Democracy without scientists, farmers can't make sense: President

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Bengaluru, Oct 25: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said that democracy without scientists, farmers, and labourers cannot make sense. On his maiden visit to Bengaluru after assuming office, the President was speaking at a roundtable interaction with about 30 scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) here. The scientists were from the IISc, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and other institutions in the city. He had visited the Centre for Nano Science and Engineering at IISc. Asserting that science has been India's "intellectual trigger and force multiplier," the President said institutions like the ISRO and the IISc have succeeded in helping farmers in the country and in expanding academic capabilities of India. "We have seen how ISRO succeeded through the efforts of Satish Dhawan (its former Chairman) in combining cutting-edge science with help to farmers," he said. "Today, India is in an unusual situation. We face enormous challenges -- we have to lift our people out of poverty, ensure their health and well-being and ensure our food and energy needs," he said. Knowledge, discovery, innovation and society are the four wheels of the country, he said. "As scientists, you are directly in charge of the three wheels. But unless you connect with the fourth -- society -- we have no future," the President said. The country must generate the same strength, fervour and patriotism to reach "our goals of achieving the real meaning of democracy" by 2022, when India will celebrate 75 years of independence, he added. Principal Scientific Advisor to government of India R. Chidamabaram, ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar, Defence Research Development Organisation Chairman S. Christopher were among those present. On Wednesday, Kovind will address lawmakers of the Karnataka legislature at a joint session to mark the diamond jubilee (60th year) of the iconic Vidhana Soudha, the imposing structure of the legislative building and the state Secretariat in the city centre.