New Delhi: Felicitating the winners of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awards, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday alluded to the announcement of the release of IAF pilot from Pakistan’s custody.

The PM’s comment came shortly after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Indian pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman would be released on Friday.

Addressing the gathering in New Delhi,  PM Modi said a pilot project had been completed, the earlier one was just practice. The PM’s words could also be alluding to the air strikes carried out in Balakot in Pakistan.

“Aap toh laboratory mein zindagi gujarne wale log hain. Aur aap mein pilot project karne ki parampara hoti hain. Aur pilot project hone ke baad scaleable kiya jata hain. Toh abhi abhi ek pilot project ho gaya hain. Abhi real karna hain… Pehle toh practice thi (You spend your lives in a laboratory. And there is a tradition of carrying out pilot project… A pilot project, if successful, is then scaled up. So one pilot project has been completed. The earlier one was just practice),” the PM said.

He said the sentiment in India was at a different level now. “The country has a new confidence… Everyone feels that what was impossible is possible,” he said. This also happens to be the catchline of the current government for the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The Prime Minister also underscored the importance and relevance of science in our lives.

He pointed out how India’s space programme was an example of how amazing results can be achieved despite limited resources if there is a strong will.  PM Modi said our institutions would need to attune themselves to the needs of the day. “We will have to adapt to the future society and economy while harnessing our strengths,” said the PM.

Lauding Indian scientists, PM Modi said our scientific community had always worked for the betterment of mankind.