THREE DECADES OF
THE EASTERN GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY (EGC)
The Eastern Geographical Society (EGS) was formed in 1971 at Vani Vihar making the P.G. Dept. of Geography as its Headquarters. Now we have entered into the 21st Century, when we are going to celebrate its Silver Jubilee. Though it was due to be celebrated in 1996. Due to some unavoidable circumstances it could not be done. I consider this celebration is a momentous one because it is the time we should examine the direction in which we are going and the type of Geography propose to give to ourselves and the generations that will follow us.
The time has come for introspection and future thinking because our discipline has arrived at a critical state of development. History does not wait for events to unfold themselves. The world is ever changing, and this is perhaps, the only platform in this changing world for persons interested in the pursuit of geographical knowledge and research. Hence, the need for the establishment of this type of society cannot be over-emphasized.
The idea of forming a society was first initiated by Dr. B.N. sinha, then the prof. and Head of the Dept. of Geography, Utkal University, Vani Vihar. The Students and staff of this department did their best to materialize this idea. The society was formally inaugurated i8n 1971 by the Chief Guest, Dr. R. Mohanty, the then Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University. On this occasion Dr. B. Mishra, the then Prof. & head, Dept. of Applied Economics and also the then Head of the P.G. Teaching Departments (now Chairman, P.G. Council) was the Chief Speaker. Dr. B.N. Sinha, President of the Society, presided over the meeting. Dr. S. N. Tripathy, Hony. Secy. Of the Society, presented the report with aims and objectives of the Society. Sri B.N. Sahu, Hony. Joint Secy, one of the first batch students of the department extended the vote of thanks. On the 8th August, 1972 the draft constitution formed by the sub-committee was accepted by the General Body with some modifications.
The society has been formed with aims to establish an institute of Geography for higher studies and research; to provide facilities for exchange of geographical information and knowledge; to promote geographical education and research and to inculcate the spirit of adventure, travel and exploration in the youth; to initiate health competition, study circles, symposia, discussions field studies and seminars in the field of geography, to publish periodicals and bulletins; to carry on scientific experiments in the field of geography; and to initiate and finance learned teachers from different universities of India and abroad in helping the growth and development of geographical ideas.
The membership is not confined to the geographers only rather it is open for all disciplines. As a result, Dr. A.L. Basham, prof. & Head, Dept. of History, National University, Canbera, Australia and Director of Asiatic Historical Studies became first member of the society. It received its finance from some government grants, donations from different govt., semi-govt. and private organizations selling of books, journals and bulletins, and showing of geographical films in various schools of the state.
During its short span of life, it received some remarkable achievements. The journal, “The Eastern Geographers” is coming out regularly. It also helps to open new teaching departments in various govt. and private colleges of the state and to give employment to Geography students in various govt. and non-govt. organisations.
Time rolls on. We are stepping into a new century and a new millennium. Turn of decades, centuries and millennia are useful events for seeking change in geographical studies. This change makes our lives more complex and enhances the duties and responsibilities. The study of geography in our state is still in infancy. There is a good scope and a wider field for the study of Geography.
We are on the threshold of a new era in geographic teaching and research. This century begins as a century nof integration, wholism, sustainable development, geographic information system, behaviouralism and humanism. However, we are passing through difficult times, of transition. But there is always light in the darkness, as there is life in the death. A new world, a new civilization and a new knowledge are taking shape. Let geographers be participants in this new world, the world of information to spread and preach the geographic knowledge and concepts among the people from this common platform- The Eastern Geographical Society.
Geography is a discipline of unity and integration unity of man and nature and integration of scientific concepts. Let us try to make our discipline a discipline of unity and love a discipline of integration and interaction through this common platform- The Eastern Geographical Society.