NaMo’s self-reliant India

Raman Suri
Having given India a new progressive direction, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not only speeded up development in terms of massive infrastructure that is coming up across length and breadth of the country but also inculcated a spirit of belongingness amongst the masses. This is the reason every Indian has started feeling a different kind of connection with the country and is also feeling proud of being an Indian. Those living abroad, who always used to complain, are today looking forward to see their motherland progress by leaps and bounds, and the kind of brain-drain that India witnessed a decade ago is also losing its pace now.
Two recent decisions taken by the Union Government under the leadership of powerful yet humble Prime Minister Narendra Modi are not only going to change the way we are progressing but are also sure to make us self-reliant, a move that every government dreamt of but could not keep the pace with ever-changing and ever-progressing world. Modi’s two big moves- to club 41 Ordnance factories into seven new state-run defence firms and launching ‘PM Gati Shakti: National Master Plan’ for multi-modal connectivity to economic zones in the country- are going to set a new narrative for the world to look at India.
Now that over 200-years old Ordnance Factory Board (OFD) stands replaced by seven entities, there is every chance of India becoming self-reliant in terms of country’s defence preparedness. Managing the Board was not only a tedious task but also, those 41 companies never knew what the other one was doing. Earlier there were 41 ordnance factories, nine training institutes, three regional marketing centres and four regional controllers of safety that employed about 76,000 workers and were unmanageable.
Having changed the structure of these ordinance factories, Prime Minister has put in place a manageable system of defence production where right hand will now know what the left hand is doing and in case of emergencies like war, these seven companies will be capable enough to meet sudden requirements for large volumes of defence products. This, if termed as war strategy, won’t be wrong as in the present situation, over sixty-five thousand crores of contracts for defence productions have now gone to the seven new companies, which will be monitored well and made to complete the orders within a stipulated time period to enhance India’s defence capabilities and preparedness.
Just as the Parliament building constructed during the British era is being replaced with Central Vista, giving India its own law-making institution besides allied ministries ending the colonial footprints from the Union Capital and also impressions from the hearts and minds of our own law-makers, the Ordinance Factory Board started by British too is meeting the same fate. The seven new Defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) will write a new chapter in India’s DefenceHistory in years to come. These PSUs, unlike rehabilitation centres or just the employment generating units or loss making industries, will become more vibrant thereby increasing production volumes.
The seven new PSUs- Munitions India Limited, Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited, Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited, Yantra India Limited, Troop Comforts Limited, India Optel Limited and Gliders India Limited- will, combined together, be empowering our defence system to the core and enrich it with required arms and ammunition besides allied articles for our soldiers thereby lessening India’s dependencies on other countries. This move will now make India world’s biggest military power to take on enemies head on.
One can make out from the fact that the Prime Minister, who will be dedicating to India its own Parliament House and entire Central Vista buildings, is how ably making India’s dependencies on other nations far less when it comes to becoming self-reliant, especially in defence production. On the pattern of infrastructural development, India will now be producing defence-related equipment and logistics at a much faster pace than before, and even if this irks the opposition, still they must think twice before commenting on the move which they should have taken long ago when in power.
Second decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to launch ‘PM Gati Shakti – National Master Plan’ for multi-modal connectivity to economic zones in the country is a landmark decision that will change the way India was building its infrastructure till date. All the cities in urban India work according to their individual Master Plans but this is for the first time that a visionary Prime Minister gave India its own master plan, especially to build infrastructure that will pace up the economies by connecting India’s cities and states.
The Rs 100 Lakh Crores plan will enable all the ministries to work in tandem, thereby decreasing the cost of logistics which in turn will increase exports and will also enable people in India to have cheaper products. The way in which country will be connected and provided with logistics, there will be reduction in farming costs because different projects will cater to each other. This National Master Plan will also help industrialists to know about Government’s plans and they will make their investments accordingly in years to come.
Once implemented fully, this ‘Gati Shakti’ will increase solar power production from 87.7 GW to 225 GW in the next five years. Similarly, it will also increase Indian Railway’s cargo capacities from 121 Crore Tons to 160 Crore Tons and almost all the villages will be connected with 4G technology. The project is of such importance that by the year 2024-25, transmission line will be stretched up to 4.54 Lakh kilometres and national highway will be stretched up to 2 Lakh kilometres besides gap pipeline will also reach 17,000 kilometers. Construction of eleven industrial corridors and two exclusive defence corridors will help India emerge as the next superpower.
The plan being an important part of Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, will give an impetus to projects which in turn will boost the goal of achieving the $5-trillion economy. Once the eleven Central ministries and allied departments are connected to perform in unison, logistics cost will be cut, cargo handling capacity will increase and reduction in the turnaround time will take place. This will also generate massive employment, help local manufacturers and create new economic zones.
Pandemic has slowed the world down and in the coming years, everything will change, for which India too is preparing itself by taking up such projects of national importance that go in sync with the changing world order. The various schemes launched by the Union Government are going to provide each and every household with potable water, electricity, piped cooking gas, internet connectivity and houses for all, which will transform India to become self-reliant.
India of yesteryears, that was importing gadgets and defence material, is today exporting. The entire country is going to get connected with massive road and rail infrastructure wherein 75 ‘Vande Bharat’ trains will change the way we travel. On the vaccination front too, India is doing the best and making other nations derive a lesson from us. The way India has caught pace with the world, what’s needed is a strong and vibrant opposition that can act like an actual watch dog and not target any individual to grind its own axe. While Prime Minister is taking everyone along with his slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, it is just the self-centred, obsessed, weak, person-specific, disillusioned and politically incorrect opposition, that is not playing its real role but trying to mislead masses by their rhetorics which have no takers.
(The writer is BJP J&K Executive Member)