JAN DHAN – AADHAR – MOBILE
“wars-of-nations-are-fought-to-change-maps-but-wars-of-poverty-are-fought-to-map-change” – Muhammad Ali, Professional boxer.
A War fought against an empty stomach, torn clothes, and shelters without roofs may not change the maps of the world, but they will surely change the destiny of our world.
India, a country wounded by invasions over the last thousand years may have redeemed its identity as an independent nation but still carries the scars of poverty inflicted upon it during these invasions.
Late Rajeev Gandhi, a then young, dynamic leader and the Former Prime Minister of India once said publicly that out of 1 Rupee disbursed by his Government to the poor, only 15 paisa reach the latter.
Then came 2014 and we had a Prime Minister who took banks to the unbanked with his Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. He walked a step ahead of the Aadhar and linked Bank Accounts to the Aadhar and Mobile numbers of the people. Today with great confidence the incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that every paisa intended for the beneficiaries of his welfare schemes reaches them without any leakage.
Reports by journalists in India support this narrative that tens of millions of people received their subsidies and social benefits without any middleman eating up their money during PM Modi’s tenure.
The J-A-M Trinity unleashed by PM Modi has changed how the poor receive their social benefits by plugging in the leakages from the past.
ii) Rising private sector participation in India’s Indigenous Defence Manufacturing Industry
India has traditionally been a buyer of arms and ammunition from Russia, France, and many other countries since its independence. India’s defence purchases have always had a lion’s share amongst India’s imports. The country had established DRDO, HAL, and many other Govt Companies decades ago to meet its defence requirements. But these companies could not produce the quality arms and ammunition India needed. Ignorance of previous Governments towards quality, corruption among the Government departments, and lack of zeal to become a defence exporter crippled these departments.
With PM Modi at the helm, India decided to reform its indigenous defence manufacturing industry. To ensure quality good enough to become an exporter and meet domestic needs, the incumbent Prime Minister pushed the Private Sector Companies to participate aggressively in the Indigenous Defense Manufacturing Industry and increased the FDI Limits for foreign companies as well. Although the doors for private participation in the Indian Defence sector were opened in 2001 by the First NDA Government led by PM Vajpayee, this industry could not meet the expectations during The UPA Regime. PM Modi, with his Make in India initiative, Start-up India initiative and relaxation for FDI in defence ensured that the industry gains momentum. Today, over 300 private companies are active participants in this industry, and close to 200 start-ups are also involved.
Given the challenge posed by China and Pakistan, even if this industry has earned revenues worth 1.07 trillion Indian Rupees, it still has a long way to go. If India desires to stand up to this challenge, it must make the defence industry the growth engine of India, perhaps the biggest industry in India.
PM Modi has made his intentions clear that he will push the Defence Industry far enough to achieve this target.
A thriving indigenous Defense Manufacturing Industry along with FDIs and Strategic Partnerships with the rest of the world will ensure that advanced technologies are shared with India, India’s capabilities are enhanced, millions of jobs are created and Indian money remains in India.
But there are more potential benefits than what meets the eye.
Today, in India, the Right-Wing Media and conspiracy theorists allege that Anti-India Forces have always been actively working towards destroying India from within.
If PM Modi makes Defence the biggest revenue generating Industry fueled by Participation from Indian Corporates and Start-ups, he can ensure that the anti-India lobby gradually loses its ground and anti-India activities, perceived as the most rewarding jobs among sections of the Civil-Society of India would lose their charm. The uneducated, unemployed, and misguided youth will reject these anti-India jobs and align themselves with the Pr0-India sections of Indian Society.
For those of the readers, to whom the above stated is never seen or never heard before, or appears weird, the Indian Conspiracy Theorists allege that a significant chunk of Indian Civil Servants, Social Activists, Political Activists, Journalists, Professors, Lawyers, Student Politicians etc. actively indulge in anti-India activities in lieu of monetary rewards received from outside of India.
If the stakes of the Indian Corporates, Start-ups, Foreign Companies, and Foreign Governments continue to rise in the Indian Indigenous Defense Manufacturing Industry, the anti-India lobby will weaken.
The foot soldiers of this lobby will gradually betray the former and become foot soldiers of pro-India lobbies. A lot of the young people from different sections of Indian society would aspire for jobs in the Defence Industry, those not qualified enough would advocate in favour of this industry by joining pro-India sections of the Indian Civil Society, the popular discourse would progress towards becoming Nationalistic and people will become more patriotic as they would become stakeholders in this industry too.
A thriving Indigenous Defence Manufacturing Industry will not only create millions of jobs for the Indians, it would not only keep Indian Money in India, it would not only increase Forex Reserves generated through exports, it would not only satisfy India’s defence needs and act as a deterrent against Pakistani and Chinese aggression, but it would also build a society that would treat India’s interests as its own interests.
iii) The Infrastructure push
Carrying forward the legacy of the 1st NDA Government, PM Modi’s Government put its weight firmly behind infrastructure projects worth hundreds of billions of USD.
These infrastructure projects include:-
SagarMala – ports upgradation and redevelopment
Before we dive deep into the details, I would like my readers to know that out of India’s 6,215,797 Km long road network, only 110,000 km are National Highways, which account for only 2per cent of the total road network. These National Highways carry 40per cent of road traffic.
Under the ambitious Bharatmala Project, 550 Districts out of the total 718 Districts will be connected to the National Highways, the number of National Corridors will be increased to 50 and 80per cent of the freight traffic will be moved to the National Highways which will include construction of National Highways connecting 24 Logistics Parks, 66 Inter-Corridors of total 8,000 Kms, 116 Feeder Routes covering 7,500 Kms, and 7 North East Multi-Modal Waterway Ports.
The Sagarmala Project aims to unlock the potential of coastal areas of India by upgrading ports, industrial clusters, roads, railways, inland waterways, railways to ropeways connectivity along the 7,517 Km long coastline and 14,500 km of navigable waterways to strengthen India’s position in the maritime trade of the world.
Dedicated Freight Corridors
In India, close to 70per cent of the logistics movement takes place through roads which makes the transportation of logistics a very slow process as the goods get stopped and checked several times at toll gates acheck-posts.
In India, the cost of logistics is around 12per cent-13per cent of the GDP whereas in USA it is 9.5per cent of the GDP and in Germany, it is 8per cent.
Apart from roads, logistics transportation takes place through railways, where the railways carry only 27per cent of the freight movement. But the railways have limited tracks and they have to carry the passenger trains and the goods trains on the same set of tracks. The goods train have to get stopped to make way for the passenger trains sometimes and the passenger trains have to get stopped to make way for goods trains the other times. This makes the prices of India’s agricultural produce, mineral products, and industrial products expensive due to which they fail to compete in the overseas market.
To combat this challenge the Modi Government decided to accelerate the construction of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor which the UPA Government envisaged.
These two dedicated freight corridors aim at transporting 70per cent of India’s goods trains on these two corridors. Both of these DFCs are partly operational now.
There are four other Dedicated Freight Corridors planned to be constructed in the vicinity of where Industrial Corridors are planned to be constructed.
Under PM Modi’s leadership, India is building 11 Industrial Corridors in the vicinity of whom 100 cities are getting an infrastructure upgrade in terms of water supply, sanitation, road connectivity, 24/7 electricity (with emphasis on renewable energy sources) etc. The Industrial Corridors around these cities will be home to manufacturing facilities and Special Economic Zones for both the Manufacturing and services sectors.
These Industrial Corridors will stimulate thousands of businesses related to the activities undertaken and generate Millions of direct and indirect jobs.
Smart Cities :
The Smart Cities being built around these Industrial Corridors will be home to infrastructures capable of providing residence to the workforce intended to be employed in these cities.
Today, while these Industrial Corridors and Smart Cities are being built, the economy is getting the stimulus needed to stir growth. Tens of Millions of labourers are getting jobs spanning hundreds of millions of man-days. The Industry is getting the confidence to invest and Foreign Companies are encouraged to set up offices and factories in India. The Industrial Corridors, Dedicated Freight Corridors, and Highways and expressways will also connect these smart cities and ensure that goods manufactured here will reach their destination without taking a long time.
The High-Speed Rail Projects which comprise Bullet Trains covering major cities all over India were envisaged by PM Modi.
The First Bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai saw the light of the day due to funding from PM Shinzo Abe Led the Japanese Government. Journalists covering PM Modi for two decades believe that PM Shinzo Abe of Japan was the most reliable friend of PM Modi since he was Gujarat’s Chief Minister.
Given the friendship between PM Modi and PM Shinzo Abe, The Japanese Government pledged 88,000 Crores of Indian Rupees with an interest rate of 0.10per cent for 50 years through a soft loan.
In India, it is believed that the introduction of railways to the USA played a huge role in bringing economic progress to the USA.
In Japan, there was a lot of poverty after World War II. But with the introduction of Bullet trains to Japan in 1964, the island nation progressed rapidly and never looked back.
The major cities of India that are hubs of Financial and Industrial activities will be connected by Bullet Trains too. The Bullet Trains planned to be transported to India will be built on the Shinkansen Technology of Japan. These trains will ensure better connectivity between the cities, leading to the transfer of manpower, and freight becoming convenient for everyone.
The by-product of the Bullet Train projects would be Technology Transfer, upskilling of technicians, more business opportunities for vendors and manufacturers and the entire railway network in India will get an upgrade with emphasis on Zero-Defect and Zero-Effect. With these and many other infrastructure projects, The Modi Government is giving India the infrastructure only developed countries have.
iv) Semiconductor manufacturing industry in India
Before we talk about semiconductors, let me take you back to 2021. As the world shifted to EVs, Indian Automobile companies were delivering their cars late because semiconductor manufacturing countries like China and Taiwan suffered from COVID-19, with China having the maximum suffering. Production had stopped and the supply chain was broken. Due to the lack of timely delivery of semiconductors, Automobile Companies and other companies dependent on semiconductors were delaying the delivery of their orders.
As China was the worst-hit, many countries realised they needed one more country other than China to procure their semiconductors. This was when PM Modi came forward with Production Linked Incentives for Semiconductor Manufacturing in India, worth USD 10 Billion. States like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Maharashtra tried their best to woo Semiconductor Manufacturing Companies from the world over to set up manufacturing facilities in the above-mentioned States of India.
As of now, Micron has announced that it will invest USD 2.75 billion in India, particularly in PM Modi’s home State of Gujarat where it would assemble, test, and package chips, which is different from manufacturing chips in India.
Also, the USD 20 Billion worth Vedanta-Foxconn JV for setting up fabrication units in India is stalled as they are struggling to find a 3rd partner with expertise in semiconductor fabrication and manufacturing-grade license.
Israel-based Tower Semiconductor had plans to set up a fabrication unit in Karnataka but has yet to complete its merger with Intel. With only Micron setting up the facility in India, India has at least one player showing interest in Semiconductor Manufacturing.
The scenario might not be as encouraging for the Modi Government in India that plans to facilitate semiconductor manufacturing in India. But the game is still not over.
Since Tower is Israel-based, it is expected to start its fab once the merger is complete with Intel, given that Israel has always had India’s back.
The Foxconn and Vedanta are looking for a partner in a mission mode and planning to re-apply for manufacturing semiconductors under the PLI Scheme.
If Foxconn, along with Vendanta (or with another partner) finds a partner with a manufacturing-grade license, India will have a big player operating fabrication units.
The Micron investment can make India a favoured destination for assembling, packaging, and testing semiconductors. India is faced with an equally good opportunity as far as the manufacturing of trailing-edge semiconductors is concerned. The Modi Government has made clear its intentions to provide monetary incentives to companies for manufacturing trailing-edge semiconductors.
The question arises of why PM Modi wants to make India a semiconductor manufacturing powerhouse. The reason which is evident is that India wants to become an Industrialised country and capture the market from China and help raise India’s stature further in the eyes of the rest of the world. It wants to avoid being dependent on other countries for its semiconductor needs. But there is another reason for this with roots in the domestic conditions of India.
PM Modi’s critics allege that India is now importing more electronic goods from China than it did earlier. PM Modi is encouraging Indian companies to manufacture electronic components in India. Still, these companies are adamant on importing the components from China because it is cheaper to procure them from China than manufacture them domestically. The reasons include notorious hindrances from the Indian Bureaucracy, with some of the bureaucrats alleged to be politically motivated to bury India’s semiconductor manufacturing ambitions into the ground. The red tape ensures that manufacturing electronic components domestically never becomes a reality.
The Indian Right-Wing also alleges that foreign-funded local NGOs, Politicians belonging to the Leftist Ideology, the Environmentalists dig up holes for any company planning to manufacture electronic components in India, and the inefficient laws of India always ensure that obstacles are put in the way of such companies.
Also, it is not hidden from the Indian people that each time a company overcomes these obstacles, they have traditionally been made to pay hefty bribes to people belonging to the above-mentioned leftist ecosystem which has always made manufacturing electronic components domestically a costly affair.
The Corrupt Media of India ensures that such stories never make their way to the headlines of newspapers in India. The Indian deep state is perceived to have always been ultra-leftist by default, ever since India became a free country.
If Semiconductor Manufacturing in India becomes a reality, this will fatally harm the leftist ecosystem of India and free the country from Chinese influence. I agree that manufacturing electronic components is not financially viable for most of the medium-sized businesses but Indian Corporates with deep pockets could have embarked on this journey using JVs with foreign players as an option.
If the above-mentioned becomes a reality, an ecosystem will be put in place for manufacturing electronic components in India led by medium and small-sized businesses. But, for this, PM Modi will have to reduce Bureaucratic intervention in Industry further and make bureaucrats more accountable.
With PM Modi at the helm of affairs, bureaucratic Red Tape is getting reduced gradually. India is showing intent to compete with China not only as a manufacturer of semiconductors but also to become the factory of the World.
V) India’s commitment to renewable energy
The Indian civilisation has always believed in living in harmony with the nature. India’s commitment towards environmental preservation got firm Governmental support when PM Modi was elected as The Prime Minister of India.
In COP 21 at Paris Climate Accords 2015, PM Modi made his commitment to preserving mother nature clear in the most unambiguous manner. Since then, India has taken steps towards increased production of renewable energy and reducing the consumption of fossil fuels in the Indian Economy. Under this strategy, Ethanol Blending, PM KUSUM Yojana, Incentivising manufacturing of machines and Equipment related to Solar Energy, Rooftop Solar Scheme, Battery Storage, PRANAM Yojana for farmers, Vehicle Scrapping Policy, Emphasis on Green Hydrogen, Wetland Conservation.
The more commanding position India makes for herself in the Renewable Energy Sector, the more it will contribute towards making the world free from the consequences of climate change. Keeping that in mind, India aspires to take the lead in Global Green Energy Markets.
India is offering a tremendous opportunity for renewable energy investors from all over the world.
India has achieved its target of 40per cent contribution from non-fossil technologies Installed Electricity capacity 9 years earlier than the deadline set India is on its way to meeting the target of 20per cent ethanol blending into petrol by 2025. Using the National Green Hydrogen mission as a medium, India has targeted producing 5 MMT Green Hydrogen. To facilitate the private sector participation in this, India has pledged 19,000 Crore Indian Rupees.
India has been using traditional fossil fuels for power generation and transport purposes, where Power Generation alone contributes to 50per cent of the Air Pollution in the country. As per the International Energy Agency, India uses coal, oil, and biomass to meet 80per cent of its Energy needs. The Modi Government intends to change the same. Although previous governments did not encourage Solar Power for power generation purposes much, The Modi Government put its weight firmly behind Solar Energy.
To give impetus to the solar-powered Energy Generation, the Modi Government is facilitating the construction of Solar Parks to provide solar power developers with land, power evacuation facilities, road connectivity, water facility, etc. along with all statutory clearances. 56 Solar Parks have been sanctioned in 14 states so far and 10 GWs of Renewable Energy Capacity have already been commissioned for 17 parks.
PM-KUSUM Scheme, launched in March 2019, encourages farmers to install solar plants on their farms and/or barren lands, sell the electricity produced to the nearest power production facility, and earn money for the coming 25 years. This scheme includes setting up 20 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps and solarizing 15 lakh existing Grid-connected Agriculture Pumps, ultimately installing 10 GW of Decentralised Grid Connected Solar Power Plants each of capacity up to 2MW.
Under the Rooftop Solar Scheme, any residential customer from any part of India can apply for Rooftop Solar without awaiting the finalising of the tender and empanelment of vendors by the Discoms.
Under the above-stated two schemes, the Modi Government is making the citizens an equal partner in India’s mission to be a hub of renewable energy for the world.
Under the Inter-State Transmission System Green Energy Corridor launched in 2015, Phase-1 aimed to install 3200 Circuit kilometer transmission lines and 17,000 MVA capacity sub-stations completed in March 2020.
Under the GEC Phase-2 or the Intra State GEC Phase-2, a target of installing 9700 Circuit Kilometer transmission lines and 22,600 MVA capacity sub-stations by March 2023. Overall, the Green Energy Corridor is expected to be finished by 2025-26.
SURYAMITRA SCHEME, which includes training and skill development programs, fellowships, and internships, a total of 51529 suryamitras have been trained.
PRODUCTION LINKED INCENTIVE
Till March 2020, Chinese imports made up for 80per cent of the Solar Cells and Modules used in India. Following the Covid lockdowns and the subsequent impact on Supply Chains all over the world, Modi Government announced PLI schemes which included Production Linked Incentives for Manufacturing High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules domestically in India and achieving Gigawatt Scale and achieving Self-Reliance.
As per the Public Procurement Order, the Government Entities are mandated to procure and use domestically manufactured Solar PV Modules and Solar Inverters and imposed Basic Customs Duty on import of the same w.e.f. 1 April 2022.
In September 2022, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy issued Scheme Guidelines for the implementation of PLI for the National Program on High-Efficiency Solar PV Modules with a staggering amount of Rs 19,500 crores.
The PLI for the above-stated scheme is expected to set up close to 65 GW of fully/partially integrated Solar PV Manufacturing.
RENEWABLE ENERGY INSTALLED CAPACITY SO FAR
Considering the above stated schemes for Renewable Energy, as on 30 June 2023, India has achieved a target of 70.10 GW against a set target of 100 GW of Solar Energy Capacity and another 55.90 GW is under installation.
Apart from Solar, Wind Energy based Renewable Energy accounts for 42,630 MW (or 42.630 GW) of installed capacity until June of 2023. Biomass and Hydro Projects have added 15 GW of Renewable Energy Capacity in India till June 2023. In total, India has an installed Renewable Energy Capacity of 125 GW as of June of 2023.
Under the Gobardhan Yojana, the Modi Government is setting up 500 biogas plants with an investment of 10,000 crores of Indian Rupees.
The NATIONAL GREEN HYDROGEN MISSION was launched on August 15, 2021, which intends to bring India to the forefront of production, storage and distribution of Green Hydrogen among all the countries of the world.
It uses electrolysis of water using solar, wind, and hydropower to produce green hydrogen which can be used for transportation, industrial and agricultural purposes.
It produces zero Green-house emissions upon usage and can help catalyze the process of achieving a Carbon-Free Economy. It aims to reduce dependence on fossil fuels for meeting energy needs and reduce India’s import bill, and at the same time ensure energy security for the country, as India has traditionally remained dependent on other countries for energy needs and thus remained vulnerable to price shocks and disruptions in supply chains.
Other than the above stated advantages, National Green Hydrogen Mission is expected to create new industries and jobs for both skilled and unskilled labour in large numbers.
Green Hydrogen can also be produced using municipal solid waste and agricultural wastes, which helps tackle waste management issues and ensure sustainability.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell, meant to be used specifically for transportation, converts the chemical energy of hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, water and heat and produces zero emissions. This makes it an attractive potential alternative for Fossil fuels. Vehicles using Hydrogen Fuel Cells are quicker to refuel and enable travelling longer distances than battery electric vehicles.
Although there happen to be plenty of benefits associated with Green Hydrogen, the Modi Government will have to overcome challenges in implementing the same.
The Modi Government will have to encourage investments into building up the infrastructure required to produce, store and distribute Green Hydrogen.
Adding to the above stated, it is necessary to invest into research and development for advancements in technology and ensure scaling up of production to make it an attractive alternative to fossil fuel, as it currently stands out as costlier than the former.
Safety protocols need to be developed and put in place as Green Hydrogen is a highly flammable gas. Other than this, the Modi Government will have to make people acquainted with the benefits associated with Green Hydrogen.
In the coming days, it can be expected that the Modi Government may introduce Green Hydrogen Consumption Obligations for Petroleum refining industry.
At present, Electricity DISCOMS have been mandated to purchase a certain amount of Renewable Energy. Under Battery Storage Schemes, India’s Modi Government is offering USD 455.2 Million in incentives to companies setting up battery storage projects with an aim to achieve 4,000 Mega Watt Hours. This scheme is intended to back up intermittent renewable power supply to ensure power supply when the grid faces shortage.
To ensure stability and energy security, India needs 236 GWh of battery energy storage and 27 GW pump storage projects by 2031-32 against the current 37 MWh of battery storage capacity.
PM PRANAM YOJANA
Heavy usage of chemical fertiliser is one of the most dominant characteristics of Indian Agricultural Practices, particularly in Punjab. Fertilisers aid in increasing the yields, but they also lead to the release of harmful chemicals in the food chain, ultimately leading to serious diseases such as cancer among the consumers of such food.
Other than this, they reduce the water table and lead to pollution as well.
As per a statement by The Union Minister for Home and Co-operation, Amit Shah, the usage of chemical fertilizers in agriculture is expected to lead to 50per cent increase in cancer cases in the upcoming 15 years.
In order to avoid such danger, the Modi Government has launched the PM PRANAM Scheme. In order to avoid such danger, the Modi Government had been promoting organic farming (particularly in North East India) and has recently launched the PM PRANAM Scheme.
The PM PRANAM is the short form for PM Promotion of Alternate Nutrients for Agriculture Management Yojana.
Under this scheme, The Modi Government will provide State Governments with saving money from the existing fertilizer subsidy budget with financial support for setting up of infrastructure where alternate nutrients and alternatives for Chemical Fertilisers will be produced. These units will be set up at village, block, and district levels. Around 30per cent of the financial support given to State Governments will be used to encourage the Farmers, Farmer Producer Organisations and Self-Help Groups to incentivise reduction in usage of chemical fertilisers and spreading awareness about the alternate nutrients and alternatives to chemical fertilizers being produced in the units mentioned above.
On February 1, 2023, while presenting the Union Budget, the Modi Government announced the Amrit Dharohar scheme and MISHTI Scheme. These schemes aim at the preservation of Wetlands and Mangroves in the country and seek active participation from the local communities residing in these areas.
In case my readers are wondering what a wetland means, The UN Convention on Environment Protection defines it as : “areas of marsh, fen, peatland, or water whether natural or artificial, permanent. They are water areas covering the land over the year”. The mangroves save the coastal areas from cyclones and rising sea levels; they inhabit aquatic plants and animals and store carbon.
Under the MISHTI (Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes) Scheme, Mangrove cover in 9 States of India and is aimed at getting restored in the upcoming three years.