GUWAHATI, Nov 18 - The Centre�s oft-repeated assertions about addressing the developmental issues of the Northeast sound hollow given the ground realities. A case in point is the reluctance of the New Delhi-based North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR) under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to shift to Shillong even after seven years of its creation.
This is all the more surprising because NECTAR is officially headquartered in Shillong and mandated to function from there for the obvious reason of connecting with the various stakeholders, including entrepreneurs of the region. But for some inexplicable reasons, it has not yet deemed it fit to function from Shillong.
Even an instruction from the DST, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, asking NECTAR to shift to Shillong by December 24, 2016 had failed to yield any result. The issue has been widely highlighted by the media but things have not changed.
NECTAR is organising a �One-day Brain Storming Conclave � Transforming NE Region through Science and Technology Interventions� on November 20 in Guwahati, and according to many stakeholders of the region, they were not invited to the event.
�NECTAR has invited selected individuals without any advertisement or press release, and as such many aspirants are not aware of the conclave. One of the main topics of their presentation is �Bamboo Technology� and they have knowingly ignored our association which is an all-India body with many veteran bamboo entrepreneurs who have mostly developed their technology or standardised the process parameters through their in-house expertise,� Rajib Goswami, president of the Bamboo Industries Association of India (BIAI), said.
Goswami added that entrepreneurs in the bamboo sector as also in other areas were not benefitting from NECTAR, as they did not have any access to it. �Had it functioned from Shillong as was mandated, it could have easily reached out to a large number of entrepreneurs and assessed and addressed their issues. Our entrepreneurs are in urgent need of wide-ranging interventions such as guidance, consultation, technological innovations, etc. How can all this happen when NECTAR shies away from functioning from here,� he questioned.
A letter from DST to Sanjiv Nair, then Director General, NECTAR, dated October 24, 2016, stated that the DST Secretary had instructed that NECTAR must relocate to Shillong within two months (starting from the date of the letter, i.e. October 24). �...the instructions of Secretary, DST, are followed up in the right earnest and the actions taken are reported back to us promptly,� the letter added.