Vellore, Tamil Nadu Nov 11 (UNI) Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi today said reducing hunger and poverty was the primay challenge in the wake of growing human population.
Delivering the 21st Convocation address at the Vellore Institute of Technology here, he said the world's human population was six billion and it was expected to touch nine billion by 2050.
''Hence reducing hunger and poverty will be the primary challenge as over the next century many more people will require food, housing, education, nurture and employment'', he added.
At present nearly one billion people were now impoverished or hunger, with little or no employment. ''This number is likely to increase as world population grows'', he cautioned.
Stating that disparity in income was widening worldwide, Mr Ravi said poverty and extreme inequity were incompatible with sustainability.
''The challenge is to reduce disparities through capacity building and providing the poor and dispossessed the access to knowledge and the needed resources to enable them lead a meaningful life.
''A key challenge will be the use of science and sustainable technologies for ensuring food security for the future'', he said.
Observing that scientific knowledge had led to advances that have been of great benefit to mankind, Mr Ravi said life expectancy had improved considerably. Cures have been discovered for many incurable diseases and agricultural output have increased in many parts of India to meet the needs of growing population.
He said technological developments and use of new energy sources have not only made work easier and freed mankind from arduous labour, but also enabled the production of an expanding range of industrial products and processes.
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