On the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day of India, I convey my warm greetings and good wishes to all Indian nationals and friends of India in the UAE.
This day in 1950, the Constitution of India entered into force and India became a Sovereign, Secular and Democratic Republic. Our Constitution encapsulated our values and beliefs of equality, justice, freedom of thought, speech and expression, rule of law and secularism. India has stood the test of time and has blossomed into a thriving and caring democracy. As envisioned by our founding fathers, India has also stood for peace and harmony around the world. Besides being the world’s largest democracy, India is also one of the most diverse cultures where many different faiths, languages, ethnicities and cultures co-exist peacefully.
Once again, we are celebrating this Republic Day under the shadow of another wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, this time we stand better prepared, stronger with our experiences and armed with effective vaccines, to minimise the impact of this wave. India has contributed to the global fight against Covid-19, with the indigenously developed COVAXIN, recently approved by the WHO, COVISHIELD, in association with Oxford University and AstraZeneca and the recently launched needle-less Zydus Cov-D vaccines. With about 1.6 billion vaccinations being administered, the vaccination drive had covered more than 90 per cent of all adults with at least one dose and close to 70 per cent with two doses by mid-January 2022, and continues at a rapid pace across the country.
With a plan in place for economic recovery from the pandemic, India is seeing signs of getting back on track with the World Bank projecting an economic growth rate of 8.3 per cent for 2021-22, faster than any other major economy in the world. Industrial activity, which has a direct impact on employment across sectors, in all eight core sectors is already higher than pre-Covid levels.
India is also engaging with the world with a re-invigorated spirit and is playing a key role as a current member of the UN Security Council. It is also well placed to harness the new realities of international supply chains post the disruption caused by the pandemic.
India and the UAE are also undergoing a rapid and positive transformation in the bilateral relations, strengthened by the mutual support extended by either side during the pandemic. The mutual trust and reliability has encouraged broadening of our ties and exploring new areas of cooperation such as health, food security, clean energy and advanced technologies. A further testimony is fast-tracked negotiations for the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Strategic Partnership (CEPA) Agreement which is expected to be signed soon. CEPA, when concluded, will boost investments, trade, technological partnership and create employment opportunities across sectors.
To the vibrant community in the UAE, I would like to sincerely re-affirm that you are widely recognised as one of the most critical pillars of strength for this country. Your contributions, even during the most difficult of times, have been exemplary and will act as an inspiration to Indians around the world. Your achievements make India shine and thrive on the global stage. Your sincerity in giving back to the motherland is a vital cog in the wheel of our nation building.
Once again, on behalf of the Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of India in Dubai, I wish everyone a very Happy 73rd Republic Day.
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