GUWAHATI, Sept 15 � The year-long silver jubilee celebration of Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development (OKDISCD), the premiere institute of social science in the North-east, got under way today. The programme started with the plantation of 25 saplings in the morning. Professor Atul Sarma, Chairman of the OKDISCD and Professor Bhupen Sarmah, Director of OKDISCD planted the saplings along with other members of the Institute. Professor Surinder Kumar, Director, Giri Institute of Development Studies, Lucknow and Professor DM Diwakar, Director, AN Sinha Institute, Patna were also present on the occasion, said a press release here.
The silver jubilee programme of the Institute was formally inaugurated by noted academics Professor Mrinal Miri, a member of Rajya Sabha and the Chairman, Indian Council of Philosophical Research. Delivering the inaugural address on �Idea of Research� Professor Miri stressed on the non-linear, inter- disciplinary and autonomous nature of knowledge contrary to application-oriented and problem-solving nature of knowledge. He further observed that within the diversity of ideas, it is still possible to find nuanced areas of convergence within the broad ambit of knowledge building and research. This, he said, may question the idea of immediate relevance in research in general.
Marking the occasion, four books of the Institute namely, Neo-Liberal States and its Challenges, The Look East Policy, Education for Capability, Tea Small Holdings of Assam along with its journal Social Change Development and a commemorative volume recounting the journey of the Institute OKDISCD: Twenty Five Years and Beyond were also released.
The inaugural programme was chaired by Professor Atul Sarma, Chairperson of the Institute. Jatin Hazarika, H N Das and Bhaskar Barua, who were the founding members of the Institute way back in late 70s, shared the dais as special guests and spoke about their reminiscences. Professor AC Bhagabati, the first Director of the Institute was also present on the occasion and recollected his association with the Institute in the initial years.
While welcoming the august audience, Professor Bhupen Sarmah, the Director of the Institute dwelt briefly about the trajectory of the Institute in historical perspective. He also outlined the series of programmes and activities that have been planned in next couple of months as a part of silver jubilee celebration. He said that around eight seminars and conferences on various fundamental issues have been planned which include, Public Provisioning in Basic Services, Ideology and Social Sciences, Environment and Development Trade-off, Impediments to the Look East Policy for Northeast India, and Demographic Transformation in Northeast India.
Apart from these seminars, there will be three special seminars on the contemporary society, polity and economy to be held in Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Besides seminars, a Science-Social Science Interface will also be organised with an objective of bridging the gap of interaction between Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. Further, a lecture series has also been planned to be delivered by prominent social scientists from across the country covering important social sciences. The celebration will end with a meet of social scientists, he remarked.