had a brainstorming on what could be the vision for a new
Assam and what the new government formed in Assam in May 2016 can do towards achievement of this. Below are some of the points raised by them:
To make public aware about new or existing schemes launched by the government, ‘Unnayan Kendras’ can be set up in every block or ward of the State. A central database with details of each and every central and state government schemes should be prepared and access provided to these Kendras. These Kendras can then provide information about the benefits of various central and state government development schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), etc. and how to avail benefits under these schemes. They may be provided information on how to apply for job cards under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and how to apply for jobs under that scheme. The people manning these Unnayan Kendras should be trained for data mining from the central database, so that they are able to disseminate the information to the enquiring public. Their job profile should include helping the people to apply for benefits under various schemes. Students and Job aspirants too should be able to use these Kendras to apply online for various academic courses, competitive exams or jobs. The personnel manning these Kendras should be trained to fill up these online forms on behalf of the aspirants. The beginning can be a Pilot Project in one district, which can be later replicated state-wide.
Every year a considerable number of youth go out from Assam for higher education. Although new medical and engineering institutes have been established, the scene is disappointing in fields like humanities and other professional courses like mass communication, journalism, fashion designing etc. More quality educational institutions are needed with focus on such disciplines. Number of Government scholarships can be increased for the below poverty line students so that such students too can go for higher studies.
16 February 2016: A Round Table Consultation on Tribal Women’s Rights in Northeast India: Access to Representation and Justice was organized by CDPS at Guwahati. The Consultation was a part of a field-based study on the same subject completed by CDPS in February 2016. It was supported by the British
Deputy High Commission, Kolkata and was well attended by social workers, activists, academics, scholars, writers, veteran
and university teachers and students,
bureaucrats, apart from others.
The State’s health sector is in urgent need of policies and regulatory frameworks to get rid of maladies such as commercialisation, pharma-regulatory nexus, unethical practices and urban biases. The statistics on sanitation of Assam indicate a very disturbing picture. As per census 2011, 40.4 per cent households in rural Assam have no toilet and people have to manage with the traditional system of open defecation. The problem turns worse during floods. The situation is no better in urban areas with unplanned housing, especially in rented houses. The solution is not just by building lavatories but by launching a well developed awareness programme across Assam. Institutional support from the people, increased allocation of funds and well planned government policies hold the key to improve the sanitation standards of Assam.
Air pollution, poor management of waste, growing water scarcity, falling ground water tables, biodiversity loss, soil degradation, artificial flood are some of major environmental issues faced by the State. It is essential to make the public aware of the formidable consequences of environmental degradation and the need to undertake reformative measures.
Unemployment has been the root cause of many problems including insurgency. In a region inhabited by various ethnic communities, the rich culture and heritage can be promoted for a promising tourism industry. Young competent business neophytes with creative and unique business ideas can go a long way to uplift private entrepreneurship in Assam provided they receive active government response, either through specialised government organisations or through promotional events conducted by the government.
The government should undertake some new initiatives to get rid of flood problem, such as, using space technology for project planning, using geo synthetic material for construction of flood management structure, reclamation of eroded areas, selective dredging, and setting up of a river study centre.
Need to develop industrial focal points in every city or town in Assam to solve the problem of unemployment. Government can help to set up small scale industries in this respect.
Contributed by members of CDPS Youth Research Circle:
Youth Research Circle Members with CDPS Executive Director
CDPS launched its Youth Research Circle on 28 April 2016. The first meeting of CDPS Youth Research Circle was held at CDPS office in Rajgarh Road, Guwahati. The programme has been launched with a view to involve young scholars from the region in the field of peace, security and development.
CDPS Executive Director Wasbir Hussain addressed the scholars and briefed them about the objective of the CDPS Youth Research Circle and its members’ role in achieving them. He said that the main focus of the Research Circle will be on peace and development and will involve collating, collaborating and researching on issues concerning the Northeast. They will be guided in their work by CDPS. The members of the Circle will get the opportunity to attended conferences, workshops and seminars and interact with opinion-makers from within the country as well as from abroad. The Centre will publish relevant writings by the scholars on the key issues concerning the Northeast on the CDPS website or in its regular monographs.
Apart from the CDPS research staff, the meet was also attended by CDPS Governing Body members Dr IS Mumtaza and Ms Seema Hussain. Dr Mumtaza said that irrespective of their disciplines, every student can work towards the development of the region with their thoughts and ideas. Ms Seema Hussain gave an introduction of the Centre and its activities.
The first batch of scholars includes students of undergraduate and graduate classes from different institutions like Gauhati University, Handique Girls’ College, JB Law College, Royal Group of Institutions.