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President's Address on the eve of 68th Republic Day of India

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1400 HRS

26th February, 2017


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says digital transactions increasing rapidly in the country; In his Mann Ki Baat address on AIR, he says digital economy will play a major role in fight against corruption and black money; Calls for popularization of BHIM app
  • Prime Minister stresses upon making science more attractive for younger generation as country needs more scientists.
  • In Odisha, ruling Biju Janta  Dal leads the tally in panchyat polls; Bhartiya Janta Party emerges as second largest party.
  • Elaborate arrangements in place for polling in 51 constituencies spread over 11 districts in the fifth phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says there is no scope for violence in universities campuses
  • Gujarat ATS arrests two Islamic State terror group suspects  from Rajkot.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said country is fast moving towards digital transactions. In the 29th edition of Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio, Mr Modi said government has introduced schemes like Digi Dhan to give boost to digital economy. He said Lucky Grahak Yojana and Digi Dhan Vyapari Yojana have received overwhelming response from the people. Mr Modi asked everyone, especially youth and the winners of these two schemes to act as ambassadors of digital economy and lead the war against corruption and black money. Recalling the 125th birth anniversary of B R Ambedkar held recently, Mr Modi asked youths to teach at least 125 people about BHIM App so that it could be taken to 125 crore people of the country.

The Prime Minister said India created history by becoming the first country to successfully launch 104 satellites at one go. Mr Modi said ISRO's cost effective space programme has drawn world wide acclaim.

Mr Modi said satellites of the United States, Israel, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Netherlands, and UAE were among those launched by PSLV C 37 on the 15th of this month. He said India's earth observation satellite Cartosat 2D will help in mapping of resources and infrastructure, evaluating development and planning for urban development. The Prime Minister pointed out that farmers will be greatly benefited by Cartosat 2D as it will help in water resource mapping and monitoring. 

The Prime Minister said India has scaled new heights in the area of defence through the successful test firing of Ballistic Interceptor Missile. He said the missile can hit enemy targets  even from a distance of 2000 kilometres and pre-emptively destroy it in the space itself.

Saying that country needs more scientists, he called for developing interest in science subjects among children at school level. He quoted Mahatma Gandhi, saying all sciences develop and are built up through experience.


The Prime Minister mentioned the recently held 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas where a unique competition to give impetus to innovation was organised. He also mentioned about a Mobile App for fishermen, which gives the location of most productive fishing zones and also provides information such as the direction and speed of the wind, and the height of waves.

Expressing happiness over record food grain production, Mr Modi said, two thousand 7 hundred lakh tonnes of food grain was produced this year. He said, this is 8 per cent more than the previous record. He also expressed gratitude to farmers for keeping the poor in mind and adopting cultivation of various pulse crops also besides the traditional crops because pulses are the biggest source of protein for poor people

Speaking about the forthcoming International Women's Day, Mr Modi said, the movement of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao is progressing well. He said, now it has become a campaign for public education and social sensitivity and is not limited as only a government programme. He said, Cuddalore district administration has banned child marriage under a special campaign and opened nearly 60 thousand bank accounts of girls under Sukanya Samridhi Yojana.

The Prime Minister hailed the involvement of individuals, organizations, agencies, government and society in the sanitation campaign. He referred to a programme of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation where the Secretary of the Ministry himself took part in the toilet pit emptying exercise. Mr Modi said, twin pit toilet is convenient for the people as it can be easily emptied and re-used. He said the waste deposited in the pit gets completely decomposed in six to twelve months time and can be used as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, NPK which is a very useful fertilizer.
Mr Modi appreciated different Ministries who are taking forward the cleanliness drive through Swachhata Pakhwada. He said during the first fortnight of March, Women and Child Development Ministry along with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs will be laying stress on the Cleanliness Campaign.


In Odisha, the final results were declared today of the three-tier Panchayat elections held in five phases in the state. Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) remained the Number 1 party winning 472 of the 846 Zilla Parishad zones. Bharatiya Janata Party has emerged the second largest party by winning 298 zones. Congress managed to win only 60 seats. Results of three other zones, one each from Cuttack, Bolangir and Ganjam district, have been put on hold by the State Election Commission for various reasons. Elections for panchayats and zilla parishad seats were held between February 13 and 21. More details from our correspondent:

"BJP has won the majority of Zila Parishad seats in the BJD stronghold of Sambalpur, Bargarh, Bolangir and Deogar districts and tribal-dominated districts of Malkangiri and Mayurbhanj. The BJP secured clear majority in at least eight Zilla Parishads while the ruling Biju Janata Dal won 17 Zilla Parishads and Congress one out of the 30. Political analysts say Bharatiya Janata Party’s unexpected surge from a dismal third position of 36 Zilla Parishad seats in 2012 panchayat elections to second place in this rural poll, was a signal of a major change in the 2019 Assembly polls in the State. BJD leaders, however, reacted differently to the results of the panchayat poll, maintaining that had Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik campaigned in the polls, the BJD would have more seats. SN Pattnaik, air news, Bhubaneswar"

Elaborate arrangements are being put in place for fifth phase of Assembly elections to be held tomorrow in Uttar Pradesh. 51 constituencies, spread over 11 districts in Terai and eastern part of the state, will go to polls in this phase. Voting will be held in Balrampur, Gonda, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Bahraich, Shravasti, Siddharth Nagar, Basti, Sant Kabir Nagar, Amethi and Sultanpur. Polling for Alapur Assembly seat was postponed till the 9th of next month following the death of a Samajwadi Party candidate.

Meanwhile, campaigning is in full swing for the remaining two phases of Uttar Pradesh. Polling for the last two phases will be held on the 4th and 8th of next month.


"Indo Nepal, inter district and inter state borders have been sealed. Barriers are erected at roads to check the movements of vehicles. Political leaders and workers engaged in campaigning and are not eligible voters of the constituency have been asked to leave the poll bound area. Security forces are engaged in to check the hotels, Dhabas and community residing areas. Central Para Military Forces have already reached in poll bound areas and engaged in conducting flag march to instill sense of security among electorates. A total of 607 candidates including 40 women are in the fray. All major political parties including BJP, BSP, Samajwadi Party, Congress and RLD have intensified their campaigning for remaining two phases of polls. SUNIL SHUKLA, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW"


Campaigning for the first phase of assembly elections is gaining momentum in Manipur. Polling in Manipur for the first phase will be held on the 4th and voting for the second phase will be held on 8th of next month.

"Speaking to media persons at the BJP office in Imphal this morning, Union HRD Prakash Javedkar said that BJP is committed for the all round development and progress of Manipur. He expressed the hope that BJP will win 40 seats hands down in the 60-member House. He also questioned the Congress why there is no drinking water available for the people even after 70 years of Independence. Referring to an election rally addressed by the Prime Minister at Imphal yesterday, Mr Javedkar said that the Prime Minister has clearly laid down the roadmap for development of the state. He also said the Prime Minister has exposed the inaptitude of the Congress Government and corruption. He further said that lifting of the ongoing economic blockade in Manipur is the sole responsibility of the state government. Gin Gangte, AIR News, Imphal"


Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said, there is no space for violence on university campuses. Mr Jaitley made the remarks in London yesterday. The students from the South Asian Centre of the London School of Economics had asked him about his stand on the classification of the term anti-national and the clashes between AISA and ABVP supporters in Ramjas College of the Delhi University earlier this week. The Minister said, separatists and the ultra-Left were speaking the same language in certain campuses. So, he said, they must be willing to allow others to present a different opinion to put a counter viewpoint. Mr Jaitley said, he believes that free speech in India or in any society, has to be debated. He said, free speech does not permit anybody to assault the sovereignty of the country.


Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) has arrested two persons from Rajkot and Bhavnagar for their alleged links with Islamic State terror group. ATS Deputy SP KK Patel said that for last one and half year, these two persons were under the watch of ATS as they were in contact with the IS through Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as Telegram application. The two have been identified as Wasim and Nayeem Ramodia. Both are brothers. Wasim was arrested from Rajkot, while Nayeem was arrested from Bhavnagar. Police has also recovered materials for making bombs from them which includes gun powder and batteries etc. The two terror suspects were allegedly planning a bomb blast in Chotila Mandir. Chotila Chamunda Mata ji temple is situated in Surendranagar district, near Rajkot.


Haryana Government will soon launch a special campaign to fill vacant posts in various departments of the state for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes. Chief Secretary DS Dhesi said he has given direction to initiate the process to clear the backlog so that requisition letter could be sent to Haryana Staff Selection Commission to initiate special recruitment campaign.


In Kerala, two persons suffered minor injuries after a fire broke out at a godown in the high security zone of world famous Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram early this morning. 16 fire tenders were rushed to the spot and the fire has been brought under control. The security officials saw the fire through the CCTV and immediately called fire services to control the fire.


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