President Pranab Mukherjee today underlined the need to redefine the concept of development so that there is no clash between environmental considerations and developmental requirements.
"The country is facing a clash between conservation of resources for future needs and the job of fulfilling basic necessities of the ever-increasing population,"Mukherjee said.
"It is high time we redefine the concept of development in a wider perspective. There should be no confrontation between environment considerations and development requirements," he said.
The President was speaking after inaugurating the 40th Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition for Children at Saramsa in east Sikkim district.
He said the exhibition was organised on the occasion of National Education Day today to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of the first Education Minister of India, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.
Noting that the population of the world had crossed seven billion and India accounted for about one-sixth of it, he said the problem could be compounded further by poverty, hunger, malnutrition and illiteracy, if appropriate steps were not taken immediately.
"There is a need to make our children aware of the nexus between problems like unchecked population growth and energy crisis, depletion of natural resources, pollution of the environment and so on," the President said.
He congratulated the NCERT for its endeavour to popularise science and mathematics and inculcate a scientific temper in the children of India.
Accompanied by Sikkim Governor Shriniwas Patil, Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and Union Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor, Mukherjee went through the 170-odd exhibits with the central theme of 'Science and Society'.
The Governor, in his address, said the exhibition was a platform to exchange ideas among the students of the nation.
The Chief Minister also expressed gratitude to the NCERT for choosing the state as the host of the exhibition.