Prime Minister Narendra Modi today clarified that he was only talking about doing away with single-use plastic, not about making the country plastic-free completely.
AFter landing at Chennai International Airport, the PM said, "This is my first visit to Chennai after being re-elected to office this year. I am grateful for the welcome that I have received today. When I visited the United States of America where I addressed the people there, I learned that Tamil is a rich and diverse language."
"Some people are misinterpreting that I wanted India to be rid of plastic. I did not say so. What I said was that I want the country to rid itself of single-use plastic. This plastic can be used only once and creates a lot of problems later," Modi asserted, adding that it was the responsibility of citizens to shun the single-use variety in the country.
"We have achieved many successes through public participation and in the same way we should rid the country of the single-use plastic," Modi said, adding that India should develop a cost-efficient solution that would not only to address problems in India, but also across the globe.
Speaking later at the prize-distribution ceremony of Singapore-India Hackathon and the walkthrough of the exhibition at IIT-Madras research park start-ups, the Prime Minister said India's cost efficient solution should be for the poor and the deprived across the world.
He stated that programmes like Atal Innovation Mission, PM Research Fellowships, Start-up India Abhiyan are the foundation of 21st-century India, an India that promotes a culture of innovation.
"We in India have been doing the Smart India Hackathon for the past few years. This initiative brings together government departments, people associated with industry, and premier institutes such as Isro," the Prime Minister said, adding that the country had moved from competition to collaboration.
"This is the strength that we need, to work jointly on the challenges that both our countries face. I have also been told that last year, the focus of the hackathon was competition. This year, the emphasis is on collaboration and complementing each other’s efforts," the Prime Minister said.
There are few things as satisfying as seeing the effort that one is associated from the very beginning become vibrant and successful.
Modi will address the 56th annual convocation of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras.
This is his first visit to Chennai after winning the 2019 elections, and one month before the scheduled informal meeting with the Chinese President at Mamallapuram, about 50 km from Chennai. Both leaders are expected to hold an informal summit at Mamallapuram between October 11 and 13. Next year marks 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between India and China.