‘Change from Scam India to Skill India’

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that time has come to develop an India model and change the image of the country from Scam India to Skill India. While giving his reply to the Motion of Thanks to President’s Address in Lok Sabha, and referring to his much talked about Gujarat Model, the prime minister said the ‘India Model’ would evolve piecing together developmental activities of all states to change the country’s image. The motion was passed with voice vote.

Delivering his first speech in a Parliament discussion, Modi said, ‘There was a lot of debate over the Gujarat model. Whatever it is, at least there is a debate on development. Even in Gujarat, the famed model was not blindly implemented across the state. It was different in different areas of the state.’

 He said, ‘Our model must be to learn the good everyone is doing irrespective of who is in power and who is not. In West Bengal, Mamata didi (Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of Bengal) is doing hard work to lift the state out of poverty. India’s model should be created by taking the positives from all good projects in each state.’

On the context of state-centre relationship, he said, ‘We don’t believe in big brother attitude towards states.’ The prime minister said, ‘We believe in co-operative federalism. I want to hear states say — we have left Gujarat behind.’ In a mood to take all parties together, Modi reached out to an opposition MP from Tamil Nadu who had said that his state’s model was better than the Gujarat model of development. Modi, while welcoming the claim, said, ‘States must engage in healthy competition in the race for development.’

While inviting suggestions and criticism from rival political parties and its leaders, he said, ‘I welcome criticism for the betterment of the nation. I promised to include their suggestions for good governance.’ Known for his innovative thought and vision, Modi referred the word ‘Rurban’ used by President Pranab Mukherjee. He said, ‘My government will be guided by a - Rurban Vision - to provide urban amenities and infrastructure to rural areas while preserving the soul and ethos 
of villages.’

He claimed that villages have the ability to serve as the engine of development and this is only possible if we start thinking on empowering villages. He said, ‘We can provide modern amenities in the villages. We can ensure 24-hour power supply and quality education. If we cannot build new schools and colleges, we can take recourse to long-distance education with the help of satellites. No one will leave the villages if we can improve the quality of life there.’

In a carefully scripted speech, Modi didn’t forget to raise the issue of minorities and stressed that every part of society had to be strengthened for the country to be strong. While recalling his childhood, he said, ‘When I was young, a Muslim man repaired cycles, three generations his family does the same. Why is that? We need to work for all parts of society. If one part of society is weak, society as a whole can never be strong.’

‘Over 65% of population is young. We need to concentrate on skill development. Our neighbour China is growing old, we are growing young. It’s a big advantage for us. Can’t we export teachers and doctors. A businessmen will bring back dollars, a teacher will bring back an entire generation,’ he said. While referring to Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh, he said, ‘Mulayam Singhji said that he has run a government and hence he is asking how I am going to fulfill all the promises. I say, let us try. We will figure out a way and if there is problem senior leaders like him are always there to guide us.’

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