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Youth must eradicate corruption: Kalam

January 26, 2004 02:09 IST

Following is the text of the President's address to the nation on the eve of the 55th Republic Day:

Dear Citizens, on this important day on the eve of 55th Republic Day of India, I am indeed happy to greet all the billion citizens of our country, including those living abroad.

I also greet the members of the armed forces and paramilitary forces who guard our frontiers on the land, the sea and the air and also internal security forces. I would like to share some of my thoughts for evolution of a beautiful India, combining economic prosperity and a value system drawn from our civilizational heritage.

Indian economic scenario:
The Indian economy shows a very robust and consistent growth, indicated by the recent 8.4 per cent GDP growth in the second quarter of 2003-2004. Our foreign exchange reserves have crossed the $100billion mark and are continuously rising.

The rupee is steady, the middle class resurgent and domestic buying power is on the rise. This has made our economy one of the fastest growing in the world. The time has come for these economic benefits to reach speedily the rural population through development programmes such as Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) and interlinking of rivers.

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Economists all around the world predict that by the year 2020, the world economic scenario will be completely different from what it is today, and that India will occupy the pride of position.

Indian industries in certain sectors have matured to be very responsive to national and international needs and have shown steady growth in spite of earlier adverse predictions.

Interest rates from the banks need to be more proactive to stimulate the growth of the right type of small, medium scale industry and agro food-processing industries. The combination of entrepreneurship education in schools and colleges, hassle-free flow of venture capital and evolution of a good market will give additional momentum for national growth transforming India into a competitive and beautiful nation.

Dear citizens, for the next five years, with certain progress behind us, the challenge we have, is to launch a major thrust for attaining national prosperity. We should convert the present opportunity and work towards giving our future generations, a competitive nation which has the following characteristics.

Profile of a Competitive India:
A Nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy.
A Nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line. 
A Nation where there is an equitable distribution of energy and quality water.
A Nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony, absorbing technology thereby resulting in sustained wealth generation leading to higher employment potential.
A Nation where education is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination
A Nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars and scientists all over the world
A Nation where the best of health care is available to all the billion population and the diseases like AIDS/TB, water borne diseases, Cardiac diseases and Cancer are extinct
A Nation where the governance uses the best of technologies to be responsive, transparent, easily accessible and simple in rules, thereby corruption free
A Nation where poverty has been totally alleviated, illiteracy and crime against women are eradicated and the society is un-alienated.
A Nation that is one of the best places to live in, on the Earth and brings smiles to a billion faces
These are the ten dimensional transformations needed for a competitive India and we have to work for.

Peace in the offing:
For continuing our mission of national development and economic growth in our sub-continent, peace is a paramount ingredient. Most nations have realized that low intensity proxy wars, deterrence-based build-ups and real wars are too expensive distractions from the perceived visions of development.

The development of the society also weans away its people from destructive activities of alienation, leading to celebration of peace-makers.

When guns are silent
Flowers blossom on the earth
Fragrance engulfs good souls
Who created beautiful silence
India will always be grateful to the successful peacemakers

Towards Unity of minds:
Dear citizens, when I assumed office on 25th July 2002, I addressed the need for unity of minds becoming one of the focused missions for our nation.

Recently fifteen gurus, acharyas, swamijis, maulavis, reverent fathers, spiritual leaders, devotees and the representatives of many religions met at Surat in the presence of His Holiness Acharya Mahaprajna and deliberated for two days and took vital decisions to ensure religions graduate into a spiritual force.

Also, they have declared that the nation is bigger than any leader or individual or an organisation. They had collectively evolved five inter-religious projects for implementation. The Nation's best wishes to our spiritual leaders and their mission of transforming religions into a spiritual force.

Challenges Before Us:
Also certain challenges before the nation are to be addressed collectively in the immediate future to facilitate faster pace of national development.

Service to Society:
Our scientists should become civic scientists and contribute towards societal transformation, civic means concerning or affecting the community or the  people.

In the new capacity, scientists step beyond their campuses, laboratories, ministries and institutes and move into the centre of their communities to engage in active dialogue and action with their fellow citizens.

They should ask themselves a question, how their knowledge can make an impact on the common man's life. Our civil servants and others in the service sector should become fearlessly people-friendly have a positive attitude, and provide responsive, proactive, transparent and unbiased administration and service to the billion people.

Primary Education:
Assent has been accorded for the 86th Constitution Amendment Act - Right to Education Bill for children between the age group of 5-14 years. Urgent action is needed for providing suitable school infrastructure and appointment of good teachers for running the schools for providing quality education to children blended with modern technologies of e-learning and tele-education.

While doing so, a review of the syllabus is also required to prevent overloading of the children for ensuring blossoming of their creativity.

Protecting the Brand Image of Higher Education:
The nation's vision of developed India requires greater thrust to scientific and technological advancements. All our IITs, IIMs have graduated as world class brand institutions in addition to the century old premier institution - Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

These characteristics must be preserved and nurtured. We should also encourage universities to become cradles of higher learning and research, contributing generation of high skilled global human resource force.

Examination Reforms:
Often, we have witnessed that many important national examinations have been the target of attack by a select group of corrupt individuals who undermine the very fabric of secrecy and transparency of the conduct of these examinations.

While we should deal with such individuals with sternness to protect the image of our national selection system and the quality, we should also find technological solution that can ensure tamperproof examination system.

Agriculture and Agro Food Processing:
With farmers in focus, farming technology as their friend, and food processing and marketing as partners is indeed the second green revolution. From now on to 2020, India would have to gradually increase production to around 400 million tonnes per annum. This increase will have to be done under the reduced availability of land from 170 million hectares to 100 million hectares and with reduced water availability, using technological inputs.

Institutions of Pharmaceutical sciences and Pharma industries need to evolve an integrated and comprehensive National Pharma Vision to meet the challenges of design to drug development, production and marketing. The major challenge before the pharma community is to prevent the entry of spurious drugs and eradicate its presence in the market.

With our self-reliance in our space programme, it is we entered the global market aggressively. The exploration of the moon through 'Chandrayaan' and keeping our sight on Mars will electrify the entire country, particularly young scientists and children.

Modernisation of our armed forces with force multipliers is indeed progressing to meet national security needs. Defence technology has led to the development of long-range missile systems and supersonic cruise missiles, Light Combat

Aircraft, Electronic warfare systems, radars, under-water sensors, combat vehicles and armaments. The Indo-Russian joint venture programme - BrahMos - is one of the leading examples of development, production and marketing of state- of-the-art missile system.

Our power generation capacity of 100,000Megawatt has to be tripled by the year 2020. In addition to power generation from conventional sources, we need to enhance power generation capacity through non-conventional energy sources to attain power security. Also, the present nuclear capacity of 2700 Megawatts should be enhanced to more than 20,000Megawatt by 2020.

Desalination plants can be co-located with proposed nuclear power plants for converting sea water to drinking water. We need to establish large solar farms of 800 to 1000Megawatt capacity to augment energy availability.

S&T Growth:
Every academic institution and R&D organisation is a reservoir of knowledge. Technology will also spin off to societal products, which are cost effective, high-quality and available to the people in time. Thrust is required in Nano-science and biotechnology to achieve leadership in these areas in the coming decade.

Scientists and technologists must undertake a health mission - Let my brain remove the pain. The scientific community must realize that competitiveness can come only by integrated mission driven programmes partnered by academy, R&D organisations and industry.

Civic Awareness:
The status of environmental cleanliness is one of the indicators of development of a nation. As a nation, we have to keep our environment clean and tidy. This is essential for better health conditions of all the citizens and also for presenting a wholesome and aesthetic atmosphere for us, and also tourists. It is essential that we keep all our places of worship and rivers clean and tidy to preserve their innate divinity. Each one of the States may promulgate appropriate local laws for promoting harmonious environment in their regions.

Election Manifesto:
The general elections for 14th Lok Sabha will take place in 2004. I was thinking what could be the manifesto of the competing political parties for the election. India has more than 540 million people who are 25 or below. India is a nation of youth.

During my interactions with the youth of our country, two aspects came out very clearly. One is that the young have a passion, self-respect and dream to live in a developed India. Second, they want to live in a corruption free India.

I can see these two are glowing in their eyes. I am also convinced that we should build developed India in a time bound way to prevent instability in the society.

Hence the manifesto of the political parties has to take into account their aspirations and designed to meet the dreams of the young and be resonant with their aspirations with identified missions and action plans. Every political party must clearly state its vision, action plan and approach for achieving a developed India and how fast they can realize these missions in quality and quantity.

Voter's Responsibility:
Every citizen has got a role to choose the right representative for Parliament and legislatures, whose vision is that of national development and who has concern for his/her constituency and the people.

The right to vote is the greatest power given to you by democracy, so that you can reinforce further democratic values.

I would like to appeal to all eligible voters to exercise their franchise without fail, fear or favour. A large voter turn out will be the first step towards realization of a developed India, and the second step would be to become enlightened righteous citizens.

Movement by Young Citizens:
Which is the starting point, for the character evolution in the nation? Dear citizens, let me share with you an incident, which took place somewhere in Nagaland.

I was talking to a group of 600 persons consisting of young children, their parents and teachers. The topic I selected was the knowledge society, foundation for a developed India.

One boy who was studying in 10th class, asked: Mr President, tell me is it possible for a nation to get transformed into a developed country, when there is corruption everywhere?

This question greatly upset the many faces of the experienced generation. I said the question is beautiful and I must answer.

Fortunately, the boy's parents and teachers were sitting by his side. I asked both: Do you have an answer?

They said: Mr President, he shouldn't have asked such a question, which is beyond his age. Please ignore it, sir.

How can I ignore such a valuable mind? I must answer. My answer was the following: We can create any number of laws in the country. No law can remove corruption fully. However there are only three members of the society, who can remove corruption. I call it as a 'Three dimensional action' plan. Who are these three members? They are father, mother and elementary school teacher.

In this connection, I would like to recall a famous statement from a Vedic Guru, who said: You give me a child for seven years - after that, no God or devil can change the child.

That is the power of the teacher.

My dear young friends, when you hear my national broadcast, please ask yourself a question, what can be the greatest contribution that the youth can give without disturbing their academic pursuit. You have to commence a silent revolution for removal of corruption by rightly reforming those who go against righteousness in your families.

You all must endeavour to make the home you live, beautiful and righteous. You definitely have the power on your parents to do so, with love and affection.

Dear Citizens, now I would like to administer an oath for the youth which I would like the youths to repeat with me now, wherever you are. Are you ready?

Ten point oath for the youth of the nation:
I will pursue my education or work with dedication and I will excel in it
From now onwards, I will teach at least 10 persons who cannot read and write to do so
I will plant at least 10 saplings and shall ensure their growth through constant care
I will visit rural and urban areas and permanently wean away at least 5 persons from addiction and gambling
I will constantly endeavor to remove the pain of my suffering brethren
I will not support any religious, caste or language differentiation
I will be honest and endeavour for a corruption-free society
I will work for becoming an enlightened citizen and make my family righteous
I will always be a friend of the mentally and physically challenged and will work hard to make them feel normal, like the rest of us
I will proudly celebrate the success of my country and my people

India is very fortunate to have 540 million youth out of a billion people. We are doing well in agriculture, our industry is on the upswing and our performance in the services sector is also equally good. Time has now come for us to make our country righteous.

Righteousness comes out of good character. The evolution of good character leads to harmony in home. Harmony in home leads the people of the State to become enlightened citizens. Enlightened citizens will make planet Earth a peaceful world.

Let us rededicate ourselves on this occasion of the 55th Republic Day to work towards making India a prosperous, happy and secure nation, with a smile on its billion faces. Almighty, the God is with us.

Jai Hind.

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