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      'Make India Cost-Effective Knowledge Hub'

      Posted AtHindustan Times

      In order to make India a cost effective knowledge hub, there was an urgent need for creating "attractive" job opportunities for those who take up basic sciences as a career and scaling investments in R&D, President APJ Abdul Kalam said on Monday.

      "Attracting youth for science learning, focussed national R&D programmes, urge for the industry to become competitive globally and connectivity through four grids like education, healthcare, e-governance and providing urban facilities in rural areas (PURA) are needed for the evolution of knowledge hub," he said inaugurating a Global Conference on India R&D 2005 - The World's Knowledge Hub of the Future in New Delhi.

      The two-day conference aims at projecting India as a cost effective knowledge hub in future and to stimulate investment in terms of more R&D centres being set up in the country.

      It was essential to assure a career for those who wish to pursue science as a mission, he said adding, "We should work for the creation of a science cadre with well-defined growth path and attractive salaries. There should be a minimum annual intake of about 400 MSc and 200 PhDs with assured career growth in the organisations such as ISRO, DRDO, Atomic Energy, CSIR, DST and the Universities."

      Kalam also asked the private sector industries such as pharma, IT, oil and natural gas, transportation, agriculture and power to contribute to R&D and attract additional four hundred MSc and two hundred PhDs every year for carrying out research on frontier areas of science and technology.

      Delegates and scientists from across the globe have gathered here to participate in the conference.

      Terming energy independence as country's urgent need, Kalam said, "energy independence has to be our nation's first and highest priority."

      Citing an example of one such project at Rashtrapati Bhavan, he said, "a project for creation of a five MW solar energy power plant at Rashtrapati Bhawan is underway which would help meet its energy needs."

      The capital cost of this unit will work out to about Rs 100 crore. If the high efficiency photovoltaic cell is available the cost of the plant will come down by 60 per cent in addition to substantial reduction in space utilisation and the structure created for the plant, he said.

      Nuclear power generation has been given a thrust by the use of uranium-based fuel. There would, however, be a requirement for a ten-fold increase in nuclear power generation even to attain a reasonable degree of energy self-sufficiency for our country, Kalam said.

      The President also suggested the scientists to take up research in nano-technology and its applications as "it has great potential both in terms of economic and social development."

      "Nano materials, nano tools, nano devices and nano-biotechnology put together is over hundred billion dollars. It has been noticed that the fastest growing area among these is nano-biotechnology," he said.

      November 06, 2005


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