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Independence Day 2020: 5 big takeaways from PM Modi’s address

PM Modi said that “we have to move ahead with the mantra of make for the world along with Make-in-India”.

‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ or self-reliant India was the centrepiece of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 90-minute-long address to the nation on the occasion of 74th Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Presenting a broad outline for spurring India’s growth, he said the coronavirus pandemic cannot halt the country’s march towards self-reliance, adding that it should be a mantra for the people and not just a term. This was PM Modi’s seventh straight Independence Day speech since he took over as the Prime Minister of India in May 2014. The Prime Minister also utilised the opportunity to make a host of new announcements including the launch of a national digital health mission, connecting all six lakh villages via optical fibres in 1,000 days, and appreciate local products among others.

Here are 5 key takeaways from PM Modi’s speech:

Aatmanirbhar Bharat

PM Modi said India must become self-reliant and use its vast natural resources to produce for the domestic as well as the global market. He said that 130 crore Indians have pledged to build a ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. “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. He acknowledged that there are numerous challenges in becoming self-reliant, but there are millions of solutions as well.

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He also reiterated his call for ‘vocal for local’ in his address and said that India should strive for meeting the needs of the world as well and wondered how long the country would continue to export raw materials and import finished products. “The mindset of free India should be ‘vocal for local’. We should appreciate our local products, if we don’t do this then our products will not get the opportunity to do better and will not get encouraged,” PM Modi said. “Aatmanirbhar Bharat does not mean only reducing dependence on imports, but strengthening India’s capacity, creativity and skills,” he added.

Make for World

The Prime Minister said that India received record foreign direct investments during the last fiscal and even during the coronavirus pandemic. He said big global companies are looking towards India, adding that the FDI growth was recorded at 18% last fiscal. “India’s share in the world economy should increase for which we have to be self-reliant. Today, many big companies of the world are turning to India,” he said.

“Now we have to move ahead with the mantra of ‘make for the world’ along with Make-in-India,” he said. Citing an example of what India can do, 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.

Indian sovereignty supreme

Without naming Pakistan and China, PM Modi sought to deliver a warning to the neighbours, saying the armed forces have given a befitting reply to those who challenged the country’s sovereignty from LoC to LAC in their own language. In a reference to the border row in Ladakh with China, he said: “Respect for India’s sovereignty is supreme for us and the world has seen in Ladakh what our brave jawans can do to maintain this resolve. I salute all those brave soldiers from the Red Fort.”

“Whether it is terrorism or expansionism, India is fighting both with determination,” the Prime Minister said.

National Digital Health Mission

The Prime Minister also announced the launch of a national digital health mission under which health IDs will be given to everyone. He said that the mission will revolutionise the country’s health sector. Under the mission, he said, every Indian would receive a unique health identity card that will have information related to their medical history.

PM Modi’s announcement comes at a time when the country is battling the coronavirus pandemic. The Prime Minister also paid tribute to the country’s corona warriors, including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and sanitation workers, who have been relentlessly fighting Covid-19 on the front lines.

Jammu and Kashmir development journey

The Prime Minister also talked about the one year journey of Jammu and Kashmir since the abrogation of Article 370. He said that the past year has been a year of a new development journey for Jammu and Kashmir. He said that ‘vikas’ (development) has reached every village in Jammu and Kashmir and promised to hold Assembly elections once the delimitation exercise is completed.

“This one year is a year of the new journey of development for Jammu and Kashmir. This one year is the year of the rights received by the women and the Dalits in Jammu and Kashmir. This one year is also the year of a life of dignity for the refugees in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“Delimitation exercise is being carried out in Jammu and Kashmir, the country is committed for completion of this work so that elections are held and people’s representatives are elected there,” Modi added.

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