No mention of N-deal in PM's I-Day address

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New Delhi, Aug 15: Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday, Aug 15 highlighted the importance of nuclear energy to meet the challenge of energy security and climate change, but made no particular reference to the much-talked about Indo-US Nuclear deal, an issue on which the government sought a trust vote last month after the Left parties withdrew their support to the UPA government.

Without making any special reference to the controversial nuke deal with the US, which is likely to be sealed next month, Dr Singh generally said the nuclear agreement that the country was negotiating with developed countries would end India's nuclear isolation.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort here on the occasion of the 62nd Independence Day, he said modern science and technology must be applied to find a long-term solution to the rising energy needs, especially in the context of the crude oil and gas reserves being limited.

Calling upon scientists and engineers to find ways to make better use of solar energy, wind energy, bio-gas and other sources of energy, Dr Singh pointed out that there was growing realization of the importance of the atomic energy to meet the challenge of energy security and climate change.

''It is a clean, environment-friendly and renewable source of energy. India's atomic scientists and technologists are world class.'' He said Indian scientists had developed nuclear energy capacities despite heavy odds.

Highlighting the handicaps that adversely affected the country's atomic energy programmes, he said there was not only inadequate production of uranium, but there was also lack of quality not comparable to those of other producers. Moreover, many countries had imposed sanctions on trade with India in nuclear materials, equipment and technology.

In this context, Dr Singh said: ''The nuclear agreement that we are negotiating with developed countries will end India's nuclear isolation. It will open up new opportunities for trade in dual-use high technologies and nuclear materials and equipment, opening up new pathways to accelerate industrialisation of our country. It will enable us to provide electricity to meet the needs of our farmers, our artisans, our traders and our industry.'' The Prime Minister said the availability of energy, particularly electricity, was a must to ensure that the economy grew at the rate of at least ten per cent every year to get rid of poverty and generate employment for all.

UNI

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