Guwahati, Sept 10: Indira Gandhi National Open University and Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati jointly organised International Conference ICAHD2017 “Agriculture and Human Development in India: Indigenous Practices, Scientific views and Sustainability”, on September 8, 9 at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.
As a collaborative endeavour, it was jointly organised by Regional Services Division, School of Agriculture, IGNOU, New Delhi, Regional Centre Guwahati and the Department of Humanities and social sciences IIT, Guwahati. It was attended by scholars, researchers, scientists, social scientists, corporations and government executives, non-profit and non-government workers, research Institutions, who shared their research and expertise in the area of agriculture and human development; sustainability, indigenous knowledge and scientific views.
The event was inaugurated by IGNOU vice chancellor Prof Ravindra Kumar, IIT-G director Prof Gautam Biswas, Regional Services Division IGNOU director Dr V Venugopal Reddy. The keynote address and the special guest lecture was delivered by Prof Haribabu Ejnavarzala Vice-Chancellor , University of Hyderabad (UoH) and Prof Virginius Xaxa Professor of Eminence Tezpur University and Former deputy Director and Mentor of Tata Institute Of Social Sciences Guwahati respectively.
The event was an initiative of the Guwahati Regional centre IGNOU and convened by Dr Sujata Dutta Hazarika Deputy Director Kolkata Regional Centre IGNOU with academic partner Dr Sambit Mallick Associate Professor Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT-G.
IGNOU ICAHD 2017 intervened to envision a future for our agricultural practices and its impact on food system. To energize it in a manner that it can address issues of hunger, health, equity, access to food, and the fundamental right of all surviving humanity to food Justice. In doing so, it explored possibilities to empower agriculture and the farming community, with science and technology, modern tenets of education, training, entrepreneurship and skill building, human development metrices of universal justice and equity, without wiping out the informal legacy of traditional knowledge and farmers wisdom that is as old as humanity.
In this pursuit Institutions have a great role to play . In this case IIT Guwahati, its technological prowess and cutting scientific research can find an ideal partner in the IGNOU’s objective to carry education to the lowest segments of society. Scientist who work in the exclusive domain of premier scientific knowledge has to make adequate effort to engage with communities to make workable policy out of scientific principles. IGNOU and its mandate open and distance learning, reaching the unreached can transform exclusive science to inclusive knowledge through education and outreach. Premier Science and technology institutions like IIT to explore possibilities of aligning mainstream scientific knowledge with informal traditional knowledge and energize our rural communities, give them back their identity and self esteem as agrarian communities so that the catastrophe of rural dislocation can be contained.