President and French counterpart arrive in a traditional buggy
President Droupadi Murmu and her French counterpart Emmanual Macron arrived on Kartavya Path in a traditional buggy, reviving a 250-year-old tradition on the 75th Republic Day. The buggy, which was used by the British viceroys and governors-general, made a comeback after 40 years. The two leaders were greeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries at the entrance of the new Parliament building.
New Parliament building reflects India’s civilisation and culture
The new Parliament building, which was inaugurated by President Murmu on December 10, 2023, reflects the consciousness of India’s civilisation and culture, as well as the fragrance of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’, the President said in her address to the nation. She added that the building, which has been designed by Indian architects and engineers, showcases the diversity and unity of the country.
The new Parliament building, which is triangular in shape, has a seating capacity of 888 members in the Lok Sabha and 384 members in the Rajya Sabha. It also has a grand Constitution Hall, a library, a lounge, and multiple committee rooms. The building is equipped with modern facilities and technology to enhance the functioning of the Parliament.
President Murmu lauds India’s achievements and challenges
President Murmu also lauded India’s achievements and challenges in various fields, such as the economy, health, education, defence, security, diplomacy, and democracy. She said that India has emerged as a global leader in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, by providing vaccines and medical assistance to over 150 countries. She also praised the efforts of the health workers, scientists, and citizens in containing the virus.
The President also highlighted the government’s initiatives to boost the economy, such as the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, the Production Linked Incentive Scheme, the National Infrastructure Pipeline, and the National Monetisation Pipeline. She said that these measures have helped India to achieve a double-digit growth rate and become the world’s third largest economy.
The President also stressed on the importance of education, skill development, innovation, and research for the youth of the country. She said that the National Education Policy 2020, the National Research Foundation, and the National Digital Education Mission are some of the steps taken by the government to transform the education sector and create a knowledge-based society.
The President also commended the defence and security forces for their bravery and sacrifice in protecting the sovereignty and integrity of the country. She said that India has strengthened its defence capabilities by acquiring modern weapons and equipment, such as the Rafale fighter jets, the S-400 missile system, and the INS Vikrant aircraft carrier. She also said that India has enhanced its strategic partnerships with various countries, such as France, Russia, the US, Japan, and Australia, to promote peace and stability in the region and the world.
The President also hailed the democratic ethos and values of the country, which have been upheld by the people, the institutions, and the media. She said that India has successfully conducted several elections, including the Bihar assembly polls, amid the pandemic, with a high voter turnout and participation of women and youth. She also said that India has ensured the freedom of expression and dissent, as well as the protection of human rights and minorities, in accordance with the Constitution.
President Murmu urges the nation to work together for a new India
The President concluded her speech by urging the nation to work together for a new India, which is strong, prosperous, inclusive, and harmonious. She said that the new Parliament building is not only a structure, but also a symbol of the aspirations and dreams of the 1.3 billion Indians. She said that the new Parliament building will witness the making of a new India, which will fulfil the vision of the founding fathers of the Constitution.