On 15 August, India celebrates its 70th Independence Day. This year, Independence Day celebration is going to be different and special. It’s for the first time; the celebration of India’s independence will involve a six-day long ‘Bharat Parv’ festival at Rajpath near India Gate in the national capital, beginning 12 August. In addition to Bharat Parv, ‘Tiranga Yatras’ will be taken out across the country from 15-22 August. The purpose of both programs is to include other states in the celebration and ensure it’s a people’s festival that will invoke patriotism and pride for the nation.
Apart from that, to commemorate the nation’s 70th Independence Day, the government has outlined an additional detailed 15-day long program.
It will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as ’70 Saal Azadi – Zara Yaad Karo Qurbani’ (70 years of Independence – Let’s recall the sacrifices made) and will go on from August 9 until August 23.
Bharat Parv, 12-17 August, will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister at 5 P.M on 12 August, and will be accompanied by a musical extravaganza presented by the Armed forces. The iconic India Gate will be illuminated with the Tri-colors all through the festival period.
The six-day event is going to be held under the Ministry of Tourism but will get participation and support from Ministry of Textiles, Culture and Defence. All have been asked to participate actively in making the event a grand success.
This time, however, states will play a major role in displaying their folk arts, handicrafts and culture, along with regional cuisines. Over 100 food stalls from various parts of India are likely to come up to give people a taste of India. ‘Bharat Parv’ will be promoted as a major Tourist attraction.
States like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Assam, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh are likely to involve their respective cultural associations to put up a grand display of folk culture, handicrafts and art. The Defence Forces will put up their range of brass bands along with other displays of military achievements. Tiranga Yatras, 15-22 August will be taken out across the country to invoke pride and patriotism among citizens.
It is significant to recall India’s growth story at it’s the 70th Independence Day. The first significant thing is the deepening of democracy in the country. With 464 political parties operating in the country, democracy has really struck deep roots in the country. The fact that India has been able to keep out the military from the democratic process tells the success story of the deepening of Indian democracy.
As far as economy is concerned, India's Gross National Income (GNI) stands at Rs.105.28 lakh crore. Similarly, the per capita income at current prices is Rs.88,533. Foodgrain production is estimated to be 264.77 million tonnes. Today India being seventh-largest in the world by nominal GDP and the third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).
A major development has been the tele services and information technology. Several multinational firms continue to outsource their tele services and IT services to India. The acquisition of expertise in information technology has led to the generation of thousands of new jobs, which in turn increased domestic consumption and naturally, more foreign direct investments happened to meet the demands. Presently, the services sector employs 23% of the Indian workforce and this trend is on an upward move.
Indian agriculture with consistent investment in research, land reforms, expansion of scope for credit facilities, and improvement in rural infrastructure has spurted rural growth story. The country is on verge to become a major producer of genetically modified/engineered crops. The Rabobank report reveals that the agri-biotech sector has been growing at 30 percent since the last few years.
Governmental efforts have led to the expansion of the roads and highways in the country and Indian road network has become one of the largest in the world. India today boasts of total road length of more than 4.24 million km and the total length of the national highways is 92,851 km. This has directly contributed to the industrial growth.
India has emerged as the third largest producer of electricity in Asia. As far as rural electrification, the Indian government has managed to bring lights to 5, 93,732 villages now.
The Government launched the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan in 2001 to ensure education for the children from 6 to 14 years. The Parliament made elementary education a fundamental right for children in the age group of 6-14 years. In a bid to attract children to schools, especially in the rural areas, the government also started implementing the mid-day meals programme. All this has propelled India’s literacy rate to 74.04%.
An improvement in health care is considered one of the major achievements when India is at 70. The government has launched a series of ambitious initiatives including ‘Healthcare for all by 2020′ and distribution of free medicines to the people falling under lowest-income group. Today life expectancy is 65 years. Similar improvement is noticed in infant mortality and maternal mortality rate that has declined. India has finally been declared a polio-free country and number of tuberculosis cases has come down significantly. Malnutrition in children has significantly come down. The cases of HIV-infected people are also witnessing a declining trend.
With strength of over 1.3 million active personnel, India is world's 3rd largest military force. After more than six decades of independence, India has now come closer to being an independent force to reckon with in the field of nuclear and missile technology. India has changed its stand on Nuke deterrent from non-proliferation to a country with weapons-grade plutonium for up to 75–110 nuclear weapons. This was a bold step to push India’s position on the world of superpowers. Its strategic impact was that now India has started putting its opinions at world forum more firmly.
India takes pride in its scientific achievements. India has successfully launched many satellites and its space programmes has made the country as a space power in the world. Its first mission to Mars was launched in November 2013 which successfully reached the planet’s orbit on 24 September 2014.
As a whole we the people of India, its defense forces, Judiciary, bureaucracy and all other branches of this healthy democracy has been working tirelessly to make it truly "Incredible India" at its 70th year of independence.