Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of International Women’s Day




Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the presentation of the Stree Shakti Puraskars and Nari Shakti Puruskars for the year 2014 the occasion of International Women’s Day

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. I would, first of all, like to extend to you and through you, to all the women of India, my warm greetings and hearty felicitations on the occasion of International Women’s Day.


2. We, in India, have been celebrating this day by recalling the heroism and unparalleled legacy of some of the great women in India’s history - that continues to inspire our vision and efforts for women’s empowerment in our country. It is only fitting that Government of India pays tribute to these iconic women by conferring, every year, national awards in their names to outstanding contemporary women who have made an uncommon contribution to women’s empowerment.

3. As we know, "shakti”, in Sanskrit, denotes a concept and a personification of feminine creative power. ‘Stree shakti’ denotes the ability of women to be in command of their lives and regulate themselves in social, political and economic terms It means that they have the power to move from the periphery of society to its mainstream and wield influence from its core.

4. I am glad to see that we have instituted eight additional Nari Shakti Awards. I am also very glad to see that all the awardees have, through their exceptional endeavours, strong grass root presence and deep insight into women’s concerns, made inspiring initiatives for the empowerment of women.

5. Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to take this opportunity to convey my heartfelt appreciation of the countless women who are the silent backbone of our economy. They toil shoulder to shoulder with our men in the agriculture sector for our food security, in factories for our nation’s economic growth, they work on project sites to build our national infrastructure and they strive in corporate offices and in banks. As professionals, they are second to none in their achievements and their services as doctors and nurses, as space and nuclear scientists and in Government offices and politics are invaluable in forging a path of progress and growth for our people.

6. Therefore, it is only appropriate that we should remind ourselves that the empowerment of women and their equality, liberty and dignity are not a distant goal or fond aspiration of the women of our country. It is one of their sacred rights. It is not a privilege that they should seek. It has been a key element in the codes of conduct that our ancient societies prescribed for themselves more than 3000 years ago. In the Vedic civilization, women were always given the highest level of respect and freedom and at the same time, their protection and safety was a sacred duty of society. This is our culture, this is our heritage. We should not allow ourselves to forget this. When the founding fathers of independent India drafted our constitution, they ensured that its principles and provisions duly emphasised women’s rights and equality. Our Central and State Governments have been duly prioritizing women’s development.

7. There are, nevertheless, enduring societal perceptions and attitudes which inhibit the pace of improvement in the condition and position of Indian women in our society and economy. These call for urgent individual as well as collective introspection. We must identify these weaknesses and their root cause. We must make the required effort to remove the structural and institutional barriers that inhibit the economic and social transformation of women in India. For example, violence against women continues to threaten the safety, well being and potential of women and girls across our country. Even theirperception of their respective vulnerabilities constrains their freedom of movement and access to education, work and essential services.

8. The pace of progress in providing the desired level of safety and security to our women needs to be hastened through better enforcement of legislation towards this end. There is an urgent need for all our people to be more conscious of their attitude and demeanour towards women. I cannot emphasise enough that all women must be addressed and treated with due respect and courtesy. This training should be given to our children from a very young age.

9. The key issue, that must be stressed, is that for true empowerment, an effective convergence of all aspects impacting a women’s life is required - be it social, economic or political. Due to cross-cutting linkages and the interrelated dimensions of a holistic approach to empowerment, absence or weakness of efforts in even one area will lead to a failure in the sustainability of outcomes or the momentum generated by the other components. Therefore, such an engendering process has to be built into our Government schemes. Some of the best practices adopted by States and Union Territories for development of women need to be identified, adopted and up-scaled in Government of India schemes. The efforts and initiatives of women’s groups and the wide network of non-governmental organisations should be built upon by Central Ministries / Departments.

10. Ladies and Gentlemen, let us, on International Women’s Day, reaffirm our commitment to ensure gender equity and empowerment of women in India to enable them to realize their full potential and participate meaningfully in all aspects of our country’s development.

11. With these words, I once again congratulate the winners of Stree Shakti and Nari Shakti Puruskar. I thank the Ministry of Women and Child Development for organizing this event and encouraging the distinguished awardees to work towards a noble cause.

Thank You!!

Jai Hind!!


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Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the Rapporteurs’ Summarization on Global Roundtable on Inclusive Innovations

1.At the outset, I extend a warm welcome to the distinguished national and international participants of this Global Round-table on Inclusive Innovations. I have listened with interest the summary of outcomes of the discussions that took place in this forum, as presented by Prof. Gupta. I also thank the two distinguished delegates for sharing their perspectives. This topic, according to me, is pertinent for any nation desirous of ensuring inclusive development for all sections of society through innovation.


Ladies and Gentlemen:

2.India has had a long tradition of grassroots innovation.From time to time, the common people in this country have ushered in novel solutions to overcome their day-to-day difficulties.The drivers that influence the pursuit of innovation are many – from basic survival to propulsion of growth.A healthy eco-system is needed for harnessing the innovative potential of various segments in different sectors and at multiple levels in our society.

3.Creating an inclusive eco-system calls for linkages between grassroots innovators on the one hand, and academic institutions and market forces, on the other. Countries successful in building such a network have become innovation leaders. As an attempt to bring educational institutions and grassroots innovators within the ambit of an inclusive innovation system, a programme for Innovation Scholars In-Residence was started in Rashtrapati Bhavan last year. I am glad that the second batch of innovation-scholars has joined us today. During their two-week stay at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, they will be mentored and connected with relevant stakeholders to give wings to their ideas.


Ladies and Gentlemen:

4.Educational institutions have a critical role to play in nurturing innovations in the society. India, with a large network of 713 universities and over 36,000 colleges, is poised to play a leading part in developing an innovation eco-system. To catalyze the institutions of higher learning in this process, I have been urging the leaders of the higher education sector to establish a connection between their institutes and grassroots innovations in their hinterland, and to also set up Innovation Clubs. Youth power has to be galvanized for nation-building. Thus, the students have to be encouraged tosensethe unmet needs of the common man, and search, spread and celebrateinnovations.The members of these Innovation Clubs are participating in the Festival of Innovation, which is taking place for the first time in Rashtrapati Bhavan. The presence of distinguished participants from India and abroad will definitely provide a global platform to all the innovators and participants of this important Festival.

5.Many outstanding social, educational and corporate leaders present here have pioneered initiatives aimed at taking the Indian grassroots story forward.Our traditional knowledge has contributed to the introduction of many popular ayurvedic medicines and other such products.At the same time, modern applications of science and technology have increased livelihood opportunities for the people. A significant breakthrough in our march towards development and progress is possible; but with challenges, to overcome which, a collaborative effort of all stakeholders is necessary.

6.Noble Laureate Prof. Yunus had created an outstanding model for micro-finance that has led to the emancipation of poor in developing countries.To my mind, the next major breakthrough will come through micro venture innovation finance, which has been pioneered by the Honey Bee Network and National Innovation Foundation.By partnering with companies and colleges in India and abroad, our grassroots innovators will propel a different kind of globalization.The products and services based on grassroots knowledge and creativity will reach global markets in an affordable, accessible and accountable manner.


Distinguished participants:

7.The Union Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Harshvardhan, is spearheading the scientific and technological strategies for an inclusive growth under the leadership of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. The Make in India, Clean India, and Inclusive India, under which financial inclusion is of prime essence, needs a significant push. Many amongst you have shared your experiences about how your countries and institutions have made progress in the direction of inclusive innovation. I am also happy at the interest evinced by you to engage with stakeholders from India. Some of you will share your insights tomorrow as well. You may take this opportunity to give your valued suggestions for a strategic roadmap for India to become much more inclusive and innovative.I assure you of our highest consideration for your suggestions and ideas.

8.An ‘Atal Innovation Mission’ as an Innovation Promotion Platform involving academics, entrepreneurs and researchers has been announced recently. It will draw upon national and international experiences to foster a culture of innovation, R&D and scientific research in India. The platform will also promote a network of world-class innovation hubs to address the grand challenges of our country. I call upon you to participate in the Indian development story, which will exhibit frugal and sustainable pathways for other countries and communities. In this era of globalization, the Indian innovations and development will not only benefit India but the rest of theworld as well. The ingenious goods and services developed through inclusive innovation, and by blending affordability, accessibility, acceptability and availability, will have the potential to transform the global landscape.

9.In the end, I do hope that your interactions with various innovators at this forum are productive and trigger long-term partnerships for peace, progress and prosperity in the world. I wish a pleasant stay to the visiting dignitaries from abroad. I invite you all to visit the Mughal Gardens at Rashtrapati Bhavan. I wish you the very best for the future.

Thank you.

Jai Hind.



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President of India presents Stree Shakti Puraskars and Nari Shakti Puruskars for the year 2014


The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented Stree Shakti Puraskars and Nari Shakti Puruskars for the year 2014 on the occasion of International Women’s Day at a function today (08th March, 2015), at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

     Speaking on the occasion, the President said that we should remind ourselves that the empowerment of women and their equality, liberty and dignity are not a distant goal or fond aspiration of the women of our country. It is one of their sacred rights. It is not a privilege that they should seek. It has been a key element in the codes of conduct that our ancient societies prescribed for themselves more than 3000 years ago.

     The President said that when the founding fathers of independent India drafted our constitution, they ensured that its principles and provisions duly emphasised women’s rights and equality.  Our Central and State Governments have been duly prioritizing women’s development.


   The President said that there are, nevertheless, enduring societal perceptions and attitudes which inhibit the pace of improvement in the condition and position of Indian women in our society and economy. These call for urgent individual as well as collective introspection. We must identify these weaknesses and their root cause. We must make the required effort to remove the structural and institutional barriers that inhibit the economic and social transformation of women in India. For example, violence against women continues to threaten the safety, well being and potential of women and girls across our country. Even their perception of their respective vulnerabilities constrains their freedom of movement and access to education, work and essential services.

The President said that for true empowerment, an effective convergence of all aspects impacting a women’s life is required - be it social, economic or political.  Let us, on International Women’s Day, reaffirm our commitment to ensure gender equity and empowerment of women in India to enable them to realize their full potential and participate meaningfully in all aspects of our country’s   development.


 The President congratulated the winners of Stree Shakti and Nari Shakti Puruskar  and thanked the Ministry of Women and Child Development for organizing this event and encouraging the distinguished awardees to work towards a noble cause.

Click here to see List of Awardees:

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Galvanize youth power to sense unmet needs of common man as well as search, spread and celebrate Innovations Says President

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed a Global Round-table on Inclusive Innovations yesterday (March 7, 2015) at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Roundtable is being organised as part of a week long Festival of Innovations being held in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said India has a long tradition of grassroots innovation. From time to time, the common people in this country have ushered in novel solutions to overcome their day-to-day difficulties. The drivers that influence the pursuit of innovation are many – from basic survival to propulsion of growth. A healthy eco-system is needed for harnessing the innovative potential of various segments in different sectors and at multiple levels in our society.

The President said creating an inclusive eco-system calls for linkages between grassroots innovators on the one hand, and academic institutions and market forces on the other. Countries successful in building such a network have become innovation leaders. Our youth power has to be galvanized for nation-building. Students have to be encouraged to sense the unmet needs of the common man, and search, spread and celebrate innovations.

The President said by partnering with companies and colleges in India and abroad, our grassroots innovators will propel a different kind of globalization. The products and services based on grassroots knowledge and creativity will reach global markets in an affordable, accessible and accountable manner.

The President called upon all participants in the Round Table to participate in the Indian development story, which will exhibit frugal and sustainable pathways for other countries and communities. He said in this era of globalization, Indian innovations and development will not only benefit India but also the rest of the world. Ingenious goods and services developed through inclusive innovation, and by blending affordability, accessibility, acceptability and availability, will have the potential to transform the global landscape.


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Exercise Surya Kiran VIII : Joint India Nepal Exercise Concludes

Eighth India-Nepal Combined Exercise (Surya Kiran VIII) which commenced on 23 Feb 2015, concluded on 07 Mar 2015 at Salijhandi, Nepal. The exercise was conducted under the aegis of Nepalese Army.

The exercise aimed to create a greater understanding between Indian & Nepalese Army and develop interoperability in Jungle Warfare and Counter Terrorism operations in mountainous terrain. It also focussed on the basics of Disaster Management with special reference to Pandemic/ Epidemic control and aviation aspects. Over the years, the two countries have decided to progressively increase the scope and content of the combined exercise.

The training culminated in a 48 hours consolidation and validation exercise in which troops of both countries carried out a search and destroy mission in the general area of Saljhandi. The final exercise was reviewed by Maj Gen Padamvillas Karki of Nepalese Army and Major General Vinod Prakash Singh Bhakuni of Indian Army.

The closing ceremony was conducted on 07 Mar 2015. While addressing both contingents, Major General Bhakuni said that the goodwill generated during this training will go a long way in further strengthening the military bond between the two Armies and also in understanding each other’s organisational concepts and methodology of conducting Counter Terrorism operations as well as sharing knowledge and experience on the issues of Disaster Management.

Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of International Women’s Day Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on the occasion of International Women’s Day Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 5:21 PM Rating: 5

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