New Delhi: In what could send political ripples, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has pinned blame on some US-based NGOs for difficulties at the Kudankulam nuclear plant, stating that nuclear energy still have a role in India.

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The Prime Minister said some NGOs do not appreciate India's growing energy requirements. "The atomic energy programme has gone into difficulties because these NGOs, mostly I think based in the United States, don't appreciate the need for our country to increase the energy supply," he told the 'Science' magazine referring to Kudankulam where commissioning of two 1000-mw nuclear reactors has been stalled due to protests.

To a question on government putting a moratorium on the release of Bt brinjal, Singh said biotechnology has enormous potential and in due course of time India must make use of genetic engineering technologies to increase agricultural produce.

"But there are controversies. There are NGOs, often funded from the United States and the Scandinavian countries, which are not fully appreciative of the development challenges that our country faces. But we are a democracy, we are not like China," he said.

On his recent observation that China has overtaken India in science, Singh said the two countries are engaged in a stage of development where "we have both to compete and, we've had in the past problems way back in the 1960s, but we are finding pathways to promote cooperation."

(JPN/ Agencies)