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Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and the Impact of its Establishment in Manipur

Mayanglambam Suheshkumar Singh *



Download the entire article (PDF - 2.7 MB) here

Present Status of Scientific Temperament in Manipur and its Possible Change with Establishment of IISER in the State:

One witnesses a wind of changes in North-eastern states (in general) and Manipur (in particular) since last one decade or less. These changes include development in socio-economic, infrastructure, law and order, peace and harmony of co-existence, healthcare, education, science and technology, and entrepreneurship in business, etc. Shortly, one may say the quality of one's life is greatly improved.

Specifically, focusing to the education and its system, several national level institutes or universities - namely National Institute of Technology (NIT), Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Manipur Technical University (MTU), Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU), Institute of Bio-resources & Sustainable Development (IBSD) - were established in the recent past few years while National Sports University is already agreed for establishment.

The establishment of these national institutes or universities give a significant impact in change and uplift not only education - both from the quality and quantity aspects - and its system (in particular) but also social life of the state (Manipur). This may be because of the integral nature of the national institutes that combines quality, competition, and transparency.

This is in addition to the longstanding contribution accomplished from a consistent effort of the existing institutes or universities (under state or central government undertaking), say, Manipur University (MU) in education (and partly in research), Manipur Institute of Technology (MIT) and Industrial and Training Institute (ITI) in technology, Central Agricultural University (CAU) in agricultural education and research, and Regional Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) and Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Science) in medicine, etc.

All of these institutes (state or central) focus either to professional courses or traditional education for a degree (with an exception of CAU). It is notable that the temperament of Science and scientific advances in North-east states (in general) and Manipur (in particular) are much lagging behind - both in quality and quantity aspects - the mainstream of national and international standard. On the other hand, it is known to all the potential and hidden talent or skills of individual/student (in North-east) to Physical Sciences - including Mathematics and Physics - at his/her early stage.

However, a majority of these potential and promising individuals are drained to other professions while only a handful of individuals retain and pursue Science as a career at the end. Even, the higher percentage of this group of Scientists - who gained an advanced research training and expertise from premiere institutes of reputation in Science (within India, including Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), and abroad) and undertake Science with passion - opt to pursue their scientific research not in their place of birth (but in competent institutes in other parts of the country or abroad). The primary reason for this kind of brain drain may be due to lack of establishment of competent and promising institutes - that focus on Science and scientific advances -, and/or lack of scientific temperament in this region of the country.

Establishment of Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Manipur will address the majority of the concerns - with the inherent and unique features of IISERs - and greatly benefits the region that can be underscored as:

o Uplift the temperament of Science and scientific advances of the global standard not only in the state but also in the entire region of North-east state.

o Building up and maintaining a competitive environment among the masses - including students - that will be enabled along with the arrival of: (1) the competent and promising students being admitted through national level competitive examination. The institutions themselves take in only the most capable and competent students, as is quite apparent when one of the criteria for gaining admission is being in the top 1% in the board exams. (2) the highly competent and motivated faculty - who have gained scientific expertise of education and research study of international standard - in various disciplines with a passion for science.

o Advancement in science and technology that will provide an ample opportunity for overall development in the region along with the look-east policy.

o Attractive point for our own competent diaspora - who are experts of international standard in their own field of research study - working far away (within or outside the country) from birth place in search of finding a promising platform for conducting the research study of global standard. This establishment will facilitate an opportunity to the competent and promising diaspora fulfilling their longstanding desire of serving and contributing to their own place of birth. In turn, the region will be greatly benefitted of this kind of service to their own place with maximal outputs.

o Building and nurturing of individuals/students with a passion in Science to the career of his/her choice in scientific research for maximum outputs.

o Mass awareness of science and scientific advances.

o Influence in the existing education system for the required change to the global standard.

o Higher education centre or hub for East Asian Countries.

o Development of under-privilege village through the adoption program of IISERs.

o Protection of outgoing financial expenditure (for higher education) to other places in which because of the prevailing situation in the state (Manipur) - including law and order, and higher education system - not less than 40% of state economy outflows for seeking higher education in places other than to his/her own place.

o Job creation at various levels including supporting staffs to the institute.

o Creation of platform for starting entrepreneurship that can be achieved through the undertaking of incubation centre open in all the IISERs.

o Employment of the youths (of the region):
1) students, who got admitted to the institute, are placed for higher study in the premiere institute (within and outside the country) or opt for job opportunities (as mentioned in the Section: Career Options and Opportunity).
(2) Job opportunities will be increased many-fold with the establishment of technology-based entrepreneurs or business settings.

o Socio-economic development along with the advancement in Science and scientific research, and technology.

** Also watch a discussion on IISER at Impact TV (Manung Hutna) here





* Mayanglambam Suheshkumar Singh wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is an Assistant Professor , School of Physics Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
The writer can be contacted at suhesh.kumar(AT)iisertvm(DOT)ac(DOT)in
This article was webcasted on February 03, 2018.



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