Full text of BJP Lok Sabha poll manifesto for 2014
India is the most ancient civilization of the world and has always been looked upon by the world as a land of wealth and wisdom. India has been credited to have developed, apart from philosophy and mathematics, science and technology of a very high order, which had attracted scholars from all over the world.
Al-Andalusi, a Spanish scholar in the 11th Century, in his monumental work 'Tabaqat al- Umam' had discussed the state of science in different countries. He writes, "The first nation to have cultivated science is India... India is known for wisdom of its people. Over many centuries all the kings of the past have recognized the ability of Indians in all branches of knowledge." Andalusi further states, "Indians, as known to all nations for many centuries, are the metal (essence) of wisdom, the source of fairness and objectivity. They are the people of sublime pensiveness, universal apologues, and useful and rare inventions."
India's contribution to the march of civilization goes back to several thousand years before the Christian era. From the Vedas to Upanishads and Gautam - the Buddha and Mahavira - the 24th Jain Tirthankara and then to Kautilya and Chandra Gupta and down up to the eighteenth century, India was respected for its flourishing economy, trade, commerce and culture. It had an international outreach from Korea to Arabia, from Bamiyan to Borobudur and beyond. Before the advent of Britishers, Indian goods were internationally recognized for their quality and craftsmanship. India had a much bigger role and presence in industry and manufacturing than any nation in Europe or Asia. It had a well-developed banking system and equally renowned businessmen, along with its financiers, who were contributing to create a flourishing and progressive economy. According to Sunderland, India was also one of the greatest shipbuilding nations and consequently had an access to international markets. Indian prosperity held the world in thrall. It was this wealth which attracted the foreigners - from Alexander to the Britishers.
Historical records establish the level of progress and prosperity attained by India before the advent of the Europeans. Indian advancement in mathematics, astronomy, physics and chemistry along with the biological sciences has been well recognized. India was a land of abundance, prosperity, affluence, a land of sharing and caring living in perfect harmony and peace with the nature. From ancient times almost all religions practiced in different parts of the world, have existed peacefully in India and will continue to do so. India thus provides the most ennobling experience in spiritual co-existence.
BJP recognizes that no nation could chart out its domestic or foreign policies unless it has a clear understanding about itself, its history, its roots, its strengths and failings. In a highly mobile and globalized world, it is imperative for a nation to know its roots that provide sustenance to its people.
Indian freedom struggle, which was inspired by Tilak, Gandhi, Aurobindo, Patel, Bose and others, had a clear vision of the civilizational consciousness of India. These leaders had directed the freedom movement, keeping the Indian ways and thoughts in the centre of their action. They had a vision to reconstruct the political and economic institutions of India as a continuum of civilizational consciousness, which made India one country, one people, and one Nation.
After achieving independence, the leaders at the helm of affairs lost the spirit and the vision, which the freedom movement had evoked. They discarded the vision and adopted the institutional framework of administration created by the Britishers which was quite alien to India's world-view. It is unfortunate that these leaders could not comprehend India's inner vitality, which was the main force responsible for India's survival despite several attacks and prolonged foreign rule and thus, failed to rekindle the spirit of India.
Even after nearly seven decades of our independence, the country has not been able to discover its innate vitality, the sense of time and the will to act. As a result, in spite of being the oldest civilization and a young republic, we are engulfed by a multi-dimensional crisis. A crisis, which has encompassed all walks of life. The rising disparities, social and communal divide and terrorism leading to a fractured society, are worsening the situation rapidly. The present crisis is the result of this confusion and disconnect from the seekings and sensibilities of the people. This is worse confounded by the weak and spineless leadership of the UPA Government. The tragedy is further heightened by their failure to diagnose the malady and find the remedy. Instead of creating a socio-economic and political paradigm of governance drawn from the civilizational consciousness of India, the leaders tried to follow whatever was being practiced in this or that western country.
Thus, we have wasted more than half of a century. Many other countries, even with smaller size and lesser resources, have surpassed us in development parameters. Another reason for this is that the Governance in these decades was marred by lack of trust, leading to excessive controls. It was also marked by lack of openness in Government and lack of people's participation. This has led to concentration of power in a few hands and lack of transparency breeding corruption and nepotism on a massive scale. The so-called 'liberalization' came in 1990s, but it was half-hearted. It didn't work because the rest of the eco-system remained the same. However, the beginning of the 21st century showed some light under the NDA rule. India started being reckoned as an economic superpower. The six-year rule of NDA had given the Nation many firsts, building an image in the International community. However, many of the hopes, potentials and projects have not been fully realized in the subsequent years. But after 2004, UPA came into power and the situation started worsening again. We missed a historic national opportunity once more.
UPA's biggest blow to the Indian political system is that they have taken out Genuineness from Governance; Authenticity from Administration. UPA has shown Governance of Enactment, not Action. It has given an Administration of Entitlement without Delivery. We have become a polity of Promises, and not Performance. We represent an economy of deficits, a work culture of delays and an asset base of deficiency. Worse, Congress-led UPA has made India a global synonym of Corruption, Scandal and Stagnation. To make it even worse, today, we are passing through total Decision and Policy Paralysis. Sluggish economic growth, unprecedented price rise and unstable Currency are its most visible facets.
The following demand urgent solutions; economy including agriculture, energy, environment including natural resources, education and health, employment, external and internal threats to security, empowerment, Governance, and erosion of moral and societal values.
If India has to survive as a nation, which it has to, in order to play its destined role in the comity of nations, if it has to make its voice heard for creating a peaceful and egalitarian world order, then we must take up the challenges with urgency and determination and provide proper solutions for them. It is a pity that we have a demoralized leadership presiding over the state apparatus, which is incompetent to handle the present problems. What is needed today is to arrive at a consensus about the 'Idea' of India and also to think and redesign our approach in consonance with the seekings and preferences of the Indian people.
The situation in the country is deteriorating rapidly. Delay in resolving the crisis would be dangerous. What is needed is to take lessons from history, recognise the vitality and resilience of India, the power of its world-view and utilize its strength, which drove it to glorious heights and analyse its weaknesses, which led to this abysmal fall. Pick up the thread from the point where the continuum of our civilizational consciousness was lost and reorient the polity in consonance with those strong points of Indian psyche which will be the engine for our future glory. Let's keep the windows open, have a clear understanding of the global scenario and how without destroying our uniqueness we can assimilate the best of the technological advancements.
We can achieve this goal provided the leaders seriously set to this task. What we need is a political party committed to deliver and a leadership with strong determination and political will. As Vivekananda had said, "All power is within you. You can do anything. Believe in that." Yes, the power lies in the people of India, in the inner sanctum sanctorum of Mother India. What is needed is to ignite the spark and Mother India would rise in her full glory.
As Sri Ma had once said that India had become the symbolic representation of all the difficulties of modern mankind but India will also be the land of its resurrection to a higher and truer life. The BJP will leave no stone unturned to fulfill the dream of 1.22 billion Indians.
Today, India is blessed with the rare capacity and opportunity of Democracy, Demography and Demand. If we are able to consolidate and harness them, we will be able to reach the heights which India deserves. The biggest reason for a sorry state of affairs is bad intentions on the part of those who have ruled the country for sixty years. And that is where we would show the first difference. For BJP, the goal of the policies and practices would be: Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat! The path would be: Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. This is our commitment to the Nation and to the People.
With this determination of the party under the charismatic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, we enter the elections to the 16th Lok Sabha and would work whole-heartedly to give a stable, strong, visionary and progressive Government to India.
It is an opportunity to change our fate and of our nation. Glory to Mother India, glory to Her children.
March 26, 2014
Dr. (Prof.) Murli Manohar Joshi
Manifesto Committee -2014
Attend the Imminent
Decade under the UPA - I and II can rightly be summed in one line, the 'Decade of Decay', in which India had a free fall on all fronts - be it governance, economy, diplomacy, foreign policy, border safety, etc. At the same time, corruption, scams and crime against women have reached to unacceptable levels. There has been gross misuse and total denigration of government and institutions. There has also been erosion of authority of the office of the Prime Minister. The Government dithered by each passing day, casting gloom and doom on the country that was once under the NDA regime called the 'Emerging Superpower'. In 2004, NDA left the Government with a near double digit growth. The Congress- led UPA could not even maintain that growth and mismanaged the country so badly, that the growth rate declined to 4.8%, resulting the country falling in a deep mess. We have lost a wonderful opportunity and have pushed the country 20 years behind and rendered millions of men and women jobless.
Critical and urgent challenges facing the nation have been left unaddressed. Beyond impacting the immediate short-term, this is corroding the long-term potential of the nation. People feel frustrated and have lost hope in the system. Things must change, and they must change now. BJP will take immediate and decisive action to address these issues on a priority basis.
Runaway food inflation has crippled household budgets and contributed to the overall inflationary trend under the Congress-led UPA's watch. Even worse, the food and nutritional security of millions is threatened. However, the Congress-led UPA government has remained insensitive and indifferent to the plight of the people; tying itself into knots with short-term, mis-directed steps. The committee of Chief Ministers, headed by Shri Narendra Modi, has already submitted a report on food inflation in 2011. The report was unfortunately not acted upon by the Congress-led UPA Government.
The BJP-led NDA Government's record of holding the prices is a demonstration of our commitment to break the vicious cycle of high inflation and high interest rates. Our immediate task will be to rein in inflation by several steps, such as:
- put in place strict measures and special Courts to stop hoarding and black marketing.
- setting up a Price Stabilisation Fund.
- unbundle FCI operations into procurement, storage and distribution for greater efficiency.
- leverage on technology to disseminate Real time data, especially to farmers - on production, prices, imports, stocks and overall availability.
- evolve a single 'National Agriculture Market'.
- promote and support area specific crops and vegetables linked to food habits of the people.
Employment and Entrepreneurship
The country has been dragged through 10 years of Jobless Growth by the Congress-led UPA Government. Under the broader economic revival, BJP will accord high priority to job creation and opportunities for entrepreneurship. We will:
- strategically develop high impact domains like Labour-intensive manufacturing (viz. textile, footwear, electronics assembly, etc.) and Tourism.
- strengthen the traditional employment bases of agriculture and allied industries, and retail - through modernization as well as stronger credit and market linkages.
- harness the opportunities provided by the upgradation of infrastructure and housing, for its job generating potential.
- encourage and empower our youth for self-employment - incubating entrepreneurship as well as facilitating credit.
- address the employability issue by initiating a multi-skills development programme in mission mode. Focus will be on job creation and entrepreneurship, in both rural and urban areas.
- transform our Employment Exchanges into Career Centres - connecting our youth with job opportunities in a transparent and effective manner through the use of technology; as well as providing counselling and training.
Corruption is a manifestation of poor Governance. Moreover, it reflects the bad intentions of those sitting in power. All pervasive corruption under the Congress-led UPA has become a 'National Crisis'.
We will establish a system, which eliminates the scope for corruption. We will do this through:
- public awareness
- technology enabled e-Governance - minimizing the discretion in the citizen-government interface.
- system-based, policy-driven governance - making it transparent.
- rationalization and simplification of the tax regime - which is currently repulsive for honest tax payers.
- simplification of the processes and procedures at all levels - bestowing faith in the citizens, institutions and establishments.
By minimizing the scope for corruption, we will ensure minimization of the generation of black money. BJP is committed to initiate the process of tracking down and bringing back black money stashed in foreign banks and offshore accounts. We will set up a Task Force for this purpose and to recommend amendments to existing laws or enact new laws. The process of bringing back black money to India what belongs to India, will be put in motion on priority. We will also proactively engage with foreign Governments to facilitate information sharing on black money.
Decision and Policy Paralysis
The country has suffered a decade of maladministration and scams in addition to decision and policy paralysis; thus bringing growth and development to a grinding halt leading to a 'Governance deficit'. This situation will be changed and the engine of Government will be ignited again with strong willpower and commitment to public interest. We will also encourage the bureaucracy to take right decisions and contribute their might in building a modern India.
Wherever we go, we encounter bottlenecks. We experience it on a daily basis - in government offices for even the simplest of public services, in our courts buried in high pendency and so on. Similarly, we are known by a culture of missing links and lack of last mile connectivity. We have water but no pipeline to carry it; we have schools but no teachers; we have computers and machines but no electricity; we have scientists but no labs; we have instruments but no one to work on them. This reduces the pace of our performance and results into wastage of time, money and energy. Intent to do the right thing and the will to do things rightly, is missing. This has to be attended to on a priority basis.
Whatever we do and provide for, the whole chain has to be kept in mind. With this in mind, we will:
- remove bottlenecks and missing links in all sectors, activities and services.
- focus on proper planning and execution for right outcomes.
- strive for scale and speed with futuristic vision.
- Build institutions for today and tomorrow.
The biggest challenge that India faces today is to restore the credibility of, and trust in the Union Government. In recent years, the Union Government has lost every semblance of credibility. Its intentions, integrity and initiatives, all are questionable. The Congress party has not only lowered the dignity of the Government, but also the dignity of India. This is what is driving recent adversities like the falling rupee and countries riding roughshod over us. The BJP will work for restoring the trust and credibility of the Government. We will also ensure that the chain of responsibility and accountability is built in the system.
Strengthen the Framework
India is a diverse country. Diverse communities settled in vastly different regions have their own aspirations. Taking these aspirations into consideration, the centre and the states therefore have to evolve a working system, which leads to harmonious relations. The genuine grievances of every state will be addressed in a comprehensive manner.
- We will place Centre-State relations on an even keel through the process of consultation and strive for harmonious Centre-State relations.
- Our Government will be an enabler and facilitator in the rapid progress of states. We will evolve a model of national development, which is driven by the states.
- Team India shall not be limited to the Prime Minister led team sitting in Delhi, but will also include
Chief Ministers and other functionaries as equal partners.
- Ensure fiscal autonomy of States while urging financial discipline.
- Create 'Regional Councils of States', with common problems and concerns, with a view to seeking solutions that are applicable across a group of states.
- We will encourage cooperation among states on security-related issues, inter-state disputes and for removing inter-regional economic disparities and promoting tourism.
- We recognize the special needs and unique problems of the hill and desert states. In consultation with the Governments of these states, state-specific developmental priorities/ models will be evolved so that the aspirations of the people are met.
- Given the unique status of Union Territories (UTs), they will receive special attention. We will focus on developing and strengthening the economy of UTs. Tourism will be promoted, tribal welfare and their rights will receive full attention, and infrastructure and coastal area development will be given top priority.
- We reiterate our commitment to the protection and integrated development of our island territories.
- The moribund forums like 'National Development Council' and 'Inter-State Council' will be revived and made into active bodies.
- Involve the state Governments in the promotion of foreign trade and commerce.
- Help the states mobilize resources through investments in industry, agriculture and infrastructure.
Integrating the Nation - Its Vastness and Voices
In a democracy, everyone is not only free, but also encouraged to voice his or her concerns. It is also necessary that these voices be heard and concerns redressed. However, all this should happen within the framework of our constitution and with the spirit of 'India First'. We have to keep the Nation at the forefront of our thoughts and actions. Any activity, which disrupts the integrity of the nation, cannot be in the interest of any segment of the society or any region of the country. All Indians living in different regions of the country have an equal stake in the progress of the country and they have to be assured of the fruits of the progress.
- Presently, we see that there is a vast regional disparity between different regions of the country along developmental parameters, particularly between the western part and the eastern part. Despite their richness in both natural as well as human resources, eastern part of India still lags behind.
- We shall give the highest priority towards bringing the eastern parts of the country on par with the western parts. To that extent, there shall be special focus and emphasis on the development of the eastern side of India.
- Government will play the role of an enabler and a facilitator to the rapid progress of the states; planning along regional aspirations, strengths and potentials, evolving appropriate strategies for various zones of the country - hilly regions, plains, desert and coastal areas.
Regional aspirations: BJP has always stood for greater decentralization through smaller States.
Northeast : Resource rich North-Eastern states are lagging behind in development due to poor governance, systemic corruption and poor delivery of public services. NDA government had initiated concrete steps to address the issue of development of Northeast by setting up the Ministry of North- Eastern Region. We will empower this Ministry with a broader charter and non-lapsable funds for the rapid development of the region.
- put special emphasis on enhancing the connectivity within the region and to the rest of the country.
There will be special emphasis on massive infrastructure development, especially along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
- address the issue of Flood control in Assam and river water management.
- nurture more job generating opportunities like tourism and IT industry.
- address the issue of infiltration and illegal immigrants in the Northeast region on a priority basis.
This will include clear policy directions and effective control at the ground level.
- complete all pending fencing work along the India-Bangladesh and India-Myanmar border, stepping up border security.
- take measures for the safety of North-Eastern students studying across the country including setting up Hostels for North-Eastern students at various educational centres.
- deal with Insurgent groups with a firm hand.
Jammu and Kashmir: Jammu and Kashmir was, is and shall remain an integral part of the Union of India. The territorial integrity of India is inviolable. BJP will pursue an agenda of equal and rapid development in all the three regions of the state - Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.
- The return of Kashmiri Pandits to the land of their ancestors with full dignity, security and assured livelihood will figure high on the BJP's agenda.
- The long pending problems and demands of refugees from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) will be addressed.
- BJP reiterates its stand on the Article 370, and will discuss this with all stakeholders and remains committed to the abrogation of this article.
- All steps will be taken to provide good governance, better infrastructure, educational opportunities, healthcare and more job opportunities, leading to a better quality of life in the valley.
Seemandhra and Telangana: BJP is committed to do full justice to Seemandhra, and address the issues of development and governance of Seemandhra and Telangana.
Decentralization and People's Participation
From Representative to Participatory Democracy
India is a country of immense diversity - a highly decentralized federal structure is thus crucial in meeting the varied ideas and aspirations of our diverse people. Power is currently concentrated in Delhi and the State capitals. We believe this power should be genuinely decentralized. BJP has stood for greater decentralization through devolving of powers to the states. A vast reservoir of People's Power has not yet been tested in the real sense. We have not been able to involve the people in Governance as functionaries and facilitators.
- People's Participation: Our developmental process will be a people's movement - of Jan bhagidari.
We will make them the active drivers of development rather than mere passive recipients.
- People's Engagement: Through Pro-active, Pro-people Good Governance, we will ensure the Government itself directly reaches out to the people, especially the weak and marginalized sections of society.
- We will further evolve the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model into a People-Public-Private
Partnership (PPPP) model.
- BJP is committed to strengthen self-Governance at the local level and we will empower Panchayati
Raj Institutions with extensive devolution of the 3 Fs - Functions, Functionaries and Funds.
- Good performers amongst the Panchayats will be rewarded with additional developmental grants.
- Strengthen the institution of the Gram Sabha, respecting their inputs and initiatives for development process.
- We will actively involve people in policy formulation and evaluation through various platforms.
- We will encourage Openness in the Government, involving all stakeholders in the decision-making processes.
Reform the System
Good Governance: Transparent, Effective, Involving and Encouraging
BJP believes in India being one country, one people and one nation. BJP recognizes the importance of diversity in Indian society, and the strength and vibrancy it adds to the nation. The party believes in the principle of unity in diversity.
India constitutes of all its' people, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or sex. It constitutes of all the communities - ethnic, social and cultural groups and also our culture, which is defined by tolerance and co-existence. The hallmark of India is "Unity in Diversity". It constitutes of each and every inch of our land, its natural resources and mental and physical energy we possess. It constitutes of all the institutions made in the past and present.
India First simply means nurturing and protecting all the elements, which India is made of. It does not exclude anyone or anything - it only includes everything and everyone, which India is made of. It is complete India; without exclusion, without exception. It also means that whatever is in the interest of India will be in the interest of all the elements that India is made up of, including its citizens.
The counter to the concept of 'India First' is what is happening today; appeasement of one, at the cost of the other, using Institutions for protecting the interest of a particular party or persons. It is reflected in the thinking that whatever is not in the interest of a party is not in the interest of India. Clearly, Governance on these lines is not in the interest of India.
Simply speaking, 'India First' puts the national interest first while taking any decision or step both by Governments and citizens. Even more simply put, you have to just see the face of India and Indians when you are in doubt. This is what separates 'India First' from the present day politics and Governance of the Congress-led UPA.
- the only philosophy and religion of a Government should be India First.
- the only epic of a Government should be India's Constitution.
- the only power of a Government should be the power of the people.
- the only prayer of a Government should be the welfare of its people.
- the only way of a Government should be 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'.
Open Government and Accountable Administration
Administrative reforms will be a priority for the BJP. Hence, we propose to implement them through an appropriate body under the PMO. The objective will be to bring in transparency in Government's decision- making process. Government systems and processes would be relooked to make them citizen friendly, corruption free and accountable. Every effort will be made to meet the development aspirations of the people and make the Government agencies accountable to the citizens. We will set-up an effective Lokpal institution. Corruption at any level will be dealt with firmly and swiftly.
From birth certificate to school admission, from setting up business to paying of taxes, our present systems complicate the lives of our own people. We will reform it and make it easy in terms of access, efficiency and delivery. Following specific action will be initiated:
- digitization of Government records will be taken up on top priority so that they are easily accessible.
- performance review, social and environment audit would be mandated for all Government schemes and programmes.
- open up Government to draw expertise from the industry, academia and society into the services.
- government will be redefined by elimination of whatever is obsolete in laws, regulations, administrative structures, practices and would be purposive.
- we will generate 'Kartavya Bhavna' among public servants as lives and productivity of people is dependent on the quality and efficiency of public services.
On the whole, hallmarks of our Governance model would be:
- Policy driven
- Time bound delivery
- Minimum Government, Maximum Governance
E-Governance: Easy, Efficient and Effective
BJP believes that IT is a great enabler for empowerment, equity and efficiency. The NDA Government had made IT one of the major thrust areas. With the result, India is the IT capital for the whole world. But back home, the benefits of IT have not percolated down. This will be a high priority area for BJP that IT touches the lives of ordinary men and women. BJP has been known for good Governance and e- Governance will become the backbone for good Governance. BJP aims to nurture a Digital India - making every household and every individual digitally empowered.
Information Technology has made it possible to make information and services reach to the ordinary men and women even in remote areas, easily and effectively. Availability of information is the key to empowerment of the stakeholders. This also reduces the scope for discretion and manipulation.
- focus on increasing the penetration and usage of broadband across the country. Deployment of broadband in every village would be a thrust area.
- leverage technology for e-Governance and engage proactively with the people through social media for participative governance and effective public grievance redressal mechanism.
- generate IT based jobs in rural and semi-urban areas.
- make technology enabled products affordable for students.
- use technology to reduce the burden of books on children. Make all institutions and schools e- enabled in a phased manner. Digital learning and training to be used extensively.
- pursue a mission mode project under the 'National Rural Internet and Technology Mission' for use of telemedicine and mobile healthcare for rural healthcare delivery; use of IT for agriculture for real time information; Self Help Groups; retail trade and SMEs; and rural entrepreneurs, etc.
- initiate a National e-Governance Plan to cover every Government office from the centre to the panchayats. The 'E-Gram, Vishwa Gram' scheme in Gujarat to be implemented nationwide.
- promote e-Bhasha - National Mission for the promotion of IT in Indian Languages.
- focus to bring SC/ST, OBCs and other weaker sections of the society within the ambit of IT
- deploy IT to protect India's priceless cultural and artistic heritage, which includes digitization of all archives and museology.
- promote 'open source' and 'open standard' software.
- mandate digitization of all government work to reduce corruption and delays.
- set up High-speed digital highways to unite the nation.
- use technology to reduce Transmission and distribution losses.
- use mobile and e-Banking to ensure financial inclusion.
BJP aims to make every household digitally literate with a goal to make India the Global Knowledge hub, with IT being a major driver and engine of growth.
Institutional Reform - Administrative, Judicial, Police and Electoral
Today, people of this country are frustrated with the present system. Our administrative set up should be people-centric, responsive and result-oriented. With this in mind, we are committed to bring the following reforms:
- the administration and its members will be made truly accountable to their tasks as well as the people through rigorous evaluation process.
- good performance will be rewarded; non-performers will be given opportunities and training support to improve.
- rationalization and convergence among the Ministries, departments and other arms of the
Government will be ensured to focus on delivery.
- open up government to draw expertise from the industry, academia and society.
- services of youth in particular will be tapped to contribute in governance with Fellowship and
Internship programmes launched at various levels.
BJP is committed to ensure Justice for All - justice which is prompt and accessible. Understanding that Justice Delayed is Justice Denied, we will adopt a multi-pronged approach to address the high pendency of cases in our judicial system.
- accord high priority to judicial reforms to address the issue of appointment of judges, filling the vacancies, opening new courts, setting up a mechanism for speedy clearance of the backlog of cases at various levels in the judiciary.
- initiate a mission mode project for filling the vacancies in the judiciary and for doubling the number of courts and judges in the subordinate judiciary.
- set up a National Judicial Commission for the appointment of judges in higher judiciary.
- create a fund for modernization of courts to improve the operational efficiency of courts.
- set up a separate class of courts for cases involving specified commercial laws which fast track the litigation process.
- reform the criminal justice system to make dispensation of justice simpler, quicker and more effective and after examining the recommendations of the earlier reports on this subject.
Initiate the computerization and networking of courts all over the country.
- extend fast track courts to all layers of the judiciary.
- expand alternative dispute redressal mechanisms through Lok Adalats and Tribunals.
- implement the National Litigation Policy in letter and spirit to reduce average pendency time of cases.
- review and reduce significantly the number of cases, in which the Government is a litigant in the next five years.
- periodically review and refine/ scrap outdated laws.
- create courts specially equipped to deal with IPR cases.
- give special emphasis to the development of Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanisms - like
Lok Adalats, Arbitration and Conciliation centres.
- set up a comprehensive National e-Library, empowering Lawyers.
- aim to enhance the number of women in the Bar as well as Bench, reducing the gender gap in judiciary.
- evolve a national network of specialized universities having expertise in complementary domains
- like Forensics, Arbitration, IPR, International Law, etc.
- develop India into a Global Hub for Arbitration and Legal Process Outsourcing.
We will simultaneously reform the legal system to make it more accessible to the common man. We will:
- undertake a comprehensive review of the legal system to simplify complex legislations - converge overlapping legislation, as well as remove contradictory and redundant laws.
- establish an institutional mechanism to periodically review and give suggestions for refining our laws.
- simplify legal procedure and language.
- make legal information open and freely accessible.
- run legal awareness programmes and introduce in school curriculum - making the common man aware of his rights and duties.
Our police forces are entrusted with the crucial responsibility of maintaining law and public order, which forms one of the central pillars of our democracy. We will work with the states to empower them with the authority, independence and resources necessary to deliver:
- Roll out a comprehensive strategy for bringing the Indian Police at par with international standards.
- Facilitate training and capacity building of Police forces.
- Modernize the police force, equipping them with the latest technology.
- Initiate the networking of police stations across the country for intelligence sharing and crime control.
- Strengthen Investigations, making them Swift, Transparent, Fair, Clear and Decisive - acting as an inescapable deterrent to wrong- doers and a protective shield to the innocent.
- Develop specialized expertise in investigation; through continuous training, especially in evolving competencies.
- Overhaul our intelligence set up, with special focus on coordination and integration of human and technological intel - comprehensively gearing it towards collecting real time, specific and actionable inputs.
- Modernize our Prison system with technology and infrastructure; to strengthen the security as well human rights and correctional dimensions.
- Work towards evolving common national standards and protocols.
- Train and technologically enable the police to track, pursue, as well as prevent Cyber Crime.
- Bring Coastal States together on a common platform to discuss issues of Marine Policing.
- Reinterpret the age-old concept of community policing in modern times; evolving ways for the police to reach out to the people, building bonds of trust and friendship - including spreading out into areas of public safety and public wellness.
- Give special emphasis for improving the working conditions and welfare of police personnel.
BJP is committed to initiate electoral reforms to eliminate criminals. The BJP will seek, through consultation with other parties, to evolve a method of holding Assembly and Lok Sabha elections simultaneously. Apart from reducing election expenses for both political parties and Government, this will ensure certain stability for State Governments. We will also look at revising expenditure limits realistically.
Widen the Platform
Certain segments of India have been historically disadvantaged. Due to a lopsided development approach and skewed allocation of resources, they continue to lag behind the rest of the country in socio- economic indicators in spite of having abundant natural resources and talent. Consequently, our demographic dividend is not being fully actualized. It is the duty of the government to enable every Indian to realize his or her full potential, ensuring equitable growth and development. We are committed towards this end, and will ensure the same by:
- Empowering each and every Indian through health and education.
- Increasing Opportunities by making Job creation central to our economic model.
- Ensuring a basic level of Infrastructure to all - Home, Electricity, Water, Toilets and Access.
Poor and Marginalized - Bridge the Gap
Our Government will be a government of the poor, marginalized and left behind. Every Indian has a right over everything that India has. From this, he or she is free to weave his or her own dreams. The India of tomorrow will have 125 crore such dreams, and will be built on the same. We will not only empower our citizens with the ability to dream; we will enable them with the capability to actualize their dreams.
The real test of the success of a development process lies in the happiness of the common man. The fruits of growth and development must reach the weakest, most deprived and remotest of people. With firm belief in the concept of Antyodaya - uplifting the poorest of the poor - Extreme Poverty and malnutrition will be treated as a National priority, and will be addressed on Mission Mode.
- strengthen Delivery of poverty alleviation programs through convergence, transparency and efficiency.
- identify 100 most backward districts of the country to bring them at par with other districts through prioritized and integrated development.
- strengthen the natural resource base of the people to tide over natural calamities.
- aim to gainfully employ rural poor in agriculture and allied activities.
- enable the urban poor to develop skills so that they take advantage of the emerging opportunities.
- facilitate partnership across all levels of government, civil society, academic and financial institutions in this national mission of poverty alleviation.
BJP has always held that 'universal food security' is integral to national security. BJP will take steps to ensure that the benefits of the scheme reach the common man and that the right to food does not remain an act on paper or a political rhetoric. BJP will review all the laws and schemes, in consultation with the states, to ensure a corruption-free efficient implementation of food security, which would be a priority.
- review the successful PDS models, and incorporate the best practices to revise the existing PDS, for benefitting the common man.
- address the issue of under-nutrition and malnutrition.
- encourage the production of cereals, pulses and oils.
- radically transform the Food Corporation of India (FCI).
- ensure contingency stocks for any exigencies arising due to natural calamities or external factors.
- seek the participation of voluntary organizations in running community kitchens.
SCs, STs, OBCs and Other Weaker Sections - Social Justice and Empowerment
The BJP is committed to bridge the gap, following the principles of Samajik Nyay (social justice) and Samajik Samrasata (social harmony). This social justice must be further complemented with economic justice and political empowerment. Instead of pursuing identity politics and tokenisms, we will focus on empowering the deprived sections of society. Steps will be taken to create an enabling ecosystem of equal opportunity - for education, health and livelihood. We will accord highest priority to ensuring their security, especially the prevention of atrocities against SCs & STs.
We believe that accelerated social justice and integrated development is the key to the progress of our country and success of our democracy. The BJP is committed to bridge the divide following the principle of social justice (Samajik Nyay) and social harmony (Samajik Samrasata). Instead of pursuing identity politics and tokenisms, which have not led to any tangible results for the SC, ST, OBCs and other weaker sections of our society, the BJP will focus on tangible development and empowerment.
- A high priority for SC, ST, OBCs and other weaker sections would be to create an ecosystem for education and entrepreneurship.
- BJP is committed to the eradication of untouchability at all levels.
- BJP is committed to eliminate manual scavenging.
- BJP will look at more effective ways to pull these people out of the poverty line.
- BJP will ensure that the funds allocated for schemes and programmes for SC, ST, OBCs and other weaker sections are utilized properly.
- A mission mode project would be made for housing, education, health and skills development.
- Special focus would be on the children, especially the girl child, with regards to health, education and skills development.
Tribal development will be one of the focus areas. BJP believes that half-hearted, incremental and piecemeal attempts for the development of tribals have not helped. So the BJP commits to make a comprehensive, all-encompassing long-term strategy to empower tribals and ensure their welfare. The goal would be to ensure tribal development while preserving the unique identities of this community. The Governments of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have successfully implemented the tribal welfare and development schemes and their model would be used for tribal welfare and development.
BJP will initiate a 'Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojna' at the national level to be overseen by a 'Tribal Development Authority'. This scheme will focus on:
- Setting up the entire education network for tribals.
- Upgrading housing, water and health facilities.
- Electrification of tribal hamlets and provision of all - weather roads.
- Initiating new economic activities.
- Promoting the products associated with the tribal culture by setting tribal haats in tourist towns and other centres.
- Ensure that the tribal land is not alienated.
- Facilitating access to minor forest produce and creating a network of rural haats (markets).
- Establishing the National Centre for Tribal Research and Culture to preserve the tribal culture and languages.
- Enhancing the funds for tribal welfare and development.
Minorities - Equal Opportunity
BJP believes that in India's 'Unity in Diversity' lies India's biggest strength. We cherish the depth and vibrancy that the diversity in Indian society adds to the nation. BJP is thus committed to the preservation of the rich culture and heritage of India's minority communities; alongside their social and economic empowerment.
It is unfortunate that even after several decades of independence, a large section of the minority, and especially Muslim community continues to be stymied in poverty. Modern India must be a nation of equal opportunity. BJP is committed to ensure that all communities are equal partners in India's progress, as we believe India cannot progress if any segment of Indians is left behind.
- Ensure that the young, and the girl child in particular get education and jobs without discrimination.
- Strengthen and modernize minority educational systems and institutions; dovetailing them with modern requirements. National Madrasa modernization programme would be initiated.
- Empower with vibrancy in Livelihood and Entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Augment their traditional artisanship and entrepreneurial skill, which are a backbone of our cottage and small-scale industry - strengthening these sectors through better market linkages, branding and access to credit.
- Empower Waqf Boards in consultation with religious leaders; taking steps to remove encroachments from and unauthorized occupation of Waqf properties.
- Curate their rich heritage and culture - maintenance and restoration of heritage sites; digitization of archives; preservation and promotion of Urdu.
- Ensure a peaceful and secure environment, where there is no place for either the perpetrators or exploiters of fear.
- Facilitate the setting up of a permanent Inter-faith Consultative mechanism to promote harmony and trust, under the auspices of religious leaders.
Neo-Middle Class - Meet their Aspirations
India has a large middle class with immense understanding, talent and purchasing power. In addition, a whole new class has emerged. Those who have risen from the category of poor and are yet to stabilize in the middle class, the 'neo middle class'. This class needs proactive handholding. Having moved out of poverty, their aspirations have increased. They want amenities and services of a certain standard. They thus now feel that Government facilities and services are not up to the mark, and hence resort to the private sector for things like education, health and transport. This is obviously costly, putting the neo middle class into a daily dilemma. As more and more people move into this category, their expectations for better public services have to be met. We have to strengthen the Public Sector for providing efficient services to our citizens. In particular attention will be paid on government providing:
- Educational scholarships and educational facilities.
- Medical insurance and quality healthcare services.
- Middle-income housing.
- Efficient public transport systems.
Rural Areas - High Priority
Two-thirds of our people live in villages. Lack of amenities to live and opportunities to work, however, are restricting our rural life. Both these factors are the result of prolonged neglect. A full-fledged programme for 'Rural Rejuvenation' will be made and implemented which will comprise of integrated strategies for personal, economic and social well being of the villagers. Through the idea of Rurban, we will bring urban amenities to our rural areas, while retaining the soul of the village.
Agriculture, rural development and poverty alleviation go hand in hand. Major thrust area for rural development would be to improve village level infrastructure in terms of roads, potable water, education, health, supply chain, electricity, broadband, job creation, security in rural areas and linkage to markets.
Urban Areas - High Growth Centres
More than one-third of our population is already living in our cities and towns. Soon, the urban areas will cover half our people. Moreover, our cities should no longer remain a reflection of poverty and bottlenecks. Rather they should become symbols of efficiency, speed and scale.
- We will look at urbanisation as an Opportunity rather than a Threat.
- Major steps will be undertaken in Transport and Housing for 'Urban Upliftment' in India.
- We will initiate building 100 new cities; enabled with the latest in technology and infrastructure - adhering to concepts like sustainability, walk to work etc, and focused on specialized domains.
- The approach to urban development will be based on integrated habitat development - building on concepts like Twin cities and Satellite towns.
- Upgrade existing urban centres, transitioning focus from basic infrastructure to public utility services like Waste and Water Management - for a clean and healthy city life.
- Cleanliness and Sanitation will be given priority - efficient Waste and Water management systems will be set up. Model towns will be identified for rolling out integrated waste management infrastructure.
- Wi-Fi facilities will be made available in public places and commercial centres.
- Urban poverty alleviation scheme would be a key thrust area.
- Use technology for scientific, strategic and long term town planning - including GIS based mapping.
- Build quality integrated Public Transport systems, discouraging usage of private vehicles.
We have to give the taste of a developed country to this very generation. We have to take a quantitative and qualitative leap. The time of knee jerk reactions and incremental changes has gone. What we need is a quantum jump and a total change. We also believe that development has to be holistic, uniform and all pervasive. Further, we have to make the people active partners in whatever is happening and empower them to take advantage of the development process. We will make an effort that government withdraws from those services which could be done by others and devote that extra time, money and energy for social sectors, particularly for development of the weaker sections. And a common thread will run across all our ideas and initiatives. This common thread is the wire and wave of Technology - maximum application of technology for making governance easy, economical and effective.
Social Security - A Caring Government, Passionate Society
India has always been a caring society. It is in our culture to help the aged, the weak and the helpless. We have to retain this. We have to educate our younger generations about this. The social security schemes of the Governments have to be made more meaningful. Our aspirations get frustrated when we encounter a weak social infrastructure. We need it on a daily basis.
Children - the Future of the Nation
"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children" - Nelson Mandela
Indicators related to children welfare are an indicator of the progress of the nation, be it health, education or safety of children. Under the UPA rule, the same has not been given its due weightage. BJP is committed to address the issues related to children, like malnutrition and under-nutrition, problem of child labour, child-trafficking and missing children, sexual abuse, school dropouts and the increasing crime rate among juveniles. BJP will take the following steps to ensure survival, development, participation and protection of children:
- Lay special emphasis on vulnerable children and especially those belonging to the vulnerable communities like SCs, STs, OBCs, migrants, slum dwellers, street dwellers and those with disabilities.
- Ensure effective implementation of the Right to Education, Right to Food Security Act.
- Review, amend and strengthen the Child and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act,
2012 and Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
- Focused efforts will be made to address issue of anaemia.
- Reduce the burden of books on children without compromising on the quality of education.
- Endeavour to inculcate values amongst children.
BJP is committed to the welfare of senior citizens, especially their security and health care. We will take measures to deal with the issues related to the senior citizens in a focused manner.
- Provide financial support, exploring ideas like additional tax benefits and higher interest rates.
- Invest in setting up and improving old-age homes.
- Harness their experience in the National Interest. Devise schemes and programs to engage the senior citizens as volunteers / part time workers in various development programmes of the government, in urban and rural areas. This will not only help in utilizing their time, but also it would be an effective utilization of their experience and may add an additional source of income for them.
About 70 million people are suffering from disability, and BJP considers it a serious neglect. The welfare and rehabilitation of disabled people is integral to our vision of a caring society and that of a responsive government. The BJP commits to:
- Enact the 'Rights of the Persons with Disabilities bill' (RPWD).
- Use technology to deliver low cost quality education to specially-abled students 'in-home' - through E-learning.
- Identify each and every special needs person across the country - establishing a web based disability registration system to issue universal ID for all applicable government benefits (healthcare, transportation, jobs, education etc).
- Ensure disabled friendly access to public facilities, public buildings and transport.
- Ensure maximum economic independence of the disabled by creating more income generation models for them.
- Support and aid voluntary organizations working for the care of the disabled.
- Provide a higher tax relief for the family member taking care of the disabled.
Youth - Making India Unstoppable
'Young men, my hope is in you. Will you respond to the call of your nation? Each one of you has a glorious future if you dare believe me. Have a tremendous faith in yourselves, like the faith I had when I was a child, and which I am working out now. Have that faith, each one of you, in yourself-that eternal power is lodged in every soul-and you will revive the whole of the country.' - Swami Vivekananda
BJP considers youth as the most productive asset of the nation who have played a key role in taking the country to a near double digit growth. All sectors dominated by youth are doing exceptionally well. India is the oldest civilization but the youngest country and this necessitates that the policies must be based on the judicious mix of experience of energy, and be 'Youth inclusive', so that youth are an integral part of the development process. We commit to review and revise policies to seek participation of youth in decision-making and nation building process and actively get the youth to participate in decision-making bodies.
- we will initiate the 'Young Leaders programme' in all sectors, to recognize, reward and involve these exceptionally talented youth to serve as role models and mentors for others.
- set up the National Youth Advisory Council.
- BJP will initiate nation-wide 'district level incubation and accelerator programme' for encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.
- procedure to avail Student's loans will be simplified and loans made affordable.
- set up neighbourhood Children's/ Youth Parliament across India that leads to vibrant student committees.
- Will launch a programme, 'Youth for Development'.
Promotion of Sports
BJP recognizes the importance of sports in society and for all age groups. Sports have a direct relation to fitness, good health and productivity. India has not fared well in sports, and needs to invest for promotion of sports in an organized manner.
- BJP will promote all sports - traditional and modern.
- More funds will be allocated to sports, and we will encourage the State Governments to fully discharge their responsibility in the promotion of sports.
- Steps would be taken to inculcate a culture of sports at the school level by arranging sports facilities and training needs for promoting a healthy lifestyle, and making sports as a compulsory part of the school curriculum.
- Launch a 'National Sports Talent Search System', so that extraordinary sporting talent is identified at a very young age. Such promising boys and girls will be selected for special training. The existing rural sports programme and National Women Sports Festival will be broadened to reach every village and to identify talent for nurturing and excellence development.
- Attractive career path needs to be planned for sportspersons providing security of career through jobs in government, PSUs and private sector.
- Establish sports academies across the country.
- Special scheme would be devised for sportspersons to ensure social security.
- Encourage business houses to patronize sports and sportspersons.
- Mandate all new housing colonies to include sports facilities.
Women - The Nation Builder
BJP recognizes the important role of women in development of the society and growth of the nation, and remains committed to give a high priority to Women's Empowerment and welfare. BJP ruled states have demonstrated this through various schemes. BJP also recognizes the need for women's security as a precondition to women's empowerment and will undertake the following for women welfare:
- Women's welfare and development will be accorded a high priority at all levels within the government, and BJP is committed to 33% reservation in parliamentary and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment.
- Launch a national campaign for saving the girl child and educating her - Beti Bachao - Beti Padhao.
- Structure a comprehensive scheme, incorporating best practices from past successes like Balika Samruddhi, Ladli Laxmi and Chiranjeevi Yojana to support encourage positive attitude amongst families towards the girl child.
- Program for women healthcare in a mission mode, especially focusing on domains of Nutrition and Pregnancy - with emphasis on rural, SCs, STs and OBCs.
- We will enable women with training and skills - setting up dedicated Women ITIs, Women wings in other ITIs.
- Strict implementation of laws related to women, particularly those related to rape.
- Fund for relief and rehabilitation of rape victims lies unused at the Centre as the Government has not worked out the modalities of dispensation. BJP will clear this on priority.
- Government will create an Acid Attack victims welfare fund to take care of the medical costs related to treatment and cosmetic reconstructive surgeries of such victims.
- Make police stations women friendly, and increase the number of women in police at different levels.
- Introduce self defence as a part of the school curriculum.
- Using information technology for women's safety.
- Set up an All Women Mobile Bank to cater to women.
- Special skills training and business incubator park for women.
- Setting up special business facilitation center for women.
- Expand and improve upon the network of women / working women hostels.
- Set up a dedicated W-SME (Women Small and medium enterprises) cluster in every district.
- Review the working conditions and enhance the remuneration of Anganwadi worker's.
- Remove any remaining gender disparities in property rights, marital rights and cohabitation rights.
- Special adult literacy initiative would be started for women with focus on SCs, STs, OBCs, and slum residents.
- Will ensure that the loans to Women Self Help Groups would be available at low interest rates.
- Special programs aimed at girls below poverty line, tribals and indigent women.
- Appropriate measures would be taken to check female foeticide, dowry, child marriage, trafficking, sexual harassment, rape and family violence.
- We will transform the quality of life of women in Rural India by providing electricity, tapped water, cleaner fuel and toilets in every home.
Education - Enroll and Excel
BJP believes that education is the most powerful tool for the advancement of the nation and the most potent weapon to fight poverty. Education in India needs to be revitalized and reorganized to make future generations proud of their culture, heritage and history and also for creating confidence in the vitality of India. Every effort shall be made to ensure 'equality of opportunity in access and success' to all learners; creating a harmonious, and cohesive egalitarian society that practices democratic values. This would be possible only when Education accords due emphasis on national integration, social cohesion, religious amity, national identity and patriotism. It must also be analyzed how far education has contributed to moral, ethical and humanistic values in the individuals and the society.
Education must create minds free from superstitions, hatred and violence and become an important vehicle to cement national unity, social cohesion and religious amity. Our endeavour should be to inculcate moral, ethical and humanistic values in the individuals and the society.
India has to become a knowledge society and has to reverberate with educated skilled manpower of high standards required to meet the challenges of 21st century. This requires a bold and visionary leadership to introduce appropriate policy and structural changes.
Highest priority would be given to address the acute shortage of teachers and researchers, quality of education and research, and also the employability factor associated with most of the courses. Education should not only lead to employability but also job creation and entrepreneurship by introducing a national multi-skills orientation program.
We intend to review and revise education system; the salary structures associated with the teaching staff and most importantly, address the shortfall of faculty and related issues in the country. The system shall be made people-friendly and the credibility of the system shall be restored.
Investment in education yields the best dividend. Public spending on education would be raised to 6% of the GDP, and involving the private sector would further enhance this.
Under the scheme of 'Quality education for all', BJP would take the following steps;
- NDA's flagship program 'Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan': Mechanism would be set up for its performance audit and to have real time information about its performance. Programme shall be strengthened and expanded with a goal to remove illiteracy.
- Universalization of secondary school education and skills development through functional school shall be seriously pursued with particular focus on rural, tribal and difficult areas.
- The content and process of school education shall be thoroughly reviewed to make it dynamic, stress-free, attractive and responsive to the emerging national needs.
- Girls shall be provided all possible help to continue and complete school education.
- The digital divide shall not be allowed to create further divisions in the learning situations of children.
- Special pedagogy would be developed for differently-abled students.
- On priority, a national modernization programme for madrasa's would be started.
- Mid-day meal scheme would be revitalized in terms of management and delivery.
- We will explore ways to reduce the daily burden of carrying books to school for children, which would also entail use of technology for education as a mission mode project.
- Establish a national E-Library to empower school teachers and students.
- Initiate a multi-country student exchange programme for broadening the horizon of school going children.
- Creative talents of students will be recognized and encouraged.
Higher and Professional Education
The basic objective of higher and professional education is not only rapid advancement of the affluent sector of the society but also to improve the lot of the last man in the line.
The content should be designed to prepare the students to understand the current challenges and equip themselves to be able to readily adjust in a fast changing global scenario. Policy interventions would include:
- enhancing the pivotal role of the teachers by reworking the work culture of teacher training institutions with a goal to prepare committed and performing teachers.
- optimum utilization of physical and manpower resources.
- a mechanism for close interaction between industry (including SME), academia and community would be instituted.
- needs assessment exercise will be done for identifying the future needs across sectors, and the same would be used for developing appropriate courses for higher education, to ensure that the country has adequate manpower for every sector, both established and emerging, in the economy.
- will provide autonomy with steps to ensure accountability for institutions of higher learning.
- will raise the standard of education and research, so that Indian universities become at par with the top global universities and find their place in the global league.
- the credibility of the regulatory bodies shall be restored. The procedures to make appointments to senior positions shall be made transparent and merit and ability shall be the sole criterion.
- UGC will be restructured and it will be transformed into a Higher Education Commission rather than just being a grant distribution agency.
- we will revisit the Apprenticeship Act to facilitate our youth to Earn while they Learn.
- Would set up Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) and virtual classrooms to make it convenient for working class people and housewives to further their knowledge and qualifications.
- Correspondence courses will be started in new domains for self-employment, family run businesses, entrepreneurship and innovation, and these courses would be provided for free to women. The goal would be to prepare the youth for jobs being created by the emerging sectors, foster a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, leading to more incomes and job creation.
BJP will set up a National Commission on Education to report in two years on the state of education and the reforms needed. Based on the report, BJP will implement a National Education Policy to meet the changing dynamics of the population's requirement with regards to quality education, innovation and research, aiming to make India a knowledge superpower by equipping its students with the necessary skills and knowledge and to eliminate the shortage of manpower in science, technology, academics and industry.
Skills - Focusing on Productivity and Employability
Skillful hands, bright minds, discipline and perseverance makes Indian talent an asset worldwide. We have to live up to this potential, preparing the World's Largest Workforce. We have to make our youth productively employed and gainfully engaged. We also have to develop India as a Knowledge Powerhouse. We have to train and nurture our human resource. We have to use it for leap-frogging our Nation into the future. Unfortunately, the initiatives taken by Congress for this have fallen woefully short, being almost non-starters.
We will take up skill development on a mission mode, at an unprecedented scale.
- Skill Mapping - to help scientifically plan our national human resource development that India would need (like engineers, architects, doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants, plumbers, carpenters, welders, etc.).
- Launch a 'National Multi-skill Mission'
- We will run short-term courses, in the evenings, focusing on employable skills.
- We will also set up Centres of Excellence in various sectors in partnership with the Industry.
- To ensure industry responsive manpower, we will bring together industry, universities and government.
- We will promote vocational training on a massive scale. Rigid segregation of formal education and skill development will be broken; a mechanism will be established to give vocational qualifications of Academic Equivalence.
- We will also create institutional mechanisms to refresh and upgrade abilities through continuing education - to make them employable.
We will focus on need based skill development and employability; making our youth employable even in the most sophisticated jobs.
- put emphasis on imparting soft skills to enhance employability including a national program on foreign languages.
- launch a national programme for digital empowerment through computer literacy of the people, especially the youth.
- we will assess the talent and capacity of our youth from an early age; so they can be groomed accordingly.
- we will push for greater practical and research training encouraging real world experience through internships and apprenticeships.
Health Services - Increase the Access, Improve the Quality, Lower the Cost
India needs a holistic care system that is universally accessible, affordable and effective and drastically reduces the out of pocket spending on health. NRHM has failed to meet the objectives and will be radically reformed. BJP accords high priority to health sector, which is crucial for securing the economy.
The overarching goal of healthcare would be to provide, 'Health Assurance to all Indians and to reduce the out of pocket spending on health care', with the help of state governments.
The current situation calls for radical reforms in the healthcare system with regards to national healthcare programs and delivery, medical education and training and financing of healthcare. Our government would focus on the following reforms in healthcare:
- the last healthcare policy dates back to 2002. India now needs a comprehensive healthcare policy to address the complex healthcare challenges, keeping in view the developments in the healthcare sector and the changing demographics. BJP will initiate the New Health Policy.
- initiate the 'National Health Assurance Mission', with a clear mandate to provide universal healthcare that is not only accessible and affordable, but also effective, and reduces the OOP spending for the common man.
- Education and Training - Will review the role of various professional regulatory bodies in healthcare and consider setting up an overarching lean body for healthcare. High priority will be given to address the shortfall of healthcare professionals.
- Modernize Government hospitals, upgrading infrastructure and latest technologies.
- Reorganize Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in order to converge various departments dealing in healthcare, food and nutrition and pharmaceuticals, for effective delivery of healthcare services.
- Increase the number of medical and para-medical colleges to make India self sufficient in human resources, and set up an AIIMS like institute in every state.
- Yoga and Ayurveda are the gifts of ancient Indian civilization to humanity and we will increase the public investment to promote Yoga and AYUSH. We will start integrated courses for Indian System of Medicine (ISM) and modern science and Ayurgenomics. We will set up institutions and launch a vigorous program to standardize and validate the Ayurvedic medicine.
- Move to pre-emptive care model where the focus and thrust will be on child health and prevention.
- School health program would be a major focus area, and health and hygiene will be made a part of the school curriculum.
- Focus on Rural Health care delivery.
- Senior Citizens healthcare would be a special focus area.
- Give high priority to chronic diseases, and will invest in research and development of solutions for chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, cancer, CVD etc.
- Occupational health programs will be pursued aggressively.
- Utilize the ubiquitous platform of mobile phones for healthcare delivery and set up the 'National eHealth Authority' to leverage telemedicine and mobile healthcare for expanding reach and coverage and to define the standards and legal framework for technology driven care.
- Universalization of emergency medical services-108.
- Re-orientation of herbal plants board to encourage farming of herbal plants.
- Population stabilization would be a major thrust area and would be pursued as a mission mode program.
- Programme for Women Healthcare with emphasis on rural, SC, ST and OBC in a mission mode.
- Mission mode project to eradicate malnutrition.
- Launch National Mosquito Control mission.
Poor Hygiene and Sanitation have a far reaching, cascading impact. We will ensure a 'Swachh Bharat' by Gandhiji's 150th birth anniversary in 2019, taking it up in mission mode by converging resources and building around jan bhagidari:
- Create an open defecation free India by awareness campaign and enabling people to build toilets in their home as well as in schools and public places.
- Set up modern, scientific sewage and waste management systems.
- We will introduce Sanitation Ratings measuring and ranking our cities and towns on 'sanitation';
and rewarding the best performers.
- Make potable drinking water available to all thus reducing water-borne diseases, which will automatically translate into Diarrhoea-free India.
When the NDA Government completed its tenure the baton was handed over to the incoming UPA Government with GDP growth nearing double digit in 2004. Inflation was under control. Fiscal Deficit and Current Account Deficit were kept within limit and the overall Economy was showing robust fundamentals. In contrast, now at the end of Congress-led UPA regime, the GDP growth has plummeted to very low of 4.8%, the inflation and price rise beyond control, the fiscal deficit and current account deficit in the alarm zone, and the manufacturing sector facing a recession. The Congress-led UPA has indulged in massive scams during its last five years. In recent years, the Indian Rupee has seen a free fall like never before.
This is basically the result of policy and decision paralysis of the UPA Government. Decisions are simply not taken. And if they are taken, they turn into scandals. All this has destroyed the reputation of our economy. To reverse this process, the first thing, which is required, is to restore confidence in the integrity of the decision-making and sanctity of our decisions.
We will bring back credibility and trust in government, re-sowing confidence in the India story domestically as well as internationally. Through consistent, long-term policies, we will not just spur the process of economic growth, but also ensure that it is stable as well as balanced.
- find out solutions, which are effective in the short run and lasting in the long run.
- strictly implement Fiscal discipline, without compromising on funds availability for development work and asset creation
- allocate resources efficiently and effectively to re-energize the engines of growth.
- re-visit the policy framework for investments both foreign and domestic to make them more conducive.
- undertake Banking reforms to enhance ease and access, as well as accountability.
- we will encourage Savings as an important driver of investment and growth.
NPAs have increased sharply over the past few years and the trend continues. BJP will take necessary steps to reduce NPAs in Banking sector. Also, BJP will set up a strong regulatory framework for the non-banking financial companies to protect the investors.
UPA Government has unleashed 'Tax terrorism' and 'uncertainty', which not only creates anxiety amongst the business class and negatively impacts the investment climate, but also dents the image of the country. BJP realizes the importance of having a Tax Policy Roadmap, so that people are aware of the future and plan accordingly. We will:
- provide a non adversarial and conducive tax environment
- rationalize and simplify the tax regime
- overhaul the dispute resolution mechanisms
- bring on board all State governments in adopting GST, addressing all their concerns
- provide tax incentives for investments in research and development, geared towards indigenization of technology and innovation
Foreign Direct Investment
Barring the multi-brand retail sector, FDI will be allowed in sectors wherever needed for job and asset creation, infrastructure and acquisition of niche technology and specialized expertise. BJP is committed to protecting the interest of small and medium retailers, SMEs and those employed by them. The FIPBs (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) functioning shall be made more efficient and investor- friendly
Agriculture - Productive, Scientific and Rewarding
Agriculture is the engine of India's economic growth and the largest employer, and BJP commits highest priority to agricultural growth, increase in farmer's income and rural development.
- increase public investment in agriculture and rural development.
- take steps to enhance the profitability in agriculture, by ensuring a minimum of 50% profits over the cost of production, cheaper agriculture inputs and credit; introducing latest technologies for farming and high yielding seeds and linking MGNREGA to agriculture.
- Put in place welfare measures for farmers above 60 years in age, small and marginal farmers and farm labours.
- Introduce and promote low water consuming irrigation techniques and optimum utilization of water resources.
- Introduce soil assessment based crop planning and setting up mobile soil testing labs.
- Re-orient pest management and control programmes.
- implement and incentivize the setting up of the food processing industry that has remained just a plain talk till now. This will lead to better income for farmers and create jobs. We aim to set up 'agro food processing clusters', with high value, export-quality and vacuum packed food processing facilities, etc.
- Focus on the quality, productivity and trade of spices.
- Set up the 'Organic Farming and Fertilizer Corporation of India', to promote organic farming and fertilizers, and provide incentives and support for marketing organic produce.
- Introduce rotation farming for herbal products, based on geographical mapping, to enhance the income of farmers.
- Implement a farm insurance scheme to take care of crop loss due to unforeseen natural calamities.
- Strengthen and expand rural credit facilities.
- Promote horticulture, floriculture, pisciculture, bee-keeping and poultry for generating jobs and income for rural India
- Promote fish farming and aqua culture. Measures would be taken for the welfare of fisherman
- Create Cluster based storage systems (e.g. Rice cluster, Wheat Cluster, Veg - Fruit cluster, Spices cluster).
- Introduce the concept of consumer friendly farmers' market to reduce wastages and increase incomes and risk coverage.
- Reform the APMC act.
- Work with the states to set up seed culture labs in each district and regional agriculture innovation labs to conserve agro-biodiversity and to identify and preserve rare indigenous varieties.
- Explore setting up of regional Kisan TV channels.
- Give high priority to poverty alleviation in rural areas.
Genetically Modified (GM) foods will not be allowed without full scientific evaluation on its long-term effects on soil, production and biological impact on consumers.
Land acquisition is a contentious issue due to the opacity of the land acquisition process. BJP will adopt a 'National Land Use Policy', which will look at the scientific acquisition of non-cultivable land, and its development; protect the interest of farmers and keep in mind the food production goals and economic goals of the country. It's implementation would be monitored by the National Land Use Authority, which will work with the State Land Use Authorities to regulate and facilitate land management. The power and functions of the National Land Use Authority would be similar to those of other regulatory bodies.
Industry - Modern, Competitive and Caring
We should no longer remain a market for the global industry. Rather, we should become a Global Manufacturing Hub. We have to encourage our industry to innovate and collaborate internationally. We have to encourage industry to produce efficiently and cost-effectively.
Economic freedom implies that Government will not get in the way of the freedom of individuals to start and operate legitimate businesses. Increased economic freedom will break open the economic space to new entrants, especially in the form of small and medium-enterprises, creating jobs and prosperity. Particularly:
- We will ensure that a conducive, enabling environment is created making 'doing business' in
- We will focus on cutting the red tape, simplifying the procedures and removing the bottle- necks.
- We will ensure logistics infrastructure, including stable power.
- Our attempt will be to move towards a single-window system of clearances both at the centre and also at the State level through a Hub-spoke model.
- We will put in place a mechanism that will ensure that the Central and state governments work in close coordination and synergy while giving clearances to mega projects.
- Decision-making on environment clearances will be made transparent as well as time-bound.
- We will set up World class Investment and Industrial regions as Global Hubs of Manufacturing.
- We will set up a task force to review and revive our MSME sector (Micro and Small Medium scale
Enterprises); enabling it with better access to formal credit and technology for modernization.
- Frame the environment laws in a manner that provides no scope for confusion and will lead to speedy clearance of proposals without delay.
A strong manufacturing sector will not only bridge the demand-supply gap leading to price stabilization, but also create millions of jobs and increase incomes for the working class. Above all, it will increase the revenue for government and lead to import substitution to bring down the import bill. We will make India a hub for cost-competitive labour-intensive mass manufacturing. To give boost to manufacturing, BJP will:
- Accord high priority to the growth of manufacturing, so that we can create enough jobs in the country. This sector must grow fast to ensure employment and asset creation.
- Take steps for Interest rate rationalization and have a clear tax policy to remove uncertainty and create investor confidence.
- Take all steps; like removing red-tapism involved in approvals, to make it easy to do business, invest in logistics infrastructure, ensure power supply and undertake labour reforms, besides other steps to create a conducive environment for investors.
- Increase the public spending on R&D and Incentivize R&D investments by the industry to increase the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector.
- We will facilitate setting up of software and hardware manufacturing units.
- Encourage Indian companies to go global and we will support Indian companies in this endeavor.
We believe that Indian entrepreneurs have the capability to take on global markets.
- Set up trade facilitation to ensure easier customs clearances and visas for business travel.
- Initiate a Government - Industry Dialogue, a channel for regular interface with the industry.
MSMEs (Micro, small and medium enterprises)
BJP considers that the role of SME sector is crucial for the economic development of our country. The sector needs to be developed by providing international linkages for exports, availability of credit through a dedicated SME bank, supply chain efficiencies, adoption of IT, support in R&D and innovation, and a policy support for enhancing the mandate to purchase from SME for large scale projects. Overall goal is to enhance the competitiveness of the SME sector leading to a larger contribution to our economic growth and employment generation.
Every effort will be made to encourage the cooperative sector. BJP commits to review the existing laws with regards to the cooperative sector, and will amend the multi-state cooperative act to remove lacunae and anomalies.
We will move up the value chain of the sector driven by a focus on Quality.
- Market linkages - both national and international
- Access to credit and information and skills upgradation
- Value addition will be encouraged through avenues like - branding, packaging and technology.
Schemes will be drawn for skills upgradation and enhancement of business opportunities for artisans like smiths, weavers, carpenters, hair-dressers, shoe-smiths, and potters.
Services - Driven by Quality and Efficiency
Business and Trade
The modern era is an era of exchange. Over-regulation needs to be addressed to stop the harassment of the businessmen and traders. At the same time, we have to set up transparent systems, which ensure credibility of our goods and services. At the same time, the bottlenecks in transporting and exporting them have to be removed. Also, the flow of information about our tradable items has to be made available to the rest of the world.
- Focus on Zero defect products.
- Build world class Ports; connecting them with roads and rail to the hinterland so as to drive the maritime trade of the country.
- Air Cargo facilities will be enhanced throughout the country.
- An Export Promotion Mission will be established integrating all stakeholders.
- Current accounts deficit will be brought down aggressively by focusing on exports and reducing the dependency on imports. Value addition on our products will be the biggest task.
- We shall work with the State governments to usher in the GST in an appropriate timeframe. For implementing the same, a robust IT network system will be put in place.
- We will embark on the path of IPRs and Patents in a big way.
- Take all necessary steps to protect the interest of retailers, small traders and small vendors and equip them with the latest techniques and methods to modernize them and make them competitive.
- Commit to ensure that the retailers and SMEs don't have to spend time and money for seeking multiple licenses to start the business. There will a system in place to avoid harassment of small traders.
- Ensure easy availability of institutional credit.
- Review obsolete and multiple laws to reduce and simplify them.
- Remove ambiguity in rules to make way for prompt decisions without any scope for discretion.
- Telecom revolution has touched length and breadth of the country but there is significant scope and necessity to improve the quality of voice and data to fully leverage the potential.
Tourism - Untapped Potential
BJP recognizes the role tourism and hospitality can play as a foreign exchange earner and its ability to create millions of jobs every year. Tourism plays a key role in socio-economic progress through creation of jobs, enterprise, infrastructure development, and foreign exchange earnings.
BJP realizes that the tourism sector needs a clear plan for growth, and BJP commits to initiate a mission mode project to create 50 tourist circuits that are affordable and built around themes like: a.) Archaeological and Heritage, b.) Cultural and Spiritual, c.) Himalayan, d.) Desert, e.) Coastal, f.) Medical (Ayurveda and Modern Medicine), etc. This will lead to creation of infrastructure and employment around each tourist circuit and help in boosting revenue generation.
Specialized course in tourism will be started for capacity development. Safety and Security of tourists would be accorded due priority.
Labour Force - The Pillar of Our Growth
BJP recognizes the fact that the labour is the key to the revival of the economy and so are the laws governing them. We believe in promoting a harmonious relationship between labour and the industry, with both playing an important contributory role in economic growth and development.
We will ensure that the interests of labour in the unorganized sector are protected.
For the organized labour, we propose to encourage industry owners and labour to embrace the concept of 'Industry Family'. This concept, in which industry owners and labours bond as a family, is guided by the principles of efficiency, skill development and upgradation, productivity, appropriate wages and perquisites, and security towards this end. We will:
- issue identity cards to the unorganized sector labourers, and arrangements will be made to provide them good quality health and education services. Also, their skills will be upgraded through appropriate training programs.
- extend access to modern financial services to labour - including considering the option of setting up a dedicated Workers Bank.
- bring together all stakeholders to review our Labour laws which are outdated, complicated and even contradictory.
- strengthen the Pension and Health Insurance safety nets for all kinds of labourers.
Housing - No Longer a Mirage
We will roll out a massive Low cost Housing programme to ensure that by the time the nation completes 75 years of its Independence, every family will have a pucca house of its own. It will be an innovatively designed scheme that dovetails various existing programmes and also encourages the housing sector by appropriate policy interventions and credit availability including interest subventions, where necessary.
Our proposed programme will further ensure that these houses are equipped with the basic facilities of toilet, piped water supply, electricity and proper Access. To do this we will amongst others:
- Prioritize all our resources towards this goal.
- Leverage on land as a resource in urban areas and demand for unskilled labour in the rural areas.
- Innovatively structure the programme to converge and dovetail various existing programmes, while adding the missing links.
- Simultaneously encourage the overall housing sector, through appropriate policy interventions and credit availability and interest subvention schemes.
Physical Infrastructure - Better than the Best
India should no longer be limited by its infrastructure. In fact, we have to create robust infrastructure, which drives growth. For this purpose, we have to devote ourselves for a decade. We have to think big. Also, looking to the expansion in our population as well as social and economic activities, we have to build our infrastructure in a futuristic way. Growth of this sector means the growth of cement, steel, electricity and many other associated industries and directly leads to massive job creation. To achieve this, we will take following steps.
- Work on the Freight Corridors and attendant Industrial Corridors will be expedited. This will result in the faster movement of people and goods.
- Remote states like those in the Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir will be connected with the rest of India through world class highways and rail lines.
- National Highway construction projects will be expedited, especially Border and Coastal highways.
- Every village will be connected through all-weather roads.
- We shall modernize existing and operational Airports, and build new ones especially connecting smaller towns and all tourism circuits. In addition, there is a potential for inland air transportation to various remote and local locations in the country. Such air strips will be developed so that low cost air travelling becomes possible within the country.
- We will evolve an economic model of Port-led development. India is blessed with a long coastline.
We will modernize existing ports on one hand, and develop new ones on the other - stringing together our Sagar Mala project.
- Public Private Partnership would be encouraged to tap into private sector resources as well as expertise. An institutional framework would be established for the same; while regulators would be given greater autonomy as well as accountability.
Next Generation Infrastructure
- set up Gas Grids to make gas available to households and industry.
- set up a National Optical-Fibre Network up to the village level; and Wi-Fi zones in public areas.
- harness our advanced satellite technology and expertise for development.
The BJP realizes the importance of travel for the vibrancy of the economy and social unity. BJP will:
- Create a public transport system, which can reduce the dependence on personal vehicles for transport, thereby, reducing cost, time to travel as well as ecological cost.
- Launch an Integrated Public transport project which will include roadways, railways and waterways.
- Develop waterways for passenger and cargo transport.
- Develop National logistics network for faster movement of goods.
Indian Railways is the lifeline of the country. It will be modernized, strengthened and upgraded to serve passengers as well as the country's economy. This will be done in a planned manner focusing on national development, rather than political exigency.
- Hinterland will be connected to the ports through strategic new Rail networks.
- Agri Rail network will be established - with Train Wagons designed to cater to the specific needs of perishable Agricultural products like milk and vegetables as well as light weight wagons for salt movement.
- Tourist Rail - including Pilgrimage Rail.
- Railways Modernization, inducting of state-of-the-art technology.
- Special focus on developing skilled human resources to meet future demand.
- Prioritize Safety and invest in long required overhaul of stressed infrastructure, strict norms and warning systems.
- Modernize and equip all stations with requisite infrastructure and public utilities.
- Convert all unmanned crossings into manned crossings in a phased manner.
- Initiate R&D for indigenous railways, coach design and signals.
- We will launch Diamond Quadrilateral project - of High Speed Train network (bullet train).
Water - Make It Reach to All Homes, Farms and Factories
Trends indicate that India would be a 'water stressed' state by 2050, and the gap between the demand and supply would be 50%. BJP recognizes the seriousness of the issue. Also, most importantly, potable drinking water is not available to the entire population despite more than six decades of independence. Water is a dwindling resource, with the threat of water scarcity looming large. We will address this in a comprehensive manner across multiple dimensions. BJP remains committed to giving high priority to water security.
- Launch the 'Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchayee Yojana' with a motto of 'har khet ko paani'. We will launch multi-pronged 'water strategy' for reducing farmer's dependence on monsoon. Increase irrigated land by completing the long pending irrigation projects on priority.
(Posted on 07-04-2014)