Following are the highlights of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's speech delivered from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort hereon the occasion of India's 64th Independence Day.
· Prime Minister calls for understanding and restraint, otherwise our security and integrity can get adversely affected.
· Cautions against "some people who want to create disturbances in the country so that our progress gets stalled".
· Vows that "we will not let this happen".
· Prime Minister says this is the time "to rise above our personal or political interests and build consensus on issues of national importance".
· Prime Minister claims "we have provided political stability and socio and economic progress".
· Asserts that we have "established an environment of communal harmony in the country".
· Prime Minister says his seven years have seen rapid economic development.
· Prime Minister says "we have taken special care of the needs of our brothers and sisters from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, Minorities, Women and Children".
· Prime Minister promises food security legislation soon.
· Says the country is full of "confidence and self-respect".
· Prime Minister acknowledges "corruption is a big obstacle in national transformation".
· Says corruption should be discussed in a manner that "should not create an atmosphere in which country''''s progress comes into question".
· Urges that discussion on corruption should not distract from self-confidence.
· Asserts that "the government is taking strictest possible action in cases of corruption".
· Prime Minister says "there is no single big step which we can take to eradicate corruption".
· Says corruption cannot be eradicated unless "we improve our justice delivery system".
· Prime Minister asserts "we want strong Lokpal to prevent corruption in high places".
· Prime Minister says "resort to hunger strikes and fast-unto-death" will not help.
· Prime Minister says nothing should be done to dilute independence of the judiciary.
· Prime Minister acknowledges "misuse of governmental discretion in allocation of scarce resources".
· Prime Minister says the Government working on measures to reduce corruption in government projects.
· Prime Minister says "government will lay down principles and practices with regard to government purchases".
· Prime Minister says no government has a "magic wand" to eradicate corruption.
· Prime Minister asserts "we have to fight against corruption on many fronts".
· Prime Minister compliments farmers on producing a record level food grains.
· Prime Minister says we need a second Green Revolution in Agriculture.
· Prime Minister acknowledges "a phase of sustained high inflation".
· Prime Minister says "our government fully understands its responsibility to control rise in prices".
· International markets fuel inflation in India.
· Prime Minister says "finding a solution to inflation will be our top most priority in the coming months".
· Prime Minister says "land acquisition must be transparent and fair".
· Prime Minister says "government will establish a new Education Commission to suggest improvements in education at all levels".
· Prime Minister wants 12th Five Year Plan to focus on health.
· Prime Minister says investment in infrastructure has grown more than 1 1/2 times in the last seven years.
· Prime Minister says "we want to make India slum-free and the ownership of clean houses to slum dwellers".
· Prime Minister says "malnutrition in women and children is a matter of concern for all of us".
· Prime Minister regrets "declining sex ratio and wants a change in approach towards girls and women".
· Prime Minister says we should not lower guard against terrorism; says it is a long battle to be fought jointly by the central government, state governments and the citizens.
· Prime Minister promises to eradicate the very reasons which gave rise to Naxalism.
· Prime Minister warns against climate change and promises "an environmental assessment and monitoring authority to streamline the process of environmental clearances".
· Prime Minister acknowledges our younger generation''''s higher aspirations and says our institutions should tap our people''''s potential.
· Prime Minister says "our entrepreneurs and business men should not feel constrained in their activities".
· Prime Minister urges "we should all stay away from tactics that creates suspicion or apprehension among those connected with industry, business and investment.
· Prime Minister says our development should not increase inequalities.
· Prime Minister says we have the collective capacities and the confidence to deal with tensions and conflicts in the society.