15 Aug, 2013 8:35a.m.

PM's Independence Day speech highlights

  • In 1947, we achieved our independence under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. After that we have had major changes in our country in each decade

  • I believe that the last decade has been very good for India.

  • Democratic forces have been strengthened and the common man has been empowered.

  • The UPA has worked towards building a progressive and modern India.

  • We want an India where there is social equality and people from no section of society face discrimination.

  • We have dreamt of an India which provides employment to all its youth.

  • We have taken steps towards these goals but the journey is a long one.

  • We have introduced the Food Security Ordinance and we hope it will soon be passed into law.

  • Without agricultural growth our villages can't prosper.

  • To increase produce and give farmers their due, we have taken many steps.

  • In the 11th plan period, agricultural growth was 3.6%

  • It is difficult to measure poverty but no matter what definition we adopt, we can't negate the fact that after 2004, poverty has declined.

  • More than 2 crore children are being provided scholarships by the Central government

  • We have opened many institutes of higher education including 8 new IITs, 7 New IIMs, 16 new Central universities and 10 new NITs

  • Percentage of school going children has doubled in the last 9 years. But we still have a long way to go

  • We have a fair distance to go before the education system is improved.

  • We need to improve the quality of education and for this teachers need to be better trained

  • 11 crore children are being fed under the mid-day meal scheme but better implementation is need

  • What happened in Bihar recently should not recur anywhere in the country

  • We have strengthened the laws that deal with crime against women to ensure their safety and security

  • Under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, 2 lakh km of roads have been made

  • Maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate have both fallen

  • No polio case in the past two years

  • There has been a lot of talk of economic decline. While that is true, it not just our country that's facing difficulty. All nations of the world are facing a recession

  • I believe this slow growth wouldn't last for long

  • Today as never before the countries of the world are connected to one another

  • We have through our foreign policy ensured that our engagements with the major powers of the world increase

  • We have tried to improve relations with our neighbours but relations with Pakistan can improve only when they don't allow their territory to be used for activities against India

  • Our internal security situation has improved but we have not been able to prevent Naxal attacks fully. The attack on May 25 was an attack on India's democracy.

  • We have empowered the common man through RTI. This law is being used widely and it often highlights corruption.

  • I believe that this will help improve government's functioning

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