New Delhi | Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday said India was moving on an unprecedented growth trajectory and will be a "global" leader by 2047, the year it will commemorate a hundred years of Independence.
He stressed that the economic progress of the country was deeply connected to its security, and defence forces such as the Border Security Force (BSF) were guardians of the "holistic growth" of India.
Dhankhar was speaking at the annual 'Rustamji memorial lecture' of the BSF here.
The lecture is organised in memory of the BSF's first chief and founding father K F Rustamji, who was the director general of the 3.25 lakh-strong force during 1965-74.
The Border Security Force (BSF) was raised in 1965 and is primarily tasked with guarding the Indian frontier with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Dhankhar said national security was the "cornerstone" of the country's progressive prosperity, and the developments that should have come earlier are taking place now.
"You see the kind of road infrastructure we have, the kind of technological involvement that is taking place, the kind of arms that are being made available and the kind of facilities that are being created for the human resource...this not an obligation, this is our duty (towards the security forces like the BSF)," he said.
Dhankhar said he was "satisfied" and "gratified" to find that attention was being paid to these issues.
The VP said India was on a rise like "never before" and this rise was unstoppable and the incremental growth trajectory will go high from here and by 2047, 'Bharat' will be a global leader.
"Just a decade ago, we were the 11th largest economy but in September 2022, we have had the distinction of being the fifth-largest economy by overtaking our erstwhile colonial ruler, and by the turn of the decade, we will be the third-largest (economy)," he said.
Dhankhar said the country took strides when it came to the digital economy and in 2022, India's "digital transfers" were four times more than the US, the UK, France and Germany.
"All this is possible because our borders are safe," Dhankhar added.
He also lauded the BSF for undertaking efforts and working in "extremely trying circumstances 24x7" to check drugs and human trafficking and cow smuggling from across the India-Bangladesh border.
The VP also made an appeal to all border states to be "extremely sympathetic and sensitive" to the requirements of the BSF.
During the event, he also decorated a total of 35 BSF personnel, including two for gallantry, for rendering exceptional service.