Sunday 24 October 2021, 06:41 AM
Modi visits Australian varsity, gets on agriculture (Second Lead)
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 11/14/2014 12:00:00 AM

Brisbane Research is the mother of development, visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on an agricultural robot developed by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) during a visit to the university here Friday where he also undertook a tour of an QUT-India project to develop iron-rich bananas.

In his first engagement at Brisbane, where he landed earlier in the day on the second leg of his three-nation visit, Modi visited the QUT.

There was palpable excitement among the student community, which also includes a large number of those of Indian origin.

Modi was asked to write a message on the agricultural robot, and he wrote in Gujarati "research is the mother of development", according to a tweet by the ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

Curious students gathered around the robot to read what the Indian prime minister had written.

A translation of the entire message was posted by the university.

It read: "Research is key to development. There is ongoing relationship between development journey of humankind and research. Increasing dominance of science and technology in the field of agriculture will surely prove to be beneficial to farmers and to the field of agriculture as a whole. It is an important endeavour for the welfare of mankind. Best wishes for your effort."

The Agro Robot is a lightweight machine that performs the functions of a large tractor, including weeding.

Modi was given a tour of The Cube, one of the world's largest interactive learning and display spaces.

He inspected the two-storey-high digital centrepiece of the Science and Engineering Centre, at QUT's Gardens Point campus, where he heard about ground-breaking research and met local high school students.

QUT's latest agricultural robot, AgBot II, has the potential to change farming practices around the globe and early next year will start field trials which will see it seed, weed and fertilize crops, said the university website.

Modi explored the diversity of The Cube, from "Chem World" to the spectacular "Virtual Reef" and "The Cube Globe", which visualised trade and investment opportunities between Queensland and India.

He also met the QUT research team spearheading the university's multi-million dollar partnership with the Indian government to develop iron-rich bananas to help stamp out iron-deficiency anaemia in India, a major cause of maternal death during childbirth.

The joint project has enormous humanitarian potential as iron deficiency is a problem in all developing countries.

Modi was also briefed on a project being jointly led by QUT's Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities and the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, which aims to create cheaper fuels and chemicals from agricultural waste. The project is funded through the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.

QUT's expertise in the development of drought-resistant chickpeas and other pulses, staple foods in India, was also on the prime minister's itinerary. The development of new varieties of pulses such as chickpeas and mung beans should allow Australia and potentially other nations such as India, to be able to farm land currently considered unsuitable for production, said the university.

As income levels rise within the Asian region in particular there will be unprecedented demand for protein and this void will be filled by pulses rather than livestock.

QUT Vice-Chancellor Peter Coaldrake and Arun Sharma, deputy vice-chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) welcomed Modi to QUT, along with Australian Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce MP.

"It was a huge honour for QUT to welcome Prime Minister Modi to our world-class Science and Engineering Centre," Coaldrake said.

The prime minster also wished the children on Children's Day, celebrated on the birth anniversary of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

"I am fortunate to be among children on Chacha Nehru's birthday," an MEA tweet cited Modi as saying.

Many researchers of the Indian origin community were seen taking selfies with the prime minister.

Modi arrived earlier in the day from Myanmar to attend the G20 summit.

He is the first Indian prime minister to visit Australia since Rajiv Gandhi in 1986.
 

 

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Modi visits Australian varsity, gets update on agriculture (Second Lead)

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