New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech on Saturday provided a new direction for India by giving a blueprint on the functioning of the Modi 2.0 government and highlighting its priorities. Addressing the nation after unfurling the Tricolour at the Red Fort, the Prime Minister emphasised that along with “Make in India”, now we have to move forward with the mantra of “Make for World” as well.
The Prime Minister touched upon various issues ranging from a vaccine for Covid-19, measures to boost domestic manufacturing as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan and improving optical fibre connectivity. He said all 6 lakh villages in the country will be connected with optical fibre within 1,000 days. He also launched the National Digital Health Mission under which every Indian will be given a health ID.
Modi said that the whole world has noticed the reforms being pursued in India, as a result of which, FDI inflow has broken all records. The country, he said, witnessed an 18% jump in FDI even during the Covid pandemic. The Prime Minister, who delivered his seventh consecutive speech from the Red Fort, said three vaccines were being developed in India and “we will start mass production once we get a green signal from the scientists”. The country is prepared for it, he added.
PUSH TO INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR
On this occasion, the Prime Minister announced a major push to the infrastructure sector and said that the government is giving priority on improving the overall infrastructure for faster development with the help of the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) project, for which, he said, over Rs 110 lakh crore would be invested. More than 7,000 projects have been identified across various sectors for this, he said. The National Infrastructure Pipeline Project will play a crucial role in pulling the country out of the impact of Covid-19, the PM said and added that the project would revolutionise India’s infra creation efforts. Many new jobs will be created, and farmers, youngsters and entrepreneurs will benefit, he said.
OPTICAL FIBRE CONNECTIVITY
On communications network in the country, he said, before 2014, only five dozen panchayats in the country were connected with optical fibre, but now 1.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country have been connected with optical fibre. All 6 lakh villages in the country will be connected with optical fibre in the coming 1,000 days, he said.
‘OUR SOVEREIGNTY IS SUPREME’
Without naming any country, the PM said: “From the LOC to the LAC, whoever has raised eyes on the sovereignty of the country, the country, the Army of the country has responded in the same language. Respect for India’s sovereignty is supreme for us. What our brave soldiers can do for this resolution, what the country can do, the world has seen this in Ladakh.”
“Our border and coastal infrastructure also have a huge role in the security of the country. Be it the Himalayan peaks or the islands of the Indian Ocean, today there is an unprecedented expansion of road and internet connectivity in the country. There are more than 1,300 islands in our country. In view of their geographical location, considering their importance in the development of the country, work is underway to start new development schemes in some of these selected islands. After Andaman and Nicobar islands, in the next 1,000 days, Lakshadweep will also be connected to submarine optical fibre cable,” said the PM.
The PM also said, “We have worked for women empowerment—Navy and Air Force are taking women in combat, women are now leaders, and we abolished triple talaq, got sanitary pads for women for just Re 1.” He said the expansion of NCC will be ensured in 173 border and coastal districts of the country. Under this campaign, special training will be given to about 1 lakh new NCC cadets, he said and added that about one-third of these cadets would be girls.
NATIONAL DIGITAL HEALTH MISSION
The PM also announced the launch of the National Digital Health Mission, under which every Indian will be given a health ID. “National Digital Health Mission will bring a new revolution in India’s health sector. All your tests, every disease, which doctor gave you which medicine, when, what were your reports, all this information will be contained in this one health ID,” the PM said.
ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT ABHIYAN
Reiterating the importance of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, he said “Over 130 crore Indians have decided to become “Atmanirbhar” amid the Covid-19 pandemic. “Becoming Atmanirbhar is mandatory. 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 until we achieve that goal,” he added.
He asked: “Who could have imagined that lakhs of crores of rupees would be directly transferred in the Jan Dhan accounts of the poor in the country? Who could have thought that such a big change would happen in the APMC Act for the benefit of farmers? One Nation-One Ration Card, One Nation-One Tax, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and Merger of Banks is the reality of the country today.”
Talking about the measures taken to mitigate the suffering of the poor, the PM said: “As many as 7 crore poor families were given free gas cylinders, more than 80 crore people were provided free food with or without ration cards, about Rs 90,000 crore were directly transferred to bank accounts. Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyan has also been started to provide employment to the poor in their villages.”
He said this is also the first time when the EMI of a home loan is getting a rebate of up to Rs 6 lakh during the payment period, adding “just last year, a fund of Rs 25,000 crore was established to complete thousands of incomplete houses”.
The Prime Minister added that out of the 40 crore Jan Dhan accounts, around 22 crore are for women. “At the time of Corona, about Rs 30,000 crore have been directly transferred to the accounts of women in April-May-June. We have also seen the role of Digital India campaign during the time of corona. Just last month, about Rs 3 lakh crore was transacted from BHIM UPI alone.”