Headlines August 16, 2020
PM Modi’s Republic Day speech – Key points
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on India’s 74th Independence Day. In the one-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.
PM Modi also paid tributes to those fighting the battle against coronavirus and said that India had a roadmap ready for the production and distribution of three COVID-19 vaccines that are at various stages of testing.
He also praised India’s soldiers for giving a fitting reply to anyone who has challenged the country’s sovereignty, “from LoC to LAC”. “From LoC (Line of Control) to LAC (Line of Actual Control), whenever India’s sovereignty has been challenged, our soldiers have answered them in their own language,” said the Prime Minister, in a strong message to Pakistan and China without naming either countries.
Referring to the clash with China in June in Ladakh, PM Modi said: “India’s integrity is supreme for us. What our jawans can do, what the country can do, the world saw that in Ladakh. Today, I salute all those brave soldiers from the Red Fort.”
PM Modi also said that neighbours were not only those that India shared a border with. Relations with neighbours depended on security, progress and trust.
A neighbour isn’t just someone who shares our borders but those who share our hearts. Where the relationship is respected, it becomes warmer. Today, India has close relations in the greater neighbourhood. We are working together and have a lot of mutual respect for each other. – Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Another important announcement was the launch of the National Digital Health Mission. he said that this would be a “completely technology-based” initiative that would revolutionise the health sector. Under this every Indian would get an ID card that would contain all relevant information about his/her medical conditions. This card could be used to access health services and medicines.
“Every Indian will get a Health ID card. Every time you visit a doctor or a pharmacy, everything will be logged in this card. From the doctor’s appointment to the medication, everything will be available in your health profile,” said PM Modi.
He also said that every village in India will be connected, within 1,000 days, to a fibre optic cable network. Prior to the BJP coming to power, he claimed that only 60 panchayats were connected to such networks. Since then 1.5 lakh panchayats had gone online.
“Before 2014 only five dozen panchayats were connected with fibre optic network. In the last five years, 1.5 lakh gram panchayats have been connected. In the coming 1,000 days, every village will be connected,” he declared.