Facebook Twitter Facebook Google Facebook Facebook LinkedIn Print

The First Years: UPA Vs NDA

Posted by Rachit Seth on Monday 11 May, 2015 Hits:140

A Comparative Study:

First Year of Modi Government Vs First Year of UPA Government


In a Westminster form of Parliamentary Democracy, it is imperative to constantly gauge the mood of the people. 5 years is a long period for an elected Government to usher reforms, especially fulfilling the promises on which it is elected. The first year of any Government sows the seeds and perhaps lays tangible policy foundations for those promises to be fulfilled. But when an elected Government in its very first year of power fails to do so, especially where people are constantly scrutinizing the elected; it not only loses the faith of the people but puts the country to an uncertain future.

The Narendra Modi Government will complete its first year in power this May end. Instead of comparing the 10 years of the previous UPA Government to just 1 year of the present NDA Government, this piece of writing will only compare the first year of UPA with the first year of Modi-led NDA. This would provide the reader an objective idea of how much the present regime has fared vis-a vis the previous one. For some, it may not be worthwhile exercise to do, as they would argue about the time and the era, saying India is constantly changing and one cannot compare the years 2004-05 to 2014-15. As an analyst, I would agree with them to an extent, since India has evolved, but as a student of Indian politics & perception, I would disagree with them.

Apologies for this long and tiring introduction, just let’s get started.

The country saw 2 Health Ministers within a short span of 12 months. Harsh Vardhan was dropped to appease the tobacco lobby. The controversial statements made by BJP MP’s and Parliamentary panel members on the #TobaccoGate created headlines. There is still no clarity whether the Government will pursue the policy of 85% pictorial warning on tobacco products.

Narendra Modi had promised to increase the Healthcare spending to 3% of the GDP, but the present spending is just 1% of the GDP. The much hyped National Health Assurance Mission is still stuck, this was a promise in the BJP Manifesto. Record number of #SwineFlu death took place in the country, but Government continued its apathy towards it. Modi government has come up with new AIIMS-like institutions in all states and increased medical seats over the last one year, though quality of infrastructure remains a concern as there is a serious dearth of funds for them.

The move to transfer UPA’s flagship ‘Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana’ from Labour Ministry to Health Ministry drew flak from Parliamentary panels. This has been solely done to introduce private sector players in the market. It provides basic health cover to the poor. 12.31 Cr active beneficiaries.

Prime Minister along with his Cabinet colleagues "launched" the Atal Pension Yojana, the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Beema Yojana and the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana with great fanfare across the country. The people of this country however know that the schemes are nothing but a repackaged Aam Aadmi Beema Yojana (AABY), Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Beema Yojana (RGSSBY) and the Rashtriya Swasthya Beema Yojana (RSBY)- schemes that the UPA launched with an aim to widen the social security net These far reaching schemes, ever since their launch in 2007 and 2008, benefited about 5 Crores (AABY), 42 Lakhs (RGSSBY) and 12 Crore (RSBY) people and an amount of Rs 2155 Cr, Rs 327.71 Cr and Rs 4300.07, respectively have been disbursed already. The cumulative number of individuals covered under these schemes exceeds 17 Crores (6 Cr families) and the amount benefiting them sums up to over Rs 7800 Crore.


Without going into the controversies surrounding the educational qualifications and affidavits of the HRD Minister and the MoS attached to her, it is pertinent to say that Modi Sarkar’s performance on Education does not inspire any confidence.

The Government is busy undermining the autonomy of institutions. With the RSS-driven Siksha Bachao Andolan Samiti and Vidya Bharti, becoming the guiding force behind the government efforts to “reform” the education system and curriculum, the obscurantist agenda of the BJP for politicizing education has started. It will result in nothing but distortion of curriculum which will lead to polluting of young minds and colouring the outlook of generations to come.

While the premiere research institution, the ICHR has already been compromised by appointing an RSS nominee as its head, the prestigious centres of excellence such as the IITs and the Delhi University. IIT directors are being appointed in 10 minutes!

The VC of Benares Hindu University, a prant-level official of the RSS with very slender academic credentials and no books on his CV, is worthy of a position formerly held by the likes of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Acharya Narendra Dev? [14]

In October 2014, The Government made a big announcement of increasing the ‘Research Fellowship’for scientists and scholars, but failed to implement it till date. There was widespread outrage among the research scholars, as they protested against the government for not keeping its promise. This is one of the many examples of how this government has undermined education in this country.

Women Empowerment

The Modi Government was elected on a slogan of “Bahut Hua Naree Par Vaar, Abki Baar Modi Sarkar”- certainly they have miserably failed on this issue as well. According to Delhi Police (which comes under the Union Govt) itself – there has been a 31% increase in crime against women, in Delhi itself. BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh tops the list of number of rape cases in the country. The recent incidents in Moga (Punjab) and Mumbai are a chilling reminder that crime against women has only increased in the country.

The Nirbhaya fund created by the UPA has been left unspent. All this coupled with insensitive remarks about women from top Cabinet Ministers and other party acolytes have vitiated the atmosphere of the country.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called Nirbhaya a "Small Rape" Incident, while Narendra Modi had asked to remember "Nirbhaya" before going to vote in Delhi. Shamelessly, the Press Information Bureau (PIB) censored the remark. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar proclaimed that “If women want freedom, why don’t they just roam around naked”

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said women in media would be better off pursuing off-field roles like that of news analysis as opposed to field reporting in view of safety, challenging conditions and odd hours of work.

Infact, the Prime Minister was not far behind in making sexist remarks. During his inaugural speech of the MUDRA bank, Modi said “The pickle will be sold more, if a girl stands and sells it”

The 50% reduction in the budget of the Women and Child Development Ministry and these insensitive statements show how serious this Modi Government is about gender equality and women empowerment.


While UPA provided an average Agricultural growth of more than 4% per year, Modi Government it its first year has reduced it to just 1.1%. The farmer of this country is now coming to Delhi and committing suicides in political rallies. Atleast 3 Agriculture Ministers of BJP ruled states have made insensitive comments about farmer distress. Haryana Minister have called them cowards! With the measly increase in Minimum Support Price (MSP), the farmer like the middle class has left to fend for himself.

Modi-government has increased MSP of Wheat from Rs 1400 to Rs 1450 - a mere Rs 50 increase. It has increased MSP from Rs 1310 to Rs 1360 - a mere Rs 50 increase

The farmers of this country are getting a lower price for their produce under the BJP Government, as compared to the Congress Government. For example, Basmati Rice which used to sell at Rs 6000-6500 per quintal has now fallen to Rs 3200-3300 per quintal in 2014-15. Even the Rubber plantation farmers are unhappy because the MSP of Rubber has come down to Rs 120 per kg from Rs 175-200 per kg. Soyabean prices have reduced from Rs 3000 per quintal to Rs 2400 per quintal.

Those agitating against the shortage of Urea are lathicharged, and those who commit suicides are not counted. Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh has quoted the Maharashtra Govt figures of just 3 farmer suicides, as against the figure of 603, reported by the media.

Unseasonal rains and hailstorm have played havoc and destroyed lakhs of hectares of Rabi crop in the country, yet this Government has mocked them by giving them as little as Rs 2 as compensation (in the state of Madhya Pradesh) Procurement is also one issue, on which this Government has miserably failed. Thousands of quintals of Wheat is rotting in the Mandis, but the Food Ministry is busy fixing moisture norms for buying the produce of the farmers.

On April 24, 2014 Shri Modi in a rally at Patankhot, Punjab, had promised he would compensate farmers for their crops. He had promised remunerative prices to the farmers by adding 50 %profit into the peasants' input cost. He had also said he would fix the MSP of crops by incorporating 50 %profit in farmers cost of production, including seed, irrigation, manure, labor. He had repeated this promise at various rallies across India.BJP had incorporated this suggestion in the manifesto for election 2014, (Page 44). However, like his other promises Shri Modi failed to deliver on this promise also.

In Budget 2015-16 allocation for Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna has been slashed by more than half. In FY 20140-15 the allocation was Rs 10054 crore. In FY 2015-16 this figure has been reduced to Rs 4500 crore - a reduction of Rs 5554 crore.

This year, there would be a reduction in the Food Production. The total food production is estimated to reduce to 2570 Lakh Metric Tonnes in 2014-15, as compared to 2650 Lakh Metric Tonnes in 2013-14.

Cultivable Agricultural land has also seen a considerable reduction. There has been a reduction of 33.24 Lakh Ha. From 503.66 Lakh Ha in 2014-15 it has been reduced to 470 Lakh Ha.

The International crude oil prices have reduced to $54 per barrel from $114 per barrel in 2014. But the Government did not transfer this benefit to diesel using farmers. Instead the Government increased the custom duty from 2.5% to 7% and raised the excise duty 4 times, profiteering an amount of Rs 80,000 Cr. The Government did not benefit the farmers.

Add the draconian provisions of the Land Acquisition Ordinance which has been brought hastily by the Centre. There shall be no consent of farmers when their land will be taken over by the Government. That very clause sums up the absolute apathy of the Modi Sarkar towards farmers

Rural Development

Rural distress is another important area on which the Modi Government is under scrutiny. The wages of people living in rural India are no longer rising at the same rate as they were under the United Progressive Alliance government. The average daily wage rate for rural India grew by 3.8% in November 2014 as compared to the same month the previous year. This is the lowest since 2005 As recently as June, growth figures were in double digits. In 2011, growth rates were higher than 20%

Contrary to the high moral ground taken by the BJP in the run up to the election in regard to transparency and curbing corruption, the post of Chief Information Commission has been lying vacant since August, 22. This has further led to piling of various matters under the RTI Act, across all Government Departments. Another key constitutional appointment process is lingering an year old Modi Government. The Central Vigilance Commission which is the eyes and ears to keep a check on corruption in Government Department has remained unfilled. Important mechanisms of checks and balances provided by our Constitution, of institutions like the CVC, CIC and Lokpal are indisplacable tenets- the crucial appointments the crucial appointments of them are stalled by the Modi Government for months.

The BJP came to power riding on anti - corruption promises and allegations against the UPA Govt. However after forming the Government the BJP has not introduced any major reforms and in fact the positions of CVC & Lokpal are also vacant.

80 % Rise in complaints in the CVC. 39000 RTI applications are pending, without any CIC.

The PM on record promised that he will not have anyone with corruption/ criminal cases in his cabinet and in fact will carry out investigations against all of the MPs in LokSabha, but reality is opposite.

Almost half of the 21 new faces inducted into Prime Minister NarendraModi's Council of Ministers have declared criminal cases against them.

Of the total Council of Ministers, 20 or 31 %have declared criminal cases against themselves, while 11 ministers or 17 %are facing serious criminal cases like attempted murder, inciting communal disharmony and electoral violations.

No less than the, former Minister in the Vajpayee Government Arun Shourie has slammed the Economic policies of the Modi Government. The Rupee is losing its sheen. It crossed the age of the Finance Minister in December 2014, and touched the age of the Prime Minister on May 7, 2015-05-11

Eight core industries registered a negative growth of 0.1 %in March, the lowest performance in 17 months. In terms of dollars, exports and imports declined 2% and 0.5%, respectively, in 2014-15 from 2013-14.

The worry is about the sluggish performance of the core sector. At the end of February 2015, overall growth of the eight sectors is 1.4% as against 6.1% at the end of February 2014. Of the eight sectors, only coal, cement and electricity have registered growth at 11.6, 2.7 and 5.2%, respectively. The decline in steel is particularly worrying—from 11.5% at the end of February 2014 to (-)4.4% at the end of February 2015.

The formula to calculate the Gross Domestic Growth has been changed now. As per GOI records, country is growing at 7.4% this year. Agriculture, which employs about 600 million Indians, registered a growth of just 1.1% Modi Government benefited enormously by the fall in global Crude Oil prices, but nothing has changed for the consumer. Last year when the crude oil was at $132/barrel, then petrol prices were Rs 70/litre. Now that the crude oil prices have come down to $59/barrel, the consumer is paying the same Rs 70/litre.

On one hand the Modi Government has reduced the Aviation Fuel, 3 times in a row. It was reduced from Rs 72.24 per litre to Rs 46.51 per litre and now to Rs 50.36 per litre and on the other hand, the Government increased the prices of diesel by Rs 4 and Rs 3 respectively, just in a fortnight. This brings us to the conclusion that under BJP Government, India has become a unique country where the price of aviation fuel is less than the price of diesel. Who is benefiting from all this?

2014 was an unusual year. Developed economies were crawling with low inflation and low growth, oil prices had collapsed, and commodity prices had declined sharply. India’s high interest rates attracted large quantities of foreign funds. The current account deficit remained under control and fiscal consolidation was on track. The value of the rupee was reasonably stable, especially against the dollar, but then came new problems.

The rupee appreciated against other currencies and exports were sharply affected. In February 2015, exports fell by 15% year-on-year. This was the third successive month of decline. There was negative growth, year-on-year, in the export of manufactured goods including leather and leather products, engineering goods and electronic goods.


National Security

National Security is one of the most important areas of concern. Narendra Modi was elected on the promise of ‘Desh Nahi Jhukne Doonga’. But his 56-inch chest did the opposite. The saree-shawl diplomacy with Pakistan failed. There were a total of 685 ceasefire violations along the

Pak Ceasefire Violations: From June to Dec 2014

India-Pakistan Border in Jammu and Kashmir from June of last year to January this year

While 126 ceasefire violations took place along the Line of Control and International Border under operational control of the Army, 559 ceasefire violations took place along the International Border' which is under operational control of the Border Security Force, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

Pak Ceasefire Violations: From Jan to Feb 2015

There have been over 161 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the last two months, with 156 reported along the International Border (IB), which comes under the operational control of the BSF. Five ceasefire violations were reported along the Line of Control (LoC) under the operational control of Army. Defence Minister said in Lok Sabha

Chinese Incursions

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had famously called the Chinese Incursions at the border as “Difference of perception”. Of course! When hundreds of Chinese troops have crossed the border and have come 31km inside your territory, while the Chinese President is swinging with your Prime Minister, this is the only way you will defend it.

Over 1000 Chinese soldiers stayed put in the Indian Territory at Chumar for 16 days. This is perhaps the first time in the History of Independent India that our neighbours have crossed over and occupied our territory and Government is hosting its President. This explains the grit we have in our diplomacy.

When Arun Jaitley in an interview to Times Now on 22nd Oct, 2014 was asked a question that is there a dichotomy in BJP’s position on the China issue, Jaitley said that - “as far as China is concerned, on the line of actual control, China has a different perception on what the line of actual control is, India has a different perception”

Defence Cut- No One Rank, One Pension

This year's budget gave a hike of 7.9% in military spending, and as a percentage of GDP, total defence spending is 1.7%— the lowest since 1960s. India's army has said the country's defence budget should be brought up to 3% of GDP.

China's defence spending is 2% of GDP, Pakistan's 3%, America's 3.8% Defence submissions to the Parliamentary Standing committee have made the point that the budgetary hike will cover maintenance and salaries and committed liabilities for past purchases.

Only 8% of the capital allocation in the defence budget is for new projects. Centre had slashed the defence budget to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore to “mechanically make up” for rising fiscal deficit.

The government has ordered a cut of Rs 13,000 crore in the budgets of the army, navy and the air force meant for buying major weapons and systems in a military modernisation drive that the NarendraModi regime has promised. This effectively means running the military at its current strength itself is proving to be so expensive that the government is left with little for the purchase of new guns, warships and fighter planes to replace outdated weapons.

Each of the three services will have between Rs 4,000 and Rs 4,500 crore shaved off their capital outlays.

There is no announcement, yet of the implementation of One Rank, One Pension scheme announced by the UPA, benefitting lakhs of ex-servicemen.

Foreign Policy

Barely eight months after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s India trip, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will shortly make a return visit to China. Normally, a return visit to any country should be undertaken only after preparatory work indicates the trip could tangibly advance the bilateral relationship. Modi’s trip, however, holds little prospect for achieving a more balanced and stable relationship or making progress on resolving land and water disputes and correcting an increasingly lopsided trade relationship. Given the limited time, no real groundwork has been done to ensure that the visit yields enduring results.

It’s been more than a year that new Govt is in power but they are keeping mum on stapled visa issue. PM must not forget raising issue of Arunachal Pradesh and the persistent claim of China over this Indian Territory.GOI shouldn’t forget abt conspicuous absence of Rijiju from the delegation-level talks during Xi Jinping’s visit to India.

39 Indians are missing in Iraq since a year now and the Modi Government has no clue whatsoever, about their wherebouts. On the contrary, their agitating families are arrested and sent to jail. PM of India has not spoken once on this issue, we fail to understand why can’t he come out in open and assure the families of poor labourers?

The Modi Government pats its back for a robust foreign policy claiming that it has increased the stature of India, all over the world. But this is far from the truth. The Prime Minister lowered his image to a domestic commentator and severely hurt the prestige of the country by calling it a ‘Scam India’ on foreign soil. By criticising previous governments and taking credit of whatever good is happening, the PM broke all previous conventions.

Although PM Modi, visited Nepal twice in 12 months, yet the country is miffed about India’s role in its affairs. India may have pulled out all stops to help quake-devastated Nepal with 'Operation Maitri', but the friendly neighbour may remember China's silent work in their country more than the Indian effort. [57] Many in Nepal say the hyper-active Indian media tried to keep their country ahead of China in their earthquake coverage. In contrast, China seemed least interested in publicity.

For the first time the West and its media is coming down heavily on India. Although it is an internal matter of India, yet US reports have slammed the Modi Government for its “minority policy” and expressed concern about “Ghar Wapsi” incidents. This has never happened before.

Modi Government also failed to sign the much-hyped civil nuclear deal with Japan. No new treaty was signed with Germany. The Canadian visit of the PM only implemented the Uranium sharing agreement which was signed by the previous government.

The Pakistan policy of the Modi Government remained embroiled in flip-flop announcements. The saree-shawl diplomacy of Modi failed. Pakistan is openly mocking India on its Dawood comment and Hafiz Saeed is out of jail!

Lastly, the first year of UPA, saw similar engagements with SAARC countries, BRICS nations (although there was no BRICS then), ASEAN, Gulf , European countries and the US. If we have a look at the Annexure VI of the PMO Report to the people, the PM had engagements with almost all important stakeholders in the world. Therefore nothing can prove that Modi’s visits increased the stature of India at the global table.


I have tried to accommodate a lot of information on the policies of the Modi Government, a lot it still remains. There are a lot of issues which are not touched upon in this piece.

After this long and tiring exercise of comparing both this Governments, I would only like to say that UPA in its first year fared far better than the NDA. Critics may call me biased, but facts speak for themselves.



Rachit. I salute your spirit & your genuine love for the country. Remain positive even in the darkest times because there is no other alternative to hope. Keep up the good work Brother.

Leave a Comment