Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi delivered his tenth Independence Day speech at the Red Fort in New Delhi on the 77th Independence Day of India. The complete text of the PM’s speech, originally delivered in Hindi, can be found here. In this blog, we curate excerpts of the speech that are relevant to Science, Technology, and Innovation in India:

 

“Today my youth have propelled India to a certain position in the world's first three startup economy systems. The youth of the world are amazed to see this power of India. Today the world is technology driven and the coming era is going to be influenced by technology. This gives a platform to showcase the prowess of India's talent in technology who is going to play a new key role.”

“Recently, I went to Bali for the G-20 Summit and there the premiers of the most prosperous and developed countries of the world showed immense curiosity and were so eager to learn about the nuances and the success of our Digital India.They were in awe of our talent when I shared that this wonder that India has achieved was not limited to the efforts made by youth of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai but also by the youth of my Tier-2, Tier-3 cities. Today they are shaping the fate of my country. Today my youth from even small places, and I say this with great confidence today, that this new potential of the country is visible. That is why I say that our small cities can be smaller in size and population but the hope and aspirations, effort and impact they have demonstrated are second to none. They have novel ideas to develop apps, provide solutions and design technological devices. Just look how our sports world has evolved. The children who came out of the slums are showing might in the world of sports today. The youth of small villages, small towns, our sons and daughters are achieving wonders today in this arena.Now see, there are 100 schools in my country where children are making satellites and also aspiring to release them one day. Today thousands of tinkering labs are conceiving new scientists. Today, thousands of tinkering labs are inspiring millions of children to take up the path of science and technology.”

“Speaking of women’s respect, recently, I visited a country where a very senior minister asked me a question – “Do your daughters study science and engineering subjects?” I told him that today in my country more daughters than boys are taking up STEM i.e. Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. It was surprising for him to know that my daughters are taking maximum part in it. This capability of our country is visible today.”

“Today 10 crore women are involved in women self-help groups and if you go to a village with women self-help groups, you will find bank didis, Anganwadi didis with and didis who distribute medicines. And now my dream is to create a base of 2 crore lakhpati didis in the villages. And now we have new options for the same i.e. science and technology. I can see the potential of the women in our villages and that's why I am thinking of a new scheme. That will provide training to the sisters of Women Self Help Group with the integration of technology in our agriculture sector thereby strengthening our agritech. We will give skill training to women and train them to operate as well as repair drones. The Government of India will provide drones to thousands of such Women Self Help Groups. We will initiate making drone services available for our agricultural work. To begin with, we will start building 15 thousand Women Self Help Groups which will give flight to the dream of enabling a robust drone training mission.”

“And that's why we must give a new twist to our cleanliness campaign and cleanse our system of corruption. The government is making a lot of efforts to get rid of corruption with the use of technology. You would be surprised to know what was achieved on the ground in the last 9 years in this country. If you listen to the alarming figures, you will realize that Modi takes such steps. I stopped the unfair advantage that nearly ten crore people used to take. Some of you might claim that severe injustice was done to these people; But no, who were these 10 crore people? Alarmingly, these 10 crore people were those who were not even born, and yet many falsely identified themselves as their widows and divyangs and reaped the benefits. Such women upon getting old often became disabled, and thus continued to take false benefits of government schemes. This is the pious task where we were able to stop 100 million such benami activities that had been going on since decades. The property of the corrupt that we have seized is 20 times more than before.”

 

“Today the country is moving forward with various capabilities. The country is working to move towards modernity. Today the country is working in the area of renewable energy; today the country is working on green hydrogen; the country's capability in the space sector is increasing.”

“So the country is moving ahead successfully in the deep sea mission as well. Rail is getting modernized in the country. Vande Bharat Bullet Train is also now successfully plying inside the country today. Concrete roads are being built in every village. Electric buses and metro rails are also being built in the country today. Today the internet is reaching the last mile in every village as we also aspire to go for quantum computers. On the one hand Nano Urea and Nano DAP are being worked upon while on the other side we are also emphasizing on organic farming. Today the Farmers Producers Association app is being built while we aspire to build semiconductors as well.”

“Our work culture of aspirational mindset, thinking big, farsightedness, Sarvajan Hitaya: SarvajanSukhaya: Such has been our working style. And with this energy we work on how to achieve beyond and more than a resolution. We had resolved to make 75 thousand Amrit Sarovar in the Amrit Mahotsav of independence. At that time, we had resolved to make 75 Amrit Sarovar in every district. Around 50-55 thousand Amrit Sarovars were conceived. But today the work of construction of about 75 thousand Amrit Sarovar is going on. This in itself is a humongous task. This strength of manpower and water power is also going to be useful in safeguarding India's environmental wealth. Providing electricity to 18 thousand villages, opening bank accounts for the masses, building toilets for daughters, all the targets will be accomplished with full force ahead of time.”

“And when India takes a decision, it achieves it. This is what our track record says. Accomplishing 200 crore vaccinations successfully was an eye opener for the world. A 200 crore figure leaves them flabbergasted. My country's Anganwadi workers, our Asha workers,  and our health workers have made this possible. This is the strength of my country. We rolled out 5-G. My country is the fastest in the world to roll out 5-G. We have reached more than 700 districts. And now we are already preparing for 6-G also.”

“We have made a task force. In the renewable energy sector we have surpassed our set target. The target which we had set for renewable energy by 2030 was completed in 2021-22. We had talked about 20 percent blending in ethanol, that as well we have completed five years ahead of time. The same was true about exports of 500 billion dollars, which was accomplished ahead of time and was increased to more than 500 billion dollars.”

“What is India's perspective, and how do we advance the idea of global welfare? Now, when we think, what do we say? We have presented this vision to the world, and the world is joining us with this vision. We said "One Sun, One World, One Grid" in the field of renewable energy. This is a significant statement from us, and today the world is acknowledging it. After COVID, we told the world that our approach should be "One Earth, One Health". Solutions to problems will arise only when humans, animals, and plants are equally addressed during times of illness.”

“We have put forth the concept of "One World, One Family, One Future” for the G20 summit and are working in that direction. As the world grapples with climate crises, we have shown the way and launched the LifeStyle for Environment – Mission LiFE initiative. We formed the International Solar Alliance in collaboration with the world and many countries are now part of the International Solar Alliance. We have emphasized the importance of biodiversity and advanced the establishment of the "Big Cat Alliance".”

“For the damage caused to infrastructure due to global warming from natural disasters, there is a need for long-term arrangements. Therefore, we have introduced the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) as a solution. While the world is currently witnessing conflicts in the oceans, we have provided the world with the concept of the "Sagar Platform" which can guarantee global maritime peace. Emphasizing the need for traditional medical practices in mind, we have worked towards establishing a global-level center of the World Health Organization (WHO) in India. Through yoga and Ayurveda, we have worked for global well-being and health. Today, India is laying a strong foundation for global welfare. It is our collective responsibility to build upon this strong foundation.”

 

 

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