Delhi University (DU) is soon going to launch a North East India Studies Programme (NEISP) — a fully funded, research programme — with the aim of encouraging research scholars to study various aspects of the North East.
The council of the Department of Sociology and Delhi School of Economics have approved the programme. The proposal for the course is to be placed before DU’s academic council.
“There is a certain degree of misinterpretation and misrepresentation regarding various issues pertaining to the North East.
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Since Sociology deals directly with the study of societies, the aim is to create an apolitical platform to facilitate research on the area,” convenor of NEISP Kamei Aphun said.
The department has formed a five-member committee which is looking towards creating a vision document to seek the support of the University Grants Commission.
The vision document is likely to include topics such as “North East today”, “State, Ethnicity and Tribes”, “Dams, Movements and Violence”, “Education, Church and Civil Society”, “social problems such as youth unrest, drug addiction, HIV/AIDS, alcoholism and development” among others, officials said.
“We looked at various departments that dealt with research in the North Eastern states and found that many teachers and students were from the area. When seminars took place, those attending it were also from the North East. This also a kind of ghettoisation,” Aphun said.
With the support of the UGC, NEISP is looking to change that by creating “an inclusive scholarship programme, which isn’t reserved for just students from the North East,” Aphun said.
Meanwhile, a “think-tank” aimed at bringing together academicians, administrators and the police was launched earlier last week. It features academicians from Jawarharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS, Guwahati), media professionals, the Delhi Police, representatives from DONER (Development of North Eastern Region) ministry and NEC (North Eastern Council) who will deliberate upon the issues pertaining to the region.