New Delhi: The Centre is working closely with states to help the flood-hit people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday as he pitched for technological solutions to the daily life problems and informed the nation about the government plans to earmark Rs 10 crore for innovation.
In his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, he also talked about the Indian participation in the Rio Olympics, upcoming Independence Day celebrations, his visit to South Africa and passage of a Bill by Parliament that will unlock over Rs 40,000 crore to states for afforestation.
During the 35-minute broadcast, he spoke about the need to curb deaths during child delivery and said government hospitals will offer free check-up on 9th of every month which poor pregnant women should avail of.
He urged gynaecologists, who do not work in government hospitals, to devote one day for this purpose. Talking about the floods in the country, Mr Modi said, "Sometime back, we were concerned about drought but now we are enjoying the rains and there are reports about floods. The state governments and the Centre are working closely, making all efforts to help the flood-affected people."
A number of states, including Assam and Bihar, are reeling under floods, which have killed over scores of people and caused widespread damage to property.
Centre, states fighting flood fury, says PM Modi
"India is going through many problems. We encounter problems in daily life. Now, we will have to look for technological solutions," Mr Modi said. Exhorting youth to go for research to find technological solutions to such problems, Modi referred to the ‘Atal Innovation Mission’ (AIM) through which the government intends to create an ecosystem of innovation, experiment and entrepreneurship and generate jobs.
"If we have to prepare next generation innovators, we will have to connect our children with the AIM. That is why, the central government has taken the initiative of Atal Tinkering Labs," he said. Whichever school establishes these labs, it will get Rs 10 lakh and an equal amount for maintenance of these labs for five years, the Prime Minister said.
Noting that innovation is directly linked to ‘Incubation Centre’, he said under the Atal Incubation Centre programme, the government plans to earmark a "big amount" of Rs 10 crore.
Inviting youth to do research and invent solutions through technology to the problems they see, the Prime Minister referred to the ‘Atal Grand Challenges’ and said, "The government of India wants to reward technology that is developed to address our problems."
He said this will be the real tribute to former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, whose first death anniversary was observed four days back. "The more our young generation works for research, innovation, inventing technology for solutions to our daily life problems and provide an easy relief from our problems, it will contribute immensely to making of the modern India of 21st century and that will be the real tribute to Abdul Kalam," Mr Modi said.
He began his programme with reference to the Rio Olympics and asked people to create a campaign to encourage India’s participants in this mega sporting event.
Underlining that participation in the games is more important than winning of losing, he asked the countrymen to extend their wishes to the Indian participants. "For transmitting your messages of good wishes, the Prime Minster of the country is ready to become a postman," he said.
Turning to the upcoming 70th Independence Day celebrations, Mr Modi said the country should also celebrate the 75th anniversary of Quit India Movement on August 8. He asked the countrymen to celebrate these events like a festival by creating an atmosphere of nationalism.
"This should not remain a government function but a celebration of the countrymen. Like a Diwali, it should be our own festival," he said hoping that people will send pictures filled with nationalism to his App.