Rising population, a boon for India: Kalam
Tumkur, Karnataka, Apr 7 (UNI) Rejecting the common notion that population explosion in the country was its bane, President A P J Abdul Kalam saw its 540 million youth as the greatest asset India possessed for development.
''We have to only ensure that we convert the 540 million youth to form knowledge society through quality education. Knowledge society is the means through which we can bridge the gap between the rich and poor,'' he said here while interacting with students after participating in the 99th birthday celebrations of Sri Sri Shivakumara Swamiji of the Sri Siddaganga mutt.
The President was responding to a query from a PUC student, Bharat S Javali, on whether the present rate of increase in population was an advantage or disadvantage to the growing economy of the country.
Stating that India was the fastest growing economy in the world, Dr Kalam said the GDP was growing at eight per cent and inching towards 10 per cent.
''However, we have to bring the 26 per cent people below the poverty line to zero by our consistent growth performance. The most important quality needed of every citizen is the 'I can do it' spirit,'' he said.
To a query about streamlining the youth to shape the country's future, the first citizen said they have to concentrate and excel in their education in whatever field they select. The ideas of the youth towards shaping the country's can could be consolidated based on systematic feedback and used in the formulation of national policies, Dr Kalam said.
He reiterated his dream of making India a developed nation before 2020. Indian students should live in a developed country with abundant opportunity for their growth and blossoming, he said.
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