Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the national flag and delivered his seventh consecutive Independence Day speech from the iconic Red Fort. In the 1 hour 26-minute speech, he focused on the themes of “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)”, “Vocal for local” and “Make in India to Make for World”.
In his address to the nation on the occasion of India’s 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded frontline workers fighting against novel coronavirus. PM Modi highlighted the importance to make India self-reliant, saying it was not just a word but should be a “mantra” for all countrymen. The Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort was attended by over 4,000 people, including diplomats, officials and media personnel. Safety protocols were in place for the event, including social distancing and wearing masks.
21 Gun Salute
The unfurling of the tri-colour is synchronised with the 21 Gun Salute fired by the gunners of the elite 2233 Field Battery (Ceremonial). Major Shweta Pandey assisted the PM in unfurling the National Flag. The ceremonial battery is being commanded by Lt Col Jitendra Singh Mehta and the Gun Position Officer is Naib Subedar (AIG), Anil Chand. 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.
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Key highlights on PM’s speech:
- The Prime Minister winds up his speech with chants of Bharat Mata ki Jai, Vande Mataram, Jai Hind!
- PM Narendra Modi announces the launch of the National Digital Health Mission, under which all Indian would get a unique health ID. Every Indian will be given a health ID which will contain all your information. What disease you suffer from, which doctor has been consulted, what medicines you are on will all be included in your health ID.
- Optical fibre network to be extended to all villages. In the last 5 years, 1.5 Lakh village panchayats have been connected with optical fibre. Within the next 1000 days, India will take optical fibre to 6 lakh villages.
- India is one of the top 5 nations in renewable energy. India is working to decrease pollution in the country. India is manufacturing 2000 crore ethanol, which will benefit the entire country.
- PM Modi announced that the centre has set up a committee to reconsider the minimum age for marriage of girls.
- India to focus on the two types of dolphins in Indian rivers, under Project Dolphin.
- India to develop Ladakh into the carbon-neutral state, just like Sikkim.
- India to focus on neighbourhood first. ASEAN also a part of India’s focus.
- Coastal Infrastructure is important for the security of the nation. Andaman and Nicobar Islands provided with high-speed internet. In the next 1000 days, Lakshadweep will also be connected with high-speed internet.
- The Prime Minister further highlighted the role of women empowerment and spoke about the initiatives taken by the government to give further impetus to the growth of India’s women. He highlighted how now women have the opportunity to get a permanent employment in the Indian Army and Indian Navy.
- The Prime Minister spoke one year of revoking of Article 370. He stated that this one year has paved the way for a new journey of development for Jammu and Kashmir.
- Under ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, India has been able to provide clean water to over 2 crore families, especially in far-flung areas.
- Agriculture Infrastructure Fund was created to provide modern infrastructure to the farmers. The fund is worth Rs 1 lakh crore.
- With the identification of 110 aspirational districts, special efforts are being taken to ensure that people get access to better education, better health facilities and better employment opportunities.
- The Prime Minister highlighted the importance of education in working towards created an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. He highlighted that the newly launched New Education Policy, which has been launched after almost 3 decades, will make Indian students global citizens.
- India has broken all its past FDI records. India saw 18 per cent jump in FDI even during a pandemic.
- India is developing three COVID-19 vaccines, which are currently under trials. The Prime Minister assured that he will ensure that the vaccines reach everyone once they get all the required approval.