GUWAHATI: On the occasion of Janjatiya Gaurav Divas (National Tribal Day), the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati is hosting a two-day National Conclave on 'Science and Technology Empowerment of Tribal Community' on November 11-12.
The conclave is being organized by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), and Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Government of India, in collaboration with IIT Guwahati, North-East Centre for Technology, Application and Reach (NECTAR), Shillong, Assam Science and Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC), Guwahati, Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology, Guwahati, Vigyan Prasar, New Delhi. The inaugural event of the conclave was graced by the esteemed presence of Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda, as the Chief Guest, and Union Minister of State of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Jitendra Singh virtually presided over the inaugural ceremony.
Addressing the event, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda said, "It is the need of the hour to incorporate scientific and technological interventions for the empowerment of the tribal community. Now with the fourth industrial revolution, and the emergence of technologies like the Internet of Things, Science and Technology have become a valuable part of our lives. I extend my wishes to the Department of Science and Technology for continuously emphasizing innovative solutions for the social problems of our nation. The development of tribal communities through Science, Technology and innovation, promoting scientific talent and uplifting their socio-economic status. DST is spearheading around 75 such science, technology and innovation hubs in different parts of the country which are directly benefiting the students from the tribal communities; providing Techno interventions in agriculture, resource management, and micro enterprises development among others. I hope this National Conclave being hosted by IIT Guwahati will build a strong foundation for further development of the Tribal Communities through Science and Technology."
The two-day event will showcase various initiatives of DST in the empowerment of tribal communities through science, technology and innovation whilst deliberating on the challenges and opportunities for empowering their lives and livelihoods.
Union Minister of State of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr Jitendra Singh lauded the scale and the approach of the event.
"This is the first time in the country, on such a large scale, the contribution of DST for the empowerment of tribal communities in different walks of their lives and livelihoods is being showcased. I am happy to declare that DST is launching a special programme for 'Accelerated Development of Particularly Vulnerable Tribals Groups' as a part of Azadi ki Amrit Mahotsav. While Science is universal, technology must be local to provide solutions relevant to local needs and conditions. DST has developed, deployed and disseminated many locally relevant, proven technologies to solve the problems of economically weaker Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities, especially in rural areas through the application of Science and Technology," said Singh.
"The conclave will be attended by different stakeholders from knowledge organizations, research and development labs, civil society, and by social entrepreneurs, grassroots innovators, beneficiaries and change-makers from Tribal Community. The main highlight of the conclave will be - a roundtable discussion by Vice Chancellors of Tribal Universities, Technical Sessions, Changemakers Conclave and Exhibitions," read an official statement.
Speaking during the inaugural session, Professor TG Sitharam, Director, of IIT Guwahati, said, "I am happy to note, the theme of this National Conclave aligns with IIT Guwahati's mission to provide technological solutions for challenges faced by a diverse population of the North East region. As a part of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi's vision for Jai Jawan, Jai Anusandhan, and Jai Vigyan, we are working towards making a social impact by providing developmental solutions in niche areas to enhance the life quality at all levels."
Further Prof Sitharam, said, "IIT Guwahati is making tremendous efforts to reach out to every corner of the North East region with major interventions related to education, technology development, and entrepreneurship, among others. As a part of Azadi ka Mahotsav, we believe that inclusive growth of the entire population of the country will help us in moving forward and move faster."
Assam Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma will be the Chief Guest of the Valedictory ceremony at IIT Guwahati on November 12.
The event will also be attended by Dr Ranoj Pegu, Minister of Education, Welfare of Plain Tribe & Backward Classes, and Keshab Mahanta, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Science & Technology and Information Technology, Govt. of Assam.
"The National Conclave on 'Science & Technology Empowerment of Tribal Community' conclave will bring out strategies and recommendations for strengthening the institutional and Human Capacity (both at community and individual level) for comprehensive development of Tribal Communities through Science and Technology," added the statement. (ANI)