A person who is wedded, with the
virtue of determination to accomplish
a deed, would be able to execute the
same and earn glory and fame
My Dear Citizens of India, On the eve of the 60th Independence Day, I extend to you all at home and abroad my greetings and best wishes for your happiness and prosperity. Our Nation will always cherish and be inspired by the contributions of our Freedom Fighters towards making India independent. On 9th August, I met many Freedom Fighters from all parts of the country and in their eyes I could still see the spirit of selfless sacrifice. There cannot be any other better living example for our youth to follow. On this occasion, we remember with gratitude the devoted and gallant services of our Armed Forces who are guarding our frontiers on the land, over the sea, and in the air; and our Paramilitary and Police Forces who are preserving our internal security and maintaining law and order.
I am very happy that my previous Independence Day Addresses had
stimulated substantial debate and discussions. I have addressed both Houses of
the Parliament on the missions for an economically developed India. I feel that
the time is ripe now for both our Houses of Parliament to debate and adopt a
Resolution that India will get transformed into a safe, and economically
developed nation before the year 2020. This unique action of giving the nation a
precise and focused vision will inspire everyone and in particular the youth.
Therefore the topic that I have selected for this address on the 60th
Independence Day is "National Awakening".
Recently, the country had torrential rains in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The flood conditions have caused loss of life and property and immobilized economic activities. My heart goes out for the families who lost their near and dear ones and those in distress. My Government is doing, in partnership with the state governments, everything possible to alleviate the pain of the people.
Some parts of the country are experiencing drought conditions, when some other regions are flooded. This has become a periodic phenomenon, lacking any predictability. Once again, this clearly brings out, the need for the interlinking of our rivers for effective utilization of surplus water in a balanced manner among all geographic regions with enlightened cooperation between the States and the Centre.
National Development Scene
Let me now relate my suggestions for such cooperative national missions required in many areas leading to a developed India 2020. During my visits to all States and Union Territories, I have witnessed the actual development process and there are several islands of success, a few of which I would like to share with you. These examples of our accelerating progress have direct impact on the day-to-day life of our farming communities, children and our youth, teachers, doctors and nurses, scientists, engineers and technicians, state institutions, business and industry. These examples also demonstrate the existence of an indomitable spirit to succeed with the confidence that "we can do it" across the length and breadth of India.
I Economic Development towards Vision 2020
1. Role Models for Agriculturists and Farming Communities
In the agriculture and farming sector, more than doubling the productivity of Rice and Wheat in areas near RP Channel-5 in Bihar has been achieved through the TIFAC mission using innovative integrated farming and marketing methods. These results have spread to many areas through people’s efforts and are applicable to the whole of Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and other areas which have similar agro-climatic conditions. These regions could be transformed into the granaries of India. I have come across similar success stories in respect of doubling seed cotton productivity in Punjab, when I visited Gheri Buttar village, where I met farmers. Also in the field of sugarcane cultivation, in Maharashtra, the intervention of the Vasantdada Sugar Institute, Pune has enabled farmers to increase the yield of sugarcane by 36 percent. This experience can definitely be emulated by other sugarcane growing States. Our private sector has also made significant progress in food processing industries, whereas there is a need for Rural Farmers’ Cooperatives in partnership with banking institutions, on the pattern of the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited. While the essential necessity of networking of rivers has been brought out as a part of drought and flood management, water harvesting is a very important need for every state while planning house construction. I have seen during my visit to Mizoram in the North Eastern States, almost every house is being equipped with self-contained water harvesting systems, which provides adequate water supply through out the year. These success stories clearly indicate that it is feasible to enhance food-grain output from the existing 200 million tonnes per annum to nearly 360 million tonnes per annum before 2020. This will also help in drastically reducing the number of people below the poverty line - a true indicator for an economically developed nation.
2. Role Models for Educationists, Teachers, Doctors and Nurses
Education: Among many models of pre-primary school
education with creative learning methodologies, that emphasize learning by doing
including cultivation of hygiene, nutritional and sanitary practices, I have
come across the work of Dr. M.R. Raju and his team in Pedamiram, Andhra Pradesh.
This has inspired students to love their learning experience and has enriched
their lives in school.
At the primary and secondary school level, Government Municipal Schools in Karnataka have introduced the accelerated learning model using computer based animated courses. This was pioneered by the Azim Premji Foundation which has brought down dropouts from schools substantially. NCERT has prepared the National Curriculum framework under Prof. Yashpal’s leadership and modified the CBSE syllabus for promoting creative education at all levels through the application of learning by doing concept. Teachers training programmes based on the new syllabus of CBSE, has been organized across 25 cities using EDUSAT through video-conferencing. 12,000 teachers have been trained so far through interaction with experts sitting in the NCERT Studio in New Delhi.
Recently, I witnessed the Ladakh Model of Sarva Shiksa Abhiyan, increasing the pass percentage at the 10th class level from 5 percent in 1998 to 50 percent in 2005 with the aim of promoting creative learning leading to higher percentage of passes in the Phase II programme. The Akshaya Programme of the Kerala State Government is imparting computer education to 6 lakh adults and advanced computer training programme for 60,000 youth within a two year period leading to high value employment for the youth. In higher education, a pioneering effort by the Universities of Madras, Mumbai and Kolkata with the help of the Ministry of Human Resource Development has resulted in the creation of a Virtual University system by offering ten joint degree programmes at under-graduate, post graduate and Ph.D. levels. In the higher education system throughput has to increase from the existing 6 percent to 30 percent by 2020. I am very confident that such initiatives, when applied across the country in the total education system will enable us to realize near 100 percent literacy and employable skills among youth, leading to a Knowledge Society by the year 2020.
The country will then have two national human resource cadres: (1) skilled youth with specific world class technical skills and (2) knowledge professionals with higher education to take up leadership roles in research, development and industrial missions. This global human resource will meet the needs of quality human resource for India and for the whole world.
Healthcare: Let me now narrate some of the innovative
initiatives in medical care. During the last three years in Karnataka, a unique
corporate healthcare medical scheme is in operation, under the leadership of
doctors of the Narayana Hridayalaya, in partnership with the Karnataka
Government. This is benefiting over two million members, like farmers,
craftsmen, artisans, and small vendors. Members of this scheme who pay a nominal
subscription of Rs. 10/- per month receive full medical treatment for major
ailments, entirely free of cost.
I have also come across a number of humanitarian missions giving free treatment to the poor, among them for example the Little Heart Foundation for children’s heart ailments, Care Kidney Foundation for kidney ailments at Hyderabad and the Paterson Cancer Centre at Chennai for cancer treatment.
There are several other initiatives of this nature showing the indomitable spirit of doctors, nurses and para-medical staff. For example, Karunya Nilayam has initiated the process of screening of children in rural areas of Kerala so that they can provide total treatment to over a hundred cancer affected children every year free of cost. The Arvind Eye Hospital, Madurai provides free treatment to 70 patients. We need to multiply such ventures to enable every citizen of the country to receive quality healthcare. As a spin off from India’s missile technology, came light weight calipers. These calipers have been field proven through a number of camps, spearheaded by the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad. This has so far benefited more than 10,000 polio affected children across the country. Mobile clinics are being increasingly deployed in the remote areas of Uttaranchal and other hilly regions for providing quality diagnostic and healthcare services to needy villagers. Space technology has been extended to the healthcare sector. 34 specialty hospitals have been connected through ISRO’s tele-medicine network and are providing tele-medicine services to over 140 remote locations all over the country.
Our Government hospital system with its extensive outreach can symbiotically collaborate with the emerging private health care initiatives. This indicates that, it is definitely feasible to achieve the mission of providing effective, affordable and quality healthcare services to all the people of our country by the year 2020.
3. Information and Communication Technology
The Indian ICT Industry is growing at about 28 percent per
annum. This is definitely a strong indicator that the ICT industry requires a
national mission to realize $200 billion turnover by 2012. Job opportunities are
expected to grow from one million to nearly 9 million direct jobs and 6 million
indirect jobs in the construction, retail and transportation industries by 2010.
The Government of India is creating a Pan-African e-network for connecting 53 African countries. In a similar way, India has proposed to extend the services to Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Many State Governments are in the process of implementing e-Governance services and creating State Wide Area Network across their States. I am happy to say that the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has decided to invest Rs. 24,000 crore for establishing an e-governance network and Government to Citizens Services across the country within five years time. Through capacity building, job opportunities, better consumer protection laws and secure infrastructure, ICT would enable economic growth to higher levels of prosperity in India.
4. Rural Development
The Bharat Nirman Programme aimed at rural prosperity across the
country is in position with an outlay of Rs. 174,000 crore for the period of 4
years. I am happy to find that there is a growing recognition of enhancing rural
prosperity through the Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) model.
Periyar PURA (Tamil Nadu): I have inaugurated the Periyar PURA Complex pioneered by Periyar Maniammai College of Technology for Women, Vallam, Tanjore consisting of a cluster of 65 villages having a population of over one lakh. This model PURA complex has all three Connectivities - physical, electronic and knowledge - leading to economic connectivity. This has resulted in large-scale employment generation and creation of a number of entrepreneurs with the active support of 1150 self-help groups. Two hundred acres of wasteland has been developed into a cultivable land with innovative water management schemes. Villagers are busy in cultivation, planting Jatropha, herbal and medicinal plants, power generation using bio-mass, food processing with dedicated marketing centers. This model has emanated independent of any government initiative. I have also seen the other PURA models like the Loni PURA in Maharastra, the Chitrakoot PURA in Madhaya Pradesh and the Byraju PURA in Andhra Pradesh. These experiences can be emulated nation wide. We need 7000 PURAs all over the country. This movement can be multiplied by thousands of entrepreneurs, educational administrators, small-scale industrialists and bankers with the support of government agencies providing total economic prosperity to rural India by 2020.
Rural Electrification - Solar Village: At village Kaylapara on Sagar Island, Sundarbans, I saw a photovoltaic solar power plant of 120 KW capacity, the largest off-grid plant in our country established by the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency in collaboration with the Ministry of Non Conventional Energy Resources. It is providing six hours of electrical energy to 33 villages of Sagar Island. This model of standalone Solar Energy Systems should be replicated in many remote, hilly areas and island territories.
II Comprehensive National Security
Peaceful and harmonious conditions in all parts of the country
are essential for people to cooperate with one another for accelerated national
growth. However, there are challenges to peace from across our geographical
borders, from terrorism and violence, and from scarcities created by rapidly
depleting natural resources. These dynamic challenges call for special measures
to ensure a comprehensive, integrated system of security which has four major
components: territorial security, internal security, energy security, and
Challenges to Peace and Economic Progress
Territorial Security Our nation and Armed Forces are well prepared to protect our territorial security. They are continuously being strengthened to deal with new forms of warfare.
Internal Security: Let me now come to an important aspect
of security that is drawing the attention of the entire country and the world.
The constant threat of low intensity proxy war and terrorism has become a
disturbing feature of national life. This constitutes the new face of war. Dear
citizens, this matter is of great concern to all of us. Therefore, I propose to
share my thoughts with you on how we can face this challenge and resolve to
eradicate this threat.
Requirements to Combat Challenges to National Interests
At the State level, greater and more effective coordinated decision-making ability is the most basic requirement. At individual levels, greater respect for traditional values and sense of social responsibility like love and respect for one’s family and teachers, service to the neighborhood and community; tolerance for authority are now absolutely essential. Above all, we as people, individuals and especially institutions, require increased ability to cooperate with one another, improving thereby our work and personal relationships. While we have the basic structure in the form of law, police cadres, intelligence agencies and judicial system, we need to reinforce them with required updates with a code of conduct. Every citizen, every group, every religion and every political and executive system should allow the law to function without interference. To combat the challenges, I would like to discuss under the three broad areas namely (A) economic security through development with peace (B) citizens security (C) energy security – all these leading to comprehensive national security.
A. Economic security through Development with Peace Mission
Accelerated development has to be integrated with peace
missions. Such missions will have four major components namely: economic zone
near international borders and Line of Control, social development in difficult
areas, national level movement to eliminate terrorism and citizen security.
(a) Economic zone near International Borders and Line of Control: Presently, the areas close to the international border and Line of Control are not used for economic activity. The Government may consider using the available land area for promoting economic activity with people’s participation. The economic security of these border regions would in itself become complementary to territorial security required in these zones.
(b) Social development in difficult areas: Social-minded people may be enabled to start educational, sports complexes and healthcare institutions in every difficult area in the country. I would like to share the salient features of a typical model that has made a significant impact on social development.
Jeevan Vidya experience: Jeevan Vidya is being practiced
by Prof Ganesh Bagaria, IIT, Kanpur, Prof Rajeev Sangal, Director IIIT (Hyderabad)
and their teams. This scheme is concerned about addressing the basic causes of
major problems of violence, corruption, exploitation, domination, terrorism and
war. It has been found that violent and anti-social behaviour, unless dealt with
care and with professionalism, could aggravate the extreme behaviour.
Jeevan Vidya develops tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty in human conduct by enabling self-knowledge that understands harmony in the self and in the entire existence. The academicians could bring about marked change even among the inmates of jails through the use of these techniques.
Jeevan Vidya is a 'teachable human value based skill' that can address inherent conflicts within the mind of the individual, within families, in organizations and in public life. Inner conflict is the very essence of violence. For example, with the skills imparted, it would be possible to reduce the overall period of secondary education from 25,000 hours of teaching to 20,000 hours, since the children become more responsible and productivity conscious.