Guwahati: Tezpur University has signed an agreement with the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) to jointly work for improving economic, agricultural and educational opportunities in the Bodo-dominated areas of Assam. The BTC, an autonomous elected authority, was created under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution for the tribal Bodo community in Assam.
BTC Chief Executive Member Pramod Boro said that through the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the council and Tezpur University (TU) intend to drive innovation, enhance educational opportunities, and accelerate the overall growth of the region, according to a release. A chair will be established at TU, a central university, in the name of the late Upendra Nath Brahma, who is considered the "Father of Bodos" or "Bodofa". After the agreement, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted: "Wonderful news! Bodofa Upendranath Brahma led a life for the upliftment of the people. This will bring much needed momentum in enhancing scholarship on his values and teachings."
The MoU was signed in the presence of Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria, TU Vice Chancellor Shambhu Nath Singh, BTC chief Boro among others, the release said. Boro said the BTC will offer scholarships to five meritorious students, once the Upendra Nath Brahma chair is fully functional. The governor hailed the signing of the MoU as the beginning of a new chapter in BTC areas as well as at TU towards contributing for academic and overall growth of the state. Governor Kataria inaugurated a smart village project through which sustainable rural community development programme is run at Jhawani village in Sonitpur district.
The project is aimed at contributing to upliftment of rural livelihood through intervention of smart and sustainable technologies such as solar-powered plant, oil and pulse mills, cold storage facility and fishery, the release said. BTC chief Boro said the region is underdeveloped and very few opportunities in terms of employability are available for the Bodo community. “For years we have fought for our identity, and our leader Bodofa Upendra Nath Brahma strived towards creating a better future for our community. Therefore, we need to embrace new ideas, create opportunities for our youth and invest in knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century,” Boro said.
TU VC Shambhu Nath Singh said the signing of the MoU was an occasion that brings together the spirit of progress, collaboration and the fulfilment of aspirations. Geetartha Darshan Barua, Officer Special Duty (OSD) to CEM, BTC, explained the background of the MoU by highlighting some of the thrust areas of cooperation such as development of knowledge centre and establishment of farmer producer organisation as a unit to develop agricultural activities.