Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi vehemently criticized the UPA Government for failing to curb inflation in the Conference of Chief Ministers on Prices of Essential Commodities held in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister of India.

Gujarat CM said that he was surprised that the issue of inflation is a national importance, however Government of India, instead of adopting an integrated and holistic approach could not rise on the need of the hour with united voice and collective vision. The long awaited meeting convened by GOI should be an opportunity to convince the people of India that Government of India was all serious to control price rise and with proactive approach shown by state governments will evolve comprehensive and effective action plan in short, medium and long terms to address price issues of food security and inflation, but it was miserably failure, Shri Narendra Modi said that prices of essential commodities have increased all time high and touched the sky and it is not only limited to BPL strata of society but even high rise prices of cattle feed has adversely affected the animals. Still GOI’s unholistic approach has unfortunately failed to create any confidence in the people.

Referring to Planning Commission's report, Shri Modi said that 10% of food grains get wasted every year. These are preventable post harvest losses of food grains estimated about 20 million tonnes annually. Similarly, about 30 % of farm produce is stored under open conditions leading to wastage and distress sale. Government of India is really concerned that such food grains getting rotted and wasted could have been provided to the poor and needy people of this country? Has the Ministry of Finance taken any initiatives for development of agriculture infrastructure on a large scale and allocated fund for any such programme? He wanted to know from GOI and said that proper planning is required for preventing post harvest losses of farm production. The Centre has failed to keep its promise of controlling inflation.

Gujarat CM made a suggestion for PDS reforms. He said that GOI should set up a special task force with maximum use of technology and GPS system for strengthening Public Distribution System to ensure supply and distribution of food grains and essential commodities at the doorstep of consumers from the godowns. He added that Government of Gujarat has implemented an innovative initiative to transform Fair Price Shops into Village Shopping Malls making FPS network more viable.

Discussing on wasteland development for increasing agriculture production, Shri Narendra Modi suggested that GOI should undertake development of large tracts of waste land in the Private Public Partnership mode. He also mentioned that Gujarat is the first State of the country to get 21 rivers into a grid and start grid-cum-canal network successfully to become a role model for national approach for interlinking of rivers. GOI should take lead in implementing such an initiative across the country, he suggested. He lamented Central Government’s indecisiveness on the permission for construction of gates on Narmada Dam, which is only last phase of Sardar Sarovar Project.

Chief Minister of Gujarat reminded UPA Government as to what have they done to fulfil the promises given to poor masses and BPL families? In election manifesto UPA Government had promised food grains to poor family card holders at the rates of Rs.3/- per kg. Even not a singleCommunity Kitchen Centre for urban poor has been started in any of the big cities.

Regarding steps taken to prevent hoarding of essential commodities and enforcement proceedings under provision of EC&PBM Acts, he categorically said that while non-UPA ruled states carried out 83% raids and inspections to curb the hoardings, only 17% inspections done by UPA ruled state governments. What does this suggest? he asked.

Suggesting that the Government of India should come out with specific formula of BPL families, he demanded that there are various survey reports of number of BPL families but GOI, trying to reduce its commitment to supply food grains entitled by law to poor families at Rs.3/- per kg., is insisting on lower number of BPL. If it is serious,GOI should make a common number of BPL from various recommendations.

Stressing for agricultural infrastructure development with holistic support of water management and river grid network, Shri Narendra Modi said that farmers should be provided inputs as seeds and fertilizers at reasonable prices and chain of warehouses and cold storage to store and preserve farm produce with adequate market arrangement.

Shri Modi gave an example of Gujarat Government and said that his Government has devised such a coordinated approach for improving the agriculture and it has therefore transformed itself from a semi-arid region to one achieving very high growth rate of agriculture production. Gujarat took major initiatives for conserving water and making its most efficient use through drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation. Gujarat Government’s efforts have helped in creating lakhs of water harvesting structures such as check dams, bori-bounds and farm ponds. Coupled with this, Gujarat took initiative for transfer of knowledge from lab-to-land and conducted mass programme for mobilization of farmers such as “Krishi Mahotsav” which has substantially improved extension, delivery and convergence of various schemes of the Government. Gujarat has taken an integrated approach to improve farm income by focusing on the convergence of farming, animal husbandry and agro-forestry. Consequently, growth of agriculture in Gujarat has been more than 9% per annum for last several years, resulting in the rise in value of agriculture production from Rs.13,659 crores in 2000-2001 to Rs.49,036 crores in 2007-2008. Gujarat Minister Shri Narottambhai Patel and other senior officers attended the meeting.

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Baba Saheb Ambedkar had a universal vision: PM Modi
Baba Saheb Ambedkar gave a strong foundation to independent India so the nation could move forward while strengthening its democratic heritage: PM
We have to give opportunities to the youth according to their potential. Our efforts towards this is the only tribute to Baba Saheb Ambedkar: PM

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the Association of Indian Universities’ 95th Annual Meet and National Seminar of Vice-Chancellors today through video conferencing. He also launched four books related to Babasaheb Dr BR Ambedkar, authored by Shri Kishor Makwana. Governor, Chief Minister and education Minister of Gujarat and Union Education Minister were among those present on the occasion. The event was hosted by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, Ahmedabad.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to Bharat Ratna, Babasaheb Dr Ambedkar on behalf of the grateful nation and said that his Jayanti during the period when the country is celebrating Azadi ka Amrut Mahotsav, gives us new energy.

Shri Modi stressed that India has been the mother of democracy in the world and democracy has been an integral part of our civilization and our way of life. Babasaheb laid a strong foundation to move forward while strengthening India’s democratic heritage, said the Prime Minister.

Talking about the philosophy of Babasaheb, the Prime Minister said that Dr Ambedkar considered knowledge, self-respect and politeness as his three revered deities. Self-respect comes with knowledge and makes a person aware of his or her rights. Through equal rights, emerge social harmony and country progresses. Our education system and universities have this responsibility to carry the country forward on the path shown by Babasaheb, Shri Modi added

On National Education Policy, the Prime Minister said that every student has certain capabilities. These capabilities pose three questions before the student and the teacher. First- what they can to do? Second, what is their potential if they are properly taught?And,third, what they want to do? The answer to the first question is the inner strength of the students. However, if institutional strength is added to that inner strength, their development will get expanded and they will be able to do what they want to do.Quoting Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, The Prime Minister said that the NEP is aimed at fulfilling Dr Radhakrishnan’s vision of education that frees and empowers the student to participate in national development. Education management should be undertaken keeping whole world as a unit but also, focussing on Indian character of education

Talking about the growing demand for skills in the emerging Aatmnirbhar Bharat, The Prime Minister said that India is being looked upon as future centre of Artificial Intelligence,Internet of Things,big data, 3D printing, Virtual Realityandrobotics, mobile technology, geo-informatics, smart healthcareanddefence sector. To meet the requirement of skills, Indian Institutes of skills are being set up in three big metropolitans of the country. In Mumbai, first batch of Indian Institute of Skills has already started. In 2018, Future Skills Initiative was launched with NASSCOM, informed the Prime Minister. He said that we want that all universities should be multi-disciplinary as we want to give students flexibility. He called upon the Vice Chancellors to work for this goal. .

Shri Modi elaborated on Babasaheb’s conviction for equal rights and equal opportunity for all. The Prime Minister emphasized that schemes like Jandhan accounts are leading to financial inclusion of every person and through DBT money is reaching directly to their accounts. The Prime Minister reiterated country’s commitment to take the message of Babasaheb to each and every person. Developing the key places related to the life of Babasaheb as PanchTeerth is a step in that direction. He also said that measures like Jal Jeevan Mission, free housing, free electricity, support during pandemic and initiatives for women empowerment are taking forward the dreams of Babasaheb.

The Prime Minister released the following four books based on Baba Saheb Bhimrao Ambedkar's life, written by Shri Kishor Makwana:

Dr. Ambedkar Jivan Darshan,
Dr. Ambedkar Vyakti Darshan,
Dr Ambedkar Rashtra Darshan, and
Dr. Ambedkar Aayam Darshan

The Prime Minister said that that these books are not less than modern classics and convey the universal vision of Babasaheb. He hoped that such books will be widely read by students in colleges and universities.