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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

30 days of Narendra Modi Sarkar: A lookback

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 23, 2014
First Published: 13:08 IST(23/6/2014) | Last Updated: 17:02 IST(25/6/2014)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a book release function in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)


Narendra Modi had sought 60 months from the Indian electorate to transform the country. Modi Sarkar, buoyed by unprecedented excitement and collective hope, began its journey on May 26 and completes first 30 days in office on Tuesday.

Let's take stock of what steps the Modi Sarkar has taken to make India feel an usher of 'achche din'.

May 26: Swearing-in a grand, unprecedented event with around 4,000 guests, including SAARC leaders

The regional bonhomie and solidarity were in full display at the inauguration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday.

And it continued into the private power dinner President Pranab Mukherjee hosted for the visiting leaders. This is the first time all SAARC leaders were invited for an Indian Prime Minister's swearing-in. The other guest country outside SAARC, Mauritius, is an observer to the south Asian bloc. Read more

May 27: First Cabinet meeting; decision to form SIT to unearth illicit money

Signalling his government's resolve to bring back the country's black money stashed abroad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first decision in the maiden meeting of his cabinet was to form a high-profile Special Investigation Team (SIT) to unearth illicit money. Read more

Watch: Narendra Modi takes oath as Prime Minister of India


"This indicates the commitment of the new government to pursue the issue of black money in right earnest," said law and telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

May 28: Council of ministers told not to hire relatives as personal staff and discourage nepotism

In a move seen as a bid to clean up the administration, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is understood to have advised his council of ministers not to have their relatives as personal staff in the ministry. Modi has also asked ministers to discourage nepotism and granting government contracts to relatives and friends.

"Modi wants his team to practice probity in public dealing. He is leading from the front. He even did not invite his family members for the swearing in ceremony," a cabinet minister told HT. Read more

May 29: PM Modi spells out 10 broad policy priorities, asks ministers to set 100-day agenda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled his broad policy priorities, instructing his ministers to prepare their respective agenda for the first 100 days in office and ensure their time-bound delivery.

Modi told his cabinet to focus on efficient governance, delivery and implementation of projects and to work closely with states to ensure the collective progress of the country. He spelled out 10 broad policy priorities that included boosting infrastructure and investment, a stable policy ecosystem and a freer hand to the bureaucracy to implement plans. Read more

May 30: PM strikes down move to eulogise him in school texts in BJP-ruled state

Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposes moves by some BJP-ruled states to eulogise him in school textbooks, saying living individuals shouldn't be included and students should instead read about the lives of past Indian greats.

His disapproval came after the governments in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh planned to include the prime minister's inspirational life story in their school texts. Born into humble beginnings, Modi rose from being an impoverished tea boy to a self-taught, political superstar. Read more

Watch: Education is the best weapon to fight poverty: PM Modi


May 31: Modi axes all GoMs, eGoMs for fast decisions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dismantled a process popular with the UPA regime, and one that was believed to delay policy decisions. In the new government's first frontal attack against red tape, it scrapped all empowered groups of ministers (EGoMs) and groups of ministers (GoMs) formed to decide on key policy matters and resolve differences.

Now, ministries will directly decide on policy. "Ministries and departments will process, at their level, issues pending before the EGoMs and GoMs and take decisions," said a government release. If ministries face difficulty in deciding, the cabinet secretariat and prime minister's office will step in. Read more

June 1: RBI governor Raghuram Rajan meets Modi

RBI governor Raghuram Rajan met Narendra Modi. It was deemed as a courtesy call but reports suggest many critical issues were discussed in the meeting. Inflation continues to be a major worry and RBI is likely to not cut rates. Within 7 days of the new government, diesel prices have increased once, albeit marginally. UPA massively lost popularity due to soaring inflation and NDA is likely to be mindful of it. Read more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses senior BJP leaders during the BJP parliamentary party meeting in New Delhi. (AFP Photo)


June 2: Meets council of ministers for first time, stresses on good governance

Outlining his larger vision for the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his council of ministers for the first time and laid down the ground rules to ensure good governance and development. The PM also asked his ministers to offer innovative ideas to cater to the "high aspirations" of the people.

Modi is also believed to have set the agenda for the next five years on the twin pillars of good governance and development. While emphasising the need for transparency in the process of governance, Modi also directed his ministers to involve experts in their respective fields for guidance and to ensure better results. Read more

June 3: Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Gopinath Munde dies in car accident

President, vice president, prime minister and a host of leaders paid rich tributes to rural development minister Gopinath Munde, who died following a road accident, describing him as a true and dynamic mass leader and a distinguished public servant.

"Hailing from backward sections of society, he rose to great heights & tirelessly served people," Modi tweeted. Read more

June 4: PM Modi accepts Barack Obama's invitation to US

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted an invitation from US President Barack Obama to have bilateral discussions in Washington in September, potentially opening a new chapter in a sometimes edgy relationship between the world's two biggest democracies.

Government sources in Delhi said that the United States has offered September 30 as the date for the meeting, and the Indian side has asked for it to be advanced to September 26, around the time of Modi's maiden address at the United Nations General Assembly. Read more

June 5: Modi picks Bhutan for his first ever two-day trip as PM

Sending out a signal that South Asia was the topmost foreign policy priority for him, Narendra Modi is all set to embark on his first ever two-day trip as Prime Minister to Bhutan this month to further cement economic and political linkages.

Top government sources said that Modi opted for Bhutan as his first stop after being sworn in as Prime Minister as he wants to build cooperative economic linkages among India's neighbours as well as check the state of Thimphu's growing relationship with China. Read more

June 6: 11-point to-do list sent out to top-ranking civil servants

Cabinet secretary Ajit Seth on Friday sent out an 11-point "to-do" list to top-ranking civil servants that Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes will help usher in a new work culture in the government and make public dealings with it less painful.

To begin with, all secretaries - who head central departments - are required to identify and remove at least 10 archaic rules and procedures that are redundant. Then, "identify forms that are in vogue and shorten them, where possible, to one page only".
Read more

June 7: For the US media, Narendra Modi is the latest style icon

PM Narendra Modi stands out, said the New York Times, "Literally and strategically" because of his colourful, neat and crisp kurtas and love of branded wearables.

Washington Post asked the stylish Michelle Obama to make way for Modi.

And TIME called the PM the next big thing in Indian fashion. Read more

June 8: Need skill, scale, speed to compete with China: Modi

On the day Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi arrived in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India would need to work on "skill, scale and speed" if it hoped to compete with its northern neighbour.

He also emphasized upon a four-colour economic revolution, based on the colours of the Indian flag, on changing the Indian economy. Read more

June 9: From creating jobs to curbing hike to infra development, Pranab spells out Modification

The words came from President Pranab Mukherjee, but they had a clear, unmistakable stamp. Narendra Modi - the energetic campaigner - was now Narendra Modi - the Prime Minister. But Modi's language had remained the same, and the President, as per tradition, was speaking on his PM and government's advice.

A defining feature of Modi's campaign speeches was his focus on strengthening federalism, a reference which found prominence in Monday's address. Mukherjee said that "over the years, the federal spirit has been diluted...and states and the Centre should function as an organic Team India". The centre would be an enabler in the progress of states through "cooperative federalism", added Mukherjee. Read more

June 10:  PM Modi scraps 4 Cabinet Committees

As part of his efforts to minimise decision-making processes  and in the second major decision to end the UPA government's legacy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped four Cabinet committees, including one on Unique Identification Authority (UIDAI).

The other committees disbanded were the Cabinet Committee on Prices, the Cabinet Committee on Management of Natural Calamities and the Cabinet Committee on World Trade Organisation Matters. Read more

PM Modi accepts his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang's invitation to pay an early visit to China, extended by a special envoy to the president Xi Jinping and foreign minister Wang Yi during his meeting with the PM.

Despite the bonhomie, the matter of China issuing stapled visas to people of Arunachal remained an unresolved issue. Read more

June 11: Modi's first speech in Parliament covers rape, minorities, graft, unemployment

Modi asks politicians to stop "psychoanalysing" the reasons behind sex crimes, breaking his silence over the rape and murder of two girls in Uttar Pradesh's Badaun. "Does it suit us to make comments on such incidents, can we not be quiet? We are playing with the dignity of women," Modi said. "All these incidents should make us introspect. The country won't wait and people won't forget." Read more

June 12: PMO writes to ministries twice, asking details of NGOs working with them

The Prime Minister's Office writes to all the ministries twice, asking them to furnish details of NGOs working with them on various projects. This comes soon after the PMO received a report from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) alleging that NGOs were threatening India's economic security. Read more

June 13: PM tells Nawaz Sharif that he wants a violence-free atmosphere to take ties forward

Prime Minister Narendra Modi writes to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif seeking a conducive atmosphere for "a new course" in ties. He , in the letter, thanks Sharif for attending his oath taking ceremony, condemns the recent militant attack in Karachi and conveys his mother's appreciation of a sari Sharif had sent her. The same day a heavy exchange of gunfire takes place between the India and Pakistan border troops. Read more

June 14: Warns of 'tough decisions' over the next two years to nurse ailing economy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi warns of "tough decisions" over the next couple of years to nurse India's ailing economy back to good health, lamenting the precarious conditions the BJP-led government has inherited from the UPA regime.

"Taking tough decisions and strong measures in the coming one or two years are needed to bring financial discipline, which will restore and boost the country's self-confidence," he said while addressing in Goa following. Read more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the National Assembly in Thimphu, Bhutan. (PTI Photo)


June 15: Modi assures Bhutan that change of guard in Delhi will strengthen ties

Arriving to a rousing welcome in the Himalayan nation wedged between India and China in his first visit as the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi on Sunday declared to expand bilateral ties he termed as "Bharat to Bhutan" (B2B) relations. "Strength of a democracy is very important for the region and its people. The stronger India will be, the better it is for Bhutan and other SAARC (South Asian Association for regional cooperation) nations. A strong and stable India is needed to make sure that we can help our neighbours with their problems," Modi said in an extempore speech delivered in Hindi while addressing the a joint session of the Bhutanese parliament. Read more | Also read: PM talks of good neighbours, B2B ties in Bhutan

June 16: Anti-graft bills on Modi's agenda, may be tweaked

The Narendra Modi government is treading with both care and caution before finalising its heavy legislative agenda for the upcoming budget session of Parliament. Different ministries have been given extra time to prioritise their bills for the session expected to start from second week of July. The parliamentary affairs ministry had earlier sought a list of preferred legislation from all ministries by June 12. A revised deadline is now till June 23. Read more

June 17: UP governor BL Joshi resigns, Modi govt asks other 7 governors to put in papers

Uttar Pradesh governor BL Joshi resigned from his post on Tuesday amid reports that a number of governors appointed by the previous UPA government had been asked to quit.

In Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala governor Sheila Dikshit declined to comment on media reports that the Centre had sounded the governors appointed by the previous UPA government to step down. Read more

June 18: India, Russia hold bilateral talks; to form study group to examine FTA 

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi takes oath as Lok Sabha member as Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks on during the second day of First session of 16th Lok Sabha, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)


June 19: Modi writes to Japan's Shinzo Abe over his visit after budget session

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe saying he is looking forward to the meeting with him at the earliest convenient date after the forthcoming budget session of Parliament gets over. The PM's visit to Japan is tipped to be a big-ticket visit in terms of deliverables in various fields including security and defence cooperation, economic ties, investment, regional connectivity and next generation infrastructure. Read more

Members of National Disaster Management Authority told to step down

The Centre, continuing with its move to clear Raj Bhawans of UPA appointees, asked all members of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Council of Women (NCW) to resign. Read more

Bans ministers from recruiting babus as their personal staff

The Modi government formally banned ministers from recruiting babus in their personal staff if the officer had worked with any minister in an earlier government. The directive will also apply to private persons. Read more

June 20: Govt hikes rail passenger fare by 14.2%

The government pushed through a steep hike in railway passenger and freight fares in possibly the first instalment of the "tough measures" Prime Minister Narendra Modi had hinted at as necessary to revive the Indian economy.

The hike - 14.2% in all classes of passenger fares and 6.5% in freight charges - is effective June 25 and will also apply to tickets purchased in advance for journeys commencing on or after that date. The difference in fare for such advance tickets will be collected by ticket examiners during the journey. Read more

Use of Hindi on social media only for Hindi-speaking states, clarifies govt amid criticism

The Centre's move to push the use of Hindi as its official language on social media came under attack with several regional parties strongly opposing any plan to prioritise a language spoken by only 40% Indians.

Almost all the major political parties in Tamil Nadu, including two of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's own allies, came together to criticise a government order last month that asked bureaucrats to prioritise Hindi over English on official accounts on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Read more

June 21: Modi likely to address US Congress during visit in September-end

Prime Minister Narendra Modi may be invited to address a joint session of US Congress during his visit scheduled for end of September, an honor not extended to every visiting dignitary.

US House of Representative's foreign affairs committee chairman Ed Royce set the ball rolling  requesting Speaker John Boehner to invite Modi to address lawmakers.

"The US must now work closely with Prime Minister Modi to strengthen the important relationship between the two countries." Read more

June 22: Modi's pet project GIFT likely to create 10 lakh jobs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) has the potential to generate over 10 lakh jobs by 2022. GIFT city, which is being developed by the Gujarat government, aspires to cater to India's large financial services potential by offering global firms a world-class infrastructure and facilities. Read more

June 23: Modi meets actor Aamir Khan, assures action on issues raised on Satyamev Jayate

He is not new to Twitter, neither is he one of its most regular celeb users. But that did not stop Aamir Khan from sharing the details of his meeting with India's new prime minister.

The Bollywood actor took to the micro-blogging website to throw light on his one-on-one with Narendra Modi and a new-found admiration he has for the former Gujarat chief minister. Read more

Full coverage: All about Narendra Modi Sarkar


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