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Call for research on problems facing NE

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 22 - Renowned astrophysicist and the man behind India�s Moon Mission, Jitendra Nath Goswami today urged the IIT Guwahati and other institutes of the region to initiate consolidated research projects, which are pertinent to the needs of the North East.

�I would also like to request IIT Guwahati, and the faculty in particular, to initiate consolidated research projects that are pertinent to the multifarious needs of the North East, so that one can have scientific rather than ad-hoc solutions for problems in many sectors that continue to plague all the north-eastern States. Being an Assamese by birth and educated in school, college and university in this State, I wish to see the university system in the seven States in the North East contributing significantly in tackling some of the local problems, starting with tackling the perennial floods to conservation of ecosystems, which unfortunately is not happening, even though some small and notable steps have been initiated,� he said while addressing the 18th convocation of the institute at its premises.

He added, �I feel IIT Guwahati and the two Central universities � at Tezpur and Silchar � should take a lead and coordinate along with the other universities in the North East in chalking out a holistic and workable plan of action to tackle at least some, if not all the problems, faced in this region of the country. I am sure quite a few of the Central agencies, including Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which has a centre in Shillong, will be happy to contribute in such effort.�

Goswami, also a Honorary Professor and former Director of Physical Research Laboratory (Ahmedabad), was the chief guest on the occasion.

He added that IIT Guwahati has already taken some steps in this direction by being a part of programmes like the Ishan Vikas, that provide opportunity for school children from North East to have exposure to premier institutions like IIT Guwahati; the Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan, that involves adopting schools in its neighbourhood to develop infrastructure and experimental facilities, and Unnat Bharat Abhiyan by adopting model villages for unified development through sustainable technologies.

�Participation in these programmes provides a very significant exposure to the students who can move out of their ivory tower, the class room, hostel and the campus, and see and experience problems faced by people at various social and economic strata... Enriching the life of the local people and maintaining their cultural heritage are a great challenge. In this respect, the IIT Guwahati�s drive in implementing Unnat Bharat is indeed praiseworthy. It is heartening that the �logo� of Unnat Bharat Abhiyan was designed by a student from IIT Guwahati. The challenge for the IIT Guwahati is to realize the expected deliverables and broaden the scope by bringing others into the fold. Given the current background and activities, I am confident that IIT Guwahati will be up to it,� said Goswami.

�Knowledge economy is a buzzword today. Thanks to the academic environment in the country, India is now going through a new phase and capturing world attention and respect. We must ensure that we keep this intact and the only way is to be in the forefront of all areas, academic, technical and entrepreneurship excellence coupled with societal uplift... This was unthinkable in the last century. Now is the time and all of you are in the driver�s seat,� he told the graduating students.

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