The Centre is envisaged to be the research and development consultancy wing of the University in the areas of social and natural environment and sustainable development. The Centre will function under the aegis of Department of Environment & Traditional Ecosystems and Department of Tourism with active collaboration of School of Social Work, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Economics, Commerce & Management, Centre for GENDER and Centre for Cultural & Community Initiatives of the University to understand, catalyse and promote social change and transformation that is sustainable and relevant to the social and environmental environments of the contemporary societies. The Centre was establishment in November 2020 with the approval by the Board of Governors.
Key goal of the Centre
Endeavour to enhance the social, academic and scholarly knowledge and application of sustainable development issues, policies and practices together with promotion of multi-disciplinary (inter and trans-disciplinary) joint and collaborative research on environment and sustainable development involving the society in general.
Key objectives of the Centre:
- To undertake research and development activities on key theme of the development agenda and programmes of the government/communities and national/international development agencies.
- To initiate and guide research that aims to comprehend and analyse challenges of social and environmental sustainability and to create impacts beyond academia.
- To undertake & coordinate consultancy services of development programmes/ projects/ schemes of the government / other development agencies on behalf of the university.
- To strengthen and deepen the University’s vision, mission and objectives of community engagements.
- To act as the community learning centre for development through training, outreach, development of resource materials and publications.
- To contribute to the academic enrichment and experiential learning activities of the university as developmental institution through academic activities of research, documentation, seminars, conference, publications, etc.
- To contribute to development of policies, regulations and laws that relate to sustainable development and transformation.
- To collaborate and build partnership with like-minded agencies and institutions including HEI, government agencies, CSOs, NGOs and community institutions on the theme of environment and development.
Key activities of the Centre
A. Research on Development
Key areas of research would be developed and dovetailed as per needs and demands. However, some the emerging areas of research could be the followings:
• Culture and development.
• Gender and development.
• Human development including health, education and sustainable livelihoods.
• Traditional knowledge, biodiversity and IPR.
• Rural innovations and technologies for livelihoods.
• Industry, trade and commerce.
• Mining, environment and development.
• Rural migration and mobility.
• Plantation crops for rural economy.
• Enterprise and business development particularly by rural youth.
• Traditional conservation practices of forest, biodiversity, water bodies, springs, etc and their relevance in development.
• Agrobiodiversity and traditional tribal foods systems.
• Policy studies and analysis such as District Council/Government laws / Acts/rules/regulations impacting or influencing rural communities.
• Development in the context of human rights, justice and peace.
• Institutional response to climate change for adaptation and development.
• SDGs and SDG indicators.
• Governance (urban/rural) and transformation.
• Landuse, Governance and Development.
• Disaster management and prevention.
Climate Change and Resilience.
• Decentralisation, grassroots governance and traditional institutions.
• Rural development, labour, rural employment and social benefits.
B. Consultancy Services
Carry out consultancy services for government programmes/projects/schemes as well as any other agencies including multilateral and bilateral covering the tasks in the aforementioned areas, encompassing assessment, evaluation works, outcomes & impacts studies, policy studies, etc.
C. Outreach and Community Engagements
- The Centre will actively engage in extensive outreach and communication activities in close collaboration with diverse stakeholders, including government and non-government organizations to enhance societal dialogue and practices on outcomes and sustainability.
- Books, Occasional Papers, Monographs, etc. (such as completed research in book form, project reports, Ph.D. Theses, collected technical papers, etc.).
- Development studies series (such as research in specific development problems of Meghalaya and NE States).
- Working Papers (such as specially commissioned technical papers, etc).
- Organise seminars/conferences/discussion.
- Organise public and commemorative/memorial lecture series.
D. Capacity Building and Training
The Centre will undertake activities that build capacity in the field of sustainability through programmes and collaborations with stakeholders from diverse sectors including the private sector, the government, non-government, academia and communities at large.
- Organise trainings on specific areas of development fields as per demands and needs.
- Working closely with Govt & Semi-Govt Departments, Private Organisations, etc. to secure for conducting training / capacity building activities.
E. Partnerships, Networking and collaboration
- Partnership building with other organisations/agencies/universities/institutions including community and faith-based institutions in areas of common interest.
- Networking and collaboration with other scholars / institutions / organisations with similar interest.
- Network with community institutions including ADCs, Govt Departments, CSOs and bi-lateral / multi-lateral development agencies.
- The Centre will endeavour to raise its own resources to function as a self-sustaining Centre for its hired staff based on projects and programmes.
- Concerted efforts would be made to secure sponsored research from Govt of India, State Governments and other funding agencies including CSR.
- The Centre will also endeavour to generate resources for the University through the consultancy services that the Centre would be able to secure.