Home / Politics / Policy /  Political updates: Modi government completes two years

New Delhi: Good news, both politically and economically, has preceded the second anniversary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) which will be celebrated across the country on Thursday. While the BJP created history by winning a mandate in the just concluded elections in Assam, the forecast of an above normal monsoon by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has boosted economic sentiments. Economic reforms are on course and the government will obtain Parliament’s legislative approval for the rollout of the single Goods and Services Tax (GST) by 1 April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, in an interview granted to Wall Street Journal on the eve of the second anniversary.

In a move that drew sharp criticism from political rivals, Bengal Congress president Adhir Chowdhury on Wednesday proposed that the 44 legislators in the West Bengal assembly sign an affidavit declaring they would not leave the party. While the Congress is struggling to keep its flock together, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) saw a generational shift when on Tuesday M.K. Stalin, DMK treasurer and son of party patriarch M. Karunanidhi, was elected as leader of the DMK legislative party. To be sure, some key members of the DMK and analysts feel that had the party projected the 63-year-old Stalin as the chief ministerial candidate in the recently-concluded Tamil Nadu assembly elections, it would have tilted the scales in DMK’s favour.

Aimed at putting in place a “proper system" for doctoral studies and streamline their administration, duration and quality, the human resource development ministry on Wednesday set new rules for award of research degrees such as MPhil and PhD at Indian universities and also relaxed several rules for women candidates, including allowing a 240-day maternity break from their studies. The draft model rules of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 was released on Wednesday by Union minister Maneka Gandhi. No juvenile aged 16-18 years will be put in jails or handcuffed, according to the rules which have been based on the philosophy of reformation, rehabilitation and social integration.

PM Modi: Reforms on course, GST rollout this year

Economic reforms are on course and the government will obtain Parliament’s legislative approval for the roll out of the single Goods and Services Tax (GST) by 1 April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, in an interview granted to Wall Street Journal on the eve of the second anniversary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). “I have actually undertaken the maximum reform," Modi said.

Two years on, NDA govt’s relationship with key stakeholders

From opposition parties and big businesses to citizens and NGOs, Mint takes a look at the NDA government’s relationship with key stakeholders as the BJP-led NDA completes two years in power. Read more

Two years of Modi govt: the lexicon

The Narendra Modi government continued to dish out slogans, acronyms and alliterations in the second year in power to create a buzz around its missions and programmes. Like last year, Mint lists the new buzzwords and phrases that were added to the government’s lexicon.

Pinarayi Vijayan takes oath as Kerala chief minister

Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, leader Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday took oath as chief minister of Kerala along with 18 ministers, after a massive victory in the state assembly election in which his coalition—Left Democratic Front (LDF)—promised to “set everything alright".

A CPM politburo member and son of a toddy tapper, Vijayan won from the Dharmadam seat in north Kerala’s Kannur district with a margin of 36,905 votes. Read more

Karunanidhi to Stalin: DMK sees a generational shift

On Tuesday, M.K. Stalin, treasurer of DMK and son of party patriarch M. Karunanidhi, was elected as leader of the DMK legislative party. Tuesday’s elevation as the leader of opposition can be seen as a milestone in Stalin’s political career and an indication of generational shift within the party post the election defeat. The DMK’s treasurer, who was first elected to the state assembly in 1989, won his sixth term as a legislator from Kolathur constituency. Read more

Loyalty test: Congress MLAs in Bengal asked to sign affidavit in support of Sonia, Rahul

Struggling to keep its flock together in many states, the Congress has now asked all the newly elected lawmakers in West Bengal to sign a bond of allegiance that will stop them from defecting to other parties, especially the Trinamool Congress. According to Congress insiders, all the recently elected 44 party MLAs were made to sign a bond at a closed-door meet presided by Bengal state party committee chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury. Read more

Congress, BJP spar over Big B in govt event

The spotlight was back on the strained relations between Amitabh Bachchan and the Nehru-Gandhi family on Wednesday, with the Congress objecting to the actor being part of the Narendra Modi government’s second anniversary celebrations on Saturday, in the light of his name figuring in the Panama Papers expose. The Congress said that as Bachchan was under investigation in the case, he should not host a government event. Read more

President seeks increased Chinese investments in India

President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said that stability in the India-China relationship had resulted in increased economic cooperation between the two countries even as he pitched for greater Chinese investments into India and sought greater market access for Indian goods into China.

In response, senior Chinese officials in Guangzhou said China was looking to implement a new import policy soon that would accelerate imports from India. Read more

BJP nominates Piyush Goyal from Maharashtra for Rajya Sabha election

The BJP has nominated Union power minister Piyush Goyal as its candidate from Maharashtra for the Rajya Sabha (RS) election slated on 11 June. Goyal filed his nomination for the RS polls at Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai on Tuesday evening. In Maharashtra, six RS seats are up for grabs. Read more

Government releases draft model rules for Juvenile Justice Act

Based on the philosophy of reformation, rehabilitation and social integration, rather than retribution, the rules of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, released on Wednesday, lay procedures for the functioning and composition of juvenile justice boards, adoption, determining the age of the child wherever a claim of juvenility is raised, and offences against children, among other things. Read more

HRD ministry sets new rules for award of MPhil, PhD degrees

The human resource development (HRD) ministry has set new rules for award of research degrees such as MPhil and PhD at Indian universities. The HRD ministry has also relaxed several rules for women candidates, including allowing a 240-day maternity break from their studies. The new rules are aimed at putting in place a “proper system" for doctoral studies and streamline their administration, duration and quality, said higher education secretary V.S. Oberoi. The rules are also intended to allow women greater flexibility in pursuing research. Read the new rules here.

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