In the last nine years, the Modi government has made an unparalleled contribution in promoting yoga, not just as a physical pursuit but as a holistic lifestyle choice that transcends borders and cultures. The emphasis placed on yoga at both the national and international levels underscores its importance in fostering physical well-being, preserving cultural heritage, and enhancing India's soft power on the global stage.

Yoga, a transformative practice, offers a unique synthesis of physical empowerment, mental balance, and emotional stability essential for navigating the challenges of modern life. In response to PM Modi’s passionate call, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga in 2014.

In its resolution, the UNGA recognised yoga as a holistic approach to health and well-being, and the benefits it carried for the global population. Marking a significant diplomatic achievement for India, yoga has become a global public movement ever since, punctuated by diverse activities and programs.

The global celebration of International Day of Yoga 2023 was led by PM Modi at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA. This year, India organised events including Ocean Ring of Yoga and Yoga from Arctic to Antarctica across the world cementing the movement that has brought yoga to the forefront of global consciousness.

Recognising the intrinsic link between yoga and India's rich cultural heritage, the Modi government has utilised yoga as a tool for cultural diplomacy. Yoga has become a symbol of India's ancient wisdom and spiritual heritage, fostering goodwill and understanding across borders. This has been affirmed as this ancient Indian philosophical tradition, rooted in the profound connection between the mind and body, has earned a distinguished place on UNESCO's prestigious list of intangible world heritage.

The global recognition of yoga has also given a boost to India's tourism sector. The country has emerged as a sought-after destination for yoga retreats and wellness tourism. The influx of international yoga enthusiasts has not only contributed to the economy but has also fostered cross-cultural interactions, promoting a better understanding of India's diverse heritage.

Nationally, the mainstreaming of yoga into our social psyche has gathered speed and momentum after PM Modi’s government assumed charge in 2014.With a new approach, a dedicated Ministry of AYUSH was created the same year, streamlining the role and relevance of yoga in public health. The government has taken this further with efforts like yoga certification to ensure excellence in yoga training and skill development, development of evidence-based research, massive outreach programs through public and private collaborations, and Ayush Health and Wellness centers. In addition, Yoga has been introduced in the school curriculum via the New Education Policy 2020. It has also been recognised as a sports discipline even as many universities have introduced courses on Yoga. Furthermore, the AYUSH Ministry has launched the Namaste Yoga App as a one-stop solution for people to access all kinds of information around yoga at their fingertips.

This year, the government organised multiple initiatives in the run up to the International Yoga Day 2023. While ‘Har Aangan Yoga’ led to observation of yoga at the village level, Y-break @workspaces encouraged workers to get de-stressed and refreshed at work via yoga. Other efforts like Yoga Bharatmala, Yoga Sagarmala, and Yoga My Pride, a photography contest, were also organised. PM Modi’s government has encouraged a ‘whole of government approach’ as all key ministries, national and international organisations, Indian missions and embassies took an active part in these activities.

In the past nine years, the government has also invested in programs that educate citizens about the benefits of yoga in managing stress, improving mental health, and enhancing overall physical fitness. Millions of Indians, irrespective of age, gender, or socio-economic background, come together to participate in yoga-related activities, creating a sense of unity and belonging. This nationwide celebration of yoga not only promotes a healthier and mindful society but also reinforces the cultural fabric that binds the diverse population of India.

With its rich heritage and timeless principles, yoga serves as a beacon of wisdom, fostering a harmonious balance between the individual and the universe, making it a worthy addition to the global cultural heritage.

As millions around the world unite on International Day of Yoga, India today has emerged as a leader in global health and wellness industry. This is also in line with Indian ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and G20’s focus on sustainable and inclusive growth under India.

Yoga as a mantra is a significant one for every Indian, in particular, in the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal. PM Modi asserts, “Through Yoga, we know the selfless action, we decide the journey from Karma to Karmayoga.” It is yoga, according to him, that has the potential to foster physical strength and mental expansion needed to create a developed India by 2047.

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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.