New Delhi: As 2018 draws to a close, the year in review saw several far-reaching and consequential policy decisions by the Narendra Modi dispensation, ranging from social and medical security cover for the poor to the management of bankruptcy to curb corruption in corporate India and stop round-tripping of black money through tortuous ownership patterns.
MyNation brings to you the seminal changes that happened in India’s policy landscape in 2018:

Ayushman Bharat Yojana

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23 launched the Ayushman Bharat -Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) from Ranchi in Jharkhand. The scheme, the “world’s largest government-funded health care programme” and popularly called ‘Modicare’, targets more than 50 crore poor of India. 

The scheme will provide a cover of up to Rs 5,00,000 per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation through a network of empanelled health care providers (EHCP).

The scheme will cover the treatment of more than 1,300 illnesses including cancer, heart disease, kidney and liver disease and diabetes. Treating serious diseases will not only be carried out in government but in many private hospitals also. If someone has any prior illness, then the cost of the disease will be raised by this scheme. More than 13,000 hospitals have been associated with the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

Housing for all

The ‘Kifayati Aawas yojna’ was announced by the Central Government for providing affordable housing. In the Budget 2018-19, FM Arun Jaitley informed that a dedicated fund would be established in National Housing Bank to ensure that everyone in the country had a house by 2022. For this, more than one crore houses are being constructed in rural India under the Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana.

New-Better GST Regime 

The Modi government declared that it would be bringing 99% of the goods under the slab of 18% or less GST. The 28% slab to be restricted to luxury items.

MSME’s new lease of life 

Just ahead of the assembly polls in five states, PM Modi launched a number of lucrative sops for the MSME sector, which detractors argued had been hit hard by demonetisation and a sudden shift to a GST regime. PM announced Rs 1 crore loan in 59 minutes, that is, within an hour to MSME. Also, GST-registered MSMEs will get 2% subvention or rebate on incremental new loans of up to Rs 1 crore. Interest subvention on pre and post-shipment credit of exports by MSMEs has been increased from 3% to 5%.

Schooling for marginalised

The ‘Eklavya School’ scheme was announced in his year’s budget. Schools would be established for SC/ST students by 2022 along the lines of Navodaya Vidyalaya. These would be model residential schools in each Block having more than 50 percent tribal areas and 20,000 tribal people.

Push to rural economy

The Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBAR-DHAN) scheme was launched by Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Uma Bharti on April 30. Aimed at improving living conditions in rural India and make them open-defecation free, it is an offshoot of the Swachh Bharat initiative. Under the scheme, solid waste and cattle dung are to be converted into manure and biogas.

Revitalising higher education 

Infrastructure and Systems in Education (RISE) was also announced in 2018. The RISE scheme would be funded through a restructured higher education financing agency (HEFA).

Sunshine of employment

President Ram Nath Kovind launched the Solar Charkha Mission on June 27, 2018. The government would provide a subsidy of Rs 550 crore to artisans for generating employment in rural areas through the MSME ministry. The Modi government also launched the ‘Sampark’ portal, a digital platform to connect the MSME ministry with five lakh job seekers.

Nutrition for all

The National Nutrition Mission was launched as an offshoot of PM Modi’s flagship ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ programme. PM Modi launched the scheme at Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8, 2018. The primary objective of the scheme is to ensure universal nutrition among kids from 0-6 years, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers to cut down the rate of stunting and anaemia, apart from lowering low birth weight by at least 2% every year.

Ensuring quality education

The Modi regime launched the ‘Samagra Shiksha Scheme’ on May 24, 2018, for improving the quality of education at school level. The scheme aims at introducing skill development at the school level and introduce kids to digital technology.

Nurturing sporting talent 

To sight, develop and encourage sporting talents early in the life of students at the school level, the government inaugurated the first edition of ‘Khelo India School Games’ (KISG) at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi, from January 31 to February 8, 2018.

Connecting India

The PM inaugurated the engineering marvel of Bogibeel Bridge that had been languishing under previous regimes. This is India’s longest and Asia’s second longest rail-cum-road bridge. The 4.94 km long bridge, which has been a dream for people of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh for the past 21 years is situated over the mighty Brahmaputra river, 17 km downstream of upper Assam’s Dibrugarh city. The Bogibeel bridge will be the lifeline of the northeastern part of India as it is expected to facilitate connectivity between the north and south banks of the Brahmaputra river in the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Pushing social equality

The Indian Railways has announced that it has decided to grant 40-per-cent concession in passenger fares to transgender senior citizens. The Railways offers concessions on ticket prices to 53 different categories, ranging from 10-100 percent.

Going digital

The Union transport ministry paved the way for acceptance of driving licence and other documents like vehicle registration certificates in electronic format by enforcement agencies. Vehicle owners may not be required to carry the hard copies of these documents on them.

Expansion of ambit

The Modi government set a renewed target under Ujjwala Scheme to provide expand the number of free LPG connections to poor families to 8 crore. The Saubhagya Yojna too was expanded to a new target of providing power connections in rural areas to 40 million households.