To curb the spread of the Coronavirus, Governments all over the world have resorted to actions that have potentially infringed upon the rights of individuals. In India, Aarogya Setu has sparked a debate on privacy.

“Big Brother is Watching You” just got a whole lot really, according to some privacy experts, when the Government of India rolled out ‘Aarogya Setu’, an application that aims to inform the people of their risk of contracting the Coronavirus and educate them on the best practices and medical advisories pertaining to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

However, the app has not exactly gone down well with certain people who argue that the system by which the app uses contact tracing and shares details with the government essentially makes it a ‘surveillance system’. Congress politician Rahul Gandhi too tweeted in this regard, and his theory was ‘proved’ by French ethical hacker, Elliot Anderson. Through this article, I am going to analyse whether or not these claims hold weight, and whether the application is truly worth it.

The first concern would be that downloading the app gives the Indian Government access to your location and personal data at all times. However, that is untrue. Firstly, the application replaces all your data with a Device Identification Number on sign-up, and this DiD becomes the basis of all future interactions. It is this DiD that is used to interact with other phones when they come in range with each other and calculate your health risk and communicate it to the server. It is only when the risk of infection to a person is too high that the personal information is reconciled with the DiD to alert the individual.

The Privacy Policy for the application, along with its Data Access protocol, explicitly states the purposes for which the data can be used and limits the possibility for misuse. One major concern remains in the fact that the data is shared not only with the Health Ministry but with any related ministry at the central or state level that is involved in addressing the pandemic, but a case could be made against the same looking at the various actors involved in the COVID response. Another concern comes from the fact that DiDs that do not change can lead to privacy issues, but the Government is currently addressing this by creating a dynamic ID that generates multiple times and offers more security.

Hacker Elliott Anderson tweeted about certain ‘risks’ which included data of the users being at risk and local files being accessed. However, various people proficient with coding have come out to deny these claims, arguing that Elliott ran basic scripts to access the data stored on his own device and portrayed it as a security issue when it isn’t. Adding to it, the creators of the app themselves chose to engage with the hacker and clarified their response to his claims. It has been by and large proved that these claims held no weight at all and should be disregarded. An important point to be noted is that this is the same person who claimed that he hacked TRAI Chairman RS Sharma’s information based on his Aadhar Number. However, it was later found that the information he ‘hacked’ was available in the public domain already and could be easily found through search engines. As Michael Scott would say “Fool me once, strike one. But fool me twice, strike three.”

More importantly, the rules and privacy policy clearly specify the duration for which the data can be stored. The application deletes all personal data 30 days from collection, and the servers purge the information after 45-60 days, depending on whether or not a particular person tested positive for the virus. This contact and location data can in any case not be retained beyond 180 days and the demographic data is deleted within six months, provided the pandemic does not extend beyond that period. Thus, the possibility of the government retaining or sharing this data for other purposes does not exist.

Contact Tracing is a difficult, labour intensive process and often leaves out people in the way it’s been conventionally done. For example, a person goes to the market to buy vegetables and meets someone they do not know who later turns out to be positive for the virus. At that point in time, it becomes almost impossible for health officials to trace who was at xyz vegetable vendor at 11:00 hours on a day. This is where the app steps in, even if the person doesn’t know the person who contracted the virus, they will be notified of the risk and be asked to take steps accordingly, thus making the contact-tracing process not only less difficult but also more comprehensive.

A case is made that apps like these cannot be put to use by people who don’t have smartphones. It’s important to note that the app isn’t a replacement for contact tracing, it is an assistance mechanism. A lack of accessibility by the entire population cannot count as an argument for the ones who can access it to not be asked to install it and use it. Even if one person can self-isolate and reduce the spread of the virus due to the app, it means tens or hundreds of others who they would have come in contact with are saved. Every single life saved is a major victory for the application. In fact, until now, the app has been used to notify 1.4 lakh people of potential exposure to the virus and asked them to take necessary precautions. Even if one percent of those, i.e., 1400 people test positive for the virus later but had taken precautions to contain its spread thanks to the notifications issued, it’s a win not only for the app but for the country.

It is a moral obligation of every citizen to try and ensure that we try and reduce the spread of the virus as much as possible and take whatever steps necessary. Aarogya Setu, with its benefits, is a huge step, and all of us who can download it should make sure that we do.

Of course, the government needs to do better in two regards. Firstly, the government must implement Aarogya Setu only through law. If an action threatens to hinder a fundamental right (such as the Right to Privacy here), it needs to be implemented through legislation that limits potential government misuse. While in the status quo, it is understandable why the app is being pushed so strongly, there are better ways to do it, especially in the absence of a Data Protection law in the country.

Secondly, app security is a major issue. Thus, the app should be made open source so that developers can check it for bugs and potential security issues, and thus make it safer and easier to use for everyone.

The Aarogya Setu app is not perfect, but there can be no denying that it can be of huge help in the fight against COVID-19. The government has actually taken measures to ensure that user privacy is respected to the extent possible, which is a welcome change from its actions from the past. Given how crucial it is, it is imperative that we download the application as a measure to not only safeguard our own health but that of others around us too.

Featured Image Credit: Flipboard

Khush Vardhan Dembla

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The Students’ Federation of India (SFI) released a statement about the need for financial support for students facing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic and released a set of demands regarding the same.

In a statement dated for 17th April 2020, SFI released a press comment regarding the triangular problems being faced by students during the Coronavirus lockdown and urged the government to provide financial support for the same.

The SFI condemned the BJP-led government’s abrupt announcement of the lockdown without any prior notification for the students to prepare for the situation. They commented that though necessary, the statement for a lockdown came upon every citizen “like a bomb”, and though the lockdown is set for 3rd May, it is likely to extend further.

“The wage labourers and unorganised sector workers who live from hand to mouth are the ones who are facing the worst repercussions of the lockdown. But the brunt of the lockdown is felt by all sections of the population, and by all industries. While a huge portion of the Indian population is facing dire livelihood issues, with the unemployment rate touching a 1/4th of the population, it is futile to expect families to support their children in schools, colleges and universities. many families can’t afford it. If this is left unchecked, it could lead to a great increase in drop-out rates.

Many students are stranded in universities and college in various cities across the country in hostels. They are stranded not only because we were all told to remain where we were and not travel, but also because the lockdown announcement gave no time for students (or anyone) to make preparatory decisions. The government had demanded the students to remain as they are, thereby we demand the government to provide financial assistance to these students. Moreover, students are from disparate economic backgrounds and given the present economic condition, to expect their families to financially support these students is irresponsible”, as stated by SFI’s Delhi State Committee.

SFI has, as a result, released a set of demands for the government to help the students being affected by this pandemic. These include:

  • Provision of a minimum amount of sum to students’ bank accounts
  • Disbursing Fellowships/Scholarships and Grants for Bachelors to PhD
  • Waiving college fee of two months
  • No hostel fee to be charged during the lockdown
  • Government to pay the rent for students staying on rent
  • Necessary steps to be taken to ensure that students’ basic needs are met.

Feature Image Credits: The Sentinel

Shreya Juyal

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If we take into consideration the political plight of our Country, countless protests and mass agitations have taken place all over the nation and caught the attention of thousands of people worldwide. 

As the Indian Constitution came into existence on the 26th of January, 1950, it promised to protect the rights of the people of India. The Constitution is one such document that possesses the power to hold the wrongdoers accountable for their actions. It also gives rights to citizens to express their dissatisfaction with the Government by peaceful means only. Protests are by far the most powerful weapons that can be used by people to bring forth their demands.  However, it is very important to keep into account that protests must never hurt the sentiments of anyone and should be at all costs peaceful. 

Protests can be categorized into different forms to gain clarity over how mass agitations work. Here is a list of the forms of protests that can be encountered in a stressful political environment: 

  1. Rally/ Demonstration 

Rallies and demonstrations majorly involve speeches by infamous speakers, singing of prayers and chanting of slogans in unison by a huge gathering in one spot. 

  1. March

Marches include moving from one location to another. The locations chosen for the marches may or may not be government-associated areas, but it majorly depends on the reason why the march took place. 

  1. Vigil

Vigils are comparatively quiet, as the protesters focus on expression through graphic means rather than verbal, such as leaflets, banners, posters, placards, etc. Although the participants choose to express their dissent through posters and placards, marches never fail to fulfil their purposes. 

  1. Civil Disobedience

It is a form of protest that involves deliberate defiance of the guidelines, laws, and rules set by the Government. It also includes sit-ins where civilians are not allowed and entering prohibited areas.


Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives

Suhani Malhotra

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On Wednesday, 8th January 2020, students of University of Delhi (DU) gathered in hundreds and took to roads to express their agitation towards the Government in a peaceful protest

Commencing from the Faculty of Arts, North Campus, the March comprised of not only students but teachers and various political organisations as well. This commotion was followed by the immoral series of events that recently took place in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) after similar incidents happened in Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU). Students of DU protested in solidarity with those who were victims of police brutality and hooliganism inside college campuses.

 Maitreyi, member of Pinjra tod said, “DU students came together in large numbers today to send a message to this fascist government that the students and citizens of this country won’t be scared into silence. The terror they have unleashed within universities like Jamia, AMU, and JNU clearly shows that the government fears students and wants to suppress any kind of dissent. The thousands of students that turned up today to protest against this fascist government shows that they’ve failed. Colleges like St. Stephen’s which is deemed to be highly isolated from campus politics and larger politics as well saw that 400 hundred students protested and marched within the campus and then marched towards arts faculty. Most colleges have a turnout of hundreds of students here today. The government has failed to instil fear in students through Delhi police. We will march and we will fight this government every step of the way. we won’t forget Kashmir or the trans bill and demand that this fascist state immediately rolls back the CAA and cancels the NRC/NPR. We will continue to be on the streets until this is done.”

Rain in January’s cold weather didn’t deter the students from expressing their dissent against the Government. The crowd chanted slogans against Akhil Bharatiya Vidya Parishad (ABVP). Students also showed up with Dhapli (Tambourine), making the protest musical. The outcry of students heard slogans like Inquilab Zindabad and CAA wapis lo (Revoke CAA). The rally covered the entire North Campus with constant energy throughout.

Simran Chawdhary, Member of United Against Hate (Umar Khalid’s organisation) said, “This is against the violence that penetrates on our campuses that are supposed to be our safe spaces for us to debate and deliberate. You can’t enter campuses with lathis and axes and getaway. This fight won’t end until each one of us feels safe. Our campuses are our home and no one will get away with violence. This is against ABVP goons who get funded by the right wing organisations. It’s high time Modi and Amit Shah stop behaving like arrogant goons.”

 At the end of the rally, various speakers took turns to express their resentment against the Government. Gautam Bhatia, renowned advocate spoke about how the recently proposed actions of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) tarnishes the efforts of those great leaders who made India, the Nation it is today. Gulfisha from Seelampur also addressed the crowd and shared with them how she and dozens of other women stand strong even after the atrocities faced by them in Seelampur.

The protest didn’t stay restricted to one cause but rather, different groups of people uprose on different issues and came together to support each other.

Featured Image Credits: Avni Dhawan for DU Beat

Avni Dhawan

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Over 2,700 teaching and non-teaching staff of 12 Delhi University (DU) colleges did not get salaries for the last two months as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Government continues to withhold release of funds over non-formation of Governing Bodies (GB).

Out of the 28 DU colleges, 16 get only 5% of their funds from the Delhi Government while 12 receive 100% funding.

The GBs, comprising members nominated by the university and the Delhi Government, take all decisions for the smooth functioning of a college, including the appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff.

Some Principals of various colleges across DU wondered why the GB term could not be extended. “In the past, the term has been extended for almost six months. It can also be done now until the process of formation of the Governing Body is completed,” said a Principal whose college receives 100% funding. “The government should understand that we have to pay salary to the staff and their arrears.”

Dhananjoy Shaw, Principal of Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Sciences (IGIPESS), said the fund crunch has affected student activities as well. “We haven’t been able to pay salaries to our staff for two months. Since some student activities had been planned before, we are executing them at the lowest possible cost,” he said, adding that managing day-to-day expenses will be difficult from October.

A contrary argument came to the fore when an official in the Delhi Government said that DU is insisting on not forming GBs in these colleges. “It is clear that there is an attempt to shield colleges from accountability and intent to continue corruption,” the official said.

“I am able to manage our daily expenditure somehow as this is not my only income source. But there are many employees whose day-to-day expenditures depend completely on their salary. Due to the ego clashes between the Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi, and the AAP Government, it is the employee who is suffering.” another DU official grieves. 

In a protest organised by Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), outside Vidhan Sabha on Friday, staff members said that “uncertainty in getting salaries has led to crisis” in these 12 colleges. “The worst-hit are the teaching and non-teaching staff working on ad hoc or contract basis,” DUTA said in a statement.

Delhi University College Karamchari Union (DUCKU) plan to sit on strike on 1st and 3rd October. 

The Vice-Chancellor and Arvind Kejriwal did not respond to requests for comment.


Feature Image Credits: DNA India


Bhagyashree Chatterjee 

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With the advent of plastic money, e-banking, Paytm, cryptocurrency, and other digitised methods of payment, can India become a cashless economy?

With the rise of Digital India Campaign, and the growth of e-commerce in the country, it looks like the future of the Indian currency is moving forward in the digital sphere. However, this is not as easy as it may seem. With problems such as the country having an internet penetration rate of just 27%, as compared to the global average of 67%, only 60% of the country having bank accounts, and with 98% of the economic transactions by volume being done through cash, it is evident that the journey ahead is long and difficult.

Adding on to all this, India is a developing country with a very high poverty rate, as a student from the University of Delhi (DU) points out, “I don’t know what our Government is trying to achieve by Digital India when half the people in this country can’t even afford the internet. There are people suffering all over the country but nothing has been done about that”.

Along with this, cryptocurrency has been virtually banned by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), as stated in a circular, prohibiting banks, and financial institutions from rendering all services related to cryptocurrency in 2018. This, in turn, has also led to criticism from many who argue that the RBI has no right to pass this legislation on cryptocurrency, as it is not within the ambit of the Banking Regulation Act, through which the RBI draws most of its power.

In the face of all these statistics and opinions, why is the digitisation of currency even in the conversation? The positives of greater digitisation include paper trails which would make it harder to hide income, and would make finding black money easier, which was also one of the failed objectives of the infamous demonetisation done by the Modi administration. It would save the Government money, with the RBI currently spending INR 2,700 crores in the fiscal year 2018 on just currency issuance and management, it would be easier to conduct international payments, and the entire problem of fake currency would essentially disappear.

One of the arguments put forward against digitisation in India is that India is a majorly agrarian country, with most people depending on rural cooperative banks, most of which might not have an internet connection and the Government would not have the funds to provide it. However, this statement at its base can be proven wrong. According to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, there are around 94,384 rural banks in India, as of the fiscal year 2017. Assuming all these banks do not have internet service, calculations of the initial cost can be made. Internet service would cost around INR one lakh for the initial licensing and legal admin fees, along with INR three to four lakhs to set up the infrastructure covering one square kilometre of the area around the tower. This leads us to a total cost of INR five lakhs on the highest end of the spectrum. Now, making the assumption that all rural collective banks do not have internet access, multiplying the number of rural banks with the initial cost would amount to around INR 4,719 crores or around USD 655 million. To put this into perspective, the Statue of Unity cost around INR 3,000 crores, and therefore, it is evident that funding this is not out of the reach of the Indian Government.

In this age of globalisation and technological revolution, the world economy and, more importantly for us, the Indian Economy is constantly changing and evolving. While digitisation of currency might be a part of this evolution further down the line, there is a still a long way for this country to go in order to make that possible, with work required in every sphere to even think about fully implementing it.


Feature Image Credits: 

Prabhanu Kumar Das

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As the recently released government data shows the GDP growth rate hitting a six-year low, we examine what it is and how it affects the lives of students. 

When the National Statistical Office released its official data showing the growth rate of the GDP in the first quarter of the financial year was only 5%, it was perhaps a wake-up call for a lot of us. But the truth is that the economy has been dwindling for a while now. The current GDP growth rate has hit a six-year low and its effects reach far and wide.

There is a slowdown in consumer demand, a decline in manufacturing, and rising global trade tension creating a vicious cycle in the Indian market.

Private consumption, which contributes nearly 55-60 percent to India’s GDP has been slowing down. This is due to demonetization as consumers now prefer to hoard cash or keep it in the bank instead of spending it. Demonetization has also led to small and medium businesses to withhold investment since they too operate on cash, which they are currently facing a dearth of.

The most important factor here, perhaps, is that there is also a global economic slowdown that is happening and given the fact that India is primarily an exporter, there has been a slump. Thus, it can be said that the ongoing global crisis also has contributed to this slowdown.

And while the economic slowdown seems like a topic far away from our carefree lives as students, its indirect effects have started to seep in.

This slow rate of growth is a huge setback for the country as the country requires an accelerated growth. to employ millions entering the job market every year. Thus, what the slowdown means for professionals and fresh graduates is that they would be finding it harder to land jobs as well as see their salaries rise on yearly basis.

Businesses face the brunt of the slowdown but small start-ups are the ones affected the most. Students often intern with the small start-ups during their free months to boost their experience and gain some extra cash however the opportunity seems unpromising as small companies might choose not to hire in favour of dedicating their funds to keeping their business afloat. Bhavya Pandey, an Economics Honours student from Daulat Ram College also discerns the same and agrees.

Additionally, as the priorities shift to fixing the economy and earning a livelihood, education takes a backseat. Funds to education reduce to get allocated to sectors which give immediate outcome, affecting students, especially those from a lower economic stratum, directly or indirectly. “The economic failure has caused unemployment to rise and hence may affect the stability of the families of students’ belonging to the lower economic strata of the society. Further, students may also miss many opportunities because of lack of funds.” Says Abhinandan Kaul, a student at St Stephen’s.

What is evident is that the economic problems are here to stay for now. How deep its effects run, though, is not something we would get to know precisely anytime soon.

Feature Image Credits: The Economic Times

Satviki Sanjay

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The National Student’s Union of India (NSUI) held a protest march against the amendments made to the Right to Information Act (RTI) by the Government. Read on to know more. 

On 1st August 2019, the NSUI held a protest march in front of the Faculty of Arts, North Campus, showing its strong displeasure towards the move taken by the Government to make amends to the RTI Act. The members of the students’ political party marched from the Faculty of Arts to Kirori Mal College, all the while chanting slogans like “RTI Bachao, Desh Bacho

Neeraj Kundan, National President, NSUI said, “Today the RTI is one of the most important laws in the country, it directly affects the people. In 2017, when the BJP Government saw that the RTI could expose high government officials like Smriti Irani, and even Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they started trying to curb its power. The Government is now trying to reduce its autonomy and cage it. NSUI is going to hold protests all over the country until our rights are given back to us.”

Students and associations like The North East Students’ Society, Delhi University (NESSDU) turned up in large numbers to support the NSUI’s protest against the RTI amendments. They marched with bold banners and enthusiastic slogans. The presence of the Delhi Armed Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) showed how protests in the DU are feared to turn violent, but this was an extremely peaceful protest.

Surbhi Dwivedi, National General Secretary of NSUI and the RTI Team Convener emphasised on the importance of the RTI for the student community. She said, “The RTI is the most effective tool in student politics. It helps students to find discrepancies in the University. A strong RTI is our right.” Robin Chaudhary, National Secretary of NSUI, said that they were determined to fight for democracy and that if the Government did not heed to their demands, they would go on a hunger strike.

The RTI Act, 2015 is an Act of the Parliament of India “to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens”. It has made the workings of the Government more transparent, helped to reduce corruption and has facilitated in the workings of this democracy. The RTI Commissioners used have fixed five-year tenure and their salaries were equal to certain posts in the Election Commission and the bureaucracy. The recent amendments made to the act by the BJP Government have changed this. According to the new amendments, the central government now has direct control over the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners’ term of office and salaries. The changes made to the RTI are being seen by many as the Government trying to control it, and as a result of this many voices in objection to the RTI amendments are being raised all over the country.



Feature Image Credits: NSUI


Juhi Bhargava

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 DU Beat looks at the results of its exclusive election survey, ‘DU Mandate: The 2019 General Elections’. The results are out and the first part explores the students’ views on the Prime Minister, his Cabinet and the Government performance. 

With a little over 85 per cent DU students hoping to vote for the first-time, this election holds greater significance for the students. While over 72 per cent said they would be voting, the remaining who didn’t plan to vote or weren’t certain about it, mostly explained that their voter ID cards belonged to a different state than Delhi; some others said that they hadn’t had theirs made.

Asked to select the three biggest achievements of the government, there seemed to be a considerable consensus that the government performed best in the field of ‘Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy’ with 69 per cent respondents choosing it as one of their three preferences. Accounting for the overlapping preferences, ‘Defence and National Security’ and ‘Welfare Policies’ followed with 52.7 and 51 per cent votes respectively.

Understandably so, the Government had been able to create its image of being a tough and determined one. The post-Uri and post-Balakot strikes, the Rafale deal despite its controversies, had turned the tide in the government’s favour in terms of defence and national security. The support that India received from the international community after the Pulwama attacks and in its bid to have the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar designated as a global terrorist also served well. Making schemes like ‘Swachh Bharat’, ‘Ujjwala Yojana’ and ‘Jan Dhan Yojana’ some of its hallmark policies, the government seems to have drawn support for attempting to bring grassroot change.

Conversely, in the fields of ‘Economy’, ‘Delivering on Electoral Promises’ and ‘Ensuring Press Freedom’, the government performed worst with 52.7, 36.7 and 32.3 per cent people respectively naming these as one of the three biggest failures of the government. A close fourth was ‘ensuring civil liberties and rights of citizens’.

These failures can be understood in light of the demonetisation exercise along with a faulty GST, which adversely affected the economy, especially in the informal sector. A sharp fall in employment, which reports claimed has hit a 49-year low, was a far cry from the BJP’s promise of providing 2.5 crore jobs per year. Moreover, death threats to and killings of journalists by people considered to be close to the ruling party and its affiliates, the imposition of seditious charges and severe laws like the National Security Act (NSA) on students, activists and journalists and branding many as ‘anti-national’ had been widely criticised. The multiple lynchings severely damaged the status of fundamental rights.

The Prime Minister seems to have attracted diverse opinions on a personal level. Mr. Modi was described by 34 per cent respondents as being ‘strong, bold’, while another 30.5 per cent felt that ‘nation first’ was one of the three best descriptive terms for him. ‘Manipulative and shrewd’ emerged as the third best adjective for the Prime Minister.

Terms that describe Mr Modi the best.
Terms that describe Mr. Modi the best.

This falls in line with the achievements and failures of the government. A reasonable correlation can be drawn between the voted successes in national security and diplomacy and the description of Mr. Modi as being a strong leader who puts the nation first. On the other hand, a similar correlation perhaps exist between high percentage of being ‘communal, divisive’ and the failures in ensuring civil liberties in the light of lynchings, and so does between low pragmatism and failures in the economic sphere.

The Prime Minister’s performance rated on a scale of 1-5
The Prime Minister’s performance rated on a scale of 1-5

When asked to select a maximum of three of the best performing ministers of the union government, a considerable majority of 65.6 per cent chose Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs, as one among the three. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, were each selected by 34.7 per cent of the voters. This again substantiates the consensus on defence and foreign affairs being two biggest achievements of the government, as per the survey. Mr. Gadkari had also been hailed as one of the best performing ministers of the government especially because of his work with road-building. He also came to the fore due to speculation that he might emerge as a possible prime ministerial candidate in case of a hung assembly.

The performance of the Council of Ministers.
The performance of the Council of Ministers.

While the rating for the Council of Ministers seems similar to that of the Prime Minister, with both being rated highest at 3 out of 5, the rating for the former tended to concentrate more around the Centre. However, the rating for the Prime Minister drew 13.5 and 16.3 per cent votes at the two extremes of 1 and 5 out of 5 respectively – indicating a much more polarised and divided opinion over Mr. Modi’s personal performance as compared to that of his Council of Ministers who drew less than 10 per cent votes at either extremes of the scale.

The ratings for the overall performance of the government from 1 to 5
The ratings for the overall performance of the government from 1 to 5

Keeping in line with the performance rating of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, the overall performance of the government also was largely considered average, with 27.1 per cent respondents voting it 3 out of 5. However, at a more general level, the ratings of the government tended to be nearer to those of the Prime Minister – for instance, both drew over 12 per cent votes at the extremes.


The general consensus seems to be that the government’s performance was largely mediocre. Marked by gains in spheres of defence, national security and foreign affairs along with fiascos in terms of employment, delivering on poll promises and ensuring press freedom and civil liberties, the government stands at an interesting position. If it managed its external affairs well, the same cannot be said for matters home.

These achievements and failures are being seen in the run-up to the elections as well. The BJP has raised its national security and Pakistan rhetoric to a fever pitch. “Modiji ki sena” (Modi’s army) has come to the fore at the expense of jobs and vikaas. The picture being painted of Mr. Modi isn’t one of a harbinger of change, but that of the only true patriot in a sea of sharks.

Image Credits-

(Feature image) – Hindustan Times

(Graph sources) ‘DU Mandate: The 2019 General Elections’ by DU Beat.

Prateek Pankaj

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