President of the Republic of India, Hon. Prathibha Patil, gave the State of the Union address in New Delhi yesterday. The speech was in Hindi, and the main points were that India is continuing to make progress in endeavouring to improve the living standards of its population, creating and making facilities available to as many as possible.
Work continues to be created for the 'roz-gars', people employed on a day to day basis if work is available, such as construction, painting of road signs, distribution of drinking water at street corners, and so on, paid for by the government to create jobs and alleviate poverty.
In December, the GDP had fallen to 2.9 percent for that month, but the latest figure for February shows a return to a healthy 6.1 percent. Inflation has gone down, in the case of food items it was even under zero, an ideal achievement.
On the international front, India has developed and further strengthened its trading ties with Russia, China, Iran, France and Kazakhstan and other countries which either the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh or Mme Patil visited on official invitations.
The United States has a special place in India's political and trading relationships, and continues to enjoy a Highly Favoured Friend status.