India’s health sector overcame
trial by fire amid COVID; says Modi


New Delhi [India], February 23 (ANI): Terming this year’s Health Budget as extraordinary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that last year was “trial by fire” for India and its health sector because of COVID-19 but the country successfully overcame the challenge.

Addressing a webinar on the budget implementation of the health sector, PM Modi said, “The budget allocated for the health sector now is extraordinary. It shows our commitment to this sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lesson to be prepared to fight similar challenges in future.”

On the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister said, “Last year was trial by fire for India, world and the whole of humanity. I am pleased to say that country’s health sector has successfully overcome this challenge. We succeeded in saving scores of lives.”

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressing at the webinar for effective implementation of Union Budget in Health Sector, in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI Photo)

Coronavirus has taught us a lesson to fight and be prepared for future challenges, PM Modi said, adding “that is why it is essential to strengthening our health sector.”

“We have to focus on everything. Form medical equipment to medicines, from ventilators to vaccines, from scientific research to surveillance infrastructure,” he added.

“Today, the world’s trust in India’s health sector is at a new high. We have to be prepared for the increasing demand for the ‘Made in India’ vaccines,” PM Modi said.

He further said that to keep India healthy, the government is working on four main things-prevention of illness and promotion of wellness, healthcare access to all, building health infrastructure and increase in quality and quantity of healthcare professionals, to work in a focused manner.

Underscoring the significant importance of health and wellbeing for the growth and development of the country, the Budget allocation for the same was increased to Rs 2,23,846 crore in 2021-22 as against this year’s Rs 94,452 crore, according to an official release. This manifests into an increase of 137 per cent, it added.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the deregulation of map and geo-spatial data, which he said would strengthen the tech startup ecosystem and India’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.

“Through this measure, tech startup ecosystem will be strengthened. Through this step, the Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision will be strengthened. The move will provide new freedom to startups and innovators,” he said, while virtually addressing the 66th convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur.

Quoting Rabindranath Tagore, PM Modi also said: “Getting your nation means realising your own soul in an extended way. When we start recreating our nation through thought, work and service, then only can we see our own soul in our nation.”

The Prime Minister further said that IIT Kharagpur has given much emphasis to important innovation for Industry 4.0 and lauded their efforts to convert AI-based academic research on an industrial level.

“Even against COVID-19, your software solutions are proving useful for the nation. Now you have to work swiftly for futuristic solutions of health tech,” he added.

Speaking on COVID-19, PM Modi asserted that India can become a global player in the post-coronavirus period. With this thought, the expenditure in the budget towards science and technology has been increased, he said.

The Prime Minister further lauded the efforts of IIT Kharagpur on the implementation of the new National Education Policy and praised the institute for the way they were exploring knowledge and science as the strength of our future innovation.

He urged the institute to compile 75 major innovations to coincide with the 75th year of India’s independence next year, while also availing them for the country and the world. He said these inspirations would give a new boost to the country and inspire confidence. (ANI)