Current Affairs

National Conclave on MannKiBaat@100 explores role of Mann Ki Baat in promoting Self Reliance and Nation Building

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting

“Mann Ki Baat is a manifestation of that sentiment where the country recognizes and provides opportunity to every individual to reach the highest position”

“When you hear stories on Mann Ki Baat, of regular people in the country doing incredible things, it gives you belief that you too can do it”

“When you listen to him, you do not feel that he is speaking to 140 crore people or to a group, you feel that he is speaking to you”

“Mann Ki Baat is such a platform where people from humble backgrounds too get an opportunity to rise up to high levels”

“Mann Ki Baat is a programme which unites everyone”

Posted On:

26 APR 2023 4:56PM by PIB Delhi

What is the importance of Atmanirbharata or Self-Reliance in the development of the nation? What has been the role of Mann Ki Baat in fostering citizen engagement and promoting self-reliance? The National Conclave on Mann Ki Baat @100, organized by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in New Delhi today, explored this question at a thematic session titled “Jan Samvad Se Atmanirbharta”.

The session was moderated by Shradha Sharma, Indian entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of YourStory Media. The session featured Sanjeev Bhikchandani, Padma Shri awardee, entrepreneur and co-founder of Info Edge which owns; radio jockey R J Raunac; T. V. Mohandas Pai, Padma Shri Awardee and former CFO and Board Member at Infosys; Ravi Kumar Narra, Padma Shri awardee, entrepreneur and national president of Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry; and Mohd. Abbas Bhat, head of Dal Lake lotus stem producer company, applauded by the Prime Minister in the Mann Ki Baat episode of March 2023, for creating employment for many farmers by exporting food products made from lotus stem.

Sharing her life story, Shradha Sharma said that she has told stories of 1.5 lakh startups and of Young India in the last 14 years, but that the moment of Atma Nirbharata came for her when Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in January 2019, gave her a one-hour interview. “The India that we are living today has one thing; since 2014, all of us have opportunity, and two, wherever we are from, we can say that we are no less than anyone else. Vocal for Local is something we all believe in. There is a sense of pride in ourselves today.”

T. V. Mohandas Pai said that all of us must know the India story in technology. “Prime Minister Modi stood at the Red Fort in August 2015 and said Startup India, Stand up India, Digital India. What happened since then was a miracle. We are the largest software exporter in the world. 60% of global business for software comes to India. It employs 55 lakh people. Of the ten most valuable software service companies in the world, five are Indian. Of the 32 lakh people employed in the top 10 companies, 22 lakh are Indian. We dominate this field globally. Bengaluru will export 80 billion dollars of software this year, and Bengaluru has more people working in technology than Silicon Valley.”

Mr. Pai said that we have a startup industry which has grown since 2015, when Prime Minister gave the call for Startup India, Standup India. “We have 96,000 startups, next after only United States and China. These people employ 16 lakh people today. They created 500 billion dollars of value. By 2025, we hope to have 200 unicorns employing 36 lakh people or more, creating value of 1.5 trillion dollars. Bengaluru has the largest collection of human talent in the world for silicon chip design. This is only going to grow; we will have more people working in technology than the USA. We are really Atmanirbhar in the world of innovation, in high technology. Atma Nirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local are happening in the technology area, both in services and startups, and it is an exciting time for Young India.”

Reflecting on why startups are important, Sanjeev Bhikchandani said that there has been a sea change in the Indian business landscape from 1984 till now. “If I look back and see which are the industry sectors and companies which created value and jobs, many of the sectors such as internet, e-commerce, IT and ITeS, private TV channels and private airlines barely existed in 1984. A lot of what has happened has been led by new companies, i.e., very often startups. So, startups make a huge difference. It is startups more than established companies which generate growth and jobs. The giant companies of tomorrow are startups of today.”

Mr. Bhikchandani said that while startups existed for a long time, what has happened is that it is the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which has really recognized the importance of startups in India’s future and has taken proactive measures to encourage them.

Speaking of Mann Ki Baat, he said it is very direct, conversational and one-on-one. “You believe the PM is talking to you. He is taking stories bottom-up, of ordinary people, those who have not been glorified in the media. The first bit of Aatma Nirbharata is self-belief. When you hear stories of regular people in the country doing incredible things and when they are talked about on Mann Ki Baat, it gives you belief that you too can do it.”

The programme also covers the whole diverse range of topics, from culture, to food, to startups, he added. “It gives a national perspective; this is the magic of Mann Ki Baat.”

Mohd. Abbas Bhat, head of Dal Lake lotus stem producer, said that the aspiration of the company is that their lotus stem reach the nook and corner of the country, and people use it. Thanking the Prime Minister for applauding the efforts of the company in his Mann Ki Baat of March 2023, he said: “I thank the Prime Minister who spoke of our Farmer Producers’ Organization; ever since he spoke of us, the demand for our lotus stem rose so much that we are now not able to meet the demand. Moreover, while we had to face lot of difficulties in getting 250 farmers to join us, since the mention by PM in Mann Ki Baat, now more than 500 farmers are willing to join us.”

Noting that Mann Ki Baat is the country’s most popular radio programme, R J Raunac congratulated everyone associated with the Mann Ki Baat programme for completing 100 episodes of the programme. “Wherever our radio station is there, in various regions across the country, the experience of every listener has been that the programme has inspired them very much, including to start something on their own. People have brought so many inspiring stories, and are sharing them with more and more others. I hope that Mann Ki Baat registers double century and beyond.”

Ravi Kumar Narra said that there has been a clear shift in the way government approaches the welfare of SC and ST communities. “Before 2014 and after 2014, there has been a clear difference in the development of Dailt community. From 2014, a SC member gets Rs. 15 crore loan without any collateral security. Stand up India is the biggest financial inclusion programme, which provides Rs. 1 crore loan without any collateral security in any bank branch. This is very successful, leading to creation of entrepreneurs in villages as well. Another achievement is the SC ST Hub, which is leading to skill development, mentorship and provision of interest subvention, investment subsidy.”

Mr. Narra said that earlier, the thinking of government and of the people did not use to match. “With Mann Ki Baat, the people and the government are thinking alike, and the policies are reaching field level. When someone in a bank says that there is no such scheme or asks for security, people are showing the recording of Mann Ki Baat programme and asserting their rights. Thus, the programme has been instrumental in including all people, in facilitating understanding of government policies and their execution.”

What makes Mann Ki Baat unique? This is what the panelists had to say.

Mohandas Pai: “Government has come close, the Prime Minister gives us hope, confidence and inspiration and new information, he showcases the culture of this great country, he shows ordinary heroes whom he respects. At Padma Shri awards, when I saw a tribal woman from Karnataka walk barefoot and receive the award from the President, I felt so proud of this country. Mann Ki Baat is a manifestation of that sentiment where every individual can aspire to reach the highest position and the country recognizes them and gives them equal opportunity.”

Sanjeev Bhikchandani: “Each individual programme is a few stories, but when you add up, it is a mosaic of the story of India, and the Prime Minister tells it so well.”

R J Raunac: “It is a matter of great pride that India’s most -listened programme is a radio programme, the Prime Minister has chosen such a medium which can reach almost every person. When you listen to him, you do not feel that he is speaking to 140 crore people or to a group, you feel that he is speaking to you.”

Mohd. Abbas Bhat: “Mann Ki Baat is such a platform where people from humble backgrounds too get an opportunity to rise up to high levels.”

Ravi Kumar Narra: “The Prime Minister has captured the pulse of the people and Mann Ki Baat is a programme which unites everyone, not only culturally and religiously but administratively as well. This is going to give a very positive result in the development of our country.”

The session also featured a short Q&A session.

Watch the National Conclave session on “Jan Samvad Se Atmanirbhartahere.


PIB Delhi | Dheep Joy Mampilly