<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ban on the use of red beacons, which will come into force from tomorrow, is aimed at removing the VIP culture from the minds of certain people and replace it with the concept of “Every Person is Important” (EPI), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today. He said the red beacon had become a symbol of VIP culture which had creeped the mindset of those using it. All the 125 crore people of the country have equal value and importance, Modi said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in which he also pushed for more digital transactions, informed about the launch of South Asia Satellite on May 5 and spoke about some other issues. “Generally, there is an atmosphere of hatred for the VIP culture in the country. How deep it is, I realised only recently when the government decided that howsoever big a person may be, he cannot move around in a vehicle using the red beacon,” he said. He was referring to the Union Cabinet decision of April 19 to ban the use of beacons from May 1. The ban will apply to all government vehicles, including those used by the Prime Minister, the Chief Ministers, central and state ministers and judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts. “It (use of red beacon) had become sort of a symbol of VIP culture. Experience shows that though the red beacon would be used atop a vehicle, gradually the VIP culture would go to the head of those using it and it would lead to a mindset of VIP culture,” the Prime Minister said. “Although the ‘lal batti’ is gone now, nobody can claim that because of this, the VIP culture which has gone into the mindset would have also gone,” Modi said. He said getting rid of red beacon was an administrative decision but efforts have to be made to remove the VIP culture from the mindset also. “If we all make concerted efforts jointly, this also can go (from the mindset),” he added. The Prime Minister said his government’s concept of ‘New India’ is that instead of ‘VIP’, more importance should be given to the ‘EPI’ culture. “When I say EPI should replace VIP, the meaning is clear — Every Person is Important. Every person has value and importance. If we recognise the importance of 123 crore citizens of the country, imagine the big strength that the country will have in fulfilling the grand dreams. We all have to do it together,” he said. As part of his push for digital payments, Modi asked the youth to capitalise on a scheme that entails cash rewards for those encouraging others to use the government’s Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) App for transactions. He said the scheme is valid till October 14 and the youngsters can benefit monetarily from this. Under the scheme, a person can earn Rs 10 every time he or she introduces BHIM to another person and that person undertakes three digital transactions. “If you make 20 people to do it in a day, you can earn Rs 200 that day,” the Prime Minister said, adding it will contribute to the efforts towards ‘Digital India’. He also announced that India will launch on May 5 the South Asia Satellite, which will be the country’s “priceless gift” to its neighbours as part of the ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ concept. Seven out of 8 SAARC countries are a part of the project which Pakistan refused to join as it did not want the “gift” from India. The nations participating in the project are India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives and Aghanistan. The concept of ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ is not confined to India but is relevant globally too, especially in the context of the neighbourhood, Modi said. “There should be cooperation of our neighbours and there should be development of our neighbours too,” he said. He said the benefits of this satellite will go a long way in meeting the developmental needs of the countries participating in this project. “This is an appropriate example of our commitment towards South Asia…The satellite of South Asia will help in the overall development of the entire region,” Modi said. Soon after taking over as the Prime Minister in 2014, Modi had made a unilateral proposal of India launching the satellite whose data would be shared with the eight SAARC countries for their development. In his radio programme today, Modi also emphasised the relevance of the teachings of Lord Buddha in the present day world which is “going through problems like violence, wars, destruction and arms race.” He spoke about his upcoming visit to Sri Lanka to attend the UN-sponsored ‘Vesak Day’, a Buddhist festival, next month. He also asked the students to utilise the upcoming summer vacations for learning new skills and even go for “out-of- the-box” things like taking lessons in auto driving, picking up some words from other Indian languages and finding about other places which they may intend to visit. The Prime Minister, who advocated against wastage of food in his last ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, said he had received a number of ideas on how to do it. He also mentioned about the climate change problem and the increasing duration of summer. Modi spoke about saving the birds and animals from this heat by adopting a humane approach.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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Aim to end mindset of VIP culture, says PM on beacon ban