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The Chief Minister was just speaking on a lot of topics - there are no roads, no hospitals and nothing of Film Division of any sort. I felt satisfied to hear him discussing these problems as it made me feel that this Chief Minister trusts this government to change things. And since he has such faith in my government, I feel the need to fulfill these wishes. 

The Porbandar-Silcher Road that he mentioned - I had laid the foundation stone of the road in Gujarat at Porbandar in the capacity of Chief Minister of the State during the period of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. It is also possible that I come here for a similar inauguration in future. But all the subjects that the Chief Minister has mentioned are important. We too are keen on developing North East, the land of Ashta Lakshmi and hence we have allotted a budget of about Rs 60000 crores towards the development of its infrastructure. 

During the bilateral talks in Myanmar on my recent visit there, the maximum impetus was on the subject of how to establish connectivity with Imphal. Be it air connectivity, road connectivity or i-ways, it should benefit everyone and the government of Myanmar has also taken important decisions to get associated with the infrastructure projects with the government of India so that this region can be made more accessible. You will surely notice the results in the coming days. 

Today, I have had the good fortune of being here for the Sangai festival. Our country has a lot of potential for tourism. No matter where in the world a tourist goes, our one State of India is capable of showcasing more than all that one country can offer the tourist. A tourist can easily tour a State for a month and if he keeps visiting our country every year, choosing to experience a new State, a lifetime wouldn't be enough to see entire India. Every State of our country has a different highlight, such varied is the heritage of our country! 

North East and especially Manipur have a lot of opportunities for the development of tourism. Like the Chief Minister just pointed out, I belong to Gujarat. Krishna is celebrated in Dwarka there and I have been brought up in a similar environment, worshipping Lord Krishna. When I saw you worshipping Lord Krishna, singing his praises, I felt right at home in Manipur. 

The world tourism sector has an estimated potential worth 3 trillion dollars. If there is any one sector that is growing by leaps and bounds globally, it is the tourism sector. Some places have shown a growth of 40 per cent in this sector. India has a lot to offer to the world that can influence and inspire them. But this area is still largely untapped. It is our constant effort to attract the world through our rich heritage. 

The game of Polo was born here. There was a Polo programme arranged here yesterday, in which, according to the information I have, 8 countries participated. This is your heritage. I want the world to know about the place that gave birth to Polo and hence I will match steps with the state in its efforts to highlight their assets. 

I just met with delegates from the HRD Ministry and asked them if there was a possibility of about 100 students from all the universities of the country visit North East as tourists. Only if university students start visiting, the tourism scene of the region will change drastically. 

They have already begun work towards making this a possibility and you should be able to see the results soon. And there is such diversity of heritage in Manipur. There is song, dance, theatre, costumes and what not. It is truly reflective in its rich cultural heritage. The reason of my joining in the Sangai festival is the same. I want the world to see what Manipur has to offer and when they see the PM visiting, they might want to find out what the hoopla is all about. 

There are two theories - one that says if the infrastructure is developed, tourism will develop and the other goes if tourism prospers, infrastructure will have to develop. Both theories carry equal weight. If tourism prospers, the quality of infrastructure will improve which in turn will bring in more visitors. These changes take place gradually over a period of time. We just need to create a friendly environment. 

If there is good connectivity then there will be a droves of visitors here. I firmly believe that tourism is one such sector that gives maximum returns in the minimum investment. Everyone - from a snack vendor, an auto rickshaw driver, a florist, a vegetable vendor to a cab driver, a guest house owner and even those offering the option of home stay and a tea vendor - everyone can benefit from the development of tourism. I will be particularly happy if the tea vendor earns well. What I mean to say is that even the poorest of poor would benefit from it. 

The government of India has recognised the power of Manipur and hence we have decided to establish a sports university here. Manipur has a huge role to play in India's achievements in sports. We want to harness this power to the optimum as this power is inherent in the DNA of the people of Manipur. Additionally, the people of Manipur have a sportsman spirit and we want to set an example for the rest of the country. 

Some people think that a sports university only helps in creating good players but that is not the case. A sport in itself is a large economy. Right from making a playground to those who write scoreboards, the one involved in collection of data, those looking after the players' food habits, physiotherapy and sportsman costumes - everyone finds employment. The youth of Manipur who might not have been able to become players but they can train themselves in this university to become an umpire, a scorer or become a physiotherapist of a good sportsman or can become dietician of a good sportsman, they can also become makers or architects of a playground. In a manner, opportunities of overall development are associated with a sports university. Many people might otherwise think that a sports university would mean a place where players would be trained. But that is not the case. It is a science, an economy, a complete creation with elements of technology, arithmetic and many such elements. You cannot imagine the amount of changes a university can bring about in Manipur. 

When I visited Australia recently, I have asked them to collaborate with us on the Manipur Sports University. I want to connect the countries of the world with Manipur and you will reap the benefits in the coming days. 

The youth of Manipur wants job and there is a need for skill development that will eventually lead to jobs. I have also asked an IT professional that I just met, to focus on the possibility of establishing call centers here in cities like Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram etc. instead of in cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore. The weather here would diminish the need of air conditioners, thus bringing down the cost hugely. The youth here also speak fluent English, so the language shouldn't be a barrier. I am trying to get this done. I will try and pull some companies here due to which there will be a lot of opportunities for the youth here and they wouldn't have to leave Manipur in search of better jobs. 

I have also thought of the possibility of employing the youth of Manipur in the police force of Delhi. When the world sees the youth from the North East policing the streets of Delhi, keeping it safe, they will realise the true potential of these States. I want to work towards this as well. 

When I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, I had a plan that wasn't put into action. I had envisioned a strategy of sort where every State of the North East - 8 of them - will select and send 200 women each to be a part of the police force in Gujarat, in every two years. So, a total of 1600 women would have joined the police forces in Gujarat. Imagine the kind of national integration that would be! 

At the same time I had also emphasised how Gujaratis were the best tourists in the whole world. No matter where you go, you will find a Gujarati there. We like to roam around, spending the wealth we have. So as per my plan, if 1600 girls would stay in Gujarat for 2 years, they would at least mingle with 15-20 families each who would in return visit their State thus enhancing tourism. I have told the Chief Minister of Gujarat to explore the possibility and if anyone from the North East wants to visit Gujarat, we would welcome them with open arms. Imagine the benefits these states will reap by associating with a prosperous state like Gujarat. 

Therefore, my brothers and sisters of Manipur, all the points that have been raised by the Chief Minister at the closing ceremony of the Sangai festival today, naturally having faith in me, please be assured that I will do my best to keep that faith as I am a man who tries to live up to them. I will go back and discuss the issues with the people of the concerned departments and see what can be done about them. I will also try to fulfill all the promises I have made here today and put all the plans into action. I will also expect that the manner in which Manipur has made us proud in the field of sports, similarly it becomes the flag bearer in the arena of development. 

However, I am deeply concerned by one issue here which I would like to address. The youth of Manipur are victims of drug abuse and this deeply hurts me. My heart goes out to the parents of such youth. It is our responsibility to ensure that our future generation does not suffer due to this. It is a dangerous path and it is not about an individual but the whole family and eventually the society and the country suffers immensely due to this. 

Hence we need to make a collective decision as a society, to ensure that we will end this. In a land where Lord Krishna and his miracles are celebrated, where we find the country's best players, we will not let Manipur suffer from such a disease. The youth of Manipur have the capability of changing the future of the country. Drugs destroy everything and today as we have gathered here at the pious occasion of the Sangai festival, I request the youth of Manipur to give up drugs. I know it is a difficult addiction to kick, but once you decide, you will be able to come out of it. Once you save yourself, you and your family will benefit from it and grow. 

With this request, I thank the people of Manipur for inviting me here and being a part of your celebrations. Thank you! 

(The original speech was in Hindi, this is the English rendering. Original speech remains the authoritative version)

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Baba Saheb Ambedkar was a person with universal vision: PM Modi
April 14, 2021
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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

Namaskar!

Present with me in this programme, Gujarat Governor Acharya Shri Dev Vrat ji, the country’s Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank ji, Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani ji, Education Minister of Gujarat Shri Bhupendra Singh ji, Chairman of UGC Prof. D.P.Singh ji, Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Ami Upadhyay ji, Association of Indian Universities President Prof. Taj Pratap ji, all dignitaries and friends.

Today when the country is celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of Independence, the occasion of Babasaheb Ambedkar ji's birth anniversary also connects us with that great yagna and also with the inspiration of the future. On behalf of the grateful nation and all the countrymen, I pay my respectful homage to Babasaheb.

Friends,

During the freedom struggle, millions and millions of our freedom fighters dreamt of a harmonious and inclusive India. Babasaheb made the beginning in realizing those dreams in the form of the Constitution to the country. Today India is creating a new future and achieving new dimensions of success by following the same Constitution.

Friends,

Today, the 95th meeting of the Vice Chancellors of Association of Indian Universities is taking place on this auspicious day. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University has announced the establishment of 'Babasaheb Samarasta Chair'. The four books written by Shri Kishore Makwana ji have also been released on Babasaheb's life, his thoughts and ideals. I congratulate all the dignitaries involved in these efforts.

Friends,

India has been the mother of democracy in the world. Democracy has been an integral part of our civilization and our way of life. Babasaheb laid a strong foundation to independent India so the nation could move forward while strengthening its democratic heritage. When we read and understand Babasaheb, we realize that he was a person of universal vision.

There is a clear vision of Babasaheb's philosophy in Shri Kishore Makwana ji's books. While one of his books introduces Babasaheb’s “Jeevan Darshan” (philosophy of life), the other focuses on “Vyakti Darshan” (individual philosophy). Similarly, the third book highlights Babasaheb's “Rashtra Darshan” (national philosophy), whereas the fourth book “Aayam Darshan” will introduce his philosophy of dimension to the countrymen.  These four philosophies are no less than modern scriptures in themselves.

I would like our new generation in colleges and universities to read more and more of such books. All these dimensions, whether it is the inclusive society, the concern for the rights of the Dalit-deprived society, the question of upliftment and contribution of women, or Babasaheb's vision on education and especially on higher education, will offer an opportunity to the youth of the country to understand Babasaheb.

Friends,

Doctor Ambedkar would say:

"My three revered deities are -- Knowledge, self-respect and politeness.” Self-respect comes with knowledge and makes a person aware of his or her rights. Through equal rights, social harmony emerges and the country progresses.

We are all familiar with Babasaheb's struggles of life. The position that Babasaheb reached after so many struggles is a great inspiration for all of us. Our education system and universities have this responsibility to carry the country forward on the path shown by Babasaheb Ambedkar. And when it is the issue of common goals and shared efforts as a nation, collective efforts become the means of accomplishment.

Therefore, I think the role of Association of Indian Universities becomes very important. AIU also has the legacy of scholars like Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ji, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Smt. Hansa Mehta and Dr. Zakir Hussain.

Dr. Radhakrishnan ji would say: “The end-product of education should be a free creative man, who can battle against historical circumstances and adversities of nature”.

It implies that education should be such which should liberate the person, so that he can think openly, and make something new with a new thinking. He believed that we should develop our education management as a unit of the entire world. But at the same time, he emphasized the Indian character of education. This becomes even more important in the global scenario today.

Here special issues were released on the new 'National Education Policy' and plan for its implementation. These issues are detailed documents how National Education Policy is a futuristic policy, a policy of global parameters. You all scholars are familiar with the nuances of the National Education Policy. The purpose of education that Dr. Radhakrishnan ji spoke about is reflected in the core of this policy.

I am told that this time the theme of the seminar is - 'Implementing National Educational Policy-2020 to Transforming Higher Education in India'. All of you deserve congratulations for this.

I have been constantly discussing NEP with experts. National Education Policy is as practical as its implementation.

Friends,

You have dedicated your entire life to education. You all know very well that every student has his own capability and capacity. Based on these capabilities, students and teachers also have three questions.

First: What can they do?

Second: What is their potential if they are properly taught?

And, third, what they want to do?

What a student can do is his inner strength. But if we add institutional strength to his inner strength, his development becomes expansive. With this combination, our youth can do what they want to do. Therefore, the country’s special emphasis is on skill development. As the country is moving ahead with the mission of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat, the role and demand of skilled youths is also increasing.

Friends,

In view of the strength of skills, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had placed greater emphasis on the collaboration of educational institutions and industries decades ago. Today, the country has immense opportunities, and there are new industries of modern times. India is being looked upon as a future centre of Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, 3D printing, Virtual Reality, Robotics, mobile technology, geo-informatics, smart healthcare and defence sector. The country is taking huge steps to meet these requirements.

Indian Institutes of Skills are being set up in three big metropolitans of the country. The first batch of the Indian Institute of Skills has already started in Mumbai a few months ago in December. The Future Skills Initiative was launched with NASSCOM in 2018. This initiative offers training in more than 150 skill sets in 10 emerging technologies.

Friends,

The new National Policy on Education also provides for NETF which emphasizes the maximum use of technology in education. We want all universities to be multi-disciplinary. We want to give flexibility to students so that they can complete courses anywhere easily through the easy entry-exit and Academic Bank of Credit. Every university in the country will have to work together to achieve all these goals. All the Vice Chancellors have to pay special attention to this.

A huge skill pool will be created in our universities for the new possibilities that we can create in the country. All of you are requested to work in this direction more expeditiously and the work should be completed within a stipulated time.

Friends,

The country is rapidly transforming the lives of the poor, Dalits, the victims, the exploited and the deprived following the footsteps of Babasaheb Ambedkar. Babasaheb talked about equal opportunities and equal rights. Today, schemes like Jan Dhan accounts are leading to financial inclusion of every person and through DBT money is reaching directly to their accounts.  The BHIM UPI that was launched for the digital economy has become a great strength for the poor today. Today, every poor person is getting a house and free electricity connection. Similarly, work is in the progress to provide clean water to villages under the Jal Jeevan Mission.

When there was a corona crisis, the country stood up for the poor and the labourers. There is no discrimination among the poor and the rich in the world's largest vaccination program. This is the path shown by Babasaheb and these are his ideals.

Friends,

Babasaheb always emphasized on women empowerment and made many efforts in this direction. It is with this vision that the country is giving new opportunities to its daughters today. From toilets at home and schools to combat roles in the army, women are at the centre of every policy of the country today.

Similarly, the country is working to spread Babasaheb's message to the people. The places associated with Babasaheb are being developed as Panch Teerth.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to dedicate the Dr. Ambedkar International Centre. Today, this Centre is emerging as a centre of research on social and economic issues and on Babasaheb's life.

Friends,

Today, we are close to 75 years of independence, and we have goals for the next 25 years. The country’s future, the future goals and successes of the country are linked to our youth. It is our youth who will fulfill these resolutions. We have to give opportunities to the youth of the country to the best of their ability.

I am confident that our collective resolve and conscious efforts of the education world will realise this dream of a New India.

Our efforts and the hard work will be our tribute to Babasaheb.

With these good wishes, I once again thank you all very much. I wish you all the very best on Navratri. I also extend my special greetings on the birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Many thanks.