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PRESIDENT ANSWERS

Students from Lucknow had written to HT Lucknow Live the questions they wanted to put to President APJ Abdul Kalam when he visited the State capital on March 3. The Prez, who loves children, decided to reply to every single question we asked him, immediately after his return to New Delhi. Here are all the wonderful answers you would cherish all your life. What?s the motive for making India a nuclear power? Is it because we want India to be self-sufficient or is it that we want to show our power to the world?

india Updated: Mar 12, 2006 00:46 IST

Students from Lucknow had written to HT Lucknow Live the questions they wanted to put to President APJ Abdul Kalam when he visited the State capital on March 3. The Prez, who loves children, decided to reply to every single question we asked him, immediately after his return to New Delhi. Here are all the wonderful answers you would cherish all your life.

Q: What’s the motive for making India a nuclear power? Is it because we want India to be self-sufficient or is it that we want to show our power to the world?
Manisha, La Martiniere Girls College.

The President: India is a peace-loving country. All our military actions are only for defence purposes. When many countries around us are in possession of nuclear weapons we cannot be keeping quiet. Even though we possess the capability, our stated policy is ‘no first use’.

Q: What really is education? Is education just about reading books or going to school? Or, is it about knowledge?
Anuj Goel, LMGC

The President: Education has to nurture creativity in children and transform them into knowledge-based good citizens.

Q: How can we develop India with science? How can we integrate scientific knowledge into our day-to-day life?
Ankit Kumar, Central Academy

The President: Science is finding significant application in all walks of life whether it is TV, radio, communication systems or household appliances etc. In addition, science is applied by the farmers for improving productivity of the farms, fishermen to know the availability of fish in a particular area through satellite information, weather forecasting in every area of human activity etc. It has to be deliberately used more vigorously so that scientific knowledge reaches our villagers more and benefits in their day-to-day activities.

Q: What has been the biggest achievement for India in the last 58 years?
Ayushi Nigam, Central Academy

The President: Our farmers are able to produce 200 million tonnes of foodgrains and our nation is self-sufficient in food. Our ICT Sector is one of the top sectors in the country. We have the capability to build and launch any type of satellite, we have electric power generation through nuclear reactors, our automobile sector is booming, pharma sector is producing state-of-the-art medicines including traditional medicines and more. In defence, we have launched Agni and Prithivi and a combat aircraft is flying. All these are big achievements of the nation. Above all, citizens are moving with confidence.

Q: What difference do you feel in being called the Missile Man and the President? And which role do you like more?
Ayush Garg & Rajiv Menon, St Teresa’s College

The President: Each role has its challenges and problems. One has to love the task whatever he or she does.

Q: How did you achieve success? How did you acquire this phenomenal amount of knowledge?
Nitish, St Francis College

The President: First, one should have a road map for his or her life. Second, is to acquire knowledge and third, is to sweat, sweat and sweat—that is work hard with perseverance.

Q: What are the ways of making our country poverty-free? What should we do, as the youth, to acquire a better future for our country?
Nityasha Malik

The President: India Vision-2020 is the programme directed to making the country economically developed. There are plans of action for this mission. As a student or individual whatever you do, you excel in that. You will contribute. Secondly, during holidays try to teach five people who cannot read and write and thirdly, you can plant five saplings and nurture its growth. You will thus create a beautiful environment.

Q: What can the youth do for the betterment of the country, especially the politics in India? Do you think politics in India needs younger people?
Kartikeya Singh, St Antony’s School

The President: Politics does need young people. While being in politics I would like you to remember the advice given by Mahatma Gandhi’s mother to him. She said, “Son, in your entire lifetime if you can save or better someone’s life, your birth as a human being and your life is a success. You have the blessings of the Almighty God.”

Q: How can corruption be eradicated from our country? Why is everybody, right from the lower levels to the higher levels, adopting corrupt methods? Who is corrupt-the system or the leaders?
Jayant Mishra, St Antony’s School

The President: The corruption-free young create corruption free country. Corruption can be removed in our country only by three people namely father, mother and the elementary school teacher. Youth can always discuss with their parents in case they find themselves deviating from the right path. Many of the young people I have met have agreed to follow this principle. It’s a tool of love.