Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is taking a serious look at the northeastern states for research possibilities.
In a one-day consultation meet to chalk out an action plan for research in the northeastern states of the country. North East Centre for Research and Development (NECRD) convened the meeting. A number of eminent scholars, subject experts and resource persons from eight states of the North East discussed issues and worked to chart out a direction for developmental research in the region.
The NECRD was set up recently at Guwahati to organise research works with a view to preserving indigenous knowledge and developing the region economically, agriculturally and ecologically. In its experience of working within the North East, the NECRD has identified major snags in conducting research in the area. The snags are absence of an emotional and physical connect between the states and the rest of India. They also found that despite adequate funding and inquiries from research institutes, most endeavours lost ground sooner than later for various reasons.
The meeting, which was divided into three sessions: Challenges of research in NE, Areas of Research and an Action plan for futures research projects, discussed how they could defeat such challenges.
Addressing the experts and research scholars, Vice Chancellor, Professor Rajashekharan Pillai stressed research should address the domain knowledge in order to make it socially relevant. The other points were: Credibility of research in the NE, exchange of knowledge in global forums and platforms and optimum utilization of existing resources in the states.
"NECRD should conduct workshops on research methodology as most students from the region don't know how to write dissertations. IGNOU can train them," Prof. Samir Kumar Das from the Dept. of Political Science, Kolkata University said. He also stressed on the need to draft a new curriculum on North East studies.
A workable action plan for the NECRD was formulated, following the meet. The subject experts agreed that there is a preponderance of the government-based research in most Indian universities and that there is an urgent need to make NECRD-sponsored research community centric. They also agreed to link the NECRD-sponsored research with development and social change and make it socially robust.
Other suggestions circulated in the meeting were that interdisciplinary research should be promoted within the NECRD and partnerships between NECRD and other institutes of learning should be nurtured. A core advisory committee would be set up which would organise workshops, conferences and publication of peer reviewed journal.