Saturday, December 31, 2005

Prez's Speech at PU Convocation, Patna - Part 2

Any University is judged by the
level and extent of the research work it accomplishes. This sets in a
regenerative cycle of excellence. Experience of research leads to
quality teaching and quality teaching imparted to the young in turn
enriches the research. Research brings transformation and development
and also enhances the quality of education.

Technology is the non-linear tool available to humanity, which can affect fundamental
changes in the ground rules of economic competitiveness. Science is
linked to technology through applications. Technology is linked to
economy and environment through manufacture of knowledge products.
Economy and environment are linked to technology, which promotes
prosperity to the society. We have to use innovation to generate high
value added products for becoming a global player. The research areas of
the Patna University must be linked to the priorities of the state and
the nation.

Employment generators
The most important sectors for sustainable national development are
Agriculture, Education, Healthcare,
Water and Energy. One of the ways by which the rural agriculturists
could increase their earnings is by value adding to the agricultural
produce by processing and manufacturing. The farmers, either
individually or through their co-operatives would market processed and
value added items instead of marketing the raw materials. This increase
in the value-addition taking place in the rural area itself is an
indicator of the society moving towards prosperity and knowledge era.

Dear graduating students, now you will be entering into the real
world of opportunities where you can be the employment generators as
discussed above through the capacity built in you by the university
system. There are five areas relevant to Bihar which I would like to
highlight on entrepreneurship and employment.

Bio-fuel generation
We have nearly 63 million hectares of wasteland available in
the country, out of which 33 million hectares of wasteland have been
allotted for tree plantation. Certain multi-purpose bio-fuel plants can
grow well in wasteland with very minimum input. Once cultivated, the
crop has fifty years of life. Fruiting can take place in these plants in
two years.

Bio-fuel plants grown in parts of the waste land, for
example, 11 million hectares, can yield a revenue of approximately Rs.
20,000 crore a year and provide employment to over 12 million people
both for plantation and running of the extraction plants. It will reduce
the foreign exchange outflow paid for importing crude oil, the cost of
which is continuously rising in the international market. The Bio-fuel
is Carbon neutral and emission free. The oil can also be used for soap
and in candle industries. De-oiled cake is a raw material for composting
and the plantation is also good for honey production. We should absorb
best of the technologies available worldwide and start commercial
operation immediately. One time investment needed for bio-fuel
plantation to production in 11 million hectares will be approximately
Rs. 27000 Crores. The capital equipment and investment in plant and
machinery can come from bank loans and private sector entrepreneurs. I
have seen the progress in bio-fuel plant cultivation, preparation of
seedlings, tissue culture and development of non-toxic hybrid varieties
in Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. They have also worked
from processing of seeds to bio-fuel production by the indigenous design
and development of bio-fuel plants. Anand Agriculture University at,
Anand (Gujarat) has also made progress in the bio-fuel cultivation and
processing in Gujarat. Bio-fuel plants can be grown in a number of
states in the southern, western and central part of the country. The
Patna University can prepare a plan for Jatropha plantation in the waste
land available in various districts and also evolve a scheme for
creation of bio-fuel enterprises in the rural areas in Bihar. I would
recommend use of chour land in Bihar may be considered for Jatropha
plantation. Now I would like to talk about water harvesting.

Water Harvesting
Water harvesting should become mandatory for all. To improve
water table, we need to build check dams, develop water sheds, desilt
ponds and rivers, clear the inlets and outlets to the ponds and water
bodies and recharge the wells. If our rural areas are made to have the
operational water bodies, recharging of the wells will take place. The
task is totally labour intensive and nation wide implementation of this
scheme will provide employment for six million persons for more than
three or four years. The scheme will result in increase in storage
capacity of water bodies and create additional irrigation potential of
the land in the region and enhance agricultural productivity. This is
particularly applicable for Bihar to prevent flooding in certain low
lying areas. The next important area is wealth generation through fly

Converting the fly ash as Wealth Generator
As you are aware, the use of coal for power generation results in
increased quantum of fly ash production, which has reached about 100 million tonnes per year. All
out efforts are needed to utilize this fly ash not only from
environmental considerations, but also to avoid land usage for fly ash
dumping. Though there has been a steady progress in fly ash utilization
from 1990, we have a long way to go to reach the target of 100% fly ash
utilization. It is reported that the agricultural increase of grains is
around 15%, green vegetables 35% and root vegetables 50%, when fly ash
is mixed with the soil. Toxicity tests have proved that there is no
toxic element due to fly ash. But it has higher nutrients due to
increased availability of iron and calcium. The fly ash can become a
wealth generator by making use of it for producing ?green building?
materials, road, agriculture etc. Presently, the fly ash utilization is
in the range of 33 million tones per year and providing employment for
over 50,000 personnel. Full utilization of the fly ash stock, will
provide employment potential for three hundred thousand people and
result in a business volume of over Rs. 4000 crore. Since a number of
thermal power stations are available in Bihar, plenty of unused fly ash
is available in the state. The fly ash with certain processing can be
utilized by the farmers in the state for improving the soil productivity
in addition to its use in cement and green building industry. The next
topic I would like to discuss is Textile Industry.

Textile industry
Textile industry is very important for the Indian economy.
Garment export business is a low investment and large volume employment
generator. India is presently, exporting six billion dollars worth of
garments, whereas with the WTO regime in place, we can increase the
production and export of garments to 18 to 20 billion dollars within the
next five years. This will enable, generation of employment in general
and in rural areas in particular. By tripling the export of apparels, we
can add more than 5 million direct jobs and 7 million indirect jobs in
allied sector, including cultivation of cotton. Concerted effort is
needed in Cotton research, technology generation, transfer of
technology, modernization and upgrading of ginning and pressing
factories and aggressive marketing strategy. I would suggest Bihar to
undertake creation of large number of apparel parks in the rural areas
in collaboration with garment exporters. This will provide large scale
entrepreneurial and employment opportunities to the rural population.
This employment, supported by agriculture will increase the earning
capacity of the rural people of Bihar. Finally, I would like to discuss
about Healthcare.


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