Eco resilient to withstand global pressures: Kalam

Guwahati: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam today said the country`s economy is resilient to withstand global pressures in the current economic slowdown.

"India has the potential to come out of this difficult situation because of its inherent strengths. The strengths are the purchasing power of 400 million middle class citizens and 600 million youth willing to take up challenging missions," he said at the 14th convocation of IIT, Guwahati.

Kalam said the country has achieved important feats in the field of science, technology and defence in the past few months like the successful launch of Agni V 5000-km range intercontinental ballistic missile, launch of the ingenuously developed RISAT satellite and the first flight of the naval light combat aircraft.

In the health sector there was a breakthrough in the development, production and deployment of drug for treatment of malaria in a shorter time and in shorter dosage by a private pharma company in partnership with the department of science and technology.

Turning to agriculture, Kalam said "Our farmers and scientists have indeed worked hard and produced a record 250 million tonnes of foodgrains this year, which is 18 million tonnes more than last year."

On the development of science, he said nanotechnology would replace microelectronics and other fields in the days to come in areas of medicine, electronics and material science.

"When nanotechnology and information and communication technology meet, integrated silicon electronics and photonics are born and it can be said that material convergence will happen. With material convergence and biotechnology linked, a new science called Intelligent Bioscience will be born which would lead to a disease free, happy and more intelligent human habitat with longevity and high human capabilities," he said.

Kalam said the goal is to create a India by 2020 where the divide between rural and urban areas would be reduced, distribution of energy and water would be equitable and all sectors of economy would work in harmony.

"We have the mission of transforming India into a developed nation. Five areas have been identified where India has core competence for integrated action. The areas are agriculture and food processing, reliable and quality electric power, surface transport and infrastructure for all parts of the country, education and healthcare, information and communication technology and self reliance in critical technologies."

He asked IIT-Guwahati to take up a project under PURA (Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas) scheme by covering 50-100 villages in the neighbouring areas. Kalam asked the students to create a `smart waterway` in Brahmaputra river which would be operation 24X7 and stressed the need for interlinking rivers.

}