Synergy in theory and practice important for Rural Development in the Asia-Pacific Region

Agartala, Aug 29, 2020, ENEWSTIME Desk

National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), North Eastern Regional Centre, India had organised the international seminar during 24-28 August, 2020 jointly with Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development, Comilla, Bangladesh in collaboration with Centre for Studies on Bangladesh and Myanmar,  Dibrugarh University, India; College of Natural Resource, Royal University Bhutan; Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh and Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Academicians, policymakers, practitioners from 5 neighboring countries of North East India and from all the states of India presented total 154 papers were presented in 12 technical sessions of the seminar. 

The Valedictory Session of the International Seminar on “Rural Development in Asia-Pacific Region : With Special reference to North East India and its Bordering countries’’ held online on 28th August, 2020. 


In the beginning, Prof. R.M. Pant, Director, North Eastern Regional Centre, Guwahati welcomed all the academicians, university scholars and other participants to this august gathering on virtual platform. He informed that NIRDPR-NERC is facilitating Rural Development in the entire North Eastern Region and beyond through research and capacity building of different stakeholders since its inception in 1983. He also congratulated all the delegates in the eve of 6th years of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and remaindered the role of Financial Inclusion in rural development.  


Seminar Convener and Associate Professor, NIDRPR-NERC Dr. Jayanta Choudhury informed that 205 academicians/researchers and practitioners from 5 countries participated and shared their research finding and recommended various policy directions. There were 113 researchers and faculties from all North Eastern States.   

In connection with the speech of Director, NIRDPR-NERC, C.S. Ghosh, Founder and CMD, Bandhan Bank informed that there are 2.03 Cr. Customers mostly women, 61000 cr. deposits, 74000 cr. Advances, 0.58% NPS, 4559 branches in 34 states and union territories, 42000 employees within 5 years of journey as Bandhan Bank. He opined that the North East’s rich culture, diversity and resources make it very conducive for cottage industries and micro enterprises. The Government is taking steps in the right direction in enhancing connectivity and infrastructure in the region. With the right skill development and more financial services offerings, more so in the credit space, the MSME sector in the region is poised to flourish significantly in the coming years. He also informed that Bandhan Bank is whole heartedly contributing for North Eastern States toward financial inclusion and women empowerment with a Rs. 3,269.58 Cr. Deposit, Rs. 9,839.80 Advance, 584 Banking Outlets, 5,885 Employees and 30.10 lakh Customers.


Prof. Saket Kushwaha, Vice-Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh opined that the present seminar is highly relevant, contemporary and need of the hour for the academia, policy makers, researchers and of course for the common people residing in the Asia Pacific Region. He also informed that Himalayan University Consortium (HUC), a collaborative network of universities and academic institutions from the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) Region and outside of it working on strengthening research and scholarship and it is very much relevant for fostering development in the region. He was confident that the genesis of the Consortium of Central 13 Indian Central Himalayan Universities of India under direct supervision of NITI Aayog, New Delhi will play vital role in this regard. He also suggested that increasing Regional collaboration and cooperation among academic institutions, Civil Society and Governments across boundaries and promotion of sustainable agriculture for small and marginal farmers to excel the livelihood of rural population need for achieving common goals of the region. 


Md. Shahjahan, Director General, BARD, Cumilla, Bangladesh said that this seminar has provided a unique platform to bring academics, practitioners and policy planners of the scholars from various continent of the world under one umbrella to do a critical review, assess policies and programmes of rural development, local government, economic development, microcredit, agriculture, climate change, rural health and nutrition, gender issues, rural education, social safety nets and thus to improve the exiting process of transformation and development in this region. He reminded that the essence of this seminar lies with the fact that we should try to bring synergy in theory and practice. Without real understanding of indigenous knowledge system, society, history, culture and origin of all of these issues - development will bring no value to the society. He suggested that for sustainable growth and inclusive development it is quite vital to seek cooperation and support from myriad stakeholders and development partners. In this line BARD aims at promoting coordinated efforts, sharing of experiences and taking joint actions for furthering the interest of sustainable rural development through its development undertakings such as training, research and action research endeavor. 


At the end prof. R.M. Pant announced the names of best papers for each technical sessions and Dr. Jayanta Choudhury put the vote of thanks and also informed that the Second International Seminar on the same topic will be held in the month of February, 2021