Need to bring the Northeast closer to capital: Jamia V-C

Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister M M Pallam Raju on Tuesday said it is important that the Northeast "involves itself more and more in the life of India". "It is through this two-way process that we can gain mutually and develop a win-win situation," he said.

The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of new premises of the Centre for Northeast Studies and Policy Research at Jamia Millia Islamia in the capital. The first such centre in any Central university.

The centre received funding to the tune of Rs 14 crore in August last year from the University Grants Commission (UGC) for expansion and infrastructure development.

Raju said energy, ecology, governance, traditional conflicts, women's issues and other such issues will be studied at the centre for a better approach to the region. "The centre will undertake studies to bridge the gap between the field and policy," he said. The minister released a book on "Assam and the role of Muslims in the Independence movement" at the centre.

The centre, in the past three years, has initiated research studies on a range of issues including better understanding of conflicts such as the clashes between the Bodo tribe and settlers in Assam; and the movements in Nagaland and Manipur.

Jamia Vice-Chancellor Najeeb Jung pointed out that it is "vital to do as much as possible to bring the Northeast to the capital".

Sanjoy Hazarika, director of the centre, said: "The priority of the centre is to promote peace, for which the Northeast is not particularly known."

"Decades of conflict in Mizoram is simply known as 'troubles' and needs to be researched," Hazarika said. The centre is housed in the MMAJ Academy of Internal Studies at Jamia.

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