Agartala, Sep 01, 2020, ENEWSTIME Desk
The Research and Information System (RIS) for Developing Counties of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi and the North East Training, Research and Advocacy (NETRA) Foundation, Guwahati in collaboration with Women’s Study Centre, Nagaland University as Knowledge partner conducted 9th Webinar on the “Issues and Challenges of Localising Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Perspective of North East India with special reference to Nagaland” on August 29, 2020.
The introduction to the 9th webinar and welcome address to the panellist and the participants were given by Dr.Durga Prashad Chetry, Vice President of NETRA Foundation. While introducing the webinar theme and it importance, he welcomed the Chairperson of the webinar sessions Dr. D KBhalla, IAS (Rtd.), Advisor to Government of Nagaland. Also he introduces the panellists of different sessions namely - Nosazol Charles, Addl. Development Commissioner, Planning & Coordination Department, Nagaland; Dr. RongsenAo, Assistant Professor, National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, North Eastern Regional Centre, Guwahati, Dr. Petekhere Sophie, Women’s Studies Centre, Nagaland University; Dr. Kanak Haloi, Professor & Head, NIRDPR-NERC (Rtd.) & President, NETRA Foundation, Guwahati, Amba Jamir, Director, Sustainable Development Forum, Nagalandand Dr. Jayanta Choudhury, General Secretary, NETRA Foundation. Also he welcomes all participants for their keen interest exhibited by way of taking part in the webinar.
Nosazol Charles, while presenting on the “Initiative Taken by the State Government towards Localisation of SDGs in Nagaland”provides the steps taken by 32 identified departments in localization of SDGs and their direct role in implementing 135 state specific indicators as identified for the state. According to him, the task like awareness generation, preparation of district manuals, SDG brochures, publicity materials, newsletters, onlinequiz all are in pipeline. He also highlighted how state is going to use local self governance bodies like village council (VC) and Village Development (VDB) in implementing SDGs. Financial resources as a critical constraint and concern is also mentioned.
Dr. P. Sophie in her session on “Gender issues related to Localisation of SDGs in Nagaland”presented various gender related issues like strong patriarchy, rights to property, decision making in public institutions, political participation, high MMR, IMR in health, lack of research and data base etc which according to her desires appropriate initiatives. While the situation of women in North East, particularly in Nagaland is much better than elsewhere, the rising skilling activities, enterprise development etc. among women are the promising aspects of the state as she focused upon.
Dr Rongsen Aowhile presenting his session on “Sustainable Agriculture in Localising SDGs in Nagaland” provided the highlights and interesting issues related agriculture on the table viz., sustainable agriculture and farming systems of Nagaland.According to him sustainable management of jhoom and marketing of agriculture produce because of the too little production and spread out over large geographical areasdemands appropriate state initiative for inclusive development of the state.
Amba Jamir spoke on the “Role of Civil Societies Organisations in Localisation of SDGs in Nagaland”. He brings out that there is missing link all over the world about the participation of civil society organaisations, grassroots level institution and the public in general in the implementation of SDGs. The case in Nagaland is no different as government has been the key stakeholders of SDGs as of now. He focuses the need for involvement of CSOs as agents for ensuring the accountability of government structures and their performance monitoring and also as the agent of awareness generation and the voice of the poor in the implementation of SDGs in the state.
Prof. Kanak Haloi spoke on “Local Government System and Localisation of SDGs in Nagaland”. In his presentation he outlined the unique features including the devolutions of functions and funds of local self government systems in Nagalandin the form of Village Council and Village Development Board constituted under The NagalandVillage Council Act, 1978 and the encouraging role they play in rural development and also in communitisation of education, health, electricity and drinking water services.The role played by municipal and town council constituted under The Nagaland Municipality Act, 2001 is also brought out. According to him the strength of these grassroots institutions are to be aligned with the SDG agendas while they perform their planning and implementation task afresh besides focusing on digitalization of financial inclusion and convergence of services and facilities and thereby set forth the example of uniqueness of local government system in Nagaland.
Dr. D.K. Bhalla as chair of the webinar sessions provided first the summary of the presentations of all panelists. In his concluding remarks he draws upon that given theCovid-19 pandemic which has destroyed economies all over the world, destroyed billions of jobs, the fund scarcity will be there for some time to come. Referring to the implementation of the clarion call of PM for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan with no allocation of additional financial resources it is possible to bring out changes because of awareness generation by media, social media, brand ambassadors, CSOs and community. Response of all against corona virus like social distancing,washing of hands and cleaning is another example which requiresno big financial resources. There are plethora of organizations like church, temples, mosques, gurdwara, etc. and community organizations and leaders, schools, colleges and universities, clubs which can contribute to development and change by spreading awareness and improving the performanceof grass roots level institutionsand government intheir planning and implementation task aligned SDGs.
At the end, Dr. Jayanta Choudhury offers the formal vote of thanks to the chair, all panellists and participants and also to the RIS leadership for making the event a successful one.