together we can change ourself

together we can change ourself

PRESIDENTS ADDRESS

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ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA DR. A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM ON THE EVE OF 57TH REPUBLIC DAY – 2006

One Billion People: One Vision

Dear Citizens, on the eve of the 57th Republic Day of India, my greetings to all of you in the country and those living abroad. I convey my special greetings, to the members of our Armed Forces and the Paramilitary Forces, who guard our frontiers on the land, the sea and the air and also the central and state level police including the other internal security forces. I am also happy to inform that my government has decided to increase the pensionary benefits of JCOs and NCOs of our Armed Forces from 1st January 2006, which will benefit around 1.2 million pensioners.

Critical national needs

In today’s Republic Day address, I would like to share with you two critical needs of our nation. One is about the national mission and its progress. The second is to protect our progress and further sustain the earning capacity of individuals and people. For this, it is essential to increase the boundary conditions of our life, which comes out of our long cherished civilizational heritage. This is the time, we must launch and build-up an intensive and extensive movement of cherishing our value systems in all walks of life. This is particularly important since the nation has to provide leadership to the 540 million ignited minds of the youth who are the most powerful resource for translating our vision of transforming India into a developed nation, well before 2020 in an integrated way.

Progressive Momentum towards National Missions

Friends, I have visited all the States and Union Territories and have addressed the Members of Parliament and a number of State Assemblies. I have met and interacted with over one million youth. I have met many spiritual leaders. In addition, I have addressed a number of Ministries, professional bodies, educational and scientific institutions, industries, healthcare organizations, judicial establishments, law enforcement agencies, Armed Forces units, media, non-governmental organizations, artists, creative personalities, rural people and many others. I have also interacted with differently abled persons. In all my interactions with various constituents and specialists of the society, the prime focus of my communication was to present the linkages between the particular institution and the goal of national development. These have resulted in specific missions for the organizations and individuals converging towards Vision 2020. When I visited and interacted with different cross sections of the people at a later time, I have found several of these missions are being translated into actions providing fruitful results.

For example, the interlinking of rivers has made a beginning in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In Tamil Nadu, the State is considering creation of water ways connecting Palar, Kaveri, Vaigai and Thamiraparani. I have seen and experienced the functioning of four operational PURAs (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) namely Periyar PURA at Vallam, Tamil Nadu, Loni PURA in Maharashtra, Chitrakoot PURA in Madhya Pradesh and Byrraju PURA in Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh. BAIF (Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation) has brought a new dimension in rural and tribal development, through empowering the rural people with know-how, technology and networks; for water conservation, dairy development, fruit orchard and animal husbandry. In addition, Governments of Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh have taken up the PURA missions in their respective States and have completed the planning process. In the 93rd Indian Science Congress, I have suggested to the Ministry of Rural Development to allocate Rs. 500 Cr. for initiation of 100 PURA clusters, each consisting of 20 to 30 villages across the country. Action is progressing. Leadership for these PURA Clusters will be provided by the selected educational institutions located in the respective rural areas. Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Uttranchal have undertaken large scale plantation of Jatropha in both Government and private lands to produce bio-fuel. I have seen a solar power plant of 120 KW capacity in Kaylapara village in Sagar Island at Sundarbans in West Bengal. This power plant along with a number of 20 to 30 KW plants is supplying six hours of electricity to 33 villages in the Sagar Island. This is going to be expanded to 150 villages very soon. Bangalore Municipal Corporation is in the process of implementing a 8 MW power plant using solid municipal waste through BOOT (Build, Own, Operate and Transfer) scheme. The power plant is similar to what we have in Hyderabad and Vijayawada. India’s first virtual university has been created by the three 150 year old universities namely Madras, Mumbai and Calcutta. I have delivered the inaugural address for this virtual university and interacted with 15,000 students spread across the country through EDUSAT using virtual tele-education delivery system. A Virtual University by definition is meant to cut across the geographical and administrative boundaries and provide the best of education. It is our responsibility to make it happen in the new environment. I have seen the accelerated learning programme using computers in Karnataka Government schools in association with Azim Premji Foundation to reduce the dropouts. Akshaya Computer Literacy Programme of Kerala has made at least one member in each family a computer literate in whole of Malapuram district of the State. Also, I saw a high profile scientist after his retirement from Light Combat Aircraft Programme has taken up the mission of removing the illiteracy in his native village Bour in Darbhanga district of Bihar. Jamsetji Tata Virtual Academy has started the creation of Village Knowledge Centers using the selected fellows of virtual academy in association with M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation. I interacted with a number of village knowledge centers established in different parts of the country from Coimbatore and Hyderabad through EDUSAT connectivity and discussed the problem faced by the farmers, fisher folk and crafts personnel. At Peda Amiram near Bhimavaram, I have visited an International Cancer Centre with all modern facilities for treatment of cancer patients. At Parumala in Kerala, the International Centre for Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Diseases is providing specialized treatment to heart patients in rural areas. I also met 1000 physically challenged children wearing the light weight calipers at Nalgonda in Andhra Pradesh and most importantly the first and the 10,000th child benefited from Defence Technology spin off. All these results indicate that the development has started reaching certain parts of our rural areas. What does it all symbolize? The 5000 years old civilization is awakening to new technology and towards development. I can see that developed India is on the rise.

In order to strengthen this process, scientists, technologists and healthcare specialists have a special role to play.

Mission for Scientists and Technologists: For the scientists and technologists of the nation, I have five immediate national missions: (a). Increasing the Solar Photo Voltaic Cell efficiency from 14% to 45% using nano technology; (b). Research in proteomics to identify the disease causing mechanism and to develop new methods to treat diseases; (c). Earthquake forecasting using multiple parameter pre-cursors such as pre-shock conditions and electromagnetic phenomena, prior to the final rupture; (d). Building a validated mathematical model for predicting the quantum of rain for a particular cloud conditions in a particular region in a prescribed time using the new type of Polarimetric radar and; (e). Developing the products in the healthcare, electronics and materials to meet the national requirements using the convergence of nano, bio and info technologies.

Healthcare: Health care community should give highest priority for treatment of HIV/AIDS and accelerate the development of effective anti-vaccine for certain types of HIV before 2007, by networking with national and international institutions working in this area. They should integrate research efforts of malaria, typhoid, and diarrhoeal disorders for facilitating development of combination vaccine by 2007. Healthcare personnel, doctors, psychologists, researchers, pharmacologists, economists and environmentalists should all work together coherently towards the mission of providing good health to all citizens of India and make the nation near disease free.

Bharat Nirman Programme: The Government has already launched the Bharat Nirman Programme with an outlay of Rs. 1,74,000 Crore for providing rural infrastructure within the next four years. This will facilitate the rural programme like PURA to progress faster in an integrated way.

Awakening and change

These actions from multiple agencies spread across the country gives me confidence that we are well on our way on the path of development and transforming India into a developed nation before 2020. Every awakening and change, bring with them certain responsibilities and a code of conduct. Therefore, we need to promote ethical values in all walks of life which will enable creation of synergy between establishments for realizing our dream of seeing the smiles on the billion faces. Now I would like to discuss the need for important changes required in our mind-set.

Transparency starts from Home: On 21st November 2005, I had visited Adhichunchanagiri Math, attended a function of FUREC (Foundation for Unity of Religions and Enlightened Citizenship) and interacted with over 54,000 students of various schools and colleges of Karnataka. There a 10th class student Bhavani studying in Adichunchanagiri Composite High School, Shimoga asked me the following question.

“Dear Sir, What is the role of students to stop corruption which is deeply rooted in our county just like cancer?”

Agony of the young mind is reflected in this question. For me it was an important question, since it comes from a young mind. I was thinking what type of solutions we could give. My thought process was the following:

I said there are one billion people in the country and nearly 200 million homes. In general most of them are good people. However, if we find that people in few million houses are not transparent and not amenable to the laws of the country, what can we do? These houses apart from parents have one daughter or one son or both. If the parents in these houses are deviating from the transparent path the children can use the tool of love and affection and correct the parents to come back to the right path. I asked all the children assembled in that gathering, whether parents of a few children get deviated from transparency, will you children boldly tell your parents, father or mother you are not doing the right thing. That is what we are taught by you and in the school. Most of the children spontaneously responded, “We will do it”. The confidence comes from them that they have love as a tool. Similarly I have also asked the parents in some other meeting, initially there was a silence, later, many of them hesitantly agreed that they would abide by the children’s suggestion since it is driven by love. The children took an oath. The oath was “I will lead an honest life free from all corruption and will set an example for others to adopt a transparent way of life”. Finally I told the students that they should start a movement starting from their home.

Gift extinguishes the dignity of human life

It was around 1940 and the Second World War was in progress. At that time Panchayat board elections took place in Rameswaram. My father was elected as Panchayat Board member and on the same day he was also elected as the President of Rameswaram Panchayat Board. Rameswaram Island is a beautiful place with 20,000 populations at that time. They elected my father as Panchayat Board President not because he belonged to a particular religion or a particular caste or particular language or for his economic status. He was elected only on the basis of his being a good human being. I would like to narrate one incident that took place on the day he was elected as President of Panchayat board.

I was a school boy at that time studying in fourth class in Rameswaram Panchayat School. Those days we did not have electricity and we used to study in kerosene lamp. I was reading the lessons loudly and I heard a knock on my door. We never used to lock the door in Rameswaram in those years. Some body opened the door, came in and asked me where my father was? I told him that father had gone for Namaz for evening prayers. Then he said, I have brought something for him, can I keep it there. Then since my father had gone for Namaz, I shouted for my mother to get her permission to receive the items. Since she was also on the Namaz there was no response. I asked the person to leave the items on the cot. After that I went for my studies.

I used to learn by reading aloud in my younger days. I was reading loud and fully concentrating on my studies. At that time my father landed and saw a tambalum kept in the cot. He asked me what is this? Who has given that? I told him somebody came and has kept this for you. He opened the cover of the tambalum and found there was a costly dhoti, angawastram, some fruits and some sweets and he could see the slip that the person had left behind. I was the last son of my father, he really loved me and I also loved him a lot. This was the first time I saw him very angry and also this was the first time I had a beating by him. I got frightened and I was weeping. Then he touched my shoulder lovingly with affection and advised me not to receive any gift without his permission. It is not a good habit. Receiving gift with a purpose is a very dangerous thing in life. He quoted a verse from Hadith which means “Gifts accompany poisonous intentions”. This lesson stands out prominently in my mind. This experience taught me a valuable lesson for my life.

I would like to mention the writings in Manu Smriti which warns every individual against accepting gifts given with the motive since it places the acceptor under an obligation in favour of the person who gave the gift. Ultimately it results in making a person to do things which are not permitted according to law, in order to favour the person who has given the gift. Therefore it is necessary that the quality of not yielding to attraction of gifts and presents must be inculcated in individuals, so that he/she may develop immunity against the desire for receiving gifts. It is also said that by accepting gifts the divine light in the person gets extinguished. I am sharing this, with all of you particularly the young ones, to emphasize that, not to be carried away by any gift with a motive through which one loses his personality greatly. I will be very happy if you can practice this sincerely.

Mother gives principle of truth

Now, I will narrate to you a story surrounding the life of a great saint Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Gelani which happened about one thousand years ago. One day child Abdul Qadir heard a cow saying, “what are you doing here in the grazing fields, it is not for this you have been created”. He ran back to his house feeling utterly terrified and climbed on to the roof of his house. From there he saw a large group of people returning from Arafat Mountain, thousands of miles away from his place in the neighbourhood of Mecca after performing Haj. Bewildered Abdul Qadir went to his mother and asked her permission to make a journey to Baghdad in order to pursue a career in knowledge. Mother understood the divine call and promptly gave the permission for him to go. She gave him 40 gold coins which was his share he inherited from his father. She stitched these 40 gold coins inside the lining of his coat and gave him permission to leave. When she stepped out of the door to bid him a farewell, she said, “Oh, my son! You are going! I have detached myself from you for the sake of Allah knowing that I shall not see your face again until the day of last judgement. But take one advice from me. My son, you always feel the truth, speak the truth and propagate the truth even when your life is at stake”.

Abdul Qadir travelled with a small caravan heading for Baghdad. During the journey, when the caravan was passing through the tough terrains, a group of robbers on horses suddenly attacked the caravan and started looting. None of them however took the slightest notice of Abdul Qadir, until one of the looters turned to him and said. “You are here poor boy! Do you have anything with you? Abdul Qadir replied, “I have got 40 gold coins which are stitched by my mother in the lining of my coat underneath my armpit.” The looter smiled and thought that Abdul Qadir was just joking. He left him alone and moved elsewhere. When their leader came and the looters took this boy to their leader and said to him, “A poor boy claims that he is in possession of 40 gold coins. We looted everybody but we have not touched him because we hardly believed that he has got gold coins with him”. Then the leader put the same question but Abdul Qadir replied the same. Then the leader ripped through his coat and discovered that he indeed got 40 gold coins inside the lining of his coat.

The astonished leader asked Abdul Qadir, what prompted him to make this confession? Abdul Qadir replied. “My mother made me promise to always be truthful even at the cost of my life. Here, it was a matter of only 40 Gold coins. I promised her and never betrayed her trust, so I told the truth”. The looters started weeping and said, you have adhered to the advice of your great mother but we have been betraying the trust of our parents and the covenant of our Creator for many years. From now onwards, you would become our leader in our repentance and they all decided to give up robbery and from that day, became righteous persons. Here the world saw the birth of a great saint, Shiek Abdul Qadir Al-Gilani out of a message of truth a mother gave to her child. At this juncture, let me recall a Thirukkural composed by Poet Saint Thiruvalluvar, 2200 years ago.

This means that “Truth in thinking and action will have a power higher than enduring Tapas and generous Charity.

Influence of Teacher: Mission of my life

I have talked to you many times about my primary school teacher Shri Sivasubramanya Iyer. He was a great teacher and he imbibed in many of his students a vision for future. For example, once he explained about bird flight and asked whether we understood or not. Seeing our response, he took us to the seashore and showed the birds actually flying and explained the flight mechanism. Above all, the way he explained he injected into me, what should be the goal of my life. He is an excellent role model for all the teachers.

So far, I have discussed the need of transparent life, problems connected with the motivated Gift which extinguishes the human dignity, mother giving the principle of truth and teacher imbibing the vision to the students. Now, I would like to discuss about the importance of developmental politics.

Politics = Political Politics + Developmental Politics

We have been proud at the unparalleled distinction of India being the world’s largest thriving Parliamentary democracy of multi-religious, multi-languages and multi-culture, is a matter of self-esteem for the nation and each one of us. We have completed 56 years of our Republic, with a flourishing democratic edifice, that is the envy of many other countries. What amazes the world perhaps is the sagacity and maturity of the Indian voters who have always tried to exercise their mandate conscientiously and enthusiastically proving once again that as envisaged in our Constitution, the people are sovereign and the power flows from them. People have a right and an urge to live in a developed India. Therefore, we need to orient ourselves towards Developmental Politics.

In politics there are two dimensions, the first one is the political politics and the other is the developmental politics. Political politics is required during the election process. Immediately after the election all parties must converge on developmental politics with a common mission. Translating this into action, all parties have to work with zeal to uplift the 260 million people living below poverty line and remove the illiteracy and unemployment. I would like to visualize a situation in which the political parties perform in the environment of developmental politics in our country, competing with each other, in putting forth their focused developmental vision through their manifesto.

Our 540 million youth, who are below 25 years of age, should see an imprint of great leaders in every action of the parliament members. They can become their role models to bring a dynamic change in politics and the developmental missions. Here, I am reminded of the famous statement by Swami Vivekananda “the basis of all systems social or political rests upon the goodness of men. No nation is great or good because parliament enacts this or that, but its men are great and good.”

The story of the Lost Sheep

Dear Friends, when I am talking to you, I am reminded of the Biblical story of the “Lost sheep”, as said by The Jesus Christ. “If anyone of you has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will you do? Won’t you leave the ninety nine in the field and go and look for the lost sheep until you find it, and when you find it, you will be so glad that you will put it on your shoulder and carry it home. Then you will call in your friends and neighbours and say, let us have a feast, I have found my lost sheep.”

As the Lost Sheep is most important for the Shepherd, the message for every citizen of our country from this story is that you may find around you a house which is not lit. Please help to light that house. Similarly, teachers in the class room may find hundreds of bright students but a few may need knowledge with kindness. All teachers must locate such students and impart the knowledge. Leaders of my nation, you may meet many people and help them, but you immediately look for those who need your utmost help and bring them to the mainstream. Those who deal with public administration, look for the last person to be serviced and make him or her feel that he or she is serviced with the kind heart. Similarly, judiciary and law enforcement agencies should look for the marginalized persons, who cannot even reach you because of the multiple gates and layers between the judiciary and the citizen. Media as partner in national development should celebrate the success of our people whether it is in fishing, farming, craftsmanship or achievement of a rural area. The micro world of rural realities lives in the macro reality of a globally acclaimed India. Media has to capture this.

There are many such examples, which can be cited. Dear Citizens, if all of us do this, God will be with us and I am sure the whole nation will be happy, prosperous and safe. This is fully corroborated by the advice given to Mahatma Gandhi by his mother. Gandhiji says, “My mother had given an advice “Son, in your entire life time if you can save or better someone’s life, your birth as a human being and your life is a success. You have the blessing of the Almighty God”.

Conclusion

Infallibility is divinity. We are not divine. We are fallible. To err is human. Divinity would demand that we realize this irrefutable truth and correct ourselves when we become fallible. The spirit of life and thirst for success and rectitude should propel ourselves to correct our mistakes on our way instead of ruing over mistakes and slips that have been committed even inadvertently. The need of the hour is disciplined action by all citizens. This will lead to the creation of enlightened citizens. Any country is as good as its citizens. Their ethos, their values and their character will be reflected in the country’s make up. They are crucial factors that will determine whether the country will move forward on a progressive path or stagnate. Hence, there is a need to cultivate a sense of eternal values in each of its citizens, instill in him or her with a sense of discipline. The education system right from the primary level has to concentrate on this aspect. For inculcating discipline among citizens, I visualize the necessity for providing compulsory NCC training for a minimum period of 18 months to all our youth either during the senior secondary stage and or during graduation in all educational institutions, both Government and private. This will ensure disciplined politics, business, judiciary, bureaucracy, scientific pursuits and sports and games. All of us have to practice the values of honesty, sincerity and tolerance in our day-to-day living. This will elevate our politics to statesmanship. We have to collectively inculcate a positive attitude of what we can do for our country so that we together will be able to benefit ourselves. We have immensely benefited from what our ancestors did and left for us. We have a right and responsibility to leave a positive legacy to the posterity for which we all will be remembered for. The land, water and sky of this nation are the witnesses. Our righteous toil is our guiding light,

If we work hard, we all can prosper.

Nurture great thoughts, rise up in actions,

May righteous methods be our guide;

May the nation prosper ever with Almighty’s grace. Allow me again, my dear citizens to wish you a very purposeful and happy Republic Day.

May God bless you.

Jai Hind.

ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON THE EVE OF 58TH INDEPENDENCE DAY – 2004

Education for Dignity of Human life

My Dear Citizens of India,

On the eve of the 58th Independence Day, I extend to you my best wishes for your happiness and prosperity. My greetings to all of you at home and abroad. Let us, on this occasion, remember with gratitude, the selfless and devoted services of our Armed Forces and those of the Paramilitary Forces, who are guarding our frontiers on the land, the sea, and in the air. I take this opportunity on this Independence Day to convey the best wishes of the people of India, to our men and women participating in the Olympic Games in Athens.

I met 200 freedom fighters from different parts of the country on 9th August 2004. I saw in their ripe age, their enthusiasm to bring back the nationalism as a living movement. I salute all our freedom fighters on this occasion. Let me dedicate this Independence Day broadcast to those great souls who pioneered our Independence movement. We remember them with reverence and gratitude for liberating us from centuries of foreign rule. Their saga of sacrifice has realized the singular and the noble vision of heralding an independent nation.

Dear citizens, we must realize, the significance and the value of our freedom movement. Fortunately after our independence in 1947, we have come a long way in the field of education and moved towards a knowledge society, as a result of the vision of our educationalists and the policies and actions of successive governments. Many of our educational institutions have excelled in the world. In order to revitalize our self-esteem and culture, it is vital to emphasize the role of education system for creating an enlightened, dynamic and prosperous society utilizing the advancement of science and technology. I therefore propose to discuss the education system in some detail in the later part of my address.

General Elections

The nation is happy that the conduct of the recent general elections and transition to a new government has taken place in a peaceful and orderly manner. In an increasingly complex world environment, this significant achievement emerging from India is yet another valuable contribution to world peace and stability. Now that the government is in place, we all have to get on with the work of building the nation.

External Relations

We are steadily strengthening our presence in Regional and International institutions including the United Nations. We also realize it is essential to strengthen and restructure the United Nations to make it more purposeful. We cherish and advocate multi-polarity in the world order that respects the principles of sovereignty, non-intervention, freedom and democracy. While not forgetting the painful lessons of history, our foreign policy is aimed at a vision that seeks to establish India, the largest democracy in the world as a developed country with its rightful place in the international fora.

Defence & Security

With the rapidly changing global security environment, our nation’s domains of security concerns have greatly expanded from what it was after Independence. Another measure of our nation’s strength is the effective, firm and fair handling of a series of internal low intensity conflicts and the proxy war. I note with satisfaction of our continuing efforts towards good neighbourly relations, particularly the sustained progress of the peace process between India and Pakistan.

Economy

Our economy has yielded a growth rate of Gross Domestic Product by over 8%, driven by broad based accelerated growth in agriculture, infrastructure, manufacture and service. Sustaining our growth, containing annual inflation rate, containing revenue deficit through prudent revenue enhancement and expenditure management are the other challenges for Centre and the States. The root cause of poverty lies in illiteracy, unemployment and lack of basic healthcare and there is a need to sharply increase public spending in these areas.

Water management

Certain regions in the country like Bihar and Assam are constantly affected by floods every year, and we are witnessing that even now. There is a need to find a long-term solution to control flood and store and utilize the surplus water for usage during dry season and also the linking of regional river basins. In the Gangetic plain and in the Northeastern region, I would recommend construction of layered wells in the entry points of Kosi river flowing from Nepal and Brahmaputra flowing from Tibet. These layered wells will store the floodwater at different levels and will control the intensity of damage in low-lying areas by reducing velocity of flow. In addition we may consider the possibility of underground water storage systems at river basin sites and also other places. The water thus stored will be useful at the time of need. Water mission has been rightly identified as a priority area by my government.

Employment Generation

Our employment generation system has not kept the pace with the inflow of educated youth. A three-pronged strategy is needed to make education more attractive and simultaneously create employment potential – how do we do that? Firstly, the educational system should highlight the importance of entrepreneurship and prepare the students right from the college education to get oriented towards setting up of the enterprises. Diversity of skills and perseverance in work makes an entrepreneur. In addition, college syllabi even for arts, science, and commerce courses should include topics and practicals where such entrepreneurship is possible. Secondly, the banking system should provide venture capital right from every village level to the prospective entrepreneurs for undertaking new enterprises. Banks have to be proactive to support the innovative products for enabling wealth generation by young entrepreneurs by setting aside the “conventional tangible asset syndrome”. Thirdly, there has to be an economic pull for generation of marketable products and enhancement of purchasing power among the people. This can come through by implementation of mega programmes such as rural connectivity, regional linking of rivers, infrastructural missions, power missions and tourism.

We need education system to focus on high value and productive employment opportunities. The recent study indicates that the unemployment level in the country is 9% of 400 million employable people. That is around 36 million. We can definitely find productive employment for all the 36 million people by launching certain missions like bio-diesel generation through plants such as Jatropha, dry land and herbal farming in the available 33 million hectares of waste land earmarked for cultivation.

Mission of Education

Education is the most important element for growth and prosperity of a nation. India is in the process of transforming itself into a developed nation by 2020. Yet we have 350 million people who need literacy and many more who have to acquire employable skills to suit the emerging modern India and the globe. Children who belong to weaker sections of our society are undernourished, and only a small percentage of them manage to complete 8 years of satisfactory education. We need to think specifically for them. Education is indeed a fundamental right of every Indian child. Can we allow the situation to continue in which millions of these children are forced into life long poverty? The requirement is that the parents should be able to go to any school nearby and admit their children and happily come back home with the confidence that their children will get a good and value based quality education in that school. The conditions of differently-abled children require equally important attention. In view of such critical issues and their importance, and also to break out of our historical mindset, an effective and self renewing education system is therefore fundamental to the survival and growth of civilizations, therefore I now propose to address the issues pertaining to education in some detail and suggest some solutions, which can be considered for implementation.

Inequality of Access to Educational Resources:

Let me share with you one important concern: unequal access to educational resources still exists due to a variety of reasons. For example, I have seen in our villages three types of families. The fortunate ones who realize the importance of educating the young ones at any cost, guide them at all critical stages due to their economical well-being. There are those families, who might realize the importance of education, but are not aware of the opportunities in time, nor the procedures and ways to realize these opportunities for their children. There is a third category of families who are economically weak and do not realize the value of education and hence for generations together their children are neglected and continue to live in poverty.

It is essential that we enlighten and create widespread awareness of education among all sections of society particularly in rural areas and among urban poor. We should use technology for this important social purpose. It is possible for NGOs, other social and philanthropic institutions and media to focus on this area of creating awareness. We should also mobilize necessary resources for providing education to the underprivileged people. Let us elaborate the way ahead.

Mobilizing Resources for the Mission of Education:

Over the last 50 years, successive Governments have been committed to achieving the national goal of universal education and has steadily increased the budgetary allocation for education. However, 35% of our adult populations are yet to achieve literacy. The expenditure on education as a percentage of our gross domestic product has a direct impact on our literacy. Today our expenditure on education in India is little more than 4% of our GDP. If we have to achieve nearly 100% literacy, it is necessary to increase its expenditure on education to about 6 to 7% of the GDP. This 2 to 3% increase has to be sustained only for a few years. Thereafter, a lower percentage of GDP allocation to education will be adequate to sustain the high degree of literacy in this country for all time to come.

Clearly public expenditure alone from Governments in the Centre and States might not able to meet the challenge of mobilizing an additional 2 to 3% of GDP for the mission of education. It is here that we have to generate additional resources for this noble mission. Expenditure on education, whether in the Centre or in the States can no longer be provided only by the respective Ministries or Departments for human resource development. Indeed, every department of Government must play a significant role as a partner of the human resource development organization, and contribute resources in terms of budget and infrastructure for implementing the mission of providing quality education to the whole nation.

To augment the Government resources, I appeal to the entire corporate sector to emulate the example set by some corporate leaders who have focused on education to make a national difference. Different regions of the country may be adopted by the corporate sectors within an overall national mission for education. The mechanism should enable the persons to have freedom to innovate and deliver directly.

Standardization of Teaching:

The preferred school concept is arising because of differential quality and standards of teaching. There is a need to make the quality of teaching high in all schools. Also there is a need for preparatory education even in rural areas to make the child competitive when he or she joins the regular school. For running such schools in rural areas NGOs and corporate sectors can play a vital role. Also rich parents who can afford can adopt certain number of rural children for educating in preparatory schools.

Planning for good education for the children in villages:

I would like to recall a question asked by Master Kuldeep Yadav, Class X, of Etawah during my visit to Saifai, he asked me:

Mr. President,

Villages are also full of talents but facilities are available in the towns/cities only. Have you planned something for these Children so that they can get good education in the villages?

I was glad to see a child’s concern for his rural counterparts. We need to address this problem, which has multiple dimensions. It tells about the non-availability of infrastructural facilities in schools, the problem of syllabi followed in the school and the non-availability of quality teachers.

Job opportunities being national, the syllabus should be structured in such a manner that it should meet the changing societal needs, fulfill the needs of the occupation and inculcate high moral values among the students in addition to learning skills. The delivery of quality education is possible only through quality teachers. The teacher has to be a committed teacher who loves teaching and children. And also the teacher has to be equipped with all the knowledge required for effective teaching. The self-esteem of the teacher must be high and the teacher must have the quality to become a role model for the children. Some element of competitive rewarding is to be done based on performance. This competency has to be built up throughout the country through a massive teachers education programme delivered through a tele-education system and continuously updated. This can be funded and implemented by a consortium of Government, educational institutions with the corporate sectors providing value added services. There is an urgent need that every school should have basic amenities such as good building equipped with ventilated, lighted, airy and spacious class rooms besides library, laboratories including the latest IT tools and infrastructure, safe drinking water, clean toilets, play ground. This is possible by earmarking the additional 2 to 3% of GDP.

The Role of Parents:

Parents have an important role in the education of the children and making them enlightened citizens. They must be aware of the need for good education of the child, male or female. Like teachers, parents also should set an example for the child in their overall behaviour and conduct. This will enable the child to develop love and respect for their parents and see them as role models.

Reducing Dropouts:

It is reported that 39% of children drop out from school after studying 5th class and 55% drop out after studying up to 8th class. This situation need remedial action, especially since assent has been accorded for the 86th Constitution Amendment Act – Right to Education Bill for children between the age group of 5 and 14 years. But an Act alone cannot achieve the goal unless the education is delivered in a manner, which will take into account the socio-ecnomic reality, and perception of people to whom it is addressed. Apart from attracting children to schools, the education system should be able to provide nourishment and inject creativity among the children. Also the aim of the education system should be to build character, human values, enhance the learning capacity through technology and build the confidence among children to face the future.

I have seen an education model implemented in Karnataka, which provides an accelerated learning using the computer aids so that children can have a creative learning with the tools of creative animation through computers. Dropouts are identified and brought to the school. This holistic phenomenon of learning once ingrained in the primary stage where there is a happy learning process and a non-threatening evaluation, has led to voluntary learning by the participants.

System of Entrance Examination:

Recently, I have received many e-mails from children and parents regarding too many entrance examinations which the children have to appear from nursery up to plus two level for entry into schools, colleges, universities and professional courses. This I consider as a heavy burden on the children. Also, it has led to proliferation of tuitions and coaching institutes for preparing the students for entrance examinations. For entry into universities and professional colleges, we have to devise a common all India examination to be conducted by a nominated institution of Government. Also, the examination must be so designed that attending a coaching course does not provide undue advantage to privileged students. Entrance test should be more in the nature of aptitude assessment rather than creating a seniority list.

Examination Reforms:

I find there is a demand for more transparent and reliable system of examination, evaluation and reporting. It is also noticed that the examination primarily tests the memory of the students. I remember during my study in MIT, Chennai in mid 1950s, they used to conduct open book examination. This used to be one of the tough examinations for the students. I would recommend that the examining bodies may consider introduction of open book system of examination. This will promote creativity among the teachers in setting questions and the evaluation of the creative ability of the students. A secure examination system is the need of the hour.

Renewal of Evaluation system:

The examining bodies should have a reliable evaluation system and timely declaration of results. After the initial evaluation of the answer paper a centralized core group can draw random sample from each batch and carry out independent evaluation. If there is no discrepancy between the initial evaluation and the core group evaluation, and it is consistent with the performance of the students, it will be presumed that the batch marking is satisfactory. In case of a discrepancy further samples should be drawn for verification. Special training must be carried out by examining bodies for certifying the examiners in the evaluation process. In short the examining bodies must evolve very good procedures and then get ISO Certification for their evaluation system.

Need for Adoption of Safety Measures:

The recent tragedy involving school children at Kumbakonam must have rung some bells in all the educational institutions in the country. It is the responsibility of sponsoring organization to see that their schools maintain basic minimum norms both in the academic field as well as in the physical facilities which they provide on their campuses. Certain safety features must be built-in our school buildings without which it should not be possible to get affiliation by these schools. And there should not be any discretion available with anyone, to waive off these conditions. Honesty in implementation is vital at all levels.

Technology Enhanced Education

Constraints of time and space together with the rapid obsolescence of knowledge in some areas of science and technology, have created a huge demand for different courses from different institutions in the distance mode. There is a need for a working digital library system that alone can, in the long run, provide the kind of access required for a Knowledge Society. Technology Enhanced Learning is a solution. It attempts to exploit the rapid developments in Information and Communication Technology. As the communications band-width continues to increase and the cost of computer power continues to drop, Technology Enhanced Learning will become an economically viable solution. Virtual classrooms of the future will have students from many locations taught by a team of geographically distributed Instructors through tele-education delivery system.

Conclusion

Ultimately, education in its real sense is the pursuit of truth. It is an endless journey through knowledge and enlightenment. Such a journey opens up new vistas of development of humanism where there is no scope nor room for pettiness, disharmony, jealousy, hatred or enmity. It transforms a human being into a wholesome whole, a noble soul and an asset to the universe. Universal brotherhood in its true sense becomes the sheet anchor for such education. Real education enhances the dignity of a human being and increases his or her self-respect. If only the real sense of education could be realized by each individual, and carried forward in every field of human activity the world will be so much a better place to live in.

Mission of education by Government at Centre or States or the combination is the foundation to ensure the creation of enlightened citizens who will make a prosperous, happy and strong nation.

May God bless you.

PRESIDENTS ADDRESS ON THE EVE OF INDEPENDENCE DAY – 2002

Speech: [Audio] [Video]

UNITY OF MINDS

My dear citizens of India,

On the eve of the 55th anniversary of our Independence, I have great pleasure in offering you my best wishes for your well-being and happiness. My salutations to all of you both in India and abroad.

May I extend a special word of gratitude to the men of our defence who guard our frontiers on the land, on the sea and in the air and paramilitary forces. May I also convey my special appreciation to our farmers who toil on the fields, technicians who keep the wheels of our industry moving, teachers who create knowledge products to the society and doctors, engineers, scientists, technologists and other professionals and administrators who are the prime movers of national development. May I wish the youth of India whose purposeful hard work with sweat will be a major transforming force for prosperous India.

I met some of the freedom fighters a few days ago at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Each and every one of them was the live force for our freedom movement. On this day, I salute all men and women of India who fought for our freedom and sacrificed their lives to achieve our Independence. Seeding a great vision and an indomitable spirit to achieve India’s freedom took place around 1857. For 90 years, there were a number of intensive struggles for freedom. Many of our people and leaders were in jail and their sufferings got transformed into freedom movement, with national ethos under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. I have tried to capture the essence of the freedom movement. Two aspects have come out: as a result of supreme sacrifices and dedicated and focused efforts, we got our Independence. The second aspect is that the vision driven movement itself created many leaders in different spheres of politics, economics, industry, science, arts and culture.

After Independence, India has made significant achievements in agriculture and food production, energy, healthcare, education and various fields of science and technology. Particularly we have made our mark in the international arena in the fields of pharmaceuticals, information technology, mass media and communication, space, defence and nuclear science.

Similar to the first vision, which created a movement to achieve freedom with unity of minds of our people and the unity of purpose in actions, we need a second vision, which will integrate people from all walks of our society towards a common purpose. The second vision of our nation is to transform it from the present developing status to a developed nation by integrated actions simultaneously in the areas of agriculture and food processing, education and healthcare, infrastructure development including power, information and communication technologies, and critical technologies. This greater vision will aim to alleviate poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. When the minds of the people of our country are unified and fused towards this vision, the dormant potential will manifest as a mammoth power leading to a happy and prosperous life of a billion people. This vision of the nation will also remove the conflicts arising out of differences and small thinking.

Dear citizens, I would like to reiterate that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. It is not an international issue. India is ready for bilateral dialogue once the cross border terrorism is brought to a complete end. Normal election process is on in Jammu and Kashmir. It is essential to ensure its successful completion and dawn of peace in Jammu and Kashmir.

We also have many challenges in front of us. We have to find a solution to the repeated droughts and floods; we have to eradicate communal and other divisive clashes sprouting in certain parts and remove the pains of our people whether it is in Jammu and Kashmir or in any other part of our country; we also have to find a permanent solution to combat terrorism.

Let us now look at a long-term problem. It is paradoxical to see floods in one part of our country while some other parts face drought. This drought – flood phenomenon is a recurring feature. The need of the hour is to have a water mission which will enable availability of water to the fields, villages, towns and industries throughout the year, even while maintaining environmental purity. One major part of the water mission would be networking of our rivers. Technological and project management capabilities of our country can rise to the occasion and make this river networking a reality with long term planning and proper investment. In addition, the vast sea around us can help by providing potable water through desalination as a cost effective technology. There are of course short term techniques such as water harvesting by revitalizing rural ponds, water recycling to water conservation. Such programmes should have a large scale people participation even at the conceptual and project planning stages. The entire programme should revolve around economic viability leading to continued prosperity for our people with larger employment potential, environmental sustainability, grass root level motivation and benefit sharing.

I would now like to share with you friends, another crucial requirement and necessity for our country. We cannot sustain a second vision for the country without Unity of Minds of all our people. Our great strength is our pluralistic tradition and civilisational heritage of nearly 3000 years. I have always been asking myself what the strength of our heritage is. A unique fusion has taken place with multiple cultures, religions and the way of life of many parts of the world and that has become the foundation of the Indian life. One can trace from 1857 to date, the type of good experiences we have had and also the strife resulting out of the differences in thoughts.

I have just now returned from Gujarat after interactions with various cross sections of people, leaders, officials and rehabilitation workers in the areas affected by recent disturbances and earthquake. I also visited the Sabarmati Ashram which was established by Mahatma Gandhi for the purpose of our countrymen to carry on the search for truth and develop fearlessness. I sat in silence for a while in the Ashram and remembered the life of Gandhiji. One dominant thought came to my mind. If we can go above our own personal hardships and see the problems of others and decide to work for a larger cause, then there is natural elevation of our minds. When we are lax in this, then our level of thinking goes down. I felt confident that all of us can be elevated to the level of noble minds, if we just decide to understand others and to practice tolerance. I realized that Gujarat has given the noble leader – Mahatma Gandhi, unifier of the nation – Vallabhbhai Patel and the great visionary in science and technology – Vikram Sarabhai and many more. Time has come for every one of us to put the thoughts of these great souls into action for nation’s welfare.

Non-violence, tolerance, acceptance of all religions and different ways of life, search for truth and fearlessness are the values the Mahatma taught us and they are the cornerstones of our civilisational heritage and, therefore, of Indian polity. Any act by anyone anywhere in India that runs counter to these eternal values would pose a threat to the fabric of free Indian nation which was born and nurtured by the supreme sacrifices of countless noble souls. We should all work together to achieve the mission for Unity of Minds to preserve what we so preciously earned and reach greater heights in the future.

When I interact with school children and youth, wherever I go, one question comes often. They ask me “who are our role models?” Parents and teachers have to show them by example to live as enlightened citizens. Children also look for role models at national level in different fields. I have described earlier the role models from Gujarat. Each state of our country has many such examples of the past. It is now time we create more role models from the present. I suggest that members of our Parliament and Legislatures can shape the future of our children by becoming good role models. Parliament and Legislatures have a crucial role in giving the vision of developed India and value based polity. Our children should see the members of the Parliament debating the vision of developed India, providing action plans and putting forth great thoughts and challenges to them. Looking at the national leaders, the children will find their role models for their development and growth.

I am sure, our leadership and our people can achieve the second vision of developed India. Let us take a vow on this Independence Day that the nation is more important compared to any individual, party or organisation.

I pray to the Almighty for Unity of Minds and our success in every aspect of life.

‘Jai Hind’

ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA DR. A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM ON THE EVE OF 56th REPUBLIC DAY – 2005

Action Plan for Employment Generation

“Everyone has inside of him or her, a piece of good news.
The good news is, that you don?t know how great you can be!”

Dear Citizens,

On the eve of the 56th Republic Day of India, my greetings to all of you, including those living abroad. I convey my special greetings, to the members of our armed forces and the paramilitary forces, who guard our frontiers on the land, the sea and the air and also the internal security forces. While we are saddened by the wrath of the Tsunami waves, we are not disheartened. The Central and State Governments, with utmost seriousness and sincerity have reached out to those who needed help and are in the process of providing relief that will at least partially wipe out the pains caused by the Tsunami. During this period of active relief operations, my heart was with you, but I did not make a visit because the members of the Govt. and Non-Government organisations were deployed in large numbers in the relief operations, which were in full swing. Reviews were taken by our Prime Minister, Governors, the Chief Ministers of the respective states and Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Now, I feel that the time has come, for me to join you, my fellow citizens, to study the process of the reconstruction of homes, and bringing back normalcy.

Smile of youth

I met, more than six hundred thousand children from all parts of our country, after becoming the President. During my interaction with them, they posed a series of questions, with affection. They asked:

?Mr. President, you saw us smile, when we were five years old. We smiled because we were blossoming innocently. When we came to our teens, smiles slowly faded away and the signs of concern appeared. You said that it is because of our anxiety about our future. This anxiety, almost took away our smiles. When we complete our education, the top most questions in our mind were, what would I do after my education? Will I get an employment? Our parents, who have spent all their savings on our education, also share the same concern. Mr. President, will I get a proper employment and be able to contribute to India, to make it a Developed Nation?? Their questions really made me to think and think.

The concerns about employment are not only for those who are fortunate enough to have school and college education. It is the same fading away of the smiles, the shattering of the dreams and the weaning away of the gleam in the eyes that we see in every cross section of the youth in the country. The only answer to retain the smile from the child to the youth is to generate employment. It represents the aspirations and anxiety of nearly 540 million youth of our nation. Hence I have selected the topic for the Republic Day address as ?Action plan for employment generation.?

Societal transformation

In my earlier address to the Nation on the eve of the 58th Independence Day, I talked to you on “Education for Dignity of Human life”. The whole purpose of education in a country like India is to develop and enhance the potential of our human resource and progressively transform it into a knowledge society. The knowledge society will be a society producing products and services that are rich in both explicit and tacit knowledge, thus creating value added products. The real capital of this knowledge society will be its knowledge workers. The society will be highly networked to create knowledge intensive environment along with enabling process to efficiently create, share, use and protect knowledge. Our education system should re-align itself at the earliest to meet the needs of the present day challenges and be fully geared to participate in the societal transformation.

Changing Pattern of Society

When the world was moving from the industrial to information and knowledge era, we witnessed a changing pattern in the sectoral share of GDP and the number of people employed in each sector. The share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) percentage has undergone a considerable change. Contribution of agriculture to India’s GDP has reduced from 39% to 22% during the period 1979 to 2004. During the same period contribution of manufacturing sector has moved from 24% to 27% and whereas the contribution from the services sector has increased from 37% to 51%. There has been considerable change in the employment pattern also. The percentage of people employed in agriculture has come down from 64% to 54%. Simultaneously, the percentage of people employed in manufacturing has gone up from 15% to 19% and in the service sector from 20% to 27%. This trend has to continue and by 2020 our employment pattern should aim at 44% in agriculture, 21% in manufacturing and 35% in service sectors. The displacement of 10% people from agriculture sector has to be facilitated through skill enabling for undertaking value added tasks in the rural enterprises so that migration to urban area is reduced. Instead of the person from the rural areas going to urban towns in search of jobs in manufacturing and services sectors, PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) facilitates creation of employment in the rural areas itself. PURA achieves this by providing physical, electronic and knowledge connectivities to a cluster of villages thereby leading to their economic connectivity and prosperity.

National Employment status

National Rural Employment Guarantee Bill 2004 was tabled in the Parliament in its last session to create employment opportunities in the rural sector. What is needed is a coordinated planning and linking the spirit of this Bill to productive and sustainable employment generation scheme to the unemployed youth. Now I would like to discuss the national employment scenario. As per the estimate of the Planning Commission, the total number of people eligible for employment at present is approximately 400 million. Out of this, nine percent are unemployed which works out to around 36 million. In addition, there is a need to find value added employment for 10% of those employed in the agriculture sector in the rural areas. Our attempt hence should be to find gainful employment for around 76 million people. This will add to our productivity and will ensure a sustained 10% GDP growth for the decade, which is an essential need for India to become a developed country before 2020. Dear Citizens, a nation of billion people that is capable of exporting food grain, a nation that is recognized for its software products and services, a nation that can build its own aerospace systems and nuclear power plants, a nation that is leading in Pharma and automobile industry, I am sure, will be able to put all its think tanks together and come up with many innovative wealth generating schemes for the productive employment of 76 million people.

Employment generators

Let me share with you how to generate employment. The most important sectors for sustainable national development are Agriculture, Education, Healthcare, Water and Energy. The common thread that will run across these would be the three connectivities of PURA. One of the ways by which the rural agriculturists could increase their earnings is by value adding to the agricultural produce by processing and manufacturing. The farmers, either individually or through their co-operatives would market processed and value added items instead of marketing the raw materials. This increase in the value-addition taking place in the rural area itself is an indicator of the society moving towards prosperity and knowledge era. I would like to suggest a few schemes that can bring large-scale employment and prosperity to our people.

Bio-fuel generation

We have nearly 63 million hectares of wasteland available in the country, out of which 33 million hectares of wasteland have been allotted for tree plantation. Certain multi-purpose bio-fuel plants can grow well in wasteland with very minimum input. Once cultivated, the crop has fifty years of life. Fruiting can take place in these plants in two years. Bio-fuel plants grown in parts of the waste land, for example, 11 million hectares, can yield a revenue of approximately Rs. 20,000 crore a year and provide employment to over 12 million people both for plantation and running of the extraction plants. It will reduce the foreign exchange outflow paid for importing crude oil, the cost of which is continuously rising in the international market. The Bio-fuel is Carbon mono-oxide emission free. The oil can also be used for soap and in candle industries. De-oiled cake is a raw material for composting and the plantation is also good for honey production. We should absorb best of the technologies available worldwide and start commercial operation immediately. One time investment needed for bio-fuel plantation to production in 11 million hectares will be approximately Rs. 27000 Crores. The capital equipment and investment in plant and machinery can come from bank loans and private sector entrepreneurs. I have seen the progress in bio-fuel plant cultivation, preparation of seedlings, tissue culture and development of non-toxic hybrid varieties in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. They have also worked from processing of seeds to bio-fuel production by the indigenous design and development of bio-fuel plants. Anand Agriculture University at, Anand (Gujarat) has also made progress in the bio-fuel cultivation and processing in Gujarat. Bio-fuel plants can be grown in a number of states in the southern, western and central part of the country.

Waste Land Development – opportunities

ICRISAT with its international experience of working in arid regions, have developed short duration, disease and drought resistant varieties of important crops beneficial to our farmers. They have introduced various tillage practices and nutrition management techniques, to boost crop yields even under drought stress. This technology will enable us to reclaim 5 more million hectares of the 33 million hectare of wasteland allotted for productive farming. As per the experts, this will result in the deployment of 15 million people for the dry land cultivation.

Water Harvesting and Recycling

Water harvesting should become mandatory for all. To improve water table, we need to build check dams, develop water sheds, desilt ponds and rivers, clear the inlets and outlets to the ponds and water bodies and recharge the wells. If our rural areas are made to have the operational water bodies, recharging of the wells will take place. The task is totally labour intensive and nation wide implementation of this scheme will provide employment for six million persons for more than three or four years. The scheme will result in increase in storage capacity of water bodies and create additional irrigation potential of the land in the region and enhance agricultural productivity.

Bamboo Mission

This mission envisages an integrated programme of expansion of plantations of Bamboo species, the scientific management, and promotion of community level value addition and entrepreneurship. This will enable presenting the raw material for the industries and the industry to access and apply modern technology for producing globally competitive new generation bamboo products. This includes setting up of clusters of small value addition processing units, near the resource for employment generation and benefit to the local small entrepreneur. Processed raw material suitable for ultimate use in industry / handicraft sector will be required, for economizing handling cost of raw material to the location of industry proposed to be set up in different parts of the country. The programme envisages the cultivation of bamboo over two million hectares and promotion of technology and networking for enhancing the trade. The economic and social benefit from these activities, will lead to the creation of 8.6 million jobs and the market opportunities worth over Rs. 6,500 crore with an investment of Rs. 2600 crore. This will be useful for the additional development of the north-eastern region. We should use the management personnel, industrial experts and business houses to provide international market connectivity for our bamboo products leading to sustainable growth, wealth generation and positive contribution to the growth of GDP. The institutions like National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Indian Institutes of Management, Industrial houses, State government and Ministry of Agriculture can work together to generate number of Bamboo enterprises in different rural clusters.

Converting the fly ash as Wealth Generator

As you are aware, the use of coal for power generation results in increased quantum of fly ash production, which has reached about 100 million tonnes per year. All out efforts are needed to utilize this fly ash not only from environmental considerations, but also to avoid land usage for fly ash dumping. Though there has been a steady progress in fly ash utilization from 1990, we have a long way to go to reach the target of 100% fly ash utilization. It is reported that the agricultural increase of grains is around 15%, green vegetables 35% and root vegetables 50%, when fly ash is mixed with the soil. Toxicity tests have proved that there is no toxic element due to fly ash. But it has higher nutrients due to increased availability of iron and calcium. The fly ash can become a wealth generator by making use of it for producing “green building” materials, road, agriculture etc. For full utilization of the generating stock, will provide employment potential for three hundred thousand people and result in a business volume of over Rs. 4000 crore.

Textile industry

Textile industry is very important for the Indian economy. The basic raw material is cotton. India is the third largest producer of cotton in the world. However, compared to the world average of 700 kgs of seed cotton per acre we produce only 350 kgs of seed cotton per acre. It is indeed a technological concern for the nation. Some of the industries have adopted a village in Punjab, which has brought out a cooperative movement of the farmers, scientists, trainers and the industry and launched for cultivating cotton in over 1200 acres. A training programme was launched for farmers starting with soil characterization, matching the cottonseed to soil, water and fertilizer management. The project resulted in increasing the average seed cotton yield of the village from 450 KG per acre to 950 KG per acre. This led to the seven-fold increase in net return per acre, due to considerable reduction in input costs. It is worth noting that in this case the yield is above the world average. This model has already been replicated in ten villages and can be emulated by many cotton-growing regions of the country. India can definitely produce 25% of the total world production of quality cotton compared to the existing 12% leading to revenue of over Rs. 25000 crores a year for the nation. I would like to link cotton production to garment export business, which is a low investment and large volume employment generator. India is presently, exporting six billion dollars worth of garments, whereas with the WTO regime in place, we can increase the production and export of garments to 18 to 20 billion dollars within the next five years. This will enable, generation of employment in general and in rural areas in particular. By tripling the export of apparels, we can add more than 5 million direct jobs and 7 million indirect jobs in allied sector, primarily in the cultivation of cotton. Concerted effort is needed in Cotton research, technology generation, transfer of technology, modernization and upgrading of ginning and pressing factories and aggressive marketing strategy.

Healthcare

Another area, which is an employment generator, is the health care industry. We have only one doctor for one thousand eight hundred people, whereas in some of the developed countries the doctor to population ratio is 1: 600. For providing quality health care to all of our citizens, we would need at least doubling the strength of doctors and paramedical staff in the whole country. The investment for this, need not necessarily come from government alone. Hospitals can be setup by the private sector with certain tax concessions and subsidized infrastructural support. Setting up of 30,000 static tele-medicine stations distributed in 30,000 key locations, within the zone of 3 lakh villages and providing 20,000 mobile tele-medicine units will enable reaching of quality healthcare closer to every home, which are connected to the district, state government hospitals, corporate hospitals, super specialty hospitals in the country. This is possible as India has a network of satellite communication. How to reach healthcare for the large number of our population? An innovative method has come into action in certain states. This system provides free health cover to the citizens who are members and pay Rs. 10 per individual per month as an insurance premium. State and Central Government can sponsor this insurance scheme involving payment of a small premium of Rs. 10 per individual per month by the citizens in different states of the country. Such an insurance cover should be able to provide for all types of diseases including expensive open heart surgery. A consortium is required to be formed, in different states between the Government, insurance agencies, corporate hospitals and NGO’s for providing integrated cost effective health care. The scheme when fully operational, can provide direct employment for additional 600,000 doctors and 1.2 million paramedical staff. Apart from providing healthcare to citizens, these corporate hospitals can attract large number of medical tourists to the country in view of our competitiveness in treating complex diseases. I am very happy to know that the scientific community for health is working on anti HIV vaccine development, which is in an advanced stage of development. The success of this programme will be a breakthrough in containing the HIV virus.

Village Knowledge Centres

With the kind of awareness and opportunities available in ICT, it will soon become a reality wherein every one of our villages will have computers and connectivity available. These would be the window to the world of knowledge for our villages and also to reap the benefits of our e-governance, tele-education, tele-medicine, e-commerce and e-judiciary initiatives. In spite of the all pervasive nature of the computers they would still be far away from being a truly friendly access device for our villagers. We would need in such cases, a human intermediary who would act as the village information officer. He will be the extended eyes and ears of the villager to the world of knowledge. India has approximately 2.3 lakh Village Panchayats. I visualize establishment of village knowledge centers in these Panchayats to empower the villagers with the knowledge and to act as a nodal center for knowledge connectivity for the villagers. The knowledge center from which the villagers would access the information through the village information officer can also be used for collection, digital storage and dissemination of village specific information pertaining to any relevant information to the villagers. This will provide direct quality employment to over one million who will be instrumental in promoting higher level of wealth generation in our rural sector. The schemes discussed so far, have the potential to generate approximately a total of 56 million direct employments during the next 5 years. This does not include other employment avenues in the government and the private sectors. Together creating 76 million jobs in the next five years looks feasible if only we take up each of the above schemes in mission mode.

Integrated Action for people

Dear Citizens, I would like to give ten suggestions on the eve of this Republic Day, the role of different constituents of our society in implementing the various programmes leading to creation of employment opportunities and wealth generation:

1. Education system should proactively build entrepreneurial and vocational capacities in students. When they come out of educational institution, they should have the confidence to start small enterprises and also possess the skill to do it. Above all the education system has to impart the spirit that “we can do it”.

2. Rural development has to be a mission mode operation through PURA programme, which will enable provision of maximum benefit to the villagers in a cost effective way.

3. Banks have to provide, hassle free loans to rural enterprises and those who have creative ideas. The banks have to assist them with venture capital. The existing agriculture and agro processing credits have to be increased so that the agriculture communities are empowered for enhancing the productivity of the agricultural produce, food processing and marketing.

4. The Tsunami has caused severe damage to our coastal regions and islands. Our fishermen and others living in those areas have lost their dwellings and livelihood. While planning the reconstruction of homes it is important to take the task as an integrated PURA complex for promoting the prosperity of the coastal region. This can include infrastructure for fish storage and chilling plants, sea food processing and marketing centres; boat and fishing net maintenance centres, schools, hospitals, water sources and other small scale industrial units.

5. In our country we have experiences in certain government departments in the field of defence, space, nuclear, agriculture and Metro railway in executing mission mode projects. That has resulted in the empowerment of the programme and removal of normal administrative delays through empowered management structure. Major programmes of the country, should use this mission mode management for employment generation schemes.

6. Since the broadband fiber connectivity has reached beyond block level of districts and our satellite communication density has also increased, this is the time for all our IT R&D and ICT industrial establishments to reach out to the rural areas. The e-governance GRID should be established between state and central governments with the National ID as the primary database, linking all the parts of the country for providing Government to Government, Government to Citizen Access and extending the tele-education, tele-medicine services to the people in the rural areas.

7. Small scale Industries are widespread in our country with tremendous employment potential. For the dynamic and competitive performance, the technological upgradation of these units is essential in the national planning.

8. Media is indeed a dynamic and a creative system in our democracy and all the more it is important that the media constituents reach out to, six hundred thousand villages of the country and be active partners in the rural development. Artists have a great role to play, in the societal transformation.

9. Youth have to create a movement, of making their own home righteous, make their environment clean and excel in their studies and their tasks.

10. The national parliamentary system, should become the role model for the nation: in legislative performance, in clean and progressive administration and nobility and speedy judiciary.

Conclusion

A new situation is emerging in the national scene in the year 2005. In the Indian history, very rarely we have come across a situation, all at a time, an ascending economic trajectory, continuously rising foreign exchange reserve, global recognition of technological competence, emergence of our 540 million youth both men and women as a dynamic positive force for national development, umbilical connectivities of 20 million people of Indian origin in various parts of the planet, and the interest shown by many developed countries to invest in our engineers and scientists including setting up of new R&D centers. This is the time the nation should launch series of missions in the five areas that is Agriculture and food processing, education and healthcare, information and communication technology, infrastructure development and self reliance in critical technologies, leading to transforming India into a developed nation by 2020.

Dear citizens, let us rededicate ourselves on this occasion of the 56th Republic Day to build our nation as a nation which provides employment to all, leading to economic prosperity and a nation of civilizational heritage with value system.

May God bless you.

Jai Hind.

– Thirukkural (200 BC) 666

People who elevate the thoughts,
through constant reflection,
and be steadfast in their action,
will positively achieve,
what they originally thought.

PRESIDENTS ADDRESS ON THE EVE OF REPUBLIC DAY – 2003

Speech: [Audio] [Video]

DEVELOPED INDIA : VISION AND ACTIONS

On the eve of the 54th Republic Day of India I greet all the billion people of our country living in India and abroad. I also greet the members of the armed forces and paramilitary forces who guard our frontiers on the land, the sea and the air.

Meeting the People

During the past six months I visited 17 states. I had the opportunity to interact with a very large cross section of people, majority of them were young. I also had occasion to visit a large number of rural and drought affected areas and I could share the concerns, grief and also aspirations of the people living there. I also met a number of leaders, spiritual personalities, artistes, craftspeople, grass-root innovators and social workers among others.

I am happy to share with you that I have already met and interacted with more than a hundred thousand children. I was asking myself what I gained out of these interactions. In spite of flood, drought, drinking water scarcity, poverty and societal instability in few places, everywhere I could see the unabated enthusiasm of the young for learning. Learning should bring out the spirit of creativity in the young minds. Creativity gives knowledge. Knowledge is indeed an asset for the nation. I recall a question raised by a Nagaland student when I visited Tuensang, “Mr. President, I want to live in an India which is prosperous, happy and safe. Tell us how we will be guided to such an India? How can I contribute for achieving this?” Such questions from young minds made me feel proud as an Indian as they are thinking about their future and that of the country, where they are living now and where they will work in the future. They are ready to contribute their mite in the journey of transformation of our country to a ‘developed’ nation. It is, therefore, essential to evolve action-plans to guide, motivate and effectively utilize the power of the younger generation to progress in all our endeavors.

PROGRESS

Science and Technology

On my recent visits to research laboratories, I could see our young scientists ceaselessly working in bio-technology and other emerging fields of bio-medical engineering to unearth the mysteries of human creation and the characteristics embedded in the DNA structure for providing better healthcare to humanity. That filled my mind with hope and re-assurance that such research will ensure that we will be part of the human endeavor to provide quality health care, diagnosis and treatment.

Our space missions have demonstrated the high calibre scientific and technological inputs in transforming research to applications resulting in benefit to our country. My felicitations to our space scientists and their partner institutions and industries for achieving a series of successful launches and orbiting satellites for various applications. I am sure our scientists and technicians will march ahead in delivering higher pay load in the orbit for the given take-off weight with cost effective solutions for applications like solar energy exploitation.

Our defence scientists have proved themselves again by realizing powerful systems for strategic applications. Also we have force-multiplied our defence systems with electronic warfare capabilities, radars, under water sensors and weapons. Our nuclear scientists are currently constructing eight nuclear power reactors, the highest number of units that are being constructed anywhere in the world this year. Sea water desalination plant at Kalpakkam has also commenced operation.

Natural resources and human resources are our core competencies. Particularly, the rich bio-diversity is the wealth of our nation. Herbal research has to lead from molecule to drug. Integrated efforts on mission mode have to be further strengthened by academia, R&D labs and industries so that cost effective medicines are available to the people and the export potential is also increased. Trained cadre of human resource has to be created for reinforcing employment potential and thereby spurring economic growth. In this context, I am happy to know that a major mission has been launched for cultivation of bamboo and increasing products made from bamboo.

I was recently in Kolkata interacting with 9000 children at the Netaji Indoor Stadium. One boy suffering from visual impairment asked me, “Sir, what kind of education facilities are provided in the Knowledge Society, for visually handicapped children like me?” There are many like him. Let me share one thought with you. I had met many physically and mentally challenged children at Rashtrapati Bhavan and also during my visits to various States. My belief all along was reconfirmed that these children like all others have an equal urge to pursue their studies and work. We have to provide solutions to their problems with the aid of Information Technology, by developing audio books, talking websites, voice assistive interfaces and other devices. Public buildings and educational institutions need to provide friendly facilities that offer easy access and reach.

Recently, I had an occasion to meet a group of people from International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) along with several Indian teams who are working on the development of HIV/AIDS vaccine. This programme is very vital for the nation for preventing HIV cases in future. This challenge needs an accelerated and time bound action.

Our people have started seeing the benefits of Information and Communication Technologies. Reaching the target of nearly 10 billion dollars in exporting software development has increased the opportunity for our youngsters. The economic slow down in the West and events like September 11, have not affected our industry drastically. India has also responded well to the wireless revolution and today we see the cell phone penetration on a steady increase – a sign of good economic growth. The convergence of ICT, nano technology and biological sciences is in the horizon. India is even better placed to exploit this revolution than any other nation.

Elections

India, as the largest democratic country can really be proud of the conduct of free and fair elections in Jammu & Kashmir and Gujarat. I compliment the exemplary performance of the Election Commission and the Central and State Government machineries. The media, the political parties and independent groups have also contributed to this process in spite of the passions of competitive politics. The people of Jammu and Kashmir have to be particularly congratulated for the immense courage they showed in upholding the democratic traditions in spite of cross border terrorism. People of our country have shown to the world that democratic traditions are deep rooted in our civilization and that is our strength. In fact all of us on this day should pledge ourselves to build upon this unique heritage.

Parliament and Vision of Developed India

It was indeed a tribute to our democratic parliamentary system that it has done exceptionally well in the 11th session of the 13th Lok Sabha. During that session, both Houses of the Parliament passed 42 Bills and I have accorded assent to 40 Bills that were sent to me so far. The Constitution (Eighty-sixth Amendment) Act, 2002 passed by the Parliament, which makes free and compulsory education for children between the age group of 6 to 14 years as a fundamental right is particularly praiseworthy. I trust this tradition will continue and all our Members of Parliament will continue to excel themselves for the cause of national development.

Our Prime Minister, in his Independence Day address on 15th August 2002, announced that India would become a ‘developed’ nation by 2020. The National Development Council has since approved the 10th Five Year Plan with economic growth rate of 8%. It is equally gratifying that a task team has been formed by the Government for networking of rivers to transfer water from our surplus basins to areas of deficit. Considerable care, I am sure, will be taken about the environment and people related issues.

I am also sure that our Parliament, which is celebrating its Golden Jubilee, will discuss and evolve action plans for our vision of transforming India into a ‘developed’ nation by 2020.

Knowledge Society

During the last century, the world underwent a change from agriculture society, where manual labour was the critical factor, to industrial society where the management of technology, capital and labour provided the competitive advantage. Then the information era was born, where connectivity and software products drove a part of the economy of a few nations including our country. In the 21st century, a new society is emerging where knowledge is the primary production resource instead of capital and labour. Efficient utilisation of this existing knowledge can create comprehensive wealth for the nations and also improve the quality of life – in the form of better health, education, infrastructure and other social indicators. Ability to create and maintain the knowledge infrastructure, develop knowledge workers and enhance their productivity through creation, growth and exploitation of new knowledge will be the key factors in deciding the prosperity of this Knowledge Society. Whether a nation has arrived at the state of knowledge society is judged by the way the country effectively deals with knowledge creation and knowledge deployment in all sectors like IT, Industries, Agriculture, Health Care etc.,

Second Green Revolution

It is the right time for India to embark upon the Second Green Revolution which will enable it to increase its productivity in the agricultural sector. The production of cereals needs to increase from the present 200 million tonnes to over 300 million tonnes by 2020 in view of population growth. But the requirement of land for the increasing population as well as for greater afforestation and environmental preservation activities would demand that the present 170 million hectares of arable land will have to be brought down to 100 million hectares by 2020. All our agricultural scientists and technologists have to work for doubling the productivity of the available land with lesser area being available for cultivation. The type of technologies needed would be in the areas of biotechnology, proper training to the farmers, additional modern equipments for preservation and storage etc. The second green revolution is indeed graduating from grain production to food processing and marketing as visualised by the late Shri. C.Subramaniam. While doing so, utmost care should be taken for various environmental and people related aspects leading to sustainable development. Knowledge Powered PURA (Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas)

More than two thirds of our billion population live in the rural parts of India. The vision of transformation to a ‘developed’ India can only be realized if we launch a mega mission for empowering the rural people. My visits to the rural parts of India have confirmed that the problem of rural India depends on the extent of connectivity available there. The connectivity that I refer to, would include four components. Physical connectivity by providing roads in rural areas, electronic connectivity by providing reliable communication network and knowledge connectivity by establishing more professional institutions and vocational training centers. Schools with best infrastructure and teachers who love teaching, primary health centres, silos for storage of products and markets for promoting cottage industries and business, employment opportunities for artisans are some of the elements of PURA. All this connectivity needs to be done in an integrated way so that economic connectivity will emerge leading to self actuating people and economy. Such Model of establishing a circular connectivity among the rural village complexes will accelerate rural development process by empowerment. I am sure that removal of poverty will call for Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas (PURA). The model envisaged is a habitat design that would improve the quality of life in rural places and make special suggestions to remove urban congestion also. Instead of village population coming to urban area, the reverse phenomenon has to take place.

The PURA has to be a business proposition economically viable and managed by entrepreneurs and local people and small scale industrialists, as it involves education, health, power generation, transport and management. Government’s support should be in the form of empowering such management agencies, providing initial economic support and finding the right type of management structure and leaders to manage and maintain.

Towards IT Enabled Administration

What type of scenario will be there in India in the coming decades? As we are crossing the information society and leading to knowledge society, irrespective of rural or urban area, distance will be shortened using information technology. In such a situation an electronic connectivity should emerge between the various State and Central Government Departments for fully committed transparent administration. A networked database with real time updated data exchange will ensure speedy service to the people under one roof for all their government/non-government service requirement. Transparency will have to emerge in governance.

Wherever I have been, I have seen that people definitely want to live in a prosperous India. In the rural area when I visited primary schools, they wanted high schools, when I visited High Schools they wanted Colleges, when I visited Colleges they wanted Professional Colleges. The right type of higher education has become an essentiality from both the students’ and parents’ points of view. However, scarcity of good teachers is visible everywhere. Good teaching and interactive teaching are possible through tele-education and inspired teachers. Healthcare facilities for rural and remote villages can be provided by Mobile Clinics. This is one example of extending the available limited facilities to more and more rural people. Both the centre and the state governments should encourage such mobile diagnostic and treatment clinics in rural areas on priority.

Conclusion

Dear citizens, I would like to conclude with a mission statement: India can become a developed nation only if everyone contributes to the best of his or her ability and capacity. The mission is: In transforming India into a developed nation by 2020, what can be the role of every citizen in addition to the governmental initiatives of launching programs for the vision of developed India. I have already explained that there has to be integrated development programmes with empowered management structure. In addition, I would like to suggest various missions for our people. For example, the student community can take up the task, during holidays to make a certain number of people literate in their area where their schools or houses are situated. Only a burning candle can light another. Teachers and parents can assist them in this task. The Government and R&D labs can provide technological upgradation to our small-scale industries so that production can be increased and be competitive. The youth would need to aspire for entrepreneurship rather than conventional employment. Large-scale industries have to increase their contribution to economic growth, particularly growth of GDP. Here, industries can concentrate on maximum output and cost effective products, so that demand will increase. They can aim at becoming multinational companies, for e.g. in the areas of sugar and agricultural products, power, cement, manufacturing and knowledge products institutions. The farming community, with advanced water conservation and management methods, has to increase their productivity. The Information Technology and knowledge workers have got a tremendous responsibility to contribute in the areas of tele-medicine, tele-education and e-governance for rural areas apart from their business role. In this vision period, the whole Government agency has to build a name for itself, by fast decision making and transparent administration. Media should become a partner and promoter critic in national development. This type of dynamic environment with motivation will indeed be a great foundation for our vision of transforming India into a ‘developed’ nation by 2020.

May God bless you.

ADDRESS TO THE NATION BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA DR. A.P.J. ABDUL KALAM ON THE EVE OF 55th REPUBLIC DAY – 2004

Speech In: [Hindi] [Tamil]
Speech: [Audio] [Video]

SMILE ON BILLION FACES

Introduction

Dear Citizens, on this important day on the eve of 55th Republic Day of India, I am indeed happy to greet all the billion citizens of our country including those living abroad. I also greet the members of the armed forces and paramilitary forces who guard our frontiers on the land, the sea and the air and also internal security forces. I would like to share some of my thoughts for evolution of a beautiful India, combining economic prosperity and value system drawn from our civilizational heritage.

Indian economic scenario

Indian economy shows a very robust and consistent growth, indicated by the recent 8.4% GDP growth in the second quarter of 2003-2004. Our foreign exchange reserves have crossed the $100 billion mark and are continuously rising. The rupee is steady and the middle class resurgence and the domestic buying power are on the rise. This has made our economy one of the fastest growing in the world. The time has come for these economic benefits to reach speedily the rural population through development programmes such as PURA – Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas and Interlinking of Rivers. Economists all around the world predict that by the year 2020, the world economic scenario will be completely different from what it is today, and that India will occupy the pride of position.

Indian industries in certain sectors have matured to be very responsive to the national and international needs and have shown steady growth inspite of earlier adverse predictions. Interest rates from the banks need to be more proactive to stimulate the growth of the right type of small, medium scale industry and agro food processing industries. The combination of entrepreneurship education in the schools and colleges, the hassle free flow of venture capital and evolution of good market will give additional momentum for national growth.

Transforming India into a competitive beautiful nation

Dear citizens, for the next five years, with certain progress behind us, the challenge we have, is to launch a major thrust for attaining national prosperity. We should convert the present opportunity and work towards giving our future generations, a competitive nation which has the following characteristics.

Profile of Competitive India

a. A Nation that is prosperous, healthy, secure, peaceful and happy.

b. A Nation where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line.

c. A Nation where there is an equitable distribution of energy and quality water.

d. A Nation where agriculture, industry and service sector work together in symphony, absorbing technology thereby resulting in sustained wealth generation leading to higher employment potential.

e. A Nation where education is not denied to any meritorious candidates because of societal or economic discrimination.

f. A Nation which is the best destination for the most talented scholars and scientists all over the world.

g. A Nation where the best of health care is available to all the billion population and the diseases like AIDS/TB, water borne diseases, Cardiac diseases and Cancer are extinct.

h. A Nation where the governance uses the best of the technologies to be responsive, transparent, easily accessible and simple in rules, thereby corruption free. i. A Nation where poverty has been totally alleviated, illiteracy and crime against women are eradicated and the society is unalienated.

j. A Nation that is one of the best places to live in, on the earth and brings smiles on a billion faces.

These are the ten dimensional transformations needed for a competitive India and we have to work for.

Peace in the offing

For continuing our mission of national development and economic growth in our sub-continent, peace is a paramount ingredient. Most nations have realized that low intensity proxy wars, deterrence based buildups and real wars are too expensive detractors from the perceived visions of development. The development of the society also weans away its people from destructive activities of alienation, leading to celebration of peace-makers.

When guns are silent,

Flowers blossom on the earth;

Fragrance engulfs good souls,

Who created beautiful silence.

India will always be grateful to the successful peacemakers.

Towards Unity of minds

Dear citizens, when I assumed office on 25th July 2002, I addressed the need for unity of minds becoming one of the focused missions for our nation. Recently fifteen Gurus, Acharyas, Swamijis, Maulavis, Reverent Fathers, Spiritual leaders, devotees and the representatives of many religions met at SURAT in the presence of His Holiness Acharya Mahaprajna and deliberated for two days and took vital decisions leading to the religions graduating as spiritual force. Also, they have declared that the nation is bigger than any leader or individual or an organization. They had collectively evolved five inter-religious projects for implementation. Nation’s best wishes to our spiritual leaders and their mission of transforming religions into a spiritual force.

CHALLENGES BEFORE US

Also certain challenges before the nation are to be addressed collectively in the immediate future to facilitate faster pace of national development.

Service to Society: Our scientists should become civic scientists and contribute towards societal transformation. Civic means concerning or affecting the community or the people. In the new capacity, scientists step beyond their campuses, laboratories, ministries and institutes and move into the center of their communities to engage in active dialogue and action with their fellow citizens. They should ask themselves a question, how their knowledge can make an impact on the common man’s life. Our civil servants and others in the service sector should become fearlessly people-friendly, have a positive attitude, and provide responsive, proactive, transparent and unbiased administration and service to the billion people. Primary education: Assent has been accorded for the 86th Constitution Amendment Act – Right to Education Bill for children between the age group of 5 and 14 years. Urgent action is needed for providing suitable school infrastructure and appointment of good teachers for running the schools for providing quality education to the children blended with the modern technologies of e-learning and tele-education. While doing so a review of the syllabus is also required to prevent overloading of the children for ensuring blossoming of their creativity.

Protecting the Brand image of higher education: The nation’s vision of developed India requires greater thrust to scientific and technological advancements. All our IITs, IIMs have graduated as world class brand institutions in addition to the century old premier institution – Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. These characteristics must be preserved and nurtured. We should also encourage universities to become cradles of higher learning and research, contributing generation of high skilled global human resource force.

Examination reforms: Often, we have witnessed that many important national examinations have been the target of attack by a select group of corrupt individuals who undermine the very fabric of secrecy and transparency of the conduct of these examinations. While we should deal with such individuals with sternness to protect the image of our national selection system and the quality, we should also find technological solution that can ensure tamperproof examination system.

Agriculture and Agro food processing

With farmers in focus, farming technology as their friend, and food processing and marketing as partners is indeed the second green revolution. From now on to 2020, India would have to gradually increase the production to around 400 million tones per annum. The increase in the production will have to be done under the reduced availability of land from 170 million hectares to 100 million hectares with reduced water availability using technological inputs.

Pharmaceuticals

Institutions of Pharmaceutical sciences and Pharma industries need to evolve an integrated and comprehensive National Pharma Vision to meet the challenges of design to drug development, production and marketing. The major challenge before the Pharma community is to prevent the entry of spurious drugs and eradicate it’s presence in the market.

Space

With our self-reliance in our Space programme it is time we should enter into the global market aggressively. The exploration of the moon through ‘Chandrayaan’ and keeping our sight on the Mars will electrify the entire country, particularly young scientists and children.

Defence

Modernization of our armed forces with force multipliers is indeed progressing to meet the national security needs. Defence technology has led to the development of long range missile systems and supersonic cruise missile, Light Combat Aircraft, Electronic warfare systems, radars, under-water sensors, combat vehicles and armaments. The Indo-Russian joint venture programme – BRAHMOS is one of the leading examples of development, production and marketing of state-of-the-art missile system.

Energy

Our power generation capacity of hundred thousand megawatt has to be tripled by the year 2020. In addition to the power generation from the conventional sources we need to enhance the power generation capacity through non-conventional energy sources to attain power security. Also the present nuclear capacity of 2700 Megawatts should be enhanced to more than 20,000 Megawatts by 2020. Desalination plants can be co-located with the future nuclear power plants for converting sea-water to drinking water. We need to establish large solar farms of 800 to 1000 Megawatts capacity in many areas to augment the energy requirements.

S&T Growth

Every academic institution and R&D Organisation is a reservoir of knowledge. Technology will also spin off to societal products which are cost effective, high-quality and available to the people in time. Thrust is required in Nano science and biotechnology to achieve leadership in these areas in the coming decade. The scientists and technologists must undertake a health mission “Let my brain remove the pain”. The scientific community must realize that the competitiveness can come only by integrated mission driven programmes partnered by academy, R&D organisation and industry.

Civic Awareness

The status of environmental cleanliness is one of the indicators of development of a nation. As a nation, we have to keep our environment clean and tidy. This is essential for better health conditions of all the citizens and also for presenting a wholesome and aesthetic atmosphere for us and also the tourists visiting our country. It is essential that we keep all our places of worship and rivers clean and tidy to preserve their innate divinity. Each one of the States may promulgate appropriate local laws for promoting harmonious environment in their regions.

Election manifesto

The general elections for 14th Lok Sabha will take place in early 2004. I was thinking what could be the manifesto of the competing political parties for the election. India has more than 540 million people upto the age of 25 years. India is a nation of youth. During my interactions with the youth of our country, two aspects have come out very clearly. One is that the young have a passion, self respect and dream to live in developed India. Second, they want to live in a corruption free India. I can see these two are glowing in their eyes. I am also convinced that we should build developed India in a time bound way to prevent instability in the society. Hence the manifesto of the political parties has to take into account their aspirations and design them to meet the dream of the young and be resonant with their aspirations with identified missions and action plan. Every political party must clearly state their vision, action plan, and approaches for the developed India vision 2020 and how fast they can realize these missions in quality and quantity.

Voter’s responsibility

Every citizen has got a role to choose the right representative to the Parliament and Legislatures, whose vision is that of national development and who has the concern for his/her constituency and the people. The right to vote is the greatest power given by the democracy to you, so that you can reinforce further democratic values. I would like to appeal to all eligible voters to exercise their franchise without fail, fear or favour. Large voter turn out will be the first step towards realization of developed India 2020, and the second step would be to become enlightened righteous citizens.

“Movement” by young citizens

Which is the starting point, for the character evolution in the nation? Dear citizens, let me share with you an incident, which took place somewhere in Nagaland. I was talking to a group of 600 persons consisting of young children, their parents and teachers. The topic I selected was the knowledge society, foundation for a developed India. One boy who was studying in 10th class, asked me, “Mr. President, tell me is it possible for a nation to get transformed into a developed country, when there is corruption everywhere?” This question greatly upset the many faces of the experienced generation. I said that, “the question was beautiful and I must answer”. Fortunately, the boy’s parents and teachers were sitting by his side. I asked both, “Do you have an answer?” They said, “Mr. President, he shouldn’t have asked such a question, which is beyond his age. Please ignore it, sir”. How can I ignore such a valuable mind? I must answer. My answer was the following.

We can create any number of laws in the country. No law can remove corruption fully. However there are only three members of the society, who can remove corruption. I call it as a “Three dimensional action” plan. Who are these three members? They are father, mother and elementary school teacher. In this connection, I would like to recall a famous statement from Vedic Guru, who said “You give me a child for seven years – after that, no God or devil can change the child”. That is the power of the teacher.

My dear young friends, when you hear my national broadcast, please ask yourself a question, what can be the greatest contribution that the youth can give without disturbing their academic pursuit. You have to commence a silent revolution for removal of corruption by rightly reforming those who go against righteousness in your families. You all must endeavour to make the home you live, beautiful and righteous. You definitely have the power on your parents to do so, with love and affection.

Dear Citizens, now I would like to administer an oath for the youth which I would like the youths to repeat with me now, wherever you are. Are you ready?

Ten point oath for the youth of the nation

1. I will pursue my education or the work with dedication and I will excel in it.

2. From now onwards, I will teach at least 10 persons to read and write those who cannot read and write.

3. I will plant at least 10 saplings and shall ensure their growth through constant care.

4. I will visit rural and urban areas and permanently wean away at least 5 persons from addiction and gambling.

5. I will constantly endeavor to remove the pain of my suffering brethren.

6. I will not support any religious, caste or language differentiation.

7. I will be honest and endeavour to make a corruption free society.

8. I will work for becoming an enlightened citizen and make my family righteous.

9. I will always be a friend of the mentally and physically challenged and will work hard to make them feel normal, like the rest of us.

10. I will proudly celebrate the success of my country and my people.

Conclusion

India is very fortunate to have 540 million youth out of a billion people. We are doing well in agriculture, our industry is on the upswing and our performance in the services sector is also equally good. Time has now come for us to make our country, righteous. Righteousness comes out of good character. The evolution of good character leads to harmony in home. Harmony in home brings the people of the state to become enlightened citizens. Enlightened citizens lead the planet earth to be a peaceful world.

Let us rededicate ourselves on this occasion of the 55th Republic Day to work towards making India a prosperous, happy and secure nation, with smile on billion faces.

Almighty, the God is with us.

JAI HIND

ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON THE EVE OF 60TH INDEPENDENCE DAY

National Awakening

A person who is wedded, with the
virtue of determination to accomplish
a deed, would be able to execute the
same and earn glory and fame

My Dear Citizens of India, On the eve of the 60th Independence Day, I extend to you all at home and abroad my greetings and best wishes for your happiness and prosperity. Our Nation will always cherish and be inspired by the contributions of our Freedom Fighters towards making India independent. On 9th August, I met many Freedom Fighters from all parts of the country and in their eyes I could still see the spirit of selfless sacrifice. There cannot be any other better living example for our youth to follow. On this occasion, we remember with gratitude the devoted and gallant services of our Armed Forces who are guarding our frontiers on the land, over the sea, and in the air; and our Paramilitary and Police Forces who are preserving our internal security and maintaining law and order.

I am very happy that my previous Independence Day Addresses had stimulated substantial debate and discussions. I have addressed both Houses of the Parliament on the missions for an economically developed India. I feel that the time is ripe now for both our Houses of Parliament to debate and adopt a Resolution that India will get transformed into a safe, and economically developed nation before the year 2020. This unique action of giving the nation a precise and focused vision will inspire everyone and in particular the youth. Therefore the topic that I have selected for this address on the 60th Independence Day is “National Awakening”.

Recently, the country had torrential rains in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The flood conditions have caused loss of life and property and immobilized economic activities. My heart goes out for the families who lost their near and dear ones and those in distress. My Government is doing, in partnership with the state governments, everything possible to alleviate the pain of the people.

Some parts of the country are experiencing drought conditions, when some other regions are flooded. This has become a periodic phenomenon, lacking any predictability. Once again, this clearly brings out, the need for the interlinking of our rivers for effective utilization of surplus water in a balanced manner among all geographic regions with enlightened cooperation between the States and the Centre.

National Development Scene

Let me now relate my suggestions for such cooperative national missions required in many areas leading to a developed India 2020. During my visits to all States and Union Territories, I have witnessed the actual development process and there are several islands of success, a few of which I would like to share with you. These examples of our accelerating progress have direct impact on the day-to-day life of our farming communities, children and our youth, teachers, doctors and nurses, scientists, engineers and technicians, state institutions, business and industry. These examples also demonstrate the existence of an indomitable spirit to succeed with the confidence that “we can do it” across the length and breadth of India.

I Economic Development towards Vision 2020

1. Role Models for Agriculturists and Farming Communities

In the agriculture and farming sector, more than doubling the productivity of Rice and Wheat in areas near RP Channel-5 in Bihar has been achieved through the TIFAC mission using innovative integrated farming and marketing methods. These results have spread to many areas through people’s efforts and are applicable to the whole of Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and other areas which have similar agro-climatic conditions. These regions could be transformed into the granaries of India. I have come across similar success stories in respect of doubling seed cotton productivity in Punjab, when I visited Gheri Buttar village, where I met farmers. Also in the field of sugarcane cultivation, in Maharashtra, the intervention of the Vasantdada Sugar Institute, Pune has enabled farmers to increase the yield of sugarcane by 36 percent. This experience can definitely be emulated by other sugarcane growing States. Our private sector has also made significant progress in food processing industries, whereas there is a need for Rural Farmers’ Cooperatives in partnership with banking institutions, on the pattern of the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited. While the essential necessity of networking of rivers has been brought out as a part of drought and flood management, water harvesting is a very important need for every state while planning house construction. I have seen during my visit to Mizoram in the North Eastern States, almost every house is being equipped with self-contained water harvesting systems, which provides adequate water supply through out the year. These success stories clearly indicate that it is feasible to enhance food-grain output from the existing 200 million tonnes per annum to nearly 360 million tonnes per annum before 2020. This will also help in drastically reducing the number of people below the poverty line – a true indicator for an economically developed nation.

2. Role Models for Educationists, Teachers, Doctors and Nurses

Education: Among many models of pre-primary school education with creative learning methodologies, that emphasize learning by doing including cultivation of hygiene, nutritional and sanitary practices, I have come across the work of Dr. M.R. Raju and his team in Pedamiram, Andhra Pradesh. This has inspired students to love their learning experience and has enriched their lives in school.

At the primary and secondary school level, Government Municipal Schools in Karnataka have introduced the accelerated learning model using computer based animated courses. This was pioneered by the Azim Premji Foundation which has brought down dropouts from schools substantially. NCERT has prepared the National Curriculum framework under Prof. Yashpal’s leadership and modified the CBSE syllabus for promoting creative education at all levels through the application of learning by doing concept. Teachers training programmes based on the new syllabus of CBSE, has been organized across 25 cities using EDUSAT through video-conferencing. 12,000 teachers have been trained so far through interaction with experts sitting in the NCERT Studio in New Delhi.

Recently, I witnessed the Ladakh Model of Sarva Shiksa Abhiyan, increasing the pass percentage at the 10th class level from 5 percent in 1998 to 50 percent in 2005 with the aim of promoting creative learning leading to higher percentage of passes in the Phase II programme. The Akshaya Programme of the Kerala State Government is imparting computer education to 6 lakh adults and advanced computer training programme for 60,000 youth within a two year period leading to high value employment for the youth. In higher education, a pioneering effort by the Universities of Madras, Mumbai and Kolkata with the help of the Ministry of Human Resource Development has resulted in the creation of a Virtual University system by offering ten joint degree programmes at under-graduate, post graduate and Ph.D. levels. In the higher education system throughput has to increase from the existing 6 percent to 30 percent by 2020. I am very confident that such initiatives, when applied across the country in the total education system will enable us to realize near 100 percent literacy and employable skills among youth, leading to a Knowledge Society by the year 2020.

The country will then have two national human resource cadres: (1) skilled youth with specific world class technical skills and (2) knowledge professionals with higher education to take up leadership roles in research, development and industrial missions. This global human resource will meet the needs of quality human resource for India and for the whole world.

Healthcare: Let me now narrate some of the innovative initiatives in medical care. During the last three years in Karnataka, a unique corporate healthcare medical scheme is in operation, under the leadership of doctors of the Narayana Hridayalaya, in partnership with the Karnataka Government. This is benefiting over two million members, like farmers, craftsmen, artisans, and small vendors. Members of this scheme who pay a nominal subscription of Rs. 10/- per month receive full medical treatment for major ailments, entirely free of cost.

I have also come across a number of humanitarian missions giving free treatment to the poor, among them for example the Little Heart Foundation for children’s heart ailments, Care Kidney Foundation for kidney ailments at Hyderabad and the Paterson Cancer Centre at Chennai for cancer treatment.

There are several other initiatives of this nature showing the indomitable spirit of doctors, nurses and para-medical staff. For example, Karunya Nilayam has initiated the process of screening of children in rural areas of Kerala so that they can provide total treatment to over a hundred cancer affected children every year free of cost. The Arvind Eye Hospital, Madurai provides free treatment to 70 patients. We need to multiply such ventures to enable every citizen of the country to receive quality healthcare. As a spin off from India’s missile technology, came light weight calipers. These calipers have been field proven through a number of camps, spearheaded by the Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad. This has so far benefited more than 10,000 polio affected children across the country. Mobile clinics are being increasingly deployed in the remote areas of Uttaranchal and other hilly regions for providing quality diagnostic and healthcare services to needy villagers. Space technology has been extended to the healthcare sector. 34 specialty hospitals have been connected through ISRO’s tele-medicine network and are providing tele-medicine services to over 140 remote locations all over the country.

Our Government hospital system with its extensive outreach can symbiotically collaborate with the emerging private health care initiatives. This indicates that, it is definitely feasible to achieve the mission of providing effective, affordable and quality healthcare services to all the people of our country by the year 2020.

3. Information and Communication Technology

The Indian ICT Industry is growing at about 28 percent per annum. This is definitely a strong indicator that the ICT industry requires a national mission to realize $200 billion turnover by 2012. Job opportunities are expected to grow from one million to nearly 9 million direct jobs and 6 million indirect jobs in the construction, retail and transportation industries by 2010.

The Government of India is creating a Pan-African e-network for connecting 53 African countries. In a similar way, India has proposed to extend the services to Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Many State Governments are in the process of implementing e-Governance services and creating State Wide Area Network across their States. I am happy to say that the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has decided to invest Rs. 24,000 crore for establishing an e-governance network and Government to Citizens Services across the country within five years time. Through capacity building, job opportunities, better consumer protection laws and secure infrastructure, ICT would enable economic growth to higher levels of prosperity in India.

4. Rural Development

The Bharat Nirman Programme aimed at rural prosperity across the country is in position with an outlay of Rs. 174,000 crore for the period of 4 years. I am happy to find that there is a growing recognition of enhancing rural prosperity through the Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) model.

Periyar PURA (Tamil Nadu): I have inaugurated the Periyar PURA Complex pioneered by Periyar Maniammai College of Technology for Women, Vallam, Tanjore consisting of a cluster of 65 villages having a population of over one lakh. This model PURA complex has all three Connectivities – physical, electronic and knowledge – leading to economic connectivity. This has resulted in large-scale employment generation and creation of a number of entrepreneurs with the active support of 1150 self-help groups. Two hundred acres of wasteland has been developed into a cultivable land with innovative water management schemes. Villagers are busy in cultivation, planting Jatropha, herbal and medicinal plants, power generation using bio-mass, food processing with dedicated marketing centers. This model has emanated independent of any government initiative. I have also seen the other PURA models like the Loni PURA in Maharastra, the Chitrakoot PURA in Madhaya Pradesh and the Byraju PURA in Andhra Pradesh. These experiences can be emulated nation wide. We need 7000 PURAs all over the country. This movement can be multiplied by thousands of entrepreneurs, educational administrators, small-scale industrialists and bankers with the support of government agencies providing total economic prosperity to rural India by 2020.

Rural Electrification – Solar Village: At village Kaylapara on Sagar Island, Sundarbans, I saw a photovoltaic solar power plant of 120 KW capacity, the largest off-grid plant in our country established by the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency in collaboration with the Ministry of Non Conventional Energy Resources. It is providing six hours of electrical energy to 33 villages of Sagar Island. This model of standalone Solar Energy Systems should be replicated in many remote, hilly areas and island territories.

II Comprehensive National Security

Peaceful and harmonious conditions in all parts of the country are essential for people to cooperate with one another for accelerated national growth. However, there are challenges to peace from across our geographical borders, from terrorism and violence, and from scarcities created by rapidly depleting natural resources. These dynamic challenges call for special measures to ensure a comprehensive, integrated system of security which has four major components: territorial security, internal security, energy security, and economic security.

Challenges to Peace and Economic Progress

Territorial Security Our nation and Armed Forces are well prepared to protect our territorial security. They are continuously being strengthened to deal with new forms of warfare.

Internal Security: Let me now come to an important aspect of security that is drawing the attention of the entire country and the world. The constant threat of low intensity proxy war and terrorism has become a disturbing feature of national life. This constitutes the new face of war. Dear citizens, this matter is of great concern to all of us. Therefore, I propose to share my thoughts with you on how we can face this challenge and resolve to eradicate this threat.

Requirements to Combat Challenges to National Interests

At the State level, greater and more effective coordinated decision-making ability is the most basic requirement. At individual levels, greater respect for traditional values and sense of social responsibility like love and respect for one’s family and teachers, service to the neighborhood and community; tolerance for authority are now absolutely essential. Above all, we as people, individuals and especially institutions, require increased ability to cooperate with one another, improving thereby our work and personal relationships. While we have the basic structure in the form of law, police cadres, intelligence agencies and judicial system, we need to reinforce them with required updates with a code of conduct. Every citizen, every group, every religion and every political and executive system should allow the law to function without interference. To combat the challenges, I would like to discuss under the three broad areas namely (A) economic security through development with peace (B) citizens security (C) energy security – all these leading to comprehensive national security.

A. Economic security through Development with Peace Mission

Accelerated development has to be integrated with peace missions. Such missions will have four major components namely: economic zone near international borders and Line of Control, social development in difficult areas, national level movement to eliminate terrorism and citizen security.

(a) Economic zone near International Borders and Line of Control: Presently, the areas close to the international border and Line of Control are not used for economic activity. The Government may consider using the available land area for promoting economic activity with people’s participation. The economic security of these border regions would in itself become complementary to territorial security required in these zones.

(b) Social development in difficult areas: Social-minded people may be enabled to start educational, sports complexes and healthcare institutions in every difficult area in the country. I would like to share the salient features of a typical model that has made a significant impact on social development.

Jeevan Vidya experience: Jeevan Vidya is being practiced by Prof Ganesh Bagaria, IIT, Kanpur, Prof Rajeev Sangal, Director IIIT (Hyderabad) and their teams. This scheme is concerned about addressing the basic causes of major problems of violence, corruption, exploitation, domination, terrorism and war. It has been found that violent and anti-social behaviour, unless dealt with care and with professionalism, could aggravate the extreme behaviour.

Jeevan Vidya develops tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty in human conduct by enabling self-knowledge that understands harmony in the self and in the entire existence. The academicians could bring about marked change even among the inmates of jails through the use of these techniques.

Jeevan Vidya is a ‘teachable human value based skill’ that can address inherent conflicts within the mind of the individual, within families, in organizations and in public life. Inner conflict is the very essence of violence. For example, with the skills imparted, it would be possible to reduce the overall period of secondary education from 25,000 hours of teaching to 20,000 hours, since the children become more responsible and productivity conscious. These experiments can be outreached to influence many people by developing networks using ICT through our educational system, that needs to pay increasing attention to this aspect of human development.

This process of imparting self-knowledge would promote a learning atmosphere, where this whole movement of inquiry into knowledge, into oneself, into the possibility of something beyond knowledge would bring about naturally a psychological revolution. From this comes inevitably a totally different order in human relationship and therefore society as a whole. The intelligent understanding of this process itself can bring about a profound change in the consciousness of mankind.

(c) Safety and Security of Citizens: Dear friends, now I would like to discuss a very important aspect of how we can provide a sense of security for our citizens.

At the Governors Conference held in June 2005, four Governors echoed, the organized group formation of extreme ideologists and its spreading tendency in various parts of the country that had originated from the lack of timely implementation of land reforms and resolving certain ideological differences in time. Also, during my visit to certain States, I found that there is a need for the district administration to exercise greater influence in certain forest areas and territories.

There also is a threat from extremists groups in some parts of the North-East region. This points to the immediate need for coordinated counter measures including effective negotiations for restoring normalcy in these areas coupled with economic development within the next 3 to 5 years in mission mode.

On 17th July 2006, at the King Edward Memorial Hospital, I met some of the injured in the Mumbai bomb blasts which was the result of the most lethal element of low intensity war. I felt the pain of many who have lost their hearing ability, their limbs fractured and amputated, and spinal injuries leading to permanent disability. It was reassuring that when I addressed the Indian Merchant Chamber on the same day, many of the participants volunteered to provide all help needed for rehabilitation. The State Government rose to the occasion to provide financial relief for medical support obtained from private hospital. Later I participated in the memorial service organized for the people who lost their lives. During the two minute silence, the whole city of Mumbai expressed its deep sorrow and determination to combat terrorism with unity of minds. We must do this with a great sense of urgency for “when evil minds combine, good minds have to work together and combat”.

Similar acts of mindless violence have taken place in the country for more than two decades and this phenomenon is continuously increasing. My Government, the Members of Parliament and State Legislatures are quite concerned about this and are considering how to address these issues of citizen’s security for formulating a national approach to eradicate terrorism in all its forms. This is an issue of national concern. We should transcend individual differences of opinion and address it with a sense of unity. This is the need of the hour. Let me give a plan of action.

B. Citizen’s Security

National Campaign to Eradicate Terrorism (NCET): I believe the time has come, to synergise our multiple agencies for forecasting and dealing with terrorist activities. We need to evolve a National Campaign to Eradicate Terrorism (NCET) in our nation with mission oriented integrated management structure and people’s participation. It has been recognized that terrorism does not take place without any planning. This may be originating from a master plan with global umbilical connectivity extending to homes or hotels and guest houses.

NCET will facilitate working together of the intelligence and security machinery both at the State and the Central level to achieve the desired objectives. The NCET will be an alert and dynamic movement which would prevent hotels and homes being used as a shelter by terrorists and extremists. We have to create a secure atmosphere where citizens who wish to co-operate in the peace mission must themselves feel secure. Then citizens can participate in the important function of promoting their own safety and the security of their neighbourhood. This challenge is particularly acute in areas where there is floating population in transition through residential areas, hotels and other similar places that could unknowingly be used for wrong purposes.

The State may consider introduction of National ID Cards and implement the National e-governance GRID for all Government to Government, Government to Citizens, Business to Business and Business to Citizen transactions within two years time. It is essential to create special monitoring methodology for unusual and abnormal banking transactions.

Today, with the introduction of computerized banking and computerized communication systems, the world of data mining is very advanced to detect such anomalies in real time. The judiciary must consider the creation of a fast track judicial process for settling terrorism related cases.

C. Energy Security leading to Energy Independence

A very clear relationship exists between energy security and national security, for if there are inadequate energy supplies or if energy supply cannot be afforded then the economy of the country will be severely affected.

Nuclear fuel: With cooperation of certain States, the country should aim to mine enough uranium. The vast thorium resources of the nation should be harnessed by our scientists and technologists. With cooperation from all other sectors of science, technology and industry in India, I am confident that we have the capability to build our own thorium based reactors. This will enable us to be self-reliant, secure and independent in nuclear energy.

Fossil Fuel: In a similar manner, we know that we are running out of oil and natural gas based on fossil fuels. Heavy dependence on imported oil and gas, and especially its use in the transportation industry has already impacted the nations’ economy. The nation has to gear up for enhanced production of coal and clean coal technologies.

Energy plantation for Oil Security: We depend on oil to the extent of 114 million tonnes every year, 75 percent of which is imported, and used almost entirely in the transportation sector. Hence, we have to concentrate on bio-diesel and renewable energies. I have advocated a National Mission in Bio-diesel involving all stakeholders such as farmers, industrialists, researchers, agricultural scientists, oil companies, central and state government agencies, for realizing 60 million tonnes per year of bio-diesel by 2030 which would be 20 percent of the anticipated oil consumption then.

Renewable Energies: In harnessing solar energy we now need to set up infrastructure and capabilities for a nano-technology revolution that has the potential to find solutions for new forms of solar cells, more efficient, less costly and abundantly available. Our goal by 2030 is to generate 50,000 MW of power from renewable energy sources.

The Future of Human Society At this stage, with so much of natural and man made disasters facing planet Earth; let me share with you a thought from Stephen Hawking. He is considered as one of the world’s leading theoretical physicists who discovered the super string theory. He asked an open question in June 2006: “How can the human race survive the next hundred years?” When he received well over 20,000 mixed responses on e-mail, he admitted that he does not have an answer. You have heard me today on the eve of the 60th Independence Day. I am sure that you share my strong belief that with the strength of our youth and our civilizational heritage we can together find an answer. Hence, let me conclude with the mission ahead.

Conclusion

Development with Comprehensive Security The time has come therefore for the political, administrative, scientific and industrial communities to cooperate intensely with each other, take stock of the entire situation in all sectors of security comprehensively and emerge with a vision, integrated missions, policies, plans and programmes for such comprehensive security for the nation to be safe, prosperous and happy.

How shall we realize this vision? What are the immediate steps that we need to take to realize this vision?. Let us work together to evolve three initiatives. In continuation with my earlier discussions, I will be suggesting to the Government and both Houses of Parliament to:

(i) Formulate a Citizens Security Bill ( with a National Campaign for Eradication of Terrorism)

(ii) Formulate an Energy Independence Bill

(iii) Adopt a Resolution that India will be transformed into a safe, prosperous, happy and socio- economically developed nation before the year 2020

There is, consequently, a need for a sustained period of debate and decision making in Parliament and Government, in these areas leading to comprehensive national security. Only in an environment of stable peace, the nation can concentrate on social and economic development. Now, I would like to administer a seven point Oath to the youth of the nation.

Seven Point Oath

1. I realize, I have to set a goal in my life. To achieve the goal, I will acquire the knowledge, I will work hard, and when the problem occurs, I have to defeat the problem and succeed.

2. As a youth of my nation, I will work and work with courage to achieve success in all my tasks and enjoy the success of others.

3. I shall always keep myself, my home, my surroundings, neighbourhood and environment clean and tidy.

4. I realize righteousness in the heart leads to beauty in the character, beauty in the character brings harmony in the home, harmony in the home leads to order in the nation and order in the nation leads to peace in the world.

5. I will lead an honest life free from all corruption and will set an example for others to adopt a righteous way of life.

6. I will light the lamp of knowledge in the nation and ensure that it remains lit for ever.

7. I realize, whatever work I do if I do the best, I am contributing towards realizing the vision of developed India 2020.

Dear citizens, let me once again greet you all on the eve of the 60th Independence Day. I take this opportunity to wish all nations and citizens of the world, peace and prosperity.

May God Bless you all. JAI HIND.

Written by Bhushan Kulkarni

January 6, 2007 at 10:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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