Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India must become self-reliant and use its vast natural resources to produce for the domestic as well as the global market.
The Nation is celebrating 74th Independence Day today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted the national flag at the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in Delhi and addressed the nation this morning. Mr Modi was received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Red Fort. The Prime Minister then inspected the Guard of Honour.
The Guard of Honour contingent for the Prime Minister consisted of one officer and 24 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. This year, the Guard of Honour was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Gaurav S Yewalkar.
Before coming to Red Fort, the Prime Minister paid homage to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of India’s 74th Independence Day, Mr Modi said in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, 130 crore Indians have pledged to build an ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’. He expressed confidence that India will realise this dream.
The Prime Minister said the country received record foreign direct investments during the last fiscal and the FDI growth was recorded at 18 per cent. He said even during the Coronavirus pandemic, big global companies are looking towards India.
Mr Modi reiterated the ‘Vocal for Local’ call and said that India should strive for meeting the needs of the world as well. He wondered how long the country would continue to export raw materials and import finished products. He said India has vast natural resources and the need of the hour is value addition.
He said, the nation has to move forward with the mantra of Make for the World along with Make-in-India. He further said ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ does not mean only reducing dependence on imports, but strengthening India’s capacity, creativity and skills.
Addressing the nation for the seventh time in a row from the Red Fort, he said there are numerous challenges in becoming self-reliant, but there are millions of solutions as well. He said India has always believed that the entire world is one family and while India focuses on economic growth and development, humanity must retain a central role in this process. Citing an example of what India can do, Mr Modi said before the COVID-19 pandemic, the country was not making N-95 masks, PPE and ventilators, but now it is in a position to export such items.
The Prime Minister said that Atma Nirbhar Krishi and Atma Nirbhar Kisan are priorities of an Atma Nirbhar India. He said, the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund of Rs one lakh crore has been created recently to give modern infrastructure to the farmers of the country.
Mr Modi said the Jal Jeevan Mission was announced from the Red Fort last year and now, more than one lakh houses are getting water connection every day.
The Prime Minister said, education has a great importance in building self-reliant India. Keeping this in mind, Mr Modi said, a new National Education Policy was brought.
He said Digital India too has a great role to play in making the nation self reliant. Mr Modi said before 2014, only 5 dozen panchayats in the country were connected with optical fiber. In the last five years, 1.5 lakh gram panchayats in the country have been connected with optical fiber. The Prime Minister said in the coming 1,000 days, every village in the country will be connected with optical fiber. He said Lakshadweep will also be connected to submarine optical fiber cable.
He said NCC is being expanded in border areas and special training will be provided to about one lakh new NCC cadets.
Mr Modi stressed that women empowerment has a huge role to play in Atma Nirbhar bharat. He informed that of the 40 crore Jan Dhan accounts opened in the country, about 22 crore accounts belong to women. He said that in April, May and June this year, about Rs 30,000 crore have been directly transferred to the accounts of women.
Mr Modi said the government fulfilled a long standing demand of people by making Ladakh a Union Territory last year. He said Ladakh is moving forward today to touch new heights of development. He said just as Sikkim has made its mark as an organic State, efforts are being made to make Ladakh a carbon neutral region.