IGNOU symposium on sustainable development begins in Guwahati

GUWAHATI: Keeping up with the mandate of the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) to put forward sustainable development models for the northeast, an international symposium titled 'Global Initiative for Sustainability and Human Development: Envisioning the Planetary Future' kicked off in the city from Monday. The symposium was organised by the North East Centre for Research and Development (NECRD) of the university.

Speaking at the inaugural programme of the three-day symposium, state power and industries minister Pradyut Bordoloi said, "Northeast India ranks among the top 25 global biodiversity hotspots in the world. Imperatives for conservation and sustainability need to be taken into consideration while discussing developmental issues of the region," Bordoloi said.

He noted that issues like demographic changes in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) area need to be given special attention as they're leading to conflicts over the past two decades.

Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, director of Institute for the Study of Societal Issues (ISSI), Berkeley, US, expressed willingness to work with Indian institutions carrying out research in sustainable development. He added that ISSI will put forward the recommendations of the symposium to western world.

Deputy director, NECRD, Sujata Dutta Hazarika said, "The aim of the international symposium programme is to sort out a global framework sustainable development. India is a country of young people. They can be converted into a blessing or a burden for the society, depending on the utilization of their potential."

P P Shrivastav, member of the North Eastern Council (NEC), laid stress on prioritizing renewable resources of energy over the non-renewable resources.

D S Bhattcharjee, professor of IGNOU, Guwahati, Gautam Barua, director of IIT, Guwahati, Om Prakash Mishra, professor of international relations, Jadavpur University, and Dipak Chakravarty, chairman and managing director, Numaligarh Refinery Ltd, also deliberated in the programme.