On the 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened his speech, by paying homage to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty – the members of the armed forces and frontline workers (amid the coronavirus pandemic).
A strong point in his speech was when he said Atma-nirbhar Bharat or ‘self-reliant India’ has become the mantra of the 1.3 billion Indians, who have taken the pledge to transform India, even during difficult times like the current unprecedented pandemic. “I am confident that India will realise this dream. I am confident of the abilities, confidence and potential of my fellow Indians. Once we decide to do something, we do not rest till we achieve that goal,” he said.
Several big names in the global business arena are turning to India and will move ahead to propel the mantra of Make in India as well as Make for World, the Prime Minister highlighted. He also launched the National Digital Health Mission, which will usher in a revolution in India’s health sector.
Focus on atma-nirbhar India
Putting the spotlight on atma-nirbhar India, he was very positive thattoday, “we focus on taking India to new heights, to build a new India – an atma-nirbhar (self-reliant) India. India will most certainly achieve this”. Moreover, history is evidence to the fact that when India is determined to achieve something, it has always done so. We need to be self-reliant in the farm sector, having recently removed all restrictions from the agriculture and farming sector. He was confident that this will “benefit our farmer brothers and sisters” immensely.
Today, the space sector has opened up to the private sector. When India’s space sector grows, our neighbours and the world benefits from it too, was his strong indication.
He admitted the fact that there are lakhs of challenges for India to become atma-nirbhar, and what’s more, there is fierce competition from across the globe. “But I always say that if India faces lakhs of challenges, it also has 130 crore solutions,” he said and added that “We have seen that when we put our mind to it, we can achieve anything. We never made PPE Kits, our production of masks and ventilators was negligible, but today, we are doing it all”.
As we move towards our 75th year of Independence, he insisted that the entire nation must take a pledge to make ‘vocal for local’ the mantra of the nation. Over the last year, with an 18% rise, FDI (foreign direct investments) have broken all past records. It can be applauded that even as the world battles COVID-19, investments are pouring into India. This is a correct indicator that the world sees our potential and has great hope of a ‘rising India’. But, as of now, he noted that our foremost priority is to bring the nation out of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is restricting us from operating freely.
New Education policy, creating Digital India, focus on Women Empowerment
The recently introduced new education policy, will shape India of the 21st century. With the firm belief that “education is of utmost importance in building a self-reliant, modern, new India and a prosperous India,” he stated that with this thinking, the country received the new National Education Policy. “We will soon have citizens who shape a new India – global citizens, who know and understand their roots,” he said. The new education policy has also focused on research and development to make India a key R&D destination for the world.
Plus the PM’s call to go Digital, for creating a Digital India has already taken huge strides. Today, we are adapting to technology at a fast pace and the nation has accepted new methods of transactions – and digital transactions have already crossed ₹ 3 lakh crore. In the next 1,000 days, villages across the country will have optical fibre connections available. Most importantly, women walk shoulder-to-shoulder with men. “India is one of the nations where women are being included in combat roles in Navy and Air Force,” he remarked. Today we have women officers and soldiers in the armed forces. Be it doctors, engineers, bankers, IT professionals, women are contributing to India’s growth in a big way. “This government is constantly concerned about the health of daughters and sisters. Through 6,000 Janaushudi centres, about 5 crore women have got sanitary pads at Re 1. Also, for their weddings, we have made committees so that the money can be used at the right time,” he explained.