As a reforms historian, I had seen the situation of Indian economy in the last phase of Congress Government which was engulfed with policy paralysis and stagnant economy and therefore in reassuring the peoples' faith bestowed on him-Modi had to take several bold steps and one of it -is demonetization.
Given that Indian economy is fast becoming digital and from opening a bank account, to making financial transactions every facility, an Aadhaar Authentication is required. Even the Supreme Court has been working on making Aadhaar mandatory. Imagine my shock when I was told that Aadhaar can be hacked as it has very poor security. My eyes popped out when I saw the video as given below.
Over the last twenty years Government of India has launched a series of Centrally Sponsored Schemes with a view to promote development, reduce poverty and reach basic services in education and health, etc to the common people. While the individual programmes have been evaluated several times showing that in general these are better implemented in states with stronger political leadership and better capacity for delivery, no comparative study is available to my mind that will explain why in the same state some programmes are more successful than others in achieving their goals, or why some schemes do not work well even in states associated with better governance.
Despite a continuing fall in the growth rate of India's GDP for the last several quarters there are indicators that point to a turn-around of the rural economy. Positive and long-term improvements can be seen in foodgrains production, in horticulture, dairy, poultry and fisheries, access to physical infrastructure such as electricity and roads, per-capita income of poorer states (which have a high percentage of rural population), wages of unskilled labour and growing employment in non-farm occupations due to programmes such as MUDRA. However challenges still remain in some vital sectors, such as water, marketing of fruits and vegetables, skill development, education and health.
The pervasive theme this year was clearly that of 'Maximum Governance, Minimum Government' and the jury was happy to learn that all the states, which had sent in their nominations, stood firmly behind this talisman. The states sent in their entries under a variety of classifications. These were Health, Finance, e-Governance, Transport, Agriculture & Rural Development, Governance, Municipalities and Education.
Sometime back Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ambitious target of 175 GW by 2022 for renewable energy. India has a low consumption of energy and will need to increase it several fold in the coming decades. With the global community working on reducing carbon footprint and the commitment of each nation being already in public domain with the international community as Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), the pressures for improving energy efficiency and increasing share of non-fossil fuel generation has become more intense.
Professing Indianness has taken media spending to a new high and journalistic ethics to a new low. There are marketing as well as editorial solutions to 'nationality laundering'. A Chinese company of yesterday becomes an Indian company of today by simply advertising so. Uber CEO is happy to take on Indian nationality alongwith Indian Guest Editorship.
Gurgaon will be a Smart City in addition to Karnal and Faridabad. May be, we will not get the financial assistance from the Centre meant under the Smart City Mission, we will develop it from the state funds. The Central government will provide the technical assistance in the first phase. Considering the population of the state only two cities had to be chosen from Haryana in the list of 100 Smart Cities to be developed with the Central government assistance across the country.