Guwahati, January 2: Dr. Sujit Kumar Dutta, retired associate professor of National Institute of Rural Development(North East Regional Centre, Guwahati) passes away in Kolkata on December 25, 2020, after his battle with covid 19. Dr. Dutta served NIRD, NERC in Guwahati for 25 years and he was one of the think tanks of the social development sector in northeast India.
Dutta, a graduate from Calcutta University, did M.A in Sociology and Anthropology from North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong. He did his Ph.D. in Sociology from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur and Post-Doctoral on Human Science from Centre D'ectudes de L'asie du sud, EHESS, Paris.
He also worked with The National Institute of Technology (NIT) Arunachal Pradesh as senior faculty (May 2013 - September 2014) and thereafter joined as a Visiting Faculty, Dept. of HSS, NIT-Meghalaya and worked till January 2017. Currently, he was working as Professor in Sociology, Assam down town University, Guwahati since May 2017. He has been a visiting scholar from 1991 to 1993 to the Universities/institutes of repute in Europe, the USA, and Canada. In 2002 he was an alumna of Regional Community Forestry Training Centre, Kasetsart University, Bangkok and in 2004 was a visiting scholar in Maison Des Sciences De L'Home, Paris, France, under the Indo-French exchange programme.
In 2012, he visited the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR), the Philippines in connection with a venture of collaboration. During March 5-10, 2018 he visited Dhaka (Bangladesh) as a visiting Professor, invited by the dept. of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Mohammadpur Kendriya college, Dhaka. He worked as Director, SIRD, Govt. of West Bengal and Professor and PGP (Chairman) at the Business School of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology-University, Bhubaneswar on Deputation.
Apart from contributing articles to various journals of national and international repute, he had completed 21 projects and seven books, namely (1) The Functioning of Autonomous District Councils in Meghalaya,2002 (2) Empowering Rural Women,2002 (3) Institutions for Development: The case of Panchayats, 2006, (4) Sociology at Workplace, 2010.(5) Highly Traded Medicinal and Aromatic Plants of North Eastern States,India,2015, (6) The Indomitable Women Brigade of the North East India.(7) Sustainable Agricultural Development in Nagaland: Roles and Responsibilities of Village Level Institutions, 2016. His main areas of interest used to be: Social Stratification and Inequality, Rural Development and Agrarian Studies, Problems of Underdevelopment, Decentralized Planning, Panchayat and local self-Government, Women Studies, Joint Forest Management, and Entrepreneurship.
His passing away at 68 years of age is a great loss to the entire northeast region of India. His friends, associates, research scholars, and organisations where he had worked express shock at his sudden demise and have paid homage to Dr. Dutta for his relentless efforts and innovative approaches for development at the grassroots. He is survived by his wife, daughter, and a host of close family and friends.