Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday while interacting with Sarpanchs from across the nation via video conferencing on the occasion of National Panchayati Raj Diwas said that the biggest learning from the Coronavirus pandemic is that it has taught that "we have to become self-reliant"
He emphasised, "We have been taught a lesson to not be dependent on the outside, to be self-reliant. We've been aware of this for a long time in India, but we've been reminded now, to be self-sufficient. Panchayats have a big role in this, stronger they are, stronger democracy will be."
He also said that broadband has reached more than 1.25 lakh panchayats. "Not only that, the number of common service centres in villages is also crossing three lakh," he added, alerting the vast rural populations of the progress in technology over the last several years..
"We have launched an app called e-gram Swaraj that helps in digitisation of gram panchayats. This will be the single platform for all digital needs of gram panchayats. This app will even help in settling of land and property disputes. Panchayats and villagers can also avail loans from banks through the app. Currently, we will start with six states including UP, MP, Uttarakhand and Maharashtra and then gradually rolled out to other states as well," PM Modi said.
India is approaching the last week of the extended Coronavirus lockdown, which by the end would have amounted to almost 40 days. The country has thus far identified just over 23,000 total cases, with 718 deaths so far, and just under 4800 recoveries.