Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India’ reforms process is driven by conviction and not by compulsion. Further, this will lay the roadmap for the next 25 years.

“Our policy making is based on the pulse of the people. We listen to people and understand their needs and aspirations. This is why we have ensured that our policy is not pressurised by populist impulses,” Modi said while speaking at the Arun Jaitley Memorial Lecture, which was delivered by Senior Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam. The theme of the lecture was ‘Growth through Inclusivity, Inclusivity through Growth’.

The PM said real growth was not possible without inclusive growth. “I want to ask this question to all of you. Is real growth possible without inclusion? Can inclusion be thought of without growth?” he asked.

Listing steps taken by his government to promote inclusive growth, he said nine crore free cooking gas connections have been given, 10 crore toilets have been constructed and 45 crore bank accounts have been opened in the last eight years.

Prior to 2014, on average 50 medical colleges used to be set up in 10 years. However, in the last 7-8 years, 209 new medical colleges have been set up, which is four times more, he said.

The number of undergraduate medical seats has increased by 75 per cent and the number of medical seats has almost doubled. He further said India‘s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is reflective of the government’s people-centric policy, and not measures based on a populist impulse.

Modi also paid tribute to the former finance minister and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley. Jaitley served as the finance minister in the first Modi government and wore many hats in public life, from that of a lawyer to a politician and a cricket administrator. He died at 66 years of age in August 2019 after battling a prolonged illness.