Under fire for his 10-day trip to the United States in the midst of severe flood in the state, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday said such visits were necessary to 'get a first hand experience of technological and social advancements in other countries'.
"My US trip has been criticised by some people. But they should understand that such visits are not pleasure trips. Until and unless we visit other countries and learn about the latest advancements, how can we introduce such things in our own country," he told media persons in Guwahati.
"We send officials also on study tours. Even journalists should also accompany us," he added.
Gogoi, who returned from the official tour on Sunday said during his US isit he had seen and discussed latest technology and know-how related to various fields, including flood-control, education and health.
"Our aim is to mitigate hardships with the use of latest technology. We want to channelise and reclaim land lost in the Brahmaputra. Such things take time - even 50 years, but we want to make a start to the process.
"I have even visited children's parks and museums but not for fun. I went to see how in other countries kids are given lessons in culture, history and manners," he said.