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India needs more scientists to harness technology: PM

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The PSLV-C37 rocket carrying 104 satellites soars in the sky. An ISRO photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): India needs more scientists to harness technology for the benefit of the common man, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said while hailing the scientific community for the record launch of 104 satellites and the successful test-firing of a new missile.

"The attraction for science among our young generation should increase. The country needs more scientists. When science is harnessed keeping in mind the needs of the common people, it becomes the most valuable contributor to general humanity," he said on Sunday in his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio programme.

Referring to a recent competition organised at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, he said socially useful innovations were showcased and one of these was an application developed to help fishermen locate the most productive fishing zones and get updates about weather and sea conditions.

"There are times when a problem portrays the importance of science for finding a solution," Modi said referring to the 2005 Mumbai floods which led to development of a dwelling structure that saves its occupants and prevents water-logging.

Referring to the 38th successive successful launch of PSLV rocket that placed a record 104 satellite in orbit, Modi said ISRO scientists have brought laurels to the nation. He said the ISRO team had several young scientists, including women.

"After the successful mission of sending Mangalyaan to Mars, ISRO scripted a world record in the arena of space. ISRO has successfully launched 104 satellites simultaneously into space.

"These satellites belonged to various countries...India has created history by becoming the first country to launch successfully 104 satellites into space in one go," he said.

He noted that one of the satellites launched by PSLV is Cartosat 2D, which has become operational and will be of great help in mapping of resources and infrastructure and planning for urban development.

On the successful test-firing of a ballistic interceptor missile, he said that it destroyed an 'enemy' missile at an altitude of around 100 km above the earth surface. Hardly four or five countries in the world possess this capability, the Prime Minister said.

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