In many ways, the presidential address when the new Lok Sabha is convened is like an editorial of a magazine. It outlines broadly what will be the scope and boundaries of the engagement of the government of the day. Considering that the speech is whetted and ratified by the cabinet. Thus when President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the newly formed 16th Lok Sabha, with his address, it was worth paying attention. While the President in his speech addressed on a plethora of topics, from the same, we have gleaned out bits on environment, renewable energy, water, sanitation, and so on. The government under the aegis of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has committed itself to these goals and objectives, here’s how they read:
While putting the country on a high growth path, my government will keep sustainability at the core of our planning process. My government strongly believes that environmental conservation can go hand in hand with development. To achieve this, environment and forest clearance systems will be made more predictable, transparent and time-bound. Simultaneously, an effective system will be developed for sound appraisal processes and strict compliance of clearance conditions, especially those relating to rehabilitation of displaced communities and regeneration of forests. Cleaner fuels will be promoted to bring down pollution levels in our cities. The government will earnestly take up mitigation works to meet the challenges posed by climate change and will closely work with the global community in this regard. Conservation of Himalayan ecology will be a priority area for my government. A National Mission on Himalayas will be launched.
My government will come out with a comprehensive National Energy Policy and focus on development of energy related infrastructure, human resource and technology. The aim of the government will be to substantially augment electricity generation capacity through judicious mix of conventional and non-conventional sources. It will expand the national solar mission and connect households and industries with gas-grids. Reforms in the coal sector will be pursued with urgency for attracting private investment in a transparent manner. The international civil nuclear agreements will be operationalized and nuclear power projects for civilian purposes will be developed.
In the recent past, serious concerns have been expressed regarding use of discretionary powers in allocation of our precious natural resources. The government will formulate clear and transparent policies on allocation of critical natural resources such as coal, minerals and spectrum.
Despite more than two-thirds of our people living in rural areas; we have not been able to provide adequate public amenities and livelihood opportunities to them. My government is committed to improving the quality of life in our villages, through empowered Panchayati Raj institutions. A substantial part of investment will focus on creating community assets and improving basic infrastructure such as roads, shelter, power and drinking water. My government will strive to end the rural-urban divide guided by the idea of Rurban; providing urban amenities to rural areas while preserving the ethos of the villages.
Each drop of water is precious. My government is committed to giving high priority to water security. It will complete the long pending irrigation projects on priority and launch the ‘Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana’ with the motto of ‘Har Khet Ko Paani’. There is a need for seriously considering all options including linking of rivers, where feasible; for ensuring optimal use of our water resources to prevent the recurrence of floods and drought. By harnessing rain water through ‘Jal Sanchay’ and ‘Jal Sinchan’, we will nurture water conservation and ground water recharge. Micro irrigation will be popularised to ensure ‘Per drop-More crop’.
My government is conscious of the fact that our urban infrastructure is under severe stress. Soon, 50 per cent of our population would be residing in urban areas. Taking urbanization as an opportunity rather than a challenge, the government will build 100 Cities focussed on specialized domains and equipped with world class amenities. Integrated infrastructure will be rolled out in model towns to focus on cleanliness and sanitation. By the time the nation completes 75 years of its Independence, every family will have a pucca house with water connection, toilet facilit
ies, 24×7 electricity supply and access.
My government is conscious of the fact that our urban infrastructure is under severe stress. Soon, 50 per cent of our population would be residing in urban areas. Taking urbanization as an opportunity rather than a challenge, the government will build 100 Cities focussed on specialized domains and equipped with world class amenities. Integrated infrastructure will be rolled out in model towns to focus on cleanliness and sanitation. By the time the nation completes 75 years of its Independence, every family will have a pucca house with water connection, toilet facilities, 24×7 electricity supply and access.
We must not tolerate the indignity of homes without toilets and public spaces littered with garbage. For ensuring hygiene, waste management and sanitation across the nation a “Swachh Bharat Mission” will be launched. This will be our tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary to be celebrated in the year 2019.
Skills & CSR
For rapid creation of jobs in the manufacturing sector, the government will strategically promote labour-intensive manufacturing. Employment opportunities will also be expanded by promoting tourism and agro-based industries. My government will transform 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 through counselling and training. The government will strengthen the pension and health insurance safety nets for labour force of all categories and would provide them access to modern financial services.
River Ganga is a part of our rich cultural heritage, a symbol of faith and the lifeline for millions. However, Ganga continues to remain polluted with many stretches of the river becoming dry in lean season. My government will take all necessary steps to ensure a perennial, clean and pristine Ganga.
The welfare and rehabilitation of specially-abled people is integral to my government’s vision of a caring society. It will take steps to provide dignity of life to them by facilitating their participation in all walks of life. Steps will be taken to identify their special needs and to provide institutional care to them.