Thursday, 12 March 2015

President inaugurates International Seminar on “Clean and Capable India of Gandhi’s Dream”

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated an International Seminar on “Clean and Capable India of Gandhi’s Dream” in New Delhi today (12 March, 2015). 

Speaking on the occasion the President said Gandhiji’s dream is our dream; his vision must lead us through the challenges of the present towards a clean, green and self-sufficient Bharat. 

The President said that we have recently embarked upon two important initiatives: (i) Swachh Bharat Mission – to achieve a Clean India by 2nd October 2019, to coincide with the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gandhiji; and (ii) Make-in-India campaign – aimed at enhancing the manufacturing capability of our nation. 

The President said Gandhiji visualized cleanliness as having three dimensions - a clean mind, a clean body and clean surroundings. Holding that ‘cleanliness is next to godliness’, he had said: “We can no more gain God’s blessing with an unclean body than with an unclean mind. A clean body cannot reside in an unclean city.” 

The President said a winning strategy to achieve a state of cleanliness would comprise engaging the citizenry, addressing the reduction of waste and improving the processing of waste. 

The President said the Make-in-India campaign envisages turning Gandhiji’s dream of a self-sufficient and productive India into a reality. It aims at India becoming ‘Samarth’ on all fronts of economic development by facilitating investment, promoting innovation, fostering skill development and establishing best-in-class infrastructure. 

The President said a comprehensive strategy is required to usher in a world-class manufacturing set-up in our country. Steps in this direction include: a facilitatory governance mechanism; building of smart cities and industrial clusters; development of specialized skills in the youth; and establishment of dedicated freight corridors for improved connectivity. 

The President said select domestic companies having leadership position in innovation and new technology should be identified to turn them into global businesses. Advanced and environmentally-sensitive manufacturing companies should be encouraged to make them an important part of the global value-chain. Overall, the ‘Make-in-India’ programme should lead to an attitudinal shift in how India relates to investors: not as a permit-issuing authority but as a true business partner. 

The President said a concerted effort to refurbish India will help realize Gandhiji’s dream of a Swachh and Samarth Bharat. The support and contribution of the wider section of society, including key stakeholders, is necessary. Gandhiji’s dream was guided by the light of knowledge and wisdom gained over centuries. Hence, a great responsibility is on the shoulders of those who understand his vision, to play a key role in this transformation.


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