As we celebrated the 74th Independence Day on August 15, 2020, the nation reverberated with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call for a self-reliant India. Despite the restrictions in place to curb the spread of COVID-19, the vision for this ‘New India’ has started to take shape with the nation marching ahead with a strong commitment towards becoming Aatmanirbhar or self-reliant, in every sector.
With this Issue of India Perspectives, we give you an overview on India’s outreach during the pandemic which has reaffirmed our ties with our diplomatic partners while supporting the nation’s efforts in dealing with the pandemic. We also travel across Southeast Asia to understand the ancient cultural ties that are being strengthened and reaffirmed through India’s efforts to restore some of the most iconic and historic monuments that are a testimony to our shared civilisational and cultural links with the region.
As we move towards marking 75 years of our independence, we take you through the recent technological advancements that have propelled India to new heights. We look at how indigenous development of digital platforms is becoming some kind of a mass movement in India, and analyse new scientific partnerships that have enabled a digital transformation in the country.
We look at the ‘new normal’ that is being embraced by people as restrictions resulting from COVID-19 are gradually eased, and understand the new requirements that have redefined travel and other economic activities. For our photo-feature section, we journey across the country as the monsoon brings much needed respite from the hot Indian summers. As sports make a gradual albeit cautious return, we look at football in India which has grown exponentially following several international events that have been hosted in the country.
In this Issue, we introduce a section dedicated to pioneering Indian institutions that have contributed to the country’s progress We begin with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and look at the numerous innovations that have not only made India’s defence sector more robust, but have also set the country on a path of self-reliance. We also look at India’s agricultural sector that has, over the years, not only ensured our food security but has adapted to the growing demands of consumers by adding several exotic products to its list of produce thereby reducing our dependence on imports and taking another step towards making the country self-reliant.
We look at India’s diversity that is reflected vividly in its rich and varied linguistic heritage. Similarly, iconic Indian handicrafts and the traditional processes used to produce them have become the distinctive identity of different regions of the country. We journey across the nation to understand how Geographical Indications (GI tags) have helped in promoting these indigenous products and the many farmers and artisans associated with them while simultaneously ensuring the protection of their unique identity.
Finally, we retrace the footsteps of Swami Vivekananda across the US and the UK and reflect on how he has been instrumental in introducing India’s culture and heritage to the western world.