• Modi warns against dangers of climate change, says disaster-resilient infra need of the hour

    Warning against the dangers of climate change and natural disasters like the one in Uttarakhand recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday asked the IITs to develop disaster resilient infrastructure that can withstand their effects.

    Addressing the 66th convocation of IIT (Kharagpur), the oldest of Indian Institutes of Technology, he gave the students the mantra of “Self-3” “self-awareness, self- confidence and selflessness” in order to become startups for bringing about a change in the lives of people.

    He also spoke of the need for making available safe,
    affordable and environment friendly energy to people through
    initiatives like the International Solar Alliance.

    “Climate change is a major challenge as natural
    disasters destroy infrastructure. India drew the attention of
    the world to the issue of disaster management.

    “You can see what happened recently in Uttarakhand.

    We should focus on developing disaster resilient
    infrastructure that can withstand natural disasters,” he said.

    The prime minister referred to the global Coalition
    for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), which he
    announced at the UN Climate Action Summit in 2019.

    The CDRI envisages partnership of national
    governments, UN agencies and programmes, multilateral
    development banks, financing mechanisms, private sector, and
    knowledge institutions to promote the resilience of new and
    existing infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks
    to ensure sustainable development.

    He hailed the role played by the IITs in developing
    technology to battle COVID-19, and said the hallowed
    institutes should now work fast on finding futuristic
    solutions to other health care problems.

    “You represent the aspirations of 130 crore people of
    India,” he said, while addressing the convocation virtually.

    Noting that the needs and aspirations of the 21st
    century India have changed, Modi said IITs also need to
    transform from being just Indian Institutes of Technology to
    Institutes of Indigenous Technologies.

    “You have to become startups to bring about a change
    in the lives of people. You have to work on Self 3– self-
    awareness, self-confidence and selflessness. You should
    recognise your potential and move forward, move ahead with
    full confidence, move ahead with selflessness,” he told the
    students.

    Underscoring the need for clean and affordable energy,
    the prime minister said India presented to the world the
    concept of International Solar Alliance.

    He said the cost per unit of solar power was very
    little in India. However, it was still a great challenge to
    reach it to people’s homes.

    “Can you do something about reaching solar cookers to
    homes using ‘chulha’ (earthen ovens),” he asked.

    He said before the coronavirus struck people used to
    keep only medicines at their homes.

    “Things have changed. They now keep machines that
    measure blood pressure, machines that measure blood oxygen. A
    huge market has emerged for personal health care equipment,”
    he said while speaking about research and innovation in the
    field.

    He said IIT students can make use of PM Research
    Fellow Scheme and the Startup India Mission for idea
    incubation.

    The prime minister spoke about the government
    liberalising regulations on geospatial data to allow private
    companies to conduct survey and mapping without prior
    government approvals and sharing the data for various everyday
    applications, from logistics and transport to road safety and
    e-commerce.

    He said the decision will provide a huge impetus to Digital India and was a step forward in the direction of realizing the vision ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat‘.

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