Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the keynote address at the third leadership summit of US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF). Prime Minister said, the US-ISPF brought together a diverse range of people for the US India Summit 2020. He commended the work of the US-ISPF in bringing India and USA closer. Prime Minister said, the theme for this year is a relevant one- Navigating New Challenges. When the year 2020 began, nobody imagined this is how it would pan out. The global pandemic has impacted everyone. It is testing our resilience, our public health systems and our economic systems.
The theme of the summit was ‘Navigating New Challenges’. Addressing a range of issues from the COVID-19 pandemic to the future, Mr. Modi made it clear that India has the capabilities to face the challenges of the health crisis and the economic situation. The future should be one where there is a spirit of cooperation among everyone. He stated that the global pandemic has impacted all nations and people. It has been a testing time for the economies as well as the healthcare systems. The current situation demands a fresh outlook with the focus on human-centric development.
India did the same by scaling up its healthcare facilities in a record time to deal with the pandemic. Prime Minister also said India was amongst the first countries to globally advocate masks and face coverings as a public health measure and also amongst those creating a public campaign about social distancing. He pointed that India despite being limited by resources has one of the lowest death rates per million due to COVID-19 and the recovery rate is also steadily rising. India is cooperating with international agencies for a vaccine and is the second largest Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kit producer in the world. Apart from the pandemic, India has also dealt with natural calamities such as floods, two cyclones and a locust attack. But, India has emerged stronger from all such calamities. The focus of the government through the pandemic and the other calamities have been to protect the poor. The government is providing support to 800 million people during the pandemic through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna under which free foodgrain is being provided.
Looking at the future, Prime Minister Modi stated that India with 65 percent of its population under the age of 35 years, it is an aspirational nation, a growing nation. The people of India have embarked on one mission; that is to make an ‘Atmanirbhar’ Bharat, a self-reliant nation that merges the local with the global. The idea is to transform India from a passive market to an active manufacturing hub in the global supply chain. It will ensure that India’s strengthens its’ act as a global force multiplier. India has time and again shown that its goal is global good. As an example, Mr. Modi stated that despite local needs, India continued to supply medicines to the world.
The Indian government is helping its young people achieve their aspirations through more ease in laws regulating business and labour, cutting down red-tapeism and ensuring reforms in the tax system.
India has a predictable and transparent tax system, rule of law and a democratic political system. He called on the United States, the Gulf countries, Australia and the European nations to invest in India pointing that India is full of opportunities in the private and public sector. They cover core economic sectors and social sectors too. India was looking at investments in coals, mining, railways, defence, space and atomic energy. India wants to ramp up its capabilities while protecting its poor and future proofing its citizens. India is actively working on the world’s largest housing programme. The renewable energy infrastructure is being expanded. Rail, road and air connectivity is being boosted. All these initiatives are being undertaken using world class technology and best global practices. The coronavirus pandemic has also shown the world that the decision on developing global supply chains should be based not only on costs but also on trust. Along with affordability of geography, companies are now also looking for reliability. India offers all this along with stability.
Script: Dr. Stuti Banerjee, Strategic Analyst on American Affairs