The Indian general election in 2014 was the largest-ever election in the world, and it led to a National Democratic Alliance victory. After almost three decades of coalition governments, a single party had finally won enough seats to govern without the support of other parties. It was a big change for our nation, and big things were expected from the new NDA-2 Government.
Prior to the elections, everyone pays close attention to what the parties are promising and their agendas, but what happens after the elections? What about the next few weeks, months, and years? The NDA-2 Government completes 4 years in 2018, but do we know how much progress has been made?
Sensationalism, partisan media, and news outlets have become so important in forming our political opinions that we tend to misjudge the work being done in our country and often criticize the Government unfairly.
This is why we have started this website for the public at large to see what the Government has achieved. It has no political affiliation whatsoever, and is completely non-partisan and unbiased in its content. The status of a particular promise is solely based on evidence - news articles, official government documents, or anything that is concrete evidence of the work. Our methodology is explained in detail below.
All the promises on the website are categorized into the eight categories mentioned below. Please click on the categories to understand our methodology which helps us determine how a promise will be classified.
A promise is rated as "Not Started" if there is no evidence that the Government has worked on the same. This might be due to various reasons, such as: (i) no initiative from the Government in the first place; (ii) the modalities on how to achieve the promise are currently under discussion and thus have not yet been implemented; or (iii) the promise is in fact "In Progress" but there is no evidence to support that claim. The evidence which our website relies upon include Parliamentary reports and questions, Government reports and press releases, and media coverage.
A promise is rated as "Achieved" if there is evidence which indicates that significant progress has been made towards achieving the promise - in both letter and spirit - since May 26, 2014. As far as possible, our website has tried to compare the progress made towards each promise under both the UPA-2, and the NDA-2 Governments, so as to present a holistic picture of the progress made under any particular promise under both Governments. Wherever the NDA-2 Government has outperformed the UPA-2 Government in terms of progress, or has achieved the promise in both letter and spirit, we have considered the promise as "Achieved". However, this doesn't mean that there will be no further change to the status of the promise. We will constantly update each and every promise on our website, and wherever we will find evidence that the progress in a promise which has been rated as "Achieved" has fallen short of the criteria we explained above, we will change the status of the promise accordingly.
A promise is rated as "In Progress" if the Government has worked towards achieving the promise in both letter and spirit. The main difference between a promise which is rated as "Achieved" and one which is rated "In Progress" is that in the former, the NDA-2 Government has significantly outperformed the UPA-2 Government, or has more-or-less achieved the promise in letter and spirit. On the other hand, in the latter, work has commenced towards achieving the promise, but the completed work is not significant enough to change the rating to "Achieved". Also, if the NDA-2 Government is marginally outperforming the performance of the UPA-2 Government with respect to a particular promise, it is rated as "In Progress".
A promise is rated as "Broken" if: (i) the Government has taken a U-turn and reneged on its commitment once they were elected to power, or (ii) the NDA-2 Government's performance with respect to that particular promise is significantly worse than the performance of the UPA-2 Government. One of the crucial reasons why more promises are not rated as "Broken" as of now is that any Government - especially one which has been elected with a full majority - has 5 years in power to work on their promises. Therefore, one cannot expect the Government to work on each promise they made three- or four-years into power. At the same time, one can thus expect the number of "Broken" promises to rise significantly if no work happens on the promises which are currently rated as "Not Started" till February/March 2019.
A promise is rated as "Compromise" if the Government tried to achieve the promise in both letter and spirit, but could not due to external factors. Currently, the only promise rated as "Compromise" is the promise relating to the constitutions of a National Judicial Appointments Commission. The NDA-2 Government did everything in their power to achieve the promise, including passing a Constitutional amendment in both Houses of Parliament, and getting the same ratified by more that half the State Legislatures in India, but had to finally relent when the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India struck the law down after declaring it as unconstitutional. The NDA-2 Government finally compromised by changing the Memorandum of Procedures with respect to judicial appointments instead of creating the NJAC, and therefore the promise was rated as "Compromise". Promises similar to this one will, therefore, also be rated as "Compromise".
A promise is rated as "Stalled" if the Government announced its intention to achieve the promise in both letter and spirit, and perhaps even committed some funds to it through the Union Budget, but hasn't translated that intention or those funds into work on the ground which can be backed by evidence. Other promises which come into this category are the ones which cannot be implemented due to some external challenges (legal or otherwise).
A promise is rated as "Redundant" if a previous Government (the UPA-2, in this case) has already achieved what was promised. Some promises which are included in this category are the promise of social and environmental audits of projects, and implementing administrative reforms through an appropriate body under the Prime Minister's Office, both of which were already achieved by the UPA-2 Government. However, if the Government starts, mandates, or creates something new which is significantly different to what was achieved by the UPA-2 Government, the rating of that promise will change appropriately to either "In Progress" or "Achieved".
A promise is rated as "Wishlist" if the steps the Government needs to follow to achieve that promise are beyond the means of the Government. Usually, promises which are currently rated as "Wishlist" were included by the BJP in their Manifesto, but cannot be implemented by the Union Government due to Constitutional limitations. The forefathers of our Constitutions exemplarily drafted our Constitution, focusing greatly on a federal structure and the devolution of powers. The Seventh Schedule of our Constitution - which includes the Union List, the State List, and the Concurrent List - is a testament to that fact. The Union Government cannot interfere in matters which are primarily the responsibilities of State Governments, and therefore those promises are rated as "Wishlist". Ideally, the parties should not make such promises at all, and our media needs to call them out in case they make any such promises.
There are some things that are certain in life – death, taxes, and a political guru in every household. So, this website will also act as a platform for people to exchange ideas, and agree or disagree with a promise - it's a free platform, and will soon be open to everyone.
We pride ourselves on being the world’s largest democracy, and as such, it is every citizen’s prerogative to accurately track the progress of the Government. Politicians are accountable - but so are we, and thus, being properly informed is essential.
We sincerely hope that you will enjoy this website, and look forward to your feedback.
Let's keep our Governments accountable!
On behalf of Team Vaada Raha,
-- Publius Indica