June 21. The incoming Indian Consul General Nagesh Singh launched the program with special remarks from Mr. Rusty Paul, Mayor of Sandy Springs.

Gallery of pictures


April 17, 2015

Nikkei Asian Review article on new developments in the Indian Defence Industry

Interesting discussion of some of the past challenges, and the large changes and opportunities that are developing. Mckinsey Report mentioned there is:

Brajesh Chibber and Rajat Dhawan, "A Bright Future for India's Defense Industry" McKinsey on Government, Spring 2013, p. 44-55.


March 24, 2016: Supreme Court of India strikes down Article 66(1) of the Information Technology Act, cites US precedents.

"119. In conclusion, we may summarise what has been held by us above: Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 is struck down in its entirety being violative of Article 19(1)(a) and not saved under Article 19(2).

Section 69A and the Information Technology (Procedure & Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009 are constitutionally valid.

Section 79 is valid subject to Section 79(3)(b) being read down to mean that an intermediary upon receiving actual knowledge from a court order or on being notified by the appropriate government or its agency that unlawful acts relatable to Article 19(2) are going to be committed then fails to expeditiously remove or disable access to such material.

Similarly, the Information Technology "Intermediary Guidelines" Rules, 2011 are valid subject to Rule 3 sub-rule (4) being read down in the same manner as indicated in the judgment.

Section 118(d) of the Kerala Police Act is struck down being violative of Article 19(1)(a) and not saved by Article 19(2)."


March 21, 2015: Rs 1,500 crore insurance pool to indemnify Nuclear Reactor suppliers

"MEA sources said both global and domestic reactor suppliers were happy with the detailed paper that the ministry launched in February on the functioning of the liability law. The prospective suppliers are also understood to have expressed satisfaction with subsequent action by the government to expedite the process of setting up of reactors. The government has made it clear that the liability law will not be amended, but has suggested the Indian Nuclear Insurance Pool as a mechanism transfer risk of companies."

March 21, 2015: KAladhan (Black Money)Bill sets 90% penalty, 3-10 years prison, starting April 2016

The Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets (Imposition of Tax) Bill, 2015:

  1. Non-disclosure of income or an asset located outside India:3x normal tax rate of 30%
  2. Failure to furnish return re: foreign income or assets: penalty of Rs 10 lakh
  3. Wilful attempt to evade tax: rigorous imprisonment from 3-10 years + fine
  4. Failure to furnish a return re: foreign assets, bank accounts or income: rigorous imprisonment for 6 mo to 7 years.
  5. Abetment or inducement to make a false return or a false account or statement or declaration: rigorous imprisonment from 6 mo to 7 years.

Mach 17, 2015: Indian Govt cancels licenses of elusive/defunct NGOs

"Exercising Section 14 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act 2010, the central government cancelled certificate of registration of 1,142 NGOs that include 510 organisations to whom notices were sent but returned undelivered and 632 NGOs from whom no reply has been received to the notices within the stipulated period".

March 12: India signs Infrastructure Development agreements with Mauritius, Seychelles

March 12: Budget 2015: Arun Jaitley proposes universal social security system, pension schemes

Jan Dhan Yojana, under which over 12.5 crore bank accounts have been opened in the past nine months. utilise the vast postal network with nearly 154,000 points of presence spread across the villages of the country to reach out to the intended beneficiaries.

Proposed Universal Social Security System for all Indians that will ensure that no Indian citizen will have to worry about illness, accidents or penury in old age.

Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana will be covered for an accidental death risk of Rs 2 lakh for a premium of just Rs 12 per year that will be debited from their bank account under the PMJDY.

Atal Pension Yojana, which will provide a defined pension, depending on the contribution and its period, the government will contribute 50% of the beneficiaries' premium limited to Rs 1,000 each year, for five years, in the new accounts opened before December 31, 2015

Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, will provide a cover of rs 2 lakh against both natural and accidental death, at a premium of Rs 330 per year, or less than one rupee per day, for people in the 18-50 age group.

"The government plans to use technology to the extent possible to reach out to the beneficiaries, thereby plugging leakages in the system. The JAM (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and mobile) number trinity will allow government to transfer benefits in a leakage-proof, well-targeted and cashless manner," said DK Pant of India Ratings.

March 11, 2015:Body Blow To Cement Cartels: Govt decided to build concrete cement roads in place of traditional bitumen roadsRoad transport minister Nitin Gadkari: "After taking consent of the manufacturers we have put the list (of 36 companies that have committed to the prices) on a dedicated website, which any company or government agency can access to book their orders. Since the factories are spread all over the country, they can make the best choice. As per the contract, manufacturers can only reduce the price and increase their commitment to supply more cement,"

March 2015: "$6 billion a year in tax revenue.. encourage forest conservation. That’s more results-based finance for forest conservation than any other country in the world, including the current biggest spender Norway."

March 2015: Unsigned comment: "a property broker dealing in high end real estate admitted that prices in many prime areas of Delhi had started falling as there wasn't enough corruption money for politicians and bureaucrats floating around any more. "

March 2015: DIGILOCKER: Government provides secure filing of documents via Aadhar Card

"Dedicated personal storage space, linked to each resident’s Aadhaar number. DigiLocker can be used to securely store e-documents as well as store Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) link of e-documents issued by various issuer departments. The e-Sign facility provided as part of DigiLocker system can be used to digitally sign e-documents...Minimize use of physical documents, provide authenticity & secure access to Govt. issued documents. Reduce administrative overhead, make it easy for the residents to receive services"

March 11, 2015:Tax benefits for daughters' education fund, effective February 2, 2015"Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme is a small deposit scheme for girl child, as part of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign, which would fetch yearly interest rate of 9.1 per cent and provide income tax deduction Under section 80C of the Income Tax Act,1961.Depositor is an individual, on behalf of a minor girl child of whom he or she is the guardian. "

Note: A comment, March 2015: "This scheme is a run away hit, all forms in post office for this account are always sold out."

March 5, 2015: Prices of 509 Essential Drugs Reduced

"National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has fixed the ceiling price of 509 essential medicines which led to a reduction in rates by above 40 per cent in case of 127 drugs. NPPA has already fixed the ceiling price in respect of 509 essential medicines out of 680 medicines (628 net medicines) contained in the Schedule-1 of DPCO 2013," Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said in the Lok Sabha."

March 5, 2015: Mispricing exports, imports may land you in jail for 7 years

"a clause in the Feb 28 Budget will make certain offences that have thus far been covered by the Customs Act punishable by the more stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as well. The aim is to curb the flow of black money to and from tax havens using legitimate trade channels by inflating export or import value."

March 3: Indian Railways launches country's first customer complaint mobile app.

Comment: Govt tries out crowd-sourcing of governance improvement.

February 2015: McKinsey report on "Private Equity in India: Once overestimated, now underserved" Vivek Pandit,


February 25, 2015: Tourism up with Visa On Arrival. A total of 25,023 tourists arrived in India in January this year using the VoA enabled ETA scheme as against 1903 in the same month last year, registering a growth of 1214.9 per cent growth, according to tourism ministry data.


"On board housekeeping service (OBHS) is provided to facilitate cleaning of coaches during run of train itself. The OBHS includes scheduled cleaning of coaches twice in a day and unscheduled cleaning at any time on demand of passenger. Passengers may demand cleaning staff by entering PNR in the form given above. Passengers may also send their requests as SMS to 58888 by typing CLEAN < Space >< 10-digit PNR number >. The software named OBSERVE (On Board Services) will forward the request to mobile phone of the cleaner present in the particular train directly. The Railway Administration will also simultaneously receive an intimation of such requests for follow up."

February 24, 2015: "Strengthen our federal polity and promote cooperative federalism: Record increase in devolution of resources to states. Govt. accepts recommendation of 14th Finance Commission."there is a shift from scheme-and-grant based support from the Central Government to a devolution based support. Hence, the devolution of 42% of divisible resources. Therefore, as per the 14th FC, all State Plan Revenue expenditure has to be met from the resources being devolved to states. .. we continue with some support to topmost areas of national priority such as poverty elimination, MNREGA, education, health, rural development, agriculture and a few other areas.. we are moving away from rigid centralised planning, forcing a ‘One size fits all’ approach on states. Government has decided to devolve maximum money to states and allow the required freedom to plan the course of states’ development. The additional 10% of resources being devolved will give you this freedom. When you are flush with resources, I would like you to have a fresh look at some of the erstwhile schemes and programmes supported by the centre."

February 23: Bank employees to get 15% increase in salary Applicable to nearly 10 lakh employees in public sector banks, old generation private sector banks and some foreign banks.

Comment: See below regarding major increase in expectations arising from the bank accounts opened for hundreds of millions of Indians.

February 21: Crackdown on corporate espionage. Major sting operation uproots corruption spanning top government offices, press credential-bearers and corporate suites. Govt. and corporates executives, journalists face charges.

Comment: "I can speak of at least the economic ministries, and I've heard this about defence too — ministers and top bureaucrats don't ask for anything when you go to meet them. There isn't even a hint of any expectation of an under-the-table quid pro quo," a prominent businessman told this paper. "There's no longer a sense that it'll cost you to get a favourable hearing in government. Many of the senior ministers, starting from the finance minister, are people of integrity," another top industrialist told TOI, before adding with a laugh, "And some who might be tempted to stray from the straight and narrow are **** scared of the Prime Minister.

February 20, 2015: Rs 28,000 crore for new rail projects in northeast

Economic development, transportation infrastructure, tourism development, digital connectivity , and "We have decided to set up six new agriculture colleges in this area. The NE region states could be the capital of organic agriculture in the country", (Pm Modi) said.

February 19, 2015: Soil Health Card to check use of chemical fertilizers

"targets over 14 crore farmers in the next 3 years to check excess use of fertilisers. (PM) Modi asked farmers to take care of soil. The card, to be issued after testing soil, would help them save up to Rs 50,000 in 3 acres of land.

"Bottom-up Approach:First, the state will prepare a policy on agriculture, later the Centre will come up with a policy after discussing with states. This initiative has already started ..distribute the cards to 3 crore farmers this FY... Short cuts like MSP and subsidy were used to provide relief to farmers but now we will through this scheme not only bring down production cost but also increase quality production as well as profit,". Calling for soil testing to be made a regular feature, the Prime Minister said a new class of entrepreneurs could set up soil testing labs even in small towns.

Note: A comment, Feb. 2015: This is from the BJP election Manifesto of 2014: 'Introduce soil assessment based crop planning and setting up mobile soil testing labs'.

January 2015: Venkatesan, R. "Confronting Corruption". Commentary, McKinsey Quarterly, January 2015

Interesting real-life scenarios and discussion on the ethics and consequences, worldwide.


December 2014 e-SamikSha: A new digital monitor for bureaucracy to rein in slackers

Developed by the cabinet secretariat with technical support from the National Informatics Centre (NIC), "allows sarkar's top bosses a real-time clear view of intra and inter-departmental file movements and gives them the power to intervene when a babu is taking it too easy. if, say, a joint secretary is sitting on a file on a big infrastructure project that's a PMO priority, this system will allow the prime minister to intervene digitally and ask the officer concerned to explain the delay or expedite decision-making. And worse — the PM's interventions appear in bright red on the officer's screen. The cabinet secretary's interventions also appear in red. Warnings from other bosses such as department secretaries or state government chief secretaries appear in other colours. the moment a job is assigned to a department, text messages and email alerts go to all officers responsible for delivery and their top bosses. A unique identity number is also automatically generated for each task. This number allows easy digital tracking of a project's progress. From then on, every electronic file movement can be monitored at the click of a mouse by the sarkar's big guns and the system allows a boss to retrieve the file's journey at any point of time. Therefore, e-SamikSha is both a project monitoring system as well as an audit trail of the bureaucracy's efficiency. Over 400 initiatives, projects and action points are already being digitally monitored through e-SamikSha."

November 21, 2014

PM Modi reflects on his visit to Myanmar, Fiji and Australia

"I attended five Summits including the one with leaders of Pacific Islands that I hosted in Fiji and met 38 world leaders. The number of full bilateral meetings I had stands at 20. Infact, I had the opportunity to meet leaders from every part of the world!These meetings were frank, comprehensive and fruitful. We covered substantial ground on several issues. I met a wide range of business leaders as well. During these bilateral meetings, I noticed one thing- that the world is looking at India with renewed respect and immense enthusiasm! I see a global community that is tremendously keen to engage with India. With every leader, we discussed how we could make our relations more extensive, diverse and wide-ranging.Strengthening trade and commerce and drawing industry to Indiawas a central part of the discussion....

I am extremely grateful to President Thein Sein, Prime Minister Abbott and Prime Minister Bainimarama the leaders of the three nations who hosted me. .. With President Thein Sein my talks were centered around the 3Cs of culture, commerce and connectivity. Prime Minister Abbott and I made unprecedented progress in the areas of energy, culture, and security and are moving very positively on the issue of nuclear energy. The Framework for Security Cooperation is a fitting recognition of the increasing security ties with Australia. There will be a ‘Make in India’ roadshow next year to invite Australia companies to India. During my meeting with Australian business leaders, I could see their willingness and eagerness to invest in India and such a roadshow will surely be very valuable in this context. On a personal note, the affection from the Indian community was touching. Be it in Myanmar, Australia and Fiji, I will not be able to describe their warmth in words. In their eyes too, I could see that they were proud of India and of the changes happening in India. I could see dreams and expectations in their eyes. As I said during the Indian community programme in Sydney, we are fully aware of the expectations and we will leave no stone unturned in creating the India of their dreams. There was immense glee on the faces of our diaspora when I announced the visa-on-arrival facilities and the OCI and PIO merger in Australia and Fiji. It is our aim to make the diaspora an integral part of our development journey and since the last few months we have channelized our efforts in this regard. We want to create an environment where our diaspora also feel that they can contribute towards India’s development. That is also the reason I urged NRIs to keep sharing their views and thoughts on"

September 28, 2014:

10 takeaways from the prime minister's UN speech:

1. India stands for multilateralism, always. India's ancient wisdom sees the world as one family. ('Vasudha Eva Kutumbakam').

2. India desires a peaceful and stable environment for its development. A nation's destiny is linked to its neighbourhood. That is why my government has placed the highest priority on advancing friendship and cooperation with her neighbours. This includes Pakistan. I am prepared to engage in a serious bilateral dialogue with Pakistan in a peaceful atmosphere without the shadow of terrorism to promote our friendship and cooperation. However, Pakistan must also take its responsibility seriously to create an appropriate environment. Raising issues in this forum is not the way to make progress towards resolving issues between our two countries. Instead, today, we should be thinking about the victims of floods in Jammu and Kashmir. In India, we have organised massive flood relief operations and have also offered assistance for Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

3. Terrorism and conflicts.. tensions and conflicts abound; An integrating Asia Pacific region is still concerned about maritime security; Europe faces risk of new division. In West Asia, extremism and fault lines are growing. Our own region continues to face the destabilising threat of terrorism. Africa faces rising terrorism and a health crisis. Terrorism is taking a new shape and a new name. No country, big or small, in the north or the south, east or west, is free from its threat. Welcome efforts to combat terrorism's resurgence in West Asia - should involve the support of all countries in the region.

4. Not G1, but G-All: While we speak of an inter-dependent world. Today, we still operate in various Gs with different numbers. India, too, is involved in several. But, how much are we able to work together as G1 or G-All? On the one side, we say that our destinies are inter-linked, on the other hand we still think in terms of zero sum game.

5. No to unilateralism: Work for genuine peace, No one country or group of countries can determine the course of this world. There has to be a genuine international partnership. We need a genuine dialogue and engagement between countries.

6. UN reforms: Must reform the United Nations, including the Security Council, and make it more democratic and participative. Institutions that reflect the imperatives of the 20th century won't be effective in the 21st... I urge you to adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

7. Globalisation to fight poverty Globalisation has created new poles of growth; new industries; and new source of employment. At the same time, billions live on the edge of poverty and want; countries that are barely able to survive a global economic storm. There has never been a time when it has seemed more possible than now to change this. Technology has made things possible; the cost of providing it has reduced. We no longer are totally dependent on bricks and mortars. Development and empowerment can spread with the same speed as FaceBook and Twitter..

8. Focus on removing poverty When we think of the scale of want in the world -- 2.5 billion people without access to basic sanitation; 1.3 billion people without access to electricity; or 1.1 billion people without access to drinking water, we need a more comprehensive and concerted direct international action. In India, the most important aspects of my development agenda are precisely to focus on these issues. The eradication of poverty must remain at the core of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and command our fullest attention.

9. Three beliefs One, we should be honest in shouldering our responsibilities in meeting the challenges. The world had agreed on a beautiful balance of collective action -- common but differentiated responsibilities. That should form the basis of continued action. This also means that the developed countries must fulfill their commitments for funding and technology transfer. Second, national action is imperative. Technology has made many things possible. We need imagination and commitment. India is prepared to share its technology and capabilities, just as we have announced a free satellite for the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries. Third, we need to change our lifestyles. Energy not consumed is the cleanest energy. We can achieve the same level of development, prosperity and well being without necessarily going down the path of reckless consumption. It doesn't mean that economies will suffer; it will mean that our economies will take on a different character. For us in India, respect for nature is an integral part of spiritualism. We treat nature's bounties as sacred.

10. Yoga is the invaluable gift of India Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day.


September 24, 2014: India's MangalYaan spacecraft enters Mars orbit. First nation to reach Mars orbit on the first mission.

The successful entry of this craft into Mars orbit speaks to the superlative project management, process and quality control that ISRO employs.

From Alan Boyle, NBC News: A Shining Symbol': India's Mars Orbiter Mission Goes Into Orbit:

The car-sized probe .. is also known as MOM or Mangalyaan (Hindi for "Mars-Craft"). It executed its 24-minute engine burn successfully, the Indian Space Research Organization reported. Mission controllers in Bangalore applauded the news — which came on a delayed basis because MOM had to emerge from Mars' far side and send the confirming signals across nearly 140 million miles (225 million kilometers) at the speed of light. MOM blasted off from India's Satish Dhawan Space Center in November 2013, The (NASA Maven and ISRO MangalYaan) orbiters should have a great view when Comet Siding Spring passes within 82,000 miles (132,000 kilometers) of Mars on Oct. 19. At one time, scientists wondered whether the comet would actually hit the planet, but now mission managers say there's little risk of damage to any of the spacecraft at Mars. Instead, the probes will safely study the effect that cometary debris has on the planet's atmosphere. "



August 28, 2014: 15 Million Bank Accounts Opened in a Day

"The Jan Dhan Yojana, the massive financial inclusion drive, aims to open 7.5 crore bank accounts and provide banking facility to the vast segment of the population which still remains cut off from the financial system. Under the scheme, a person opening an account will get a Rupay debit card, a Rs 1 lakh accident insurance policy as well as a Rs 30,000 life insurance cover. The facility of an overdraft would be added to the accounts after keeping a watch on the credit history and operation of the accounts for six months. The government had to defer the facility as banks had expressed concern over the move."

"Cabinet ministers and chief ministers fanned out across the country on Thursday to launch the programme simultaneously from 600 locations. More than 77,000 camps were set up by banks to open accounts and finance minister Arun Jaitley announced that the government will achieve the target of opening 7.5 crore accounts before January 26, 2015, well ahead of the earlier schedule of August 15, 2015."

"Ahead of the launch, the PM had reached out to 7.25 lakh bank employees urging them to help reach the target of 7.5 crore bank accounts, and bring freedom from financial untouchability. Lauding the efforts of those behind the launch, the PM said the day was a festival to celebrate the liberation of the poor from a poisonous cycle of exorbitant interest rates."

"The PM said the nationwide success of the enrolment drive on Thursday would give confidence not just to the officials of the finance ministry and the banking sector, but also to those across the government, that they can achieve goals they set for themselves. "Never before would insurance companies have issued 1.5 crore accident insurance policies in a single day. Never before in economic history would 1.5 crore bank accounts have been opened on a single day," Modi said."

August 15, 2014: Full Text of Shri Modi's 1st Independence Day Speech

This is the English translation of his speech given in Hindi, from India Today:

My dear countrymen, Today, all Indians in the country and abroad are celebrating the festival of Independence. On this day of sacred festival of independence, the prime servant of India extends greetings to all dear countrymen. I am present amidst you not as the Prime Minister, but as the Prime Servant.

The freedom struggle was fought for so many years, so many generations laid down their lives, innumerable people sacrificed their lives and youth, spent their entire lives behind bars. Today, I pay my respects, greetings and homage to all those who laid their lives for the country`s independence. I also pay my respects to the crores of citizens of this country on the pious occasion of India's independence, and recall all those martyrs who had laid down their lives in India's struggle for freedom.

The day of Independence is a festival when we take a solemn pledge of working for the welfare of mother India, and also for the welfare of the poor, oppressed (Dalits), the exploited & the backward people of our country. My dear countrymen, a national festival is an occasion to refine and rebuild the national character. This National festival inspires us to resolve ourselves to lead a life where our character gets refined further, to dedicate ourselves to the nation and our every activity is linked to the interest of the nation and only then this festival of freedom can be a festival of inspiration to take India to newer heights.

My dear countrymen, this nation has neither been built by political leaders nor by rulers nor by governments. This nation has been built by our farmers, our workers, our mothers and sisters, our youth. The country has reached here today because of generation-to-generation rigours undertaken by our sages, our saints, our maestros, our teachers, our scientists and social workers. These great people and these great generations, who had worked for the country throughout their lives, deserve our deepest respect.

This is the beauty of India's Constitution, this is its capability which has made it possible that today a boy from small town, a poor family has got the opportunity to pay homage to the Tricolour of India at the ramparts of Lal Quila (Red Fort). This is the strength of India's democracy. This is an invaluable legacy which we have inherited from our architects of the Constitution. I pay my respects to those architects of the constitution of India today.

Brothers and sisters, today if we have reached here after independence, it is because of the contribution of all the Prime Ministers, all the governments and even the governments of all the States. I want to express my feelings of respect and gratitude to all those previous governments and ex-Prime Ministers who have endeavoured to take our present day India to such heights and who have added to the country's glory. This country has been built on such foundation of ancient cultural heritage, where we were told of only one mantra during Vedic period, which is indicative of our work culture, which we have learnt, we have memorized -

"Sangachchhdhvam Samvadadhvam sam wo manansi jaanataam."

We walk together, we move together, we think together, we resolve together and together we take this country forward.

Having imbibed this basic mantra, 125 crore countrymen have taken the nation forward.

Just yesterday the first Parliamentary Session of the new government concluded. Today, I can proudly say that the session of Parliament reflects our thinking and it is a reflection of our intentions.

We are not for moving forward on the basis of majority, we are not interested to move forward by virtue of majority. We want to move ahead on the basis of strong consensus. "Sangachhadhwam" and, therefore, the nation has witnessed the entire session of Parliament. Having taken all the Parties and Opposition along while working shoulder to shoulder, we achieved an unprecedented success and the credit for this does not go to the Prime Minister alone. The credit does not go to the people sitting in the government, the credit for this goes to the Opposition also. The credit goes to all the leaders of Opposition too and also all the Members from Opposition.

From the ramparts of Red Fort, quite proudly I salute all the Members of Parliament. I also salute all the political parties and by virtue of their strong support, we could take some important decisions intended to take the nation forward and yesterday the Session of Parliament concluded.

Brothers and sisters, I am an outsider for Delhi; I am not a native of Delhi. I have no idea about the administration and working of this place. I have been quite isolated from the elite class of this place but during the last two months while being an outsider, I had an insider view and I was astonished. It is not a political platform, rather it is a platform of a national policy and, therefore, my views should not be evaluated from a political perspective. I have already said, I salute all the ex-Prime Ministers and earlier governments who have brought the country thus far. But I am going to say something else and it may not be seen from political point of view.

When I came to Delhi and noticed an insider view, I felt what it was and I was surprised to see it. It seemed as if dozens of separate governments are running at the same time in one main government. It appeared that everyone has its own fiefdom. I could observe disunity and conflict among them. One department is taking on the other department and taking on to the extent that two departments of the same government are fighting against each other by approaching Supreme Court. This disunity, this conflict among people of the same country!

How come we can take the country forward? And that is why I have started making efforts for razing those walls; I have started making efforts at making the government, not an assembled entity, but an organic unity, an organic entity, a harmonious whole- with one aim, one mind, one direction, one energy.

Let us resolve to steer the country to one destination. We have it in us to move in that direction. A few days back.., and nowadays, newspapers are full of news that Modi-ji's government has come, officers are reaching office on time, offices open in time, and people get there in time. I observed that India's national newspapers, TV media were carrying these news items prominently. As the head of the government I could have derived pleasure in the fact that everything started going on time, cleanliness got the attention, but I was not taking pleasure, I was feeling pained. That thing, I want to state today in public.

And why? Because if government officers arrive office in time, does that make news? And if that makes news, it shows how low we have fallen. It becomes a proof of that, and that is how, brothers and sisters, the governments have run? Today in the face of global competition, when we have to realise the dreams of millions of Indians, the country cannot run on the lines of "it happens", "it goes".

In order to fulfill the aspirations of masses, we have to sharpen the tool called the government machinery, we have to make it keen, more dynamic, and it is in this direction that we are working.

My countrymen, it is not long since I came from outside Delhi, but I give you an assurance that the people in the government are very capable. From the peon to the Cabinet Secretary, everybody is capable, everybody has a power, they have experience. I want to awaken that power, I want to unite that power and want to accelerate the pace of the welfare of nation through that power and I shall definitely do it. I want to assure the countrymen that we will achieve that, we will definitely do that. I could not say this on 16th May, but today after my experience of two-two and half months, keeping the Tricolour as witness, I am saying on 15th of August that it is possible, it will be achieved. Brothers and sisters, time has come to give a serious thought to the fact that whether we have a duty to create India of the dreams of those great people who gave us freedom, whether we have a national character?

Brothers and sisters, can someone please tell me as to whether he or she has ever introspected in the evening after a full day's work as to whether his or her acts have helped the poor of the country or not, whether his or her actions have resulted in safeguarding the interest of the country or not, whether the actions have been directed in country's welfare or not? Whether it should not be the motto of one and a quarter billion countrymen that every step in life should be in the country's interests?

Unfortunately, we have an environment today wherein if you approach anyone with some work, he begins by saying "what does it mean for me?" He begins by saying "what does it involve for me?" and when he come to know that it does not entail any benefit for him, immediately he says "why should I bother?" We have to rise above the feelings of "what does it mean for me?" and "why should I bother?". Everything is not for self-interest only. There are certain things which are meant for the country and we have to refine this national character. We have to rise above the feelings of "why should I bother?" and "what does it mean for me?" and instead we have to think that "I am for nation's interest and in this field, I am going to lead". We have to inculcate this sentiment.

Brothers and sisters, when we hear about the incidents of rape, we hang our heads in shame. People come out with different arguments, someone indulges in psycho analysis, but brothers and sisters, today from this platform, I want to ask those parents, I want to ask every parent that you have a daughter of 10 or 12 years age, you are always on the alert, every now and then you keep on asking where are you going, when would you come back, inform immediately after you reach. Parents ask their daughters hundreds of questions, but have any parents ever dared to ask their son as to where he is going, why he is going out, who his friends are. After all, a rapist is also somebody's son. He also has parents. As parents, have we ever asked our son as to what he is doing and where he is going? If every parent decides to impose as many restrictions on the sons as have been imposed on our daughters, try to do this with your sons, try to ask such questions of them.

My dear brothers and sisters, the law will take its own course, strict action will be taken, but as a member of the society, as parents, we also have some responsibilities. If somebody tells me that those who have taken guns on their shoulders and kill innocent people are Maoists, are terrorists, but they are also somebody's children. I would like to ask of such parents if they had ever asked their children as to why they were taking a wrong path.

Every parent must take this responsibility; he must know that his misguided son is bent on killing innocent people. He is not able to serve himself nor his family nor the country. I want to say to those youngsters who have chosen the path of violence that whatever they are and wherever they are, it is all because of mother India only that they have got it. Whoever you are it is all because of your parents. I want to ask you to think how green, how beautiful and how beneficial this earth can become if you shoulder the plough instead of the gun which spills blood on this land. How long shall we have bloodshed on this land, how long shall we take the lives of the innocent people and what have we got after all this? The path of violence has not yielded anything to us.

Brothers and sisters, I had gone to Nepal recently. There I said something publicly to draw the attention of the whole world. There was a time when the Emperor Ashoka who had chosen the path of wars, got converted to the path of Buddha at the sight of violence. There was a time in Nepal when their youngsters had opted for the path of violence but today I witness that the same youngsters are waiting for their constitution. The same people associated with them are framing the constitution. And I further said that if Nepal could present the best example of moving from the weapons to the books then it could provide inspiration to the youngsters in the world to abandon the path of violence. Brothers and sisters, if Nepal, the land of Buddha, can give message to the world then why can't India too do the same? So it is the call of the hour that we renounce the path of violence and take the path of brotherhood.

Brothers and sisters, for one reason or the other, we have had communal tensions for ages. This led to the division of the country. Even after Independence, we have had to face the poison of casteism and communalism. How long these evils will continue? Whom does it benefit? We have had enough of fights, many have been killed. Friends, look behind and you will find that nobody has benefited from it. Except casting a slur on Mother India, we have done nothing. Therefore, I appeal to all those people that whether it is the poison of casteism, communalism, regionalism, discrimination on social and economic basis, all these are obstacles in our way forward. Let us resolve for once in our hearts; let us put a moratorium on all such activities for 10 years, we shall march ahead to a society which will be free from all such tensions. And you will see how much strength we get from peace, unity, goodwill and brotherhood. Let us experiment with it for once.

My dear countrymen, believe in my words, I do assure you. Shun all the sins committed so far, give up that way, follow the way of goodwill and brotherhood, and let us resolve to take the country forward. I believe we can do that.

With advancement of science, brothers and sisters, we have a rising feeling of modernity in our mind, but what do we do? Have we ever thought what the sex ratio in the country is like? 940 girls are born against per 1,000 boys. Who is causing this imbalance in the society? Certainly not God. I request doctors not to kill the girl growing in the womb of a mother just to line their own pockets. I advise mothers and sisters not to sacrifice daughters in the hope of son. Sometimes mothers and fathers feel tempted to have son in the hope of supporting them in old age. I am a person who has worked in public life. I have come across families with five sons, each having bungalows, access to a fleet of cars, but the parents are forced to live in old-age homes, Vriddhashrams. I have seen such families. I have also seen families with only daughter as progeny, that daughter sacrifices her dreams, does not get married, and spends her entire life in taking care of her old parents. This disparity points to female foeticide and the polluted and the tainted minds that the 21st century has shown. We will have to liberate ourselves from it, and that is message to us of this freedom festival.

Recently the Commonwealth Games were organised. Indian sportspersons brought glory to the country. Our sportspersons brought 64 medals. But of them 29 are girls. Let us feel proud and clap for them. Young women also contribute to India's fame and glory. Let us recognise it. Let us take them along, shoulder to shoulder. This way we can get over the evils that have crept into social life. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have to proceed in that direction as a social and national character.

Brothers and Sisters, development is the only way forward for the country. Good governance is the only way. There are only these two tracks to take the country forward - good governance and development, we can move forward only by taking them with us. We wish to move forward with the intent of taking them with us. When I talk of good governance, you tell me, when I ask a person in a private-sector job, he tells that he does the job; when you ask the same from a person in government job, he says that I do the service. Both earn, but for one it is a job while for the other it is service. I ask a question from all brothers and sisters in government service, whether the word "service" has not lost its strength, its identity? Persons in government service are not doing a "job", they are doing "service". We have to revive this feeling, we have to take this feeling forward as a national character; we have to move forward in this direction.

Brothers and Sisters, ask yourselves whether the citizens of the country should take steps for the welfare of the nation or not? Imagine, if these 125 crore countrymen move one step forward, then the country moves 125 crore steps forward. The meaning of democracy is not just limited to electing a government. It's meaning is that 125 crore citizens work together shoulder-to-shoulder with the government to fulfill hopes and aspirations of the country. This is the meaning of democracy. We have to create a partnership with the people. We have to proceed under Public-Private Partnership.

We have to proceed along with the participation of the people. But, please tell me, why do our farmers commit suicide? A farmer takes a loan from the moneylender, but fails to repay his loans. He takes a loan for the wedding of his daughter, but fails to repay. He will have to suffer hardships during his whole life. He chooses to commit suicide. Who will save the poor families of such farmers?

Brothers and sisters, I have come here with a pledge to launch a scheme on this festival of Freedom. It will be called Pradhanmantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (translation: The Prime Minister's People's Wealth Program). I wish to connect the poorest citizens of the country with the facility of bank accounts through this yojana. There are millions of families who have mobile phones but no bank accounts. We have to change this scenario. Economic resources of the country should be utilized for the well-being of the poor. The change will commence from this point. This yojana will open the window. Therefore, an account holder under `Pradhanmantri Jan-Dhan Yojana` will be given a debit card. An insurance of Rs.1 lakh will be guaranteed with that debit card for each poor family, so that such families are covered with the insurance of Rs. 1 lakh in case of any crisis in their lives.

My brothers and sisters, ours is a country of young people. Sixtyfive percent of the population of the country happens to be under the age of 35 years. Our country has the largest number of youths in the world. Have we ever thought of deriving an advantage out of this? Today, the world needs a skilled workforce. Today, India also needs a skilled workforce. At times, we look for a good driver but he is not available, we look for a plumber, but he is not available. If we need a good cook, he is not available. We have young people, they are unemployed but the kind of young people we seek are not available. If we have to promote the development of our country then our mission has to be "skill development" and "skilled India". Millions and millions of Indian youth should go for acquisition of skills and there should be a network across the country for this and not the archaic systems. They should acquire the skills which will contribute towards making India a modern country. Whenever they go to any country in the world, their skills must be appreciated. We want to go for a two pronged development. I also want to create a pool of young people who are able to create jobs. The ones who are not capable of creating jobs and do not have the opportunities, they must be in a position to face their counterparts in any corner of the world while keeping their heads high by virtue of their hard work and their dexterity of hands and win the hearts of people around the world through their skills. We want to go for the capacity building of such young people. My brothers and sisters, having taken a resolve to enhance the skill development at a highly rapid pace, I want to accomplish this.

Brothers and sisters, the world has undergone a change. My dear countrymen, the world has changed. Now India can not decide its future by remaining isolated and sitting alone in a corner. The economics of the world have changed and, therefore, we will have to act accordingly. Government has taken many decisions recently, made some announcements in the budget. I call upon the world and call upon Indians spread the world over, that if we have to provide more and more employment to the youth, we will have to promote the manufacturing sector. If we have to develop a balance between imports and exports, we will have to strengthen the manufacturing sector. If we have to put in use the education, the capability of the youth, we will have to go for the manufacturing sector. For this Hindustan will have to lend its full strength, but we must also invite world powers. Therefore I want to appeal to all the people world over, from the ramparts of Red Fort,

"Come, make in India", "Come, manufacture in India".

Sell in any country of the world but manufacture here. We have got skill, talent, discipline, and determination to do something. We want to give the world an favourable opportunity that come here, "Come, Make in India" and we will say to the world, from electrical to electronics, "Come, Make in India", from automobiles to agro value addition "Come, Make in India", paper or plastic, "Come, Make in India", satellite or submarine "Come, Make in India".

Our country is powerful. Come, I am giving you an invitation. Brothers and sisters, I want to call upon the youth of the country, particularly the small people engaged in the industrial sector. I want to call upon the youth working in the field of technical education in the country. As I say to the world "Come, Make in India", I say to the youth of the country - it should be our dream that this message reaches every corner of the world, "Made in India". This should be our dream.

To serve the country, is it necessary for the youth of the country to be hanged like Bhagat Singh? Brothers and sisters, Lal Bahadur Shastri had given us the slogan "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan". A soldier sacrifices himself at the border and protects Mother India. Similarly, a farmer serves Mother India by filling the godowns with grains. This is also national service. Filling the granary is the biggest national service that a farmer can provide. That is why Lal Bahadur Shashtri had given the slogan of "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan".

Brothers and Sisters, I would like to pose a question to my youngsters. Why, despite their presence, are we forced to import even the smallest of things? My country's youth can resolve it, they should conduct research, try to find out what types of items are imported by India. Then each one should resolve that, through it may be micro or small industries, he will manufacture at least one such item so that we need not import the same in future. We should even advance to a situation wherein we are able to export such items. If each one of our millions of youngsters resolves to manufacture at least one such item, India can become a net exporter of goods.

I, therefore, urge upon the youth, in particular our small entrepreneurs, that they would never compromise, at least on two counts. First, zero defects and, second again, zero harm. We should manufacture goods in such a way that they carry zero defects, that our exported goods are never returned to us. We should manufacture goods with zero harm, that they should not have a negative impact on the environment. If we march ahead with the dream of zero defect in the manufacturing sector then, my brothers and sisters, I am confident that we will be able to achieve our goals.

Brothers and sisters, the youth of India has completely transformed the identity of India in the world. Earlier, in what manner did the world know our country? Until only 25-30 years back, there were many people in the world who thought that India was a country of snake charmers, it was a country which practiced black magic. The real identity of India had not reached the world. But my dear brothers and sisters, our youngsters, 20-22-23 years old youngsters have mesmerized the whole world with their skills in computers. Our young IT professionals have given a new path of making a new identity of India. If our country has this strength, can we think something about the country? Our dream is, therefore, of "Digital India".

When I talk of "Digital India", I don't speak of the elite, it is for the poor people. You can imagine what a quality education the children in villages will get, if all the villages of India are connected with broadband connectivity and if we are able to give long distance education to the schools in every remote corner of the villages. If we create a network of telemedicine in the places where there is a shortage of doctors, we can have a clear guideline of the way in which health facilities have to be provided to the poor people living in those areas. The citizens of India have mobile phones in their hands, they have mobile connectivity, but can we walk in the direction of mobile governance? We have to move in a direction where every poor person is able to operate his bank account from his mobile phone, is able to demand various things from the government, can submit applications, can conduct all his business, while on the move, through mobile governance. If this has to be done, we have to move towards `Digital India` and if we have to move towards `Digital India` then we have a dream.

Today we are importing electronic goods on a large scale. Friends, you will be surprised that we are bringing in these televisions, mobile phones, iPads and all these electronic goods. It is a necessity to import petroleum products, oil, diesel and petrol. Second to this is the import of our electronic goods. If we move ahead with the dream of `Digital India` to manufacture electronic goods and become self reliant at least there, how big can be the benefit for the treasury! Therefore, E-governance is what we need to take this idea of `Digital India` forward. E-governance is Easy governance, Effective governance and also Economic governance. E-governance paves the way for good governance. There was a time when we used to say that the railways provided connectivity to the country. That was it. I say that today it is IT that has the potential to connect each and every citizen of the country and that is why we want to realise the mantra of unity with the help of "Digital India". Brothers and sisters, if we move ahead with all this then I believe that a `Digital India` will have the potential to stand with the world on equal footing. Our youth have that capability, it is an opportunity for them.

Brothers and sisters, we want to promote tourism. Tourism provides employment to the poorest of the poor. A gram seller earns something, an auto-ricksha driver earns something, a pakoda seller earns something and a tea seller also earns something. When there is talk of a tea seller, I feel a sense of belonging (note: this is a reference to the Opposition's attempt to sneer at him during the election campaign, referring to his early days as a 'tea-seller'. It backfired in a big way as people thought about someone with experience as a tea-seller versus the other candidate, a child of privilege not associated with any useful occupation).

Tourism provides employment to the poorest of the poor. But there is a big obstacle in promoting tourism and in our national character and that is - the filthiness all around us. Whether after independence, after so many years of independence, when we stand at the threshold of one and half decade of the 21st century, do we still want to live in filth? The first work I started here after formation of government is of cleanliness. People wondered whether it is a work for a prime minister. People may feel that it is a trivial work for a Prime Minister but for me this big work. Cleanliness is very big work. Can our country not be clean? If 125 crore countrymen decide that they will never spread filth, which power in the world has the ability to spread filth in our cities and villages? Can we not resolve this much?

Brothers and sisters it will be the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi in 2019. How do we celebrate 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi? Mahatma Gandhi, who gave us freedom, who brought so much honour to such a big country in the world, what do we give to Mahatma Gandhi? Brothers and Sisters, Mahatma Gandhi had cleanliness and sanitation closest to his heart. Can we resolve not to leave a speck of dirt in our village, city, street, area, school, temple, hospital, and what have you? By 2019 when we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi? This happens not just with the Government, but with public participation. That is why we have to do it together.

Brothers and Sisters, we are living in the 21st century. Has it ever pained us that our mothers and sisters have to defecate in the open? Whether the dignity of women is not our collective responsibility? The poor womenfolk of the village wait for the night; until darkness descends, they cannot go out to defecate. What bodily torture they must be feeling, how many diseases that act might engender. Can we not just make arrangements for toilets for the dignity of our mothers and sisters?

Brothers and Sisters, somebody might feel that a big festival like 15th August is an occasion to talk big. Brothers and Sisters, talking big has its importance, making announcements too has importance, but sometimes announcements raise hopes and when the hopes are not fulfilled, the society sinks into a state of despondency. That is why are in favour of telling those things, which we can fulfill just within our sight.

Brothers and sisters, you must be getting shocked to hear the Prime Minister speaking of cleanliness and the need to build toilets from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Brothers and sisters, I do not know how my speech is going to be criticised and how will people take it. But this is my heartfelt conviction. I come from a poor family, I have seen poverty. The poor need respect and it begins with cleanliness. I, therefore, have to launch a "Clean India" campaign from 2nd October this year and carry it forward in 4 years.

I want to make a beginning today itself and that is - all schools in the country should have toilets with separate toilets for girls. Only then will our daughters not be compelled to leave schools midway. We have our parliamentarians utilising their MPLAD fund. I appeal to them to spend it for constructing toilets in schools for a year. The government should utilise its budget on providing toilets. I call upon the corporate sector also to give priority to the provision of toilets in schools with your expenditure under Corporate Social Responsibility. This target should be finished within one year with the help of state governments and on the next 15th August, we should be in a firm position to announce that there is no school in India without separate toilets for boys and girls.

Brothers and sisters, if we proceed with the dreams, we are in a position to realise them. Today, I wish to tell one more specific thing. It is important to discuss these matters and express the views of the nation's interests. However, our Members of Parliament do not get the opportunity, although they are willing to do something. They can express themselves, write to the government, agitate, give memoranda. Still they do not get the opportunity to do something on their own. Today I have come to you with a new idea. We are running so many schemes in the name of the Prime Minister. In our country, there are numerous schemes in the name of various leaders. However, today I am going to announce a scheme on behalf of the Member of Parliament- Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojana (translation: Members of Parliament Model Village Scheme). We shall fix some parameters. I urge upon the Members of Parliament to select any one of the villages having a population of three to five thousand in your constituency. The parameters will be according to the time, space and situation of that locality. It will include the conditions of health, cleanliness, atmosphere, greenery, cordiality etc. On the basis of those parameters, each of our MPs should make one village of his or her constituency a Model Village by 2016. Can we not do at least this? Should we not do this? If we have to build a nation, we should start from the village. Make a Model Village. The reason of fixing this target for 2016 is that it is a new scheme. It takes time to formulate a scheme and then to implement it. After 2016, select two more villages for this purpose, before we go for the General Elections in 2019. And after 2019, each Member of Parliament, during his/her tenure of 5 years must establish at least five model villages in his/her area.

I also call upon the Members of Parliament from urban areas to adopt one village of their choice. I also urge upon the Members of Parliament from the Rajya Sabha to adopt one of the villages. If we provide one model village in each district of India then the surrounding villages shall be automatically inspired to follow that model. Let us establish a model village, let us establish a village well equipped with all systems and facilities.

The birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narayan Ji happens to be on 11th October. On 11th October, the occasion of birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narayan Ji, I will present a complete blueprint of Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (Members of Parliament Model Village Scheme) before all Members of Parliament and State Governments, and I urge upon State Governments also that as per the feasibility in their respective states, all the Members of Legislative Assembly resolve to establish a model village. You can imagine all the Members of Legislative Assembly and all the Members of Parliament in the country establishing a model village. All of a sudden, there would be a model village in each block of India which could inspire us to transform the amenities in rural areas and could give us a new direction and, therefore, we want to move ahead under this Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.


My dear brothers and sisters, ever since our government has taken charge, there has been a discussion in the newspapers, on TV channels as to what would happen to the Planning Commission. I believe that when the Planning Commission was constituted, it was done on the basis of the circumstances and the needs of those times. In recent years, the Planning Commission has contributed to the growth of the country in its own way. I respect that, I am proud of that, but the prevalent situation in the country is now different. The global scenario has also changed. Governments are no longer the centre of economic activities. The scope of such activities has broadened. State governments have been at the center of development and I consider this a good indication. If we have to take India forward, it can happen only by taking the States forward. India's federal structure is more important today than in the last 60 years. To strengthen our federal structure, to make our federal structure vibrant, to take our federal structure as a heritage of development, a team of Chief Minister and Prime Minister should be present, a joint team of the Centre and the States should move forward. Then to do this job, we will have to think about giving the Planning Commission a look. So, I am saying from the rampart of the Red Fort that it is a very old system and it will have to be rejuvenated, it will have to be changed a lot. Sometimes it costs more to repair the old house, but, it gives us no satisfaction. Thereafter, we have a feeling that it would be better to construct a new house altogether and therefore within a short period, we will replace the Planning Commission with a new institution having a new design and structure, a new body, a new soul, a new thinking, a new direction. A new faith towards forging a new direction to lead the country based on creative thinking, public-private partnership, optimum utilization of resources, utilization of youth power of the nation. To promote the aspirations of state governments seeking development, to empower the state governments and to empower the federal structure. Very shortly, we are about to move in a direction when this institute will be functioning in place of Planning Commission.


Brothers and sisters, today, on 15th August, we also have the birth anniversary of Maharishi Aurobindo. Maharishi Aurobindo, being a rebel, moved on to achieve the status of a Yoga Guru. With regard to the destiny of India, he remarked, "I have a faith that the divine power and spiritual heritage of India will play an important role towards the welfare of the world." Such sentiments were echoed by Maharishi Arvind. I strongly believe in the words of legends. I have great faith in the statements made by ascetics, sages and saints and that is why today at the ramparts of the Lal Quila I am reminded of the words of Swami Viveknanda. He had said -

"I can see before my eyes Mother India awakening once again. My Mother India will be seated as the World Guru. Every Indian would render service towards welfare of humanity. This legacy of India would be useful for the welfare of the world".

These words were spoken by Swami Viveknanda ji in his own style. Friends, the words of Viveknanda ji can never be untrue. The words of Viveknanda ji, his dream of seeing India ensconced as World Guru, his vision, it is incumbent upon us to realize that dream. This capable country, blessed with natural bounty, this country of youth can do much for the world in the coming days.

Brothers and sisters, our foreign policy is a much talked about issue. I clearly believe that India's foreign policy can be multi-dimensional. But there is an important issue to which I want to draw your attention that the way we fought for freedom, we fought together; we were not separate at that time. We were together. Which was the government with us? What were the weapons available to us? There was a Gandhi, a Sardar (Patel) and lakhs of freedom fighters and such a huge empire. Did we not win in the struggle of freedom against that empire? Did we not defeat the foreign powers? Did we not force them to leave India? We were the ones. It was our ancestors who showed this might. If the people of India could remove such a big empire without the power of the government, without weapons and even without resources, then friends, it is the need of the hour to eradicate poverty, can we not overcome poverty? Can we not defeat poverty?

My 125 crore dear countrymen, let us resolve to eradicate poverty, to win against it. Let us move with the dream of poverty eradication from India. Our neighbouring countries are also faced with the same problem. Why not get together with all the SAARC nations to plan out the fight against poverty? Let us fight together and defeat poverty. Let us see at least for once how wonderful is the feeling of being alive, instead of killing and getting killed. This is the land where incidents from Sidhartha's life (referring to the young days of Gautama Buddha) happened. One bird was shot with an arrow by one brother and the other took out that arrow to save it. They went to their mother- whose bird, whose swan? Killer's or saviour's, they asked of their mother. The mother replied, the saviour's. The saviour has more power than the killer and that makes him Buddha in future. And that is why I seek cooperation from our neighbouring countries to fight against poverty in concert and cooperate with them, so that together with SAARC countries we can create our importance and emerge as a power in the world.

It is imperative that we work together with a dream to win a fight against poverty, shoulder to shoulder. I went to Bhutan, Nepal, all the dignitaries from SAARC countries took part in the oath-taking ceremony; this marked a good beginning. This will definitely yield good results, it is my belief and this thinking of India, in the country and the world, that we want to do well to the countrymen and be useful for the welfare of the world. India wants such a hand to be extended. We are trying to move forward with these dreams to achieve them.

Brothers and Sisters, today on 15th August we will resolve to do something for the country. Let us be useful for the country, we will move ahead with a resolve to take the country forward, and I assure you, Brothers and Sisters, as well as my colleagues in the Government, that if you work for 12 hours, I will do so for 13 hours. If you work for 14 hours, I will do for 15 hours. Why? Because I am amidst you not as a Prime Minister, but as the first servant. I have formed the government not as a ruler, but as a servant.

Brothers and sisters, I assure you that this country has a destiny. It is destined to work for the welfare of the world, as was said by Vivekanand ji. India is born; this Hindustan is born in order to achieve this destiny. One hundred and twenty-five crore countrymen have to move forward wholeheartedly for the welfare of the nation. Once again I feel proud of the devotion, the sacrifices of the security forces of the country, para-military forces of the country, all the security forces of the country to protect Mother India. I say to my countrymen,

'Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty'.

The army is vigilant, we should also be vigilant and the country scales new heights. We have to move forward with this resolution. Speak loudly with me with full force -

Bharat Mata ki jai, Bharat Mata ki jai, Bharat Mata ki jai.

Jai Hind, Jai Hind, Jai Hind. Vande Mataram,

Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram!




August 13, 2014: Govt starts removing archaic laws

"Law Minister Ravishankar Prasad tells that the government has decided to repeal 36 obsolete laws immediately, but many more will be added to this list in the coming months. ... exercise was undertaken on the instructions of Prime Minister .... contributor Anita Katyal reports....

.. the 36 laws in the first list were among the 1,382 obsolete laws identified by a commission, headed by P C Jain. Only 400-odd have been removed so far. The number of obsolete and antiquated laws could run into thousands. As many as 300-odd existing laws were passed during the British rule while many others were enacted after Independence to handle the post-partition situation."

June 11, 2014: Modi sticks to minimum govt, disbands 4 cabinet committees

"he discontinued four Standing Committees of the Cabinet -- Cabinet Committee on Management of Natural Calamities, Cabinet Committee on Prices, Cabinet Committee on World Trade Organisation Matters, Cabinet Committee on Unique Identification Authority of India related issues. Again these committees were formed by Manmohan Singh as each of these issues became contentious or acquired urgency at different points in time but instead of hastening the decision making process, it shifted the responsibility of decision making and accountability. Instead of taking a position on those contentious issues, Singh's constitution of these Cabinet committees or GoMs came as useful alibis to buy time, or perhaps peace among warring ministers."

June 1, 2014: Project Monitoring Group helps expedite clearances

"project monitoring group (has) the mandate to resolve (industrialists' concerns)— a forum where central and state authorities could sort out log jams...others are progressing such as three rail links that will facilitate evacuation of 35 million tons of coal from Chattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand by 2016 and power projects delivering 38,000 MW of much needed electricity. "No rule was bent nor was a procedure over looked. PMG just insisted a decision be taken within a certain time frame," Anil Swarup, an additional secretary who heads the group, told TOI. ..Working under the Cabinet secretariat, the group acted in consonance with the cabinet committee on investment, and its portal became a referral for investors, central ministries and state governments. Some 14 states will have similar portals by June, said Swarup who pointed out that governments feel the PMG model serves a useful purpose and should be replicated. He says the system developed by the PMG could emerge as virtual web based window for industrial clearances and help accelerate the process of approvals. The group also decided to visit states and hold meetings with concerned authorities as green clearances involved regional governments, moving away from the practice of convening meetings in the national capital. PMG found that online transparency put pressure on concerned ministries to take decisions. In the case of the ministry of environment and forests, processing of field reports through middle and upper layers of officialdom often took time. "

May 31, 2014: Prime Minister Modi Empowers Ministries

"abolish all the existing nine Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoMs) and twenty-one Groups of Ministers (GoMs). This would expedite the process of decision making and usher in greater accountability in the system. The Ministries and Departments will now process the issues pending before the EGoMs and GoMs and take appropriate decisions at the level of Ministries and Departments itself."

May 31, 2014: Prime Minister Sets Time Limist for Ministry Decisions

"the new government has fixed a time limit to accord approvals to infrastructure projects at every level. This also includes a seven-day time limit for the Environment Minister. As per the new system, likely to be put in place by July and September for forest and environment clearances, respectively, each official, including those at the State level, will no longer be able to postpone a decision. It will be mandatory for them to either clear or reject a proposal. “The whole purpose is to have a system in place where projects are cleared smoothly without compromising rules and regulations. It is also about fixing responsibility at every level in the government and holding people accountable for delays,” a top official in the government told Express. The mechanism has been devised jointly by the Environment Ministry and industry experts from the CII and FICCI."