March 14, 2019
Coimbatore : Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said agriculture should be given the same importance as technology and research rather than sops like loan waivers.
“It’s time for introducing structural changes in agriculture rather than giving loan waivers to farmers,” Naidu said while addressing the graduation ceremony of a private educational institute here.
Stating that 54 per cent of Indian population live in rural areas and depended on agriculture, he said that sops such as loan waiver and free power for the farmers will not work.
“We need assured power for farmers. I interact with farmers and pass the feedback I receive to the Prime Minister and chief ministers and policy- making bodies such as Niti Aayog,” Naidu said.
Naidu wanted to make it mandatory for students to visit and spend time in villages to understand the lives of farmers.
Pointing out that knowledge is the driving force of our economy, he said education was not only for employment but also for the enhancement of knowkedge.
Referring to Pakistan, Naidu said that it was caught up like a thief stung by a scorpion: it was neither able to accept it nor keep quiet about it after the air strikes carried out by India.
“The situation of our neighbouring country is such that they can’t accept it and also can’t keep quiet about it,” he said, quoting a Telugu adage of thief and scorpion.
“That is the situation of Pakistan today. They have been funding and training terrorists,” he said.
“We have seen how our Army fought for the unity and integrity of the nation, how skillfully they did their duty in the recent strikes,” he said, recollecting the slogan of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan coined by former prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri.