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India needs to strengthen research and development to achieve economic growth, says a NITI Aayog member

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Saturday, 8 August,Mumbai: To achieve economic growth, India needs to strengthen research and development capabilities to become self-sufficient and bring down dependency on other countries for technology, NITI Aayog member V K Saraswat has said.

“Energy security is an important area which needs to be tackled if we have to achieve economic growth. But for energy security, we will have to undertake more and more R&D to improve generation efficiency while ensuring limited damage to environment,” Saraswat told reporters on the sidelines of 10th anniversary of Homi Bhabha National Institute at BARC.

The Centre has taken various initiatives in the R&D space for improving efficiency of existing power plants to reduce carbon emissions and increase coal gasification, he said.

“We are working on introducing advanced super critical thermal plants to improve power generation efficiency. We have large coal reserves but the coal quality is not good enough for higher production.

“Therefore, we are working on how to improve the quality of domestic coal. We are carrying out research on underground coal gasification for this,” he added.

Underground coal gasification converts coal in the ground into combustible gas which can be used for power generation, among other things.

Saraswat also said that the government will continue to focus on clear and green sources of energy.

“It is the present government’s vision to have 24×7 uninterrupted supply of electricity through clean sources like bio-gas and solar. But for this, there is a need for proper storage of power generated in batteries. We are working on developing technology for enhancing storage capacity of lithium battery,” he added.

The government intends to reduce dependence on other countries for technologies, he said.

“We might look at tie-ups with other countries to ensure energy security. But the tie-ups would be purely for technical know-how. We want to reduce our dependency on other countries and become self-sufficient,” he added.

PTI