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Review: What Did the Home, Finance, Environment & Climate Change, Defence Ministries Say They Achieved in 2023?


As the year 2023 came to an end, different ministries have published their respective year-end reviews. This annual publication serves as a comprehensive document spotlighting the principal initiatives and accomplishments undertaken by each department or ministry throughout the preceding year. We review the year-end reviews by the Ministries of Home, Finance, Defence, and Environment, Forests and Climate Change. 

As the year 2023 came to an end, different ministries have published their respective year-end reviews. This annual publication serves as a comprehensive document spotlighting the principal initiatives and accomplishments undertaken by each department or ministry throughout the preceding year. From legislative milestones to economic strategies, these year-end reviews serve as a panoramic view of the nation’s governance and administrative landscape, shedding light on the policies, and transformative moments that have shaped the nation’s trajectory over the past twelve months.

In today’s story, we look at some of the important milestones and accomplishments of a few ministries/departments.

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change

The year 2023 has been eventful for this ministry, with some new initiatives being launched along with some controversial bills being enacted. Some of the key highlights of this ministry are:

  • 2023 marked the 50th anniversary of Project Tiger. It is estimated that India is home to more than 75% tiger population in the world, whose numbers rose from 2,226 to 3,682 between 2014 and 2023. An International Big Cat Alliance (IBCA) for the conservation of seven big cats was launched by the Prime Minister of India on 09 April 2023 to commemorate Project Tiger’s’ 50th anniversary. 
  • Similarly, an initiative named, ‘Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats & Tangible Incomes (MISHTI)’ was launched on World Environment Day (05 June 2023) by the Prime Minister. The MISHTI aims to “Restoration of mangrove forests”.
  • The Green Credit Initiative, introduced by the Prime Minister during COP 28, is part of the broader Lifestyle for Environment (LIFE) movement. The Green Credit Rules, 2023, officially implemented on 12 October 2023, under the Environment Protection Act of 1986, establish a framework to incentivize voluntary environmental initiatives, leading to the issuance of green credits.
  • The year 2023 also witnessed the passage of the Biodiversity Amendment Act, 2023, and the Forest (conservation) Amendment Act,2023. It is argued that these bills put profits above people and have weakened the protection of forests. 
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Ministry of Home Affairs

The year 2023 is considered a watershed year, with the passage of three new criminal law bills. A peace agreement is signed between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, to restore peace and insurgency-free Northeast. Some of the highlights are:

Some of the key highlights of the various departments under the Ministry of Finance are:

  • The Gross Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) have witnessed a notable reduction, decreasing from Rs. 9,33,779 crores (with a gross NPA ratio of 9.07%) as of 31 March 2019, to Rs. 5,71,515 crores (with a gross NPA ratio of 3.87%) as of 31 March 2023.
  • The Goods and Services Tax (GST) system boasts a record 139.55 lakh active taxpayers, marking the highest count since 2017.
  • Net Direct Tax collections for the fiscal year 2023-24 stand at Rs. 10.64 lakh crore, exhibiting a substantial 23.4% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.
  • The government has introduced a Single Nodal Account, SPARSH, under the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) on the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) platform. This initiative aims to facilitate ‘Just-in-time’ releases for Centrally Sponsored Schemes, fostering seamless fund flow integration between the Centre and State Consolidated Funds through an interconnected network of State Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS) and the Reserve Bank of India’s e-Kuber platform.
  • In line with the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations, the government launched the Mahila Samman Savings Certificate (MSSC). Open to women of all age groups, including girls, with a minimum deposit of ₹1,000 and a maximum deposit of ₹2 Lakhs for two years, MSSC aims to empower women economically. With 14,83,980 accounts opened and a total deposit of Rs. 8,630 crores as of July 2023, this initiative offers an attractive 7.5% interest rate compounded quarterly. 

Ministry of Defence

India’s defence sector has experienced significant milestones and achievements in 2023.

  • Record Defence Exports: In the fiscal year 2022-23, defence exports reached a high of approximately Rs. 16,000 crores. This figure reflects an impressive increase of nearly Rs 3,000 crore compared to the preceding financial year and signifies a remarkable tenfold growth since 2016-17. The country has expanded its global footprint by exporting to over 85 nations.
  • Domestic Industry Boost: In a strategic move, a record 75% of the defence capital procurement budget for 2023-24, totalling approximately Rs one lakh crore, was allocated to the domestic industry. This marks a noteworthy increase from the 68% earmarked in the previous fiscal year.
  • BRO Budget Milestone: The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) witnessed a record-high budget expenditure of Rs. 12,340 crores in 2022-23. This achievement is complemented by a 100% increase in funds allocated under the General Staff (GS) Capital Head, emphasizing the organization’s crucial role in enhancing border infrastructure.
  • IAF’s Inclusive Induction: The Indian Air Force (IAF) made history by inducting women in other ranks as “Women Agniveervayu.” Currently, 154 Women Agniveervayu are undergoing training at ATS Belagavi, and plans are in place to induct 300 more women candidates in the Intake 02/2023 batch, showcasing a progressive stride towards gender inclusivity.
  • Millets in Ration Scale: Aligning with the vision of the International Year of Millets, the inclusion of millets such as Bajra, Jowar, and Ragi as part substitute in the ration scale is aimed at promoting diverse and nutritious food options within the armed forces.
  • NCC’s 75th Anniversary: The National Cadet Corps (NCC), established in 1948 as the largest uniformed youth organization globally, celebrated its 75th Anniversary on 26 November 2023. This milestone highlights the enduring legacy and significant contributions of the NCC in shaping the character and leadership skills of the youth in the country.

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