(Eds: Adding quotes) Gandhinagar, Nov 21 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the country was moving forward with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30 to 35 per cent.
He also said that efforts were on to increase the use of natural gas by four times in this decade and to double the oil refining capacity in the next five years.
The prime minister said this while addressing the eighth convocation of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University (PDPU) here via video conference.
'Today, the country is moving forward with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 30 to 35 per cent. When I told this to the world, it expressed surprise and wondered if India could achieve this,' he said.
'Our effort is to increase the share of natural gas in our energy needs by four times in this decade. Work is also on to nearly double the oil refining capacity in the coming five years,' he added.
He also expressed confidence that the country will achieve its renewable energy generation target 'before time'.
'Today, per unit cost (of solar power) has come down to less than Rs 2 from Rs 12-13 earlier. Today, solar power has become the country's priority. We have made a commitment to generate 175 gigawatt renewable energy and I am confident that we will achieve this before 2022,' he said.
'Also, our renewable energy target of 450 gigawatt by 2030, a big aim, will be achieved before time...I am confident of that,' he said.
Modi said that the oil and gas sector will see an investment of crores of rupees in this decade, which will create opportunities for the graduating students of the university in the fields of research, manufacturing and others.
He also said that work is underway to strengthen the start-ups ecosystem related to the energy security sector, and a special fund has been allocated for the purpose.
'If you have any idea, product or any concept which you want to incubate, then this fund will be a good opportunity for you, and a gift from the government,' he said.
The PM said that despite the hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the graduating students should remember that their strength and capacities are much bigger than the challenges, and asked them not to lose confidence.
'What is more important than problems is your purpose, preference and your commitment. This is not that you are facing a challenge for the first time in your life, or that this is the last challenge. It is not the case that a successful person does not have problems. But those who accept the challenges and defeat them are the ones who succeed,' he said.
He asked the students to recall the period of the country's Independence movement and how people sacrificed their lives for it. He asked them to similarly become a soldier for 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.
He said that those who succeed in life possess a sense of responsibility.
'There is a lot to do for the country, but your commitment, your aim should not be fragmented. You see that only they become successful in life who do something with a sense of responsibility...Failures are those who live with a sense of burden. The youth of the 21st century should go ahead with a clean slate. The concept that 'nothing will change' will have to be cleaned...,' he said.
The PM asked the students to take sustained efforts as it will bring about positive results.
He said the 'Clean India' programme was an example of this, and said small efforts of crores of people turned it into a movement.
During his address, he also recalled how his decision to segregate domestic and agriculture feeders made it possible for the households to get 24-hour electricity in Gujarat.
Modi inaugurated five state-of-the-art facilities to mark the eighth convocation of the PDPU.
The facilities he unveiled at the university are a 45 -MW production of monocrystalline solar photovoltaic panel, a tech business incubator, a sports complex, and a Translational Research Centre at the PDPU, as well as an Indo-EU bilateral project under Horizon 2020 'India-h2o' for industrial waste and desalination.
Modi also suggested the state government to change the name of the Petroleum University to Energy University.
'Looking at the requirement of the country and the world, and the way the university has taken its shape, I would request the state government to, if required, change the law, to better convert its name as an Energy University. Its expansion as Energy University will benefit the country a lot,' he said.
'I would request you (the state government) to consider associating the entire energy sector with this university in place of only the petroleum sector,' he said.
PTI KA PD VT NP NP