New Delhi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday described youths as the architect of a developed India and highlighted a host of measures taken by his government to assert that it has empowered them and women.
A developed India will fulfil all their dreams, he told the youngsters at the annual NCC-PM rally here. "You are the architect of a developed India," Modi added.
Women were earlier confined to cultural programmes but his government has opened up various sectors for them, including all the three services, where their entry was earlier restricted, and they are making a mark everywhere, he said.
The Republic Day parade this year was dedicated to them, he said.
The number of women in central security forces has doubled in the last 10 years, Prime Minister Modi said and added that states are also being encouraged to follow a similar path.
The front lines of all the three defence forces have been opened for women who are now getting a permanent commission in the forces, besides command and combat roles, he said.
"When the country gives equal opportunity to the talent of sons and daughters, its talent pool becomes enormous," Modi said.
A digital revolution has been taking place and it benefits the creativity of the youth the most, he said.
People were struggling for 2G and 3G infrastructure a decade ago while 5G and optical fibre network is now reaching every village, Modi said.
In a swipe at previous dispensations, he said they deliberately neglected the development of border villages and called them the last villages of the country.
Modi said his government has taken up their development in a big way and they will emerge as big tourist centres, noting that these villages are now seen as "first villages" of the country.
He noted that more than 400 village heads from border areas, which are being developed by the government under the 'Vibrant Villages' scheme, and more than 100 women from self-help groups are present at the event.
The prime minister said India now has the third largest start-up ecosystem, having over 1.25 lakh start-ups and more than 100 unicorns.
Lakhs of youngsters are getting quality jobs in these firms, he said, asserting that the digital economy will become the new strength and identity of India's young power.
A worthy government takes decision in the present keeping in mind future possibilities and has its priorities clear, he said.
The biggest beneficiary of his government's efforts to make India a developed country in 25 years will be not Modi but the youth studying now in schools and colleges, he asserted.
India has now become the second biggest mobile-phone manufacturer and importer, which has made it cheaper for the country's youth, he said.
Modi said his government has also ensured mobile data is available at a very affordable rate.
"In the past 10 years, India's digital economy has become a new source of strength for our youth," he said.
Noting that he himself was a NCC cadet, he told the members of the voluntary uniformed youth organisation that they highlight the idea of "Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat".
He said the rally is a boost to the spirit of "One World, One Family, One Future", noting that there were cadets from 10 countries in 2014 and their number has gone up to 24 this year.