Mr Kovind said, a self-reliant India has manufactured its own vaccine for COVID-19 and is now undertaking a mass vaccination drive, which will be the largest exercise of its kind in history. He said, the administration and health services are working with full readiness to make this exercise a success. The President urged upon the countrymen to utilise this lifeline and get vaccinated as per guidelines. He said, today, India is being rightly called the pharmacy of the world as it is supplying medicines and other health care items to several countries to alleviate people’s suffering and contain the pandemic across the globe. He said, now India is also providing vaccines to other countries.
Mr Kovind said, in order to open up the economy without risking the lives of the people, the process of unlocking was carefully calibrated. He said, this has proved effective and the economy has started showing indications of recovery faster than anticipated. The President said, the latest unprecedented collection of GST and India’s emergence as a most favoured destination for the foreign investment are indicative of the faster economic recovery.
Mr Kovind said, our vibrant democracy, our enterprising and talented fellow citizens especially the youth energise our efforts in shaping a self-reliant India. He said, the demand for goods and services in the country, the domestic efforts to meet them and the use of modern technology in such efforts are strengthening Atma-NirbharBharat Abhiyan. The President said, the mission is in line with the aspiration to shape a new India by 2022 when the country turns 75.
On the National Education Policy-2020, Mr Kovind said, the policy stresses on tradition as well as technology and will lay the foundation of a New India which aspires to emerge as a knowledge hub on the international stage.
The President said, the past year was a time of adversity and it came from many fronts. Mr Kovind said, India faced an expansionist move on the borders, but our valiant soldiers foiled it. He said, to achieve this objective, 20 of them had to lay down their lives. He said, the nation shall remain grateful to those brave soldiers. He said, though we reiterate our commitment to peace, our defence forces Army, Air Force and Navy are adequately mobilised in a well-coordinated move to thwart any attempt to undermine our security. Mr Kovind said, our national interest will be protected at all costs.
The President said, India is moving forward and taking its rightful place in the world. During the recent years, its arc of influence has been expanding and encompassing the larger part of the world. He said, the manner in which India got overwhelming support of the international community for its entry as a non-permanent member in the Security Council this year is indicative of that influence.
The President said, despite the serious calamity, India has succeeded in taking forward its activities in many spheres. He said, the pandemic threatened to derail the young generation’s learning process, but institutions and teachers quickly adopted new technology and ensured that there was no break in education.
Mr Kovind said, by conducting not only free and fair but also safe elections in Bihar which has high population density and in Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh with difficulties of access and other challenges, our democracy and the Election Commission have accomplished remarkable feats. He said, the Judiciary found help in technology and continued to function and dispense Justice.
The President said, equality is the watchword for the great project of our Republic. He said, social equality warrants dignity for each one of us, villagers, women, weaker sections of our society, namely, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Divyang-jan and the elderly people. Mr Kovind said economic equality entails equal opportunity for all and handholding for the downtrodden. The President called upon everyone to continue on the path of constitutional morality which Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar mentioned in his speech to the Constituent Assembly while presenting the draft of the Constitution.