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Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

Anna University convocation: A strong govt isn’t restrictive but responsive, youth are growth engine, says PM Modi

The Covid-19 pandemic, “a once-in-a-century crisis that nobody had any user manual for” had tested every country, he said, while expressing gratitude to everyone from scientists to common people who helped India fight the difficult phase.

Chennai news, Modi Chennai visit, modi in chennaiPrime Minister Narendra Modi attends the 42nd convocation of Anna University in Chennai on Friday along with CM MK Stalin, Governor RN Ravi (Twitter/@PIBinTamilNadu)

A strong government does not control everything or everyone but it controls the system’s impulse to interfere; a strong government is not restrictive but is responsive, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 42nd convocation of Anna University in Chennai on Friday.

Addressing a large gathering of students, Modi said the post-pandemic period throws opportunities even as “some would call it a time of uncertainty”.

The Covid-19 pandemic, “a once-in-a-century crisis that nobody had any user manual for” had tested every country, he said, while expressing gratitude to everyone from scientists to common people who helped India fight the difficult phase. “The post-pandemic period is about a new life in India, in every sector,” he said.

Modi said the next 25 years are crucial for India. “It is the Amrit Kaal leading up to the 100th year of Independence. We are lucky that many young people like you will build their own future as well as India’s. So, your growth is India’s growth. Your learnings are India’s learnings. Your victory is India’s victory. So, when you make your plans for yourself and your family…remember that you are automatically making plans for India too. It is a historic opportunity that only your generation has,” he said while addressing the students.

The PM said the entire world is looking at India’s youth with hope “because you are the growth engines of India, and India is the world’s growth engine”. Modi also mentioned former President APJ Abdul Kalam. “It is a matter of pride for everyone in Anna University that Dr Kalam was closely associated with this university. I have heard that the room he stayed in has been converted into a memorial. May his thoughts and values inspire our youth,” he said.

“Whether it is industry, innovation, investments or international trade, India is at the forefront. Our industry has risen to the occasion. Last year, India was the world’s second-largest mobile phone manufacturer. Innovation is becoming a way of life. In just the last 6 years, the number of recognised start-ups increased from just 470 in 2016 to nearly 73,000 now,” Modi said.

Modi said there is also an increasing trust on risk-takers. “Earlier, at social occasions, it was difficult for a youngster to say he or she was an entrepreneur. People used to tell them to ‘get settled’, meaning, get a salaried job. Now, the situation is the opposite. People ask whether you have tried to start something on your own. Even if one is in a job, it is seen as cooler to work for start-ups,” the PM said.

He said India received a record FDI of over $83 billion last year and that the Indian start-ups too received record funding post-pandemic. “Above all this, India’s position in the international trade dynamics is at its best ever. Our country recorded the highest ever exports in goods and services. We exported food grain at a crucial time for the world. We recently signed a trade deal with the UAE to our West, and with Australia to our East. India is becoming a vital link in the global supply chain. We have the chance to make the greatest impact now, as India is converting obstacles into opportunities,” he said.

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With two strong opponents of the National Education Policy (NEP) — Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin and Higher Education minister K Ponmudy — on stage, Modi said the NEP ensures greater freedom for the youth to make decisions according to the evolving situations.

First published on: 29-07-2022 at 07:37:39 pm
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