In his address to the nation on eve of Republic Day, the President said the country had nurtured its democratic traditions, made significant strides in force multiplication of defence system with electronic warfare capabilities as also in the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes. He, however, pointed out that the country needed to raise its cereal production from 200 million tonne to 300 million tonne by 2020 when availability of arable land would stand reduced from 170 million hectare to 100 million hectare because of population pressure and environmental needs.
The President also stressed the need for emergence of transparency in governance saying the government had to build a name for itself by fast decision making and transparent administration, while media should become a partner and promoter critic in national development.
Referring to recent elections in Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Kalam said the people of J&K should be congratulated for showing immense courage in upholding the democratic traditions despite cross-border terrorism. He said Election Commission, Central and state government machineries as also media and political parties deserved appreciation for the success despite the passions of competitive politics. Mr Kalam said defence scientists had enabled the nation to force multiply the defence system with electronic warfare capabilities, radars, underwater sensors and weapons.
He said the countrys nuclear scientists were currently constructing eight reactors, the highest number anywhere in the world, this year. Appreciating the success of space scientists for achieving a series of successful launches and orbiting satellites, he expressed the hope that they would be able to deliver higher payload in the orbit for the give takeoff weight. (PTI)