Union Minister Exhorts Child Scientists To Look For Solutions To Nation’s Problems

Bhubaneswar: Young minds must make use of evolving technology to find solutions to India’s long list of complex problems including climate change and energy needs, Union Petroleum, Natural Gas, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan told participants at 26th National Children’s Science Congress (NCSC-2018) being held at the Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) University here on Sunday.

India spends huge amount on energy import bill as the country happens to be the world’s third largest consumer of energy. This could be addressed by finding alternatives to fossil fuel and hydrocarbon, Dharmendra said during an hour-long interaction with the child scientists attending the conference.

“India does not have much fossil fuel but has coal deposits which could be used to generate power. Coal, at the same time, is the cause of much pollution which impacts the environment,” he said while challenging the delegates to find the way.

If the country did not have to pay such huge energy import bills, the resources could have been utilized somewhere else for the benefit of the country, the Union Minister said adding efforts were on to find solutions.

The CSIR-lndian Institute of Petroleum at Dehradun had developed jet fuel from waste, which could be successfully used to fly an aircraft from Dehradun to New Delhi, he added..

“The several hundred children, who are attending the NCSC-2018, hold the key to the future and the country looks forward to them to find solutions to its various energy needs. My generation is waiting for you to come up with innovative ideas (to find solutions),” he said.

Stating that the children of today shall have to handle the challenges India would face in the future, Dharmendra said the country’s energy consumption was expected to rise further in the future.

He also urged the children to think about the fallout of climate change, which could lead to the submergence of several island countries.

Referring to the employment scenario, Dharmendra said around 2.4 crore children turn 15 every year of whom half go to school while the rest seek employment or remain jobless. By 2040, half of all jobs which exist in the market today would disappear but developing technology and digitalization would give rise to more number of jobs.

The Union Minister recalled India’s plight in the past when food security was a burning problem. But this problem could be surmounted by agri-scientists who turned the country into a food exporter, he said.

Vice-Chancellor of SOA Prof. Amit Banerjee introduced him to the children.

The Union Minister also felicitated the state coordinators and child scientists from different states and union territories. He presented copies of ‘Freedom at Midnight’, authored by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins, to five children who were winners of a quiz competition conducted during the conference.

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