New Delhi . On August 15, Ind ia celebrated its 72nd Independence Day and as is the tradition, the country ’s Prime Minister addresses the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, projecting his government’s policies and mentioning its achievements.
Known for his oratorical skills, Prime Minister Narendra Modi kept up the rhythm as he outlined the series of steps his government took since assuming office in 2014 amid a sense of despondency that had gripped the country. His words were chosen, and crucial as the next parliamentary elections are due in 2019.
An inspiring promise he made was to put a man in space by 2022, a goal towards which the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been making efforts for more than a decade.
The speech, delivered in Hindi for over 80 minutes, contained another big announcement – to allow women get permanent commission in more branches of the military.
An ambitious healthcare programme to benefit 100 million families was also formally announced.
Mr Modi announced:¬ I am delighted to share a good news. Our country is undoubtedly progressing fast in its space missions. However, we have a dream; our scientists have a dream. We have resolved that by 2022, when India celebrates 75 years of Independence or maybe even before that, certainly some of our young boys and girls will unfurl the Tricolour in space. With Mangalyaan (mission to mars) our scientists have proved their capabilities. I feel proud to announce that very soon as a part of our Manned-Space mission, we shall be sending an Indian into space. This will be done through the pursuit of our esteemed scientists, and we will proudly find ourselves as the fourth such nation to have launched a successful manned space mission.’’
India has a robust space programme that is up and running from 1963, thanks to the efforts of physicist and industrialist Dr Vikram Sarabhai, who set up ISRO in 1969 and sent about 20 engineers to France for training.
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