Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known for his speeches and the usual announcement of initiatives which become a major part of his addresses to his countrymen. Today, on the occasion of 69th Independence day of India, he highlighted the resolve of 125 crore Indians, as 'Team India', to root out corruption, and to make India a developed nation by 2022 – the 75th anniversary of independence. He urged the people of India to 'Start-up' and 'Stand-up'.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister announced the "Start-Up India" initiative, which would encourage entrepreneurship among the youth of India. He said each of the 1.25 lakh bank branches, should encourage at least one Dalit or Adivasi entrepreneur, and at least one woman entrepreneur.
The Prime Minister said that the unity, simplicity and brotherhood of 125 crore Indians, is the strength of this nation, and casteism and communalism have no place in our society. Here are the other key announcements made by Narendra Modi today:
- Auctions of coal, spectrum and FM radio licenses.
- PAHAL scheme for direct transfer of LPG subsidy, which has resulted in savings of Rs. 15,000 crore.
- Introduction of "neem-coated urea" has helped to end diversion of subsidized urea to non-agricultural purposes.
- Ministry of Agriculture would be renamed as the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare. Government is focusing on raising farm productivity, and providing electricity and irrigation to farmers. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana had been launched with an outlay of Rs. 50,000 crore.
- Government had resolved to connect with electricity, all the 18,500 villages which still remain without power, within the next 1000 days.
- To make India a developed nation by 2022, with a house and access to basic services like electricity, to all.
- To end the practice of "interviews" for recruitments even at relatively junior levels and to promote merit by recruiting only through transparent, online processes.
- The long-standing demand from ex-serviceman for One-Rank, One-Pension, had been accepted by the Government "in-principle" and the modalities are being worked out with stakeholders.
The Prime Minister recalled some of the resolves he had made in his Independence Day address last year. The promise of toilets in all schools had been almost fulfilled, with the cooperation of States. Financial inclusion had received a big boost with the opening of 17 crore bank accounts through the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana.
The Prime Minister also spoke of the welfare schemes launched by the Union Government, including Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, and the schemes launched for labour welfare. He also reiterated his vision for the development of eastern India.