Nuke energy for economic growth: Pranab

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New Delhi, Nov 10: Coming out strongly in favour of nuclear energy development, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said it was one of the things the country required for its ''robust'' economic growth.

Speaking at the 42nd foundation day of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis, Mr Mukherjee said, '' Today, India is a major global player and we also aspire for a nation in which the economic growth improves and the legitimate aspirations of different sections of society are taken care by the polity. We also need a multi-pronged strategy which also includes development of nuclear energy.'' Dubbing developing nuclear energy one of the key needs, Mr Mukherjee said meeting the country's growing energy needs was one of the prime criteria of development.

He also bemoaned the fact that the country today depends on hydrocarbons to meet the growing energy needs.

He said the time had come to take a holistic view of the foreign policy and security challenges confronting the country.

''The country cannot afford to neglect terrorism, accumulation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and other conventional weapons and at the same time mutually beneficial relationship with the neighbouring country. We cannot afford to lower our guard,'' he emphasised.

He also stressed the need to stamp out poverty and maintain the GDP between 8 and 9 per cent to make the country prosper, adding that secular ehtos must also be preserved.

Mr Mukherjee said education, especially higher education, must be laid stress on and infrastructure developed to take the country on the path of development.

UNI

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