According to Narayan Talukdar, Director of Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology (IASST), Union Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, who had visited the state last week, was keen to have the flora and fauna documented.

The Minister, following his tour of the Park, known for its one-horned rhinos, has also asked the Assam forest department to submit a scientific proposal to stop the poaching of rhinos and protect the species in the state.

"He (Harsh Vardhan) has proposed that forest officials of the Park, scientists at Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur and Guwahati along with our institute could work together in surveying and recording the flora and fauna of the Park," Talukdar said.

"We are looking forward to a formal agreement," he added. He said IASST would contribute in mapping the microbial diversity and also record the range of products produced by these microbes.

Talukdar was in the city to attend the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA) outreach programme. The Centre is seeking more partnerships in the north-east.

"People do not have proper access to modern medicines in the north-east and rely on traditional knowledge. The region is a huge wealth of indigenous knowledge and that needs to tapped," Talukdar said.

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