Intent & content key to make locals masters:  VC

  • Arunachal needs khul ja sim sim button to achieve SDG

By A O News Service

ITANAGAR, Aug 18: Rajiv Gandhi University vice chancellor Prof Saket Khushwaha, in his inaugural address to ‘Localizing Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) perspective from North East India’, said that the 17 SDG of United Nation  build on decades of work by its member nations aim to translate into a strong commitment by all stakeholders to implement 2030 Agenda.

Organized by Guwahati-based NETRA Foundation and chaired by ambassador-cum-distinguished fellow of Research & Information System for Developing Countries Amar Sinha with ‘Issues and Challenges of Localising SDGs in Arunachal Pradesh’ as theme, Arunachal Pradesh planning & investment secretary Himanshu Gupta, RGU education HoD Prof Kessang Degi, NIRD&PR associate professor Dr Nrayan Sahoo and senior journalist Pradeep Kumar were panelists of the webinar.

Pointing out that intent and content are not adopted for proper planning for which the goals are far away, Prof Kushwaha said, adding the people should be made their own masters not servants for bringing their whole-hearted commitment to the process. The intention should be very clear supported with content to achieve the goal, he added.

The development process is totally scattered which makes the process in all 25 districts where people live in far flung areas non-implementable, he reasoned.

Appreciating the energy of Lohit district DC Prince Dhawan for inviting outside companies to implement every ambitious project, he said that it is time to help the youth entrepreneurs to inculcate quality of leadership to be their own masters or else the SDG  would fail to achieve its much desired goal.

Enlisting initiatives of the state Govt in localizing SDG in the state, Gupta said that creating CM Dashbaord (a monitoring mechanism), innovative activities to meet SDG, raising awareness and advocating for SDG implementation.

Through a PowerPoint presentation, he explained the nitty-gritty of every aspect minutely with statistics in a manner any layman could understand reflecting his command over the subject.

As RGU was knowledge partner, Prof Degi said that putting women’s education in back burner was the greatest drawback of this tribal society. Though it has been changing with passing of time but would take more time, she said.

Women play very important roles in development which has made this state women-centric for which if they are given equal share then only development would take deep root, she said with conviction.

She cited the example of only three woman MLAs of total 60-memebr assembly to drive home her message.

“Despite diverse local governance system is NE states, Arunachal Pradesh has adopted full-fledged new PRI system from 02.04.03 till 2018 with successful completion of three consecutive terms . However, due to 1st amendment of Arunachal Pradesh Panchayati Raj Act’2018, the GoAP had devised the interim arrangement for local rural governance by constituting district level interim committee and gram panchayat level interim committee during this transition period with preparation for 4th term of PRIs. State’s well tested PRI system had narrated number of glories in the past years like on “devolution of power” to PRIs in 2013-14 fiscal year to secure 5th position in India to receive Rs one crore prize is mile stone and glory for NE states in general and Arunachal Pradesh in particular, said Dr Sahoo.

The GoAP made consistent efforts for appropriate devolution of fund, function, functionaries and appropriate framework by walking extra mile on opening of ‘Panchayat Window Fund’, strengthening of HR support and adopting since 2015-16 fiscal year, he said, adding continuous training, capacity building, handholding support, research with policy advocacy  and mentoring from national and state domains, like NIRDPR SIRDPR, RGU, NERIST, RIS, NETRA, leading CBOs and media advocacy with IEC mode are required to achieve these SDGs goals, he added.

Journalist Kumar pointed out that Constitution (55th Amendment) Bill, 1986 under which Arunachal Pradesh was granted statehood is the crux of all problems. The state is known as a treasure trove with vast hidden natural resources, particularly mineral resources. But Arunchalees are only protectors of land while the central Govt is owner of all mineral resources, unlike Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram formed under 6th Schedule of the Constitution.

Former Oil India Corporation CMD Chudamani Ratnam once had said that huge reserves of oil trapped in coal deposits in Arunachal Pradesh and parts of Assam can produce 140 millioin tones of oil per year to sustain India’s fuel need for 100 years, as substantiated by then Union Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer at Itanagar in 2003.

The best example is the GoAP had signed Petroleum Mining Lease Deed Agreement with Oil India Limited for Ningru block in Namsai and Changlang districts on 6th November 2018 after 14-year all out efforts of Geology & Mining Minister Kamlung Mossang  to get  forest clearance from Union Ministry of Environment & Forest.

Arunachal would become one of the richest states in India if land ownership is given to tap these huge resources. Constitutional Amendment is needed to bring Arunachal under 6th Schedule of the Constitution and give it khul ja sim sim button to press at its will.

NETRA Foundation was set up involving academicians, policy makers and civil society organizations as a ‘North East Think Tank’, said its founder general secretary Dr. Jayanta Choudhury, adding it was 7th webinar on this important issue.

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