Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the nation on its 71st Independence Day celebrations from the Red Fort. PM announced that India will make all efforts to send its first manned mission to space by 2022 and unfurl the Indian flag in space. If successful, India will become the fourth country in the world to send a human into space by making use of its own national space programme- a feat that has been achieved only by Russia, China and United States of America.
The budget for Indian Space Programme is way less than that of US and Russia with only $1.6bn. Despite the constraint India was able to reach Mars in 2014 and became the first Asian nation to do so. The cost for the mission was only $ 74m as compared to $671m spent on NASA’s Maven mission. Indian mission was known as Mangalyaan was able to reach Mars to collect scientific data and act as forerunner for more advanced missions in future.
PM Modi who is considered as a powerful orator took the chance to boast the achievements of the government as general elections approach next year. He also took time to express his worries about the state of unemployment and spate of violence against Muslims and women. He also announced a medical insurance scheme named as ‘Modicare’ which will give empower 500 million poor people with an annual health insurance of 500,000 INR for the treatment of serious illnesses.