(Embargoed: For publication/broadcast after 1900 hrs today)

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (UNI) President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today called for expeditious steps to usher in a Second Green Revolution and firm measures to eliminate corruption, terrorism, Naxalism, alcoholism and drug addiction.

Addressing the nation on the eve of the 59th Republic Day, the President also called upon the people to take a pledge to uphold the nation's solidarity and its varied culture, faith and ethnicity which had given India its ''defining identity -- a country with unity and diversity.'' ''Today, as a nation and as individual citizens, we must pledge to uphold this spirit of solidarity and respect for the multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic character of India,'' she said in her first address to the nation on the eve of the Republic Day.

Ms Patil's address, which lasted 18 minutes each in Hindi and English, was telecast and broadcast live by the official media. The country is celebrating its 59th Republic Day tomorrow.

Expressing concern over the slow growth of the agriculture sector, the President said: ''I appeal to agricultural scientists, experts and all concerned to expeditiously work in the direction of bringing in a Second Green Revolution in the country.'' Ms Patil said she was very hopeful of the potential of the agriculture sector. ''The Green Revolution showed that we could through our efforts become self-sufficient in food production and later we replicated this success in milk production as well.

''Today, once again we need to give agriculture an impetus, to enhance productivity and to make our rural areas, centres of agro-processing and other related industries,'' she said in her brief address that lasted all of 18 minutes each in Hindi and English.

Pointing out that India had one of the largest arable land areas in the world, she said she had no doubt that with better agricultural practices, land management and water management, agriculture will continue to play a pivotal role in the country.

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