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Stress on collaboration, use of technology for sustainable development

By STAFF Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 2 - The Energy and Resources Institute, North Eastern Regional Centre (TERI-NE) organised an interactive session titled, �Synergising Efforts Towards Achieving Sustainable Development Goals 2030� at its city campus here on Tuesday.

The event was attended by Keshab Mahanta, Minister for Science and Technology, Water Resources & IT; Dr RM Dubey, Professor and Head, Centre for Sustainable Development Goals; CK Das, member of North Eastern Council and Dr Arup Kumar Misra, Director of Assam Science Technology and Environment Council, besides officials from various Government departments.

The discussion primarily revolved around the challenges in achieving the goal of sustainable development through the SDGs-2030 and the initiatives undertaken in different sectors towards achieving the same.

Minister Mahanta in his address emphasised the need to collaborate efforts across departments and sectors in order to maximise outcome and also laid stress on the use of technology to promote sustainable development.

Mahanta acknowledged the importance of building partnerships that could play a vital role in achieving SDGs. He informed the meeting that the Government of Assam has installed a floating solar energy centre - the first of its kind in the North East - at Bhurbandha block of Morigaon district.

�Unlike land-based solar plants which require huge land investments, this installed solar energy unit floats on water and saves valuable land for other productive uses,� he said.

Dr Dipankar Saharia, Director of TERI-NE, made a presentation on various efforts undertaken by TERI-NE in the last 24 years to promote sustainable development in the North-east. He discussed TERI-NE�s efforts to enhance livelihood of farmers in a major way by supplying quality planting material to them.

�TERI-NE believes in development of human resources and therefore promotes skill development through its different capacity-building programmes in the fields of agriculture and rural extension services and biotechnology,� he said, and mentioned TERI University�s plan for opening a campus in Guwahati, which would offer several unique professional courses related to sustainability.

He also expressed TERI-NE�s keen interest in working closely with the State Department of Science and Technology and ASTEC to usher in a new phase of technological advancement and development in the years to come.

Dr SK Sinha, senior fellow and area convenor, Biotechnology, TERI-NE, discussed TERI-NE�s latest initiative under India�s flagship programme for achieving SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation for All) - Swachh Bharat Mission, wherein the institute is installing bio-toilets in schools of the North-eastern States.

Dr RM Dubey underlined the need of making concerted efforts in achieving those broad yet interconnected goals. He also highlighted the importance of establishing strong community partnerships for better understanding the needs of people and ensuring higher success in implementation of projects.

CK Das elaborated on the fact that despite the rich depository of natural resources, the North-east region lags behind in socio-economic growth in the country. He also laid stress on the need for improving the work culture and synergising the research and development activities of different institutes in order to realise the potentiality of the region.

Dr Arup Misra delved into the three aspects which comprise sustainable development - social development, economic growth and environmental sustenance. He also spoke about collaboration between TERI and ASTEC in future.

The discussion concluded with a general consensus that, SDGs-2030 cover every sphere of life, and that they are elaborate in nature and one individual department or organisation on its own cannot attain the ultimate goal of sustainable development. Every stakeholder - public, private and community - has a role to play and it is only through concerted efforts that one can progress towards sustainability.

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