| Students take out the procession on Friday. Telegraph picture |
Jorhat, Aug. 16: The 66th foundation day of the College of Agriculture was not only a time for celebration but also for exploring options to meet the food needs of the growing population in the context of climate change and globalisation.
Assam Agricultural University vice-chancellor K.M. Bujarbaruah asked teachers to take a resolve to give their 100 per cent in teaching and research. Referring to dean of agriculture D.K. Bora’s speech, where he mentioned the problems of the college especially in the period between 2004 and 2009, Bujarbaruah said the teachers and employees should ensure the college does not return to the bad days again.
“The teachers, staff and students are pillars of the college and we cannot allow termites to eat away at them. If the 10 per cent of the 200-odd teachers resolve to create 20 new technologies every year and give 25 per cent extra effort in teaching, then there will be many more students who qualify for the NET exam than the 27 who qualified this year,” he said.
Bujarbaruah also said research should be undertaken with foresight. Citing an example, he said in Israel they identified a hormone which when injected into a paddy plant, allowed it to grow for about a month without water. “In this age of climate change, these kinds of useful research should be undertaken.”
Dibrugarh University vice-chancellor Alak Kumar Borgohain, who delivered the foundation day lecture, asked the faculty to explore the possibility of biotechnology and genetically modified crops to help in production of sufficient food grains to feed the ever-increasing population.
Tracing the beginnings of research into genetic modification in crops after the fallout of DDT spraying in the US in 1962, Buragohain said the controversies dogging biotechnological research and BT crops had hampered funding in this direction. “Unnecessary concern and unfounded facts which still persist to this day have shackled research in this sphere,” he said.
Buragohain said research should be holistic taking care of both health and environment.
Earlier in the day, the students took out a procession, which weaved elements of culture, history and focused on the present day situation in Assam fraught with terrorism and divisionism.
Students dressed up as Mahatma Gandhi, freedom fighter Konoklata who fell to bullets of the British in Assam and Siukapha, founder of the Ahom kingdom.
They took out miniature monuments of the Rangghar and Karengghar at Sivasagar, depicted the mayhem a bomb blast can cause and the protests carried out by Bodos, Koch Rajbongshis and other groups seeking separate states and cultural festivals of the state and others like Holi and Diwali.