Sep 30, 2023
Sep 30, 2023
On 1st November 2021, Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi made a very bold statement in COP26 meeting in Glasgow when he pledged that by 2070 India will become a carbon-neutral nation. This is a very powerful statement and if followed to its logical end can create a very advanced Indian industrial society and a sustainable and livable planet.
This bold statement reminded me of the pledge that President Kennedy made to the Americans in 1962 when he said that before the decade is out, U.S. will send a man to the moon and bring him back safely.
The difference in these two statements was that except for President Kennedy who was shot dead in 1963, most of the people who listened to him that day and participated in the moon landing were still alive and well in 1969. On the other hand, all the leaders, who spoke in COP26 will be dead and gone by 2070. Thus, unless they all set in motion a concerted effort and produce a doable road map, all these talks will remain empty promises and hot air that politicians love to deliver!
The audacious goal that President Kennedy gave in 1962 to the US had no precedence since very little knowledge and technology for sending the man to the moon existed at that time. Yet the Government of the USA set in motion the creation of a huge industry and manpower base to take up this challenge. Most of the people who worked on this goal, and I had the privilege of knowing one of them (my Ph.D. professor Erich Farber) were driven by the sense of patriotism, pride, and desire to conquer space - the next frontier.
Thus, massive amounts of funding were made available to the southern and other mainstream universities to train and develop engineers and technicians for space applications. Also, the scientific and academic community rose to the challenge by creating new engineering programmes for space exploration.
Thus, the whole NASA program was set up, heavily funded, and designed to send the man to the moon and get him back safely. All the people who worked in this program did it for the pride for the country and were fired with a missionary zeal.
I feel this is the type of program needed in India together with the missionary zeal of scientists, bureaucrats, decision makers to convert the bold statement of the PM into reality. Naturally it requires a tremendous effort on the part of the present Indian leadership to inspire Indians to do it.
More by : Dr. Anil Rajvanshi