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For ages, conservation of wildlife and habitats has been a part of the cultural ethos of India, which encourages compassion and co-existence: PM Modi
India is one of the few countries whose actions are compliant with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping rise in temperature to below 2 degree Celsius: PM

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi inaugurated the 13th Conference of Parties on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals at Gandhinagar through video conferencing.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister asserted that India is one of the most diverse countries of the world. He added that with 2.4% of the world's land area, India contributes about 8% of the known global biodiversity. The Prime Minister stressed that for ages, conservation of wildlife and habitats has been part of the cultural ethos of India, which encourages compassion and co-existence. “Inspired by Gandhi ji, the ethos of non violence and protection of animals and nature have been suitably enshrined in the Constitution of India and is reflected in several laws & legislations,” he added.

The Prime Minister spoke of the increase in India's forest cover, which currently stands at 21.67% of the total geographical area of the country. He mentioned how India has been championing the cause of “climate action” through conservation, sustainable lifestyle and green development model. In this context, he mentioned the push towards Electric Vehicles, Smart Cities, and Conservation of Water. He said India is one of the few countries whose actions are compliant with the Paris Agreement goal of keeping rise in temperature to below 2 degree Celsius.

The Prime Minister explained how focussed species conservation programmes have shown encouraging results. “India has achieved its target of doubling the number of tigers from 1411 in 2010 to 2967, two years before the committed date of 2022,” he observed. He called upon Tiger Range Countries present at the Conference, and also others, to come together to strengthen tiger conservation through sharing of benchmarking practices. He spoke of initiatives taken by India for conservation of Asian elephants. He also spoke at length of efforts to protect the Snow Leopard, the Asiatic Lion, the one-horned rhinoceros, and the Great Indian Bustard. He also noted that the mascot ‘GIBI - The Great’, is a tribute to the Great Indian Bustard.

He also observed that the CMS COP 13 Logo is inspired by the traditional ‘KOLAM’ from southern India, which has a profound significance in the context of living in harmony with nature. He said the mantra of “Athithi Devo Bhava”, has been reflected in the theme for the CMS COP 13: “Migratory species connect the planet and together we welcome them home.”

The Prime Minister elaborated on some of India’s priority areas, while holding the Presidency of this convention for the coming three years.

Noting that India is a part of the Central Asian Flyway for migratory birds, the Prime Minister said that with a view to conserve birds along the Central Asian Flyway and their habitats, India has prepared a ‘National Action Plan for conservation of Migratory Birds along the Central Asian Flyway’. “India would be happy to facilitate preparation of Action Plans for other countries in this regard. We are keen to take the conservation of migratory birds to a new paradigm with active cooperation of all the Central Asian Flyway Range Countries,” he added.

The Prime Minister said India proposes to strengthen its association with the ASEAN and East Asia Summit countries. This would be in sync with the Indo Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI), wherein India will be playing a leadership role, he added. India by 2020, will be launching its Marine Turtle Policy and Marine Stranding Management Policy, the Prime Minister asserted. He said this will also address the pollution caused by microplastics. Single use plastics have been a challenge for environment protection and we in India have been on a mission mode to reduce its usage, the Prime Minister said.

Mentioning that several Protected Areas in India share common boundaries with the Protected Areas of neighbouring countries, the Prime Minister said that cooperation in conservation of wildlife through establishment of ‘Trans boundary Protected Areas’, would lead to very positive outcomes.

Reiterating the Union Government’s commitment to the path of sustainable development, the Prime Minister mentioned the release of the Linear Infrastructure Policy Guidelines to tailor development in ecologically fragile areas.

The Prime Minister explained how, in the spirit of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas, Sabka Vishwaas”, millions of people living in vicinity of forest area in the country have now been integrated in the form of Joint Forestry Management Committees and Eco Development Committees and associated with the protection of forest and wildlife.

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It is time to convert fintech initiatives into a fintech revolution: PM Modi
December 03, 2021
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“last year, in India, mobile payments exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time”
“Transformational initiatives under Digital India have opened doors for innovative Fintech solutions to be applied in governance”
“Now it is time to convert these fintech initiatives into a fintech revolution. A revolution that helps to achieve financial empowerment of every single citizen of the country”
“Trust means that you need to ensure that the interests of people are secured. Fintech innovation will be incomplete without fintech security innovation”
“Our Digital Public Infrastructure solutions can improve the lives of citizens around the world”
“GIFT City is not merely a premise, it represents India. It represents India’s democratic values, demand, demography & diversity. It represents India’s openness to ideas, innovation & investment”
“Finance is the life blood of an economy and technology is its carrier . Both are equally important for achieving Antyodaya

Excellencies,

Distinguished colleagues,

My fellow citizens from the Tech and Finance world, Tens of thousands of Participants from over 70 countries,

Namaskar!

Friends,

I am delighted to inaugurate the first 'Infinity Forum' and welcome you all. 'Infinity Forum' represents the immense possibilities that Fintech has in India. It also shows the huge potential for India's Fintech to provide benefits to the entire world.

Friends,

The history of currency shows tremendous evolution. As humans evolved, so did the form of our transactions. From barter system to metals, from coins to notes, from cheques to cards, today we have reached here. Earlier developments used to take decades to spread across the world but not any more in this era of globalisation .Technology is bringing a big shift in the world of finance. Last year, in India, mobile payments exceeded ATM cash withdrawals for the first time. Fully digital banks, without any physical branch offices, are already a reality and may become common-place in less than a decade.

Friends,

India has proved to the world that it is second to none when it comes to adopting technology or innovating around it. Transformational initiatives under Digital India have opened doors for Fintech innovations to be applied in governance. Technology has also catalyzed financial inclusion. From less than 50% Indians having bank accounts in 2014, we have almost universalized it with 430 million Jan Dhan accounts in the last 7 years. So far, 690 million RuPay cards have been issued. RuPay cards clocked 1.3 billion transactions last year. UPI processed around 4.2 billion transactions in just last month.

Almost 300 million invoices are uploaded on the GST portal every month. More than 12 billion US dollars worth payment is done through the GST portal alone every month. Despite the pandemic, about 1.5 million railway tickets get booked online everyday. Last year, FASTag processed 1.3 billion seamless transactions. PM Svanidhi is enabling access to credit for small vendors across the country. e-RUPI has enabled targeted delivery of specified services without leakages; I can go on and on, but these are just a few examples of the scale & scope of Fintech in India.

Friends,

Financial inclusion is the driver of Fintech Revolution. Fintech is resting on 4 pillars; income, investments, insurance, and institutional credit. When income grows, investment becomes possible. Insurance coverage enables greater risk taking ability and investments. Institutional credit gives wings for expansion. And we have worked on each of these pillars. When all these factors come together, you suddenly find so many more people participating in the financial sector. The large base becomes the perfect springboard for Fintech innovations. Fintech industry in India is innovating to enhance access to finance and the formal credit system to every person in the country. Now it is time to convert these fintech initiatives into a fintech revolution. A revolution that helps to achieve financial empowerment of every single citizen of the country.

Friends,

As we see the widening reach of fintech, there are considerations that need attention. Fintech industry has achieved huge scale, and scale means people from all walks of life as customers. This fintech acceptability among the masses has a unique feature. That feature is trust. The common Indian has shown immense trust in our Fintech ecosystem by embracing digital payments and such technologies! This trust is a responsibility. Trust means that you need to ensure that the interests of people are secured. Fintech innovation will be incomplete without fintech security innovation.

Friends,

We believe in sharing our experiences and expertise with the world and learning from them as well. Our Digital Public Infrastructure solutions can improve the lives of people around the world. Tools like UPI and RuPay provide an unparalleled opportunity for every country. An opportunity to provide a low cost and reliable 'real time payment system' as well as a 'domestic card scheme' and 'fund remittance system'.

Friends,

GIFT City is not merely a premise, It represents the promise of India. It represents India's democratic values, demand, demography & diversity. It represents India's openness to ideas, innovation & investment. GIFT City is a gateway to the global fintech world. (IFSC) at GIFT City was born out of the vision that finance combined with technology would be an important part of India's future development. Our aim is to provide the best International Financial Services not just for India but for the World.

Friends,

Finance is the life blood of an economy and technology is its carrier. Both are equally important for achieving ''Antyodaya and Sarvodaya''. Our flagship Infinity Forum is part of our endeavor to bring together all key stakeholders of the global Fintech Industry to explore the limitless future of the industry. I remember the conversation I had with Mr Mike Bloomberg on this subject when we last met. And I thank the Bloomberg group for their support. Infinity forum is a forum of belief, belief in the spirit of innovation and the power of imagination. Belief in the energy of youth and their passion for change. Belief in making the world a better place. Let us together, explore and advance innovative ideas in Fintech to solve the most pressing issues emerging globally.

Thank You!