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India celebrates 73rd Independence Day on August 15, 2019

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On August 15, 2019, India celebrated its 73rd Independence Day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the national flag at the Red Fort, New Delhi. He received a Guard of Honour from a contingent of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. Flying Officer Preetam Sangwan assisted PM Modi in the unfurling of the national flag, Flight Lieutenant Jyoti Yadav and Flight Lieutenant Mansi Geda were positioned on either side of the saluting dais for the Prime Minister.India celebrates 73rd Independence Day on August 15, 2019

PM’s Speech on Independence Day
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute at Raj Ghat and addressed the following points in his speech:

  • One nation, one constitution spirit has become a reality after scrapping of provisions of Article 370.
  • There is a ‘huge’ scope for improvement in the tourism sector and everyone should visit at least 15 tourist destinations within India by 2022.
  • India can become a 5 trillion dollar economy in the next 5 years.
  • Government to invest Rs 100 lakh cr in infrastructure building.
  • Jal Jeevan Mission to ensure safe drinking water to all households was announced. Government will spend Rs 3.5 lakh crore for it.
  • Government has an aim is to reach among first 50 nations in ease of doing business.
  • Implementation of GST achieved One Nation, One Tax. India achieved One Nation, One Grid in the energy sector. Arrangements have been made for One Nation, One Mobility Card and India endorsed the idea of One Nation, One Election emphasizing the need for democratic discussions on the issue.
  • PM gave a motto to boost digital payment- ‘Yes to digital payment, No to cash’.
  • A transfer of about Rs. 90,000 crores to farmers’ bank accounts is in progress to those who are beneficiaries of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana.
  • 1.5 lakh wellness centers will be created at villages.

Creation of Chief Defence Staff
The creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to integrate the efforts, training, operations and planning of the three defence services was announced by the prime minister.

  • CDS will ensure synergy among the three services and provide effective leadership to them.
  • Background: A high-level committee set up to examine the gaps in the country’s security system in the wake of the Kargil War in 1999 had called for appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff as a single-point military adviser to the Defence Minister. In 2012, the Naresh Chandra Task Force had recommended creating the post of a permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC) which comprises Chiefs of the Army, Navy and the Air Force and the senior-most among them acts as its chairman as per existing norms.

First Independence day in Ladakh after being declared as UT
Ladakh, which will become a Union Territory (UT) after the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, celebrated its first Independence Day after it was declared UT.

Punjab CM dedicates 3rd phase of ‘Jung-E-Azadi’ memorial to victims of Jallianwala Bagh massacre
It is a memorial and museum being built in Kartarpur, near Jalandhar city of Punjab. It is built in memory of sacrifices and contribution made by the community of Punjabi’s in the Indian independence movement. The 1st and 2nd phase of the memorial had been constructed at a cost of Rs.290 crore and Rs.20 crore was dedicated by CM to 3rd phase of Jung-E-Azadi memorial.  Punjab’s chief minister also digitally launched a number of other projects for Jalandhar district, as part of Rs.450 crore worth of development and welfare projects inaugurated across the state.