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The Big Picture – President’s address: What’s the vision?

The Big Picture – President’s address: What’s the vision?


The address of the President of India at a joint session at the beginning of the year is a well

established convention and ritual. However, this year’s address is significant as it is a first full fledged

budget session of the new government. The President address spells out the achievements of the

government in the past year and what it seeks to do in the coming year.

This address brings out the broad contours on how India can achieve 8% growth from next year

onwards. It even brings out the strong commitment for equitable and inclusive growth. Agriculture

has received greater importance. It has indicated some strong macroeconomic changes. Hence, this

vision of the government is being appreciated by experts.

The President at the opening of the budget session of Parliament said that the government was

committed to developing India in a way that lifts up everyone in the country’s economically diverse

population. Some say that the speech also reflects the conflict of interests and conflicts of opinion

within the party and the within the Sang Parivar. This address also reflects the concern which is

there for humiliating defeat which the BJP faced in the recent elections. This is felt so because in this

speech there is an attempt by the government to please everyone without giving any concrete


The speech also touched upon topics as varied as improving women’s safety and tackling corruption,

to toilets, yoga, India’s Mars mission and legal aid reform. The President said that the government

was committed to providing a toilet in every school by Aug. 15 – when India celebrates its 69th

Independence Day. A lack of toilets in school is one of the main reasons for the high drop-out rate of

female pupils once they hit puberty.