Sunday 20 September 2020

India marks 74th I-Day in style, with 'Make for World' call

NEW DELHI, August 15, 2020

India celebrated its 74th Independence Day in a manner befitting the occasion but with all precautionary measures over Covid-19 pandemic.
The celebrations were curtailed and only selected guests are invited to be part of the Red Fort event. Despite this pandemic, as a part of the annual decoration areas like India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament Building was lit up spectacularly in tri-colours.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi kicked off the I-Day celebrations by unfurlling the national flag and delivered his seventh consecutive Independence Day speech from the iconic Red Fort on Saturday, reported PTI.
The PM also received the Guard of Honour contingent, consisting of one officer and 24 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. Major Shweta Pandey assisted the PM in unfurling the National Flag, following which PM Modi addressed the nation.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, PM Modi put forward the mantra of ‘Make for World’ alongside his pet initiative of ‘Make in India’ as he exhorted all Indians to be ‘vocal for local’.
Dressed in his customary ''kurta pyjama'' and safa, the prime minister, in his nearly 90-minute address, dwelt at length on his ''Aatmanirbhar Bharat'' campaign and gave a call for reducing imports and pushing exports of finished products in place raw material, saying the country will have to move forward with the mantra of ''Make in India'' as well as ''Make for World''.
A self-reliant Bharat was the centrepiece of Prime Minister's Independence Day address as he presented a broad outline for spurring India's growth in diverse sectors and asserted that the coronavirus pandemic cannot halt the country''s march towards self-reliance.
''Aatmanirbhar Bharat'' is no longer merely a word but has become a mantra and captured people''s imagination, he added.
Modi also made a host of new announcements on Saturday including the launch of a national digital health mission for the country of 1.3 billion under which health IDs will be given to everyone, connecting all six lakh villages with optical fibres in 1000 days and promised the holding of assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir after the delimitation exercise is over.
On the digital health mission, Modi said that records of every health test, disease, medication and other details will be kept under a health ID. 
“Technology will be judiciously used to reduce challenges in treatments,” he said. “Whether it is making a doctor’s appointment, depositing money or running around for documents in the hospital, the mission will help remove all such challenges,” he added.
The Prime Minister also chose the occasion to deliver a warning to India''s hostile 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, reported PTI.
In a reference to the border row with China in eastern Ladakh, Modi 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," Modi said.
Modi also touched upon the much-anticipated issue of vaccine for COVID-19 and said three vaccines are in various phases of trials in the country. He said that a roadmap is ready to innoculate all citizens at the shortest possible time with their mass production after scientists give a green signal.
He also announced the launch of the National Digital Health Mission under which every Indian will get a unique health identity. 
Modi said India was ready to mass produce Covid-19 vaccines when scientists give the go-ahead. 
“Not one, not two, as many as three coronavirus vaccines are being tested in India,” he said in his speech. 
“Along with mass-production, the roadmap for distribution of vaccine to every single Indian in the least possible time is also ready,” Modi said. “The country is also ready for mass production of those vaccines,” he added.


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