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“Exactly 8 years ago we started implementing new mantras of good governance in India following the path of minimum government - maximum governance”
“Technology has helped a lot in furthering the vision of saturation and in ensuring last-mile delivery”
“We have made technology a key tool to impart new strength, speed and scale to the country”
“Today we are making technology available to the masses first”
“When technology goes to the masses, possibilities of its use also increase accordingly”
“Promotion of drone technology is another medium of advancing our commitment to good governance and ease of living”

Present on the dais are my colleagues from the Union Cabinet, all the guests gathered from across the country at the Bharat Drone Mahotsav, other dignitaries present here, and ladies and gentlemen!

I congratulate all of you for organizing this Bharat Drone Mahotsav. I can see all the senior people sitting in front of me. I got late. It was not because I came late. I came here on time, but I was so engrossed at the exhibition of drones that I could not keep track of time. I came here late, yet I could hardly see ten percent of the exhibits, but I was very impressed. Wish I had more time, so that I could go to each stall and watch the works of the youth and listen to their stories. Though I could not visit all the stalls, yet I would urge all the government departments and officers at different levels who play a role in policy making to spend at least two-three hours here and try to understand each and every thing. They can find many technologies which can be used in their offices. There are many such initiatives which we can adopt in governance. However, it was a very pleasant experience for me as the youths at different stalls proudly claimed their products were made in India and they had developed them indigenously.

Friends,

Our farmers, drone engineers, start-ups and leaders of various companies from across the country are also present in this Mahotsav. And I am sure that thousands of people are going to be a part of it in the next two days. At one of the exhibitions, I saw those who actually run their business with drones. I was also fortunate to meet many young farmers who are using drone technology in agriculture. I also met young engineers who are promoting drone technology. Today 150 drone pilot certificates have also been given here. I extend my best wishes to all those drone pilots and everyone involved in it.

Friends,

It is amazing to see the enthusiasm regarding drone technology in India. The energy that is visible is a reflection of the quantum jump in the drone services and drone-based industries in India. It shows the enormous possibilities of employment generation in India. Today, India is moving at a fast pace towards becoming the doyen in drone technology in the world on the back of its start-up strength.

Friends,

This festival is not only a celebration of technology but also of new governance of new India and unprecedented positivity towards new experiments. Incidentally, this was the time eight years ago when we started implementing new mantras of good governance in India. We made ease of living and ease of doing business our priority following the path of Minimum Government, Maximum Governance. Following the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, we chose the path of connecting every citizen and every region of the country with the government. We relied on modern technology and made it a part of the system to bridge the divide of accessibility and delivery of services in the country. A very small section of the country had access to technology and it was assumed that technology was meant only for the rich. It has no place in the life of an ordinary human being. By changing that whole mindset, we have taken many steps towards making technology accessible to all and we are going to take further steps.

Friends,

We have often seen some people try to create fear to shun technology. ‘It will lead to this or that if new technology comes’. It is true that there used to be a clock tower in the whole city once upon a time. The village was dependent on time when its clock rang. Who would have thought then that there would be a watch on every wrist? They would have found it strange when the change happened. There would still be some people wishing to install a clock tower in their villages. It was useful at some point. In other words, we need to change ourselves and the systems accordingly and only then progress is possible. We have also experienced this during the corona vaccination drive. Technology was considered a part of the problem during the earlier governments and efforts were also made to prove that it was anti-poor. As a result, there was an atmosphere of indifference regarding the use of technology in governance before 2014. Only a handful people adopted it according to their interest, but it did not become a part of the system. The country's poor, underprivileged and the middle-class people suffered the most and the people who were full of aspirations were forced to live in despair.

Friends,

There is no denying that new technology causes disruption. It seeks new mediums, writes new chapters and creates new paths and new systems. We all have seen how simple things were turned out to be difficult. I don't know how many of you would have stood in a queue for food grains, kerosene and sugar at the ration shop in your childhood. There was a time when one spent hours in the queue for this. I remember that I had this fear in my childhood that what if the grains run out of shortage or the shop closes by the time my number comes. The same fear existed among the poor seven-eight years ago. But I am satisfied that we have put an end to this fear today with the help of technology. Now there is a belief among the people that they will get what they deserve. Technology has played a huge role in ensuring last mile delivery and taking forward the vision of saturation. And I know that we can achieve the goal of ‘Antyodaya’ (welfare of all) by moving forward at the same pace. The experience of the last 7-8 years strengthens my faith further. My confidence is growing. It is due to the trinity of JAM -- Jan Dhan, Aaadhar and Mobile that today we are able to deliver ration to the poor with complete transparency across the country. We ensured free ration to 80 crore poor even during this pandemic.

Friends,

It is our power to correctly design, efficiently develop and implement our technology solutions that today India is successfully running the world's largest vaccination campaign. With the help of the robust UPI framework developed by the country, lakhs of crores of rupees are being transferred directly to the bank account of the poor. Women, farmers and students are now getting help directly from the government. In the new India of the 21st century, we have made technology an important tool to give new strength, speed and scale to the country. Today we are developing the right solutions related to technology and we have also developed the skill to scale up them. Promoting drone technology in the country is another means of taking forward this commitment of good governance and ease of living. We have got another such smart tool in the form of a drone, which is going to become a part of the life of ordinary Indians very soon. Be it our cities or remote villages and countryside areas, farms or playgrounds, work related to defence or disaster management, the use of drones is going to increase everywhere. Similarly, whether it is the tourism sector, media, or film industry, drones will help in increasing both quality and content there. We are going to see more use of drones in the coming days than what is being used now. I hold a PRAGATI meeting every month. The Chief Secretaries of all the states are on the screen and there are discussions on many topics. I urge them to give me a live demonstration of the project going on with the drone. So, it becomes very easy to coordinate things and it also facilitates decision making. When the reconstruction of Kedarnath started, it was difficult for me to go to Kedarnath every time, but I used to regularly monitor the development work through drones during the review meetings in my office. Now-a-days, if one has to check quality in the government works, it is not necessary to inform them in advance that I am coming for inspection. Then everything will be fine. If I send a drone, it comes with all the information without their knowledge.

Friends,

Drone technology is also going to play an important role in making the life of the farmer in the village more convenient and prosperous. Today, there are good roads, electricity and water in the villages, optical fiber is reaching and digital technology has expanded unprecedentedly, but still most of the work related to land and agriculture in the villages happens with the old system. There is every kind of wastage in that old system, there are many problems too, and productivity is not known. The people of our villages and our small farmers suffer the most. The land and resources of the small farmers are not enough to challenge the disputes and they can make rounds of courts. You see, the administration is entirely dependent on the employees of the revenue department from land records to assessing crop damage during droughts or floods. The greater the human interface, the greater the lack of trust, and rise of conflicts. If there are disputes then there is also a waste of time and money. If a person makes estimates then accurate estimates are not possible. A new tool in the form of drone has come as a powerful and effective means to overcome all these problems.

 

Friends,

The PM Svamitva Yojana is also an example of how drone technology is becoming the basis of a big revolution. Under this scheme, digital mapping of every property in the villages of the country is being done and digital property cards are being given to the people for the first time. Human intervention has reduced and as a result the scope for discrimination has ended. Drones have played a big role in this. A while back I also got an opportunity to understand the technology of flying a Svamitva drone. I got late because of that also. I am happy that about 65 lakh property cards have been generated in the country so far with the help of drones. And the ones who have got this card are satisfied that they have got the correct details of their lands. They have said this with complete satisfaction. Otherwise, it takes years to reach a consensus if we have to measure a small piece of land.

Friends,

Today we can see our farmers are increasingly attracted towards drone technology, there is an enthusiasm and they are ready to adopt it. This has not happened all of a sudden. This is because the use of technology has increased in the agriculture sector in the last 7-8 years. Now technology is not a stranger to the farmers. Once they see it and check it and if they have faith they do not make delays in adopting it. While I was talking to farmers, an engineer from Madhya Pradesh told me that people now call him ‘drone wala’. He is an engineer, but he is known for drones. He said once the farmers told him that the cultivation of pulses can be increased if there is a drone. They told him that it is difficult to spray pesticides in the field of pulses because of the height of the crop. Half of the pesticides get sprayed on their body. He said it would now become easy to take care of the crops and spray pesticides on crops higher than the height of humans because of drones. It will now be easier to cultivate pulses. How things change if a person works with the farmers in the villages.

Friends,

Today, we have made efforts to bring technology in the agriculture sector and Soil Health Card has emerged as a great force in itself for our farmers. These drone services can become soil testing labs in villages and there can be new employment avenues. The farmers can get their soil tested every time to know the requirements needed for their soil. Micro irrigation and sprinkler are becoming part of the modern irrigation system. Look at the use of GPS technology in crop insurance scheme, digital market like e-NAM, neem coated urea, or direct money transfer in the account of farmers through technology! The efforts made in the last eight years have greatly strengthened the confidence of the farmers in technology. Today the farmers of the country are more comfortable with technology and adopting it effortlessly. Now drone technology is going to take our agriculture sector to another level. So far, how much and which manure has to be put on soil, what is deficient in the soil and the amount of irrigation have been based on rough estimates. This has been a major reason for low yields and crop failure. But smart technology-based drones can be of great use. Drones can also identify which plant, or which part of the plant, is affected. And that's why it doesn't spray indiscriminately, but sprays smartly. This also saves the cost of expensive pesticides. In short, the small farmers will also get power and speed and their progress will also be ensured with the help of drone technology. As we celebrate the Amrit Mahotsav of freedom, it is my dream that everyone in India should have a smartphone, a drone in every field and prosperity in every home.

Friends,

We are strengthening the network of health and wellness centers in every village of the country and promoting telemedicine. The delivery of medicines and other items in villages has been a major challenge and there is going to be a possibility of delivery by drone in a very short time and at a faster speed. We have also experienced the benefit of the delivery of the Covid vaccines by drone. It can prove to be very helpful in providing quality health services to remote tribal, hilly and inaccessible areas.

Friends,

There is another aspect of technology to which I would like to draw your attention. In the past, technology and its inventions were considered for the elite class. Today we are making technology available to masses first. Drone technology is also an example. There were a lot of restrictions on drones till a few months back. We have removed most of the restrictions in a very short time. We are also moving towards creating a strong drone manufacturing ecosystem in India through schemes like PLI. When technology goes to the masses, then the possibilities of its use also increase. Today our farmers, students and start-ups are looking for new possibilities with drones. With the drone technology available to the farmers in the villages, the possibility of using it more in various fields has also increased. You will see that different types of uses of drones will emerge not only in the cities but also in the countryside and our countrymen will innovate more in this regard. I believe there will be more experiments in drone technology and it will have new uses in the near future.

Friends,

Today I invite all the investors of the country and the world to tap similar possibilities in India. This is the right time for India and the world to develop the best drone technology from here. I would appeal to the experts and to the people of the world of technology to expand drone technology as much as possible and take it to as many people as possible. I also call upon the youth of the country to come forward with new start-ups in the field of drones. I am sure together we will play our part in empowering common people with the drone technology. It can also help the police in terms of security. Drones can also be useful in occasions like Kumbh Mela. Drones can provide solutions to the problems of traffic jams. It can be used in so many ways. We need to integrate our systems with these technologies. Today I was watching drones dropping seeds for trees in the forests through bullets. When drones were not there, I did an experiment. I do local experiments. There was no such technology then. When I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, I found that it was difficult to plant trees in mountains. What did I do? I took the help of those involved in gas balloons. I told them to put seeds in the balloons and release them on the mountains. When the balloons would hit the ground, seeds would scatter. And when the rains come, the seeds would hopefully grow into trees. Today drones are doing the same thing effortlessly. The seeds can be geo-tracked, or whether they are turning into trees or not. We can also monitor forest fires through the use of drones. We can take prompt action even in the event of a small incident. That is we can use drones for imaginary things and expand our systems. I am sure that this Drone Mahotsav will be useful to many from the point of view of curiosity. Moreover, those visiting the exhibition would be prompted to do something new, would attempt to bring changes and try to introduce them to various systems so that we can achieve the technology-driven delivery ultimately. With this belief, I once again wish you all the very best.

Thanks a lot!

 

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PM condoles the passing away of noted economist and former Union minister professor YK Alagh
December 06, 2022
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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed deep grief over the passing away of noted economist and former Union minister professor YK Alagh.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said;

"Professor YK Alagh was a distinguished scholar who was passionate about various aspects of public policy, particularly rural development, the environment and economics. Pained by his demise. I will cherish our interactions. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Om Shanti."