August 15, 2021
Fortified rice will be supplied through the mid-day meal and PDS schemes by 2024.
Sainik schools will be open to girl children, SHGs will have access to e-commerce markets in India and overseas.
India is to transform into a global hub for the manufacture of green hydrogen and lead the transition to clean energy.
75 Vande Bharat trains, increased airway connectivity and the Gati Shakti master plan have been announced.
Prime Minister Sh Narendra Modi made six big announcements during his address to the nation on the occasion of the 75th Independence Day. Increasing exports and manufacturing, investing in sources of clean energy especially solar energy, launching of a US$13.5mn infrastructure plan, and tackling climate change were some of the chief concerns discussed. The Prime Minister also laid out his vision for the next 25 years and what his government is going to do in the near future. Here are the six important announcements:
(i) Nutritional support through the distribution of fortified rice
With 2024 as the target year, the Prime Minister pledged to include fortified rice in a wealth of Public Distribution Schemes (PDS) and the Mid-day meal schemes. Ration shops are now expected to maintain the requisite stock of fortified rice for individuals in need.
(ii) Self reliance in clean energy through the National Hydrogen Mission
The National Hydrogen Mission will enable the transformation of India into a ‘Global Hub for Green Hydrogen Production and Export’. It will also accelerate the transition to cleaner energy sources across the sectors.
(iii) National Master Plan for infrastructure development
‘Gati Shakti’ : a National Master Plan for infrastructure development with an outlay of more than US$ 1.348 trillion has been launched. The plan will look to enhance roadway connectivity and reduce travel time to further economic growth. “Along with modern infrastructure, India also needs to adopt a holistic approach in infrastructure construction. India is going to launch the Prime Minister Gatishakti- National Master Plan in the coming days,” said PM Modi in his address.
(iv) Development of an E-commerce platform for Self-Help groups
Close to 80 million Indian women in the rural areas are employed in self-help groups, and have been instrumental in creating high-quality products which require appropriate markets. The e-commerce platform developed by the Government will tap into diverse markets across the country and overseas.
(v) Opening access to sainik schools for girls
Following the success of the pilot project at the Mizoram Sainik School, the Prime Minister has pledged to give girl children access to education in Sainik schools.
(vi) Increased railway and airway connectivity
In commemoration of 75 years of Indian Independence, the Prime Minister announced the operation of 75 additional Vande Bharat trains, and declared that the UDAN initiative would facilitate greater air connectivity to remote regions. Furthermore, the railway infrastructure in Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and the Northeastern States will also be strengthened as part of the initiative.