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Unravel truth about hunger, poverty, illiteracy and ill health: Pranab Mukherjee to young scientists

Saturday, 7 December 2013 - 8:24pm IST Updated: Saturday, 7 December 2013 - 8:34pm IST | Place: Shantiniketan (West Bengal) | Agency: ANI

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President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Fifth Indian Youth Science Congress organised by M S Swaminathan Research Foundation in association with Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Vishwa Bharati and SRM University here on Friday.

Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee said in spite of our impressive technological and economic progress, poverty and malnutrition are still widespread.

"Greater technological advances are necessary to achieve quantum jump in food production. A second green revolution should be ushered in to take care of the needs of our growing population," he said.

He called upon young scientists to work hard to unravel the truth to overcome the problems of hunger, poverty, illiteracy and ill health.

"Climate change poses a serious threat to the sustainability of our resources. Particularly, its unfavourable influence on agriculture production and food availability has to be taken with utmost seriousness. We have to harness the best in science and technology for addressing weather abnormalities. Remember that monsoon and market are two major determinants of the wellbeing of farmers. Our scientific community has to pay due attention to monsoon management to minimize market volatility," Mukherjee said.

The President said technological developments in some fields are not widely accepted by the public due to perceived risks associated with them.

"Our scientists have a duty to engage with the people at large to explain to them and remove any misconceptions. They have to establish strong communication channels with the public. Our scientists have to contribute to the public discourse and provide greater clarity. People have to be made an eager stakeholder in the technological pursuits of our scientific community," he added

Mukherjee said India is at the threshold of being a global power.

"We are poised to play a bigger role in the world. It is our status as a technology power that will define this new role. We have to leapfrog through technological advancements. We have to graduate to becoming an exporter rather than an importer of technology. The onus is on our young scientists to take our country forward in this great march to the pinnacle of technological supremacy," Mukherjee said.

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