Narendra Modi captured India’s imagination by promising rapid economic and social development and won the 2014 elections hands down. His commendable plan to transform India’s welfare system and bring in sustainable development through radical market-driven reforms is, however, challenged by infrastructure bottlenecks and the realities of rural India.
In this issue of the Asia Policy Brief, Murali Nair, Senior Project Manager in the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s Germany and Asia Program, looks at the social policies of the Modi government. He argues that the reality of non-urban India lacking basic infrastructure and human development, but still constituting more than half of India’s population is an acid test for Modi’s plan to make India leapfrog into the 21st century. For real social development to happen, basic social capital like education, health care and a responsive bureaucracy are prerequisites.