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All the governments that have come to power in India since Independence have been working for rural development in their own ways. These efforts should continue relentlessly while adapting with time. Plans should be made according to changing times and the speed of change should gain pace in accordance with the pace of the world. This is an ever-continuing process. However it is important to introduce some new elements each time to speed up and enliven this process. 

Every State of India has at least 5 to 10 villages that it can be proud of. There is a different feeling when we enter such villages. If government planning creates these villages, then there should have been more of such villages. Since there are only a few, it means there is something extra, apart from government plans. This something extra is the soul of Saansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. 

Plans exist for all villages, but some villages progressed as there were some people in those villages with a different thought process. Some leaders who led differently to bring about these changes. It is not that there are no other better villages. There are. And they have been built by our people only. Need of the hour is to bring some changes in the decision making process and the beginning has to be made somewhere. 

Today is the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan Ji, a vibrant young force of freedom struggle. The way he led his life after independence keeping away from politics and dedicating himself to creative work alone, is a source of inspiration for all of us. There was always a shadow of Gandhiji and Vinobaji on his thoughts. Lohiaji was also an influence. He said that Gram Dharma is an important thing and till the time our villages don’t think or move as a society, Gram Dharma is not possible. And if Gram Dharma is possible then the village can choose its path to new heights. 

The Village was always present in Mahatma Gandhi’s life. Gandhi ji returned from abroad in 1915. Within two years he implemented what he had learnt in Champaran, Bihar, where he fought for the rights of people. It was done with people’s participation. The seeds of freedom struggle were sowed by Gandhi ji in villages only. Today is also the birth anniversary of Shri NanaJi Deshmukh - a close comrade of Jai Prakash Narayan ji. 

Nanaji dedicated himself to the development of JaiPrabha Nagar near Chitrakoot, which was named after Jai Prakash Narayan and his wife Prabha Devi. Based on the model of JaiPrabha Nagar, he worked to make rural life self-sufficient in many villages of Uttar Pradesh. 

Our former President Abdul Kalam ji visited these villages and mentioned them in many of his speeches. The point is, today we have to take the Adarsh Gram Yojana forward with our MPs’ guidance, MPs’ leadership and MPs’ efforts. For the time being, we have thought of a total of three villages in this term. One model village should be achieved by 2016 and based on that experience, two more model villages are to be achieved by 2019. Later, every year, one village can be done by a MP. We are almost 800 MPs and if we do three villages before 2019 then 2,500 villages will be covered. 

If the States also make schemes for their MLAs based on this scheme, then six-seven thousand more villages can be added. If a village in a block improves then it doesn’t stop there. It is adopted by nearby villages also. They also discuss what is being done and how it can be replicated. This can initiate a viral effect. That is why it is important how we lay its foundation. 

For a long time this debate has been going on in the country about whether development model should be top-to-bottom or bottom-to-top. Let the discussion go on. Academic discussions have their own importance. But the responsibility of doers is to do. We need to start somewhere. So let us sit at the bottom and look at one village in our constituency at least. 

Many people don’t understand the biggest benefit from this. Today an MP is engaged in tackling problems of the public in his constituency. Irrespective of the party, the MP is accountable and has to perform. However most of his or her time and energy is spent in immediate problems. Secondly, his/her energy and time is spent in getting work done from the government and officers. I can’t say whether I will be able to change this. What happens to MPLADS funds? Constituency people demand this or that. Then it is distributed, given to government officers with an instruction that it should please most of the village. Only small schemes are undertaken ultimately. 

This is the kind of work which, with focused activities, can make the MP feel that his / her name will be associated with the village for years to come. The village always remember that earlier the village was like this, and one MP came and changed all that. 

Today, there are many government schemes. An MP might be coming in touch with these schemes only in parts. What is the problem in uniting the streams of these different schemes? What are the shortcomings and what are the ways to improve? Once an MP starts discussing this in the village, many deficiencies of government system will be revealed. 

It is not a small risk that I have taken here. However, on the basis of my knowledge and experience, I can say that once an MP is associated with this, many problems will come to the fore. This will lead to a change in system. Then everybody will think that if we have changed one village, then we can do the same elsewhere also. What happens now a days? A scheme comes to a village. A water tank is dug at one place, tube-well at other place. If there is tube-well, there is no water tank and vice-versa. Expenditure is done but without outcome. That is why the MP is going to be involved in every activity of village life to bring the focus on the outcome. 

There is a flexibility in this programme to choose any village. If possible it should have a population of 3,000-5,000. This does not mean that smaller or bigger habitations are not be touched. This is flexible. But if approximately 3,000 to 5,000 population is there, then a system can be worked out. In hilly and tribal areas where such big villages are not there, the number should be between 1,000 to 3,000. 

Only one condition has been imposed by me. And that is that the MPs must not pick their own village, or village of their in-laws. Apart from this, choose any village. Even I have to select a village in Varanasi. A guideline has been brought out today. I will also go to Varanasi and talk to the people there, and after consultation, will select the village. 

One of the biggest problems for us has been that our development model has been supply-driven. A scheme has been prepared in Lucknow, Gandhi Nagar, or Delhi. The same is attempted to be injected. We want to shift this model from supply-driven to demand driven through Aadrash Gram. There should be an urge developed in the village itself. The villagers should themselves come out and tell us what they need. This scheme is not just to construct a bridge or a pond. 

Can a change be brought about in our today’s conditions or not? Someone please tell me that if there is a school, Panchayat Ghar, Temple, or a place of worship in the village, should not that be clean? Do we need a budget to tell us this? 

I have been lucky, not many people in political life may have been so lucky. I have travelled for 45 years. Must have stayed overnight in more than 400 districts of India. There must have been at least 5,000 villages outside Gujarat that I visited. Therefore, I understand these things from experience. We should create a confidence in the villages and make them committed to this. 

Please tell me, in a village of 3,000 to 5,000, how many deliveries take place in a year? Maximum 100. Out of these 50-60 women will be economically sound. 25-30 women will be such who will need the village’s support for nutrition. If this happens, the chances of malnutrition in the child and maternal mortality will be reduced drastically. 

If this was to be done by Government of India, then a Cabinet note would have been prepared, department’s comments would have been taken, tender would have been floated. And everyone knows what happens after the tender is floated. Then six months later, some breaking news would have come in newspapers. In this, no tender, budget, Cabinet or Minister is needed. People of the village will collectively decide that if 25 women are expecting and they are poor, then the village will take care of the extra nutritional food for three-four months. 

I say, friends, this is easy. All we need is to change our mind set. We need to unite people’s hearts. Normally MPs are engaged in political activities, but after this, when they will come to the village, there will be no political activities. It will be like family. Decisions will be taken sitting with the people of the villages. It will re-energise and unite the village. Problems will be solved. 

Currently, there is a mid-day meal scheme run by the government. It is a good thing, should be there. Often there are 80-100 families in the village who celebrate occasions like birthdays, death anniversaries of family elders etc. They should be contacted and be told that when such celebratory occasions come, they should come go to the school with family. They should bring some sweets to the school and sit with the students for the mid-day meal and share with them. This will lead to a good movement of social harmony. At the same time, this can also work as input to improve the quality of the mid-day meal. This doesn’t require any big scheme we can take this forward, can’t we? 

Government is planning to establish Gobar Gas Plants in villages. As you know some one or two persons avail it due to their capacity to get government money. But cow dung is not available. Then, in one or two years, the plant becomes a monument. How many monuments will you keep building? Now imagine, that there is a “Gobar Bank” of the village. The entire cow dung in the village can be deposited in such a bank and a common gas plant is built with this. Gas is supplied to the entire village. Our mothers and sisters suffer a lot due to smoke from the chulhas. I am seeing an opportunity which doesn’t involve expenditure. Those who would deposit the gobar will get the same amount during the agriculture season as fertilizer. This will also bring cleanliness in the village along with fertilizer and gas. Improvement in health parameters due to clean village will be an extra benefit. I say that we should take interest in creating such an atmosphere in the village. 

Sometimes I think, are we able to create an atmosphere where people can be proud of village? Unless we create such an atmosphere, change will not come. This is very important. Every village has its birthday, why should it not be celebrated like a festival when everybody will come together they will think about what can be done for the village? I think government schemes were always the foundation of Adarsh Gram Yojana. There is no change in that. But this is an experiment to fill the gaps. If I think that it is the ultimate solution, I will be disbelieving in the thinking power of humanity. No thinking is complete, every thinking moves towards completeness. Therefore I believe nothing is ultimate. Whatever has happened is good. Whatever is happening today is step forward. It will not work if we consider it a full stop. The point is that as per requirement, the government should have flexibility. It should not work by diktat, but it should facilitate. I say this with full faith that any MP will develop his or her village as a place of pilgrimage after 2016. He/She will tell his/her relatives that I have built a village, let’s go and see that. This is the satisfaction level that leads to solutions in the life of a person. 

Jai Prakash Narayan ji had said an important thing which, I believe, is inspiring even in these times. He said that democracy and politics cannot be separated. Politics is democracy’s second nature. This is important. We are fed up of dirty politics. Dirty politics gives a bad name to the entire political field. This or that party is not the issue. An atmosphere of trust has suffered. Jai Prakash Narayan ji said something very good. He said that freedom from politics is not the way. We should see how fast liberal and good politics takes the place of dirty politics. I believe that “Sansad Aadarsh Gram Yojna” is opening a new door of creative politics. 

Will I get votes in the village? Are the communities in the village my supporters? Am I on good terms with the local leaders in the village? We need to rise above all this and leave it all outside the village boundaries when we do this work. Here, the village is a community, a cohesive society. Can I be a facilitator or a catalytic agent to fulfil their dreams? Can I work as a friend with a feeling of oneness? 

When in 2016 this will be discussed in the Parliament, MPs will speak in the Parliament on the basis of the experience. Howsoever insensitive the government may be, it will have to acknowledge the experience of the Parliamentarian. Howsoever strong might be the majority of the government, it will have to change its policies. Weight of the Parliamentarian is going to increase. No government will be able to deny this because the MP will say that I went to the village, I am working, these are the problems in my village, the policies of your government are wrong, your schemes are incorrect and your officers don’t understand. The power of these words will become the reason for change in the government’s policies. This country is going to choose bottom-to-top approach. In the academic word bottom-to-top, top-to-bottom approaches are discussed. But we want to make a beginning somewhere. For this I say demand-driven and not supply-driven. Can we choose a society-driven development approach rather than a government-driven one? Can we increase people’s participants along with government facilitation? 

We were just watching a video about a village in Andhra. They have set up 28 committees in such a small village. All are functional, there are not for show. And they have done it. If we take this inspiration, if today Parliamentarians and tomorrow MLAs will take forward 7-8 thousands villages every year, it will create a viral effect that will change the entire model of development of rural clusters. 

We should understand that the aspirations of a rural person are no less than an urban person. He is also watching the world and wants a change in his quality of life. He also wants good education for his children. If long distance education is available, he wants it. 

Let’s talk about drip irrigation. Who can deny that there is a water crisis everywhere? Won’t I place drip irrigation in every field of my chosen village? I’ll bring all the schemes of the government, will help them in getting loans from banks. Can I increase their production through drip irrigation? Economy of the village will change. There will be cattle rearing and increased milk production, improved situation of cattle. I will bring officers, explain things to them and bring change. 

Friends, I believe that rural life can be changed. Those MPs who have been elected from urban areas and don’t have any village, I request them to choose a nearby village. My friends from Rajya Sabha should select a village of their choice from the states from which they are coming. Nominated MPs can choose any village from all over India. We will all collectively try to open the door of creative politics and will work away from political untouchability. 

Jai Prakash Ji, Mahatama Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia ji, Pandit Deen Dayal Ji, are such icons of last century whose shadow is there on the political life of today. All may not have impacted all but everyone must have been influenced a little by someone. We should take inspiration from them and move this work ahead. This is my expectation from you. 

I said on 15th August that on 11th October, on the birth anniversary of Jai Prakash ji, we will present the guidelines. Some of my friends informed me of their selection of village that evening itself. And they were not BJP MPs alone. Even MPs from other parties, for example even Congress MPs, wrote to me. That day itself I felt that this concept has value. That is why people are adopting it beyond party politics. 

Still there are many like me, who have to select the village. It is pending in my area also because I wanted to decide after the guidelines are prepared and in consultation with the people and officers of Varanasi. I will surely do this in the next 15-20 days. We should convey this confidence that there will be more villages in the future. A model is emerging. If we manage to show this model to villagers, change will be automatic. We will bring about rural development by our efforts and not by diktat. The letter has been written and the job is done - this is not like that. This will not be accomplished by asking questions in the Parliament. We need to work collectively. 

I believe that we are experimenting with a new way of serving Mother India in a big way. I complement all the Parliamentarians from the deepest core of my heart that all party members have accepted this, welcomed this. This is not a final scheme, there will be many changes, many reforms, many practical situations will emerge. This is not a money-related scheme. This scheme is people-driven and will be accomplished through people’s participation and Parliamentarians’ guidance. We should take this forward. With this hope, I thank you all. 

Once again I pay my tributes to Jai Prakash ji. 

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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.