Providing roads, communication, knowledge and economic connectivity to all villages and bridging social and economic gap between urban and rural areas were the need of the hour to make the nation strong and powerful. Tamil Nadu's decision to implement Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA) scheme would make it a model State in the country as it would certainly bring a desirable social, economic and scientific change, said former President of India A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Inaugurating 11th Science Congress at Gandhigram Rural Institute near here on Sunday, he said that implementing PURA would change not only change villages but integrate education and research departments, entrepreneurs, agriculturists, self-help groups and youths to work for uplift of in all sections. Tamil Nadu would be a role model for other States.

Scientific solutions and technological support were important for rural development. “We need to chalk out a programme to equip every village in the district to manufacture one quality product with the help of domestic and foreign entrepreneurs. All villagers should be trained to produce it. Quality should be on par with private companies.”

Universities and research institutions should take outcome of researches to the village. Opportunity should be created for exports. Such measure will create sustainable job opportunities to rural youth. MBA students should feed market information to them continuously. Such activities, I hope, will spread to all villages in Tamil Nadu, he hoped. “Development of science and technology are essential for village development.”

Problems of six lakh villages should be analysed and scientific solutions should be found to upgrade villages.

Universities, central and State governments, industrial houses and banks should join hands with research students to take up research work to solve challenges faced by rural mass. If you succeed in this goal, you will even solve many global problems.

“If we achieve 10 per cent GDP growth and sustain it for next decade, we can bring up people below poverty level, increase jobs, scale up individual income, develop agriculture, education, research, health care, water facility, power and industrial development, provide all urban facilities at villages and create a knowledgeable society,” Dr. Kalam said. “We can create India run by a responsible, transparent and corrupt free administration.”

Infrastructure unsuitable for development, unfulfilled land reforms, insufficient financial reforms, unbridled government expenditure, shortage of quality human resources and weakness in not taking government schemes fully to people were barriers before us, he stated.

Kundrakudi Ponnambala Adigalar said spiritualism blended scientific development would bring a sustainable change in the society. Earlier, Dr. Kalam interacted with his teacher Chinnappar at the venue. Vice-Chancellor Soma Ramasamy presided.