Kohima : Former President of India, Dr APJ Kalam has said that judicious exploration of the rich bio-diversity available in Nagaland can greatly boost the state's economy.
Responding to a student who wanted to know what Nagaland needs to do for its economic growth during an interaction in Dimapur at the Delhi Public School as part of the ongoing 16th National Children's Science Congress 2008 yesterday, Dr. Kalam suggested that along with herbal aromatic plants, Nagaland should explore its immense potentials in agro-processing enterprises, horticulture and floriculture as also its native craftsmanship by infusing appropriate technologies so as to generate exportable products. And Naga youth can take a lead on this aspect, he said.
On the role of students, Kalam said the primary mission of a student should be to excel in studies. He said success would come so long as students have a set goal, acquire the knowledge, work hard with devotion and persevere.
On the role of teachers, Dr Kalam said a good teacher is one who don't use "old notes" but have something new to say to the students always. A teacher should prepare lesson everyday, he added.
Describing the children as "born scientists" since they ask a lot of questions, Dr Kalam suggested the teachers to encourage their pupils to ask more questions as well as interact with the students.
When a student asked whether he regards his elevation to Rashtrapati Bhavan or the success of the Pokhran tests as his success story in life, Dr Kalam quipped neither of them satisfied him more than his research findings on carbon to make lighter materials to fly missiles, since the same materials were used by a Hyderabad-based hospital to make lighter calipers for physically handicapped children, who earlier found it difficult to walk with heavy calipers.
Emphasizing the need for exploration of all non-conventional energy sources in view of the problem posed by global warming to planet earth, Dr Kalam said research on solar energy using nano-technology would lead to better fuel efficiency in vehicles to hit the roads. He pointed out the present available technology on solar powered vehicles could attain only 20-25 per cent fuel efficiency but nano-techlogy showed the efficiency in solar cells used in cars can be enhanced to 60-65 per cent.
"Don't worry, wait for a few years, you will get your solar powered cars to drive on Dimapur roads," Dr Kalam said in reply to a question from a student on when she will get opportunity to drive her vehicle powered by solar energy.
Also participating in the interaction, former UGC chairman and noted scientist Prof Yashpal wanted the teachers to listen and learn from students to teach them properly. "Do not emphasize much on what they answer from their syllabus, rather give importance to what the students question," Prof Yashpal suggested.
Asking the teachers never to say no to questions from students, Prof Yashpal pointed out that "to discover a question is more important than to read the answer." The 5-day children science congress is being held here on the theme 'The Planet our home: Explore, care and share' and attended by over 1,200 delegates, comprising students, teachers and scientists, from different parts of the country.