Research must focus on sustainability: Experts

February 13th, 2011 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Feb 13 (IANS) Very little money is spent on research on the sustainable use of natural resources compared to what is spent on studies for their exploitation, experts said here Sunday, adding that identification of research priorities is the key to long-term development. “Worldwide, about 6,000 times more expenditure is made on research and development for the exploitation of natural resources than the costs made on sustainable development of resources,” B.K Agarwala, pro vice chancellor of Tripura (Central) University, said.

He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) here.

“Natural resources are now depleting at a faster rate and new kinds of environmental threats are looming large,” he added.

The two-day seminar on “identification of research priorities in Tripura”, which began Sunday, was organised to promote research on relevant issues to achieve inclusive growth in Tripura and to pursue the challenges faced in varied fields of research.

According to Agarwala, rubber plantations have substantially altered the landscape of Tripura for economic considerations.

“Organic farming is far less practiced than the use of inorganic fertilisers and pesticides for high yielding hybrid varieties,” he noted.

Arunoday Saha, vice-chancellor of Tripura (Central) University, said: “Funding for research in India and abroad are not at all a problem now. What is vital is the choice of appropriate issues for research.”

“Though necessity is the mother of research, there are instances of malpractice and duplications in many research works,” said Saha, a renowned economist.

Academician Subhas Chandra Saha told the seminar that research in higher education along with other basic sectors is a must.

“Research works should be properly targeted and study priorities must be identified,” said Saha, who is also the director of the School of Management Sciences under Bengal Engineering and Science University in Shibpur in West Bengal.

IGNOU’s regional director Kiran Shankar Chakraborty said that identification of research areas and focusing them on priority basis are important tasks of academic institutions actively involved in research.

According to K.N. Jena, an associate professor at Tripura (Central) University, a total of 74 research papers on a wide range of subjects were submitted in the two-day seminar and 43 of them were accepted for presentation.

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