The National Academy of Sciences (NASI), Allahabad and the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar organised a two-day national conclave of tribal development at the ILS here from Monday to discuss outcomes of the several projects implemented across the country by NASI on science and technology applications for the welfare of tribal populations with support of the Dept. of Science and Technology, Government of India.
Inaugurating the event, Odisha Minister for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Ranedra Pratap Swain complemented NASI and ILS for initiatives taken in the area of tribal development. He observed that science and technology applications are important in areas of agriculture, health and nutrition security as well as for protection and conservation of the rich traditions of the tribal communities.
State Tribal Affairs Minister Jagannath Saraka highlighted various initiatives of the State Government in empowering the tribal communities through formation of district councils in tribals-dominated districts for decentralised decision-making. The efforts have made visible impact in almost all sectors including food production, education, sports, livelihood and health, he said.
NASI President Prof G Padmanaban said the academy’s mandate is to link science and society. Former Secretary, DBT and Chair of the Special Programmes of NASI Dr Manju Sharma said a national program for tribal development using science and technology was implemented in 23 locations in India in partnership with leading institutions, universities and NGOs. Emphasis was given to training and capacity development so that tribal people are encouraged to develop entrepreneurship and additional income sources.
ILS Director Dr Ajay Parida informed that 350 delegates from 15 States and as many as 18 research institutions are participating in the conclave. He hoped the deliberations would lead to identification of best and appropriate technologies and be useful for their up-scaling and replication that would contribute to sustainable development of tribal societies.
Dr Paramjit Khurana and Dr Satya Deo also spoke.
There are 20 stalls installed in the ILS campus showcasing tribal products and food grains from different States. Various tribal groups will perform their folk dances and other cultural events in the evenings.