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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday stressed on the need for development of scientific temperament among children.

Addressing the nation through the radio programme 'Mann ki Baat', he paid tributes to C.V. Raman and other eminent scientists of the country ahead of National Science Day on 28 February.

He said that technology has secured an important place in the lives of the people, bringing in ease and simplicity.

"The basis of that technology, the underlying science is something that we neglect in conveying to the children of our family. On this Science Day, I urge all the families to definitely start with small efforts to develop a scientific temperament in their children," Modi said.

The Prime Minister also urged startups to work towards nation-building. "I will also tell our startups that you should employ your skills and scientific character in the work related to nation-building. This is also our collective scientific responsibility towards the country."

Appreciating the role of Indian scientists in the fight against covid-19, said, "Due to their hard work, it was possible to manufacture the made in India vaccine, which has helped the whole world a lot. This is the gift of science to humanity."

Touching upon a range of subjects during his address, Modi also emphasised on the need to preserve indigenous cultures and languages.

Talking of India's diversity in terms of languages, he said, "The biggest beauty of our languages ​​is that from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Kutch to Kohima, hundreds of languages, thousands of dialects which are different from each other but are mutually integrated...many languages - one expression."

"For centuries, our languages have been evolving whilst learning from each other and ​​have been refining themselves, developing each other. The world’s oldest language Tamil is in India and every Indian should be proud that we have such a significant heritage of the world. In the same way, many ancient scriptures are also there. Their expression too is in our Sanskrit language."

The Prime Minister also mentioned Tanzanian lip-sync artists and internet sensations Kili Paul and Neema who lip-sync and perform on Indian music.

"They have a passion, a craze for Indian music and for this reason they are also very popular. Their technique of lip-syncing shows how hard they work at it. Recently, a video of him singing our national anthem 'Jana Gana Mana' on the occasion of Republic Day went viral," he said.

"I really appreciate these two siblings Kili and Nima very much for their wonderful creativity. A few days ago, he has also been honoured at the Indian Embassy in Tanzania. The magic of Indian music is such that it fascinates everyone."

He also suggested initiatives to invite foreign nationals and famous international singers to render Indian patriotic songs.

Modi also informed that India has been successful in bringing home an invaluable heritage of the country from Italy—an over one thousand years old idol of 'Avalokiteshvara Padmapani'.

He said that the idol was stolen a few years ago from Kundalpur temple, Devi Sthan of Gaya ji in Bihar and after innumerable efforts, India has now got the idol back.

Observing that idols are significant to India's cultural heritage and several of them have been stolen or taken away from their respective places of origin, the Prime Minister said that India increased efforts to recover and bring them back leading to deterrence in instances of theft and cooperative response from the countries that housed these stolen antiques.

"Many countries such as America, Britain, Holland, France, Canada, Germany, Singapore have understood this sentiment of India and helped us to retrieve these idols."


Rituraj Baruah

Rituraj Baruah is a senior correspondent at Mint, reporting on housing, urban affairs, small businesses and energy. He has reported on diverse sectors over the last six years including, commodities and stocks market, insolvency and real estate. He has previous stints at Cogencis Information Services, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) and Inc42.
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