Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Scientists worldwide may be eagerly awaiting India’s mission to the moon. But Chineesh, a government high school student, questioned the former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on the need to invest crores of rupees on the mission, popularly known as Chandrayaan.

Defending Chandrayaan, the former President, who interacted with students of government schools here on Saturday said: “Certain unique materials are available on the moon, and these need to be studied.” The country will shortly send the mission to study the geological aspect of the moon, he added.

Assuring the student that India had been spending money on development, he said the country had doubled the spending on agriculture credit.

To a query from another student, Nagaraju, on why a peace-loving person like him built missiles like Prithvi and Agni, Mr. Kalam said: “In the 3,000-year history of India, barring 600 years, the country has been ruled by others. If you need development, the country should witness peace and peace is ensured by strength. Missiles were developed to strengthen the country.”

On being asked for a solution to terrorism, he said: “A value-based education system involving classes in moral studies till the age of 17 years and removal of poverty is a solution to terrorism.”