TEZPUR, June 2 - In a bid to combat climate change and its impact on various eco-systems, particularly in the Himalayan ecosystem of the Northeastern region, vice-chancellors of (public) universities of all Northeastern States held a brainstorming session at Tezpur University (TU) yesterday.
Initiated by Tezpur University, the brainstorming 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), Govt of India, and was attended by representatives of all Central/State universities of NE region, including Prof. Alak Kumar Buragohain, Vice Chancellor of Dibrugarh University, Prof. AK Ghosh, VC of Tripura University, Dr Mridul Hazarika, Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University and Prof. VK Jain, Vice Chancellor of 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 one and 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 next 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 has been intensely studied, it is not so with the eastern part of the Himalayas. �I hope that the outcome of the session would crystalise the thrust areas of research relevant to the needs of the 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 eco-system for Indian Himalayan Region� as a part of the Central Government�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 of 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 the choice to choose their own research area and come up with their proposed plan,� he further added. Under HICAB, each northeastern State will have one Centre of Excellence and the deadline to allot CoEs would be by March 31 next, he mentioned.
Prof. Sudip Mitra, Associate Professor in the Centre for Rural Technology, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Dr Pallab Sarmah, Chief Scientist of Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Prof. Parthakar Choudhury, HoD, Ecology & Environment Science, Assam University, Silchar, Prof. Amitava Mitra, Department of Economics, Rajiv Gandhi University, Doimukh, Prof. Shrikant Tripathi, HoD, Department of Forestry, Mizoram University, Aizawl, Prof. Devesh Walia, HoD, Department 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.