On the occasion of the 71st Republic Day on Sunday, Prime Minister addressed his first ‘Mann Ki Baat’, his monthly address to the nation.

This was the 61st edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in which PM Modi spoke about government’s efforts towards water conservation, Gaganyaan and Khelo India among other topics.

Starting his address by greeting the nation on Republic Day, PM said we are here to discuss newer subjects, to celebrate the latest achievements of our countrymen.

On water conservation efforts, PM Modi highlighted the Jal Shakti Abhiyan and said, “It gives me joy to let you know that the Jal Shakti campaign that commenced last monsoon is taking rapid, successful strides with the aid of public participation. The best part is that in this campaign, people from all strata of society contributed wholeheartedly. Take for instance Jalore district in Rajasthan.”

He praised Barabanki village in Uttar Pradesh for showing participation in water conservation efforts.

“One area which has witnessed wide scale public participation is water conservation. From Uttarakhand to Tamil Nadu, lot of good work has been done,” he said.

Further he extended his thanks to the people of Assam for the excellent arrangements at the Khelo India Youth Games which colcluded on January 22.

“It is very pleasant for all of us to learn that the participation of athletes in ‘Khelo India Games’ is on the upsurge year after year. And this also tells you about the increasing inclination towards sports in our school children,” he said.

Further he also announced Khelo India University Games during his address. He said, “National Games is an arena, where players get a chance to display their passion besides becoming acquainted with culture of other states. We have decided to organize Khelo India University Games every year on pattern of Khelo India Youth Games.”

PM Modi also announced schedule of the Khelo India University Games which will be organized in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar, Odish from February 22 to March 1. More than 3000 players have qualified for participating in these games, he told.

PM also spoke on the Bru-refugee agreement which was signed recently to resolve the Bru-Reang refugee crisis.

He also highlighted the country’s achievement in the field of Science and Technology by quoting the significant step towards the Gaganyaan mission.

“Four candidates have been already selected as astronauts for this mission. All of them are pilots of the Indian Air Force. These promising youngsters symbolise India’s skill, talent, ability, courage and dreams,” he said.

PM Modi also said insurgency in the Northeast has come down and one of the main reasons is that all issues of the region are being resolved through peaceful dialogue