India Vision 2020 of transforming India into a developed nation can become a reality only if every student and youth is individually innovative. It involves putting the nation before oneself, former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said here on Monday.

Inaugurating ‘Youth Meet 2011' under the theme “Rise to Achieve” of the AJK Educational Institutions at Navakkarai near Coimbatore, Mr. Kalam asserted that of all the resources on earth, youth was the most powerful resource. Hence it was important for them to leave the beaten track and try something different.

“Those who have achieved through their innovations are remembered even today. The question is whether you want to be remembered for something you do,” he asked the huge audience of school and college students.

Mr. Kalam said that the vision for the nation should be based on strong pillars of development. It should focus on reducing the rural-urban divide, equitable distribution of land and water, providing value-based education, access to best health care, ensuring responsive and corrupt-free governance, alleviation of poverty, and a secure and terrorism-free state. He also urged students to become active in the PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) Mission by taking it up at micro-levels such as colleges.

Uplifting 700 million people

It was important to uplift the 700 million people living in India's villages through an integrated approach by providing them physical, electronic and knowledge connectivity, that would eventually lead to their economic connectivity.

Responding to a question on why India should manufacture nuclear weapons, Mr. Kalam said when other countries were making them, India could not ‘sit back and meditate'. It had to be ready to face nuclear attacks, he added. Secretary and Managing Trustee Ajeet Kumar Lal Mohan, and R.S. Lal Mohan, Trustee, of AJK Educational Institutions, spoke.

Vice-Chancellor of Bharathiar University C. Swaminathan, Vice-Chancellor of Anna University of Technology, Coimbatore, K. Karunakaran, Vice-Chancellor of Avinashilingam University Sheela Ramachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Cochin University of Science and Technology Ramachandran Thekkedath, and Principal of AJK College of Arts and Science P.V. Balasubramanian, were present.