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‘Allot 10 per cent of budget for rural development'

Special Correspondent
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DRDO Chief Controller calls for formation of model villages

ACCOMPLISHMENT: K.Veeramani, second from right, Chancellor, PMU, and N.Ramachandran, right, Vice-chancellor, PMU, handing over a degree to a student at the convocation of Periyar Maniammai University in Thanjavur on Wednesday. W.Selvamurthy, third from right, Chief Controller (R and D), DRDO, is in the picture — Photo: M.SRINATH
ACCOMPLISHMENT: K.Veeramani, second from right, Chancellor, PMU, and N.Ramachandran, right, Vice-chancellor, PMU, handing over a degree to a student at the convocation of Periyar Maniammai University in Thanjavur on Wednesday. W.Selvamurthy, third from right, Chief Controller (R and D), DRDO, is in the picture — Photo: M.SRINATH

The State and Central government should allot 10 per cent of its annual budget to take up rural development projects through academic institutions, said W.Selvamurthy, distinguished scientist and chief controller, R and D, (Life Sciences and International Co-operation), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) , here on Wednesday.

Delivering the convocation address at Periyar Maniammai University (PMU), Mr.Selvamurthy said that academic institutions such as the Indian Institute of Technology, National Institute of Technology and Periyar Maniammai University are involved in research projects that aim at rural development.

Exclusive funds

If the Budget allows for exclusive funds for their projects, these institutions would be able to bring about rural development in an enhanced manner.

He appealed to the academic institutions to develop model villages where modern technology is used in a simple and cost-effective manner to initiate development. Rural development involves growth in agriculture, better reach of drinking water, efficient waste management system, holistic health care system, energy generation and apt use of information technology, Mr.Selvamurthy added.

With respect to agriculture, he called for precision agriculture engineering. “Sixty five per cent of our population is involved in agriculture which contributes to 20 per cent of the Nation's GDP,” he said. Agriculture should be followed with value addition for which food processing industries are necessary.

Potable water is a big issue in the rural sector. Ascertaining the quality of drinking water is essential while trying to get rid of waterborne diseases. The DRDO has developed a water-testing field kit which aids in ascertaining the quality of water.

For management of human waste, the DRDO has developed a bio-digester. Insecticide-coated mosquito nets have been created to effectively ward off mosquitoes in rural areas.

He also said that the organisation has developed technology for extraction of bio-diesel from Jatropha, a plant that can grow on unutilised degraded land. He appreciated the PMU for conducting research on bio-diesel using Jatropha.

IT access

There is a need for the rural population to have access to the latest developments in information technology. Villagers should be able to access information on weather patters, forecasts, impending disasters, through their mobile phones, so as to enable planning.

He appreciated the use of energy-saving LED lights on the PMU campus and expressed the wish to find the cooperation of the PMU in providing such lighting system in forward army areas such as Ladakh camps.

Mr.Selvamurthy distributed degree certificates to 340 postgraduates and graduates during the convocation.

Apart from these students, 1,955 students got degrees in science and engineering given by the Anna University during the convocation. K.Veeramani, Chancellor of the University, N.Ramachandran, Vice-chancellor, VKN.Kannapan, Pro-chancellor, Ayyavoo, Registrar of the University were present.

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