No need to panic but take precautions and follow COVID appropriate behaviour – Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on new COVID variant

New Delhi : The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today asked the people not to panic about the emergence of new corona virus strain and advised them to remain vigilant and keep following COVID appropriate behaviour till the pandemic is over. He also urged the people to shed hesitancy, if any, and get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.

Launching Shri Gautam Chintamani’s book ‘The Midway Battle: Modi’s Roller-coaster Second Term’ at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas today, the Vice President said that the Coronavirus pandemic has come as a big challenge for the entire human race and appreciated the world’s largest vaccination drive currently underway in India.

Praising Shri Chintamani for this timely book that is based on the eventful journey of India during recent years, Shri Naidu recognised that writing contemporary history is never an easy task. Referring to the transformational changes brought in the governance over the past seven years, he said that these changes are both empowering and enabling the 1.3 billion people to deliver on their potential. “Be it life expectancy, financial inclusion, access to healthcare, employment, owning a house, or honouring entrepreneurial ability, the quality of Indian lives is getting better with each passing day,” he said.

Quoting the Prime Minister’s three word mantra – ‘reform, perform and transform’, the Vice President praised the tremendous progress made by the nation over the past few years in various fields such as financial inclusion, insurance coverage, number of LPG connections for poor women and tap water connection to households. He said that following the principle of ‘minimum government and maximum governance’, the Government is leveraging technologies to bring transformation in every sector and expressed satisfaction over India becoming the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. “It is a testimony to the government’s resolute commitment to improve the business environment in the country that India’s ranking rose to 63rd place in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2020,” he added.

Noting that there are still many challenges in our path, the Vice President said that ever since Independence, India has faced many obstacles but we have overcome them successfully. “Nothing could deter us from the path of progress and humanity. This is why India’s success is the success of the world,” added. Calling for making India a ‘Vishwaguru’ once again, he urged all stakeholders to come together and join this Maha-Yajna of creating a self-reliant, prosperous, happy and strong India.

Terming the book ‘The Midway Battle’ as a commendable effort by the author, Shri Naidu said it would give readers a deeper understanding of the contemporary period and its many challenges. “The recent past has made all Indians believe that it is possible to reimagine and witness India emerge as a self-reliant world leader” he said.

The Vice President further said that India’s strategic partnerships are based on mutual respect and the nation has given a resolute response to inimical forces who dared to challenge our integrity and sovereignty. “We are guided by our unwavering self-belief and our dedication to becoming ‘atma-nirbhar’ in every possible way,” he added.

Shri Kanchan Gupta, Veteran Journalist and Senior Adviser, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Smt. Prena Bhohra, Editor, Bloomsbury India and others were present at the book release function.

Writing contemporary history is never an easy task. Being witness to something as transformational as the change in the lives of 1.3 billion people or one-seventh of humanity can risk oversight. It is an all-important task as chroniclers of the present can better understand what is going on than future historians. Our nation has made great strides since the turn of this century. It had often been envisioned that the 21st century could be India’s century. The last few years have borne great witness to transforming the lives of the average Indian and both empowering and enabling them to deliver on their potential. Be it life expectancy, financial inclusion, access to healthcare, employment, owning a house, or honouring entrepreneurial ability, the quality of Indian lives is getting better with each passing day.

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has given a three word mantra – reform, perform and transform. In this spirit, every sector in the country today is witnessing an unprecedented change and reform. In the last seven years, setting a world record in financial inclusion, more than 430 million people have been connected to the banking system in India. Over the same period, more than 360 million, most of them from underprivileged backgrounds, have been provided insurance cover, 87 million women from Below Poverty Line households have been given LPG connections and 52 million households supplied with tap water connection. Stating these statistics is one thing, but comprehending how these pro-poor and people-centric initiatives affect and change people’s lives is entirely different.

In the true spirit of ‘minimum government and maximum governance’, the Government is leveraging technologies to bring transformation in every sector. Digitisation of processes has not only plugged leakages in welfare schemes but has also made people’s lives a lot easier and hassle free. With concerted efforts like Start-up India, Stand-up India and Mudra loans, India has become the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. The pace of progress is such that over the last one year, India has added three unicorns every month. It is a testimony to the government’s resolute commitment to improve the business environment in the country that India rose from 142nd position in 2014 to 63rd place in World bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2020.