Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’, which will provide 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha and state assemblies, is a gift by a grateful nation to the women scientists of space agency ISRO.
Initiating a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the success of Chandrayaan-3 mission and other achievements of the nation in the space sector, Singh said that of the 424 foreign satellites launched by India so far, 389 have been launched in the last nine years of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said that with the successful launch of foreign satellites, India’s space sector is rapidly gaining a prominent place in the world.
“This special session of Parliament is dedicated to the ‘Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam’. In such a situation, I consider the bill as a gift presented by a grateful nation to the women scientists of ISRO, and along with them the entire female scientific community of India,” he said amid thumping of desks by members.
He said the House and the nation salute, appreciate and express gratitude to the women scientists of ISRO and every Indian daughter.
The defence minister emphasised that while science is crucial for the development of a nation and humanity at large, culture holds equal importance. He voiced the government’s resolve to provide equal importance to both aspects.
“Science is value neutral. It can give us knowledge of nuclear power, but it is our culture which tells us whether we use that power in the form of energy for our own development or in the form of a weapon to destroy others,” he said.
He said it doesn’t matter how much progress science makes, it will remain incomplete without culture and values.
“As Martin Luther King said: ‘Science gives man knowledge, which is power. Religion gives man wisdom, which is control’. Those who say that we should get rid of our culture and adopt science, they must understand that culture and science complement each other,” he said.
Singh said the sources of this success were hidden in the country’s past, when there was harmony between science and faith.
He said that due to the foreign invaders, there was a halt in the progress, but now once again it is roaring with more strength than before and are ready to touch the sun, moon and stars.
The defence minister stressed the importance of cultural security, describing it as equally important to border, space, cyber, economic, social, food, energy and environmental security.
He said cultural security is necessary to maintain the identity of a nation and the government, while giving importance to Indian cultural heritage, is as serious about cultural security as it is about security issues.
“No nation has made economic, social, political and scientific progress without cultural renaissance,” he said, adding that to take the nation forward, it is imperative to learn from India’s own culture.
Singh said India’s faith and culture is of inclusive nature and its cultural nationalism teaches everyone the concept of brotherhood of all humanity.
He said despite geopolitically difficult global circumstances, India successfully organised the G20 summit and ensured consensus on the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration.
“Behind this is the message given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi: ‘One World, One Family, One Future’. This feeling of India’s global brotherhood was evident when the Prime Minister termed the G20 as not just India’s success but that of the entire world,” he said.
Heartily congratulating the ISRO scientists and the broader Indian scientific community for their successes, the defence minister said it is the result of the intellectual capacity of the ISRO scientists and their dedication towards the development of the nation that today the country has stood in the line of leading nations in the world of science.
The defence minister said the entire nation is proud of these scientists.
“If Chandrayaan-3 has set foot on the Moon, then not only is it a success for ISRO, it is also an indication of the scientific eco-system of our country, in which crores of Indians have contributed,” he said.
Singh said that after Independence, the country has moved forward step by step to reach this stage.
“Therefore, if today we reach any achievement, then all those who gave any kind of support in this journey and gave birth to scientific temperament within the nation are equally deserving of congratulations,” he said.
Singh said it is a natural development of the country’s social, cultural and scientific trend that has been going on for thousands of years.
The defence minister said India will carry out more such missions and the moon mission was just the beginning.
“In the coming times we will reach Mars and Saturn and our country will wave its flag even from those places where no one has been able to reach till now,” he said.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)