Narendra Modi’s 10-point agenda: What Brookings report misses

Brookings report has missed the point that Modi’s 10-point agenda is not a policy document.

Turning a blind eye to the measures taken by Narendra Modi Government for women, a report by Brookings Institution (India center) published in  Hindustan Times on Thursday has claimed that in its first month in the office, the new Government has displayed no policy priority towards the issues concerning women. Brookings Institution has cited Modi Government’s 10-point agenda, saying that it has no word regarding women’s issues.

First and the foremost, the 10-point agenda is no policy document, it outlines a broader approach of the new Government about its functioning. It is like a mantra for smooth and effective functioning of the governance.

Reacting to the report, senior BJP leader Nalin Kohli said, “This is an inaccurate assessment without looking at the fact. If you have to understand the commitment of Modi, just remember what he had said speaking at the Central Hall of the Parliament. He had said that this is going to be the Government which will serve the people of India with special emphasis on the poor and women who deserve the full respect and the youth whose aspirations we need to meet. The ten points are about the working of the Government and it is not about any policy. In my opinion, the report by the Brookings Institution is an oversight by over enthusiastic researchers who have not done their homework well.”

Another BJP leader Sanjay Kaul said that it’s quite strange that the institution has raised fingers on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intention towards the welfare of women but overlooked to do the same about 10-years rule of the Congress-led UPA.

“The same institution didn’t care to look at what was the condition of women during Congress rule. A new Government has just assumed office and questions are being raised on its intentions. It has ignored the fact that Women and Child Welfare Ministry is working to add more teeth to the NCW,” Kaul said.

As far as the BJP’s approach and policies towards women’s issues are concerned, its manifesto had termed the women as the nation builders and had announced that their safety and security will be its top-most priority. Even during election campaigns, Narendra Modi, as BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate, had lashed out at Congress-led UPA Government for only making announcements. Nirbhaya fund was announced and fund was allocated in the budget but nothing happened on the ground.

Soon after coming to power, the new Government mainly focused on improving coordination among the various departments responsible to address the grievances of the women. Union Women and Child Welfare Minister Maneka Gandhi announced setting up of a ‘Rape Crisis Cell’ for swift action on women related cases. The cell will provide a unified system to ensure justice to rape victims. The victims will be able to get all sorts of assistance including legal by approaching the cell.

The Ministry under Maneka Gandhi is also going to give more teeth to the National Commission for Women (NCW). The Ministry is set to give a civil court status to the NCW and soon it will be at par with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). To introduce these changes, there will be amendment in the NCW Act, 1990 after which the body will be reconstituted.

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