JORABAT, April 1 - Academic discourses by eminent scholars and researchers and the sharing of success stories of entrepreneurial ventures of some highly educated youths towards rural transformation were the main foci of the two-day ICSSR-sponsored national seminar on the topic, �Transformation of Rural India: Challenges towards Sustainability� organised by the Department of Geography, Sonapur College on March 29 and 30.
The seminar was organised in collaboration with the State Institute of Panchayat and Rural Development (SIPRD), Assam and supported by Daffodil Nursery Old, Khetri and Assam Branch of Indian Tea Association (ABITA). Noted academicians of the region attended the seminar besides students, researchers, scholars and faculty members from different states of the region.
The inaugural session on March 29 was presided over by distinguished scholar and professor in the Department of Geography, Gauhati University Dr Abani Kumar Bhagabati.
Dr Amiya Kr Sarma, Executive Director of Rashtriya Gramin Vikash Nidhi Guwahati who gave the keynote address, spoke on various aspects of rural transformation and the role of stakeholders. Sharing his experiences in various parts of the State, he said a sustainable rural transformation could be possible only if the farming practices become sustainable. Adequate market prices for the products and provision for financial aid through micro financing to the farmers are some vital prerequisites for rural transformation, he said.
Expressing his apprehensions, Dr Sarma said that the absence of a strong regulatory body to look after the micro financing organisations may create a messy situation in future.
Inaugurating the seminar, Prof Haren Sarma, retired head of the Department of Geography, GU talked about various implications of urban sprawling, especially in the physical environment. He pointed out that urbanisation and urban sprawling are the essential fallouts of population growth and the development initiatives of human beings but its inevitable consequence is the destruction of the pristine and delicate ecosystems.
The session was also addressed by Pabitra Kalita, Deputy Director of SIPRD, Assam and Dr Nikhil Kumar, Education Officer, UGC, NERO.
In the plenary session a joint presentation was made by Puspadhar Das and Dr Manjib Sarma, two highly educated young men who preferred to join hands in the process of rural transformation as farmers on the topic �Transformation of Rural Economy through Farm Mechanisation, Value Addition and Marketing: Two Case Studies of Baksa District and Sitajakhala�.
Puspadhar Das is a graduate from St Stephen�s College, Delhi and an MBA degree holder from IIM Bangalore, while Manjib Sarma is a PhD holder in political science. Eighty-eight papers were presented at the seminar.