Bangalore: The former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Wednesday said the nuclear deal with the U.S. will prove beneficial to India.
“Until the time that our scientists produce thorium-based nuclear reactors from our thorium deposits which are second largest in the world, we will require uranium to sustain our energy requirements for which the deal will be important to us,” he said.
Mr. Kalam was speaking here at the monthly alumni meet of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB).
As he spoke to the gathering of students, parents, alumni, and the press, he spoke about various problems that India faced, which could be solved with the help of creative leadership.
In the area of agriculture and agro-processing, he emphasised the need for technology and innovation so that the chain could generate employment in rural areas. “In the field of energy, we should gain energy independence by 2030,” Dr. Kalam added.
He said that to use solar and wind energy was important and set the goal for production of 65,000 MW through the renewable energy sources by 2030 for India.
Dr. Kalam said that his mission of Provision of Urban Amenities to Rural Areas (PURA) would be to penetrate to six lakh villages throughout the country with the help of 7,000 PURAS. Another point that he highlighted in his speech was the interlinking of rivers which he considered India’s largest project ever so that it would facilitate easier travel through waterways and help build energy sources.
As part of his Vision 2020, he said: “If through the next 10 years we had a sustainable Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 10 per cent and brought the inflation rate down by 5 per cent, we will be economically developed by 2020.” However, answering a question he said that it was not enough to take the GDP as marker of growth.
“Ideally, we will require a National Prosperity Index which equals our GDP plus the percentage of the 220 million people below the poverty line that we are able to lift up every year,” he added.
In response to a question from a child about development in the face of environmental degradation, he said “With solar and nuclear power, and bio-fuel we will be able to envision a future wherein cars can stop at a bio-fuel gas station and fill ethanol or bio-fuel.”
Linking the IIMB graduates to this process of development, he said, was crucial. By being creative, having a vision and being noble managers, they could transform India into a knowledge society, he added. IIMB director Pankaj Chandra and chairperson Abhoy K. Ojha were present.