ùfûKû_ðY @aieùe _â]û^cªúu @bòbûhY
“I am truly delighted to be here today in this great State of Orissa. On
this auspicious occasion, I convey my best wishes to the people of Orissa. I
am particularly delighted that my first visit to your State is associated
with the dedication to the nation of the Talcher Super Thermal Power
Station. The foundation stone for this project was laid by our beloved
leader, Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Today, while dedicating this project to the
nation, we pay tribute to Rajivji’s memory, we salute his leadership and his
vision which was at once modern and forward looking.
This power station is a symbol of development. It will herald a new era of
development for Orissa. Rajiv Gandhi had great affection for the people of
Orissa. He was deeply committed to your welfare and progress. This project
is a fulfillment of his dream of a new Orissa. Standing here, one is
reminded of the great traditions of trade and commerce of the brave people
of Kalinga through the centuries. They traveled to many countries across the
seas and spread Indian culture and influence all over south-east Asia.
Kalinga desa was one of the most vibrant parts of India – economically and
Today, we need to remind ourselves of that proud heritage and recapture the
dynamism and enterprise that characterized that period of Orissa’s glorious
history. Orissa needs to develop rapidly if it is not to be left behind in
the race for progress and prosperity. It has enormous potential. It is a
storehouse of natural resources – mineral and forest. It has a long
coastline. These need to be exploited for the benefit of the people of the
state; for creating more jobs; for generating more incomes.
I sincerely hope there will be more such new projects coming up in your
State in the near future. I promise you that the Central Government will do
whatever is needed to take Orissa forward. With a capacity of 3,000 MW, this
is the largest power station in the country today. It is a matter of pride
for NTPC, for the workers in Talcher and for the state as a whole. I hope
that very soon, we will have more such stations coming up across the
country. We are working for the establishment of ultra mega-projects of 4000
MW capacity each. Preparatory work on these is going on at a fast pace. I
hope some of the projects will come up in Orissa as well.
Electricity is the basic infrastructure for all forms of industrialization
or mechanization. Our country continues to face a shortage of power in many
regions. While we have been increasing investment, demand continues to
outpace supply. We had the same worry 20 years ago. Since then many
Governments have come and gone, both at the center and in States, and much
investment has been made. Since then we have made many changes in policy and
have tried to attract private investment. Yet, despite all our efforts,
supply continues to lag behind demand. We cannot continue to tolerate this
state of affairs? We need a paradigm shift in our energy policies and in our
planning for the power sector. Our Government recognizes that we need urgent
reform in the power sector and we need massive investment. I assure you that
we are committed to both these objectives.
I urge all our political parties to take a long term view of our development
prospects and the needs of our people and take bold and forward-looking
decisions in the power sector. The Planning Commission has estimated that by
the year 2030, electricity generation capacity would need to go up from our
current level of 131,000 MW to more than 800,000 MW. This is a gigantic
task. We have to widen and diversify our choices and strategies. We have to
develop all sources of energy including oil, gas, coal, hydel, solar and
biogas and nuclear. Even coal is not as abundant as is generally believed. I
am told that in 25 years time, our coal requirement will cross 1.7 billion
tonnes per annum! It may be as much in short supply as oil is now. Thus, we
must use our energy resources optimally and efficiently. We need to make the
sector efficient, competitive, commercially viable and attractive for
investment and safe for environmental management.
I must compliment the National Thermal Power Corporation for showing a
marked improvement in performance over the years. NTPC produces power at a
very competitive rate. I am told that the synchronization of the 500 MW unit
in the second phase of the Talcher Project was done in a record period of 38
months. I compliment the staff and workers of NTPC for their valiant
efforts. You are all truly the builders of the nation as Pandit Jawaharlal
Nehru believed. I believe this station has state-of-the-art technology for
high efficiency and low emission levels. We must reach out for new clean
coal technologies, since coal-based power generation will remain a priority
area for us.
I am aware that your growth has been constrained by lack of availability of
good quality coal. We have taken several steps to increase both production
and productivity in the coal sector. We have also speeded up the procedure
for allotment of coal blocks for captive consumption of power plants. I am
expecting a massive surge in investment in captive coal mines so that power
producers do not suffer due to shortage of coal.
Orissa has several locational advantages in thermal power that it must make
better use of. You have access to both domestic and imported coal. Both
these can fuel the engine of development in Orissa. You have the potential
to become the ‘power-house’ of India. I hope you will make the best use of
your natural and manmade advantages and push forward with determination.
At the same time, Orissa continues to be one of the most backward states in
the country on many parameters. It needs massive investment in human
development, in infrastructure, in social development and in agriculture and
rural development. More than 4,500 villages are still not connected by a
road. Over 9,000 habitations are not yet electrified. Almost 5,000 villages
do not have a single telephone. Large parts of the state are not irrigated.
This is the development deficit that we need to overcome. Through the Bharat
Nirman programme, we will support the state government of Orissa to provide
road and telephone connectivity in each village; to ensure complete
electrification of the state; to add another 3 lakh hectares under
irrigation. This will cost a lot of money. I assure the people of Orissa
that funds will not be a constraint for their development.
We will invest massively for Orissa’s development. 19 districts of the state
are covered under the Rural Employment Guarantee Act. More will be covered
in the years to come. This is a vital source of income for the rural poor
and I am told that 20 lakh families have registered under this programme.
Over 50 lakh children are being given a meal at school under the National
Mid Day Meal programme. Under the National Rural Health Mission, over 30,000
ASHAs are being taken for health work. And I repeat, we will ensure that no
stone is left unturned for the development of the state; for ridding the
state of chronic poverty, ignorance and disease. It is my earnest request to
the state government that they utilize the funds provided for the maximum
benefit of the people of Orissa.
On the industrial front too, the state is on our priority list. The Indian
Oil Corporation has begun work on a 15 million tonne oil refinery at Paradip.
We are working hard to see that it is commissioned by 2010. Associated with
this, we are working to develop a petrochemical complex around the refinery.
The total expected investment here will be almost Rs 29,000 crore in the
next few years. Paradip and its neighbourhood has the potential of becoming
a major industrial zone of the country. Its completion is our commitment to
the people of Orissa.
I am also aware that there is considerable concern among some people in your
state whose lives and livelihoods have been threatened by new projects. I
urge the State government and the concerned investors to show greater
commitment to the welfare of all sections of society, especially those
displaced by development works. I am sure as new investment comes to Orissa,
new opportunities will increase. However, in the transition no section of
society should feel threatened by development.
We must take adequate precaution to compensate those who may be negatively
impacted by changes in the transition period. As I had announced during my
Independence Day speech, our Government will come forward with a
comprehensive National Rehabilitation Policy so that displacement does not
lead to impoverishment and those who lose their land benefit from subsequent
With these words, I compliment all those associated with this project for
their good work. I hope NTPC will continue to remain at the forefront of our
country’s economic development. I have been informed by Shindeji, NTPC has
decided to give an incentive of Rs.51 lakh for the workers in this unit as
bonus. I hope the Talcher project will be yet another harbinger of progress
for Orissa. I hereby dedicate the Talcher Super Thermal Power Plant to the
people of Orissa. I wish the people of Orissa a great future of progress and
"I am truly delighted to be here in Bhubaneshwar today at the Institute of
Physics. I have great affection and regard for the people of Orissa whose
contribution to the history, culture and economy of our nation are second to
none. I am particularly delighted that my first visit to this State is
associated with the announcement of the establishment of the National
Institute of Science Education and Research. This is the fulfillment of a
promise to the people of Orissa. Our Government is genuinely committed to
the development of Orissa and to the educational empowerment of the people
of Orissa. The National Institute of Science Education and Research will be
a symbol of that commitment.
I share the concern being expressed by many of our scientists that our best
minds are not turning to science, and those who do, do not remain in
science. I am told that less than 3% of school children want to pursue a
career in science. We must find ways of making these disciplines more
attractive to children. We have to improve the quality of teaching of
science and mathematics at the school level. Countries like China and South
Korea are far ahead of us in investing in science and technology. We need to
do much more in this vital area if we have to keep pace with the evolving
global economy of the future.
We have to take urgent steps to prevent scientifically talented persons from
moving away from careers in scientific research and development. This is
happening at the 10+2 level and at the B.Tech. level. Most of our
universities are performing sub-optimally. They lack good infrastructure and
suffer from acute faculty shortage. There is not enough interaction between
our academia and industry. Many technologies developed for our rural areas
have not been delivered properly. We will need to address these on a war
I am also concerned about the regional imbalance in science teaching and the
development of science and technology in India. There was a time when the
East was at the forefront. Today the East is lagging behind the South and
the West. We need to redress this regional imbalance. It is to meet these
challenges that we will be setting up the National Institute of Science
Education and Research in Bhubaneswar.
As India moves up the technology ladder and improves its relative
competitive status in the global domain, the need for capable innovative
scientists will increase. Our higher education programs should empower young
science students to engage not only in advanced research but also in domains
which facilitate translation of research results into development of new
technologies and their commercial deployment. This requires acquisition of
necessary experimental skills and familiarity with the realities of
There is a strong synergy between research and higher education.
Co-existence of both leads to higher excellence in both. It provides
opportunities for students to be exposed to excitements in scientific
research and benefit from teachers who are themselves engaged in expanding
the horizons of knowledge. Such participation in teaching also benefits
researchers by way of greater clarity of thought and availability of
students to broaden support to research activity.
The National Institute of Science Education and Research will facilitate
this synergy between research and higher education. The major strength of
Institute of Physics is a strong emphasis on the quality of the faculty and
its present pre-doctoral and doctoral programs are among the best in the
country. The faculty is composed of all world-renowned scientists who are
also established teachers. Association with the Institute of Physics will
enable the National Institute of Science Education and Research to draw upon
this outstanding tradition and expand it further to cater to a much larger
pool of science students. NISER will be at par with the IISER being
established in other places but will operate under the umbrella of DAE. It
will undertake integrated 5-year Masters courses in core and emerging
branches of science to provide world-class education to students after the
10+2 stage. It can also include an integrated M.Sc.–Ph.D. after graduation
The emphasis of education at NISER will be to generate scientific trained
manpower of a very high quality which could directly find placement across
the country. Greater emphasis will be on branches of science relevant to the
Department of Atomic Energy and also catering to the better exploitation and
utilization of Orissa's regional natural resources. Orissa's mineral and
marine resources will be taken into consideration in designing training
programs of students here.
While working within the DAE family and awarding degrees under the Homi
Bhabha National Institute [HBNI], which is already a Deemed University for
post-graduate studies, NISER will be an institute at par with the best in
the country in terms of facilities and faculty. It will have a research to
teaching load as practiced in the best universities in the world. This will
ensure world class education and also attract the best researchers. It will
have world-class experimental facilities in all the current and emerging
branches of science including physics, chemistry, modern biology and
environmental sciences. We will provide enough resources to DAE to convert
this into reality within a very short time frame.
In order to attract bright young students to this integrated course, it is
proposed to make the course challenging on a world-class level, give
reasonable stipend to the students and also allow them time for research
activities even during their student days. There will be campus interviews
and placements at both research centers and in industry in order to make the
course more attractive to the students in the present competitive
environment of market forces which drives them to IT-related jobs.
I am told that this project will be quickly completed in two phases. In
Phase-I, additional courses will be started immediately in 3 or 4 selected
subjects like physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology with existing
faculty and new faculty. In Phase-II, 200 acres of land will be acquired
around Bhubaneswar and activities expanded on a larger scale. When
completed, I am confident that the National Institute of Science Education
and Research will become a Mecca for science just as TIFR and IISc are
With our recent unprecedented economic growth, I am optimistic that India
will become a 'developed country' in the not too distant future. In this
process, Science & Technology will continue to play a major role. Since
independence, there has been a great deal of progress in our S&T system.
This is evident from the success of the mission-oriented S&T agencies, like
the family of DAE institutions, that have made our nation proud.
However, I am aware that we must increase our expenditure on Science &
Technology. India's expenditure on S&T is about 1% of our GDP. This is half
of what developed countries are devoting to S & T. The Government is
committed to increasing R&D funding. For the last few years, we have been
allocating larger budgets for R&D. For example, last year, we increased it
by 20%. We shall strive to reach the target of 2% in the 11th Plan. But I
also expect the private sector to do more in this area. We also need more
public- private partnership in R&D in all areas of S&T.
One way of making careers in science and technology attractive would be to
improve remuneration and ensure the integrity of selection processes. It is
well known that the initial starting salary for scientists with a PhD in
India is often lower than those of Engineers, Doctors and Management
graduates. It is obvious that if talented young people are to be retained in
science, scientists have to be treated differently than other Government
employees in service and salary matters.
The Government will be happy to provide career support for students talented
in science for a reasonable period, including into their initial employment
years, to attract such students to scientific research. There is also a need
to develop a more productive interface between the National Laboratories and
the University system. Proximate national laboratories could supplement the
faculty both for undergraduate and post-graduate courses in universities and
colleges. Private sector enterprises should also be able to create centres
for their product innovation and development in proximate national
laboratories and universities.
I would like to reaffirm our my commitment to the growth and modernization
of Indian science and technology institutions. The establishment of the
National Institute of Science Education and Research in Bhubaneswar is one
more symbol of this commitment. I hope this institution will emerge as a
center of creative teaching and research and contribute to our national
development. Orissa has produced many great scientists of India such as
Jogesh Chandra Pati. I hope this institution will produce many more in the
years to come. I wish you all the best in all your endeavours."