6 June : Declaring that communal harmony would be preserved at all cost, President Pratibha Patil on Thursday said that the Government will seek early approval of the Bill introduced in Parliament for prevention of communal violence.
"The mandate my government received was unmistakable in that the people wanted the country’s secular fabric to be protected," she said addressing a joint sitting of Parliament, the first after the new government assumed office.
Patil also said that the government will continue to accord the highest priority to welfare of minorities.
"The Prime Minister’s New 15-point Programme for the welfare of minorities and the action taken on the recommendation of the Sachar Committee have, to some extent, succeeded in ensuring an equitable share for the minorities in government resources, jobs and plans," she said.
Noting steps that were underway would be consolidated further, the President said the government would also strive to strengthen and modernise the administration of Wakfs, reform the management of Haj operations and set up an Equal Opportunities Commission."My government sees the overwhelming mandate it has received as a vindication of the policy architecture of inclusion that it put in place. It is a mandate for inclusive growth, equitable development and a secular and plural India," she said noting that her government in 2004 had unfolded before the country a "vision of an inclusive society and an inclusive economy".
Govt to pursue ‘zero-tolerance’ towards terrorism
Internal security will remain the thrust area of the government which will have "zero-tolerance" towards terrorism and tackle it in a "time-bound" manner, President Pratibha Patil said on Thursday.
"Government has already prepared a detailed plan to address internal security challenges to be implemented in a time-bound manner," Patil said while addressing the joint sitting of Parliament.
Outlining government’s approach towards dealing with security issues, the President said a National Counter- Terrorism Centre will be established to take pro-active measures to combat the menace.
"Special Forces and Quick Response Teams will be raised and deployed in vulnerable areas," she said.
To ensure effective intelligence sharing, the Multi-Agency Centre will be strengthened and its subsidiaries will be activated in all states.
Patil said the National Investigation Agency has become operational and it will be empowered to handle terror-related cases.
"Central and State police forces and intelligence agencies will be expanded and fully equipped with the best technology," she said.
The President said utmost vigil in the area of internal security and policy of zero-tolerance towards terrorism, from whatever source it originates, will be pursued.