Dump VIP culture, embrace 'EPI': Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi listening to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the India Turkey Business Summit in New Delhi on Monday

The red beacons were one of the important components of the VIP culture, and in recent times, many politicians and bureaucrats were using it as a show of power and status symbol.

"We all have to do it together", Prime Minister Modi said, while addressing the nation through "Mann Ki Baat" on Sunday.

"Generally, there is an atmosphere of hatred for the VIP culture in the country".

The decision, to be implemented from today, was cleared by the cabinet and is expected to impact Union minsters and top bureaucrats. Now, red beacons in people's heads also need to go.

"Prime Minister's instruction of banning red beacon to end VIP culture is equivalent to half-hearted superficial surgery which might risk life of the patients", he said.

However Red beacons will be allowed on vehicles dealing with emergency in relief services, ambulance and fire services.

"If we all make concerted efforts, this also can go [from the mindset]", he added, underlining that this culture needed to go from the mindset too.

"When I say EPI should replace VIP, it means every person has value and importance". It is about EPI - every person is important.

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He added, "Let us warmly accept the importance of a hundred & twenty five crore countrymen, let us respectfully embrace the Mahaatmya, the divine greatness of a hundred & twenty five crore Indians and we'll garner strength of enormous magnitude". People are using mobiles to make digital payments.

He also said the youth can help in popularising the BHIM App and Digital India and also earn money through it. He also announced the launch of the South Asia Satellite on May 5 which would be India's gift to the region under the slogan of "Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas".

"Natural resources mapping, tele medicine, the field of education, deeper IT connectivity or fostering people-to-people contact - this satellite will prove to be a boon in the progress of the entire region", he said, describing it an important step by India to enhance cooperation with South Asia. "The benefits of this satellite will go a long way in meeting the developmental needs of the countries participating in this project", the prime minister added. He said, they must try new places, new experiences and new skills.

He spoke about his upcoming visit to Sri Lanka to attend the UN-sponsored "Vesak Day", a Buddhist festival, next month.

Appealing to the youth, Mr Modi asked them do something out of the box.

Modi touched upon the issue of climate change, ading that it is a big issue not confined to academic conferences and researches.

"The heat we used to experience in May-June is being felt in March-April this year".

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