The tussle between the Union government and the Supreme Court over appointments to the higher judiciary has again taken centre stage. This power struggle brings to the fore the crucial issue of judicial independence, a cornerstone of a healthy democracy.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said the Union government is building a strong and self-reliant India which is the flag bearer of regional and global peace and, at the same time, has the wherewithal to give a befitting reply to those who try to cast an evil eye.
This was stated by the defence minister while addressing an event organised on the theme ‘Swarnim Bhavishya’, in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
“India is witnessing economic, social, cultural and political empowerment under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, with groundwork being laid for the country to become a developed nation by 2047,” Singh said.
The defence minister said that the steps taken by the government in the last few years have ensured holistic development of the country, social cohesion and re-connected the people with the nation’s rich cultural heritage.
He touched upon some of the path-breaking decisions, including Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Ayushman Bharat & abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir, besides India’s brave fight against COVID-19 pandemic and measures to get rid of the colonial mindset while instilling the feeling of pride in Indian heritage, traditions & values among the people.
Singh also shed light on the steps taken towards women empowerment, including construction of pucca houses with toilets in rural areas and ensuring that females get equal opportunities as their male counterparts in every field.
On the decisions taken to increase the role of women in the Armed Forces, he said that doors have been opened for girls for admission in Sainik Schools and female officers are being posted at the world’s highest battlefield in Siachen glacier as well as on warships. He added that efforts are being made to make the country completely safe for women and provide them with abundant opportunities.
Laying out the roadmap of India’s Swarnim Bhavishya from the military & security perspective, Singh asserted that the Government is committed to build an India which is completely self-reliant in the defence sector and possesses state-of-the-art weapons & technologies. He highlighted the efforts being made to ensure that the country’s youth have ample opportunities if they wish to serve the motherland as defence scientists.
“We have established new IITs & NITs and the number of seats have also increased. In addition, we have invited ideas in the defence sector through Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative and Technology Development Fund (TDF) which aims to promote start-ups. Due to these steps and many other reforms, India is well on course to soon become one of the leading defence exporters from an importer,” he said.
He lauded the prime minister for transforming India’s image at the global stage to an assertor from a mere observer. While India is the world’s third largest economy in terms of Purchasing Power Parity, it will, by 2027, become the third largest economy in terms of nominal GDP as well, he hoped. He voiced the Government’s vision to bring India at the forefront in terms of GDP, while connecting the people with its country’s tradition and culture.