Assam Current Affairs

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PM lays Foundation Stone for IARI at Gogamukh

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has laid the Foundation Stone of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute at Gogamukh in Assam’s Dhemaji district located on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border. This will be the third Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). Apart from IARI in the national capital, the work on setting up of second IARI in Ranchi, Jharkhand has commenced.  

The setting up of a new institute is envisaged to help in the overall development of agriculture sector in North-East India. The institute will have facilities related to farming, horticulture crops, animal husbandry and silk pest farming.

Prime Minister also spoke of “Panch Tatva” for the overall development and to boost connectivity in the North-East India. The five ways are highways, railways, waterways, airways and I-ways or the optical fibre network. 

IARI

IARI is a India’s premier national Institute for agricultural research and postgraduate higher studies in agricultural education. The IARI is financed and administered by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The IARI is credited for the research leading to the Green Revolution in India of the 1970s.

The institute had its beginning in 1905 as Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) at Pusa, Bihar. In 1936 the institute got shifted and its new campus at New Delhi was established. At present, the institute has 20 divisions 5 multi-disciplinary Centres,  8 regional stations, 2 off-season nurseries, 3 All India coordinated research projects, and 10 national Centres located across the country.

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PM Inaugurates Country’s Longest Bridge in Assam and Names it Bhupen Hazarika Bridge

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated India’s longest river bridge – the Dhola-Sadia Bridge in Assam. He has also renamed the bridge as Bhupen Hazarika Bridge. The construction of the bridge began in 2011. The cost of the project is about Rs 2056 crores.

Salient Features

Dhola-Sadia Bridge is a three lane bridge stretching 9.15 kilometre built over river Lohit, which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra river. The bridge was built by Navayuga Engineering Co. Ltd. The Dhola-Sadiya bridge is 3.55 km longer than the Bandra–Worli Sea Link in Mumbai which is the longest bridge in the country as of now.

The bridge will connect Sadia, which is 540 Km from Guwahati and Dhola, situated 300 Km from Itanagar. The bridge has been designed to withstand the weight of 60-tonne battle tanks. This will be the only bridge in the region that will be strong enough to withstand the travel of tanks to Tinsukia, a place from where Indian troops usually enter Arunachal.

Significance

Road connectivity between Dhola to Sadia will boost overall economic development of the areas north of Brahmaputra in upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge fills a huge connectivity gap that existed in the north east region. Till now, the only means existed to cross this location was a ferry travel which was not possible during floods. The construction of the bridge will reduce the distance from Rupai on NH- 37 in Assam to Meka-Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh by 165 Km. This reduction in travel time is expected to result in saving of petrol and diesel worth 10 lakh rupees per day. Travel time between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh will also get reduced by up to four hours.

The bridge will cater to the strategic requirements in border areas and will facilitate troop mobilization much more quickly in Arunachal Pradesh, the state which is claimed in its entirety by China.

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Assam plans to develop birth place of Srimanta Sankardev Batadrava

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has mooted an idea of developing the birthplace of Srimanta Sankardev Batadrava as an international tourist spot and plans to place it in the national and international tourist circuit. The state government plans to develop the birthplace on the lines of the Golden Temple of Amritsar. The site is proposed to be developed as an ideal place for religious and cultural tourism.

Srimanta Sankardeva

Srimanta Sankardeva (1449–1568) is a 15th – 16th century social and religious reformer, poet, playwright and preacher of the vaishnavite cult. He was born at Alipukhuri-Bordowa in 1449. Sankaradev is credited for inspiring the Bhakti Movement in Assam just like how Guru Nanak, Ramananda, Kabir, Basava and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu inspired in the rest of the Indian subcontinent. The ideas of Sankaradev were based on Bhagavata Purana.

Sankaradev is widely credited for developing new forms of music (Borgeet); theatrical performances(Ankia Naat, Bhaona); dance form (Sattriya), and literary language namely Brajavali. In addition, the Bhagavatic religious movement started by him had influenced two medieval kingdoms-Koch and Ahom.

The contributions made by the Sankaradev are a part of living tradition in Assam even today. Teachings of Sankaradev are practised by a large section of people in Assam. His teachings have left a lasting mark on the religious and cultural life of Assam. His teachings are credited to have integrated different castes and groups of people in Assam into one cultural unit.

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