Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the Red Fort in New Delhi on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day. He addressed a variety of issues ranging from an atmanirbhar or self-reliant India to addressing the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic as well as launching the National Digital Health Mission.
Here are some key highlights from his speech.
PM Modi said that atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India had become the mantra for 130 crore Indians and will soon become a reality.
"Self-reliant India is in the minds and hearts of every Indian. We are transforming this dream into reality," he said.
"In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, 130 crore Indians have pledged to build an atmanirbhar Bharat and I am confident that India will realise this dream… I believe in the capabilities of our youth, our women, our thinking and approach... Once we decide to do something, we do not rest till we achieve that goal."
Urging people to adopt the "vocal for local" pledge, he said, "As we move towards our 75th year of Independence, the entire nation must take a pledge to make 'vocal for local' the mantra of the nation."
He said that India needs to work on the mantra of "Make in India, Make for world".
“The whole world is observing the reforms taking place in India. As a result, FDI has broken all records. India saw 18% jump in FDI even during the pandemic," he added. “It tells us that the world sees our potential and has hope from a rising India."
Prime Minister Modi began his speech with a tribute to corona warriors saying, "On behalf of the entire nation, I want to thank the efforts of all corona warriors. All those healthcare workers, doctors and nurses, who have worked tirelessly to serve the nation”.
He also announced that there are currently three coronavirus vaccines in India at different stages of trials.
"Today in India, three vaccines are in the stage of testing. As soon as we get a green signal from scientists, the country is prepared to produce it in large numbers. Our roadmap to bring the corona vaccine to all Indians in the shortest possible time is ready," he added.
National Digital Health Mission
PM Modi launched the National Digital Health Mission as well - a "completely technology-based" initiative aimed at revolutionising the Indian health sector.
Under this mission every Indian will receive a health ID card containing all the relevant information about his/her medical conditions. This card can then be used to access health services and medicines.
"Every time you visit a doctor or a pharmacy, all your information will be logged in this card... From the doctor's appointment to the medication, everything will be available in your health profile," said the prime minister.
On India’s sovereignty
“From LoC to LAC, whoever tried to challenge the sovereignty of our country got a befitting reply from our soldiers in their own language," said PM Modi, steering clear of directly naming China or Pakistan.
Alluding to the clash with Chinese troops in Galwan, PM Modi said, “What our jawans can do, what the country can do, the world has seen in Ladakh."
The prime minister emphasised that neighbours are not only those with whom India shares a border but those with whom we share a bond.
"Neighbours are not only those with whom we share our geographical boundaries but also those with whom we share emotions and values... Where there is harmony in relationships, there is bonding,” he said.