NITN | @notintownlive | 15 Sep 2020
Kolkata: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said the Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) spirit will result in India, a vast country of 1.3 billion people, coming out much stronger after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Puri at a special online session of The Write Circle and in conversation with former diplomat, author and foreign policy analyst, T C A Raghavan, organized by Prabha Khaitan Foundation of Kolkata, said, "The Aatmanirbhar Bharat spirit will result in India coming out much stronger after Covid-19 because we are unleashing our animus spirits in terms of self reliance and work. Some of this is in reaction to the global trends."
"If the global supply chains are unduly dominated by a particular country and you apprehend difficulties, well that's the genius of the Indian people to quickly rebound and the results are heartwarming," the Civil Aviation Minister added.
The Write Circle is a forum that brings top minds and experts to share perspectives and deep insights from diverse fields and spheres of activity.
Puri, who also holds the portfolios as the Minister of State (Independent Charge) Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and the Minister of State, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in response to a question by Raghavan further said, “Aatmanirbhar Bharat is not intended to be an inward looking excuse to close our borders to the world. It is a spirit and a resolve to make us more productive and better members of International community and global system.
"We are on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution with the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and artificial intelligence and the spirit is to make sure we don’t become a lego or just nuts and bolts. Aatmanirbhar will resonate strongly because we want to take advantage of the other supply chains in the world."
Commenting on various challenges and struggles of Covid-19 pandemic, Puri said, "Since May 6, India has now (in the fifth phase) brought back over 1.4 million citizens from across the globe during the pandemic.
"I can say with a sense of confidence that this is the largest evacuation and repatriation mission undertaken at any point of time in human history and the rate at which things are moving we shall set a new record. We were able to do it within reasonable arrangements of social distancing and other safety quotients."
Touching upon different topics, he said that the lockdown has helped us to create necessary infrastructure – the number of beds required; PPEs, ventilators, medicines etc., that have been exported to many countries in the world, including the developed West.
Puri lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the foresight and courageous steps to combat the pandemic.
"The decision to prioritise life and livelihood is a difficult one. Domestic civil aviation was opened on May 22 and in the pre-covid days India was handling 2.5 to 3 lakh passengers per day. By Diwali we hope to handle 1.5 to 2 lakh passengers per day and hopefully by the end of the year we would go back to the pre-covid days," Puri said.
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