Full Text of PM Modi's Interview To Network18

Tough Line on Black Money: Full Text of PM Modi's Interview To Network18 New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi sat down with Network 18 Group Editor Rahul Joshi for a comprehensive interview covering a multitude of topics spanning politics, economy, the criticism of his government following recent attacks on Dalits, vote bank politics and casteism and also offered a rare peek into himself, his working style and his closely held beliefs.
Appended below is the edited transcript of the interview translated from Hindi into English
Question: At the outset, thank you for giving this interview to Network 18. Two years ago you were elected with a historic mandate, the most decisive in three decades. How do you view the last two years and what do you think has been your biggest achievement?
PM Modi: After getting the responsibility of becoming the Prime Minister it has been about two years and three months. India is a democratic country and the people evaluate governments regularly. The media also evaluates. And these days, professional survey agencies also do this. And I think this is a good thing and that's why I leave it to the people to evaluate how my government has performed.
But I will definitely want that whenever my government is evaluated, the situation of the government before we came to power must be kept in mind, what the state of the country was, what the media was discussing. If we keep that in view, those days newspapers were filled with news of corruption, despair... People had lost hope, they thought everything had sunk.
If a patient, however good the doctor, is despondent, medicines will not cure him. But if the patient is hopeful, then even an average doctor can cure him. The reason for that is the patient's inner belief.
My first priority after forming the government was that the atmosphere of despair should be removed and to create hope and belief in the country. That doesn't happen with speeches. Concrete steps need to be taken, it has been shown to be done. And today after more than two years, I can say with certainty that there is hope not just in the people of this country, the trust of the entire world in India has grown.
There was a time when we were being seen as a sinking ship. In the BRICS, the ‘I’ (representing India) was seen as wobbly. Today it is said that if there is a bright spot, it is India. I think this in itself is a good way to evaluate.
Question: You came to power on the issue of development, so a question on the economy. After a lot of effort you succeeded in passing the GST Bill. How big a success do you see this. What does it mean for the common man?
PM Modi: This is perhaps the biggest tax reform since the independence of India. This reform will bring a big change in India. Very few people in the country pay taxes. Some people pay taxes because they are patriotic and they want to do something for the country. Some pay taxes because they don't want to break the law. Some pay to avoid trouble. But most don't pay because the process is complicated. They think they might get stuck in the process and won't be able to come out. GST will simplify tax payments so much that anyone who wants to contribute to the country will come forward.
Secondly, today if you go and eat in a hotel, the bill that you get comes with this cess, that cess... People send messages on Whatsapp detailing the bill amount and the cess paid. All this will end. And then we routinely see at octroi and border checkposts, miles of vehicles standing. When vehicles stand, it hurts the country's economy. Now all of it will become seamless, the movement of goods from one state to another.
Taxation systems will also be simplified and this will not only benefit the common man, the revenues will help develop the nation. Today, there are incidents of mistrust between states. This will end that situation, it will be transparent and strengthen the federal structure.
Question: After coming to power, your biggest challenge was the economy. The task before you was not just to bring it back on track but also increase the pace of growth. Have you managed to achieve this?
PM Modi: You are right that there was a negative atmosphere. The country's traders and industrialists had started looking out. There was a paralysis in government. On the one hand it was this situation. On the other we had to face two successive droughts. Third, there was a slowdown in the global economy. So there were a series of challenges. It wasn't only after we took charge. Even after that there were challenges. But our intention was strong and policies were clear. There was decisiveness because there was no vested interest. The result of this was that positivity spread very quickly.
Today, we have the highest amount of foreign direct investment after Independence. The entire world says that at 7% growth, we are the fastest growing economy. Whether it is the World Bank, IMF, credit agencies, even UN agencies… they all say India is growing rapidly.
So those policies which are helping growth have been emphasised. All obstructions are being removed with policies. All this has resulted in speeding up the economy. This time the rains have been good and this helps agriculture, which is driving force for the economy. This has raised hopes that the coming days will be much better.
Usually it is one or two things that are talked about, but today growth has being talked about in all sectors. Electricity production has gone up and so has demand. Infrastructure work is also growing rapidly and that happens when there is demand in the economy. From all this it looks like we have moved ahead to better days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview with Network18 Group Editor Rahul Joshi.

Question: You are absolutely right that the monsoon is very encouraging and stock markets are also up. Can you please tell us what the next wave of reforms will be?
PM Modi: First of all, in our country, only what is talked about is seen as reform. If it isn't talked about, it isn't seen as reform. It shows our ignorance. Actually I am of the view reform to transform. I say in my government -- Reform, Perform and Transform. And since I am sitting for an interview, I would say Reform, Perform, Transform and Inform.
Take ease of doing business. Our ranking is improving very quickly. This is not possible without reform. Our systems, processes, forms were so complicated. These have been reformed, so our rankings are going up. A UN agency has said that from 10 in the next two years, we could be at number three. These small things need to be improved. Even today there exists licence raj in some areas. That needs to go. This is an important reform that is happening at every level -- administrative, governance, legal.
Like for instance we removed 1,700 laws that were from the 19th and 20th centuries. I have asked states also to do so. These are very big reforms that people, because of lack on information, don't consider reforms.
Take education, where we have taken an important step that no one gave attention to. We have said that 10 government and 10 private universities will be freed of all University Grants Commission rules. We will give them money and they must move towards becoming world class universities. If rules were holding them up, we will remove the rules. Now do it and show us. This is a major reform, but doesn't get attention.
Direct benefit transfer is a big reform. Earlier who knew where MNREGA money was going? Now it is sent by DBT. So are gas subsidy payments and student scholarships. For me all these are reforms in governance, transparency. We are getting in more technology. These have to be done at a larger scale. At the Centre of this is the common man. How to make life easier for the common man, how they will get what is their right, we want to stress on these.
Question:While there has been economic growth, private investment in the economy is still tepid. Some sectors like real estate are still in trouble. Venture capital funding of startups has slowed. What message would you like to give to private industry and foreign investors at this juncture?
PM Modi: Today I think, before presenting the first Budget, I should have placed a White Paper in Parliament on the economic situation in the country. This thought had struck me then. I had two paths then. Politics told me that I should put out all the details. But the nation's interest told me that this information would increase the sense of hopelessness, markets would be badly hit, it would be big blow to the economy and the world's view of India would get worse. It would have been very difficult to get the economy out of that... I chose to stay silent in the national interest at the risk of political damage. At that time the situation in public sector banks was coming out... I didn't put these details out in public. It hurt us, we were criticised, it was made to look like it was all my fault. But I took the political damage in the country's interest.
The impact of all these issues from the past have impacted private investment, like the non-performing assets in banks. I held a session with bankers and told them there will be no call from the government to you. These steps would have tightened the screws.
Despite that, the pace at which roads are being made, how railways is expanding, the six-fold increase in electronic goods manufacturing… these things show we haven't taken shortcuts. And my motto is, as it says on railway platforms: 'short cut will cut you short'. We don't want to take any shortcuts and the results are showing.
Anyway the situation has now improved. We don't have to worry about these things but in the beginning -- in May 2014 -- I chose the tough path. When unbiased people analyse the situation, I am confident they will be surprised.
QuestionYou have adopted a tough line on Black Money. In fact, it is said that because of this crackdown on black money, some businessmen are hiding either in Dubai or London. You haven't spared political dynasts either. Will this process continue?
PM Modi: Firstly, I have neither looked at this from a political standpoint and nor will I do so in the future. I have been a state CM for 14 years. And history bears witness to the fact that I have never opened any file due to political considerations. I have never been accused of this either. It has been over two years here too. The government has given no instruction to open any file. The law will take its own course. I have no right to indulge in any cover up. You saying that we haven't spared any dynasty isn't correct.
"We have made requisite legal changes so that the black money circulating inside the country can also be curbed. There's a scheme which is running till the 30th of September. For all those who are still willing to come in the mainstream. I have said this in public that 30th of September is your last date. You may have made mistakes with whatever intentions. Whether it has been done willingly or unwillingly, here is your chance. Come into the mainstream. I have this plan for people to sleep peacefully at night. People must accept this. And no one should blame me if I take tough decisions after the 30th. This money belongs to the country's poor. No one has the right to loot this. This is my commitment. I am working with full force and will continue the effort.
Question: Mr Prime Minister, let us talk about politics. Many states go to polls next year. Social discrimination and fundamentalism is raising its ugly head again. Dalits and members of backward classes have in fact started saying that the BJP and the RSS are anti Dalit. How will you assure the people that your agenda is development and development alone?
PM Modi: The country has full faith that our agenda is only development. There is no confusion in the minds of people. But all those people who never wanted that a government like this to come to power, those who never wanted the previous regime to go… they are the ones who have trouble. So, development is our only issue and it will remain so. And this is not a political issue, this is my conviction. If we want to free this country of poverty then we need development. We will need to empower the poor.
As far as some incidents are concerned, they need to be condemned. It has no place in any civilised society. But we must not forget that law and order is a state subject. Some are selectively picking issues and blaming Modi for it. I don't know what purpose does it serve for those who are doing this. But this is surely hurting the interest of the country. Such incidents must not happen. From a statistical point of view, whether it is communal violence, atrocities against Dalits or atrocities against tribals, data shows that such incidents have gone down in number compared with what it was under the previous government.
But the issue is not of what happened in their government and our government. The issue is that this is not befitting as per our society. We have a culture dating back thousands of years. We have seen some imbalances in our society and we have to intelligently take our society out of this imbalance. This is a social problem. It is deeply rooted. Politics on social imbalances is a disservice to society. To all those who have faced injustice for generations. If you look at dalit MPs and dalit MLAs, tribal MPs and tribal MLAs, the BJP has a sizable presence.
Ever since I celebrated the 125th anniversary of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, when the UNO also celebrated his anniversary and 102 countries observed the 125th anniversary, and parliament discussed the life and works of Babasaheb Ambedkar for two days, many people thought that Modi is a devotee of Ambedkar. They started having problems. All those who were self-appointed guardians of Dalits did not like it that Modi is with the Dalits, that Modi devotes himself to tribals. I am devoted to the development of all the dalits, oppressed, underprivileged, deprived, women. Those who see this as an obstruction to their politics are the ones creating trouble.
And this is why they are levelling baseless allegations. All those who have fed this country the poison of caste divide have destroyed this country. They must stop giving political tones to social problems. We must move forward with a purpose. And I want to ask the society also: are these incidents befitting of a civilised society?
I spoke from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the incidents of rape...I said that parents must ask their sons also - where they are going, what they are doing? We ask our daughters these questions.
And I want to tell this to our politicians also, also my party's leaders too: reckless statements, saying anything about anyone or any person's community before the media. The media will come to you. It needs its TRPs. But you are answerable to the nation. And that is why, all those living in public life.. whether political or social workers -- even if we are representing a particular community -- for the benefit of the country's unity, society's unity, for the sake of general bonhomie, we must be extra vigilant.
Whenever we are wounded, even the slightest touch of a paper also causes pain. Thousands of years of injustice have kept these wounds open. The slightest of damage will cause a lot of pain. This is why, it does not matter whether the incident is big or small, what matters is that the incident must not happen in the first place. Which government had more incidents and which didn't is not the point. We all have to work collectively to give strength to the country's unity.
Question: How important is social harmony for economic progress?
PM Modi: Economic progress alone is not the solution. Peace, unity and harmony is essential for society. Even in a family, no matter how well-off you may be...even if you are sitting over a heap of money, the family's unity is important. This is true for the society also. We don't need unity just to fight poverty alone. We need to be united and harmonious. We need to be committed to social justice. And that is why, unity is not important for economic progress alone. Peace, unity and harmony are useful in family, life, society and for the nation. And to all those who believe in Vasudhaive Kutumbakam, the whole world is one.
Question: All political parties talk about removing poverty. Yet poverty remains an issue of grave concern in our country. Job creation is a major challenge for you and you have kept this in mind too. What will be your strategy on both these counts?
PM Modi: You are right. Poverty alleviation has been a political slogan. A lot of politics has happened on poverty. And a lot of programmes for poverty alleviation have also been started keeping elections in mind. I do not want to get in a controversy on whether it was good or bad. But my path is a little different. We have to empower the poor to end poverty. If the poor are empowered, then they have enough power to alleviate poverty. Politics can be done by keeping the poor poor. But freedom from poverty can only come by empowerment. The biggest tool for empowerment is education. The next point is employment. If we get economic empowerment, then it can serve as a tool to change things on its own.
All the initiatives that we have taken over the past few years, like the Mudra Scheme - at least 3.5 crore people have taken the benefits of the Mudra Scheme and they got about 1.25 lakh crore rupees through this scheme. Many of them are those who have got money from the bank for the first time. These people will do something or the other. They will get sewing machines, stitch clothes… they will do something. It is possible that they might employ a few. This empowerment will give these people a lot of power. To educate their children.
Suppose a person buys a taxi. Then they would feel they must educate their children. They will move forward. One of the things that we have done is called Stand Up India. I have told banks that every branch must give financial aid to a Dalit, a tribal and a woman. They must make them an entrepreneur.
The country has 1.25 Lakh branches of banks. If they empower even 3 people each, they will benefit 4-5 lakh families. People who did not have this sort of financial empowerment will feel empowered. They will be an economic strength. Start Up India... To give employment to the young, I have started this scheme. These are small decisions. I have also sent an advisory to the states. That they must move forward in this direction.
We have big malls in our country. Lakhs and crores of rupees are spent in constructing them. There is no time restriction for them. They can run till 10 pm, 12 pm, 4am,.but there will be a government representative with a stick in his hand and ask a small shopkeeper to shut his shop...Why? We have said that these small traders who have small enterprises, they are free to be open 365 days, 24/7..so that they can go about doing their business and also employ a few. And these are the people who drive the economy in our country. This is where we are working to empower.
We have laid a lot of stress on skill development. Skill development is the need of the hour. We have changed systems. Skilled development is a ministry. It has a different budget. And work is being done on a huge scale. Skill development by government, skill development through public private partnership, skilled development through skill universities collaborating with other countries who have done good work in developing skills. The country has 80 crore youth. They are below 30 years of age. If youth have the skill, they can change the fortunes of this country. And we are laying stress on this. The country's youth & employment are at the centre of all economic activity. In the agriculture sector also, if you move towards value addition, it will create more opportunities to generate employment. A village youth who has had to go to big towns under pressure, if he is given value addition and agriculture-centric rural development, if we empower him, then employment opportunities shall be created. We are laying stress on this. And we can see some good results.
Question: You are the first prime minister who has had a direct communication with Indians abroad. How has this benefitted the country?
PM Modi: Everything should not be measured on a scale of profit and loss. In any part of the world, anyone who is Indian, at whatever post he may be, has a feeling in his heart that my country must progress. And if they get unfavourable press about their country, they are the most upset. Because they are away, it pricks them even more. We get used to a lot of things. They get affected. They have a lot of affection for India. But they don't get an opportunity or a channel. We have acknowledged the power of the diaspora in Niti Aayog. This is such a global strength. They have global exposure. They have academic quality and qualifications… a zeal to work for the country. And wherever they are, their love for the country has not diminished. Why should we disassociate with them? We must establish a link with them. And there will come a time, when they will be true ambassadors of India. And I have seen that more than a government’s mission, India's strength is largely due to the diaspora’s attitude and contacts. Mission plus diaspora, when they get together, our strength grows manifold. So this was my role and we are getting good results.
QuestionPM Modi: Firstly, it's unfortunate that in our country everything we do is immediately linked to elections. UP elections are still away, still all our decisions are being linked to that. Super political pundits can't get politics out of their minds. Their minds buzzing with politics run faster in AC rooms. Again, in our country there are frequent elections. Elections here, elections there...elections, elections, elections. Every decision is weighed using the election balance. There will only be adverse impact for our country till we continue to keep linking issues and decisions to elections. It's high time we delinked the two. Parties will come up with their manifestos after polls are announced. Why link them now?
Leaders of political parties, when they meet me, emphatically tell me let us please keep elections aside. They tell me ‘why don't we club assembly elections with Lok Sabha polls?’ And why don't we hold local body elections as well during that time, so that the entire election process gets over in a week to 10 days time and for five years the country runs uninterruptedly? There will be decisions and momentum and the bureaucracy will work effectively. Every party is saying this, but no single party can decide this. All parties will have to unitedly do this. Government alone can't do this. Election commission has the led this effort and all parties have to agree on this. I can have my own ideas, but I can't do anything about it. This has to be done democratically. But I do hope some day there will be comprehensive discussion and debate.
There will be elections in five states in coming days and Uttar Pradesh is one of them. As far as the BJP is concerned, we will fight on development issues only. Our focus will be welfare of farmers, villages, jobs for the youth, and we will stay committed to the cause of social justice. Our focus will be to maintain peace, unity and brotherhood in our country. We will take steps in these regards and move forward.
QuestionPM Modi: The poisons of casteism and communal vote banks have caused enough damage in our country. The biggest obstacle to strengthening our democracy is vote bank politics. There was no atmosphere of vote bank politics in last general elections. There was the atmosphere of development politics. After 30 years, all sections of our society unitedly voted for a majority government. An entire section of our society has made a shift. It's possible that the people of UP will do a similar thing for betterment of UP. They will vote keeping development in their mind.
QuestionPM Modi: Whenever we talk about Jammu & Kashmir, we should take the entire picture of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and the Ladakh region into account. The seeds of the problem was sown ever since independence and division of our country. Every government had to battle with this problem. This is not a new problem. It is an old one. I believe the youth of Kashmir will not be distracted. We will proceed together maintaining peace, unity and goodwill so that the heaven called Kashmir will remain a heaven. Problems will also get solved. That's why I always maintain that people of Kashmir need both development and trust. And 1 billion Indians has always stayed committed to both development and it has never wavered from its commitment of trust. This belief is still there today and it will always be there in future as well. We will march on the path of development and trust. And we will succeed.
Question: It's widely believed that high level corruption has come down drastically under your rule, but low level corruption is still rampant. How can you fix this?
PM Modi: I'm grateful to you that you have accepted that there is no high-level corruption. If the Ganga is clean at Gaumukh, it will gradually become pure while flowing down. You may have noticed that we have taken many steps which have neutralised chances of any corruption. For instance we have shifted the gas subsidy system into the Direct Benefit Scheme. Ghost clients who used to wrongly enjoy the benefits of gas subsidy are no longer there. Chandigarh was being supplied 30 lakh litres of kerosene. Using technology we stopped providing kerosene to those houses which have gas connection and electricity. And we provided gas connections to those who earlier didn't have. That's how we made Chandigarh kerosene free and saved 30 lakh litres of kerosene from being sold in the black market.
The other day Haryana's chief minister was telling me he is going to make eight districts kerosene free by this November. You would know our farmers used to be desperate for urea and used to buy from black market. Black marketeers ruled. In some states farmers buying urea from the black market were even lathicharged. You must have noticed there is no news of urea shortfall these days. No queuing up of farmers anywhere, no lathicharge anywhere and black marketing has stopped. Why it is not happening anymore? Earlier the urea meant for farmers used to land up in chemical factories on the sly. Chemical factories used to process this as raw material and brought out finished products. They used to get urea cheap. Chemical factories and middlemen enjoyed the cream. We started neem coating of urea. As a result even one gram of urea cannot be used by chemical factories and now entire urea is 100% being used for cultivation only. Additionally, we raised production of urea by 20 lakh tonnes. We are also neem coating imported urea. Not only that, tribals in Gujarat who were engaged to collect neem seeds for this purpose have started extracting neem oil while neem coating, and have earned up to 10 to 12 crore rupees . This is a win-win situation. Corruption and difficulties both gone. Likewise, we can do away with low level corruption through policy decisions and using technology. You will start liking at low level what you liked at top level.
Question: Mr Prime Minister, it's being said that Lutyens Delhi did not like you, but have you started liking Delhi?
PM Modi: As you know the position of prime minister is such that there's no question of liking or disliking Lutyens Delhi. But there's is a need to deliberate on this. In Delhi's power corridors, there's an active group of people which is dedicated to only a few. It could be because of their own reasons or personal gains. It's not a question of Modi. Look back at history. What happened with Sardar Patel. This group presented Sardar Patel as a simple person from a village with a simple intellect. Look at what happened to Morarji Desai. This same group never talked about his abilities, achievements. It always talked about what he drank. What happened with Deve Gowda? A farmer's son became the PM, yet they said he only sleeps. And what happened with the supremely talented Ambedkar who they are praising today. They made fun of him. What happened with Chaudhury Charan Singh? They again made fun of him. So I'm not surprised when they make fun of him. These custodians who are dedicated to a select few will never accept anyone who is linked to the roots of this country. So I too do not want to waste my time addressing this group. The welfare of the billion people is my biggest task and I will not lose anything if I do not associate myself with Lutyens Delhi. It's better if I live with the poor people of this country who are like me.
Question: It's often said in media circles that if TRP rating are down cut to Modi rallies. Still you have a bitter-sweet relationship with media. What do you have to say about the media?
PM Modi: Media has played a major contribution to whatever I'm today. Yes, I don't give soundbytes here and there. Media may complain that Modiji doesn't make spicy, controversial remarks. This is a genuine complaint. I'm mostly involved in my work and my work speaks. For a long time I was involved with organisational work. So I have strong friendly association with the media world. There is not a media personality with whom I haven't had tea and not had fun. I know many of them by their names. So those expectations are natural. Mostly media has seen big personalities becoming PM, not someone like me who has spent time among them as a friend.
Media is doing its job and it should. I believe the media must strongly criticise the government's work. Otherwise democracy won't work. But unfortunately, in this TRP rat-race, the media doesn't have enough time for research. Criticism is not possible without research. For 10 minutes of criticism you need 10 hours of research. Instead of criticism, it gets into levelling allegations. As a result democracy gets weakened. Governments must be afraid of media criticisms, but that's fast going away. I want media to be very critical based on facts. The country will benefit from this. It's right that media has its compulsions. It has to win the TRP race. So I'm glad that at least I'm useful to them this way. More than my rallies, to win TRP they get people to abuse me.
Question: Like the media you seem to have a strained relationship with the judiciary. Why?
PM Modi: This is a totally wrong perception. This government goes by rules, the law and the constitution. There is no scope for any confrontation or tension with any constitutional institution. There must be as much warmth with judiciary as needed for constitutional decorum. I try my best to maintain as much decorum as possible.
Question: I would like to ask you few some personal questions. You have this image of a strong leader, but on a few occasions your emotional side came out. People would like to know what kind of human being you are. Viewers would like to know what is the real Narendra Modi like? Or there are many layers to Modi's character.
PM Modi: A soldier who bravely fights on the border and the same soldier when he plays with his daughter cannot behave in the same manner. Narendra Modi, whatever he is, is after all a human being. Why should I suppress or hide what's inside me? I'm what I am. Let people see what they see. As far as my duties and responsibilities are concerned, I have to fulfill them to the best of my abilities. If I have to take strong decisions for the country's sake, then I will have to make those decisions. If I have to work hard for that then I will have to. If I have to bend I'll bend. If I have to walk fast then I'll walk fast. But these are nor facets of my character, these are part of my responsibilities. There is nothing like real or fake Modi. Human being is a human being. If you take off your political glasses, then you will see the real Modi. But you will do a mistake if you continue to judge Modi through your perceived notions.
Question: Modiji, I have met you many times in Gandhinagar when you were CM and even in the PMO. I have never seen any file, paper or even phone on your table. No one ever intervened during our meetings. You function like a CEO. Some say you hear more and speak less. What's your working style?
PM Modi: You have made right observations. I have been painted as one who doesn't listen and only talks down. I actually hear a lot and observe a lot. That's how I have evolved as a person. I have benefitted a lot through this. I'm a workaholic, but basically I always like to live in the present. If you have come to meet me then I get immersed in that meeting. I don't touch the phone or see the paper and I don't lose focus. When I see files I similarly get immersed and get lost in those files. I live every moment in the present. The person who meets me is always satisfied that I have given him quality time.
Secondly, one must do justice to one's work, I have always tried that. One must always learn and understand. One must have the courage to leave those ideas that were relevant in the past years back but are no longer now. One must have the courage to change oneself. This is how I developed my style of functioning.
Question: You have punishing schedule of 16 to 18 hours. So how do you relax?
PM Modi: I relax through working only. I never get tired of working. In fact the opposite tires me. If you have to write 10 letters and you may start feeling tired after writing two. But you feel satisfied if you have finished writing all 10 letters and skipped your meal because you feel the work is finished. Actually we get tired by not working and work gives you satisfaction. That satisfaction gives you energy. I have felt this and always tell this to my young friends. Tiredness is more psychological. Everyone has the same capacity needed for the volume of the work. You keep accepting new challenges and your inner self will always back you. This is in-built.
Question: Who have been your key influences in life?
PM Modi: My village belonged to the Gaekwad estate and as a child I gained a lot from that environment. The specialty of Gaekwad king was that he used to build libraries and primary schools in every village. I studied in that school. I developed an interest in reading books. Now there's not much time to read. Those books made an impact. From 12 years of age I started taking part in oratory competitions. I used to like Vivekananda quotations and his style of delivery a lot. I had taken a liking for the Hindi language. I can say Vivekananda's thought has made a huge impact on me.
Question: Where does Narendra Modi like to find himself in Indian history?
PM Modi:Why should a person who loves to live in the present worry about history? One must not make that mistake in one's life. Unfortunately in our country, governments, political parties, leaders have always tried hard to make their own image. What if we had dedicated to build the image of our country rather than our own? The image of this country is the unending legacy of 1.25 billion people. Modi is just one of those 1.25 billion Indians, nothing more. Modi's identity must get lost among those 1.25 billion people. There will be no greater joy for me than Modi getting lost in the pages of history.
Modiji thank you so much for giving me your time. This is my first TV interview and I feel privileged and honoured to done with no less a person than the Prime Minister.
PM Modi: Your are from the financial world and yet you did a political interview. I liked your confidence. I congratulate you and keep doing the good work.
You please keep giving us interviews...
PM Modi: Why interview politicians only, there are so many others from other walks of life to interview. During election time, reporters start shooting from your bedroom and start asking about breakfast etc. But not many know the sacrifices of our sportsmen. Instead of wasting time on politicians, we should spend more time on our sportsmen -- how they control their food, sleep, how they still stay committed even after losing. Our youth must be shown those sacrifices. I would like your channel to choose 30 sportsmen from the Rio contigent and show their life story. That way we can change the way we see our sportsmen. Also, I feel there are so many personalities to interview beyond politics.

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Donald Trump Joke and Comedians

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How the times have changed?!

Baba Ramdev joke

Baba Ramdev joke
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It means, move aside all of you to the side, madam is coming. Probably Shilpa Shetty Bhabhi.

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Kalabhavan Mani funny rare young pictures: the unique laugh

Review Criticism of Budget Highlights 2016-17 Suresh Prabhu

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Highlights of the Railway Budget 2016-17
Theme of the Budget
 Overcoming challenges – Reorganize, Restructure Rejuvenate Indian Railways:
‘Chalo, Milkar Kuch Naya Karen’
 Three pillars of the strategy i.e. Nav Arjan – New revenues, Nav Manak – New
norms, Nav Sanrachna – New Structures.
Financial Performance
 2015-16- Savings of Rs. 8,720 crore neutralizing most of the revenue shortfall,
expected OR 90%;
 2016-17- Targeted Operating Ratio (OR) - 92%, restrict growth of Ordinary Working
Expenses by 11.6% after building in immediate impact of 7th PC, reductions planned
in diesel and electricity consumption, Revenue generation targeted at Rs. 1,84,820
Investments and Resources
 Process bottlenecks overhauled including delegation of powers to functional levels;
average capital expenditure over 2009-14 is Rs. 48,100 crore, average growth of 8%
per annum.
 2015-16 investment would be close to double of the average of previous 5 years.
 2016-17 CAPEX pegged at Rs. 1.21 lakh crore; implementation through joint
ventures with states, developing new frameworks for PPP, etc.
 By 2020, long-felt desires of the common man to be fulfilled i.e, reserved
accommodation on trains available on demand, time tabled freight trains, high end
technology to improve safety record, elimination of all unmanned level crossings,
improved punctuality, higher average speed of freight trains, semi high speed trains
running along the golden quadrilateral, zero direct discharge of human waste.
 Action initiated on 139 budget announcements of 2015-16.
Project execution
 2015-16 - assured funding through LIC; commissioning of 2,500 kms Broad Gauge
lines; commissioning of 1,600 kms of electrification, highest ever. In 2016-17 -
targeted commissioning 2,800 kms of track; commissioning Broad Gauge lines @
over 7 kms per day against an average of about 4.3 kms per day in the last 6 years.
Would increase to about 13 kms per day in 2017-18 and 19 kms per day in 2018-19;
will generate employment of about 9 crore man days in 2017-18 and 14 crore man
days in 2018-19. Outlay for railway electrification increased in 2016-17 by almost
50%; target to electrify 2,000 kms.
Dedicated Freight Corridor
 Almost all contracts for civil engineering works to be awarded by March 31st 2016;
Rs. 24,000 crore contracts awarded since November 2014 as against Rs. 13,000 crore
contracts awarded in last 6 years; propose to take up North-South, East-West & East
Coast freight corridors through innovative financing including PPP.
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Port connectivity
 Tuna Port commissioned and rail connectivity projects to ports of Jaigarh, Dighi,
Rewas and Paradip under implementation; implementation of rail connectivity for the
ports of Nargol and Hazira under PPP in 2016-17.
North East
 BG Lumding-Silchar section in Assam opened thus connecting Barak Valley with rest
of the country; Agartala brought on to the BG network. States of Mizoram and
Manipur shortly to come on BG map of the country with commissioning of the
Kathakal-Bhairabi and Arunachal-Jiribam Gauge Conversion projects.
Jammu and Kashmir
 Work on Katra-Banihal section of Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla Rail Link Project
progressing satisfactorily- 35 kms of tunnelling out of total of 95 kms completed;
Decongestion work on Jalandhar - Jammu line in full swing and doubling of two
bridges to be commissioned by March 2016, while the other two bridges will be
completed by 2016-17.
Make in India: Finalised bids for two loco factories; proposed to increase the current
procurement of train sets by 30%.
Capacity Building for the future through:
 Transparency – initiated recruitments online in 2015-16, process now being
replicated for all positions, social media being used as a tool to bring in transparency,
all procurement including procurement of works moved to the e-platform, completed
trial of process leading to award of tender electronically and to be rolled out on a Pan-
India basis in 2016-17.
 Governance - delegation led to compression of project sanction time to 6-8 months
from 2 years earlier, key result areas identified to judge performance of GMs and
DRMs, performance related MOUs signed with few Zones, to be replicated for all
 Internal audit measures - specialised teams mandated to screen railway operations
in specific areas to detect inefficiencies and prevent wastages, every zone preparing 2
reports by March 31, 2016.
 Partnerships – Cabinet approval for JVs with State Governments, 17 consented and
6 MOUs signed with State Governments. 44 new partnership works covering about
5,300 kms and valuing about Rs. 92,714 crore have been indicated in the Budget
Customer Interface
 Interaction and feedback through social media & dedicated IVRS system.
 Making travel comfortable by generating over 65,000 additional berths, installing
2,500 water vending machines; introducing ‘Mahamana Express’ with modern
refurbished coaches; 17,000 bio-toilets in trains; world’s first Bio-Vacuum toilet
 Improving punctuality – operations audit for Ghaziabad to Mughalsarai section.
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 Ticketing: Introduced 1,780 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines, mobile apps &
GoIndia smartcard for cashless purchase of UTS and PRS tickets, enhanced capacity
of e-ticketing system from 2,000 tickets per minute to 7,200 tickets per minute and to
support 1,20,000 concurrent users as against only 40,000 earlier.
 Social initiatives: One-time registration for availing concessions while booking
tickets online, online booking of wheelchairs & Braille enabled new coaches
introduced for the Divyang, increased quota of lower berths for senior citizens and
women, middle bays reserved in coaches for women.
 Wi-Fi provided in 100 stations, to be provided in 400 more.
 Stations being redeveloped – financial bid received for Habibganj, Bhopal; Cabinet
approval for stations to be taken up under PPP.
 Security through helplines & CCTVs.
 Safety - 350 manned level crossings closed, eliminated 1,000 unmanned level
crossings, 820 ROB/RUB completed in the current year and work going on in 1,350
of them.
Other major achievements
 Energy: annualized savings of Rs. 3,000 crore to be achieved in the next financial
year itself, a year earlier than announced; achieved by procuring power directly at
competitive rates using IR’s status as Deemed Distribution Licensee.
 Rail University – initially identified the National Academy of Indian Railways at
 Digital India: application of Track Management System (TMS) launched, inventory
management module of TMS has resulted in inventory reduction by 27,000 MT
resulting in saving of Rs.64 crore and scrap identification of 22,000 MT equivalent to
Rs.53 crore.
The Way Ahead
Improving quality of travel
For the unreserved passenger –
 Antyodaya Express unreserved, superfast service.
 Deen Dayalu coaches – unreserved coaches with potable water and higher number of
mobile charging points.
For the reserved passenger –
 Humsafar - fully air-conditioned third AC service with an optional service for meals
 Tejas - will showcase the future of train travel in India. Will operate at speeds of 130
kmph and above.Will offer onboard services such as entertainment, local cuisine, Wi-
Fi, etc. through one service provider for ensuring accountability and improved
customer satisfaction
 Humsafar and Tejas to ensure cost recovery through tariff and non-tariff measures
 UDAY - overnight double-decker, Utkrisht Double-Decker Air-conditioned Yatri
Express on the busiest routes, has the potential to increase carrying capacity by almost
Ticketing: Sale of tickets through hand held terminals; e- ticketing facility to foreign
debit/credit cards; bar coded tickets, scanners and access control on a pilot basis. Expansion
of Vikalp – train on demand to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to waitPage
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listed passengers. E-booking of tickets facility on the concessional passes available to
journalists; facility of cancellation through the 139 helpline post verification using ‘One
Time Password’ sent on registered phone number, to improve tatkaal services CCTV
cameras on windows and periodic audit of PRS website.
Cleanliness -‘Clean my Coach’ service through SMS, ranking of A1 and A stations based on
periodic third party audit and passenger feedback; waste segregation and recycling centres;
‘Awareness campaigns’; additional 30,000 bio-toilets; providing portable structures with biotoilets
at all platforms of select stations for senior citizens, Divyang and women travellers,
plan to explore innovative means of providing and maintaining toilets such as advertisement
rights, CSR, voluntary support from social organizations.
Catering and stalls at stations -IRCTC to manage catering services in a phased manner;
explore possibility of making catering services optional, adding 10 more IRCTC operated
base kitchens; to build local ownership and empowerment, weightage will be given to district
domicile holders for commercial licenses at stations.
Stoppages: convert all operational halts into commercial halts for the benefit of the common
Rail Mitra Sewa: expanding Sarathi Seva in Konkan Railway to help the old and disabled
passengers, strengthening the existing services for enabling passengers to book battery
operated cars, porter services, etc. on a paid basis in addition to the existing pick up and drop,
and wheel chair services.
Measures for Divyang: all stations under redevelopment accessible by Divyang; to provide
at least one Divyang friendly toilet at each platform in A1 class stations during the next
financial year and also ensure availability of wheelchairs in sufficient numbers at these
Travel Insurance to passengers - to offer optional travel insurance for rail journeys at the
time of booking.
Hourly booking of retiring rooms - will be handed over to IRCTC.
Janani sewa: children’s menu items on trains, baby foods, hot milk and hot water would be
made available.
SMART (Specially Modified Aesthetic Refreshing Travel) Coaches - design and layout of
our coaches to ensure higher carrying capacity and provision of new amenities including
automatic doors, bar-code readers, bio-vacuum toilets, water-level indicators, accessible
dustbins, ergonomic seating, improved aesthetics, vending machines, entertainment screens,
LED lit boards for advertising, PA system.
Mobile Apps - integrate all facilities into two mobile apps dealing with ticketing issues and
for receipt and redressal of complaints and suggestions.
Improving customer interface- skilling our front-end staff and those we employ through our
service providers, information boards in trains enumerating the on-board services and also
GPS based digital displays inside coaches to provide real time information regarding
upcoming halts. Work underway on installation of a high-tech centralized network of 20,000
screens across 2000 stations for enabling real time flow of information to passengers and also
unlock huge advertising potential. All A1 class stations will be manned with duly empowered
Station Directors supported by cross functional teams; to make one person accountable for all
facilities on trains.
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 Pilgrimage centres: to take up on priority the provision of passenger amenities and
beautification on stations at pilgrimage centres including Ajmer, Amritsar, Bihar
Sharif, Chengannur, Dwarka, Gaya, Haridwar, Mathura, Nagapattinam, Nanded,
Nasik, Pali, Parasnath, Puri, Tirupati, Vailankanni, Varanasi and Vasco; also intend to
run Aastha circuit trains to connect important pilgrim centres.
 Porters- intend providing them with new uniforms and train them in soft skills,
henceforth, to be called sahayak.
 High Speed Rail: passenger corridor from Ahmedabad to Mumbai being undertaken
with the assistance of the Government of Japan. SPV for implementing high speed
projects will be registered this month. Prime benefit would be providing IR with
technology advancements and new manufacturing capability.
 Entertainment: propose to invite FM Radio stations for providing train borne
entertainment; extend ‘Rail Bandhu’ to all reserved classes of travelers and in all
regional languages.
Passenger traffic - Suburban traffic: in-principle approval for MUTP III received. Early
award of tenders for elevated suburban corridors between Churchgate-Virar and between
CSTM-Panvel; revive Ring Railway system in Delhi; launching a new investment framework
for developing suburban systems in partnership with State Governments, development in
Ahmedabad, Bangaluru, Hyderabad Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram on the anvil.
Winning back the lost modal share
Expanding the freight basket of IR - to start time-tabled freight container, parcel and
special commodity trains on a pilot basis, container sector would be opened to all traffic
barring coal, specified mineral ores and part-loads during the non-peak season. All existing
terminals/sheds would be granted access to container traffic, where considered feasible.
Rationalising the tariff structure – undertake review of tariff policy to evolve a competitive
rate structure vis a vis other modes, permit multi-point loading/unloading and apply
differentiated tariffs to increase utilization of alternate routes, explore possibility of signing
long term tariff contracts with our key freight customers using pre-determined price
escalation principles.
Building terminal capacity - proposed to develop Rail side logistics parks and warehousing
in PPP mode, 10 goods sheds will be developed by TRANSLOC, the Transport Logistics
Company of India, in 2016-17. To soon inaugurate India’s first rail auto hub in Chennai.
Encourage development of cold storage facilities on vacant land near freight terminals. Local
farmers and fisherman would be given preferential usage of the facility. A policy in this
regard would be issued in the next 3 months.
Nurturing customers - will appoint Key Customer Managers to liaison with our major
freight stakeholders; each Zonal Railway will develop customer commitment charter
indicating service level commitments of IR, will explore the feasibility of opening up leasing
of general purpose wagons.
Non fare revenues
 Station redevelopment; monetizing land along tracks; monetizing soft assets – website,
data, etc; advertising – in 2016-17 target 4 times the revenue of 2015-16; overhaul of
parcel business - liberalize the current parcel policies including opening the sector to
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container train operators; revenues from manufacturing activity - by 2020, aim at
generating annualised revenues of about Rs 4,000 crore.
Process Improvements
 EPC projects standard document finalized, will implement at least 20 projects through
this mode in 2016-17; by 2017-18, endeavour to award all works valuing above Rs. 300
crore through EPC contracts.
 Performance output parameters based contracts - to review service contracts to
integrate them and make them simpler and outcome focused.
 Leveraging technology for project management- intend to use the latest drone and Geo
Spatial based satellite technology for remotely reviewing the physical progress across
major projects; monitoring of DFC to be operationalised through this mode in 2016-17.
 System-wide Information Technology integration - initiated system wide integration,
both horizontal and vertical, akin to an ERP through innovative partnership models.
Rail Development Authority
 To enable fair pricing of services, promote competition, protect customer interests and
determine efficiency standards; draft bill to be ready after holding extensive stakeholder
Undertaking Navarambh – a new beginning
 Navinikaran - Structural Interventions
Organisational Restructuring- proposed to reorganize the Railway Board along
business lines and suitably empower Chairman, Railway Board. As a first step, cross
functional directorates to be set up in Railway Board to focus on areas like non-fare
revenues, speed enhancement, motive power and information technology; explore the
possibility of unifying cadres for fresh recruitment of officers; strengthen PPP cell to
improve ease of doing business with IR.
 Sashaktikaran – Improving our planning practices
To set up a Railway Planning & Investment Organisation for drafting medium (5
years) and long (10 years) term corporate plans; identify projects which fulfill the
corporate goal. Prepare a National Rail Plan to harmonise and integrate the rail
network with other modes of transport and create synergy for achieving seamless
multi-modal transportation network across the country
 Aekikaran – Consolidation: Forming a holding company of companies owned by IR.
 Shodh aur vikas - Investing in the future: to set up a R&D organization, a Special
Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement,
SRESTHA. RDSO will now focus only on day to day issues while SRESTHA would
drive long term research.
 Vishleshan – Analyzing data: a dedicated, cross functional team called Special Unit
for Transportation Research and Analytics (SUTRA) would be set up for carrying out
detailed analytics leading to optimized investment decisions and operations
 Navrachna – Innovation: by setting aside a sum of Rs. 50 crore for providing
innovation grants to employees, startups and small businesses.
Avataran - Seven Missions for the transformation of IR
 Missions will be headed by a Mission Director reporting directly to the Chairman,
Railway Board and heading a cross functional team empowered to take all relevant
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decisions for a timely targeted delivery. Annual outcome based performance targets
for the Mission would be announced and the Missions will finalise the
implementation plans for short, medium and long terms and proceed accordingly
 Mission 25 Tonne for 25 tonne axle load, Mission Zero Accident for safety, Mission
PACE (Procurement and Consumption Efficiency), Mission Raftaar for higher
speeds, Mission Hundred for commissioning 100 sidings/ freight terminals, Mission
beyond book-keeping for accounting reforms, Mission Capacity Utilisation to prepare
a blueprint for making use of the capacity created once DFC is commissioned.
Sustainability and Social Initiatives: Human Resources/ Skilling, Social initiatives,
 To tie up with the Ministry of Health for ensuring an exchange between Railways
hospitals and Government hospitals; to introduce ‘AYUSH’ systems in 5 Railway
hospitals; provide gang men with devices called ‘Rakshak’ for intimating them about
approaching trains, also reduce the weight of the tools carried by them while
patrolling. To provide toilets and air-conditioning in cabs for our loco pilots.
 Set up two chairs – one C T Venugopal chair on Strategic Finance, research and
policy development and another Kalpana Chawla chair on geo-spatial technology.
 For youth - open our organisation to 100 students across Engineering and MBA
schools for 2-6 months’ internships each year.
 Partnering with Ministry of Skill Development - skill development on IR premises.
 Undertaken energy audits for reducing energy consumption in non-traction area by
10% to 15% - all new light provisions will be LED luminaire and all Railway stations
to be covered with LED luminaire in next 2 to 3 years.
 Action plan drawn up for environmental accreditation, water management and waste
to energy conversion. More than 2,000 locations provided with Rain Water
Harvesting facility. In place of steel sleepers on steel bridges environmentally friendly
composite sleepers made of recycled plastic waste will be used over all girder bridges.
 32 stations and 10 coaching depots have been identified for installation of water
recycling plants in the coming years.
 Partnering with State Governments for operating tourist circuit trains; recent
upgradation of National Rail Museum, promotion of tourism through Railway
museums and UNESCO world heritage Railways.
 To spread awareness about our National Animal, the Tiger, complete packages
including train journey, safaris and accommodation to cover the wildlife circuit
comprising Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh will be offered.
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 Net reduction in Gross Traffic Receipts by Rs 15,744 crore in RE 2015-16 compared to
the BE target of Rs 1,83,578 crore. Passenger earnings scaled down keeping in view the
persistent negative growth trend since 2013-14 both in the suburban and non-suburban
non-PRS segment of travel.
 Freight earnings impacted mainly on account of low demand from the core sector
resulting in resetting the target in R.E. 2015-16 to Rs 1,11,853 crore.
 Stringent economy and austerity measures adopted to contain the Ordinary Working
Expenses (O.W.E.) due to which budgeted Ordinary Working Expenses of Rs 1,19,410
crore decreased in the Revised Estimates 2015-16 to Rs. 1,10,690 crore i.e. by Rs 8,720
 BE provided for an appropriation of Rs. 34,900 crore to the Pension Fund. However,
based on trend, the pension outgo moderately decreased to Rs. 34,500 crore in RE.
 Internal resource generation diminished and appropriation to DRF moderated to Rs. 5,500
crore in RE from the BE 2015-16 provisioning of Rs. 7,900 crore. Excess of receipts
over expenditure in RE 2015-16 stands at Rs. 11,402.40 crore.
 Plan size for 2015-16 is currently estimated at 1,00,000 crore i.e. the BE level.
Budget Estimates 2016-17:
 The intention to improve revenues and ensure appropriate investments which can
continue the road-map of decongestion and enhance line-capacity enhancement as
detailed in 2015-16. The focus is on enhanced CAPEX with a mix of various sources of
funding in order to ensure that the projects are given assured funding.
 Gross Traffic Receipts kept at Rs 1,84,820 crore . Passenger earnings growth has been
pegged at 12.4 % and earnings target budgeted at Rs. 51,012 crore. The freight traffic is
pegged at incremental traffic of 50 million tonnes, anticipating a healthier growth in the
core sector of economy. Goods earnings is accordingly proposed at Rs. 1, 17,933 crore.
Other coaching and sundries projected at Rs. 6,185 crore and Rs. 9,590.3 crore
 OWE provides for the implementation of the 7th CPC.
 Pension outgo budgeted at Rs 45,500 crore in 2016-17.
 Higher staff cost and pension liability impacts the internal resource position of the
Railways. Accordingly, appropriation to DRF from revenue placed at Rs 3,200 crore and
that from Production Units at Rs 200 crore. A withdrawal of Rs 3,160 crore from DRF on
net basis proposed though the gross expenditure to be met from DRF in the Annual Plan
estimated at Rs 7,160 crore. Rs 5,750 crore proposed to be appropriated to the Capital
fund. With a draw-down of Rs 1,250 crore from previous balances in the fund, plan
requirement of Rs 7,000 crore for repayment of principal component of lease charges to
IRFC met.
 Railways are preparing a Plan size of Rs. 1,21,000 crore in 2016-17.