KOLKATA, 10 SEPT: In the wake of threat to food security and water availability, the state pollution control board has decided to fund ‘policy research’ so that whenever the government formulates a policy, it could be done intricately with the help of the research findings.
Prof. PN Roy, chairman of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB), said that the government policies are seldom based on researches or studies. It is so because of lack of funds for research. “Since one of the function of the pollution control board is to encourage and fund such policy researches, we would be forming a research and development committee headed by an advisory committee which would take over the work of getting researches done so that when the government formulates policy, it does so keeping in mind all the intricacies of the subject,” he said.
Under a first such initiative by the board, Dr Kalyan Rudra, a river expert, is preparing a study report on the state of the rivers in the state. The report will have a detailed study from conflict over trans-boundary rivers to decay of drainage system.
Prof. Roy has asked several institutes and experts in the state to associate with the initiative. Dr Shantanu Jha, professor of Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalay, would head the research and development committee. The advisory committee would consist a large group of academicians such as Prof. RN Basu, former Vice-Chancellor of University of Calcutta, and Prof Sibaji Raha, director of Bose Institute, among others. Prof. Roy said that the orientation of the research and development committee would be on policy research.
In September, all the rivers in East and West Midnapore, Bankura, Burdwan and Purulia districts dry. The present situation is such the change in climate has gone beyond any prediction, said Dr Dipak Chakraborty, chief scientist, WBPCB.
Our state still doesn’t have a climate change action plan and it is very necessary to know what state the rivers, plains and the biodiversity is.
In the western countries, policy making and research always go together and even the corporate world provides funds for these researches. However, in India, we have only Indian Council for Research on International Economic Research (ICRIER), National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Centre for Policy Research (CPR), Institute of Developmental Studies and Planning Commission.
In most of the cases, funding the research and availability of manpower becomes a problem. At such times it has also been seen that the Indian corporate sector funds the researches in western countries, said Prof. Roy.