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Lecture series in New Delhi, Assam, Meghalaya

Beginning in February 2000, C-NES in collaboration with the India International Centre has organized a series of public lectures and seminars to sensitize influential figures in Delhi and the public about some concerns of the North East.

These have included seminars on The Media under Pressure in the North East (39 editors and top journalists attended); a seminar on Myth and Reality of AIDS in North East, supported by the Ministry of Health, Government of India (inaugurated by the then Governor of Manipur, Shri Ved Marwah and chaired by former Governor of Manipur, Lt-Gen V.K. Nayar); a talk on Nagaland and Naga issues by Shri Niketu Iralu, C-NES trustee and prominent Naga civil society figure; lecture on Manipur after the elections by scholars Bhagat Oinam and Tarun Kumar; lecture on ‘India and Bangladesh: distant neighbors, troubled borders’ by E. Rammohan, former DG- BSF. On July 17, 2003, Prof. Pradip Bhattacharyya, Vice-Chancellor of Tezpur University, spoke on ‘Education, Conflict and the North East’.

All the lectures were well-attended with active participation from a number of officials including K. Padmanabhiah, the Prime Minister’s Representative to the Naga talks, the Bangladesh High Commissioner to India, representatives from the Home Ministry, different state governments, members of Parliament, editors, journalists, academics and social activists. On august 16, 2003 Mr. Subimal Bhattcharjee, Vice President, Argus Integrated Systems Pvt. Ltd., lectured on ‘IT and Peace in North East’ while on November 19, 2003, Mr. T Solo, former Principal Secretary, Government of Nagaland, talked of the ‘Impact of the Prime Minister’s visit to Nagaland’.

In addition, in September 2002, the Centre along with Astha Bharati had organized a two-day seminar on illegal migration from Bangladesh and developed a series of recommendations for Government of India, some of which are under active consideration of the Centre. The Managing Trustee has studied and published on the problem of illegal migration extensively and is regarded internationally as a specialist on the issue.

C-NES, in association with the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Bangladesh, organized a series of public meetings and discussions aimed at developing better understanding between North East India and Bangladesh, especially on the issue of illegal migration.

The lectures and seminars were held at Guwahati and Shillong and drew large, representative audiences. For the first time, Bangladeshi academics and former senior officials (former Foreign Secretary Farooq Sobhan led the Bangladesh delegation) got a first hand understanding of the pressures that illegal migration from their country is creating. Given the sensitivity of the issue, both in India and Bangladesh, this was a signal effort to help change mindsets on these concerns. There are plans to organize further dialogues.

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