Amplifying his public engagements considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended 101 events using technology between September and November this year, averaging more than one programme every day, official sources said on Tuesday.
This is more than 25 per cent higher as compared to the same period of the previous year when the prime minister had 78 domestic engagements, they noted.
In these three months of 2020, Modi has extensively used technology to interact with all sections of society, from rural India to investors and from youth to CEOs.
He has inaugurated and launched various schemes in rural India, while also participating in virtual summits with international leaders, the sources added.
The prime minister participated in 26 programmes of launch or inauguration of some project or initiative between September and November this year.
With the government focussing on helping the deprived sections of the society, the poor's welfare was the main theme in his interactions, sources said, noting that Modi interacted with street vendors and also beneficiaries the 'PM Awas Yojana', a housing scheme for the poor.
The education sector was another of his priorities as he participated in eight events related to it where he spoke, among other issues, on the National Education Policy, recently approved by the government.
He also participated in four events related to international investors, and there were two virtual meetings with chief ministers of all states on the COVID-19 pandemic.
There were 10 international events he attended via video conferencing, which include G20, ASEAN-India summit, BRICS and virtual summits with Italy, Luxemburg, Sri Lanka and Denmark.
Noting that Modi attended distinct and diverse events on some days, sources said that on the day he addressed the Mysore University students, he also took part in the 'Annual Grand Challenges' programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Similarly, on the day he spoke at the 'SVANidhi' program, which catered to street vendors, in Uttar Pradesh, he also took part in the 'National Conference on Vigilance and Anti-Corruption' organised by the CBI.
Again, the day he spoke at the ASEAN-India summit, he also addressed the students of JNU at the inauguration of the Vivekananda statue. The day he launched the drinking water scheme 'Har Ghar Jal Yojna' in Uttar Pradesh, he also spoke at the G20 global summit, sources said.
"PM Modi is known to work to a packed schedule even normally and exceeding it during the times of the pandemic is significant," an official said.
Officials said that apart from public events, the prime minister's internal meetings have also increased tremendously, as he amped up the frequency of sectoral review meetings to accelerate various projects and reforms.
An official said that since most meetings are held via video-conferencing, it saves time for everyone and this has led to more productivity. Modi's internal meetings have also gone up significantly, probably by over 50 per cent, he said.
During this period, he also extensively interacted with governors, National Disaster Management Authority officials and reviewed relief operations for various cyclones among other issues. He also held various meetings with senior officials and scientists on India's vaccine strategy, sources said.