On 26 May, the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will complete two years in office. It has been an eventful period of policy change and fierce political exchanges amid global economic turmoil. Mint brings to you a special package of stories by staffers, expert columns and an opinion poll. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday began his crucial two-day visit to Iran with a visit to the capital city’s only functioning gurudwara. Back home, Union health minister J.P. Nadda will meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday to explain the rationale behind taking the ordinance route to keep state boards out of the ambit of uniform medical entrance examination, NEET, for this year. Monday will also see All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief J. Jayalalithaa take oath as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu. This is the fourth time that she will become the chief minister and the first time she will hold the position for two consecutive terms.

AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa to be sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM today

AIADMK chief J. Jayalalithaa will be sworn in as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu on Monday. This is the fourth time that she will become the chief minister.

The swearing-in ceremony will be held at the Centenary Auditorium at the Madras University at 12 noon. Tamil Nadu governor K. Rosaiah will administer the oath of office to the chief minister and 28 members of the cabinet. Read more

Modi govt at 2: What’s there to like, dislike

Narendra Modi remains a popular prime minister with an approval rating of 74%, and despite what a certain section of the polity and the liberal intelligentsia wants to believe about Nitish Kumar, there is no alternative—at least, none that is evident. So, what’s there to like about this government and this Prime Minister? Mint’s editor R. Sukumar writes.

The politics of obstructionism has come to an end: Jayant Sinha

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, emboldened by its good performance in the assembly elections, has set its aim high. Passing the goods and services tax (GST) bill in the monsoon session and developing a national consensus around land and labour reforms are next on the government’s main priorities, said Jayant Sinha, minister of state for finance. Read more

For the NDA, it’s a glass half full

The NDA’s success in containing the threat of inflation, but its inability to find a permanent solution, captures its tenure in office: a good start, but still a distance to go, writes Anil Padmanabhan. Read more

Narendra Modi’s approval rating remains high: Poll

Two years into his term as prime minister, Narendra Modi’s approval rating remains high at 74%, a poll by instaVaani has found. This is based on a survey of 10,897 respondents across the country, who were polled using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. While the approval rating of the government is also high, it remains lower than the prime minister’s approval rating—an artefact that has remained constant over the last few surveys.

Modi govt is pro-poor, pro-business

BJP president Amit Shah writes about the economic reforms undertaken by the NDA in the past two years to revive the morale of corporate and rural India. Read more

Parliament logjam: time to build bridges with opposition

It’s not just the opposition—even its allies believe the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) needs to reset its existing prickly relationship with other political parties.

Its ability to push through politically sensitive reform legislation will, to a large extent, depend on its ability to bring allies and the opposition together. Read more

Congress’s fortunes turn from bad to worse

Two years ago, on 16 May 2014, both Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi accepted the responsibility for the humiliating and historic defeat which the party suffered in the general election. Since then, the Congress has faced a direct contest with the BJP in five states and on every occasion the party has performed miserably, not just losing power but being reduced to a diffused political force. Read more

Two years of NDA: Empowerment over entitlement

Empowerment and not entitlement has been the core philosophy underlying the initiatives launched by the NDA regime and probably one of its biggest differentiators from the previous governments.

In these two years that the NDA has been in power, this philosophy has found resonance in the numerous schemes and programmes that the government has introduced. Read more

NDA’s foreign policy: Redefining India’s role on the global stage

On 26 May 2016—when the NDA government marks the completion of two years in office—Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have visited at least 40 countries, besides hosting the heads of governments of almost a similar number of nations in India.

Though he has encountered harsh criticism for his travels, analysts say foreign policy is an area where the NDA government seems to have scored better than others perhaps. Read more

Modi begins Iran tour with visit to gurudwara

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday began his crucial two-day visit to Iran with a visit to the capital city’s only functioning gurudwara. Narendra Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit Iran in 15 years, offered his obeisance at the Bhai Ganga Singh Sabha Gurudwara and spoke to the head priest. He applauded the efforts of the Sikh community in the Persian Gulf nation for preserving and spreading the culture and tradition of India. Read more

NEET: Nadda to meet President on Monday to discuss ordinance

Union health minister J.P. Nadda will meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday to explain the rationale behind taking the ordinance route to keep state boards out of the ambit of uniform medical entrance examination, NEET, for this year. Read more

Raghuram Rajan says politically difficult to speed up structural reforms

It is “politically difficult" to speed up structural reforms in India, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan said, even as he stressed on the need for cleansing the banks and checking inflation to ensure faster growth. Read more

Mann ki baat: Modi emphasises need for digital payments

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat emphasised on the need to move towards a cashless economy.

“We need to make India modern, transparent and have to implement procedures across the country. There was a time when transactions happened through barter system. Then notes and coins came. But now the world is moving towards a cashless economy. The start will be difficult but once you get used to it, will be simple," Modi said in his address. Read more

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