The G20 presidency is a big opportunity for India to focus on global good and present the world with an insight into the country’s diversity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday in his monthly radio broadcast.
In the 95th episode of “Mann Ki Baat”, PM Modi also hailed the launch of the Vikram-S, the country’s first privately built rocket, saying it ushered “a new dawn” for the country’s private players in the space sector.
With India assuming the presidency of G20 on December 1, the Prime Minister urged educational institutions to create opportunities for discussions, debates and competitions related to the grouping.
“The G20 presidency has arrived as a big opportunity for us. We have to make full use of this opportunity and focus on global good, world welfare. Whether it is peace or unity, sensitivity towards the environment or sustainable development, India has solutions to challenges related to these. This becomes even more special because India was awarded this responsibility during Azadi Ka Amrit Kaal (Celebrations of 75 years of India’s independence),” he said.
The G20 countries account for 85% of global GDP, 60% of the world’s population and 75% of all trade. New Delhi plans to host to the most inclusive G20 meetings with over 800 special invitees from Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Spain and the UAE, many international bodies, and business leaders who will attend meetings over the coming year.
New Delhi also faces key challenges. The climate crisis is accelerating; Covid-19 and the Ukraine-Russia war have meant a setback to Sustainable Development Goals; and the pandemic has pushed 300 million people back into poverty. Many countries face a debt crisis while geopolitical tensions are on the rise, resulting a food and energy crisis.
With events around the summit planned across the country, the Prime Minister said in his address that it is an opportunity to present the “diverse and distinctive colours” of our culture to the world as delegates who attend the meetings are “tourists of the future”.
He also lauded the work of Yeldi Hariprasad, a weaver in Rajanna Sircilla district of Telangana who wove the G20 logo and sent it to PM Modi as a gift.
Speaking about the launch of Vikram-S, Modi said, “Its development cost is much less than the cost incurred by other countries involved in space missions. In space technology, world class standard at a low cost, has now become the hallmark of India …. The name ‘Prarambh’ given to the launch mission of ‘Vikram-S’, suits it perfectly. This marks the dawn of a new era for the private space sector in India. This is the beginning of a new era full of self-confidence for the country.”
The Vikram-S was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) from its spaceport in Sriharikota on November 18. It is a single-stage fuel rocket weighing in at approximately 545 kg that was developed by Hyderabad-based startup company Skyroot Aerospace Pvt Ltd (SAPL). The Vikram-S uses a spin-stabilised solid propellant rocket.
He added that India is sharing its success in the space sector with its neighbouring countries — referring to the launch of a satellite that has been jointly developed by India and Bhutan.
Lauding the work of youth in the fields of space, technology and innovation, he said: “They are thinking big and achieving big. Now, they are not going to be satisfied with small achievements. In this exciting journey of innovation and value creation, they are also encouraging their other young colleagues and start-ups.”
Later, he also touched on the progress in drone technology while referring to a trial run of transporting apples in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh through drones.
The PM also spoke about the need to preserve tradition and traditional knowledge and praised the work done by an organisation in Nagaland. “The life of the people of Nagaland and their skills are also very important for a sustainable lifestyle. In order to save these traditions and skills and pass them on to the next generation, the people there have formed an organisation — Lidi-Cro-U. The organisation has undertaken the work of reviving beautiful facets of Naga culture which were on the verge of being lost.”