Country did not work at full potential earlier, says PM

·3-min read

Lucknow, Nov 25 (PTI) In a veiled attack on the previous governments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the country did not function earlier at its full potential and cited lack of “intention” and “will power” as the shortcomings.

'For a long time, the problem was that we did not use our 'saamarth' (potential) to the fullest. This problem was in our governance as well as in functioning,' Modi said at the centennial celebrations of University of Lucknow Modi urged the youth to develop the qualities of self-confidence and introspection, saying this was the goal of the New Education Police announced earlier this year by his government.

'The aim of the new National Education Policy is that the youth of the country gets to know itself,” he said, participating in the event through video conference.

Modi mentioned the Modern Rail Coach Factory in Rae Bareli – the constituency represented by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Parliament -- while speaking about achieving one's potential.

“Years back, investments were made, resources engaged, machines installed and big announcements made that rail coaches will be manufactured there. But for years, only denting and painting were done there,” he claimed.

'The factory which had the capability to build rail coaches did not work to its full capacity,' he said.

'After 2014, we changed our thought process, and the result was this that within a few months, the first rail coach rolled out from there. And today, every year hundreds of coaches are rolling out,” he added.

The prime minister, however, did not name the Congress or its leader during the speech.

The prime minister released a commemorative coin and a postal stamp to mark the university's centennial foundation day. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath attended the event.

Addressing the youth, Modi said, “Self-confidence comes when there is freedom to take one's own decision, and when there is flexibility. A mind and body which are in chains can never be productive.” The prime urged the teachers and the students at the university to thoroughly discuss and debate the New Education Policy (NEP), and work on its speedy implementation.

“By the time the country completes 75 years of Independence, the NEP will become a part of our education policy in letter and spirit,' he said.

He asked young people to find time for themselves amid modern-day distractions. This will help in improving their will power, he said.

He recalled his own periods of introspection when he was less busy than now and used to spend some days in seclusion to “meet myself”.

As examples of getting things done, he listed increased production of urea and the promotion of khadi.

'You will be surprised to know that the amount of Khadi sold in the last six years is more than what was sold over 20 years before that,' he claimed.

Modi recalled his experience of asking students to organise a Khadi fashion show in Gujarat’s Porbandar on Mahatma Gandhi’s Jayanti years ago. The event helped make Khadi 'fashionable', demolishing preconceived notion, he said.

'Today, when I hear that Khadi stores are selling products worth Rs 1 crore in a single day, I remember my old days,' he said. PTI NAV SMI ASH ASH