Nobel Prize winner and former president of Israel Shimon Peres on Friday lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying he is paving the 'third revolution' in India by combining tradition with the right technology to take the country to new heights.
"I met yesterday your Prime Minister and he himself is running the 'third revolution'. The first was introduced by -- I would call him a prophet -- Mahatma Gandhi. Then Jawaharlal Nehru looked how to pave the ground for sustainable India. He did something which is unusual. Five-year plan from Russia and another from MIT. "Then came the Prime Minister (Modi) who has great experience and wisdom in India itself, and created a 'third revolution' combining the spirit of Gandhi and the pragmatism of Nehru.
We should not give moral judgement yet, we can bring India to new heights," Peres said. The 91-year-old Israeli statesman was speaking in New Delhi at a discussion on 'Creating a Second Green Revolution in India', organised by Ananta Centre and Pratt Foundation. In the area of agriculture, Peres said that India must make efforts for collaboration between India-Israel-Australia to achieve food and water security and explore work in marine and medical agriculture. Since agriculture is a "complicated business", there is a need to share farm technologies and use of all sciences between countries to boost farm output amid challenges of shrinking land and water resources, he added.
Peres said that unlike the French and Russian revolutions, Green Revolution was not effected by killing people, but through scientific technologies. "It (Green Revolution) is spreading and it is still the beginning of a revolution," he said, adding that it has brought new challenges that must be dealt with. "We must maintain the increased yields, but with more environmentally-sustainable practices. I'm convinced that the answer lies in science and technology. India and Israel have a common agenda. We both realise the importance of food security for both our national security and regional stability," Peres later said in an official statement.
Stating that the world can learn a lot from India's farm experience, Peres said, "Your commitment to basic scientific agri-research is the only way that India today is more food secure than it was 50 years ago. And, amazingly, you have done this while still relying primarily on small-scale farmers." Presently, India is suffering shortage of land and water and the way forward is that the "India, Israel and Australia -- should join hands" to address the challenges of food and water security, he said.
Taking advantage of science and strong human resource capital, he said that a country like India should explore new avenues in agriculture -- marine and medical agriculture. "Medical agriculture is required. Healthcare is very expensive... We are convinced now that the medicines which are produced in factories can be produced by farmers through vegetables and fruits, which can democratise the medical arm. You don't have to wait for licenses," he said. Peres, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 with former Israel premier Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, also suggested that lawmakers should explore the possibility of marine agriculture with an open mind.
Meanwhile, underscoring the potential for expansion in Indian agriculture, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Chairman, Jamshyd Godrej, said, "With the projected levels of population growth, food security remains high on the development agenda. "Farmer aggregation and improved irrigation systems can be the foundation for the expansion of Indian agriculture. Israel's agro-technologies and Australia's efficient production, processing systems and R&D can also play a vital role in India's Second Green Revolution," he added. The Green Revolution in India began in the late 1960s with the introduction of high-yield crop varieties and application of modern agri-techniques.
The success of the initiative was attributed to a mixture of investment in crop research, use of appropriate technology, market development and government provisions. The expansion in agricultural production created self-sufficiency in foodgrains and significantly cut India's reliance on imports of the same.