Text of the Vice-President’s speech – Call on by the 76th batch of IRS Officer Trainees (Excerpts)

azadi ka amrit mahotsav

We are meeting at a time when our Bharat is in Amrit Kaal, 75th year of independence. We have a great vision ahead of us. Those who are before me are the warriors of 2047. In 2047, you’ll be constituting the spinal administrative structure of this great nation. I have no doubt that you’ll take Bharat to the height to which it deserves.

I am given to understand that more than 40 percent of you are women. Now that you are above 40 percent, you are more than a match to anyone. I’m saying this out of experience because I only have a daughter. I know your power. More than 40 percent indicates a pleasant changing profile of this country that will take us to great heights.

If you are going from a historical perspective, nothing good can be done without a good teacher or a trainer. We need a trainer for every aspect of our life now. We are catching up with this new lifestyle mechanism. But this is very essential in a professional area to which you belong. A country’s rise is not only on the account of infrastructure but is premised on its quality education and rich human resource, rest of the things follow automatically.

I was so happy and delighted when the Trainee Officer (sharing her thoughts) in the beginning of the career could indicate that augmentation of revenue in an organised manner is a challenge we will all live up to. Every word that was chosen was very significant.

You constitute the educational cream of the society. I have seen your profiles – drawn from all fields, you could have made your career anywhere, you could have taken more lucrative jobs, but then there is something like nation, there is something like commitment to humanity. And you shall always be proud of the position you hold.

I particularly welcome and greet two officers who are from Bhutan Royal Service. I’m sure these 2 officials will take back home pleasant memories of interaction and share with the people there the kind of in depth professional experience and expertise by this training they have gathered.

I must share with you that in the contemporaneous times, while you have been involved with the training the world has seen one of the worst pandemic, affecting every part of the globe. But India has now become a shining example in the world. 220 Crore vaccinations were given free to our people all on digital certificates, available on mobile. No country in the world has been able to achieve this distinction, reflecting the visionary steps taken by the government.

No part of the globe can afford to lay claim to such a distinction. Our Bharat is on the rise at the moment as never before. Our rise is unstoppable. What we never contemplated, never imagined during our time the kind of world class infrastructure and the kind of growth scenario we have now. You all constitute the educational elite of the society. You know how India is a favourite destination of growth, opportunity and investment. All this is on one account. Our committed rich human resource. Never earlier in the history of this country has the voice of India been so heard as now.

Right now we are having the presidency of the G20. There is extensive participation, it is turning out to be highly impactful. You as youngsters are well informed people. In your career, you will be concerned with development of the economy, sustainable economy, nurturing of economy. You will have a challenge to generate an element of honesty in the people and you will focus on transparency and accountability. This is not a small challenge. Because by nature our people are honest. They fear the regulatory regime upsets them. 

We have here what is made by faceless assessment. It’s a unique, fully accountable, transparent and confidence building mechanism that has been developed.

Did we ever imagine what happened in September 2022? We became the world’s fifth largest economy. What a significant development! We overtook that economy that ruled us for centuries. I can tell you friends, by the turn of this decade, we shall be the third largest global economy. This is on account of the talent you possess, the farmer, the workman who contributes and affirmative government policies.

I know during my days I had a tough situation in trying to find some money for my library. All I needed was Rs. six thousand. I still recollect the greatest gesture of the bank manager who could give me 6000 rupees without security. Look at what has happened now. You need to have an idea, money is not a problem and that is why we are leading the world with our startups with our Unicorn. I’m extremely delighted and pleased when I note that in the startup big industry leaders are making investments

I would strongly urge – never yield to a temptation that is not lawful. Because if India has to be on the rise, it has to be on the rise as a result of a culture.

I’ll give you three illustrations.

Mahatma Gandhi’s laid great emphasis on Swachh Bharat, but we always took it our right, if we were peeling a banana skin and enjoying a banana in a car, we thought the road was my garbage. I have to throw it immediately by getting the window down. But I can tell you none of us do it when we are abroad. Which means we are compulsively disciplined. In this country, we need to be optionally disciplined more, voluntarily disciplined. 2nd October 2014, the Prime Minister took to Swachh Bharat, many people said – what is he doing? And look at where we have come. A toilet in a rural household – we see it everywhere. We thought it was so gigantical exercise that we’ll never be able to accomplish it. Swachhata has become a great industry too. Because a thought entertained by Gandhiji was turned into reality by the Prime Minister’s vision and execution. You will have to set in motion several such trends because you will be in positions where people will look up to you and that is something to bring about.

Second, when COVID came, the Prime Minister called upon everyone to have people’s curfew. Some people said there was no COVID. When we got our vaccines, people said how will these vaccines work, we should take vaccines from those countries ….

We have global indices that they talk the way they wish to; some of our own people are engaged in orchestration of a campaign to run down our achievements. How can we counter them? You all are wise. You all are intelligent. You have to discern and think. We cannot allow our pudding to be spoiled by some who cannot see the growth story of this country.

Social media is playing a very big role; we all need to be alert. We need to harness it in a manner so that we make India proud. We should ever be proud Indians and take pride in our historical accomplishments. I’ve been Governor of the State of West Bengal for three years. I am startled when people talk of food security in a country like ours!

Lal Bahadur Shashtri ji said ‘Jai jawan jai kisan’. He persuaded the people to go for a fast for a particular meal every week. Some of the people who are my age here will know – we used to get wheat from the US. Not any longer!

Imagine this – 800 million people in this country are getting rice, cereal and pulse from 1st April 2020. How could we imagine it!

In 1989, I was elected to parliament. My power was 50 gas connections in a year. That was a huge power – to give 50 gas connections to anyone every year. And look at the level at which the Prime Minister thought and executed – more than 150 million gas connections were given to the poorest.

If you look around in the country and see what is happening, look at the infrastructure and the roads. All this has taken place because things are being planned and executed in the shortest possible time. All because our youthful demographic component is unrivalled in the world. It is on your strength, on your shoulders, that in 2047, I have no doubt India will be number one economy of the world. It will happen.

I had the occasion to visit IITs and IIMs. When I interact with the young minds, I know India is in the safest position because of its youth, because of their commitment.

But when you have such kind of growth, there come challenges and challenges are from within and without. We have to neutralise those challenges. We have to antidote those challenges. We cannot allow as committed nationalist Indians, anyone to taint, tarnish, damage our functional democracy, our institutions, our parliament.

Where on earth do you find a judiciary that acts at lightning speed? Can we ever question the independence of our judiciary? Our Supreme Court is the finest court manned by gifted people. In our democracy, there will always be issues. There will be issues between legislature, executive and judiciary. Because we are in a dynamic society. Issues will keep on coming. These issues are required to be determined. Those who are at the apex of these institutions, I am at one as Chairman Rajya Sabha, we can’t be complainants. We have to be collaborators. We can’t be in reaction mode or adversarial mode. We have to be in resolution mode. We have to find solutions.

Look around and you’ll find, no country in the world can rival our democratic forces, democratic values. In my position, I am not a stakeholder in politics, but politicians must play their politics & must have full freedom, but when it comes to the nation, when it comes to constitutionalism, when it comes to working of institutions, I cannot observe silence.

When on a wrong premise, a narrative is set afloat to sell an idea to the world…. And India is not what it is, we cannot take lightly such kind of narratives. And mind you, no individual in this country, can claim to have a status or stature to run down this country.  We cannot allow it and I’m sure, you shall never allow it. In your own way, you’ll be working in that direction.

Friends, when I look around, and I have a very good exposure of the world – I’ve been in my professional career to two world bodies including International Court of Arbitration in Paris, I can tell you, we have something special in our DNA. भारत की मिट्टी में कुछ बात है, भारत की मिट्टी में कुछ खास है, भारत की मिट्टी में वो संस्कृति है, जो दुनिया में कहीं और नहीं मिलेगी. Before me, I have representative India. Before me, I have a Bharat that is diversified but I see unity, that unity is reflected in the preamble of our Constitution, but it goes back to thousands of years.

Dear friends, it’s my advice to you all- never have tensions, never take stress. Never give into tension. Take a route that can be counselling route, a soothing route without sacrificing propriety.



Source PIB