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On 25th September, Hon’ble Secretary of National Land Commission Secretariat (NLCS), Dasho Pema Chewang met with students of B.E. in Surveying and Geoinformatics, and Diploma in Surveying.

Dasho expressed that he always had aspirations to meet and talk with the students of JNEC, and thanked the College Management for the opportunity. He also relayed his appreciations to the College Management for allowing him and his entire Eastern COVID-19 Task Force team to house in the college guest house since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the talk, Dasho highlighted the issues related to state land and the problems of limited arable land in Bhutan. Dasho informed the students that Bhutan has only 7% (664,000 acres) of arable, of which 500,000 acres are already owned by individuals, leaving only 164,000 acres for future populations. Dasho further added that there are approximately 24,000 individuals who are landless in Bhutan. Dasho then shared how NLCS has already implemented National Land Use Zoning Guidelines to address such issues related to land and is working on a new land policy. Furthermore, Dasho also emphasized that NLCS is working on policies to utilize underground spaces in the urban areas and policies for vertical growth – the utilization of space, to address the limited land issues.

Hon’ble Dasho also spoke on the employability of the JNEC students undergoing B.E. in Surveying and Geoinformatics, and Diploma in Surveying. Dasho expressed his regret for not being able to employ all 125+ surveying graduates of JNEC in NLCS. Nevertheless, Dasho promised that NLCS would continue to support young Surveyors by providing intensive training and certifying to carry out cadastral and land transaction surveys as in the past.

Dasho urged the students not to confine themselves to job opportunities inside Bhutan but to think beyond. He encouraged graduates to form groups and take up cadastral surveying works in other South-East Asian countries. He reminded the students that although the job opportunities are limited but the opportunities for employments are always there. “Ultimately, it boils to individual’s focus, interest and how you want to contribute” Dasho stressed.

Dasho also highlighted on the importance of integrity in the workplace. “As a surveyor, your integrity has to be high, and you cannot be biased,” he said. Dasho concluded the session by gifting four copies each of books titled “NYE- Religious, Culture and Historical Atlas of Bhutan” and “ATLAS OF BHUTAN-Land Cover and Institutional Facilities”, published by NLCS as a solera for the college library.