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Energy alternatives need of the hour: Prof Sopory

Governor Jagadish Mukhi conferring the D Lit (honoris causa) on Arup Kumar Dutta at the GU convocation on Monday. – UB
 GUWAHATI, Feb 24 - Former JNU Vice Chancellor Prof Sudhir Kumar Sopory today stressed the need for securing energy alternatives and managing human health and natural resources in view of the growing complexities of problems concerning poverty and hunger, climate change, biodiversity loss, etc.

Delivering the convocation address to mark the 28th convocation of Gauhati University (GU), Prof Sopory said the North East being a biodiversity hotspot area, finding alternative solutions to those pressing issues was all the more urgent. “Problems and issues that human beings encounter today are more complex. These are the problems, to mention a few, related to hunger and poverty, climate change, preservation of biodiversity, and this is very important for the North East region as it is one of the hotspot areas. We need energy alternatives, better human health and disease management, and overall preservation of our planet resources for the future of mankind. Societal problems also call for peaceful coexistence,” he said.

Reminding the degree awardees that learning was a never-ending process that would continue throughout their lives, Prof Sopory said that they needed to be informed citizens who would give their best to whichever profession they chose based on their background and interest. On the occasion, 2,538 students were awarded with different degrees, diplomas and certificates. The university also conferred the DLit (honoris causa) on eminent writer Arup Kumar Dutta and PhD (honoris causa) on eminent artist Biren Singha. Nazimuddin Ahmed was also awarded with the DSc degree.

Addressing the convocation, Chancellor of the varsity, Governor Jagdish Mukhi said many changes were emerging in higher education in the country and even as the new education policy continued to be debated and fine-tuned, certain key areas were already gaining focus as having special importance. “The challenge for GU is to gear itself up to meet the new needs of the future. It will have to blend quality teaching with research – and this would now mean finding more effective ways for its faculty in the colleges and in the university’s postgraduate departments to undergo regular training and programmes of self-improvement, combining this with high quality research,” he said.

GU VC Prof PJ Handique termed it the biggest convocation in GU’s history in terms of participation of graduating students. “Gauhati University preserves, refines, creates, adopts, expands and transmits knowledge in a carefully maintained socio-academic environment. The university aims to contribute in overall socio-economic development of this country,” he said.

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