Laying the foundation of a Biotechnology Research and Development campus here, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today turned nostalgic, recalling that it was her late husband Rajiv Gandhi, who realised the importance of Science and Technology for the growth of the country more than two decades back.
"More than 25 years ago, Rajiv Gandhiji took off his dream of making India of the 21st century by promoting science and technology. This occasion marks another moment in realising that dream," she said while laying the stone for the second campus of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) at Akkulam.
She said Information Technology and Biotechnology are the engines of growth and the UPA Government gave priority for the development of these sectors.
Referring to the funds to develop the campus, Gandhi said "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was kind enough to sanction Rs 100 crore for the second campus."
She noted that Kerala is ideally suited for the research and development in Biotechnology on account of its inherent strength like education and traditional knowledge in medicines.
Developments in Biotechnology could not only help the industry, but also promote understanding of illnesses and diseases.
Noting that RGCB would manage the Biotechnology park in Kochi, Gandhi said this was the first time a research institute was stepping into run a such a venture.
Union Minister for Science and Technology Jaipal Reddy pledged that the Centre would offer all support to the campus.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Union Minister Vayalar Ravi and RGCB Director and M Radhakrishna Pillai were also present on the occasion.