GUWAHATI, Dec 11 � An Assamese teacher has been honoured with the highest award in teaching in an Australian university.
Dr Udoy Sankar Saikia, who is currently working as the Associate Director of Applied Population Studies Programme at Flinders University, South Australia, has recently been selected for �Vice-Chancellor�s Award for Excellence in Teaching� for the year 2011.
This is highest award category in teaching in an Australian university and normally awarded to only one teacher every year.
Dr Saikia has been awarded for his �sustained commitment to effective and policy relevant teaching through constructivist curriculum design to foster independent learning and empower students to achieve their goals in life.�
Dr Saikia�s achievement as a teacher in an overseas university is inspiring to the Assamese community given the fact that he completed his school and college education in Assamese medium.
Among various achievements during his student career, Dr Saikia received the Indian Friends of �London School of Economics Award� in 1994, and the �Australian Geographical Society�s Best Student Presentation Award� in 2000.
An economist/demographer by profession (MSc from the London School of Economics and PhD from Flinders University), Dr Saikia�s achievements in academic research have been demonstrated through many peer reviewed research publications and two commissioned reports, several conference presentations and two international awards (one from Germany and one from New Zealand).
As an international consultant to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Dr Saikia co-authored the first Human Development Report for Autonomous Region of Bougainville- an island in Papua New Guinea. His area of research broadly covers population and sustainable development issues in Asia and the Pacific regions.
Dr Saikia is currently the vice-president of the Executive Council, Australian Population Association � the top research and advisory body on Australian population.
Dr Saikia, who has been residing in Australia for last 13 years, has a strong connection with grassroots developmental work in Assam. Dr Saikia originally comes from Tarajan Kakoti Gaon, Jorhat, and is son of the late Dr Padma Dhar Saikia and Santi Prova Saikia.