Solve Assam’s problems before Lok Sabha elections, AASU tells political parties
Guwahati, March 18
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he All Assam Students Union (AASU) today demanded that the political parties should work out a time-bound action plan on various problematic issues in the state before the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The influential student’s body demanded a solution to the illegal migration from Bangladesh, implementation of the Assam Accord, constitutional protection for the indigenous people, solution in the perennial flood issue, erosion problem and protection of Majuli Island and scheduled tribe status to six ethnic groups.
They also demanded right over land and natural resources for indigenous people, land ownership deeds to small tea and rubber planters, protection of the 15th century Satras (monasteries) of socio-cultural-religious reformer Srimanta
Sankardeb, stopping construction of big dams in earthquake prone zones.
The AASU also asked political parties to spell out their stand on declaration of the northeast region as special employment and economic zones to solve unemployment problem.
Setting up higher education institutions such as IIM and Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), inclusion of topics on Srimanta Sankardeb, Assam’s role in the Independence movement, the state’s history, geography, culture in the NCERT syllabus were some of the AASU’s demands.
IRRI to provide
technological support to Assam farmers
The Manila-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has agreed to provide technological support to Assam farmers for popularizing water-resistant varieties of paddy.
A delegation from IRRI recently visited the state’s flood-prone crop land and observed that Assam could easily become a rice-surplus state by reducing flood-induced crop damage and also contribute significantly to the nation’s food security, an official release said here today.
IRRI’s Director General Robert Zeigler and other members of the delegation had a discussion with the state’s Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka and emphasised on local trials in agro-climatic zones for introducing and ensuring introducing variety adaptability.
Zeigler stressed the need for “phase-wise strategic improvement of capacity building” so that stakeholders, especially the farming community, could have their own decision-making power.
The IRRI-developed Swarna SUB-1 variety of paddy has already been cultivated after the state procured two tonnes of seeds.
Submergence-tolerant paddy varieties assume importance here in view of the recurring damages caused to crops by floods. Of the state’s net crop area of 28.11 lakh hectares, 4.93 lakh hectares happen to be chronically flood-prone. Rice production in the state, spread over an area of 24.88 lakh hectares, during 2012-13 stood at 52.33 MT.