Need structured debate on N-power, GM: PM
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said that for science and technology to progress, the need of the hour is inter-disciplinary research and synergy among stakeholders. Addressing the 100th Indian Science Congress here, Singh said nuclear energy is vital for the increasingly resource-intensive modern science and called for rational thinking on GM food.
"Complex issues, be they genetically modified food or nuclear energy or exploration of outer space, cannot be settled by faith, emotion and fear but by structured debate, analysis and enlightenment," the PM said.
On nuclear power, he stressed on international collaboration. Citing examples, he said, "There was significant Indian collaboration with the European Centre for Nuclear Research on the Large Hadron Collider, which led to the discovery of what is believed to be the elusive Higgs boson. The other example is our work with a select group of countries on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor."
While reminding the audience that nearly 65 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, Singh said that betterment in their living standards would depend on growth of agricultural production. This growth is constrained by shortages of water and land, and hence, the country needs new breakthroughs in water-saving technologies, enhancement of land productivity and development of climate-resilient varieties, he added.
The PM said that in the last few years the government has taken steps to make its data accessible for research. These measures have, in turn, led to innovation complexes, business incubator and innovation universities.
"There was a time when science took a lonely road, driven by individual enterprise rather than collective effort. This is sub-optimal in the innovation and knowledge-intensive world that is empowering the growth process today. We need cross-fertilisation of disciplines and synergy among stakeholders. Government-sponsored research must be supplemented by research in private labs," he said. WITH PTI
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