India is Strengthening Friendships across the Globe under PM Modi

Published By : Admin | March 19, 2019 | 14:00 IST

In 2014, when Narendra Modi was elected as the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy, the world watched in expectation as to how his foreign policy would be. He has brought a new vigour to India’s foreign policy, strengthening and renewing ties with old friends, while also making new friends across the globe.

For example, he has strengthened India’s ties with Israel, France, United Kingdom, Japan, United States of America, and South Korea, and also initiated and built relationships in West Asia (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel) and with New Zealand and Australia.

In light of the dynamic equations that countries share, it becomes important for nations to not only choose their friends with care, but also sustainrelationships in view of events that have a butterfly effect across the globe. PM Narendra Modi has struck the fine balance of continuing relations as well as cultivating fresh ties, which will prove strategically significant in the medium and long-term. The 21st century will be characterized by the proactive, ambitious and innovative diplomacy with the underlying theme of ‘India First’.

India’s agile diplomacy is marked with the policy of ‘Acting East’ and ‘Looking West’.

Strong Ties

  • India’s relationship with Iran went through a perceptible shift when the historic Chabahar Agreement was signed by the Prime Minister on his visit to Iran.
  • It was a new beginning when PM Narendra Modi was conferred Saudi Arabia's highest civilian honor, Sash of King Abdulaziz Sash. When the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited India, he increased the quota for Indian Haj pilgrims to 2 lakh and agreed to release 850 prisoners lodged in Saudi jails.
  • When the Prime Minister visited Doha, Qatar in 2016, he pushed for economic ties in the hydrocarbon sector. Moreover, while he shared a meal with those working in Doha and addressed the NRIs at an event, he invigorated the diaspora with new lease of energy, assuring them India was there to care for them and their concerns.
  • India consented to the Ashgabat Agreement which is concerned with transit and transportation of goods between Central Asia and the Persian Gulf. This has helped India diversify its connectivity within the region.
  • PM Narendra Modi visited Australia for G20 Leaders' Summit at Brisbane in November 2014, followed by bilateral visit. When Prime Minister Turnbull visited India during April 2017, initiatives related to defence and strategic partnerships in the field of energy and education were discussed along with MoUs on cooperation in combating international terrorism and transnational organized crime. In January 2018, India became a part of Australia Group, an export control regime that aims to prevent proliferation of biological and chemical weapons.
  • Prime Minister of New ZealandJohn Key visited India in October 2016.India’s support for New Zealand’s campaign for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council was appreciated by him. Apart fromthe announcement on amendments to the bilateral Double Taxation Agreement, India and New Zealand agreed upon increased cooperation in defence and security.

Renewed Relations

  • The first ever visit of Indian prime minister to Israel brought freshvigour to the Indo-Israel relations. PM Narendra Modi’s trip to Israel was a watershed moment in India-Israel relations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited India in 2018 and signed multiple MoUs in areas of space technology, cyber security, oil and gas production among others.
  • India signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with The United States of America. At the 2+2 meet, India and the US signed the Communications, Compatibility Security Agreement (COMCASA). It enhancesIndia’s defence capability and preparedness.
  • PM Narendra Modi’s equation with the Russian President Vladimir Putin is of geo-strategic importance.India will soon begin inducting the first squadron of the advanced S-400 Triumf surface to air missile systems from Russia.
  • Relations with Palestine remained warm. PM Narendra Modi was conferred ‘Grand Collar of the State of Palestine' after his visit to Palestine.

After the cowardly terrorist attack in Pulwama and the subsequent air strikes by India, all major global leaders stood in solidarity with India. This was an evidence of the strength of India’s diplomatic initiative and the impact of PM Narendra Modi’s personal efforts to strengthen relations with the world. Time and again, he has gone out of his way to ensure India’s strategic interests with global peers are preserved. India’s soft power coupled with strong relationships across economic, defence and strategic domains has helped the country emerge as aforce to reckon with.

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"Building Atmanirbhar Bharat Through Comprehensive Job Creation"
February 24, 2024

One of the most effective pathways of aspirational and practical self-actualization for citizens of a nation is employment generation at scale and expanse. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been cognizant of this need and has moved the needle comprehensively so that job creation today is happening across the spectrum: in the formal and informal sectors, through direct and indirect opportunities, in conventional and unconventional fields, and via self-employment and the opening up of multiple avenues for gigs, start-ups and novel entrepreneurship.

Government Initiatives
If on the one hand, Bharat is seeing the exponential growth in the number of start-ups and a conducive environment has made it one that has the largest number of unicorns, on the other hand a record number of Mudra loans sanctioned have fuelled unprecedented women-led growth, and the Agniveer scheme that aims to recruit youth into the Armed services has seen adoption in record numbers. According to a Harvard University research, India is among the top quartile of fastest-growing countries till 2029 and is undergoing a historic transition towards becoming a more formalized and technologically advanced, digitally evolved nation.

In the three years between 2017-18 and 2020-21, total employment increased by 8.4 crore which is a manifestation of several key factors such as demonetisation, rationalisation of taxes, the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), digital inclusivity and digitisation of financial transactions, inclusion of skill development and vocational training in the National Education Policy, increasing the number of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), a fillip to the hitherto marginalized segments such as rural and tribal populace, and effective incentivization for a highly labour dominant unorganized sector. An example is how PM Street Vendor’s Atmanirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi), has benefitted more than 56 lakh rehri or street vendors from June 2020 to November 2023.

Immense positive impact can be seen in the nation’s formal employment sector. India is the 5th largest economy in the world with 1.12 crore net additional employment created between 2015 to 2018. This is a result of the confluence of progressive, pro-industry policy decisions, leveraging of advancements in technology, reforms to ease business investment, and a focus on skilling. An example of how this translates on the ground is that with the PM MUDRA Yojana More than 15 crore people have been employed in the MSME sector out of which 3.4 crore are women.

In the IT Industry alone, around 20 lakh people have been employed between 2013-14 and 2021-22. Indirectly, about 6.24 crore jobs were created between 2014 and 2019 in India’s digital economy. When it comes to a boost in employment generation across sectors, let’s take the example of tourism – a revamped and increasingly attractive tourism and hospitality industry led to 1.9 crore indirect jobs being created in the tourism sector between 2017 and 2020. The overhaul in the hospitality sector has led to the creation of many such jobs directly, and indirectly; India is among the most visited countries in the world and has been experiencing a growing influx of tourists. This has led to business incentivization and a boost to local artisans, transport providers, and hotels and restaurants within the larger hospitality service industry. In Air transport alone, for every Rs. 100/- invested in the sector, 610 indirect jobs are generated.

Infromal Sectors
The winds of change can also be seen in the disruptive as well as informal sectors. Providing security and stability to the unconventional health and wellness, since 2014, about 5.65 lakh practitioners have been provided employment under Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The introduction of several new reforms, an increase in FDI, which have further helped in improving the ‘ease of doing business’ along with low data costs, improvised processes and ready adoption have created a thriving new ecosystem for employment – the gig and platform economy. Gig-economy jobs grew year-on-year by 13% and over 29.20 crore people have registered so far on the E-Shram portal. From 2016 to May 2022, ‘Hunar Haat’ has created employment avenues for over 10.5 lakh artisans and talented Vishwakarmas.

The continuing chain of beneficiaries in the government’s Gati shakti model include processes that act as catalysts for indirect job creation in sectors such as transport, logistics, mobility, food, consumer goods and manufacturing products. Up to 2021-22, 53,696 km of roadways were created which generated 21.8 crore man-days of employment. As mentioned before, round 6 crore people employed in unorganized sector between 2017-18 and 2019-20 have benefited from the SVANidhi Yojana – making PM Modi’s vision of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas aur Sabka Prayas a quintessential facet of employment for all.

People-first policies such as the flagship program for equitable housing, the PM Awas has created 2.39 crore indirect jobs up to 2022. Another great example of the ripple effect of employment generation can be seen in the form of Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes which enable the expansion of existing industries into larger ones, while promoting the creation of new ones. As an example, 5 lakh incremental jobs have been created in the mobile manufacturing sector due to PLI. As per the Economic Survey 2023, PLI schemes are slated to create 60 lakh jobs. In addition, India’s fintech adoption rate of 87% as against the world average of 64% has enabled the creation of an ecosystem that is touching the lives and livelihoods of all – including the self-employed and small business owners.

To this end, Rozgar Melas that aim to provide 10 lakh jobs in less than two years, and that meld employment opportunities and unique talent have been a boon for the economy. Rozgar Mela is a key step towards the fulfilment of the commitment to accord the highest priority to employment generation in the country. On 12th February, 2024, PM Modi distributed more than 1 lakh appointment letters to newly inducted recruits and also lay the foundation stone of Phase I of the Integrated Complex “Karmayogi Bhavan” to promote collaboration and synergy amongst various pillars of Mission Karmayogi. “Rozgar Melas are playing a crucial role in enhancing the contribution of our Yuva Shakti in nation building”, said PM Modi. Rozgar Mela will be held at 47 locations across the country this year with recruitments taking place across central government departments and state governments/UTs supporting this initiative. These melas ascribe gainful opportunities to the youth, the Amrit Generation, and create pathways for their direct participation in national development. Similarly, under the Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), over 43.77 lakh people have got employment and the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) has led to the placement of over 24.51 lakh candidates.

As policy making becomes efficient, so do its representative tools; more than 19.9 lakh people have been placed in jobs through employment exchanges between 2017-2022. The government has incessantly been taking many measures to tackle unemployment issues and stem the unemployment rate. The Amrit generation is benefitting from a multi-pronged approach; if on the one hand, Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), has benefitted around 2.94 lakh from 2014-15 to December 2022, on the other hand, over 1.80 lakh new job-creators and entrepreneurs are now operating under the Stand-Up India scheme.

New India – Naya Bharat – is one that thrives on a developed mindset with the aim of making the country Atmanirbhar, and a Vishwa Mitra – one the world leans on. As an example of this commitment, in the current financial year, Khadi has achieved a historic milestone by generating over 9.54 lakh new jobs. Be it our push towards renewable energy, creating a decarbonized energy sector which ranks India is 4th globally or the reduction of unemployment rate in rural areas, (decreased from 5.3% in 2017-18 to 2.4% in 2022-23) the commitment of PM Modi’s government to decisively mitigate unemployment stays foremost.

A spurt in the employment index is predicated on employment mobility to higher productivity jobs, rising job rates in secondary and tertiary sectors, promotion of women as economic catalysts and the increased formalisation of the unorganized, informal sector. PM Modi’s government has consistently come good on all the parameters which is the reason why milestone, upon milestone, Bharat’s journey towards becoming Atmanirbhar and the world’s third largest economy, is only a matter of time.