Bangalore, Oct 30: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam today called upon school children not to show apathy towards politics since it had a key role to play in nation building. Delivering the keynote address at 'Renaissance-07 - The New Generation Conference' here, he said ''We need very good, honest people to enter politics. So the youth should not boycott politics.'' Interacting with students during his speech, he wanted to know how many wanted to become a politician. His query evoked poor response as only a few hands were raised.
Stressing the need for empowering children and youth in the country, he said there were 54 crore youth in the country. ''If you decide, you can brighten the country,'' he said.
Mr Kalam said knowledge, creativity and righteousness formed an important combination that could generate enlightened citizens.
''When knowledge acquired is used with righteousness and courage in all the educational campuses, we will have empowered and enlightened citizens, which is required for the growth of the individual and the growth of the nation.'' He said that to achieve 'Vision 2020', the country's GDP, which was now nine per cent, should be increased to ten per cent and the growth should be maintained at that rate. The identified areas, including agriculture and food processing, quality power supply, surface transport and infrastructure for all parts of the country, education and healthcare, information and communication technology and self reliance in critical technologies, should be focussed for the overall development of the country.
Mr Kalam said the education system should instill a sense of inquiry, creativity, technology, entrepreneurial and moral leadership in children.
''If we develop in all our students these capacities, we will produce 'Autonomous Learner', a self-directed, self-controlled, life-long learner, who will have the capacity to both respect as well as question the authority in an appropriate manner. These are the leaders who would work together as a 'self-organising Network' and transform India into a developed nation in a time bound manner.''