Prime Minister Narendra Modi is addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 74th Independence Day. The address comes amid the coronavirus pandemic, a border standoff with China and a slew of reforms by the government under the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.
Over 4,000 people including diplomats, officials and media personnel have been invited for the Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort and it is being organised maintaining a balance between dignity of the event and factoring in COVID-19 protocols.
Below are the live updates:
9:02AM: PM concludes Independence Day speech with 'Vande Mataram' and 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' chants
8:59AM: 'Hota Hai Chalta Hai' time is gone. We are not less than anyone in the world. We will set goals for best quality of everything for the 75th anniversary of Independence Day. We will realise 'Ek Bharat, Shresth Bharat': PM Modi
8:58AM: India is witnessing history. 10 days ago, the work of Ram Temple started in Ayodhya: PM Modi
8:52AM: PM says focus on neighbourhood first, but is strengthening ties with extended neighbourhood - those nations with whom india can “dil mila sakte hein”
8:44AM: From LAC to LoC, whoever attacked India's sovereignity, our soldiers replied to them in the same language: PM Modi
8:43AM: Project Dolphin will be set in motion; It will promote biodiversity and help tourism: PM Modi
8:42AM: Just as Sikkim has made its mark as an organic state, in the coming days, Ladakh, coming as a carbon-neutral zone, is also working fast in this direction: PM Modi
8:39AM: As soon as delimitation process is completed in J&K, elections will hopefully be held there and MLAs will come from there: PM Modi
8:32AM: National Digital Health Mission will bring revolution to India's healthcare system. People will be given health IDs. All your medical details will be in this health ID: PM Modi
8:30AM: PM Modi announces National Digital Health Mission
8:25AM: In the last 5 years, 1.5 Lakh village panchayats have been connected with optical fibre. In the coming 1000 days, every village of the nation will be connected with optical fibre: PM Modi
8:20AM: We have been able to provide clean water to over 2 crore families, especially in far-flung areas, under the Jal Jeevan Mission: PM Modi
8:18AM: We have done the work to free farmers from all shackles. Earlier, India's farmers could not sell their produce wherever they wanted but only at designated places. Now they can sell their produce wherever they want in the world: PM Modi
8:15AM: We have to remove silos and entire country has to move towards multi-modal connectivity infrastructure: PM Modi
8:12AM: About 7,000 projects of different sectors have been identified to bring new revolution in infrastructure: PM Modi
8:10AM: We have to move forward with mantra of 'Make in India' as well as 'Make for World': PM Modi
8:06AM: I am confident that measures like opening up space sector will generate many new employment opportunities for our youth: PM Modi
8:03AM: A few months ago we used to import N-95 masks, PPE kits and ventilators. Today India is not only meeting its own requirements but it has also stepped forward to help other countries: PM Modi
7:58AM: Let's make Vocal for Local our life mantra, says PM Modi
7:57AM: I am confident that India will realise this dream of becoming Atmanirbhar. I am confident of the abilities, confidence and potential of my fellow Indians. Once we decide to do something, we do not rest until we achieve that goal: PM Narendra Modi
7:54AM: India has always believed that the entire world is one family. While we focus on economic growth and development, humanity must retain a central role in this process and our journey: PM Modi
7:46AM:We will be celebrating the 75th year of Independence next year. We have a huge event ahead of us: PM Modi
7:36AM: Our doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, ambulance staff, sanitation workers, police force and several others have continuously worked to fight coronavirus. Many families have been impacted, some lives have been lost. My condolences for the loss of these lives: PM Modi
7:35AM: PM Modi begins his Independence Day speech with paying tributes to the Corona warriors
7:32AM: I extend my wishes to the people of the country on 74th Independence Day, says PM Modi
7:30AM: PM Modi unfurls tricolour
7:20AM: PM arrives at the Red Fort, will address the nation shortly
7:14AM: PM Modi pays tributes at the Raj Ghat
7:12AM: PM Modi tweets "Happy Independence Day to all fellow Indians. Jai Hind!"
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Happy Independence Day to all fellow Indians.
Jai Hind!— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2020
6:53AM: All invitees have been requested to wear protective masks. An adequate number of masks are also being kept handy for distribution at various points of venue. Similarly, availability of hand sanitisers at pre-defined locations has been done
6:52AM: Multi-layered security arrangements and measures to ensure social distancing are in place at the Red Fort. A security ring, including NSG snipers, elite SWAT commandos and kite catchers, will be placed around the Red Fort from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation.
6:51AM: The government's efforts to deal with COVID-19 are likely to be in focus when the PM addresses the nation
6:50AM: In the run up to the Independence Day, PM Modi had last Saturday launched a week-long garbage-free India campaign and asserted that the Swachh Bharat Mission has been a big support in the fight against coronavirus.