Prakash Kamat

PANAJI: “I can visualise a day when India will not only be energy-independent but also helping other countries. I hope that happens in my lifetime,” said eminent nuclear scientist and former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission Anil Kakodkar on Saturday exuding confidence about the wider significance of the historic U.S.-India civilian nuclear deal.

Dr. Kakodkar was speaking after receiving the highest civilian award of the Goa State — Gomant Vibhushan Award — which was bestowed on him by M. K. Narayanan, Governor of West Bengal, in the presence of Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Speaker Pratapsingh Rane, Leader of the Opposition Manohar Parrikar and other dignitaries at a function. Mother of Dr. Kakodkar, Kamalabai Kakodkar, his wife Suyasha Kakodkar and sister Ms. Shushma Gangal were also felicitated by the Chief Minister.

On the nuclear deal, Dr. Kakodkar said that its importance would be recognised even more as years pass by and as the whole world would be facing the energy situation whatever was happening to India today. He was quite hopeful that in a few decades from now the US-Indo civilian nuclear agreement would not only meet India's energy security but also lead to India's energy independence. “I think in next 4-5 decades energy shortage situation in the world will be so intense that it would be tough to meet the fuel deficiency situation by imports. And, it would not be necessary for India to resort to imports. Therefore, in my view, this whole episode was to acquire energy independence much wider than mere energy security,” Dr. Kakodkar remarked. Dr. Kakodkar acknowledged that he was overwhelmed and humbled by the award which came from the government and people of Goa with so much love and affection despite the fact that his entire working life was spent outside Goa.