A two-day national conference on ‘Tribal Identity and Tribal Integration: Issues of Nation Building’ hosted by the Department of Anthropology, University of Hyderabad (UoH), in honour of Prof. N. Sudhakar Rao, was flagged off today. The conference is organized by the Department of Anthropology in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya (IGRMS), Bhopal and Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata.

Prof N. Sudhakar Rao, Dept of Anthropology; Prof. P.Appa Rao Podile, Vice Chancellor, UoH; Prof. P. Venkata Rao, Dean, School of Social Sciences; Prof. B.V. Sharma and Prof. M. Romesh Singh, Dept. of Anthropology and Prof. Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri, Director, IGRMS Bhopal were the dignitaries for the inaugural session. The family members of Prof Sudhakar Rao were also present on the occasion of his super-annuation.

Prof. P. Venkata Rao, in his welcome address, remarked that it was a timely conference with contemporary relevance. He added that the department is known for coherence, harmony and excellence in research with a tradition of organizing seminars in honour of colleagues who super-annuate. Prof. B.V. Sharma gave a brief account of his long association with Prof. N. Sudhakar Rao and listed the latter’s monumental contributions to the discipline as a dedicated theoretician and an astute ethnographer. His works among the Yanadi tribes of Sri Harikota have contributed immensely to Indian Sociology. Prof Appa Rao, the chief guest of the day praised the initiative by the dept and stressed the need to make use of the wisdom of retired professors. Prof. Sarit Kumar Chaudhuri, who represented IGRMS, a national museum dedicated to the tribes of India, delivered the keynote address. He highlighted that contemporary tribal issues need interdisciplinary framework, however, it can be spearheaded by anthropology due to disciplinary tolerance to tribal point of view.

Prof N. Sudhakar Rao recounted his career at the department and his tryst with the discipline. He was felicitated by his former students, colleagues and his family members.

The session came to a close with a vote of thanks by his colleague Mr. Shaik Abdul Munaf, Dept. of Anthropology. The inaugural session was followed by three technical sessions on various themes ranging from tribal identity and integration to developmental programmes and nation building.