Solan (Himachal Pradesh), April 18 (IANS) Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Thursday said India would have to graduate to knowledge and innovative research to emerge as a global leader.
Stressing that research was the foundation for academic excellence, Kalam said: "We have to apply new methods and techniques to take the country to the summit globally".
Addressing the first convocation of the Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences near here, the former president said the purpose of real education was to lead the youth to excel in different fields.
Emphasing the need for research, he said it would lead to quality teaching, which in turn would enrich research.
"Economy and environment are linked to technology, which promotes prosperity," the former president said.
Kalam said India is rich in bio-diversity which could be of immense use in the field of drug evolution. The pharma industry and pharmacists should do exhaustive research and evolve drugs based on traditional Indian plants and herbs to combat many diseases prevalent around the world.
He called upon the pharmacists and the students of various disciplines to keep these targets in mind and contribute adequately for the realisation of Indian Pharma Vision 2020.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said the hill state had taken a lead in mitigating climate change and conserving the environment.
"The government is laying special emphasis on conserving the state's natural wealth of medicinal plants. This year we have earmarked Rs.10 crore for raising 45 lakh herbal medicinal plants," he said.
The chief minister said the state had accorded priority to education and 17.6 percent of the total state budget was being spent in that sector.