New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi renamed three popular islands in Andaman & Nicobar on Sunday. The three islands — Ross Island, Neil Island and Havelock Island — would now be known as Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Island, Shaheed Dweep and Swaraj Dweep, respectively. The Prime Minister, who is on a two-day visit to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, also hoisted a 150-feet-high national flag at Port Blair to mark the 75th anniversary of Subhas Chandra Bose’s declaration of the formation of the ‘Azad Hind’ government in 1943. PM Modi also announced setting up of a deemed university after the freedom fighter.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister addressed a public gathering in Car Nicobar. He also laid the foundation stone for shore protection work near Mus Jetty, and extension of Campbell Bay Jetty. Speaking after inaugurating an industrial training institute at Arong, Modi remarked,”Today in Car Nicobar, we inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for several development works. These projects, relating to education, healthcare, skill development, transportation, energy and sports, will go a long way in developing the sectors.”

He also interacted with tribal chiefs and eminent sportspersons from the islands and said that “the upcoming ITI will greatly benefit youngsters”. “The government is building sporting facilities, which will further popularize sports in the union territory and boost fitness levels,” Modi said, adding that more sports facilities would be added in future.

Reaffirming his government’s determination to not leave anyone behind, or any part of the country, in the march towards development, Modi said the aim is to reduce distances, and develop a sense of closeness in hearts. He said the work for the sea wall, once completed, will help protect the island of Car Nicobar.

The Prime Minister said that the government is working for improving the standard of living of the people of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. He also spoke of the expansion of healthcare facilities on the islands. He said that the effort is to undertake development work while preserving the environment and local culture.

In the agricultural sector, the Prime Minister spoke of the increase in support price of copra. He said the government is working towards empowering those engaged in the fisheries sector as well. Modi said, “A sum of Rs. 7,000 crore has recently been approved for making the fisheries sector in the country more profitable. The areas of the country that are near the sea, can become centres of our blue revolution.”

He also said seaweed farming is being encouraged, and fishermen are getting financial assistance for procuring modern boats.  The Prime Minister said, “India is making concerted efforts to harness solar energy”.

(With inputs from agencies)