PM Narendra Modi (File photo)
NEW DELHI: Amid challenges facing the country, PM Narendra Modi on Sunday said India had always transformed adversities into stepping stones to success and mentioned how the Covid-19 situation acted as the trigger to unlock various sectors like mining, space and agriculture which would eventually lead country towards self-reliance.
In his monthly radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi said inadequate attention was paid towards the defence sector immediately after independence and the country did not make the kind of efforts it should have made, taking advantage of its pre-independence experience. “Our country was ahead of many countries in the world in the defence sector before independence. There used to be a multitude of ordnance factories. Many countries that lagged behind us then are ahead of us now,” Modi said.
Noting that the situation was, however, different now in the fields of defence and technology, he said, “India is relentlessly endeavouring to advance on those fronts and is taking strides towards self-reliance.” Referring to the coronavirus situation where India has moved out of the lockdown phase to the unlock phase, the PM said the country would have to focus deeply on two points — “defeating corona and strengthening the economy and bolstering it”.
He said during this unlock phase, “many other things are getting unlocked, which had hitherto shackled the country for decades”. He cited the examples of the mining sector (where the auction process of 41 coal blocks for commercial mining was launched last week) and opening up of the space and agriculture sectors. “For years, our mining sector was in a state of lockdown. The decision to allow commercial auction has altered the scenario completely,” Modi said. “The agriculture sector too has now been unlocked. This grants freedom to farmers to sell their produce to anyone they wish to, anywhere and it has paved the way for enhanced loans,” he added.