Assam Rifles, the oldest Para Military Force raised in 1835 and USI of India, India’s oldest Defence and Security think tank raised in 1870 conducted a joint Seminar “Unravelling Haze that Obscures North East’s Potential for Acting East” at the USI premise on 12 February 2021.
The chief guest of the Seminar was General MM Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM, ADC, Chief of the Army Staff. The welcome address and curtain raiser for the inaugural joint seminar was given by Maj Gen B K Sharma, AVSM, SM** (Retd), Director USI of India. Special Address on the occasion was delivered by Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan, AVSM, SM** DG Assam Rifles. COAS delivered the Keynote Address.
The Seminar was conducted under two sessions:
The theme of the session one was Unravelling Haze that Engulfs the North East. The session was chaired by Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, PVSM, AVSM, SM (Retd). Shri Jitesh Khosla, IAS (Retd), former Chief Secretary Assam spoke on ‘Social and Societal Conflicts in North East,’ whereas Mr Subir Bhaumik, veteran BBC journalist and author gave a talk on ‘Narcotics, Illegal Trade and Tax Regime.’ The speakers, later, conversed with the audience during the exhaustive Q&A session.
The second session expound on the broader concept of ‘North East – Quintessentially the Fulcrum for Acting East, ’ which was chaired by Lt Gen (Dr) K Himalay Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM,YSM(Retd). Lt Gen Balbir Singh Sandhu, AVSM, VSM (Retd), former Director General Information Technology at the Army Headquarters spoke on ‘Culture, Commerce (Setting up and Development of Industry) and Connectivity– Strengthening linkages with ASEAN.’ Whereas, Ms Patricia Mukhim a well-known social activist, writer, journalist and a Padma Shree awardee from Meghalaya articulated her views on the topic ‘Tourism, Sports and Development of Entertainment Industry – Catalysing Trade and Development.’ Lt Gen Satish Dua, PVSM, UYSM, SM, VSM (Retd), former Chief of Integrated Defence Staff highlighted the ‘Role of Security Forces in Boosting Act East.’
The seminar was attended by the officers from the Assam Rifles, Indian Army, Media houses, and members of strategic and security community. It received a wide print and electronic media coverage.
On the occasion the COAS released the special issue of USI Journal commemorating 150 years of USI Anniversary.