For the first time in the history of the oldest tea research centre in the world, the Tocklai Tea Research Institute (TTRI) here, a scientist of the institute Somnath Roy, has been elected as “Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society London” (FRES).
Roy is the second entomologist in the state after Mantu Bhuyan of North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) here to have achieved this distinction.
The recognition could not have come at a more opportune moment as this British era research centre earlier known as Tocklai Experimental Station is facing a credibility crisis vis severe fund crunch and consequent stalling of research projects.
The more than 100 year old research institute is fighting for survival, its working atmosphere marred by frequent strikes by employees protesting against non-payment of arrears in salaries and other dues. It is also facing downsizing.
Director of TTRI AK Barooah said that It was a recognition of excellence by the Royal Entomological Society.
“Somnath’s achievement has come at a time when TRA has been suffering from negative propaganda. We all must look ahead and work collectively rising above everything else. We are proud of Roy,” he said.
Fellows are normally nominated and selected through a peer review process on the basis of their significant contributions to insect science.
TRA congratulated Roy on this achievement and his contributions to the industry.
Barooah further said that his achievement showed what the Tea Research Association (TRA) scientists could do if they didn’t waste their time and always remain focused.
“TRA scientists have to face real life challenges offered by the Industry and offer solutions. You don’t have to worry about critics who will try to pull you down at the slightest pretext,” he said.
In 2018 senior scientist of Jorhat based NEIST Mantu Bhuyan was also elected as a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society London (FRES).
Many pioneering scientists including Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace were also the alumni fellow of the society.