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Nodal centre feat for varsity

Silchar, Dec. 19: The department of life sciences and bio-informatics of Assam Central University, 23km south of this town, will be the nodal centre in the country for conducting research into sustainable development of wetlands.

This was recommended by centres of higher learning and researches that participated in the two-day international symposium on Frontiers of Wetlands, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research hosted by the university in late November, a release issued by the institute said today.

Devashish Kar, a professor of life sciences in the university, said the recommendation was expected to invite funds for research into wetlands and would also go a long way in framing a comprehensive national plan for the improvement of wetlands.

The scholars who graced the occasion included Madhusoodana Kurup, vice-chancellor of Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies, Cochin, Ajay Ghosh, former director of the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrakpore, West Bengal, and Ravi Goonaratne, a professor in the Lincoln University, New Zealand.

The symposium made a plethora of recommendations for undertaking researches.

It asked the life science department of Assam Central University to submit a project to the National Fisheries Development Board, Hyderabad, incorporating in it a comprehensive study of many types of wetlands and their manifold importance in sustaining the ecosystem.

It recommended that the university prepare a comprehensive plan for an in-depth study of the aquatic biodiversity in the Northeast in collaboration with universities and funding agencies such as the universities of Calcutta, Gauhati, Kalyani, Nehu, JNU, Mizoram, Tripura and Manipur and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the UGC.

It suggested a palaeolimnological study into the lake ecosystems by the university in collaboration with the Birbal Sahani Institute of Palaeobotany, Lucknow. It also recommended a wide-ranging study into the mapping and demarcation of boundaries of waterbodies and rainwater harvesting in the country.

There are about 1 lakh hectares of wetlands in India. Wetlands, which comprise a distinctive cluster of habitats intermediate between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, act as a natural purification mechanism, enhancing the water quality of surroundings. They also add to socio-economic values through water supply, fisheries, medicinal plants, energy resources and agriculture.


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