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Prime Minister launched Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY) from his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched the Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY) from his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi which will be one of the largest pan-India schemes to strengthen healthcare infrastructure.

The Prime Minister said that the scheme, estimated to cost Rs 64,000 crore, would make the health infrastructure self-reliant.

"Aarogya concept is needed in everyone's life. We should invest the maximum in physical and mental wellness but, sadly this was not done in the post-Independence period. Due attention was not paid and those who were in power, kept the healthcare system deprived and lacking," he said.

Modi said that the middle-class groups and the poor were the worst sufferers in the absence of adequate facilities at the grassroots level.

"This mission will solve these problems. We are focusing on hill states like Uttarakhand and Himanchal Pradesh and also the northeast. We will address the gaps," he said.

The Prime Minister said that special attention would be laid on early detection and 125 districts will have referral facilities.

Secondly, testing would also be stepped up and 730 districts will get integrated testing laboratories.

He said that research centres will also be upgraded and four new National Institute of Virology units would be set up so that the country can be ready to deal with new viral issues and the pandemic.

He said that as the health infrastructure developed, it would generate new employment opportunities too.

The Prime Minister also announced new development projects worth Rs 5,200 crore for Varanasi.

He said that in the past seven years, Kashi had undergone a change with the building of roads, ghats, bridges, parking lots, and cleaning of the Ganga and Varuna rivers.

"This could have been done earlier but the previous governments lacked political will," he said. (IANS/JB)


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PM Modi inaugurates Kushinagar International Airport

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday inaugurated the Kushinagar International Airport and said that this was a 'manifestation of decades of aspirations and efforts'.

The first flight from Sri Lanka touched down at the Kushinagar airport on Wednesday morning, bringing a high-level delegation that comprised ministers and Buddhist monks.

"This was my commitment and we have fulfilled it. We lay special emphasis on linking Buddhist destinations, improving hospitality facilities and ensuring the comfort of tourists. This airport will not only serve tourists from India but also Buddhists from across the world, including Sri Lanka, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Cambodia and other countries," he said.

The Prime Minister pointed out that other Buddhist destinations like Lumbini, Sarnath and Bodh Gaya were at a short distance from Kushinagar which added to the importance of the Buddhist circuit.

He said India had expanded its connectivity by increasing the number of airports and in the coming years, India would have 200 more airports.

"Flight academies are also being set up and our drone policy will benefit agriculture, health and other sectors, including disaster management.

Earlier, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia, while welcoming the guests, said that flights from Kushinagar would soon begin for Mumbai and Kolkata and other destinations.

He said that 54 crore Buddhists across the globe would benefit with this airport becoming functional.

Built at a cost of Rs 260 crore and spread over 3,600 square metres, the airport is crucial for religious tourism as Kushinagar is the place where Lord Buddha attained 'Mahaparinirvana'. It is one of the four prominent Buddhist circuits. The airport will also serve nearby districts of Uttar Pradesh as well as Bihar.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that Kushinagar was the ninth airport in the state and 11 more were nearing completion. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: PM Modi, Uttar Pradesh, India, Kushinagar, Airport.


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the GatiShakti National Master Plan

Unveiling the GatiShakti National Master Plan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the programme will boost India's self-confidence and make the country self-reliant (Atmanirbhar) as today, "we have laid the foundation for the next 25 years."

"This national masterplan will give impetus to the 21st century India. It will boost the next generation infrastructure and multi model connectivity in the country while speeding up the national policy from planning to execution level," Modi said while inaugurating the GatiShakti National Master Plan and new exhibition complexes of the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at Pragati Maidan on Wednesday afternoon.

Modi said that his government has not only developed a work culture of completing the projects within the stipulated time, but is aiming to complete the projects ahead of time.

"Earlier, we used to see 'work in progress' boards everywhere and people started to believe that it will never be completed. This has been changed now with our planning and well-introduced 'gati' in development projects," he said.

Claiming that infrastructure development has hardly been the priority of any political party in the past, the Prime Minister said, "However, quality infrastructure is a way to sustainable development which builds economy and generates employment."

Modi cited the example of the Delhi Metro. "Before 2014, the metro was running on only about 250 km of track. Today, the metro has been expanded up to 700 km and work is going on, on 1,000 km new metro route," he added.

Modi pointed out that in the five years before 2014, only 60 panchayats could be connected with optical fibre. "However, in the last seven years, we have connected more than 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with optical fibre."

The Prime Minister alleged that taxpayers' money was wasted in the past due to delays and a lethargic approach to development work, which his government aspires to change. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, India, Economy, Development, Atmanirbhar Bharat


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NITI Aayog releases list of ‘Transformation of Aspirational Districts’

As many as 7 districts of Uttar Pradesh have found a place in the top 10 best-performing aspirational districts in the 'delta ranking' released by NITI Aayog for the month of August 2021.

As many as 112 districts across the country have been included in the NITI Aayog's 'Transformation of Aspirational Districts' Programme which is assessed based on incremental progress made across 49 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) under 5 broad socio-economic themes - health and nutrition, education, agriculture and water resources, financial inclusion and skill development and infrastructure.

The districts namely, Siddhartha Nagar, Bahraich, Sonbhadra, Shravasti, Fatehpur, Chitrakoot and Chandauli have been placed in the top-10 districts.

The ranking was released by NITI Aayog through its real-time monitoring dashboard.

The delta ranking signifies the efforts undertaken by the state government and the respective district magistrates to develop and improve the under-developed districts.

Fatehpur, working on the set standards of NITI Aayog, has achieved second place in the field of development in the whole country, followed by Siddhartha Nagar at the third place, Sonbhadra at fourth, Chitrakoot at fifth, Bahraich at seventh, Shravasti at eighth and Chandauli at ninth position.

Among the aspirational districts of Uttar Pradesh, Chitrakoot and Bahraich have excelled on the standards of NITI Aayog.

As a result, the NITI Aayog has allocated an additional budget to these districts for development works.

It is worth mentioning here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the Aspirational Districts Programme in January 2018 as part of the government's effort to raise the living standards of its citizens and ensure inclusive growth for all, 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas'. The programme aims at the development of backward districts.

The ranking of aspirational districts is done every month. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: NITI Aayog, India, Cities, Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Modi.