Natural History Institute and Museum to be setup in North East

dsc_0406JNS: “North East Natural History Conclave” was organised by North East Watch in collaboration with Transformation and Development Department of Government of Assam at Assam Administrative Staff College, Khanapara.

The conclave was inaugurated by noted journalist D.N. Bezbaruah, Former President, Editors’ Guild of India. Speaking on the occasion Bezbaruah stressed that it is high time to think things in Northeast India in a much bigger way like the manner in which North East Natural History initiative has been envisioned. The natural history of Northeast India needs much more attention in the years to come for sustainable development. Considering the opinions and suggestions of the participants, a Natural History Museum and Institute can be visualised and established, he added.

The Concept Note of the “North East Natural History Institute and Eco-museum Heritage” was presented by Dr. Manjil Hazarika on behalf of North East Watch. Dr. B. Venugopal, Former Director, National Museum of Natural History, Delhi; Prof. Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri, Director, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal; Dr. R.K. Ranjan Singh, Environmentalist, Manipur; Madan Prasad Bezbaruah, IAS (Retd.), Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India shared their views on the establishment of a natural history institute and museum in the region. On the occasion, a souvenir book was released by Prof. Kulendu Pathak, Former Vice Chancellor of Dibrugarh University.

In the first technical session, chaired by Dr. B.K. Dutta, Member, North Eastern Council, Government of India and moderated by Prof. Chandan Mahanta of Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, the invited speakers Dr. B. Venugopal, Dr. R.K. Ranjan Singh, Prof. Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri, and Prof. V.L. Dharurkar, Vice Chancellor of Tripura University presented their papers. The second technical session for open discussion was chaired by Sri Madan Prasad Bezbaruah, Permanent Representative, UN-World Tourism Organisation and moderated by Dr. Sanjeeb Kakoty, Indian Institute of Management, Shillong. In the open discussion, Prof. Mridul Hazarika, Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University and several eminent personalities, invited guests and students shared their views on the establishment of the Institute.

While concluding the Conclave, Madan Prasad expressed his happiness as all the participants endorsed the idea of establishing the North East Natural History Institute. There is a need for collaboration and networking among all the interested organisations and institutes for leading the initiatives further. The ethnic communities living in Northeast India must be considered as stakeholders. Long term and short term plans and goals have to be framed. The technical experts should come up together to prepare the blue-print of the initiative and then approach different government and private agencies for financial support.

The conclave was well attended by over 150 participants comprising natural scientists, concerned citizens and faculty members and students of Assam University, Assam Skill Development Mission, Bombay Natural History Society, BKB College, Cotton University, Dibrugarh University, Gauhati University, GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development, Handique Girl’s College, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, KKH State Open University, Manipur University, Nagaland University, North East Christian University, North Lakhimpur Autonomous College, OKD Institute of Social Change and Development, Pragjyotish Centre for Cultural Research, Rajib Gandhi University, Royal Global University, Saint Claret College, Tinsukia College, Tripura University and University of Science and Technology Meghalaya. The meeting ended with a vote of thanks by Ms. Gangotri Bhuyan, on behalf of North East Watch.

In the Inaugural Session, the Chairman of North East Watch, Sri B.K. Saikia welcomed all the dignitaries and participants coming from different states in his introductory speech.

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