It is a pleasure that Jamia Millia Islamia known as the “land of experimentations and innovation” has established a Centre for North East Studies, the first such centre in any central university, said the Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD), Dr. M. Mangapati Pallam Raju in his address after a formal inauguration of the new premises of the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (CNESPR) here on Tuesday, 22 January 2013. The minister, flanked by Vice-Chancellor Najeeb Jung and other senior University authorities, cut the ribbon to formally inaugurate the Centre to which a separate floor has been allocated at MMAJ Academy of International Studies.
Hinting towards the incidents of ill-treatment meted out to and uncivilized remarks passed at students belonging to north eastern India, the Minister said, “Prejudice was unacceptable in any form, towards any group in any place” and that there were “strong punishments under law” to deal with such cases. Referring to his own travels and interactions with different sections of people of the region earlier as minister of defence, he said that there was much more to be learnt about the region than what people thought they knew. He called northeast important part of India’s Look-East-Policy.
The minister hoped that Centre should provide space for creative research, democratic dialogue, discussions and shared knowledge for the benefit of all. He said that northeast regions converge more and more in the life of India, hence the need to understand the region.
Dr. Raju commended Jamia for establishing some good institutes of learning and plural services like AJK Mass Communication and Research Centre, and more recently the Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Centre for Comparative Religions, and Dalit and Minorities Studies centres.
Early in his introductory remarks, Prof. Sanjoy Hazarika, director of the Centre said that there were many silent voices that needed to be raised and areas to be researched in northeast. He urged that there was need for collaborated research to understand the region and understand its needs and issues. He called Delhi the ninth state of north east because of the space it needed to provide and the problems that it needed to pay heed to, concerning northeast.
VC Najeeb Jung said that Jamia was different from other universities because it catered to the needs of the lower middle classes and therefore it had a huge responsibility to give its students the same amount of confidence which is given to middle class students in some other institutions. He also said that Jamia was a northeast friendly university where many students from the region studied.
The programme was attended by Pro Vice-Chancellor Prof. S. M. Rashid; Registrar, Dr. S. M. Sajid; Deputy Registrar, Dr. Abdul Malik; Monalisa Changkija, editor of Nagaland Page; Prof. Sonya Gupta, director of the Centre for European and Latin American Studies; T.C.A. Rangachari, Director of the Academy of International Studies, K. Kokho, Fatima Khan and others of the CNESPR, senior teaching and administrative members and a small number of students.