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Lab-to-Land, PM's slogan for increasing agri production

New Delhi: Pitching for greater use of research for boosting the agriculture sector, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today gave the slogan 'LabtoLand', saying that farmers should be able to enhance production to increase their income and feed the country as well as the world.

He pressed for the use of scientific technologies to help raise the agricultural production in "less land, less time" as he expressed concern over the depleting natural resources and the challenge of climate change.

The Prime Minister also called for 'Blue Revolution' in fisheries sector on the lines of Green and White Revolutions.

"We have to prove two points. One is how we can make farmers capable of feeding the whole country and the world. Second is how we can make agriculture capable to fill the pocket of our farmers," Modi said while addressing the 86th Foundation Day of Indian Council Agriculture Research (ICAR) here.

He asked the scientific community to plan for the centenary celebrations of ICAR and achieve more in the next 14 years than what they have over the last 86 years of the existence of the premium agriculture research body.

"'Per drop, more crop' can be our mission statement," he said, while noting that India is still dependent on import of edible oil and pulses despite being an agrarian economy and efforts need to be made to become selfsufficient.

He emphasised upon the need for taking scientific research to fields and suggested setting up of radio stations by agricolleges and universities to create awareness among farmers.

The farm growth target cannot be achieved unless farmers' income is increased, Modi said, adding that the government's policies therefore should focus in this direction.

Modi also talked about the need to address the challenge of taking farm research from 'LabtoLand' by making efforts to convince farmers about efficacy of new farm techniques in simple ways.

"Food demand is huge and this is an opportunity for us. The biggest challenge before us how we take research work from Lab to Land. Unless this work does not reach field, we cannot get results," Modi said.

Exhorting agriculture universities/college to start radio stations, he said that young educated and progressive farmers along with farm research scholars can form a talent pool.

He asked ICAR to digitise database of all agriresearch work in the country in the next 45 years.

On the need to achieve 'Blue Revolution' in the fishery sector, Modi said: "In India's tricolour flag, we talk about Green and White Revolution. But there is also blue colour Ashoka Chakra. That revolution we also need to look at."

The development of the fishery sector is necessary as there is huge global market for this and has potential to change the life of fishermen, he said, and called for greater research and promotion of coastal seaweed.

In order to reduce dependence on import of pulses and cooking oils, the Prime Minister said that the production of pulses and oilseeds is a big challenge even today and priority should be given to raise productivity.

"Even today, production of pulses and oilseeds is a big challenge. There is a need to increase production of pulses. Poorest of the poor should also get pulses which has high protein. We need to work in this direction." he said.

Noting that the country is still dependent on import of cooking oils despite being an agrarian economy, Modi emphasised that there is a need to take it as challenge by both scientists and the farming community to address this issue.

Modi also asked ICAR to focus on harnessing the potential of Himalayan herbal medicine as China is ahead in this area.

Emphasising upon the need to address water crisis, he asked ICAR to explore scientific approach to manage water according to changing weather cycles.

"Water is God's offering to us and we should ensure that no single drop of water is wasted. How do we spread this message among common man? How do we work in this direction? Can we make 'Per drop more drop' as our mission statement? Similarly 'Kam Zameen, Kam samay and Zyada Upaj'," he said.

Modi said that awareness about water conservation among people is necessary as they are the ones who have to work upon this, though seminars on global warming and environment in 5Star hotels do have some benefit in this regard.

Besides addressing water crisis, he said that the country has "no choice" but to increase farm productivity in less land without compromising the quality, while special efforts are required on growing agricrops in less timeframe.

Referring to the pace at which ICAR Director General S Ayyappan gave presentation on the institute's achievement in last 86 years, Modi in a lighter note said: "I was listening to Ayyappanji, it was like superfast train. I am fully confident that the country's agriculture will grow in the same speed."

The Prime Minister, who was given a standing ovation before his address, asked scientists present in the auditorium to pay standing ovation to those crores of farmers who have contributed to farm growth.

20 killed, 7 injured as bus falls into gorge in Himachal

Shimla: At least 20 people were killed and seven injured when a bus fell into a gorge at Katarghat on BasantpurKingal highway, 65km from here, this afternoon.

The Himachal Road Transport Corporation bus carrying over 30 people was on its way from Shimla to Sawerakhud when the accident took place, a senior police official said.

Seventeen bodies have so far been recovered and some more bodies are trapped in the wreckages of the bus, said SP, Shimla, DW Negi, who visited the spot.

The condition of the seven injured admitted in Indira Gandhi Medical College Hospital here was stated to be serious.

The driver of the bus jumped out of the vehicle and was reported safe, Negi said.

The bodies of the victims who are yet to be identified have been sent for postmortem.

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh asked the Shimla district administration to conduct the relief and rescue operations on a war footing.

The chief minister also visited IGMC and enquired about the condition of the injured people. He asked the hospital administration to provide all possible medical help to the injured.

Car "used" by Netaji in Dhanbad becomes a cynosure

Dhanbad: A car claimed to have been used by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in the 1930s and found abandoned in the warehouse of a closed plant here has attracted visitors.

The car was discovered in the nowdefunct Barari Coke Plant of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) in the Putki Balihari area in the second week of this month, according to the general manager of Putki Balihari mines, K C Mishra.

The BCCL management realising the car's historic value shifted it to the Koyla Nagarbased guest house on July 22.

Mishra said that he sought permission of the BCCL management to preserve the car after oldtimers in the area told him that Netaji used it when he visited the area between 1930 and 1940 when he was the president of the Tata Labour Association.

The car has been identified as Ford Super Deluxe model and it belonged to Bose's uncle Ashok Bose who was a chemical engineer at the Barari Coke Plant of the East India Company.

Netaji used to stay with him during his Dhanbad sojourn.

The engine of the car is marked SD 108459F Model 6A and the chassis no is 2617 SGANT M 13220. The car's registration no is BRR 3201.

District Transport Officer R R Sharma said registration of vehicles began in the transport department in 197273 only. Before that it was done at the office of the superintendent of police.

He said that the first series of registration number began with BRR and it might be that the old car was registered again in 197273.

Dhanbad became a district on October 24, 1956. It was part of the then Manbhum district of Bihar. The district's headquarter was in Purulia (now in West Bengal) at that time and Dhanbad was its part.

The chairmancummanaging director of BCCL, T K Lahiri, told reporters, "My company has not verified the historic background of the car. People claimed that Netaji used it during his stay at Dhanbad and on that basis it has been preserved.

Haryana power minister resigns

Chandigarh: Haryana power minister Ajay Yadav resigned here on Tuesday from the Bhupinder Singh Hoodaled Congress ministry alleging "bias" in several matters including recruitment and induction of members to various commissions and statutory bodies.

Yadav said that he has sent his resignation to Hooda.

The sixtime Congress MLA from Rewari said he would, however, remain in the Congress party.

Yadav said the Congress won only one seat in the state in the recent Lok Sabha elections, but has "failed to learn any lessons."

"Somebody has to bell the cat. And I decided to take the step (resign)," he said.

Asked about the response of Hooda to his resignation, Yadav said the chief minister had asked him to reconsider, but he declined.

"I am waiting for the Congress high command to take a decision," Yadav said.

Asked if he had raised the issues at various Cabinet meetings, Yadav said that the cabinet meetings are restricted to the agenda.

"I had detailed the reasons for the party's defeat before the Antony Panel," he added.

Yadav said he will soon meet the party high command. "I want respect. If that is not given what else can I do," he said.

"I had to make the sacrifice of resigning under compulsion when the bias in matters of development, recruitment, induction of members of various commissions (RTI, RTS) and other statutory bodies, domination of the bureaucracy and neglect of party cadres, including MLAs continued and the party failed to learn any lessons from the Lok Sabha debacle," he said.

He also opposed the induction of two members to State Information Commission and three to Right to Service Commission, on which a row has already broken out due to the the five members being administered oath by Hooda on Sunday against the earlier practice of a state governor administering the same to these appointees.

Yadav said that only bureaucrats have been inducted as members. "Didn't they (government) see any politician or other persons? If the posts had been given to party cadres it would have been better," he said.

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