Text of the Vice-President’s address at the International Finals of G20-The Indian Navy Quiz (Excerpts)

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

Good evening, all of you, and greetings to all of you.

Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi; Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral R. Hari Kumar; President, Navy Wives Welfare Association, Mrs. Kala Hari Kumar; Men in uniform; and everyone present here.

It is a delightful moment for all of us. I am extremely honoured and privileged to be at this extraordinary G20 Think event organized by the Indian Navy, the Navy Welfare Wellness Association, in collaboration with G20 Secretariat.

Navy’s thoughtful endeavour to take school quiz competitions to the global stage with G20 THINQ has evoked appreciation all around. The Indian Navy Quiz THINQ went global this year to commemorate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Kaal’ with India assuming the Chairmanship of the prestigious G20. And let me respond to the admiral. You are limitless because you ‘sail beyond the horizon’, and that’s what you’ve done.

By going beyond traditional boundaries, THE Navy has transformed this competition, G20 Think, into a beacon of unity, promoting cultural exchange and friendship among the G20 nations.

Friends, this initiative speaks volumes about the Navy’s commitment to not only ensuring our maritime security but also in contributing to global intellectual discourse and cooperation. This event has seen the participation of young and brilliant minds across the world. It has contributed to strengthening the bridges of friendship with the G20 partners.

Imagine the kind of body language they showed when they came on the screen. I was absolutely charmed by their dress. I inquired about it. All of them felt at home, away from their home in the land of culture. That is our Bharat.

I am indeed overwhelmed at this impactful challenging engagement of the youth, signalling productive and impactful people-to-people connect. Globally, People-to-People connect is highly impactful and goes a long way in securing harmony and peace in the world.

Generating these people-to-people connect with these impressionable minds will be a game-changer, and I am sure such events would further be emulated.

The innovative event G20 ThINQ has imparted a unique (experience), and, friends, it is unique in several ways. The way it has been conducted, the way there has been exposure of participants to every nook and corner of this country, and the culture of this nation, is stimulating intellectual experience to thousands of young minds on both a national and international scale. There is no substitute to experiential learning. Experience is all important. First, the experience, we carry the indelible imprint of it.

The quiz competition, the concept, has been very thoughtfully evolved, and it indicates what has been our theme for 1000 years, ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’. We are a civilization unrivalled in the world with 1000 years of ethos, and this was most significantly impactfully reflected when we had G20  events all over the country for about a year. And the concept is the world is one family.

This nation, Bharat, has always subscribed to the sublime principle. And in such a perspective, it is in sync with the G20 theme. And the theme carries a message to the entire world of peace, prosperity, and happiness and the theme is ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. This has been an integral part of our civilization for over 5000 years.

Credit goes to all the stakeholders for making it a resounding success with seamless management, there have been no fault lines. The National Round saw the participation of 11,000 schools where students from class IX to XII or equivalent participated, and their wits were tested.

Look at the figure. More than 11,000 schools from every part of the country participated. It was a keen and intense competition.

DAV PUBLIC SCHOOL, GURUGRAM emerged winner, and we had to see them performing here, also excellently, by getting a slot in the midline. What is more significant and what indicates inclusiveness is that there has been participation in the international round from G20  plus 9 nations, that number being 23 and drawn from various continents of the globe, the semi-finals were evenly balanced.

When I saw the result being announced, I could feel the cheers, I could feel the happiness. It was a moment ever to be remembered and cherished. By the winners and also the participants.

This is not just a competition being celebrated. We are celebrating the collective spirit of curiosity, knowledge, and friendship, and this has brought us together.

I must express my admiration for the winning team. Congratulations to Singapore!

It is only coincidental that they happen to be people of Indian origin.

Your dedication, hard work, and intellect have propelled you to this position in the global challenge. But let us not forget, in an event of this magnitude, every participant is a winner. As was reflected by the Hon’ble Minister. Every participant is a winner. In every sense, each participant is a team, each nation represented here is a winner.

Each participant, representing their country with pride, has contributed to the rich tapestry of ideas and perspectives that make events like these so enriching and thrilling.

The bonds formed, the lessons learned, and memories created are lifetime treasures. Imagine young impressionable minds, being in Bharat home to 1/6th of humanity, having contact with similar impressionable minds, they will go long way. This connect would have geometric impact.

G20 THINQ befittingly marks the concluding chapter of a series of significant and notable events held since December 2022 and as India passes the G20 leadership to Brazil on December 1, 2023.

Friends, the world acknowledged our inclusive phenomenal rise and our rich and vibrant culture and their reflection was at over 60 locations in 200 interactions. The functions were held, the footprint of G20 was there in every state and union territory of the country

India’s presidency of G20 had elevated the nation’s stature on the global stage. The world was stunned having seen such an organisation and the result was for welfare of humanity. Our Presidency has been inclusive, ambitious and people-centric.

It embodies both, our way of life as also our global outlook. It is a thread that connects us together, not just as members of a nation, but as integral players of a global community.

Today, it has become India’s clarion call to the world for peace, harmony and humanism!

The vision of the leadership has truly made it and I emphasize that this has been unique G20 program a unique G20 presidentship. It became ‘People’s G20’ and was celebrated as a festival all over the country and the world members rejoiced it

A soothing outcome, a wholesome outcome, a statesman kind of an outcome. India’s Presidency has brought the voice of the global south into the heart of G20 discourse. This is the game changer in world polity.

The inclusion of African Union as a permanent member of G20 on the premise of India’s initiative and considerate efforts, is a historic step. This inclusion will strengthen G20 as never before.

New Delhi G20 Leaders’ Declaration, there were many heartbeats, the world was watching whether it will be divisive, whether they can secure unanimity and at the end of the day our inclusive approach, the vision of the Prime Minister and thick commitment for global welfare resulted in a consensual document, far reaching document for global peace and harmony.

G20 leaders declaration is not a document, it’s a historic declaration. What is indicated therein spells out how in future nations will conduct themselves, in accordance with a legal regime and global order.

It is global acknowledgement of India’s role in bridging the North-South divide and overcoming strong East-West polarisation. Both these aspects had headwinds. They were not on centre stage. Our Prime Minister worked hard, has a vision and he got it executed and fructified in the shape of the declaration.

It is thus a recognition of Bharat as a voice of peace and moderation in a world ridden with divisions facing configurations.

Initiatives taken by India during the Summit, like the India-Middle East- Europe Economic Corridor, a very significant development will be highly impactful in global economy, this has fructified, coupled with the Global Biofuels Alliance. Both these historic steps have sown the seeds for a more connected future with a key leadership role for Bharat.

India is the world’s largest and oldest democracy, is the mother of democracy and has also hosted Ninth G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit or P20 in October this year.

Parliamentarians from across the world came together and reaffirmed their commitment towards making an effective and meaningful parliamentary contribution to the G20 process.

The Prime Minister has also hosted two sessions of the Voice of Global South Summit this year. So, India has essentially held four such meetings in a single year in which over 150 world leaders have participated! This exemplifies relevance of India in the contemporaneous times.

This clearly demonstrates the convening power of India and the leadership of the Prime Minister at the global level.

Friends, I am thrilled! I am grateful to Navy. Recently, I have attended some functions organised by Navy. They were first of its kind. They were very thought provoking, very ably managed but this one indeed been unique. We will have to compliment those to whom this great idea occurred. This idea has the potential to be nerve centre and epicenter of global connectivity right from the beginning.

My compliments to the Indian Navy, the Navy Welfare and Wellness Association, and the G20 Secretariat for their foresight and dedication in organizing an event of this scale and scope. In this manner with no fold lines as a indicated before

As we look forward to the future, let the spirit of G20 THINQ continue unabated, reminding us that despite our diverse backgrounds, we are united by our common pursuit of a brighter and more interconnected world.

Let us continue to pave the way for a future where collaboration knows no bounds.

Friends, it will be a delightful moment if the quiz master is also quizzed and I have no doubt going by the enormous talent of the participants and the winners, the quiz master will take home many learning lessons.

Jai Bharat!



Source PIB