Guwahati- The Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies( AITS ) , Rajiv Gandhi University( RGU ) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Directorate Research of the State Government to carry out extensive heritage documentation and to formulate a State Culture Policy, one of the few in the whole country.
The MOU was signed by Dr. Nabam Tadar Rikam, Registrar of RGU and Batem Pertin, Director of Research, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh, in presence of Vice-Chancellor Prof. Saket Kushwaha and Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Amitava Mitra.
The project will engage with communities and prepare a roadmap of government intervention, define support mechanism of such initiatives and evolve strategies and an action plan, through an academically driven prism.
The expected outcomes of the MoU are assessment of existing fault lines and finding ways in which to strengthen them, which will ensure that the culture of the indigenous communities are protected.
Terming the MoU as historic, Prof Kushwaha said that traditional knowledge by itself is very structured and contains within itself tremendous wisdom. “There is a need to document and share that wisdom today”, he said. He urged upon both the AITS and the Directorate of Research to let the project be dynamic and evolve as it progresses.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof. Amitava Mitra in his remarks reiterated that the MoU was a visible sign of how the University was fulfilling its commitment to playing a proactive role in the socio-economic development of the State. Saluting the early research done by Verrier Elwin, Parul Dutta and other pioneers in the Research department, he said that the project should carry the same spirit.
RGU Registrar, Dr. NT Rikam commended the vision of the project and assured the University’s fullest support towards the it.
Director of the Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies (AITS)RGU, Prof. Jumyir Basar while giving a background to the project, shared that the idea emerged from the Dream Change Conclave organized by the State government in collaboration with the RGU and CCRD in 2017, and responding to an invitation by the Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the AITS framed the parameters for the project.
Flagging intellectual property, cultural and language endangerment as cornerstones of the project, she said that the policy will emerge from a synergy of academics, policy planners and the communities themselves, so that the traditional knowledge systems can be protected. She informed that in addition to the Directorate of Research, the AITS will also collaborate with the Communication Resource Centre, Department of Mass Communication, RGU led by Moji Riba, cultural activist and HoD of the Department, for an effective implementation.
Research Director Batem Pertin said that the collaboration was a landmark moment not just for the RGU, but for the department itself and that the combined synergies of the two institutions will ensure that a cohesive Culture Policy will emerge. He later also handed over a draft of Rs. Rs. 45,24,000.00 as the first instalment of the project funds.
Earlier, in his remarks Prof. S. Simon John, AITS said that with the signing of MOU, the paper process has ended, which also marks the beginning of the action phase of the research.
RGU Joint Registrar Dr. David Pertin while proposing the vote of thanks maintained that it is an important academic exercise as RGU has been striving to execute both its responsibility as an institution of learning and as an active contributor to the socio-economic and cultural development of the State.
Among others, RGU Finance Officer Prof. Otem Padung, Head (i/c) Department of Mass Communication Moji Riba, Research Officer Dr. Radhe Yampi, faculty members of AITS, Dr. Wanglit Mongchan, Dr. Tarun Mene and Zilpha Modi were present at the signing of the MOU.