GUWAHATI, Dec 29 - To start the year ahead with positive notes from various fields of activity, the All Guwahati Students� Union and Assam Unnati Sabha organized a programme, �Ashar Asom�, at the Vivekananda Kendra here today.
A practice since 2001, �Ashar Asom� has become a prominent annual event of the calendar that brings to light several known and little-known stories of positive events in the State through experts in the field.
Pointing out some of the optimistic developments in the field of education, Dr Balendra Kumar Das, Principal of the West Guwahati College, mentioned the conferring of the Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award to the Assam Agricultural University and the news of SEBA regional offices in Jorhat and another one coming up at Silchar for a better management of functions.
�Another positive development was the initiative to reintroduce History and Geography courses in the school curriculum along with Spoken English. The Krishna Kanta Handiqui Open State University Award to Professor Jitendranath Goswami and fellowship to Jahnu Barua were very laudable steps taken by the institution,� he added.
Pointing out the silver lining in the field of politics and current affairs, senior journalist Ronen Goswami lauded the role of the All Assam Students� Union in the political sphere by raising crucial issues from time to time. He also mentioned the Police Commissionerate in Guwahati, HS Brahma�s tenure as the Chief Election Commissioner of India, 72 per cent voter turnout in the urban local bodies� election in the State, breakthrough in some high-profile cases involving politicians and corporates, among others.
�Despite the politics of polarization being played directly and indirectly in the State, people of Assam have still maintained their rationality by not falling prey to the subversive elements. Issues that reach alarming zenith in other parts of the country, have not been successful here to create divide on the basis of caste, creed, religion, etc. We hope the election of 2016 also witnesses the same prudence by the people,� he added.
On the cultural side, playwright Rituparna Das pointed out some exceptional work being done by amateur theater activists in several parts of the State. �With their unique style, people like Rafiqul Hussain and others are bringing theatre closer to people,� he said. He also mentioned about the eight films released this year and other 50 films under production as a ray of hope for the ailing film industry.
�Good commercial success for Ahetuk by Bani Das, a mobile cinema hall in North Guwahati, a painting exhibition by cartoonist Mubin Rabha and others can be termed as positive events,� he added. As a tradition of Ashar Asom, several members from the audience, including educationists, journalists and eminent citizens, also provided some add-on information.
In the field of economics, Dr Surajit Bhagawati, Associate Professor of Nagaon College, said that though the agriculture sector recorded a growth of 3.52 per cent, the outgoing year recorded highest rice production in the State. Horticultural products also witnessed a significant growth. Industry being among the most successful sectors recorded 7.3 per cent growth. Apart from small-scale industries, the Cement Corporation of India is coming up with a cement factory worth Rs 30.68 crore in the State, with an annual production capacity of 82 tonne. The Gas Cracker Project nearing completion would fulfil a long cherished dream,� he added.
Outlining the achievements in the literary filed, noted writer Pankaj Thakur mentioned about the ongoing preparation for the centenary celebration of the Asam Sahitya Sabha, and the initiative taken by the organization to translate 100 books in Assamese and other languages that would enrich the literary world. �The Sabha is also planning to create a Rs 10-crore corpus fund. Rita Choudhury�s Deolangkhui translated in Bodo language, Sahitya Akademi awards to Kula Saikia and Brajen Brahma, Pandit Tirthanath Sarma-Nirmala Devi Award to Ananda Bormudoi, Padma Shri to Lakshmi Nandan Bora, People of the Year Award to Dr Nagen Saikia by the Limca Book of Records were some of the highlights in the literary field this year, he recalled.
Finally, pointing out the achievements in the field of sports, sports journalist Sushim Ranjan Ghosh said that the year was a fruitful one with sportspersons in Assam making their presence felt in the fields like boxing, archery, athletics, weightlifting, chess and cricket, among others. �While sportspersons like Shiva Thapa, Himanu Boro, Sanjay Boro and Jayanta Talukdar achieved in their respective fields, several women sportspersons also made the State proud,� he stated. Making a special mention of Assam�s performance in Ranji Trophy, he said fast bowler Krishna Das emerged as a star player who has a very good future.