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Former Indian president suggests focus for transformation of Nepal
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13:07, November 18, 2008

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Visiting former Indian President Dr. A P. J Abdul Kalam suggested to focus on five key areas for societal transformation of Nepal -- agriculture, education, healthcare, infrastructure and tourism development, local newspaper The Rising Nepal reported Tuesday.

Kalam, who arrived Nepali capital Kathmandu on a two-day visit on Monday, spoke in a talk program on "Dynamics of Societal Transformation" shortly after his arrival. The colloquium was organized by the B.P Koirala Foundation and Kathmandu University.

Presenting his suggestion to Nepali government, Kalam said peace is the essential ingredient for accelerating development. "Based on the experiences of the execution of the interim plan, Nepal can draw a 10-year vision with the help of public, private and academic partnership," he said.

He forwarded the objectives of ten-year vision to increase the per capita income of Nepal from the present 380 U.S. dollars to at least 2,000 U.S. dollars and realizing 100 percent literacy including the people living in hilly region.

"Besides, the government should provide value added employment to all youth of Nepal and reduce Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and provide quality health care to every citizen," he said.

For meeting the above objectives, Kalam suggested large scale plantation of herbs and conservation of herbs to drugs, large scale commissioning of hydropower-plants and windmills, software intensive industries and promote tourism.

The former Indian president said, "Efforts should be made to upgrade the quality of life of the citizens living both in rural and urban areas."

Kalam claimed that the those missions will ensure provisions of large scale employment, enhance literacy, provide quality health care and bridge the rural urban divide of the country as well.

"The realization of the visions of transforming Nepal into a developed nation before 2018 can be achieved by energizing the minds of all the 16 million youths of the country," he added.

Kalam is scheduled to take part in the 14th convocation ceremony of Kathmandu University on Tuesday. He will address the function at the university based in Kavre district, about 40 km east of Nepali capital Kathmandu.

During his stay in Kathmandu, he will meet President Ram Baran Yadav and other top political leaders of Nepal.

Source:Xinhua



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