Guwahati: Assam has tied up with the Stanford University in the US for documenting the rich culture, traditional knowledge, customs and indigenous practices of various communities in the state, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Monday while inaugurating the Institute of Research & Documentation of Indigenous Studies (IRDIS) at the International Convention Centre of Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra here.
"The institute has been conceived to carry out research and documentation on indigenous practices of ethnic and indigenous communities in the state," he said, adding that the tribal and indigenous communities of Assam are very rich in culture, customs, traditional knowledge and practices.
"All this needs to be researched and documented for posterity of the communities and the IRDIS will go into multidisciplinary research in collaboration with Stanford University on documentation of the diverse ethnic and indigenous communities of the state, which will, in turn, empower the communities socially, economically and culturally," Gogoi said.
The chief minister also emphasized on the need for sticking to traditional roots in the march for development and said: "We cannot ignore our roots and have to be firmly entrenched in it. For this it is important to link up the traditional system with the modern system and apply those for the all round progress of the ethnic and indigenous communities."
The IRDIS and the Stanford University would work in close partnership for designing and implementing multidisciplinary research and documentation projects for the empowerment of the communities, and also for preservation of their traditional and indigenous knowledge and practices.
Both the IRDIS and the Stanford University are expected to carry out intensive studies in the way of life of the tribal and indigenous communities including their food habits, their healthy lifestyles, way of traditional treatment, their colourful attires and their traditional judicial system.
Founder president of IRDIS Deepa Dutt explained that research and documentation initiatives would be in a wide range of areas such as indigenous culture, indigenous and traditional knowledge and practices, socio-economic studies, health, education, and population numbers.
"The knowledge resource that will be evolved from such research work will be stored in a database for developing a modern data archive on indigenous studies based on latest technology," she added.