President A P J Abdul Kalam on Monday said people must unite to root out cross-border terrorism, which was a hurdle for economic prosperity and development of the country.
Interacting with the young scientists, engineers and trainees of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited at BARC in Mumbai, Kalam said, "When we are doing developmental things for the economic prosperity, we are interrupted with cross-border terrorism and this is why Mumbai was the target for the terrorists."
Replying to a query by a young scientist on "the challenges before the nation", President said that "terrorism has to be rooted out completely by every possible way."
Peace which is an important component for a country's development could be achieved only if there is harmony in every heart, which will help in creating an order and in turn peace, Kalam, who was in the city on a two-day visit, said.
Speaking on energy scenario in the country, Kalam said India's priority should be to achieve "energy independence" by 2020.
"Energy independence means achieving 400,000 MW using different types of power generation modes including hydel, nuclear, thermal and non-conventional by 2020," Kalam said stressing that it (energy independence by 2020) is the vision and that should be the goal.
In the case of solar energy, he said, the young scientists should invent new technologies as the photovoltaic technology is very expensive.
High priority should be given to curb and root out power transmission and distribution losses, Kalam said.
President also said since India is importing most of the fuel for its transportation sector, innovations must be encouraged for new alternate fuels for the sector.
To a question on the development of scientific manpower, he said, "I am marketing the idea of setting up a science cadre to absorb at least 300 to 400 Phds every year in Indian Space Research Organsiation and Department of Atomic Energy and other scientific institutions."
On rural development, Kalam said electrification, environment protection and road construction should be a mission for rural India to achieve by 2020.
Kalam had a closed-door interaction with a select group of young Homi Bhabha award winners during his visit to BARC.