CHENNAI: The scientific advisor to the Prime Minister of India, Dr R Chidambram, while speaking at the United Writers Association’s (UWA) second Frank Moraes Oration lecture, said that India must strive to become a knowledge-based economy to achieve economic sustainability.
“Development,” Chidambram said, “occurs when the quality of life in rural India becomes comparable to that in the urban India.” India cannot be a developed country unless there is 100% literacy without gender discrimination in rural and urban India.
A knowledge-based economy with ability to develop new knowledge is what India must focus on and added that India must not ignore the power of leveraging international ties for development.
“We must learn to leverage international cooperation to strengthen our own initiatives,” he said. Chidambram acknowledged that two of the greatest challenges for the 21st century is energy security and climate change.
“Energy security is the foundation, as is water security and food and nutrition and health security. Energy is the driver of development and we must go in for technology that gives out minimum carbon dioxide for the maximum power output.”
India, he said, must go in for more fast breed reactors with the ability to generate fifty times more power and in recycling spent fuel.
“India has one of the world’s largest reserve of thorium, we should be able to capitalize on that and try and build renewable nuclear technology.”
Dr K Thaiagarajan, founder of UWA, was felicitated with the Celebrity Champion Honour Award by the Community Welfare Foundation. He was recognized for his work on birth control and his community service.
Chidambaram gave away the ‘UWA Effulgent Star of the Decade Awards’ to 25 persons for their outstanding work in their chosen fields of specialization.
The UWA was established in July 1975 and according to its website is qualified to speak on behalf of the public, to the parliament, to the government and to opinion leaders in industry, commerce and public services.