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"Teacher’s Day Celebrations 2013- Shri Modi answers questions of young students"
"Narendra Modi interacts with over 1.5 crore students through medium of technology"
"CM answers variety of questions on wide range of issues from students"
"Thank you all...you took me back in time: Narendra Modi to students"

On the occasion of Teacher’s Day, Shri Narendra Modi interacted with over 1.5 crore students of Gujarat through technology and answered some of their questions on a wide range of issues ranging from his personal beliefs, his personal habits and issues of governance. Shri Modi answered each question in his quintessential style and shared many anecdotes from the yesteryears. The young children enjoyed the interactive session. On the occasion, Shri Narendra Modi felicitated best teachers from across Gujarat and also paid tributes to former President of India, Dr. S Radhakrishnan.

A girl from Bharuch district asked Shri Modi about the upcoming Statue of Unity and from where he got the idea. Shri Modi shared that this was the best way to commemorate a person who worked towards uniting the nation and added that the Statue of Unity will be double that of USA’s Statue of Liberty. He also pointed that Sardar Patel was a Loh Purush (Iron Man) and a Khedut Putra (Child of a farmer) and thus, the Government is seeking agriculture tools used by farmers from all parts of the country to build this statue.

A girl from Junagadh district questioned Shri Modi on three of his favourite development initiatives in the past decade. Shri Modi replied that this is his toughest exam ever and went on to say that there have been various development works that have touched his heart. “There are so many development works…ask me to find three and I will not pass…tell me to find a thousand and I will pas,” he avowed. He shared he feels equally touched when a widowed mother calls him to say that the 108 service saved her young son’s life as he feels when someone tells him about the success of Jyotigram or when people tell him how SWAGAT initiative has made a difference in their lives.

Teacher's Day

Answering a question of a girl from Vadodara on how many times he gets angry in a day and what he does about it, Shri Modi shared that he too is human and is now above the shortcomings that humans have. He went on to opine that anger can be controlled but it is about controlling it at the right moment. Shri Modi rightly said that getting angry on others reflects nothing but a failure of the self. He affirmed that the more one’s patience increases anger decreases.

A young boy asked Shri Modi if he will meet youngsters in Gujarat on 5th September next year after he becomes the Prime Minister, Shri Modi answered, “I am here to serve you till 2017 and that is what I am doing. I will answer your questions not only on 5th September but whenever you ask me.” He opined that he has never worked to become something but only worked to serve society.

Teacher's Day

Shri Modi talked at great length about his Mantra of ‘India First’ in answer to a question of a Class XII student from the newly created Aravalli district. He said, “Let us do everything for the nation first! India First! That way we will rise above division and differences.” He urged the people to work with a determination that what they are doing is for the good of the country and went on to state that no work is small.

The Chief Minister was asked about how he celebrates his birthday and whether he accepted any greetings or not. He answered that on his birthday he prefers to give time to himself and that on that day he does not take any calls or meets people. Shri Modi pointed that not celebrating his birthday was something he has been doing since childhood but he told the youngsters that they are most welcome to send him greetings through email or mediums such as social media.

Teacher's Day

He went on to talk about how he learnt Yoga while answering a question of a student of Tapi district. Shri Modi affirmed that the best way to remove poverty is education.

A Class VIII girl wanted to know how many siblings Shri Modi had and that whether they fought when they were young. He answered, “I have two elder brothers, two younger brothers and a younger sister. What is the fun if siblings do not fight? There were no daily but hourly fights. But, there is no bitterness in any fight only love and affection.”

Teacher's Day

A question was posed to Shri Modi about a picture in which he is dressed like a member of the Sikh Community. The student wanted to know if this photo was real and whether Shri Modi belonged to the Sikh community or not. He told her, “This photo is real but it is not during a play. It is not that I like dressing differently. This photo was in 1975, when the Emergency was imposed and opposition leaders were jailed. That time there was no television, mobile phones or social media. It was as if an entire nation is imprisoned. That time I was working for the RSS and I also had a warrant in my name. We were fighting for democracy. This dress is a memory of the time when we were saving democracy and I am proud of that.”

Shri Modi was questioned whether he liked to stay in a village or in a city by a girl from Kutch district. He answered that the real spirit of India lies in its villages. He also called for greater interaction between youngsters living in villages and the youngsters living and studying in the cities.

Teacher's Day

An interesting question was asked by a boy from Anand district- you have to travel with security for the whole day. Do you not get bored of this? In his witty style Shri Modi remarked, “My friend, you have spoken exactly what is in my mind. This bulletproof car is also comfort proof. Travel in it for an hour and see what happens to your back! But this is a professional hazard….”

A girl from Patan district asked Shri Modi on which deities he worships. Shri Modi opined, “We have many deities. Our diversity is our strength. We have believers and non-believers also. We say Jaisa Bhakt, Vaise Bhagwan. A wrestler will serve Lord Hanuman, those who are more interested in money serve Lakshmi ji.” He added, “Personally, I have believed in Shiva and Shakti. I do Shakti Upasna during Navratri. When the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra started, I went there. However, I am not attached to rituals. I am away from that. I feel there are divine blessings that have given me the opportunity to serve common people.”

In the end, Shri Modi stood for photographs with the youngsters and thanked them for taking him back in time. Education Minister Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Principal Secretary Education Shri Tiwari and others were present on the occasion.

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No village in the country will be left without electricity by 2018: PM
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I consider North East as a gateway to South East Asia: PM
My government has been proactively following the Act-East policy: PM
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PM Modi inaugurates Doppler Weather Radar in Meghalaya

Before arriving on the stage here, I visited an exhibition of stalls set up by Self-Help Groups comprising women from all eight North Eastern States. The artefacts and products displayed in this exhibition are indeed impressive. Let me begin by congratulating the ladies from these Self-Help Groups, who are present here today and have just given me a glimpse of their immense talent.

The promotion of Self Help Groups has got a boost from the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana. A large number of Self Help Groups are also benefiting through credit linkages by North Eastern Development Financial Institution with the component of interest subsidy being provided by Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region.

The Government is committed to the development of Self Help Groups, particularly Women Self Help Groups. Keeping this in mind, in December 2015, the Union Cabinet approved a Special Package Fund for the North Eastern States. The objective is to accelerate the implementation of the National Rural Livelihood Mission, so as to cover two-thirds of all rural households in North Eastern States by 2023-24.

Friends.

Today, I unveiled a plaque for the foundation stone of a football stadium. We are all aware of the love that the people of the North-East, and especially Meghalaya, have for Football. Football is a passion here and is played in every nook and corner. We are all familiar with famous football players such as Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Aibor Khongjee, and Marlangki Suting. They have done both the country and the State proud, by representing India in International Tournaments, and their clubs in the Indian Super League.

I am told that the State Government’s Meghalaya Mission Football aims at detecting talent at the grass-root level and providing support for grooming and nurturing promising children and youngsters as professional footballers. I am sure that the football stadium being constructed at a cost of 38 crore rupees with the support of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, will go a long way towards fulfilling this objective.

Next year, that is in 2017, India is hosting the Under-17 FIFA World Cup. We need to take advantage of this event being held in India; and ensure the spread and development of this sport not only in the North Eastern Region, but also in other parts of the country.

Meghalaya has a large number of football clubs and associations. Perhaps, you can organize competitive local tournaments and lead the way for other parts of the country, to build a series of major events leading to the Under-17 World Cup.

Friends.

We all know Cherrapunji, for being the place that receives the highest rainfall in the World. Today, another feather has been added to its cap. The Doppler Weather Radar at Cherrapunji has been dedicated to the Nation. I congratulate the Indian Space Research Organization; Bharat Electronics Ltd.; and the Indian Meteorological Department for setting up this Radar in Cherrapunji.

The North East, a land of beauty and adventure, has been hit by several natural calamities in the recent past, on account of heavy rain and landslides.

This Weather Radar System will enable better weather forecasts, especially for the North Eastern region. This should help in minimizing the threat posed by extreme weather conditions.

Earlier today, I had an opportunity to participate in the North Eastern Council Meeting and interact with the Governors and Chief Ministers of this region. This gave me an opportunity to get a glimpse of the development work being carried out in the North East. A lot is being done. Much more still needs to be done.

My Government has been proactively following the ‘Act East Policy’. I consider the North Eastern Region as the Gateway to South-East Asia. As part of this policy, it is our mission to upgrade the infrastructure in Road, Rail, Telecom, Power and Waterways in the region. And today, as part of that mission, I have flagged off three new trains. We are committed to connect all North Eastern States with the country’s railway network. Since the formation of the NDA Government at the Centre, we have spent more than Ten Thousand Crore Rupees for development of the railway network in the North East. The Railway Ministry plans to spend more than Five Thousand Crore Rupees during the current year for the same.

In November, 2014, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh were brought on the rail map of India. Recently, Agartala in Tripura has been connected with a broad gauge railway line. Today is indeed a red letter day in the history of the North-East. Broad Gauge Passenger Trains will now connect the States of Manipur and Mizoram. Today, Kamakhya in Guwahati has been directly connected with Vaishno Devi in Katra, near Jammu.

We are opening up both Road and Rail routes to our neighbouring countries. This will give a boost to the economic development of the region.

The Union Government has incorporated a special Corporation named ‘National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation’ in July 2014, for the development of Highways in the North Eastern region. This Corporation is constructing three new bridges on Brahmaputra River. It is implementing 34 road projects in the North Eastern Region to construct around 1,000 kilometers of roads at a total cost of over Ten Thousand Crore Rupees. The North East Road Sector Development Scheme has been started, with an aim to connect every district in the region with a National Highway.

The development of inland waterways has been given a boost. The Union Government has declared 19 Waterways in the North East as National Waterways.

We are committed to provide 24 by 7 electricity to all the people. Keeping this in mind, the Union Government is making heavy investment in the power sector. Two projects covering all the eight North Eastern States are being implemented at a cost of around Ten Thousand Crore Rupees for improving power transmission.

The commissioning of the Bishwanath-Chariyali to Agra transmission network has made available 500 Megawatts of power in the region from outside. Out of the 18,000 unelectrified villages in the country, we have already connected more than 7000 villages with electricity. I expect that no village in the country, including the North Eastern States, will be left without electricity by 2018.

The Government is implementing a comprehensive Telecom Plan for the North Eastern Region at a cost of over 5,300 crore rupees. Agartala has become the third city in India to be connected with an International Gateway through Cox Bazar of Bangladesh. This has improved telecom connectivity and will give a boost to the economic development of the region.

During my last visit to Gangtok a few months ago, Sikkim was declared as the First Organic State in the country. Other North Eastern States can take a lead from Sikkim to become Organic States. In fact, the North Eastern Region has the potential to become Organic Food Basket of India. This will increase the income of the farmers.

Friends.

Today one need not go through the tedious scrutiny of a banker to get small loans. The Union Government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, under which collateral free loans are provided to small business entrepreneurs. During 2015-16, more than three crore forty eight lakh entrepreneurs have been sanctioned loans worth more than one lakh thirty seven thousand crore rupees. Of these, six lakh loans have been sanctioned in the North Eastern States for a value of around 2800 Crore Rupees.

Similarly, 93 Lakh bank accounts have been opened in the region under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. Around 21 Lakh people have been enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana. Around 19 Lakh people have been enrolled under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.

The Textile Sector provides employment to most people after agriculture. Within the sector, it is the apparel segment that provides maximum employment. A large number of women are employed in the segment.

In order to boost industrial activity and employment under the North East Region Textile Promotion scheme, one apparel and garment making centre is being set up in each of the eight states at a cost of Rupees One Hundred and Forty Five Crores. Out of the eight centres, seven centres have already been completed, each having three units.

Friends.

Meghalaya has a distinct historical, cultural and ethnic heritage. It is blessed with natural beauty and wildlife. There is no reason for a tourist to not want to visit Meghalaya. There is a tremendous opportunity for tourism, as well as adventure tourism, in the North Eastern Region, particularly, Meghalaya.

We need to develop Tourist Circuits by providing better facilities to tourists, in terms of improved road connectivity, hotels, and cleanliness. The Union Government has launched a new scheme of Swadesh Darshan, under which it is developing Tourist Circuits in the country. One such circuit is proposed for the North East.

Less than two years ago, on 2nd October, 2014, the Union Government started its journey to create Swachh Bharat by October 2019, as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, ‘The Father of the Nation’. In exactly one year, from 15th August, 2014 to 15th August, 2015, under the Swachh Bharat – Swachh Vidyalay Programme, we have constructed four lakh seventeen thousand toilets in over two lakh schools.

The Swachh Bharat Mission is a public movement for cleanliness. The biggest beneficiaries of this movement are the poorest of the poor. I request all of you to actively participate in the movement and ensure an open defecation free society and clean environment.

I am happy to note that the traditions of hygiene and cleanliness in the region got a boost with the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Mawlyynong village in Meghalaya, the cleanest village, and the entire state of Sikkim, including Gangtok, have become major tourist attractions.

I would like to congratulate all the winners of the run with the theme ‘North East leads the way – Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. I congratulate the North Eastern Council for organizing the run. Gangtok deserves applause for being ranked the cleanest city of the North East.

Congratulations to the people of Meghalaya for hosting the North Eastern Council Plenary Meeting in Shillong. I also express my gratitude to all of you for giving me the opportunity for a wonderful interaction.

Jai Hind.