Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced a manned mission to space by 2022 and unveiled Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan.
An Indian astronaut, be it a man or a woman, will go on a space odyssey by 2022 on board 'Gaganyaan', Modi said in his Independence Day address.
"In space technology, we have dreamt something, our scientists have dreamt something. And I am happy to announce that by 2022, the 75th Independence year, we are planning a manned space mission," Modi said.
This seems to be PM Modi's 'JFK moment' as he announced that India will become the fourth nation to send a man to space.
On May 25, 1961, US president John F Kennedy announced before a special joint session of Congress the dramatic and ambitious goal of sending an American safely to the Moon before the end of the decade. A number of political factors affected Kennedy's decision and the timing of it.
The Prime Minister unveiled Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan and said it will be launched on September 25 this year. "It is high time we ensure that the poor of India get access to good quality and affordable healthcare," Modi said.
The healthcare initiatives of the centre will have a positive impact on 50 crore Indians, Modi said, adding that it is essential to ensure that we free the poor of India from the clutches of poverty due to which they cannot afford healthcare.
On Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said that the government will continue to follow the path of 'Insaniyat, Jamuriyat and Kashmiriyat' for peace envisioned by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He also said that efforts are on to hold early polls for local bodies and panchayats in Jammu and Kashmir to help strengthen democratic institutions there.
This is the Prime Minister's fifth and the last Independence Day speech before the general elections next year.
Setting the stage for the 2019 general elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech pitched for social justice as well as the achievements of his government.
Highlights from the speech: Modi started his Independence Day speech by saluting the women of India and tribal children who unfurled the National flag on Mount Everest. "India has registered its name as one of the largest global power. And after such an achievement, we are celebrating the Independence Day today. I salute Army personnel and other forces who sacrifice their lives to protect India's national flag," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. This year the country has witnessed a good monsoon but at the same time there has been parts in India which were affected by floods. Modi said, adding "My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives in these floods," Modi added. On his government's achievement, Modi spoke about village electrification and construction of toilets. "Remember where we were then, where we are now. Penetration of optical fiber and internet in rural India would have taken decades, if we had progressed in the same speed as was in 2013," he said. "Indians did not just elect a government, they went ahead and participated in nation building," PM Modi said. On Minimum Support Price (MSP), Modi added that after years of files circulating in government offices, our government finally put MSP in place. He continued on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and Benami Property Act, saying that no one had the courage to enforce it but we did it. One Rank One Pension (OROP) policy was also put into practice when our jawans were struggling. "From being seen as among the fragile five, India is now the land of reform, perform and transform. We are all set for record economic growth," Modi said. On the occasion of 72nd Independence Day, PM Modi announce manned mission to space in 2022. "India is proud of our scientists, who are excelling in their research and are at the forefront of innovation. In the year 2022 or if possible before, India will unfurl the tricolour in space," he added. Modi said, India has become a ray of hope for people believing that global warming is a threat and a cause of environmental concern and that the country is heading international solar alliance. "The world earlier viewed India as a country hit by policy paralysis, delayed reforms, now it sees it as a multi-trillion dollar investment destination," Modi said, adding that his government also took the bold measure of announcing the minimum support price for grains at 1.5 times the cost to farmers. “With a 'Beej Se Bazar Tak' approach, the government is bringing reforms to the agriculture sectors and aims to double farmer incomes by 2022, Narendra Modi said from Red Fort. PM Modi on Clean India: World Health Organisation (WHO) has just released a report that states that India's Swachh Bharat program has saved the lives of 3 lakh children. PM Modi announces Jan Aarogya Abhiyan: The Prime Minister announced that 100 crore families will get Rs 5 lakh of health insurance under the Jan Aarogya Abhiyan which will be started along with Ayushman Bharat program.
Talking about the developments on Ujjwala and Saubhagya Yojana, PM Modi said, "As significant as economic growth, is dignity of the individual. Our schemes are enhancing the dignity of fellow Indians."