The country will have to focus on defeating coronavirus and bolstering the economy as it exits from the lockdown and enters the "unlock" phase, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday underscoring the need to keep guard against the deadly virus.
He also stressed that India has always transformed adversities into stepping stones to success and this year won't be different.
"During this unlock period, one will have to focus on two points -- defeating coronavirus and strengthening the economy," Modi said in his monthly "Mann ki Baat" radio address.
He said as people move out during the unlock period, they have to remain more vigilant compared to the lockdown period.
"Always remember, if you do not wear a mask, do not observe the two-yard social distancing norms or do not take other precautions, you are putting others at risk besides yourselves, especially the elderly and children at home," he cautioned.
Referring to the recent decisions taken by his government, Modi said during this unlock phase, "many other things are getting unlocked", which had shackled the country for decades.
He referred to reforms in the mining, space, agriculture and other sectors, saying these will not only pace up the movement towards self-reliant India, but also boost the advancement of technology in India.
On the various challenges thrown up during the year 2020, Modi said people often discuss as to when the year will end.
Referring to coronavirus, the prime minister said as if one calamity wasn't enough, the country has had to face an unending slew of challenges.
"A few days ago, our east coast had to face the fury of cyclone Amphan; on the West coast, it was cyclone Nisarg. In many states, farmers had to bear the brunt of swarming locust ... many parts of the country have been witnessing intermittent earthquakes," he said.
In an apparent reference to China's actions in east Ladakh, he said, "amidst all these, the country has had to deal with the designs of some of our neighbours."
Rare are the occasions when one gets to hear of adversities of this kind, that too simultaneously, he said.
The prime minister was of the view that despite adversities, people should not consider 2020 as a bad year.
"Historically, India has always emerged brighter and stronger, ensuring victory over all kinds of disasters and challenges. For centuries, myriad tyrants invaded India pushing her to the edge of such an abyss of adversities that people once used to feel that the very idea, the fabric of Bharat would be wiped out: her culture would be annihilated. But India overcame the scourge, and more gloriously so," he said.
India has always transformed adversities into stepping stones to success, he said adding that this year will prove to be a "record setter, path breaker on new fronts for the country".