President Ram Nath Kovind, visited an exhibition on Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) technologies at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Trombay, Mumbai. He also inaugurated DAE facilities there.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India is recognised as one of the leading nations in the use of nuclear technologies across multiple disciplines, ranging from energy to agriculture and from medicine to waste management.
However, the journey towards excelling in this domain started at BARC almost six decades ago. Since then, the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) has grown to become a multidisciplinary organisation with facilities spread across the nation.
Acknowledging the achievements made by Indian nuclear scientists in using nuclear technology in the areas of healthcare, food and agriculture, water resources management and environmental protection, the President said these achievements are commendable. Nation building, he said, is a long-term and never-ending process and as such we have lot of challenges to overcome. The DAE has an important responsibility in our national development process. ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT RAM NATH KOVIND ON THE OCCASION OF INAUGURATION OF DEPARTMENT OF ATOMIC ENERGY FACILITIES AT BHABHA ATOMIC RESEARCH CENTRE
Mumbai, May 15, 2018
1. I am very happy to be amongst you all today, at this iconic national institution. The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre reflects the vision, efforts and foresight of Dr Homi Jehangir Bhabha and I am glad to have got a glimpse of the pioneering work that all of you do. I am more aware today about your work in the field of nuclear science and technology and I am happy that I inaugurated some of the facilities of Department of Atomic Energy today.
2. India is recognised as one of the leading nations in the use of nuclear technologies across multiple disciplines ranging from energy to agriculture and from medicine to waste management. However, the journey towards excelling in this cutting edge domain of science and technology started here at BARC, almost six decades ago. Since then, Department of Atomic Energy has grown to become a multidisciplinary organisation with facilities spread across the nation. All of you present here, and so many of your illustrious predecessors, are the leaders who have ensured that the vision of Department of Atomic Energy has become a reality and that too despite long periods of time marked by denial of technology from other nations. The whole world today acknowledges the self-reliant nature of India’s nuclear establishment.
3. I just referred to the vision of the Department of Atomic Energy as enumerated in its Citizen’s Charter. That vision calls for empowering the nation through technology, creation of wealth and providing better quality of life to the citizens. And, this is to be achieved by making the nation energy independent, by contributing to provision of sufficient, safe and nutritious food and better health care to our people through development and deployment of nuclear and radiation technologies and their applications.
4. At times, such vision statements only remain as lofty ideas having no connection to the actual work done by an organisation. I am pleased to say that in your case, your work bears a true testimony to your declared vision. We are proud of your achievements in the domain of nuclear energy across the entire nuclear fuel cycle including the exploration and mining of uranium, conversion to fuel and the production of power in nuclear reactors. Now all of you must work to achieve the goal of establishing a robust nuclear energy program based on using our vast thorium deposits.
5. What is less known to the common people, is the work that all of you do for using nuclear technology in the areas of healthcare, food and agriculture, water resources management and environmental protection. Research in nuclear medicine is widely used both for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. I am told that in the cancer hospitals associated with the Department of Atomic Energy thousands of cancer patients benefit from the applications developed by you. Also, a large number of medical centres are using the radioisotope products supplied by the Department of Atomic Energy both for diagnostics and treatment of patients. I am happy that one of the facilities that I inaugurated today is the Multi-leaf Collimator System developed by BARC. This system will enhance the effectiveness of treatment of tumours.
6. Research in nuclear science has also benefited our food processing and agriculture sector and thus directly benefited our farmers. Your work has helped develop 43 mutant crop varieties that are more efficient and productive. Again, I am happy to have inaugurated one of these today - a mutant variety of DUBRAJ rice that has a shorter maturation cycle and hence requires fewer resources. Applications of nuclear science have helped to increase the shelf life of fruits such as mangoes, papaya, and lichi. This has helped to reduce wastage and post-harvest losses, boosted farm exports and enhanced income of farmers. These are only some examples of how your work benefits these sectors, and the list of your work in this area is indeed a long one.
7. There are other areas too in which your contribution helps the agenda for national development. You have developed technologies that have helped in purification of water, radiation treatment of municipal waste generated in cities and its conversion to organic manure, conversion of kitchen bio-waste into bio-gas for cooking purposes. Faster adoption of these technologies by different public and private agencies and speeding-up the diffusion of these applications must become a priority area. You must forge more and more collaborations with relevant others to make the slogan of ‘Lab to Land’ a vivid reality. I also compliment you for your initiatives that have direct relevance to the defence and security of our nation and the effectiveness of our armed forces.
8. While your achievements are commendable, there is no room for complacency. Nation Building is a long-term and never-ending process and we have lot of challenges to overcome. We must aspire to make the life of the poorest person better, to make sure that he or she can lead a life of dignity. It is only then that we can rightfully take some rest and feel a sense of satisfaction. The Department of Atomic Energy too has an important responsibility in our national development. The government has set out an ambitious agenda of enhancing power generation through nuclear sources and it is for you to make that possible. Similarly, you must continue to develop newer applications which can help us deal with challenges such as pollution and climate change, wastage of farm produce, water shortage, fighting disease, management of waste, and so on.
9. We have some of the best scientific minds in this gathering and your minds must use the power and potential of science to solve the problems of the country and contribute towards realising economic growth along with social justice and equity. All of you are fortunate that you have the capacity to make a difference to the lives of our people and to make our nation truly prosperous and secure.
10. To conclude, I wish each of you the very best for your future endeavours. May you continue to do the good work with bountiful energy and the best of health.