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Use RTI, promote 'Naturenomics': Experts tell Assam MLAs

Experts called upon legislators in Assam on Tuesday to push for formulation of a three pronged peace policy to tackle insurgency, urged the elected representatives to elicit information related to public interest through use of the right to information and press the State Government to prepare a development strategy by merging nature with economics.

The suggestions were made during the sixth and final phase of Sabal Bidhayak, a series of orientations initiated by the Assam Legislative Assembly in collaboration with Guwahati-based research institute, Centre for Development and Peace Studies. About 30 speakers representing different fields from within and outside Assam addressed the legislators since the programme was launched October 2 last year by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Addressing the gathering that included several civil society representatives, Assam’s Chief Information Commissioner Himangshu Shekhar Das said that the use of RTI as a tool to seek information in the state is very low and that it is only about one-tenth of the national average. He also disclosed that of the total RTI applications filed, around 80 per cent are moved by 10 to 15 individuals. Das added that very few RTI applications are filed by intellectuals, media personnel and women. He called upon the Assam MLAs to use RTI in a big way to seek information from government departments to serve the people better.

Speaking on the occasion, Nath Gopal Mahanta, Head, Department of Political Science, Gauhati University said that the government should come up with a peace policy at three levels—macro, micro and district level. The macro level, he said, should involve the Central Government, the micro level should be initiated by the state government and the district level peace policy should deal with the fragmented militant groups. He emphasized the need to involve the civil society and consider their views during the peace negotiations and eventual signing of peace agreements.

In his address, L R Bishnoi, Additional Director General of Police (BTAD and Railways) said insurgency has come down in Assam but pointed out that militant groups from the State are active on the Myanmar China border making it necessary for the security forces to be on guard. He said an effective counter-insurgency strategy could include, apart from consistent joint operations, use of advanced technological gadgets, breaking support network of rebel groups, joint action with neighbouring states, strengthening infrastructure and coming up with rewards and appreciations for security officers.

Making a presentation on “Assam, Naturenomics, Conservation and Role of Legislators”, Ranjit Barthakur, business leader and founder of Balipara Foundation, said that Assam urgently needs to formulate a development plan by merging nature and economics since the State’s biggest assets are its natural resources. Barthakur said that since six million people in Assam are directly involved in the State’s tea industry, Assam should have a Tea Ministry. He also cautioned that the tea industry in Assam could be adversely impacted by climate change in the next two decades.

Wrapping up the event, CDPS Executive Director Wasbir Hussain thanked the legislators for their participation and engagement during the interactions with resource persons. He said some of the best practices suggested by various designated speakers could be replicated by the MLAs in the respective constituencies. Principal Secretary of the Assam Assembly, Mrigendra Kumar Deka, making his concluding remarks, said the programme was a success and must have benefited the legislators. He thanked CDPS for designing and executing the programme in collaboration with the Assam Assembly.

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Syed Miraz Ahmed's picture

Writes, edits and researches. In 2013 he was conferred the Rotary International District 3240 Young Achiever Award for his work in the area of environment and digital journalism. In 2006 he was awarded first in the category of Wildlife Photography by the Department of Environment & Forests and Tourism, Government of Assam.

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Field Days on Boro Paddy at Nagaon

31 Mar 2010 - 4:01am | tpsaikia


The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Nagaon under Assam Agricultural University organised two “Field Days” on Boro Rice under Farmers’ Participatory Action Research Programme (FPARP) at Bahuabheti and Bamungaon near Nagaon on 25th and 26th March, respectively. The programme is a collaborative one with the AICRP on Water Management, Jorhat centre and is fully funded by the Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India. With the mission to achieve noble objective of “More crop and income per drop of water”, FPARP on water use efficient technologies for improving productivity and sustainability of Boro is in operation since December, 2009 at Nagaon during the current rabi season. Under the programme two Self Help Groups of the localities have been conducting the demonstrations in 2 hectares of land. Addressing the gathering of around 200 farmers on both the days, Dr. Biswajit Guha, Principal Scientist of the Regional Agricultural Research Station, Shillongani emphasized on efficient water management in boro rice cultivation. Dr. Pankaj Deb Chaudhury, Sr. Scientist of RARS who recently developed two cold tolerant high yielding boro rice varieties for the farmers of the State attended the programme as resource person. From the AAU HQ at Jorhat, Dr. Binoy Medhi, Sr. Scientist also attended the meeting who urged on the farmers to utilize each drop of water efficiently for increasing crop production. At the very outset, Ms Anjumala Deka briefly explained the objectives of organizing the “Field Days”. Earlier in his welcome address the Programme Coordinator of the KVK, Dr T P Saikia appraised the gathering about the activities being undertaken by KVK and the objectives of FPAR Programme of Govt. of India. He also requested the farmers to utilize the services of KVK for overall development of their livelihood. Four participating farmers also spoke on the occasion and exchanged their experiences in scientific cultivation of Boro rice. They also acknowledged the technical help rendered by the scientists of KVK and RARS time to time & expressed their satisfaction for implementation of the programme at their locality. The meetings were presided over by Mukul Chandra Deka of Bahuabheti and Kaneswar Borah of Bamungaon. As a part of the Field Days two farmer-scientist interactions on field problems of agriculture as well as on allied disciplines was also held on both the days where the scientists of KVK and RARS took part as resource persons in the interactive session. They replied a volley of queries raised by the farmers. Lastly, Field visits to the demonstrated Boro rice fields were organized to have on the spot assessment of the efficient water management technologies and to share the experiences of participating farmers with others. The meeting of both the dates ended with offering of vote of thanks by Dhiren Nath and Chandan Deka, respectively.




Disability defeated by willpower

 Rakesh with wife and son
11 Apr 2014 - 1:05pm | Daya Nath Singh

Will power has an important role in human life and those who have stamina to fight all odds, set an example for others to follow for a successful life. Even disability can be defeated if a person has determination to lead a peaceful life. We find a number of cases in the world when people lose heart on their failures in life. At the same time there are certain exceptions, who despite many odds in their life make it worth living by their strong will power. Here is an example of the life of a person who came out from a small village of Siyani Belchhi in the district of Jamui in Bihar. Born on January 2,1952, Rakesh Pathak became a handicap suffering from paralysis in his right leg at his tender age of two years. He passed his childhood and primary schooling in a small village of Banka district in Bihar. Afterwards, he shifted to Bhagalpur and completed his matriculation examination from Bahadurpur High School. For higher education he had to go Patiala, where he completed his degree examination in Arts from Punjabi University. In search of livelihood he came to Guwahati during year 1978. Life was tough, but he has to live it, so he started private tuitions and subsequently joined some private schools. He became very popular in the locality as a Hindi teacher in due course.

Meanwhile, he was offered a jobs in local Hindi daily newspapers as a journalist. After half a decade serving as a journalist, Rakesh returned to the teaching profession and joined a private school as Senior Hindi teacher. Destiny had to test his patience further and in February 2000 his left leg and hand suffered heavy paralysis attack. He lost his school job as he became completely invalid. Even it was not possible for him to go for toilet without the help of his wife Rani and son Samir. Now he is completely bed-ridden. Some students come to his room for taking tuitions, which is the main source of his income. Rest of the time he passes in reading, writing and translating eminent Assamese writers’ books in Hindi. He has done good study of Assamese literature. Asom Rashtra Bhasha Prachar Samiti got a number of history, geography and social studies text books from class seven to ten, translated in Hindi by him. He has become a bridge between the Assamese and Hindi literature. His translation of eminent Assamese writer Rajani Kanta Bardoloi’s novel ‘Manomati’ was published by Gyan Vigyan Samiti. Sentinel Hindi newspaper published in series Ranju Hazarika’s novel ‘Ek Dweep Sat Kabra’. Sahitya Academy awardees novel ‘Abhiyatri’ written by Nirupama Borgohain was also translated in Hindi by Rakesh Pathak for Doordarshan. Besides, he keeps himself busy in the translation works in Hindi from other languages. A few books written by him in ‘Angika’, (which is a native language) have been published. On January 3, 2014, Rakesh Pathak was felicitated by Jahnavee Angika Sanskriti Sansthan for Hindi and Angika writings.

Since the year 2000, Rakesh Pathak keeps himself busy with independent writing, freelance journalism and Hindi teaching. He is not a beneficiary from government agencies or other institutions. He needs cooperation not kindness. (He can be contacted on his mobile No.09864150953).

Miscreants disrupt Puja in Baksa

4 Nov 2013 - 4:41pm | AT News
In yet another incident that can brew an orgy of group clash, unidentified miscreants vandalized idols of the goddess Kali in a few temples and puja pandals in Baksa district on Monday. The incident took place at Jwarkuchi in the district.
The local people in large number blocked the Indo-Bhutan international road for a few hours in protest against the incident.
Police and civil officials rushed to the area and appealed the people to maintain peace and harmony. 
Security measures have been tightened in the religious places at Jwarkuchi where the situation was stated to be under control but tension prevailed following the incident. 
Meanwhile, the All Minorities Bodo Territorial Council Area Students Union local unit president Nazrul Islam has condemned the incident and demanded that the culprits be nabbed immediately.