ITANAGAR, Oct 16: In an initiative to carry out extensive heritage documentation and to formulate a State Culture Policy, one of the few in the whole country, the Arunachal Institute of Tribal Studies, Rajiv Gandhi University today inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Directorate Research, GoAP with Dr Nabam Tadar Rikam, Registrar RGU and Batem Pertin, Director Research signing the MoU in presence of RGU Vice Chancellor Prof Saket Kushwaha and Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof Amitava Mitra.
The project will engage with communities and prepare a roadmap of government intervention, define support mechanism of such initiatives and evolve strategies and an action plan, through an academically driven prism.
The expected outcomes of the MoU are assessment of existing fault lines and finding ways in which to strengthen them, which will ensure that the culture of the indigenous communities gets protected.
Terming the MoU as historic, Prof Kushwaha said that traditional knowledge by itself is very structured and contains within itself tremendous wisdom. “There is a need to document and share that wisdom today,” he said while urging upon both the AITS and the Directorate of Research to let the project be dynamic and evolve as it progresses.
Prof Mitra, in his remarks, reiterated that the MoU was a visible sign of how the University was fulfilling its commitment to playing a proactive role in the socio-economic development of the State. Saluting the early research done by Verrier Elwin, Parul Dutta and other pioneers in the Research department, he said that the project should carry on the same spirit.
Dr Rikam commended the vision of the project and assured the University’s fullest support towards it.
AITS Director Prof Jumyir Basar while giving a background of the project shared that the idea emerged from the Dream Change Conclave organized by the State government in collaboration with the RGU and CCRD in 2017, and responding to an invitation by the Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the AITS framed the parameters for the project.
Flagging intellectual property, cultural and language endangerment as cornerstones of the project, she said that the policy will emerge from a synergy of academics, policy planners and the communities themselves so that the traditional knowledge systems can be protected. She informed that in addition to the Directorate of Research, the AITS will also collaborate with the Communication Resource Centre, Department of Mass Communication, RGU led by Moji Riba, cultural activist and HoD of the Department, for an effective implementation.
Batem Pertin said that the collaboration was a landmark moment not just for the RGU but also for the Research department itself and that the combined synergies of the two institutions will ensure that a cohesive culture policy will emerge.
Later, he also handed over a draft of Rs 45.24 lakh to the AITS, as the first installment of the project funds.
Among others, RGU Jt Registrar Dr David Pertin, Finance Officer Prof Otem Padung, head (i/c) Department of Mass Communication Moji Riba, Research Officer Dr Radhe Yampi, faculty members of AITS, Dr Wanglit Mongchan, Dr Tarun Mene and Zilpha Modi were present.