New Delhi: Expressing serious concern over “deliberate weaponisation of dangerous pathogens”, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Thursday stressed on the need to build comprehensive national capabilities and bio-defence, bio-safety and bio-security.
“The deliberate weaponisation of dangerous pathogens is a serious concern. This has heightened the need to build comprehensive national capabilities and bio-defence, bio-safety, and bio-security,” Doval said speaking on ‘National security preparedness in the age of disasters and pandemics’ at the Pune Dialogue on National Security (PDNS) 2021 organised by Pune International Centre.
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The National Security Advisor also expressed concern over the issue of climate change.
Stating disasters and pandemics are borderless threats that cannot be combated in isolation, he said there was a need to evolve strategies to maximise our gains and minimise the losses.
Doval said the most enduring message of the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change is that only the well-being of all will ensure the survival of all, PTI reported.
The National Security Advisor said the pandemic has further reinforced the need to predict threats and while biological research has legitimate scientific purposes, its dual-use application can be misused.
Doval said climate change is another threat, which multiplies with unpredictable consequences.
Underlining “climate change can accelerate instability and cause massive population displacement”, he said: “It impacts the availability of resources, which are increasingly becoming scarce and could become a source of conflict than the competition.”
“By 2030, 600 million people in India are expected to live in urban areas. Migrations from low-lying coastal areas in South Asia due to climatic change can add to the already stressed urban infrastructure,” Doval added.
Talking about national security and environment, the National Security Advisor said there is a need to “reinvent and innovate ourselves as rapid industrial developments are taking place with fourth industrial revolution technologies such as AI, autonomous and unmanned systems and digital infrastructures”.
Doval said that climate change, environmental degradation and pollution are realities that threaten survival.
Emphasizing India is committed to meeting its climatic goals and has already undertaken several measures, the National Security Advisor said the important climate change summit is coming up in Glasgow in early November.
“Harmony with nature has been a cornerstone of the Indian civilization. Preservation of the environment, while perceiving its ambitious goals is a guiding doctrine of present government development policies,” he added.
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Doval further said the country’s per-capita greenhouse emission, with a population of 1,300 million, is 2.47 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
He added that a series of measures are being undertaken to de-carbonize India’s economy.