Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that sometimes decisions over reforms may not seem right at the first instance and that over time they pay dividends for the country.
Speaking in Bengaluru, where Modi dedicated a slew of connectivity, education, healthcare and research projects, he said, “The path of start-ups and innovation is not easy and comfortable and it has not been easy to put the country on the path to rapid development in the last eight years. Many decisions and many reforms may not seem right in the short term but with time the country experiences the benefit of the reform.”
Modi’s comments come on the back of widespread protests against ‘Agnipath’, the new army recruitment scheme, announced by the Centre. The chiefs of the three services are likely to brief Modi on Tuesday on the Agnipath short-term recruitment scheme for the armed forces, official sources said on Monday after the Army issued a notification for compulsory online registration by aspirants.
In his address in Bengaluru, Modi said, “Only the path of reform can take us to a new vision and goals. We have opened the space and defence sectors to youths after only the government had authority over these sectors for years. From drones to aircraft, and every cutting-edge technology, youths are being encouraged. From ISRO to DRDO, we are telling youths to link their vision to the world-class facilities created by the government and test their ideas,” he said.
Citing this as an example of the capabilities of the youth in the country, he said, “In the last eight years from 100 start-ups, over 70,000 start-ups have come up.”
“During the Covid period, youths in Bengaluru helped people all around the world. Bengaluru showed that if governments provide facilities and interfere to the minimum in the lives of people, then there is no limit to what youths can do and the heights to which they can take the country,” he said.
“The Bharat of the 21st Century is the Bharat of wealth creators, job creators, and innovators. Being the world’s youngest nation is the real strength of Bharat and this is our tradition. To promote this strength, constant efforts have been made but it has had limited results. But Bengaluru has won over this culture,” he said.
“There is also a lot of discussion on the start-up ecosystem in India, of which Bengaluru is a big centre. In the last eight years, a lot of progress has been made. It is evident when we look at the numbers. In the previous decades, the number of billion-dollar companies that were created could be counted on the fingers but in the last eight years, more than 100 billion-dollar companies have come up, and every month new companies are joining them,” he said.
“The strength of Bengaluru is that it teaches people to also change their mindsets including those people who view the private sector of India and private enterprises with disrespect. The strength of the country and the ability of crores of people are belittled by the people who are obsessed with politics,” Modi said.
He inaugurated and dedicated to the nation several projects worth over `33,000 crore during his visit Monday in what is seen as an infrastructure push ahead of the state polls that are scheduled for 2023. Among the key projects for which a foundation stone was laid was a Rs 15,000 crore, 148-km suburban rail project for Bengaluru that had been in the works since the 1980s. Modi promised to give the project wings in 40 months.