New Delhi, Aug 15 : Following is the forth part of the text of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh''s address from the Red Fort on the occasion of the nation''s 62nd Independence Day:
Brothers and Sisters,
Today, while speaking about the achievements of our government, I wish to make one more promise. We have done much, but I realize that there is more to do. The problem of malnutrition is a curse that we must remove. Our efforts to provide every child with access to education and to improve health care services for all citizens will continue. We need to take forward our initiatives for giving equal status to women and for their social and economic empowerment. I promise to you that we will continue striving for the development and prosperity of our country. We will work hard to take the country to greater heights in all fields.
Brothers and Sisters,
We must apply modern science and technology to find long-term solutions to our energy problem. Our crude oil and gas reserves are limited. We must find alternative energy sources. I would like our scientists and engineers to find ways in which we can make better use of solar energy, wind energy, bio-gas and other sources of energy.
Our economy must grow at the rate of at least 10 percent every year to get rid of poverty and generate employment for all. A basic requirement for sustained growth, and for the development of our agriculture and industry is availability of energy, particularly electricity.
All over the world, there is growing realization of the importance of atomic energy to meet the challenge of energy security and climate change. It is a clean, environmental friendly and renewable source of energy.
India''s atomic scientists and technologists are world class. They have developed nuclear energy capacities despite heavy odds. But there are handicaps which have adversely affected our atomic energy programme. We have inadequate production of uranium.
The quality of our uranium resources is not comparable to those of other producers. Many countries have imposed sanctions on trade with India in nuclear materials, nuclear equipment and nuclear technology. As a result, our nuclear energy programme has suffered.
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 industrialization of our country. It will enable us to provide electricity to meet the needs of our farmers, our artisans, our traders and our industry.