Addressing students at the Royal University of Bhutan on the final day of his two-day visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “Today, India is witnessing historic transformations in a wide range of sectors. India is eliminating poverty faster than ever before. The pace of infrastructure construction has doubled in the last five years. India is home to the world’s largest healthcare programme, Ayushman Bharat, that offers health assurance to 500 million Indians. India has among the cheapest data connectivity in the world, which is directly and indirectly empowering millions. India is also home to among the biggest start-up eco-systems in the world. This is indeed a great time to innovate in India.”
PM Modi called upon the “brightest minds” of Bhutan to work hard and take their country to great heights. “There is no better time to be young than now,” he added.
PM Modi signed several memorandums of understanding in the areas of hydro-power and energy, space, digital payments and disaster management. “Our cooperation in all these sectors will have a direct impact on young friends like you,” he said.
Mentioning that it was crucial to connect scholars and academics beyond borders in this day and age, Modi said: “Cooperation between India’s National Knowledge Network and Bhutan’s DrukREN, which became a reality yesterday, will serve this purpose.
“It will provide secure and fast connectivity between our universities, research institutions, libraries, healthcare and agricultural institutions. I urge you all to make full use of this facility… As Bhutan soars high in its endeavours, your 1.3 billion Indian friends will not just look on and cheer you with pride and happiness. They will partner you, share with you and learn from you. You have the power and potential to do extraordinary things, which will impact generations to come. Find your real calling and pursue it with full passion.”
Referring to Chandrayaan-2, India’s moon mission, PM Modi said, “It is even a matter of great happiness that young Bhutanese scientists will travel to India to work on designing and launching Bhutan’s own small satellite. I hope that someday soon, many of you will be scientists, engineers and innovators. We inaugurated the Thimphu Ground Station of the South Asia Satellite and expanded our space cooperation. Through satellites, benefits of tele-medicine, distance education, resource mapping, weather forecast and even warning of natural disasters will reach even remote areas.”