New Delhi: India needs to accelerate pace of its development in the new year and will not allow the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic to dampen the growth process, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Saturday.
He stressed that the country will continue to fight the pandemic with "full caution and vigilance", and also take care of the national interest.
Speaking at the release of 10th instalment under the PM-KISAN scheme, Modi reeled out the achievements of the country during the pandemic-hit 2021 across sectors, like health, defence, agriculture, startup ecosystem and infrastructure.
"2021 will be remembered for India's strong fight against the Covid-19 pandemic as also for reforms undertaken during the year," Modi said, and lauded the achieving of more than 145 crore Covid vaccine doses.
He said in the year gone by, India accelerated the speed of reforms in various sectors, and also created modern infrastructure.
"We have to further accelerate the pace of development. Corona poses challenges, but it cannot stall the growth process," the Prime Minister added.
India saw a single-day rise of 22,775 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, highest since October 6, while the number of active cases surpassed one lakh and Omicron infection tally reached 1,431.
In his first address of 2022, Modi said India's economy is growing at more than 8 per cent while it has also attracted record foreign investment, and taken forex reserves to new highs and GST collections were on rise.
With India set to clock a USD 400 billion exports this fiscal, Modi said the country has also set new paradigms in the matter of exports and especially agriculture.
Modi further said the process has been initiated to raise the marriage age of women to 21 years from the current 18 years, and bringing at par with that of men.
He also referred to opening of doors of Sainik Schools and the National Defense Academy for women candidates.