Tocklai Tea Research Institute scientist elected as Fellow of Royal Entomological Society London

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Somnath Roy is the second entomologist in the state after Mantu Bhuyan of NEIST to have achieved this distinction

By: Smita Bhattacharyya

JORHAT, Oct 9: For the first time in the history of the oldest tea research centre in the world, the Tocklai Tea Research Institute (TTRI) here, a scientist of the institute Dr Somnath Roy, has been elected as “Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society London” (FRES).

Dr Roy is the second entomologist in the state after Dr Mantu Bhuyan of North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) to have achieved this distinction.

The recognition could not have come at a more opportune moment as this British era research centre earlier known as Tocklai Experimental Station is facing a credibility crisis severe fund crunch and consequent stalling of research projects.

More than 100 year old research institute is fighting for survival, its working atmosphere marred by frequent strikes by employees protesting against payment of arrears in salaries and other dues. It is also facing downsizing.

TTRI director Dr AK Barooah said that it was recognition of excellence by the Royal Entomological Society.

“Somnath’s achievement has come at a time when TRA has been suffering from negative propaganda. We all must look ahead and work collectively rising above everything else. We are proud of Dr Roy,” he said.

Fellows are normally nominated and selected through a peer review process on the basis of their significant contributions to insect science. In 1885 Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the society. In the centennial year of 1933, King George V added the word “Royal” to the title of the organisation. TRA congratulates him on this achievement and his contributions to the industry.

Barooah further said that his achievement showed what the Tea Research Association (TRA) scientists could do if they didn’t waste their time and always remain focused.

“TRA scientists have to face real life challenges offered by the Industry and offer solutions. You don’t have to worry about critics who will try to pull you down at the slightest pretext,” the director also told the scientists of the institute.

Royal Entomological Society Fellows are normally nominated and selected through a peer review process on the basis of their significant contributions to insect science. In 1885 Queen Victoria granted a Royal Charter to the society. In the centennial year of 1933, King George V added the word “Royal” to the title of the organisation.

In 2018, senior scientist of Jorhat based North East Institute of Science and Technology Dr Mantu Bhuyan was also elected as a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society London (FRES). Many pioneering scientists, including Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace were also the alumni Fellow of the society.

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