Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced a new scheme in the agritech sector for women and one called 'Vishwakarma Yojana', which would be for traditional workers as part of his Independence Day address.
He further outlined his vision for the future, where he called for India to strive to be categorised as a developed country by 2047 as well as India being in the top three economies in the next five years.
This address is the last one in his second tenure as prime minister. The next general election is expected to take place in March to April next year.
At the onset of his address, he addressed the ongoing unrest in Manipur. He stated that there were reports of peace coming from the state and called for a maintenance of this reported de-escalation.
Independence Day addresses have traditionally been a medium for prime ministers to make major policy announcements. Landmark initiatives such as the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan and Jan Dhan Yojana were announced on Independence Day in Modi's first address in 2014. In 2021, he announced organanisational reforms in the armed forces through the creation of the position of the Chief of Defence Staff, and the Gati Shakti Plan.
Here are seven things you need to know about his address this year.
1. A new agritech scheme for women
Citing the role women play in developmental schemes, from 'Aanganwadis' (primary health care centres) to banks, Modi said that he wanted there to be two crore 'lakhpati didis'.
For this, the scheme would be training women to use drones for agricultural purposes through 15,000 women's self-help groups.
2. Vishwakarma Scheme
A new scheme aimed at workers with traditional skills such as barbers, tanners, washers, and blacksmiths will be launched on Vishwakarma Jayanti. He said that the targetted beneficiaries would be the Other Backward Class community.
The scheme would get an allocation of ₹13,000 crores to ₹15,000 crores.
3. Interest relief on housing
Modi also announced that his government was planning a scheme were those who were living in substandard conditions would get receive relief on the interest that they would pay on debt that they would undertake towards proper housing.
Such beneficiaries would be those living in slums, unauthorised settlements, 'jhopdis' and 'jhuggis', largely in urban areas.
His announcement did not have any further details on this.
4. 15,000 Jan Aushadi Kendras
To provide cheaper medical access, Modi also announced that number of 'Jan Aushadhi Kendras' or cheap medical centres, would be increased from the existing 10,000 to 25,000.
Currently, the portal of the Jan Aushadi Kendras show that 9,722 such centres already exist as of August 15.
These centres aim to make generic medicines more affordable.
5. A developed country by 2047
The prime minister also called for the country to strive towards being a developed country by 2047.
That year would be the centenary year of India's independence.
6. World's third largest economy in the next five years
In his outline for the future, Modi also said that he would strive towards making India the world's third largest economy in the next five years.
He based this aim on India being the world's tenth largest economy in 2014 to the fifth largest today.
"This is my guarantee", he said.
He previously made this statement in at an event in Delhi on July 26 and in Lok Sabha on August 10 in a reply to the Motion of No-Confidence moved against his government.
7. Three hurdles to Indian governance
Modi cited the three hurdles to India's governance: corruption, dynaty and appeasement.
He used this point to take a dig at the opposition on dynastic politics, stating that his government had put a reign on these issues.
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