Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the ruling NDA has changed the notion that a strong government means it should control everything and everyone and hailed the spree of sectoral reforms, insisting it has opened up new avenues and given the much required infra push.
A strong government does not control everything or everyone. It controls the system’s impulse to interfere. It is one that is not restrictive but responsive, he said in his address at the 42nd Convocation of Anna University, Tamil Nadu’s premier technical varsity.
”A strong government does not move into every domain. It limits itself and makes space for people’s talents. A strong government’s strength relies in its humility to accept that it cannot know or do everything. This is why you see reforms in every sphere that make greater space for the people and freedom”, he said.
”The scrapping of nearly 25,000 compliances is boosting ease of living. Removal of angel tax, removal of retrospective tax and reduction of corporate tax are encouraging investments and industry,” he said.
The reforms in drones, space and geo-spatial sectors are opening up new avenues while those in the infrastructure sector through the Prime Minister Gati Shakti Master Plan are creating world-class infrastructure at ”speed” and ”scale”, he said. ”There is taste for technology, trust in risk-takers and temperament for reform. All these factors are creating a platform for you where opportunities are created, sustained and grown”, he said.
Terming the COVID-19 pandemic as ‘unprecedented’ and once in a century crisis, he said the country faced it confidently due to its scientists and common people. The pandemic ”tested” every country, he noted.
”India faced the unknown confidently, thanks to its scientists, health care workers, professionals and common people. As a result, today every sector in India is bursting with new life, whether it is industry, innovation, investment or international trade. India is at the forefront” he said.
For example, he said, in the electronics sector, India has become the world’s second largest mobile phone manufacturer.
”Innovation is becoming a way of life. In just last six years, the number of recognised start-ups increased by 15,000 per cent. From just 470 in 2016, it is nearly 73,000 now. When industry and innovation do well, investments will follow. Last year, India received a record foreign direct investments of over USD 83 billion”, he said.
At the international trade dynamics, Modi said, India’s position was at its best ever and the country also recorded the highest-ever exports of goods and services.
”We exported food grain at a crucial time for the world,” he said.
On India signing trade deals between the United Arab Emirates and Australia, he said India was becoming a ‘vital link’ in global supply chain. ”We have the chance to make the greatest impact now, as India is converting obstacles into opportunities.” Addressing the young graduates, Modi said today was not a day of achievements but aspirations.
He lauded the varsity’s teaching, non-teaching and support staff, saying they were ”nation builders” who were creating the ”leaders of tomorrow,” i.e. the students.
He also appreciated the parents for their sacrifices that were ”crucial” for their wards’ growth.
Modi recalled the words of Swami Vivekananda more than 100 years ago, saying he had placed so much faith on the younger generation as problem-solvers and that ”those words are still relevant.” ”But this time, it is not only India that is looking towards its youth, the whole world is looking at India’s youth with hope because you are the growth engines of the country and India is the world’s growth engine.” ”It is a great honour; also, it is a great responsibility,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin hailed the education atmosphere in the state and noted that it stood out in the number of persons getting higher education.
His government has placed high importance on education, Stalin said and listed out the various initiatives in the sector, including the ”Illam Thedi Kalvi” (Education at Doorsteps) initiative and Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme for school students.
The DMK government was keen on job-creation and has taken steps that has resulted in the state jumping to third position from 14th in the ease of doing business rankings in just a year. Many investors were flocking towards Tamil Nadu.
Tamils were historically known to be good with technology and it manifested through ”Kallanai” (Dam made of rocks by Karikal Cholan) and Thanjavur Big temple, all construction marvels of the Tamils of yore, he said Governor R N Ravi, Union Minister of State L Murugan and Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudi participated in the event.
As many as 3.68 lakh students comprising of Ph.Ds, post graduates and undergraduates in various streams of engineering received the degrees on the occasion.
Later, after the ceremony, the Prime Minister went to multiple classrooms at the Anna University to meet the graduating students who were could not be present at the main venue due to space constraints.
In a video shared by the Press Information Bureau, Modi is seen waving hands at the students and also extended his best wishes to the new graduates.