Early Moves

The emergence of the Association of Geographers, Bihar and Jharkhand (AGBJ) was not a sudden phenomenon. It was the outcome of a series of consultation, discussion and understanding among a select group of geographers. The driving force behind the idea was the smooth functioning of the regional associations of geographers of Rajasthan and Punjab and the encouraging words of Professor R. P. Misra in favour of the regional chapters/Association of Geographers to make the subject popular and to establish the relevance of the subject by addressing regional issues and challenges in geographical perspective. It was at the 20th Indian Geography Congress at D.D.U. Gorakhpur University, where Prof. RanaPratap and Dr. D. P. Singh of Magadh University and Prof. R. B. P. Singh of Patna University interacted, for the first time, on the issue in the aforesaid context and the matter was further discussed with some other geographers of Bihar who were present at Gorakhpur. There was a consensus to carry forward the idea of constituting an association.

It was just a chance that the geographers of Bihar expressing their interest in the constitution of the association got an opportunity to renew the process of consultation in February, 1999 when they met in a national conference on the issues of Terrorism, Rural Unrest and Insurgency with Reference to Emerging Naxalite Movement in Bihar at S. S. College, Jehanabad. Dr. R. P. Misra was present as Key Speaker. Prof. R. B. P. Singh, Prof. RanaPratap and Dr. D. P. Singh were again present there. Now the consultation club was enlarged with the participation of Late Prof. R. B. Mandal, Late Prof. G. N. Singh, both from T. M. Bhagalpur University, Bhagalpur, Dr. Nandeshwar Sharma from L. N. Mithila University, Darbhanga and the host of the seminar, Dr. Veerendra Kumar. After marathon discussion on various issues in 3 to 4 sessions during the off-periods of the technical sessions of the seminar, the consultation group arrived at the consensus that the formation of the association is the need of the time. Dr. R. P. Misra was briefed and he appreciated our move, and we sensed that he was happy from the heart over our move.

The consultation group also understood that the Department of Geography, Patna University would be the most suitable place for the promotion and monitoring of the activities of the association. Consequently, Prof. R. B. P. Singh was delegated with the responsibility to call a meeting of prominent geographers of Bihar in the Department of Geography, Patna University. With the delegated authority Prof. R. B. P. Singh called a meeting of geographers of Bihar (at that time Jharkhand was part of Bihar) on April 25, 1999. That day must be taken as turning point in the History of Geography of Bihar.