On Independence Day, PM gives women ‘gift’ they already have from UPA

While PM Modi declared from the Red Fort that the women officers selected through Short Service Commission would have the option to take up permanent commission, they have had the option since 2008


NH Web Desk

In his eagerness to make announcements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced a scheme which has not only been there since the UPA I Government in 2008, but about which his own Government had informed Parliament in 2015.

“I want to give good news to my brave daughters,” the PM said in his Independence Day address, “Today I announce that women officers who have been selected through the Short Service Commission in our defence forces will now have the option to take up permanent commission just like male officers.”

“From the ramparts of the Red Fort today, I announce this for the lakhs of daughters who wear the uniform and want to work for the country. This is my gift for them today,” he added.

Besides the jarring and personalised (my gift) tone, what was problematic is the fact that this option has existed since 2008. The Press Information Bureau of the Government in a release dated July 31, had stated, “Women Short Service Commission Officers (SSCOs) are eligible for consideration for grant of permanent commission in specified branches in terms of government policy letters dated 26 September 2008 and 11 November 2011.”

The information was apparently provided by former defence minister Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to MP Pritam Gopinath Munde in the Lok Sabha.

Prime Minister accused of telling six ‘lies’ in Independence Day address

But this was not the only false claim made by the PM in his address. The Congress party in fact accused the Prime Minister of lying from the Red Fort. It listed the six following ‘lies’ that the PM apparently made in his address:

  1. PM Modi promised to double farmers' income by 2022. To achieve this, agricultural growth must be 12%, whereas currently it is at 2.1%
  2. The PM said he is driving agricultural export as a policy—this is far from the truth, since annual export of agricultural products have fallen from ₹2.5 lakh crore to ₹64,000 crore since 2013.
  3. The success of Ujwala Yojana as claimed by PM Modi is a complete farce. 75% of connections provided are currently inactive and the consumption rate has increased only by a meagre 0.8%.
  4. Clearly PM Modi can't read a simple WHO report which states that 3 lakh children CAN be saved if Swachh Bharat is implemented properly, not HAVE been saved, which the PM is claiming
  5. PM Modi cited an international report that claims 5 crore people were lifted out of poverty in the last two years. However, what he fails to mention is that the same report credits this success to progressive UPA policies
  6. PM Modi states that complete electrification would've taken decades with UPA's pace. His math seems to be weak as during UPA, 12,030 villages were electrified per year whereas Modi govt could only electrify 4,842 villages per year. Actually, between 2005-06 and 2013-14, 1,08,280 villages were connected to the grid—or an average 12,000 villages every year. BJP-led NDA electrified remaining 18,374 villages in 4 years. So, the remaining villages could have been electrified in far less than a decade

For all the latest India News, Follow India Section.