ADDRESS BY THE HON’BLE PRESIDENT OF INDIA SMT. DROUPADI MURMU TO BOTH HOUSES OF THE PARLIAMENT
It gives me great pleasure to address both Houses of Parliament assembled together. A few months back, our country completed 75 years of independence and entered the ‘Amrit Kaal’. This ‘Azadi ka Amrit Kaal’ assimilates the pride of thousands of years of our glorious past, the inspirations of Indian freedom struggle and India’s resolve for a golden future.
This ‘Amrit Kaal’of 25 years is the period of the golden centenary of independence and the making of a developed India. This 25-year span is for all of us and for every citizen of the country to perform our duties to the utmost levels. An opportunity to build an era beckons us for which we need to work continuously with our full potential.
By 2047, we have to build a nation, which not only embraces its glorious past, but also encompasses every golden aspect of modernity.
We have to build a Bharat, which is self-reliant and also able to fulfill its humanitarian obligations.
A Bharat which has no poverty and where the middle class is also prosperous.
A Bharat whose youth and women power will be at the forefront to give direction to the society and the nation, and whose youth are well ahead of time.
A Bharat whose diversity is even more vivid and whose unity becomes even more unshakeable.
When the country actualises this reality in 2047, it will certainly observe and assess the foundation of its grand construction. At that time, these initial moments of the Azadi ka Amrit Kaal will be viewed with a different perspective. Therefore, this time and this period of ‘Amrit Kaal’ has become all the more significant.
When the people of the country gave my government the opportunity to serve them for the first time, we began with the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. With the passage of time, ‘Sabka Vishwas’ and ‘Sabka Prayas’ were also added to it. This mantra has now become the inspiration for building a developed India. In a few months, my government will complete nine years on this Kartavya Path of development.
In almost nine years of my government’s term, the people of India have witnessed many positive changes for the first time. The biggest change is that today every Indian's confidence is at its peak and the world's outlook towards India has changed.
India which once looked at others for solutions to most of its problems, is today emerging as a provider of solutions for the issues faced by the world.
In these years, basic facilities have been made available to a large segment of the population who had waited for these for decades.
The modern infrastructure that we long aspired for, has started coming up in the country in these years.
The digital network that India has built is a source of inspiration even for developed countries.
The long felt urge to be rid of the scourge of mega scams and corruption in government schemes is now being realized.
Today the debate is no longer about policy paralysis, instead India is being recognized for her rapid development and the far-sightedness of her decisions.
That is why, we have now become the fifth largest economy in the world, up from the 10th spot.
This is the foundation which elevates the self-confidence for building a developed Bharat in the next 25 years.
Lord Basaveshwara had said – ‘Kayakave Kailasa’ which means Karma is worship and Shiva is in the Karma itself. Following this path, my government is actively engaged in performing the duty of nation building.
Today India has a government which is stable, fearless, decisive and working with lofty ambitions.
Today India has a government which respects the honest.
Today India has a government working for permanent solution of the problems of the poor and their lasting empowerment.
Today India has a government working at an unprecedented speed and scale.
Today India has a government that gives pre-eminence to public welfare by leveraging innovation and technology.
Today India has a government which is committed to removing every obstacle being faced by women.
Today there is a government in India which is committed to progress as well as the protection of nature.
Today India has a government that preserves heritage while also embracing modernity.
Today India has a government which is moving forward confidently to play its rightful role on the global stage.
Today, through this Session I express my gratitude to the people of the country for electing a stable government for two consecutive terms. My decisive government has always kept the country's interest paramount and shown the will-power to completely transform the policies and strategies when required. From surgical strike to a firm crackdown on terrorism, from a befitting response to every misadventure from LoC to LAC, from abrogation of Article 370 to Triple Talaq, my government has been recognized as a decisive government.
The stable and decisive government has enabled us to deal with the biggest calamity in 100 years and the situation that arose thereafter. Wherever in the world there is political instability, those countries are beset with severe crises today. But India is in a much better position than the rest of the world due to the decisions taken by my government in the national interest.
My government is of the firm opinion that corruption is the biggest enemy of democracy and social justice. Therefore, there has been a relentless fight against corruption in the last few years. We have ensured that the honest will be honoured in the system. There is increasing social consciousness in the country that there should be no sympathy for the corrupt in the society.
In the last few years, the Benami Property Act was notified with a view to create a corruption-free ecosystem. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Act was passed to confiscate the properties of criminals who absconded after committing economic offences. An effective system has also been put in place to end the practice of favouritism and corruption in government machinery. Today there is a Government-e-Marketplace (GeM) system for tenders and government procurement, in which transactions worth more than Rupees 3 lakh crore have taken place so far.
Today, special honor is being bestowed upon those making an honest contribution in nation building. Life of our countrymen has been made easier by doing away with the complexities of filing income tax returns. Promotion of faceless assessment has brought about transparency and accountability in the system. Earlier there was a long wait for tax refunds. Today, refunds are received within a few days of filing ITRs. Today the GST regime has provided transparency, along with ensuring the dignity of taxpayers.
From Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile trinity, which is weeding out fake beneficiaries to launching One Nation One Ration Card, we have undertaken major enduring reforms. Over the years, the country has developed a stable and transparent regime in the form of DBT and Digital India. Today the monetary benefits of more than 300 schemes are directly reaching the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. So far, an amount of more than Rupees 27 lakh crore has reached crores of beneficiaries with complete transparency. The World Bank report acknowledges that it was only due to such schemes and mechanisms that India was able to prevent crores of people from falling below the poverty line during the Covid pandemic.
Every taxpayer feels proud when corruption is reined in and every penny of tax is put to good use.
Today an honest taxpayer of the country wants the governments to desist from the politics of shortcuts. He wants plans that encourage permanent solutions to problems and empower the common people. Therefore, my government has laid emphasis on the long lasting empowerment of the countrymen while dealing with the current challenges.
‘Poverty eradication’ is no longer just a slogan. Now my government is working towards empowering the poor by providing a permanent addressal to their concerns.
For instance, a major cause of poverty is illness. A serious ailment completely shatters the morale of a poor family, leaving generations in debt. To free the poor from this worry, a nationwide Ayushman Bharat Yojana was launched. Under this scheme, more than 50 crore countrymen have been provided the facility of free treatment. The Ayushman Bharat Yojana has saved crores of poor from becoming poorer, preventing them from spending Rupees 80,000 crore. Today medicines are being made available at very low cost in about 9,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras spread across the country. As a result, about Rupees 20,000 crore of the poor have been saved in the past few years. That is, from Ayushman Bharat and Jan Aushadhi schemes alone, the countrymen have got assistance worth Rupees one lakh crore.
I would like to place before all of you the example of water, which is the most important resource in the lives of citizens. To provide ‘Har Ghar Jal’, my government has started 'Jal Jeevan Mission'. In the seven decades before the launch of the Mission, water connections were available only to about 3.25 crore houses in the country. However, in these three years, about 11 crore families have been covered with piped water supply under the Jal Jeevan Mission. The poor families are benefitting the most from this scheme, and it is providing a permanent solution to their problems.
In the last few years, the government has provided pucca houses to more than three and half crore poor families. With the house comes a new self-confidence. This not only improves the present condition of the family, but also enhances the self-confidence of the child who grows up in that house. The government has tried to relieve the poor from their worries by providing basic facilities like toilet, electricity, water, cooking gas etc. As a result, people of the country have got confidence that government schemes and benefits actually reach the needy and 100 percent coverage or saturation is possible even in a vast country like India.
It is written in our scriptures-
Ayam nijah paroveti ganana laghuchetasam
It means the attitude that this is mine and that is yours is not correct. In the last 9 years, my government has worked for all classes of citizens without any discrimination. As a result of the efforts of my government in the last few years, many basic facilities have either reached cent percent of the population or are very close to that target.
My government is fully committed to saturation of all schemes, and to Antyodaya. It is our endeavour that all the rightful beneficiaries get benefits of government schemes and no one is deprived of the same.
During the Covid pandemic, we have witnessed the difficulties of the poor all over the world. But India is one of those countries which accorded top priority to save the lives of the poor and ensured that poor were not deprived of food. I am happy that my government has decided to implement the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana in line with the changing circumstances. This is the hallmark of a sensitive and pro-poor government. The government has spent about Rupees 3.5 lakh crore for free food grains to the poor under the PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. Today this scheme is being appreciated all over the world. One of the reasons for this appreciation is that a transparent mechanism built with the help of technology has ensured full delivery of foodgrains to every beneficiary
The vision of holistic development can only be achieved by paying proper attention to the hopes and aspirations of the many classes and regions of our country. Now my government is giving priority to each such deprived class and deprived region.
My government has fulfilled the wishes of each such section of society which has been deprived for centuries. We have fulfilled the wishes of the poor, dalits, backwards and tribal communities and given them the courage to dream. No work, no effort is small, and each has its role in development. With this spirit, emphasis is being laid on the development of deprived sections and underdeveloped regions.
A large number of our small businessmen carry out their business and trading activities on footpaths, on carts and through street vending. My government has appreciated the role of these partners in development as well. Therefore, they have been linked to formal banking for the first time and affordable and collateral-free loans were made available to them through the PM SVANidhi scheme. Incentives are being provided for digital transactions to street vendors under the scheme. So far, about 40 lakh vendor partners have been given loans under this scheme.
11 crore small farmers of the country are also on the priority list of my government. These small farmers were deprived of government priority for decades. Now every effort is being made to make them empowered and prosperous. These small farmers have been given financial assistance of more than Rupees 2.25 lakh crore under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. An important aspect of this is that there are about three crore women among these beneficiaries. So far, the women farmers have received about Rupees 54,000 crore under this scheme. Similarly, while increasing the coverage of crop insurance, soil health card and Kisan Credit Card (KCC) for small farmers, my government has, for the first time, also linked cattle bearers and fishermen with the facility of Kisan Credit Card. My government stands firmly with small farmers for enhancing their capacity from setting up of FPOs i.e. Farmer Producer Organizations to increasing MSP of crops.
My government has awakened the aspirations of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes. These classes were most deprived of the benefits of development. Now that basic facilities are reaching this section, these people are becoming capable of having newer dreams. Programmes such as Dr. Ambedkar Utsav Dham, Amrit Jaldhara and Yuva Udyami Yojana are being run for the socio-economic empowerment of Scheduled Castes. My government has taken unprecedented decisions for the pride of the tribal communities. For the first time, the country started celebrating the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’. Recently, the government paid tribute to the tribal revolutionaries at the national level in Mangarh Dham for the first time. Today, more than 36,000 tribal-dominated villages are being developed under the Pradhan Mantri Adi Adarsh Gram Yojana. Today more than 400 Eklavya Model Schools have opened in tribal areas in the country. More than 3,000 Van Dhan Vikas Kendras have become new means of livelihood across the country. My government has demonstrated its commitment to the welfare of OBCs by giving constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes. For the first time, a Welfare and Development Board has also been constituted for the Banjara, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities.
There were more than 100 districts in the country which were lagging behind on many parameters of development. Government paid attention to their development by declaring these districts as aspirational districts. Today these districts are moving towards parity with other districts of the country. My government is now working to replicate the success of aspirational districts at the block level, and for this, work has been started to develop 500 blocks as aspirational blocks in the country. These aspirational blocks are being developed in an institutionalized manner for social justice.
Tribal, hilly, coastal and border areas of the country could only receive limited benefits of development in the past few decades. Difficult terrain, along with unrest and terrorism, posed major challenge to development of the North East and Jammu & Kashmir. My government has taken a number of successful steps for lasting peace and has confronted the geographical challenges. As a result, the North East and our border areas are experiencing a new pace of development.
My government has started working on the Vibrant Village programme to provide better facilities to the border villages. From the point of view of national security too, unprecedented infrastructure has been developed in the border areas in the past few years. This has accelerated development in such areas. The left-wing extremism, which had become a major threat to national security in the last few decades, has now been confined to a few districts.
A major achievement of my government has been the empowerment of women. In this context, I am reminded of an inspiring poem titled 'Nari-Shakti', written by 'Utkal Bharti', Kuntala Kumari Sabat, an immortal personality of Indian literature, freedom fighter and well-known Odia poetess. About a hundred years ago she said:
“Basundhara-Tale Bharat-Ramani Nuhe Heen Nuhe Deen
Amar Kirti Koti Yuge Kebhen Jagtun Nohib Leen.”
In other words
The woman of India is neither inferior nor weak compared to anyone else. Her immortal glory will never disappear for ages and remain forever in the whole world.
I feel proud to see our sisters and daughters bringing laurels at the world level as per the dreams of Utkal Bharti. I am happy that my government's efforts have been the driving force behind such progress.
All the welfare schemes launched by my government have at the centre of them a vision to make life easier for women, provide new opportunities for employment and self-employment to women and ensure women empowerment. For the upliftment of women, even when the old beliefs and old traditions had to be broken, the government has not backed down.
We have seen the success of 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign. The consciousness that has come in the society due to efforts of the government has led to a steady increase in the number of daughters. For the first time in the country, female population now outnumbers that of males and health of women has also improved considerably. Be it the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan or the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, we have succeeded in saving the lives of both mother and child. About 50 percent of the beneficiaries of the Ayushman Bharat scheme are also women.
From education to their career, my government is trying to remove all obstacles for daughters. Through efforts like the construction of separate toilets for girls in the government schools of the country or the scheme related to sanitary pads, the drop-out rate of girls has come down sharply. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has not only increased the dignity of women, it has also provided them a safe environment. For the first time, savings accounts have been opened for the brighter future of crores of daughters across the country under the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana. Many important steps have also been taken for the education of girls in the new National Education Policy.
My government has also ensured that women are not restricted from carrying out any work or participating in any field of work. For this purpose, recruitment in every sector from mining to forward posts in the army, has been thrown open to women. Our daughters are now studying and training in Sainik Schools as well as military academies. It is my government which has increased the maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks.
About 70 percent of the beneficiaries under the Mudra Yojana are women entrepreneurs. A study suggests that this scheme has increased the economic power of women and their participation in social decisions. Women's self-confidence has got a boost after the houses allotted under the PM Awas Yojana have been registered in their names. Jan Dhan Yojana has led to the parity between women and men in access to banking services in the country for the first time. At present, there are more than 80 lakh self-help groups functioning in the country, in which about nine crore women are associated. Assistance of lakhs of crores of rupees is being given by the government to these women self-help groups.
Our heritage connects us to our roots and our development gives us the courage to reach out to the sky. That is why my government has chosen the path of consolidating heritage and giving priority to development.
Today, on the one hand, Ayodhya Dham is being constructed in the country, while on the other hand, the modern Parliament House is also being built.
On the one hand, we have constructed Kedarnath Dham, Kashi Vishwanath Dham and Mahakal Mahalok, on the other hand, our government is also building medical colleges in every district.
On the one hand, we are developing our pilgrimage centres and historical legacy, while on the other hand, India is becoming major space power of the world. India has also launched its first private satellite.
On the one hand, we are following the path shown by saints like Adi Shankaracharya, Lord Basaveshwara, Thiruvalluvar, Guru Nanak Dev, and on the other hand, today India is also becoming a hub of hi-tech knowledge.
On the one hand, we are strengthening the spirit of Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat through Kashi-Tamil Sangamam, while on the other, we are also developing modern systems like One Nation, One Ration Card. India's strength in Digital India and 5G technology is being acknowledged by the world today.
Today, while India is taking its ancient methods like Yoga and Ayurveda to the whole world, on the other hand, it is also strengthening the country’s new identity as the Pharmacy of the World.
Today, while India is encouraging natural farming and its traditional millet crops, we have also developed modern technology like Nano Urea.
On the one hand, while we are improving the rural infrastructure for agriculture, on the other hand, we are also empowering the farmers through drone technology and solar power.
While emphasis is being laid on the development of smart facilities in the cities, mapping of village houses is being done through drones under the Swamitva Yojana for the first time.
While 75 Amrit Sarovars are being built in every district on the occasion of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, at the same time hundreds of modern Vande Bharat trains are also being launched.
On the one hand, the traditional strength of our trade, that is, the river waterways and ports, are being modernized, along with this multimodal connectivity and a network of logistic parks are also being developed.
The country is moving ahead with the inspiration of ‘Panch Prāns’ in the Amrit Kaal of independence. My government is constantly trying to get rid of every sign of ‘slave mentality’.
What was once Rajpath is now the Kartavya Path!
Today, the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on Kartavya Path is making every Indian proud and we have honored the valour of Netaji and the Azad Hind Fauj in Andaman and Nicobar also. Just a few days ago, my government also laid the foundation stone of a grand memorial and museum dedicated to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on an island named after him in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
21 islands of Andaman and Nicobar have also been named after Param Vir Chakra awardees of the Indian Army.
On the one hand, the National War Memorial has become a symbol of national valour, while on the other, our Navy has also got the insignia given by Chhatrapati Veer Shivaji Maharaj.
On the one hand, while museums related to all tribal freedom fighters, including Bhagwan Birsa Munda, are being built, on the other hand, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar's Panchteerth have also been built. Similarly, the Prime Minister's Museum has also been built showcasing the contribution of every Prime Minister.
The country has observed the first 'Veer Bal Diwas' with pride and reverence. My government has also initiated the observance of 'Vibhajan Vibhishika Smriti Diwas' in the country to keep alive the agony of history and the learnings associated with them.
The country has started reaping the fruits of success of the Make in India and the Atmanirbhar Bharat campaigns. Today India's manufacturing capacity is increasing and manufacturing companies from all over the world are also coming to India.
Today we have initiated efforts for manufacturing of semiconductor chips and aeroplanes in India. It is the result of such efforts that the export of goods made in India is increasing continuously. Until a few years ago, we used to import mobile phones in large numbers. Today India has become a major exporter of mobile phones to the world. The import of toys in the country has decreased by 70 percent, while their export has increased by more than 60 percent.
As a result of new initiative of my government, our defence exports have grown 6 times. I am proud that the first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant has also joined our forces. We are not only entering new sectors of manufacturing, but are also doing commendable work in our traditional sectors like Khadi and Village Industries. It is a matter of happiness for all of us that the turnover of the khadi and rural industries has crossed Rupees 1 lakh crore mark during the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Due to the efforts of my government, the sale of Khadi has also increased 4 times.
My government has constantly laid unprecedented emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship. This is harnessing the strength of our country with the world’s youngest population. Today our youth are demonstrating the power of their innovation to the world. In 2015, India was ranked 81st in the Global Innovation Index. Now it has reached the 40th position. Seven years earlier, there were only a few hundred registered start-ups in India, today this number is almost 90,000.
In today's era, it is very important for our forces to be enriched with youth power, to be proficient in warfare and to be equipped with the power of technology. Keeping these principles in mind, Agniveer Yojana has been launched. This will give maximum opportunity to the youth of the country to serve the nation through the armed forces.
My government is also connecting the power of the youth with the honour of the country through sports. Our sportspersons have proved that their talent is second to none by performing phenomenally in Commonwealth Games, Olympics and Para Games. Along with Khelo India Games and Khelo India Centers, TOPS scheme is being implemented to spot and nurture such sporting talents in every nook and corner of the country.
Our government is also fully sensitive to the welfare of the Divyang. One sign language and Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan in the country have tremendously helped the Divyang youth.
Over the past decades, we have noticed two major challenges in building infrastructure in India. Firstly, large infrastructure projects could not be completed on time. Secondly, different departments and governments worked according to their own convenience. This not only resulted in the misuse of government resources and time overruns, but also caused inconvenience to the common man. My government has taken concrete steps to deal with these challenges by formulating the PM Gati-Shakti National Master Plan. States and Union Territories have also shown enthusiasm regarding the PM Gati-Shakti National Master Plan. This will also expand multi-modal connectivity in the country.
My government is striving to make India the most competitive logistics hub of the world. For this, the National Logistics Policy was launched in the country last year. Implementation of this policy will result in reduction of logistics cost.
The speed and scale at which my government is working for the development of the country is unprecedented and unparalleled.
After the formation of my government, on an average, 11,000 houses were built every day for the poor in India, under the Awas Yojana.
In the same period, an average of 2.5 lakh people got connected to broadband every day in India.
More than 55,000 gas connections were given every day.
Loans worth more than Rupees 700 crore were disbursed every day under the Mudra Yojana.
In India, almost one medical college has come up every month in the last eight-nine years.
During this period, two colleges have been established every day and a university established every week.
Within just 2 years, India has administered more than 220 crore vaccine doses.
Talking about social infrastructure, while 145 medical colleges were opened in the country between 2004 and 2014, more than 260 medical colleges have been opened during the tenure of my government from 2014 to 2022. The number of graduate and postgraduate seats for medical students has now doubled in the country as compared to earlier period. While there were about 725 universities in the country before 2014, more than 300 new universities have been set up in the last eight years. More than 5000 colleges have also been opened in the country during this period.
Similarly, new records have been made in the country in terms of physical infrastructure. About 3.81 lakh km of roads were built in the country till 2013-14 under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana. However, by 2021-22, this network of rural roads has increased to more than 7 lakh km. So far, more than 99 percent of the country's habitations have been connected by road. Studies by many organizations, including the World Bank, indicate that rural roads have had a very positive impact on employment, agriculture, education and health in villages.
The National Highway network has grown by more than 55 percent during the last eight years. Soon, more than 550 districts of the country will be connected by highways under the Bharatmala project. The number of corridors which will give impetus to the economy is going to increase from 6 to 50.
Similarly, the country’s aviation sector is also growing rapidly. Upto 2014, the number of airports in the country was 74, it has now increased to 147. Today India has become the third largest aviation market in the world. The UDAN Yojana has played an important role in this regard. Indian Railways is emerging as a modern institution and many inaccessible areas are being added to the rail map of the country. A modern and semi high-speed train has become part of the Indian Railways in the form of Vande Bharat Express. Inaccessible areas of Jammu Kashmir and North East are also being connected by Railways. Major railway stations of the country are being modernized. Indian Railways is fast moving towards becoming the world’s largest electric railway network. We are also rapidly expanding indigenous technology -- KAVACH -- to make Indian Railways safer.
India has also changed the perception, which considers progress and nature as contradictory. My government is focusing on green growth and is emphasizing on connecting the entire world with Mission LiFE. The government has increased the solar power capacity by almost 20 times in the last eight years. Today, India ranks fourth in the world in renewable energy capacity. The country has already achieved the target of making 40 percent of its electricity generation capacity from non-fossil fuel sources, nine years ahead of the target. This success is going to strengthen our resolve to be Net Zero by the year 2070. The country is also rapidly progressing towards the target of 20 percent ethanol blending in petrol.
The government has also approved Hydrogen Mission recently. This is going to attract investment worth lakhs of crores of rupees in India in the field of green energy. This will result in reducing our dependence on foreign countries for clean energy and also for energy security. Reducing pollution in our cities is also our top priority. Therefore, work is underway on a very large scale for electric mobility. Under the FAME scheme, more than 7,000 electric buses are being added to public transport by the central government in many cities of the country, including the capital city of Delhi. In the last eight years, metro network in the country has increased more than 3 times. Today, metro projects are underway in 27 cities. Similarly, more than 100 new waterways are also being developed across the country. These new waterways will help transform the transport sector in the country.
Today's world is witnessing many challenges. The relevance and efficacy of international institutions created decades ago is also being questioned. Under these circumstances, India has emerged as a country that is connecting today's divided world in some form or the other. India is today among those countries that are reinforcing the trust in the global supply chain. Therefore, today, the world is looking towards India with high hopes.
This year, India has assumed the Presidency of an influential global group like G-20. With the mantra of One Earth, One Family, One Future, India is attempting to find collective solutions to the current global challenges in collaboration with the G-20 member countries. My government does not want to limit it to just one diplomatic programme. Rather, it is an opportunity to showcase India's potential and culture, through the efforts of the entire country. Therefore, G-20 meetings are being held in dozens of cities across the country throughout the year.
This is the best phase of India's global relations. We have strengthened our cooperation and friendship with various countries of the world. On the one hand, we are chairing the SCO this year, and on the other, being a member of the Quad, we are working for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.
We have expanded our role keeping our national interests paramount. Whether it was the earthquake in Afghanistan or the crisis in Sri Lanka, we were the first to provide humanitarian aid.
The goodwill that India has generated benefitted us during the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine. We safely evacuated our distressed citizens from these countries. By helping the citizens of many other countries, India again displayed its humanitarian gesture to the world.
Today the world is also acknowledging India’s tough stand on terrorism. Due to this, India's voice against terrorism is being heard seriously on every global platform. In October last year, a special meeting of the UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee was organized for the first time in India. In this too, India made its position clear against terrorism. My government is also sincerely presenting the concerns related to cyber security before the whole world.
My government firmly believes that lasting peace is possible only when we are strong politically and strategically. Therefore, we are constantly laying emphasis on the modernization of our military strength.
India's eternal journey as the mother of democracy is filled with infinite pride. We have developed and enriched democracy in a humane way. Like its glorious past of thousands of years, India’s humane civilization will continue its forward march in the coming centuries like an eternal flowing stream.
India's democracy was prosperous, strong, and will continue to be stronger in the future.
India's consciousness was immortal and it will continue to be immortal.
India's knowledge, science and spirituality have been guiding the world for centuries and it will continue to guide the world in the same way in the coming centuries.
The ideals and values of India have remained intact even in the dark period of slavery, and they will continue to remain intact.
India's identity as a nation was immortal in the past, and will remain immortal in the future as well.
In this Parliament, which is the heart of our democracy, it should be our endeavor to set goals that seem difficult and achieve them. We should try to accomplish today what is to be done tomorrow. What others are still thinking of doing, we Indians should accomplish before them.
Let’s enrich our democracy by living up to the dictum of Veda which says – “samgacchadhvam samvadadhvaṃ sam vo manāmsi jānatām”. That is, let us walk together step by step, understand each other's mind and let there be a flow of unity in our resolutions.
Let us fulfill the oath of the Constitution by walking on our Kartavya Path in this Mahayagna of nation building.