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PM Modi unveils ‘Statue of Equality’ in Hyderabad to commemorate 11th-century Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya

Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated to the nation, the Statue of Equality at Muchintal in Hyderabad a short while ago. The 216-feet tall Statue of Equality commemorates the 11th century Bhakti Saint Ramanujacharya, who promoted the idea of equality in all aspects of living including faith, caste and creed. The Prime Minister dedicated the unique statue by unveiling a plaque as part of the Sahasrabdhi Celebrations of Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujacharya. The statue is made of 5 metals ie Gold, Silver, Copper, Brass and Zinc. This is one of the tallest metallic statues in sitting position in the world. The Prime Minister also offered special prayers at the Purnahuthi of Vishvaksena Ishti at the Yagashala at Sahashrabdhi celebrations of Bhakti Saint Sri Ramanujanam at Muchintal near Shamshabad.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi launched the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) at Patancheru. On the occasion, he inaugurated ICRISAT’s Climate Change Research Facility on Plant Protection and Rapid Generation Advancement Facility. He also launched a commemorative stamp issued on the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the ICRISAT.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister called for unified efforts by Scientists and People’s participation to help the country overcome all challenges in the agricultural sector. The Prime Minister said, five decades of experience and the holistic approach of ICRISAT by collaborating with farmers have made farming efficient and sustainable.

The Prime Minister said, India has set a target of Net-Zero by 2070. It has also highlighted the need for life-lifestyle for the environment and also called for a Pro Planet People movement – a movement that is crucial to combat climate change and connects every individual with climate.

Mr Modi stressed on the need to tackle the climate change phenomenon and its impact on the agriculture in the country. The Prime Minister said, to save farmers in the country from climate change, the government’s focus is on the fusion of both back to basics and March to future. He emphasized that in the Amrit Kaal, India is focussing on inclusive growth along with higher agriculture growth. Women in agri-sector, are being supported through self-help groups. Mr Modi said, agriculture has the potential to take a large chunk of population out of poverty  and take them towards better life-style.

The Prime Minister said that India is working on a dual strategy. On the one hand, a large part of the land is being brought under irrigation through water conservation and connecting of rivers. Water use efficiency through micro irrigation is being encouraged in areas with limited irrigation, on the other. The Prime Minister said, India has 15 agro climate zones and thus has varied and ancient experience in agriculture. This experience should be made available to all in which ICRISAT should play a bigger role.

Mr Modi said, the Union Budget 2022-23 is focused on natural farming and digital agriculture. Mr Modi emphasized that digital agriculture is the future of the country and called upon the youth to play a greater role in using the advanced technologies and innovative strategies to help small farmers get cost effective but hi tech agri services to enhance their productivity. He listed areas like crop assessment, land records digitization, spraying insecticides and nutrients by drones which are witnessing increased use of technology and artificial intelligence.

Stating that India is running the largest food security programme in the world, Mr Modi said, the focus now is on Nutrition Security. He said, several bio-fortified varieties have been developed in the last 7 years. Stating that the post harvest infrastructure is being strengthened, Mr Modi said, the one lakh crore rupees Agri Infra Fund has helped to develop 35 million tones of cold storage in the country.
Prime Minister Modi assured the small farmers and States on extending all possible support for expansion of oil seed cultivation especially palm oil. He said that National Mission for self-reliance in edible oils indicates India’s new approach. The Mission aims to increase palm oil area by 6 lakh hectare. On Bio fuels, he said International Institutes like ICRISAT should work with Agri Universities on bio fuel research and for their enhanced production.

Addressing the gathering, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Thomar lauded Prime Minister’s visionary initiatives and efforts to make the country self-reliant. He said, the government is committed to ensure the good qualities of millets benefit people at large. He said, at one time, the slogan was ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. When Atal Bihari Vajpayee became Prime Minister, he added ‘Jai Vigyan’ in it and now with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative new slogan ‘Jai Anusandhan’ has been added to it. He urged institutions like ICRISAT to play grater role in addressing Climate Change issues and finding right solutions.

Speaking at the event, ICRISAT Director General Dr Jacqueline Hughes explained the cutting-edge technologies that the ICRISAT developed during the past five decades.

The Prime Minister also visited an exhibition displaying various achievements, scientific agricultural breakthroughs and innovations of the Institute since 1972 which address poverty, malnutrition and environmental degradation in the harshest dryland regions of the world.

The Prime Minister reached Shamshabad Airport in Hyderabad this afternoon. He was received by Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Sounderarajan, Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy and State Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar on his arrival at the airport.

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