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New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday said the UPA government was “burdened” by anxieties about the economic slowdown, job insecurity and security for women and children while noting that an aspirational India demands more opportunities.
“I am aware that an aspirational India is emerging, an India that demands greater choices, better infrastructure and enhanced safety and security,” he said in his first address to a joint session of parliament.
“Amidst these aspirations, we are also burdened by gathering anxieties about economic slowdown, job security and employment prospects. People are concerned about the security of our women and children. They are anxious about timely delivery of their entitlements and persisting social and economic inequality.”
He said the past year was difficult on the economic front and the government responded by taking measures to revive the investment climate and will need to take “difficult decisions” to spur economic growth that slumped to a decade-low of 5.4 percent in the first half of the current financial year.
He said India will launch its first mission to Mars this year.
“Several space missions are planned for 2013, including the launch of our first navigational satellite.”
India will send a satellite in October via an unmanned spacecraft to orbit Mars. The mission will cost about $83m.
The spacecraft will be made in India and will take nine months to reach Mars and then launch itself in an elliptical orbit about 500km (310 miles) from the planet. India is also looking at landing a wheeled rover on the moon next year. IANS