NATIONAL

Cherish our biodiversity, says PM

He quoted the discovery of a new species of fish in Meghalaya to stress the point

India’s biodiversity was a “unique treasure” for the entire humankind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday in his monthly Mann ki Baat radio address. He referred to Tamil poetess Avvaiyar to underscore his point.

“What we know is just a handful of sand. What we do not know is like a universe in itself,” he said quoting her.

Similar was the case with the biodiversity of this country, Mr. Modi said pointing out the recent discovery of new species of fish in the caves of Meghalaya.

The fish, believed to be the largest among aquatic species found under the surface of caves, is blind and lives in deep dark underground caves.

“It is a matter of joy that our India, and especially Meghalaya is home to a rare species. It lends a new facet to India’s biodiversity. We are surrounded by many such mysteries, which are still undiscovered. To discover such a phenomenal enigma calls for fierce detective passion,” Mr. Modi said.

CoP mentioned

He mentioned the recently concluded Conference of Parties of the Convention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. It was a matter of pride that India would chair the COP Convention on migratory birds for the next three years.

He encouraged schools and parents to take students to avail of the newly introduced facility in Sriharikota to see first hand the launch of rockets and satellites by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

He also exhorted the students to enrol in ISRO’s Yuvika programme that arranged visits to different ISRO centres and held workshops on astronomy.

Mr. Modi hailed the take-off of Indian Air Force’s AN 32 aircraft from Leh’s Kushok Bakula Rimpoche Airport. The aircraft for the first time ever used a mixture of 10% Indian bio-jet fuel.

“These efforts will not only reduce carbon emissions but may also reduce India’s dependence on crude oil imports. I congratulate all the people involved in this significant mission, especially the scientists of the CSIR and Indian Institute of Petroleum, Dehradun, who made it possible to develop the technology to fly an aircraft with bio-fuel. Their efforts also empower the ‘Make in India’ mission,” Mr. Modi said.

He also mentioned his surprise trip to Hunar Haat in Delhi and urged others to visit the exhibition organised by the Minority Affairs Ministry.

The Delhi edition of the exhibition ends on Sunday, but it will be held in other cities in coming months. “I witnessed hues of our country’s diverse expanse, cultures, traditions, cuisines and the warmth of emotions,” he said about his visit.

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