As India marches towards its 75th year of Independence (August 15, 2022), the Government of India has geared up for a grand 75-week celebration ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ that pays homage to the country’s freedom fighters and draws inspiration from them to help the country stride towards a stronger and more prosperous future, powered by ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India). In this issue of India Perspectives, we take a look at the various objectives and the themes of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations.
Focussing on India’s sustained global cooperation during the pandemic, we delve into the key takeaways of the India-EU summit. The virtual meeting marked a watershed moment in India’s foreign policy as it was the first-of-its-kind in the EU+27 format hosted by EU with India. At the meet, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with leaders of all 27 member States of the EU, along with the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission.
PM Modi met Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson in the virtual mode in May 2021 and charted out a historic way forward for bilateral relations. Both Prime Ministers reiterated their shared commitment to an enhanced partnership in science, education, research and innovation. The meeting also highlighted the successful collaboration between Oxford University, Astra Zeneca and the Serum Institute of India on an effective Covid-19 vaccine that is ‘developed in UK’, ‘Made in India’ and ‘distributed globally’.
In 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, PM Modi, in his address to the nation, had encouraged the consumption of ‘kadha’, an Ayurvedic immunity boosting drink prepared traditionally with herbs and spices. Ayurveda, which means the science of life, is an age-old system of wellness, and we explore the benefits of this ancient practice.
PM Modi in his monthly radio address to the nation ‘Mann ki Baat’ hailed Indian cricketer Mithali Raj for becoming the first Indian woman to complete 10,000 runs across all formats of the game. We celebrate her success and along with that highlight the exemplary achievements of seven young Indian women boxers who bagged gold at the recently-held International Boxing Association Men and Women World Championships. Apiculture or beekeeping was another subject highlighted by PM Modi in his radio address. We explore the commercial viability of beekeeping and how, with encouragement from the government, it is gradually becoming a source of additional income for Indian farmers.
In our photo feature section, we bring you glimpses of how the International Day of Yoga, 2021 (held annually on June 21) was celebrated the world over. We also chase the monsoon clouds across some of the most picturesque waterfalls in the country. In the persona section of the issue, we remember Dr Vikram Sarabhai, widely considered as the father of the Indian space programme. We pay homage to his unparalleled contribution to the propagation of science education in the country as well the numerous institutions and science centres he established, including the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS), India’s first rocket launching station.
We honour the extraordinary life and achievements of India’s legendary athlete and four-time Asian Games gold medalist Milkha Singh, whose demise has left an irreplaceable void in the country’s sporting community. We also pay our tributes to acclaimed Indian actor Dilip Kumar, who passed away recently. The illustrious life and accomplishments of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award recipient, Dilip Kumar continues to inspire actors of succeeding generations.