India Governor KK Paul today highlighted the need to focus on controlling forest fires by developing fire retardants. Besides water, other ways of putting out fires need to be developed as the problem was acquiring serious dimensions in the state, he stated.
The Governor was addressing the inaugural session of the 86th annual symposium of the National Academy of Sciences of India (NASI) entitled Science Technology and Entrepreneurship for Human Welfare in the Himalayan Region, organised by Uttarakhand Council of Science and Technology (UCOST) in Dehradun.
Paul said it was gratifying to see that in spite of several weaknesses, emphasis on science education was growing in the country. Research must be directed at meeting practical application and if, like USA, research can be funded by industry, it would help in development greatly. Science and technology can facilitate entrepreneurship development in several ways, including identifying new innovative ideas and opportunities, bridging the gap between research and development and facilitating entrepreneurial training.
Paul said drought-resistant seeds needed to be developed on a larger scale in order to help boost hill agriculture. He also stressed on the need for expansion of cultivation of aromatic plants in the hill state which was the home to many medicinal and aromatic plants.
The Governor said there was only one centre in Dehradun that was working on aromatic plants and that was Centre for Aromatic Plants (CAP). More such units should be set up in the state.
He said he was happy that the symposium was being held in Uttarakhand as it would pave the way for sustainable utilisation of both natural and human resources. The region was a globally recognised biodiversity hotspot.
Paul said geological simulators must be used for structural stability in railways. The Rishikesh-Karnaprayag railway project, when it begins, would need scientific handling of all the aspects, such as traffic management, during its construction and also the disposal of mud that would be dug out to create the tunnels, he added.
Earlier, UCOST Director General Dr Rajendra Dobhal informed the gathering about the details of the symposium. A souvenir of the symposium was also released on the occasion.
A large number of researchers and students attended the symposium.