Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged students from across the country to join the government’s flagship ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ for summer internship and announced incentives, including credit points by the University Grants Commission (UGC), for participants.
In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ address, Modi said three ministries of his government have launched the ‘Swachh Bharat Summer Internship, 2018’ to engage youths with ‘Swachhata’ work in villages. He said it would be an opportunity for those who want to “work for the society, contribute positively and bring about a change.”
“The best of the interns, who have strived in schools and colleges with excellent work, will be rewarded with recognition at the national level. Not just that, those interns, who accomplish their tasks well, will be awarded two credit points each by the UGC,” the prime minister said.
Modi said the internship programme not just sought to boost the cleanliness campaign, but also instill “a sense of fulfillment” among participants.
Noting that India had carried out nuclear tests on Buddha Purnima on May 11, 1998, when BJP stalwart Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister, Modi said youths need to imbibe Vajpayee’s mantra of ‘Jai Vigyan’ (hail science) to make India modern and strong.
During his 30-minute address, the PM also made a strong pitch for water conservation, saying: “(We are) leaving no stone unturned for water conservati”n.”
Modi said his government had spent Rs 32,000 crore annually, outside the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act budget, that benefitted 150 lakh acre land in the past three years.
Citing examples of many temples and other historic places that have strived for water conservation, he noted that some rivers in states like Kerala and Uttar Pradesh have been revived recently.
Modi also hailed the performance the Indian squad, especially woman athletes, in the Commonwealth Games, saying they had made every Indian proud. “Many of them have come from small towns and overcome to several hurdles to reach where they are today,” he said.
Drawing from the teachings of Prophet Mohammad, the PM said he believed in knowledge and compassion. “His (the prophet’s) life taught people to walk the path of equality and brotherhood, Modi said, adding that even Lord Buddha believed in peace, harmony and brotherhood and these values were needed the most in the world today.