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Old January 2nd, 2012, 10:19 AM
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PM's New Year Resolution

Everybody has New Year resolutions, everybody breaks them. But when the PM of India makes five promises at the onset of a the New Year, it is time to positively hope for positive change. PM Manmohan Singh rang in the New Year with five resolutions to ensure security in critical areas and promised to "personally" ensure efficiency and honesty in governance.

"New Year's Day is a day of resolutions. Each of us makes our own - to live a healthier life, to live a better life and to live a happier life. I sincerely hope in the New Year we can all work together with a new resolve - to make our homes and neighbourhood, our village or town and our nation a better place. I want to assure you all on this New Year's Day that I personally will work to provide an honest and more efficient government, a more productive, competitive and robust economy and more equitable and just social and political order," he said.

The PM said the urgent challenge before the country is to eradicate poverty, hunger and illiteracy and provide gainful employment to all - the challenge of livelihood security, as he termed it. He said the most important step to address this challenge is to empower every citizen with the light of education and narrated his personal experience to substantiate this argument.

'I say this with the deepest conviction because I know what education did for me. I was born into a family of modest means, in a village without a doctor or a teacher, no hospital, no school, no electricity. I had to walk miles every day to go to school, but I persevered and was fortunate to be able to secure a high school education, and then go on to higher education.

It is this access to education that transformed my life and gave me new opportunities which others with my background could not dream of,' he said.

Rapid growth is necessary to generate revenues to finance livelihood security programmes. Fighting corruption, ushering in a second agricultural revolution, triggering rapid industrialisation and building the infrastructure are the key challenges on this front.

'We need to usher in a second agricultural revolution to ensure sufficient growth in rural incomes. We also need to usher in the many reforms which are needed to trigger rapid industrialisation and to build the infrastructure which such industrialisation needs,' the PM said in his New Year message.

Effective utilisation of all available domestic energy resources, finding new investment in established sources of energy such as coal, oil, gas, hydro electricity and nuclear power and new sources of energy, like solar and wind.
'Be it coal or hydro power, oil or nuclear power we find new challenges that have to be overcome to develop these resources to the fullest extent possible.

We must re- examine all domestic constraints on such developments to see how they can be overcome,' he said in the backdrop of many agitations against hydro, nuclear and thermal power stations in various states.'
Minimise the exploitation of natural resources, particularly forests.

'We cannot allow the waters of our rivers to be polluted by untreated effluent and sewage. Yet this is happening today because of weak regulation and lack of enforcement over industry and the cities. Similarly, we cannot allow air pollution to continue unabated promoting respiratory diseases which impose a heavy burden on large numbers of our people,' he said.

Modernisation of defence forces, upgrade of systems and personnel.

'Often democracy can be frustrating... But our democracy is our strength. It is the basis of our unity. It is also the most important guarantor of internal security,' he said

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manmohan singh, new year resoloution, pm of india, prime minister

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