Vice-Chancellors of (public) universities of all Northeastern states held a brainstorming session at Tezpur University(TU) on Friday.
The purpose of this session was to brainstorm ideas in a bid to combat climate change and its impact on various ecosystems particularly in the Himalayan ecosystem of Northeastern region.
Initiated by Tezpur University, the session was headed by Dr Akhilesh Gupta, Adviser/Scientist-G and Head, Strategic Programmes, Large Initiatives and Coordinated Action Enabler (SPLICE) and Climate Change Programme, Department of Science &Technology(DST), Government of India and was attended by representatives of all central/state universities of NE region including Professor Alak Kr Buragohain, VC, Dibrugarh University, Professor AK Ghosh, VC, Tripura University, Dr Mridul Hazarika, VC, Gauhati University and Professor VK Jain, VC, Tezpur University.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Jain said that the objective of the session is to explore possibilities of combining resources of all the universities of NE region to create an integrated platform to deal with the issue of climate change and its implications for water resources, biological wealth (biodiversity), energy security, food security, tourism and sustainable livelihood of NE states.
He further said that since climate change will impact all, a regional climate change monitoring mechanism will help the NE region. He hoped that the deliberations in the session would be a prelude to the Vice Chancellors’ Round Table and National Workshop to be held during June 28-30, in New Delhi.
Dr Akhilesh Gupta, while giving a detailed presentation on India’s recent progress in science discovery said that India’s future is in the hands of the universities. “There is huge potential in our universities” the noted scientist said. He observed that although the western part of the Himalayas is intensely studied; the eastern part of the Himalayas is not studied that deeply. “I hope that the outcome of the session would crystallize the thrust areas of research relevant to the needs of north-eastern region” he said.
Dr. Gupta further explained that the session would also provide useful inputs for the DST’s proposed programme “Human and Institutional Capacity Building (HICAB)” in Climate Change and Himalayan ecosystem for Indian Himalayan Region as a part of Govt. of India’s National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem(NMSHE). The entire HICAB programme is envisaged to focus on universities/national institutions and their research faculties.
“This programme (HICAB) comprises mainly four components, viz., Centres of Excellence (CoEs), Major R&D Projects (MRDPs), Human Capacity Building Programme (HCBPs) and Network Programme (NetPro)” he said. “The idea is to give all states to choose their own research area and come up with their proposed plan” he further added. Under HICAB, each Northeastern states will have one Centre of Excellence and the deadline to allot CoEs would be by March 31, he mentioned.
Prof. Sudip Mitra, Associate Professor, Centre for Rural Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Dr. Pallab Sarmah, Chief Scientist, Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat,Prof. Parthakar Choudhury, HoD, Ecology & Environment Science, Assam University, Silchar, Prof. AmitavaMitra, Dept. of Economics, Rajiv Gandhi University, Doimukh, Prof. Shri Kant Tripathi, HoD, Dept. of Forestry, Mizoram University, Aizawl, Prof. DeveshWalia, HoD, Dept. of Environmental Science, North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong, Dr. Aditi Bhadra, Associate Professor, North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology, (Itanagar) gave brief presentations and highlighted their institutions core research areas on climate change.