Independence Day | PM Modi announces post of Chief of Defence Staff, to be above three service chiefs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Red Fort on the 73rd Independence Day.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena


9.00 a.m.


PM Modi invokes the wisdom of Babasaheb Ambedkar and Sikh icon Guru Nanak and says we should live by their ideals.

"We know that our goals are as high as the Himalayas, our dreams are more than innumerable stars," he says.

"Our strength is as infinite as the Indian Ocean, our efforts are as sacred as the current of the Ganges, are continuous. And the biggest thing, behind our values ​​is the inspiration of thousands of years old culture," he says, as he ends his speech with chants of "Jai Hind!" and "Bharat Mata Ki Jai!"


8.50 a.m.

Chief of Defence Staff

The Prime Minister announces a new post of Chief of Defence Staff, who would be above the three service chiefs, namely Chief of the Army, Chief of the Naval Staff and Chief of the Air Staff.

"Our forces are India's pride. To further sharpen coordination between the forces, I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort. India will have a Chief of Defence Staff- CDS. This is going to make the forces even more effective," he says.

Also read | It is necessary for the three services to sit together and find realistic answers

Single-use plastic

PM Modi also touches on the topic of single use plastics and the need to stop their use. "The time for implementing such an idea has come. May teams be mobilised to work in this direction. Let a significant step be made on 2nd October," he says.

Made in India

"Our priority should be a 'Made in India' product. Can we think of consuming local products, improving rural economy and the MSME sector"? asks PM Modi.

Digital India

PM Modi talks about the importance of digital payments and emphasises on their need. He says 'Yes To Digital Payment, No To Cash' should be one's motto.

"Let us further the use of digital payments all over the nation," he says.

Tourism sector

"India has much to offer. I know people travel abroad for holidays but can we think of visiting at least 15 tourist destinations across India before 2022, when we mark 75 years of freedom," says PM Modi.


8.30 a.m.

On improving infrastructure:

PM Modi pledges Rs. 100 lakh crore for the development of modern infrastructure.

"Today, modern infrastructure is being built as per the requirement of the 21st century in the country," he says.

"India does not want incremental progress. A high jump is needed, our thought process has to be expanded. We have to keep in mind global best practices and build good systems," says PM Modi.

He also speaks about the changing aspirations of people.

“Earlier, people were happy with merely a plan to make a railway station. Now people ask - when will Vande Bharat Express come to my area.  People do not want only good railway stations or bus stations, they ask when is a good airport coming.

“Earlier the aspiration was to have a good mobile phone but now, people aspire better data speed. Times are changing and we have to accept that," he says.

“Let anyone say or write what they want, it is necessary for people to aspire & desire things in life. Nothing wrong in wanting more in life. We will increase investment in infrastructure so that everyone will have access to facilities," says PM Modi.

Facilitating trade

PM Modi talks about turning India into a five trillion dollar economy. "It took us 70 years to reach a three trillion dollar economy. Now we should aim to make it a five trillion dollar economy," he says.

"Time has come to think about how we can boost exports. Each district of India has so much to offer. Let us make local products attractive. May more export hubs emerge. Our guiding principle is Zero Defect, Zero Effect," he says.

"Today, the Government in India is stable, policy regime is predictable. The world is eager to explore trade with India. We are working to keep prices under check and increase development. The fundamentals of our economy are strong," he adds.

"The fundamentals of our economy are very strong and these strengths assure us to take them forward," he says.

He also talks about wealth creation and says it is a national service. He says without wealth creation. there can be no wealth distribution. "Let us never see wealth creators with suspicion. Only when wealth is created, wealth will be distributed. Wealth creation is absolutely essential. Those who create wealth are India's wealth and we respect them," he says.

PM Modi wishes Afghanistan on completing 100 years of Independence. “I want to wish the best to our Afghan neighbours who will be competing 100 years of their independence in four days,” he says.


8.00 a.m.

"One Nation, One Election"

PM Modi talks about the implementatiion of GST and talks about 'One Nation, One Tax'. 

"India has also achieved One Nation, One Grid in the energy sector. Arrangements have been made for One Nation, One Mobility Card. Today, India is talking about One Nation, One Election," says PM Modi.

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On poverty:

"The country has to cross new heights, make its place in the world and we have to emphasize the freedom from poverty in our home and it is not a favor to anyone," says PM Modi.

"For the bright future of India, we have to be free from poverty and in the last 5 years in the direction of reducing poverty, there have been very successful efforts to bring poverty out of poverty," he says.

Jal Jeevan Mission

PM Modi, in his speech, talks about the lack of access to water across the country.

"In the last 70 years, every Government at the Centre and the various States, irrespective of which party they belonged to, have worked for the welfare of the people," he says.

"It is unfortunate, however, that so many people lack access to water even 70 years after Independence. Work on the Jal Jeevan Mission will progress with great vigour in the years to come," says PM Modi.

He promises that Rs 3.5 lakh crore will be spent on this programme to provide drinking water to everyone. "We have to work four times faster than what was done in the last 70 years," he says.

"The movement towards water conservation has to take place at the grassroots level. It cannot become a mere Government programme. People from all walks of life have to be integrated in this movement," he adds.

Read more

On the rising population numbers

PM Modi says there is a need for mass awareness about the issue of population explosion.

“Population explosion can lead to problems for us in the future. There is a small, educated, aware class that acknowledges this problem and through their actions, they keep their families limited to address the issue," he says.

We must ponder over how we will be providing for our future generations when we bring them into the world. I believe that freedom is only safe when it is aware and educated," he says/

“Keeping your family small is also a form of patriotism," he adds.

On corruption and bureaucracy

PM Modi says that every effort made to remove corruption and black money is welcome.

"These are menaces that have ruined India for 70 long years. Let us always reward honesty," he says.

He also talks about excess government influence in the lives of people. "Let our people have the freedom of pursuing their own aspirations, let the right eco-system be made in this regard," he says.

The government should be an aide who makes life easier to live, he says, adding that red tapism should end. "There should be ease of living."


7.30 a.m.

PM Modi hoists the national flag

PM Narendra Modi unfurls the tricolour.

Addressing those present on the occasion, the Prime Minister wishes everyone a happy Raksha Bandan.

He talks about those affected by the floods across the country. "Today, when we are marking Independence Day, many of our citizens are suffering due to floods in various parts of the nation. We stand in complete solidarity with those affected by the floods and I assure that all possible support that is needed will be provided to them," he says.

Mr. Modi says he is thankful that he has been given the opportunity to address the nation once more during Independence Day celebrations.

"I am honoured to serve the country a second time," he says, referring to his re-election.

Decisions taken

He speaks about the various decision the government has taken over last few months.

"It has been under ten weeks since the new Government was formed but several pathbreaking decisions have been taken. This includes decisions for Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, the end of Triple Talaq, steps for the welfare of farmers and traders," he says.

PM Modi talks about the ongoing water crisis. "India understands the important of water conservation and thus, a new ministry for Jal Shakti has been created," he says.

"This is the time to think about the India of the 21st century and how the dreams of the people will be fulfilled," he says. "If 2014 to 2019 was a period of fulfillment of the requirements, then the period after 2019 is a period of fulfillment of the aspirations of the countrymen, a period to fulfill their dreams."

"We went with the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' but within 5 years, the countrymen colored the entire atmosphere with the color of 'Sabka Vishwas'," he further adds.

On the Triple Talaq Bill:

"We have to think about solutions to the problems people face. Yes, there will be obstacles on the way but we have to work to overcome them," says PM Modi.

"When problems are solved, a feeling of self-reliance arises, the speed towards self-reliance increases with the solution. When self-reliance occurs, self-esteem is automatically exposed and self-esteem has a lot of potential," he adds.

He speaks about the Triple Talaq Bill and asks if one could raise their voice against child marriage and the practise of dowry, why shouldn't one raise their voice against the practice of triple talaq too.

"Remember how scared the Muslim women were, who suffered due to Triple Talaq but we ended the practice. We want to safeguard all our Muslim sisters and mothers," he adds. 

On Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh:

PM Modi says the dreams of people from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh now have wings, due to the removal of special status.  "The happiness of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh can become a motivator for India for prosperity and peace and can become a big motivator in India's development journey," he says.

“It’s the characteristic of this government not to procrastinate or prolong problems. That which couldn’t be done in the 70 years, we did in the last 70 days, of removing Article 370 and 35A with two thirds of majority in both Houses," he says.

"The strength of the majority in both Houses showed that many people always wanted this done but somehow it could be, but with the support of the people we could do it. It is now our duty to fulfill the hopes of the people of J&K and Ladakh," he says.

PM Modi says the old arrangement in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh encouraged corruption, nepotism. "There was injustice when it came to rights of women, children, Dalits, tribal communities. The dreams of sanitation workers were incomplete. How can we accept such a situation?" he asks.

PM Modi asks why Article 370 and Article 35A were temporary and not made permanent if these regions were an integral part of India. "The previous governments did not have the courage to do so," he says.

"One nation, one Constitution," says PM Modi.  "This has become a reality."


7.20 a.m.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Red Fort and inspects the guard of honour.

Mr. Modi, dressed in a white kurta-pyjama and a colourful turban, was received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the Red Fort.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspecting the guard of honour at Red Fort on the 73rd Independence Day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspecting the guard of honour at Red Fort on the 73rd Independence Day.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena


7.10 a.m.

Independence Day celebrations begin at Red Fort


(Photo: R.V. Moorthy)


7.00 a.m.

PM pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, prior to the flag hoisting at the Red Fort.

He is now headed to the venue of the Independence Day function at the Red Fort to hoist the tricolour and address the nation.


6.45 a.m.

Multi-layered security arrangement in Delhi for I-Day celebrations

SWAT commandos and NSG snipers have been deployed while for the first time cameras with facial recognition software are being used to secure the historic Red Fort where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hoist the national flag on the 73rd Independence Day on Thursday.

Around 500 CCTV cameras have been installed around the venue, where ministers, bureaucrats, foreign dignitaries and common people will gather to hear the prime minister.

Army, paramilitary forces and 20,000 Delhi Police personnel have also been deployed. The roads leading to the Red Fort are under surveillance and police personnel are taking help of sniffer dogs to check vehicles in north and central districts of Delhi.

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6.30 a.m.

Ex-CMs, MPs unlikely to attend Independence Day function in Jammu and Kashmir

Former Chief Ministers and the local MPs are unlikely to attend the first-ever Independence Day celebrations in J&K after its special status was revoked on August 5, as the current dispensation has put in place stringent security measures for celebrations in all districts.

Asked if the regional party leaders, including incarcerated National Conference president and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah and two former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, would be allowed to attend the function in Srinagar, J&K government spokesman Rohit Kansal avoided a direct answer.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 1:35:08 PM |

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