President, PM condole Homi Sethna’s death (Second Lead)September 7th, 2010 - 10:37 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Tuesday said India had lost “a true patriot” while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Homi Sethna as the “pillar of India’s nuclear energy programme” as they condoled the death of the eminent nuclear scientist.
“Dr. Sethna played a crucial role in the successful conduct of India’s first peaceful nuclear test in 1974,” Patil said in her condolence message.
“His contributions to development of nuclear energy for peaceful purpose were very important. In his passing away we have lost a well-known nuclear scientist and a true patriot,” she said in a statement issued here.
The prime minister mourned the 86-year-old former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) chairman’s death and described him as the “pillar of India’s nuclear energy programme”.
Sethna died at his Malabar Hills residence in Mumbai Sunday night. His last rites were performed Tuesday.
In his condolence message to the nuclear scientist’s son Rustam Sethna, Manmohan Singh said: “It is with great sorrow that I learnt of the sad demise of your father, Dr. Homi Sethna. Dr. Sethna was a brilliant nuclear scientist and an exceptional human being.”
“His contribution to the development and production of nuclear materials and thereby to the country’s efforts to build energy security is immense. He was a pillar of India’s nuclear energy programme in the early years,” Singh said.
The prime minister said that in his long and illustrious career, Sethna had served the government and many other institutions with great distinction.
“He was widely respected and admired and had the ability to inspire young scientists to give their best in the national cause. His life’s work is a saga of dedication, brilliance and patriotic public service,” Singh said.
Recalling his long and fruitful personal association with the scientist, the prime minister said that he “benefitted greatly from his deep knowledge, insight and vision”.
“He has left behind a void that would be very difficult to fill. In this hour of bereavement, please accept my heartfelt condolences. May God give you the strength to bear this irreparable loss. I offer my deepest prayers for peace of the departed soul,” Singh said.
Minister of State for Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan also expressed grief at Sethna’s demise and noted that the scientist was responsible for developing the first spent fuel reprocessing plant in Asia and played a major role in India’s first successful nuclear tests at Pokhran in 1974.
“Due to the pioneering work of personalities like Dr. Sethna, India proudly stands upright in the field of nuclear energy,” Chavan added.
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