Our Mantra should be: ‘Beta Beti, Ek Samaan’

Let us celebrate the birth of the girl child. We should be equally proud of our daughters. I urge you to sow five plants when your daughter is born to celebrate the occasion.

~ PM Narendra Modi


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been at the forefront of raising awareness on gender equality and women empowerment. He says that India needs not just women development, but women-led development that makes women the leading force of our development trajectory.

Accordingly, the NDA government led by PM Narendra Modi is focusing on comprehensive women empowerment.


Protection and Empowerment of the Girl Child

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative was launched in early 2015 to usher in a transformational shift in the way our society looks at the girl child. There is a strong emphasis on mindset change through training, sensitization, awareness raising and community mobilization on the ground. Due to these efforts, the sex ratio at birth improved in 104 districts among those identified as gender-sensitive. 119 districts reported progress in first trimester registrations and 146 districts improved in institutional deliveries. Buoyed by the success of this initiative in these districts, BBBP has now been expanded across all 640 districts of the country.

Education plays an important role in empowering the girl child. Thanks to the relentless efforts of the government such as multiple scholarships for the education of girls, enrolment of girls in secondary schools is rising.

To ensure the financial security of the girl child, Pradhan Mantri Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana was introduced. Its resounding success is visible in the fact that more than 1.26 crore Sukanya Samriddhi accounts have been opened with around Rs 20,000 crore deposited in them.

Securing women against violence has been a key policy priority of the NDA government. The government gives a high priority to safety and security of the girl child and hence, through an ordinance, it provided the death penalty for the rape of a girl child under 12 years. It also ensured that the minimum punishment for the rape of a girl under 16 years is increased from 10 years to 20 years.


Financial Inclusion and Financial Empowerment

To boost financial empowerment of women, making them beneficiaries of formal financial institutions is a crucial, enabling step. Women have many skills that need financial capital that can help convert these skills into successful entrepreneurship opportunities. MUDRA Yojana was launched by PM Narendra Modi’s government to provide collateral-free loans to entrepreneurs and help them achieve their dreams.

Another programme, Stand Up India, also provides entrepreneurship loans of up to Rs 1 crore to women or SC/ST entrepreneurs. Women have been at the forefront of making these programmes immensely successful. Over 9 crore women have availed entrepreneurship loans jointly from MUDRA and Stand Up India. Women constitute over 70% of MUDRA’s beneficiaries.


Caring for Mothers

PM Narendra Modi’s government has initiated a number of steps to facilitate the welfare of expectant mothers and mothers of new-born children.

Through the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017, the government ensured that paid maternity leave for women got extended to 26 weeks, from the erstwhile 12 weeks. This is among the highest in the world.

The recently launched POSHAN Abhiyan is a first of a kind initiative to tackle malnutrition through multi-modal interventions. Multiple ministries are coming together and ensuring a targeted approach through the power of technology in this battle against malnutrition.

Mission Indradhanush is a mass movement that aims to boost the health of pregnant women and children through vaccination. It is a mission mode intervention in which more than 80 lakh pregnant women have been immunised.

Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana is an initiative that provides economic support to pregnant women and lactating mothers. It ensures timely checkups, an important factor in ensuring the health of mothers and children. Cash incentive of Rs 6,000 is offered to pregnant or lactating mothers to help them afford better nutrition. More than 50 lakh women are expected to benefit from PMMVY every year.

Detecting high-risk pregnancies is vital to ensuring better health for mothers and children. Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan has ensured more than 1.16 crore antenatal check-ups across more 12,900 health facilities across all states and union territories. The NDA government, through this initiative, identified more than 6 lakh high-risk pregnancies.


Pathbreaking Programmes for Welfare of Women

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and Swachh Bharat, both flagship programmes of the PM Narendra Modi led government, have become household names all across the country. Both of these programmes have raised the quality of life of crores of women, especially from the poorer sections.

Ujjwala Yojana, the programme that provides free LPG connections, has clocked 5.33 crore connections even before its deadline and is on the way to an enhanced target of 8 crore connections. This helps women have healthier, smoke-free lives while also helping them save the time and energy spent on looking for firewood.

Swachh Bharat has heralded a revolution in sanitation and helped women’s access to safe sanitation. Over 8.23 crore household toilets have been built and 4.25 lakh villages across 19 states/UTs have been declared ODF (open defecation free). India’s total sanitation coverage that was 38.7% in October 2014 has now reached 91.03%, a huge jump in just 4 years, thanks to PM Narendra Modi’s relentless efforts through Swachh Bharat.


Social Empowerment and Justice

Social empowerment of women is a key facet of ensuring their all-round development and dignity. PM Narendra Modi’s government has taken many steps to ensure the social empowerment of women.

To help the presence of immovable assets in the name of women, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, gives preference to women.

Passport rules have been relaxed for single mothers so that they can get formalities done without any problems.

The NDA government led by PM Narendra Modi has stood by the rights of Muslim women. The government, through an important reform, has ensured that Muslim women can now perform Haj without a male guardian. The presence of a male guardian used to be a mandatory condition earlier.

A watershed moment in ensuring justice was achieved when a bill that empowers Muslim women against Triple Talaq was passed in the Lok Sabha.


Thus, the NDA government, under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, has ensured great strides in empowering women, by not just focusing on women development but on women-led development.


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Infrastructure and connectivity act as arteries for development and growth of any nation. It is evident that infrastructure development has been given priority by the NDA government under PM Narendra Modi. For fulfilling the dream of New India, the NDA government is focussing on development of railways, roadways, waterways, aviation or affordable housing.


The Indian rail network is one of the largest railway networks in the world. The pace of track renewal, elimination of unmanned level crossings and commissioning of broad gauge lines has significantly improved during NDA government under PM Modi.

Railways recorded its best-ever safety record with less than 100 accidents in a year in 2017-18. Data reveals that 118 railway accidents were recorded in 2013-14 which have declined to 73 in 2017-18. 5,469 unmanned level crossings have been eliminated, with average pace of elimination at 20% more than that of 2009-14. All unmanned level crossings on broad gauge routes targeted to be eliminated by 2020 for better safety.

Bringing railways development on track, there is a 50% increase in track renewal, from 2,926 km during 2013-14 to 4,405 km during 2017-18. Broad gauge commissioned during 4 years of NDA government under PM Modi (9,528 km) is much greater than that commissioned during 2009-14 (7,600 km).

For the first time Northeast India is fully integrated with the rest of India with the entire network converted to broad gauge. It brought Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram on the rail map of India after 70 years of independence!

For developing New India, we need advanced technology too. The bullet train, planned from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, will reduce travel time from about 8 hrs to 2 hrs.



Rapid progress is happening in civil aviation sector too. Promising affordable air travel under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik), 25 operational airports have been added in just 4 years, as opposed to 75 airports between Independence and 2014. Regional air connectivity to unserved and underserved airports at subsidised fare of Rs 2,500 per hour has helped to fulfil dream of many Indians to travel by air. Thus, for the first time more people travelled in airplanes than in AC trains.

With passenger traffic growth in the range of 18-20% in the past three years, India has emerged as the world’s third largest aviation market. Number of domestic air passengers crossed 100 million in 2017.



India is also taking rapid strides in the shipping sector under PM Narendra Modi’s government. Accelerating port-led development, the turn around time at major ports have been reduced by a third, from 94 hrs in 2013-14 to 64 hrs in 2017-18.

Consider the cargo traffic at major ports. It declined from 570.32 MT in 2010-11 to 545.79 MT in 2012-13. However, under the NDA government it improved to 679.367 MT during 2017-18, a whopping increase of more than 100 MT!

Inland waterways significantly reduce the transportation costs and boost the economy apart from reducing carbon foot print. 106 national waterways were added in the last 4 years compared to 5 national waterways in the last 30 years.

Road development

Expansion of highways with multi-modal integration has been taken up under transformative project Bharat Mala Pariyojana. National highway network expanded from 92,851 km in 2013-14 to 1,20,543 km in 2017-18.

Setu Bharatam project for safer roads, with total outlay of Rs. 20,800 crores, envisages building of railway overbridges or under passes to make all National Highways free of railway level crossings.

The pace of road construction has almost doubled. Speed of highways construction was 12 km per day during 2013-14 which stood at 27 km per day as of 2017-18.


Development of India’s longest ever tunnel, Chenani-Nashri, in Jammu as well as India’s longest bridge, Dhola-Sadiya, for enhanced connectivity to Arunachal Pradesh are testimony to the commitment to take development to hitherto untapped regions. Building of bridges over Narmada at Bharuch and Chambal at Kota have also improved road connectivity in the regions.

Roads act as catalysts for rural development. Considering its importance, almost 1.69 lakh kms of rural roads have been built in 4 years. Average speed of road construction improved from 69 km per day in 2013-14 to 134 km per day in 2017-18. Presently, rural road connectivity is more than 82%, as against 56% in 2014, making villages become a part of India’s development trajectory.

Tourism has immense potential for employment generation. To enhance pilgrimage experience along with a boost to the tourism sector, Char Dham Mahamarg Vikas Pariyojana was launched. It seeks to make journey safer, faster and more convenient. It entails development of around 900 km of national highways at an approximate cost of Rs 12,000 crore.

With boost to the infrastructure, more movement of freight takes place and adds strength to the economy. Due to efforts of the NDA government, highest ever freight loading (1,160 MT) was recorded in the year 2017-18.

Urban transformation

For urban transformation through Smart Cities, around 100 urban centres have been chosen to ensure improved quality of living, sustained urban planning and development. Various development projects in these cities will positively impact almost 10 crore Indians. These projects will cost Rs. 2,01,979 crores.

Around 1 crore affordable houses have been built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in both rural and urban areas. To benefit the middle and neo middle classes, housing loans up to Rs 9 lakh and Rs 12 lakh are eligible for interest subvention of 4% and 3%.