Kolkata: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on Sunday said that nuclear energy will play an important role in
India`s quest for clean and environment-friendly energy, but
stressed on meeting "highest safety standards" in its use.
"The availability of safe and affordable energy is an
important factor in enabling us to realise our aspiration for
growth and development," the Prime Minister said at the
diamond jubilee celebration of the Saha Institute of Nuclear
Singh, whose endorsement of nuclear energy is
significant in view of the recent disaster at Fukushima
nuclear power plant in Japan, said he was convinced that
nuclear energy would play an important role in the country`s
quest for clean and environmentally-friendly energy mix to
fuel the development process.
"We are in the process of expanding our civil nuclear
energy programme," he said, but cautioned that "even as we do
so, we have to ensure that use of nuclear energy in India
meets highest safety standards".
"This is a matter on which there can be no compromise,"
The Prime Minister asked the SINP and other similar
institutes to contribute towards enhancing safety of nuclear
Asserting that doors of international cooperation in high
technology areas have opened for India and will open further,
he said, "Our scientists should use these unfolding
opportunities to develop an international temper and outlook."
He said there should be greater international
collaboration between "our research institutes and those from
Turning to the performance of scientific institutions,
the Prime minister said that research institutions cannot
function in isolation.
"There should be closer linkage between academia and
industry and seamless transfer of knowledge from laboratory to
the shop floor," he said.
The government is encouraging this process at all levels,
but the private sector can also make a significant
contribution, he said.
"Higher investments in research and development should be
accorded high priority across the economy," he said, adding
"it is a sad commentary that the number of patents filed by
Indians is still very low as compared to the developed world
and even some in developing world".