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PM Modi interacts with Bill Gates, discusses global response to COVID-19
Important for India to be included in the ongoing global discussions for coordinating responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: PM Modi in an interaction with Bill Gates

The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chair, Mr. Bill Gates via video conference. The dignitaries discussed the global response to COVID-19, and the importance of global coordination on scientific innovation and R&D to combat the pandemic.

Prime Minister underlined the conscious approach that India has adopted in its fight against the health crisis - an approach based on ensuring public engagement through appropriate messaging.  He explained how this people-centric bottom-up approach has helped win acceptability for physical distancing, respect for front-line workers, wearing of masks, maintaining proper hygiene, and respecting lockdown provisions.  


Prime Minister also highlighted how some of the previous developmental initiatives taken by Government - expanding financial inclusion, strengthening last mile delivery of health services, popularising cleanliness and hygiene through the Swachh Bharat Mission, drawing upon India’s Ayurvedic wisdom to enhance people’s immunity, etc - had helped increase the effectiveness of India’s response to the present pandemic.

Prime Minister appreciated the health related work being done by the Gates Foundation not only in India but also in many other parts of the world, including for coordinating global response to COVID-19.   He sought suggestions from  Mr. Gates on how India’s capacities and capabilities could be better leveraged for the general benefit of the world.

Some of the ideas that the dignitaries explored in this context included drawing upon India’s unique model of last-mile health service delivery in rural areas, dissemination of the effective contact-tracing mobile app developed by Government of India, and above all by leveraging India’s massive pharmaceutical capacity to scale-up the production of vaccines and therapeutics upon their discovery.   They agreed that given India’s willingness and capacity to contribute to global efforts, particularly for benefit of fellow developing countries, it was important for India to be included in the ongoing global discussions for coordinating responses to the pandemic.

In closing, Prime Minister also suggested that the Gates Foundation could take the lead in analysing the necessary changes in lifestyles, economic organisation, social behaviour, modes of disseminating education and healthcare, that would emerge in the post-COVID world, and the associated technological challenges that would need to be addressed.   He said that India would be happy to contribute to such an analytical exercise, based on its own experiences.

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আমাদের ‘চলতা হ্যায়’ মানসিকতা ছেড়ে ‘বদল সাকতা হ্যায়’ চিন্তায় উদ্বুদ্ধ হতে হবে: প্রধানমন্ত্রী

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আমাদের ‘চলতা হ্যায়’ মানসিকতা ছেড়ে ‘বদল সাকতা হ্যায়’ চিন্তায় উদ্বুদ্ধ হতে হবে: প্রধানমন্ত্রী
How India is building ties with nations that share Buddhist heritage

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How India is building ties with nations that share Buddhist heritage
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“Kushinagar International Airport is a tribute to the devotion of Buddhist society around the world”
“There is a special focus on the development of the places associated with Lord Buddha through better connectivity, and the creation of facilities for the devotees”
“Under UDAN Scheme more than 900 new routes have been approved, 350 routes already functional. More than 50 new airports or those which were not in service earlier, have been made operational”
“In Uttar Pradesh, 8 airports are already functional before Kushinagar airport. Work is on Jewar International Airport after Lucknow, Varanasi and Kushinagar. Apart from that, airport projects are going on in Ayodhya, Aligarh, Azamgarh, Chitrakoot, Moradabad and Shravasti”
“Decision on Air India will give new energy to the Aviation sector of India”
“Recently launched drone policy is going to bring life-changing transformation in the fields ranging from agriculture to health, to disaster management to the defence”

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated Kushinagar International Airport today.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that India is the centre of the faith of Buddhist society around the world. He termed the facility of Kushinagar International Airport, launched today as a tribute to their devotion. This region, the Prime Minister said, is witness to the entire journey from the enlightenment of Lord Buddha to Mahaparinirvana. Today this important region is getting directly connected to the world, he said.

The Prime Minister highlighted the special focus on the development of the places associated with Lord Buddha through better connectivity and the creation of facilities for the devotees. The Prime Minister welcomed the Sri Lankan flight and delegation that landed at Kushinagar. Paying tribute to Maharshi Valmiki on his Jayanti today, the Prime Minister said that the country is marching on the path of Sabka Vikas with the help of Sabka Satha and Sabka Prayas. “Development of Kushinagar is one of the key priorities of the UP and central governments,” He said.

The Prime Minister said that tourism in all its forms, whether for faith or for leisure, needs modern infrastructure complete with rail, road, airways, waterways, hotels, hospitals, internet connectivity, hygiene, sewage treatment and renewable energy ensuring a clean environment. “All these are interconnected and it is important to work on all these simultaneously. Today's 21st century India is moving ahead with this approach only”, the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister announced that under the UDAN scheme, more than 900 new routes have been approved in the last few years, out of which air service has already started on more than 350 routes. More than 50 new airports or those which were not in service earlier, have been made operational.

The Prime Minister highlighted the development regarding the aviation sector in Uttar Pradesh as air connectivity is constantly improving in the state. In Uttar Pradesh, 8 airports are already functional before Kushinagar airport. Work is on Jewar International Airport after Lucknow, Varanasi and Kushinagar. Apart from that, airport projects are going on in Ayodhya, Aligarh, Azamgarh, Chitrakoot, Moradabad and Shravasti.

Referring to the recent decision on Air India, the Prime Minister remarked that the step will help in running the country's aviation sector professionally and prioritizing convenience and safety. “This step will give new energy to the aviation sector of India. One such major reform is related to the opening of defence airspace for civil use”, he added. This step will reduce the distance on various air routes. The Prime Minister also conveyed that the recently launched drone policy is going to bring life-changing transformation in the fields ranging from agriculture to health, to disaster management to defence.

The Prime Minister said recently launched PM Gatishakti - National Master Plan will not only improve governance but also ensure that all modes of transport such as road, rail, air etc should support each other and increase each other's capacity.