India is the only economy which has not been affected by the global economic crisis which has hit the world, primarily due to the policies being implemented by the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.
"Everyone is saying this… the World Bank, the IMF. The world is going through an economic crisis, but it is India alone that is progressing at a rapid pace. This is a unique situation when the whole world is slipping and India is growing," Modi said at a function organised to mark the 140th birth anniversary of social reformer Dayanand Saraswati.
"People across the world are saying that the steps taken by the government (have led to) India becoming the fastest growing economy among the larger economies of the world," he said.
"One thing can free us from our problems, from poverty, from lack of education and that is development," Modi said, while referring to his government’s socio-economic programmes like Mudra and Skill Development.
"Over two crore people have benefitted through MUDRA Yojana and over Rs one lakh crore has been disbursed to them.
Financial support has been given to people and we have faith in them," Modi said.
Noting that 60 per cent of India’s population was below 35 years of age, he said India was the "youngest nation in the world.
"The government’s focus is on how to convert the power of the youth which can used for development of the nation.
Therefore, we not only launched a skill development programme for the youth but also created a new ministry, with its own budget and a set of officers to take the programme forward," the Prime Minister said.
By 2030, when the population of many countries will grow old and when they require work force, India can power these nations with skilled and technically qualified manpower, he said.
"Apart from having certificates in their hands, our youth must be skilled," he said and exhorted the youth to "pick up any one idea and work on it…let India’s strength at the world stage increase through that idea you pick.