Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday termed the COVID-19 pandemic as 'unprecedented' and once in a century crisis and said the country faced it confidently due to its scientists and common people.
There was a "temperament" for reforms in the government, which is not restrictive but responsive, he said about the ruling NDA at the Centre and listed out various reforms, including in the drones and geospatial and infrastructure sectors.
In his address at the 42nd Convocation of Anna University here, the PM described the COVID-19 pandemic as "unprecedented" and "once in a century crisis" for which nobody had a user manual.
The pandemic "tested" every country, he noted. "India faced the unknown confidently, thanks to its scientists, health care workers, professionals and common people. As a result, today every sector in India is bursting with new life, whether it is industry, innovation, investment or international trade" he said.
The country was at the forefront in every sector and has been converting obstacles into opportunities. He hailed the removal of retrospective tax and various sectoral reforms for aiding the country in various sectors.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Addressing the young graduates, Modi said today was not a day of achievements but aspirations. He lauded the varsity's teaching, non-teaching and support staff, saying they were "nation builders" who were creating the "leaders of tomorrow," i.e. the students.
He also appreciated the parents for their sacrifices that were "crucial" for their wards' growth. Modi recalled the words of Swami Vivekananda more than 100 years ago, saying he had placed so much faith on the younger generation as problem-solvers and that "those words are still relevant."
"But this time, it is not only India that is looking towards its youth, the whole world is looking at India's youth with hope because you are the growth engines of the country and India is the world's growth engine."
"It is a great honour; also, it is a great responsibility," he said.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin hailed the education atmosphere in the state and noted that it stood out in the number of persons getting higher education. His government has placed high importance on education, Stalin said and listed out the various initiatives in the sector.
The DMK government was keen on job-creation and has taken steps that has resulted in the state jumping to third position from 14th in the ease of doing business rankings in just a year. Many investors were flocking towards Tamil Nadu.
State Governor R N Ravi, Union Minister of State L Murugan and Tamil Nadu Higher Education Minister K Ponmudi participated in the event.
A number of students were awarded degrees and medals.(With PTI inputs)