India’s demographic dividend needs to be fully leveraged to fast-track progress: Venkaiah Naidu

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India’s Vice President Venkaiah Naidu speaking at release of book on A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Azad Jan. 16, 2021. Photo: videograb from YouTube

Chennai – Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that the country needs to leverage fast-track progress in different sectors in a bid to ensure a sustained growth rate in the coming years.
“One of our biggest strengths today is our demographic dividend. We need to fully leverage this to fast-track progress in different sectors–from agriculture to manufacturing and ensure a sustained growth rate in the coming years. This is the time for the youth of the country to be at the forefront in accelerating the progress and scripting India’s growth story,” said Naidu at the release of a biography (in Tamil) on former President A J Abdul Kalam at Raj Bhavan in Chennai.

The book titled “Abdul Kalam- Ninaivugalukku Maranamillai” is written by Dr Kalam’s niece, Dr APJM Nazema Maraikayar, and space scientist, Dr YS Rajan, according to a release issued by Vice President’s Secretariat.

Lauding the authors for bringing out the book in Tamil, Naidu said that writing in the mother tongue was the best way to reach out to the masses.

Observing that one of India’s biggest strengths was its demographic dividend, Naidu called for fully leveraging it to fast-track progress in different sectors–from agriculture to manufacturing and ensure a sustained growth rate in the coming years.

Pointing out that about 65 per cent of the country’s population is below 35 years and 50 per cent is below 25 years, he said this is the time for the youth of the country to be at the forefront in accelerating the progress.

Paying tributes to the former President, Naidu urged the youth to take a leaf out of Dr. Kalam’s book and believe in themselves. “They must aspire to become job-creators rather than job-seekers,” he added.

Stressing the need to overhaul the education system, the Vice President said that students must be encouraged to pose questions and think critically. “The New Education Policy is a great leap in this regard. It does away with artificial segregation between curricular and extra-curricular activities and aims at the holistic development of the child”, he added.

Stating that the former President firmly believed in using technology for the benefit of the society, the Vice President said “In fact, Dr Kalam can be credited with laying strong foundations of ‘Atma Nirbharta’ in our space and defence sectors, on which, our scientists and engineers are building today”.

He said the legacy of self-belief left by Dr Kalam left has motivated the scientists in developing our own vaccine today. “Even with medical equipment, having started modestly, we are now exporting PPE kits, N95 masks and ventilators to other countries”, the Vice President said.

He said the development of the vaccine in a short span and at an affordable cost was a “remarkable achievement”.

Naidu said that Dr Kalam will always be remembered for his indomitable spirit and never-say-die attitude even in the face of adversity. He pursued and persisted with discipline, hard work, and confidence, he added.

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