International seminar on North East India

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IMPHAL, Nov 7: A two day international seminar on “Challenges of Development in North East India : Issues and concerns” – the first ever in Delhi university was organized by the department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics on November 3 and 4.

A statement of the seminar convenor has stated that the seminar was well participated by many eminent scholars in the country.

It has further added that Professor Mrinal Miri, a former NEHU vice chancellor delivered the key note address which was chaired by Professor Dinesh Singh, vice chancellor, Delhi University. Professor Tiplut Nongbri (JNU), Professor Sanjoy Hazarika (JMI),Professor Anand Kumar (JNU), Kishalay Bhattachajee (NDTV Chief Bureau), Brinda Grover (Supreme Court Lawyer), Dr. A. Bimol Akoijam (JNU), Dr. Rita Chowdhuri (Assam) spoke on the seminar. U.K. Sangma, secretary of North Eastern Council (NEC) was the chief guest and Professor Nandini Sundar, head of Sociology department and dean of social science, DU gave the welcome address.

It has further added that renowned international figure M.Rajaretnam president ADS Singapore and who is also the special advisor to ASEAN secretary general and Dr. Satoshi Ota (SOAS, London) were also invited to speak in the seminar.

The seminar had eight sessions including the inaugural and valedictory sessions. As part of the seminar, books exhibition on the North east was organized which was participated by Oxford University Press, Sage Publications and so on, the release added.

There was also a special screening of documentary on the AFSPA (1958) followed by panel discussion. As a holistic approach, the seminar ended with some special cultural programmes which were performed by North East students of DU, JNU and JMI, it further added.

Further according to the release, Dr. Kamei Aphun, the seminar convenor in his introduction to the conference outlined the need to study North east India with a wider perspective and multidisciplinary approach.

He said “Being situated in a strategic location and sharing borders with five different countries, the region confluences with south east Asian countries and the south Asian countries”. Further, he outlined that even today many people believed that studies of north east India are limited and exclusive which he disagrees, the release added.

The geographical proximity to the South east Asian countries can be advantageously used to promote tourism and bilateral trades and commerce.  There are good prospects in the development of sports, horticulture, handicrafts and agro-based industries and recently the region has become the power house of India. The region is not only rich in flora and fauna but also is a haven of Anthropological research and enquiry it further added.

However, the region has been hit hard recently by the growing militancy and insurgency related problems, ethnic conflicts and violence, illegal migration, environment related problems etc. These need to be contextualized in the understanding of regional economic development and prosperity with the overall development of the country, he added. 

The seminar was well attended and was funded by NEC (Shillong) and ICSSR, New Delhi, the statement concluded.

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