Celebrating 75 years of Independence, News 18 organised ‘Amrit Ratna Samman’ to honour individuals, who with their path-breaking accomplishments have contributed immensely to India’s development.
The honour was presented at a grand ceremony held at the Taj Palace, New Delhi. The channel aims to establish the ‘Amrit Ratna Samman’ as an annual celebration of the achievements of Indian icons across different fields who made the country proud, and an occasion to express the nation’s gratitude towards these stalwarts.
The event kicked off with a one-on-one session with Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister for Education and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, where various government policies were discussed. The session was moderated by Aman Chopra, Senior Editor, Network 18 India.
On asking about the Education Policy 2020, the Minister responded, “The new education policy is designed to be unique combination of modern and ancient knowledge. Our focus is on the skill and knowledge-based education. Where the world has become a global village, we want our students should be ready for global citizenship.”
On asking on the Delhi’s educational model, he responded, “Delhi’s education model is like a bubble and figures show a completely different story. Delhi government school CBSE results are declining every year and weaker students are not focused rather they highlight the talented students only for marketing and branding purpose. Students who got low marks in Delhi schools are kept separately. Those children are looked upon with contempt. The result is falling in Delhi for the last 6 years. Also, I don’t think we should talk about propaganda, rather focus on positive approach.”
On being questioned on the recent actions by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), the Minister responded, “Some people consider the country as their fiefdom, they are under the impression that no one can question them, because they have a special surname. We believe that no one is above the law. Those who are opposing the action of ED, are the same people who are out on bail.”
Speaking on “Har Ghar Tiranga”, the Union Minister said, “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is not a matter of politics, it’s a matter of nationalism. We as Indians should be proud of ourselves that in such short span of time, we have achieved milestones. As an Indian I would suggest that everyone should hoist the Tricolour at their homes, offices and establishments.”
In the second session, Ashwini Vaishnav, Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology was invited as a guest. The session was moderated by Kishor Ajwani, Managing Editor, News 18 India
The session started with a discussion on 5G spectrum where the Railway Minister replied, “5G brings enormously possibilities in terms of connectivity and technological advancements. The way Prime Minister Modi Ji has reformed the telecom sector, it is admirable. In today's government, the telecom tower gets permission immediately and we believe that 5G service will be launched in the country by October 2022.”
On a lighter note, Kishor asked a question on the testing of the anti-collision device, which was been tested by the minister himself, the minister responded, “There was no fear during the trial. We wanted to set an example of self-reliant India. I was denied by the authorities not to be in the train during the trail run, but I had full confidence in the competence of our engineers.”
Regarding the bullet train project, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav informed, work is pacing up on it. When the new government came in Maharashtra, we got permission immediately. Soon the dream will come true and in 2026 the first trial run of the bullet train will start. He further informed that 75% of the pillars have been casted and construction of stations and building bridges over the rivers is going on.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami was also invited at the event.
Asking on the development in Uttarakhand, the Chief Minister stated, “The development process paced up in the last 8 years. We have expanded the road projects and very soon we will witness that people will stop taking flights because people will cover the distance in less than 2 hours.”
On being asked on the Uniform Civil Code, Dhami replied, “Uttarakhand has the privilege to send at least one person in the armed forces from each family. We had taken a resolution before the elections that after the formation of the new government, the first decision will be taken on the Uniform Civil Code. People gave us a mandate and we have moved forward in that direction. A 5-member committee has started work regarding the UCC. The committee will carry out a public dialogue and then make a draft and I am sure that UCC will be implemented within the stipulated time frame.”
Further on being asked about how their government is managing development along with ecological balance, Dhami replied, “Uttarakhand has got 150 crore schemes in 5 to 6 years, it became possible because of double engine government. Uttarakhand is ‘Dev Bhumi’ and we understand this. There should be harmony between economy and ecology. We are working on whatever is necessary for the development of Uttarakhand.”
On being questioned on the actions of central agencies on the opposition leaders and various government schemes, Dhami softly replied, “If you are clean then no need to panic with ED and CBI. Today the opposition is not able to catch the pulse of the people. Under the leadership of Modi ji, schemes for the welfare of the poor. Developed countries were troubled during the corona period, so there was free vaccine in our country under the leadership of Modi ji. The poor feels that Modi ji is taking care of every person of the country.”