Modi invites foreigners to invest, manufacture in India

Foreign investors should invest in India and manufacture goods here, as manufacturing is key to development and overall economic growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday on the occasion of the country's 68th Independence Day.

Delivering his first Independence Day speech since being elected in May, Modi vowed to encourage the country's manufacturing sector, while he urged manufacturers to focus more on making good quality products without harming the environment.

"Let there be made-in-India products in every corner of the world," he said.

In his hourlong speech from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, Modi reiterated his foreign policy tenet of forging strong ties with neighboring countries and called for world peace.

Noting that he comes from a poor family himself, Modi also laid emphasis of eliminating poverty and announced a new scheme to ensure poor people have insurance, with bank accounts to facilitate this.

Exhorting militants and insurgents in India to give up arms and take up the path of peace, the prime minister said violence will never lead the country toward development.

Regarding a spate of gang-rapes and lynchings of women and girls that have caught international attention, Modi called them a national shame and urged parents to take responsibility for the behavior of their sons, instead of just restricting that of their daughters.

He also stressed the need to improve access to basic sanitation, calling for the construction of more toilets in the country so that poor women and girls do not have to put themselves at risk of attack when they go out to relieve themselves, especially after dark, while he said all schools should have separate toilets for girls.

He appealed for an end to the practice of female infanticide.