Restructuring Sc & Tech councils
Our Correspondent | EMN
Kohima, Jul 29
Parliamentary Secretary for Science and Technology, Tovihoto Aye today requested the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India (GoI) and the National Committee to provide scientific manpower for the North Eastern States. He said this was necessary in view of the difficult terrain, lack of infrastructural facilities and inadequate scientific manpower and facilities. These shortages is affecting the activists of the department to reach the rural areas in the region and bring change. He was addressing the inaugural programme of the first day of the two-day meeting of the National Committee on Restructuring of State Science and Technology Councils and Departments organised by Department of Science and technology, Ministry of Science & technology, Government of India. The meeting is being held at the Nagaland Science & Technology Council (NASTEC) in the Directorate of Science and Technology, Kohima.
Officials and Scientists from DST GoI, representatives from the six zones in the country and officials from S&T departments of Manipur and Assam are in Kohima for the meeting.
Dwelling on the Nagaland context, he said the state is naturally rich in biodiversity and is viewed to be a high potential ground for science research and development. “But the state is still striving for basic security for her population thus research in science remains costly affair of the state,” he said.
He said Nagaland is now a home for pool of local talents in various branches of study but inadequate work platform and infrastructure limitation in the state pose a major obstruction for development particularly in the field of Science and Technology.
He said one of the urgent needs of the state for upliftment of rural economy is energy and Nagaland has high potential for renewable energy particularly microhydel power. He said that with DST support the state intends to set up a Centre for Innovation in renewable energy.
He also said Nagaland has rich biodiversity and is home to many endangered species and endemic species.
Local traditional knowledge nd the indigenous varieties of some of the fruits and crops are being registered by outside researchers as their own property without even the knowledge of the local inhabitants, he said.
“Our intellectual property and genetic resources need to be protected,” he said while stressing on the need for the state to establish its own research facility and employing local scientists. In this connection too, he sought the support of DST to set up research centre which will look into various aspects keeping in view the need of the people.
He said basing on role and prospects of the work of the council there is a need for at least 20-30 scientist from various disciplines with sufficient supporting technical and few secretarial staffs but presently only 5 scientific, 5 technical and few secretarial staffs are running the council.
Financial Advisor and Joint Secretary Department of Science & Technology, GoI, Anuradha Mitra said discussions would be held to strengthen the state councils and deal with the challenges in upgrading the social skills of the rural people through Science and Technology.
She said the meeting would address some of the challenges and weakness faced by the S&T councils. However she added that the GoI through the Department of Biotechnology and Technology Development & Transfer under Science and Technology Department has been giving tremendous emphasis on the NE region.
She said that 10% of DBT and TDT budget amounting to Rs. 150 crore is spent in NE centres every year while the DBT and TDT has launched various programme. S&T Councils of the NE States has to be facilitator and catalyst and identify the gaps to upgrade the social and scientific skills in the rural areas
In his opening remarks as the chairman of the programme, Nagaland S&T Secretary C K Nihekhu Sema expressed the hope that the meeting will facilitate a threshold of transition and provide equal job opportunity/manpower to all the state councils i.e. post of different categories so that all the S&T councils can become equally strong and be able to serve public as expected.
He said all the NE states including Nagaland are lagging far behind the rest of the states in the country.Maintaining that development is possible only if there are more scientific innovations and technological enterprises in the region or state, for which sufficient fund is required, he appealed to the authorities of DST, GoI to be liberal and make all the projects received from the NE be granted.
On Tuesday, the Committee will hold Organic Agriculture programme at Kigwema and also conduct organic certificate award programme at the Village Council Hall at 11:30 am.
The Advisor and Head (TDT) DST GoI, Dr. G. J. Samathanam also spoke on the occasion while Member Secretary NASTEC Dr. Zavei Hiese tendered the vote of thanks.