TODAY -

Manipur Technical University and Manipuri diaspora

Prof N Irabanta Singh *

Manipur Technical University (MTU) at State Academy of Training, Takyelpat, Imphal :: 05th August 2016
Manipur Technical University (MTU) at State Academy of Training, Takyelpat on 05th August 2016 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



INTRODUCTION: The Manipur Technical University was established on 23rd April, 2016 by an Ordinance of the Government of Manipur "The Manipur Technical University Ordinance, 2016" (Manipur Ordinance No. 1 of 2016). The Manipur Technical University is the only technical university of the State of Manipur.

All the technical institutions of the State are to be affiliated to the University in due course of time. At present, the University proposed to offer BTech course in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering and Computer Science and Engineering. In this article, the author proposes his own vision and objective of the university.

Vision and Objective

The main vision and objective of Manipur Technical University could be to produce technologists, IT managers, IT Experts of high caliber, capable of contributing towards the development of home grown technical innovative ideas in Manipur which will not only benefit Manipur but neighboring states including neighboring countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh etc. Establishing undergraduate courses of study in engineering and technology in emerging areas, post graduate programmes in engineering, technology and management education with a view to develop center of excellence for higher studies and research could be the primary objective of such an institution. It needs to create and disseminate knowledge and help to transform our state into a knowledge based society in the present day digital era.

The Manipur Technical University could initiate strategic plan to achieve following objectives:-

i) To establish as a center of excellence in teaching and research in technology and management area;
ii) To provide framework of industrialization in Manipur based on knowledge economy.
iii) To produce Scientists, Technologists and Managers capable of contributing towards development of Industries based on modern technology in collaboration with industries as well as National and International research laboratories and Academic Institutions.
iv) To provide academic guidance and support to Institutions in science, enginee- ring and management within the jurisdiction of the Manipur Technical University.
v) To create awareness in key areas of environmental science, conservation of energy and resource in emerging technologies.

Improvement of Technical Education in Manipur

There are already two institutes imparting technical education in Manipur, viz., (i) Manipur Institute of Technology. It is a Constituent College of Manipur University created by an act of Parliament, called 'Manipur University Act. 2005' and run under Manipur University Ordinance B-17. It is now covered under AICTE-NEQIP scheme vide sanction letter no. AICTE/UB/36/NEQIP/ Mani/Deg/MIT/18/2013/260 dated 30/01/2014.

For BE/B.Tech degree the institute offered 3 engineering disciplines viz., Computer Science & Engineering, Electronics &Communication Engineering and Civil Engineering and (ii) National Institute of Technology (NIT), Manipur. It is one of the ten newly set up NIT's by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India vide its order no. F.23-13-2009-TS-III dated 30th October 2009 and 3rd March 2010.

It has been established to cater to the needs of the thousands of students from the North East and outside in the field of Technical Education with National Institute of Technology Agartala, as its mentor institute.The Institute offered B.Tech. Degree under 5 disciplines viz., Civil Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics & Communication Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

For the improvement of technical education in Manipur, we need to set up a Teachers' Training College with the assistance from UGC, New Delhi and AICTE, New Delhi under National Mission on Teachers and Teaching. This initiative will help to enrich the faculty of Manipur Technical University as well as faculty of affiliated institutions for innovation in teaching.

Role of Manipuri Diaspora in the Manipur Technical University

The Manipuri Diaspora are those Manipuris who are working in various National and Multinational firms in various parts of the county and abroad. These Manipuris contributes significantly to the number of IT Technocrats from North East India for Indian IT and ITES Services and it is our strength.

Manipuri diaspora can also play a very big role in creating a framework for knowledge based economy in Manipur and help to shape the vision and objectives of the Manipur Technical University by creating strategic plans and bringing back their expertise in various fields.

The Indian IT sector is expected to grow at a rate of 12-14 per cent for FY2016 in constant currency terms. The sector is also expected to earn triple its current annual revenue to reach US$ 350 billion by FY 2025, as per National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM).

India, the fourth largest base for new businesses in the world and home to over 3,100 tech start-ups, is set to increase its base to 11,500 tech start-ups by 2020, as per a report by NASSCOM and Zinnov Management Consulting Pvt Ltd. How can we Manipuris be left behind when such massive growth in IT sector is happening in India and Shaping the Global economy?

The Manipuri Diaspora with the exposure to various National and Multinationals firms can contribute in a big way to create a framework for Knowledge based economy. Such a framework should be setup in Public- Private Partnership by capturing and referring to the various best-practice model around the globe which has actually worked and given actual results. Students enrolled to the Manipur Technical University should have a well laid out pathway that makes sure after graduation they can get real world experience and internship which will provide as a buffer to get into corporate world. The Manipuri Diaspora working in various corporations around the world can play a big role in accomplishing this objective.

The Manipuri Diaspora around the world can also help setup a startup ecosystem encouraging students to take the entrepreneurship route rather than working for companies and help to setup multiple small companies in Manipur which will directly or indirectly help in employment for a large number of technocrats solving real world problems.

For such an endeavour to be successful a long term strategic Planning for the execution of the Vision and Objective is required. A Panel of experts consisting of Government officials , private firms, experts in various fields from Manipuri diaspora community could be setup which would create a 5 year or 10 years Strategic plan . The strategic Plan could clearly define what are the realistic objectives which could be achieved during that period. What is the expected benefit if we are able to execute the strategic plan, what defines as a "Success" if such a plan is executed?

Once the strategic plan is agreed upon by various Stakeholders and the cost-benefit analysis is completed a detail Operational Plan needs to be prepared on how to achieve those strategic Goals. Operational Plan will require answering to questions like how many well qualified teachers we need to enroll, what will be the ideal strength of students that needs to be enrolled. How many companies we need to connect so that we can place all enrolled students for internship.

Basic hardware and infrastructure that we need to build and how to ultimately raise capital and funds to accomplish these goals. Frequent monitoring and controls is required to make sure that the funds are utilized properly and Strategic Goals of the organization is achieved. When such massive growth is happening in IT, how our students can be left behind. We could do everything we can to be part of the revolution that is happening.

Discussion

The upcoming Manipur Technical University which was established under Manipur Technical University ordinance 2016 have to struggle hard for self-existence. Because we had already two established technical institutes in the state as stated above. We can also follow the model of Tennessee Technical University,USA. The Tennessee Technical University mission, as the State only technological university, is to provide leadership and outstanding programmes in engineering, the science, and related areas that benefit the people of Tennessee and the nation. The university serves students from throughout the state, nation, and many other countries, but it retains a special commitment to enrich the life of people and communities in the upper Cumberland region of Tennessee.

The Technical education without real world application is of no value. In today's digital economy, location is of no significance as long as we have an internet connection. Manipur hasn't been able to take advantage of the significant advancement in the field of Internet technology which has converted the world into a global village. Corporations around the world have focused on mobile and cloud based technology which requires no big investment in terms of hardware, server and infrastructure. With little or few investment in capital expenditure, small cloud based companies can be setup in Manipur which can run 24/7 and accessible around the world.

Concluding remark

Just establishing a technical university in Manipur without a clear vision and objective to actually generate quality resources for solving real world problems will be of no value. Let us hope for the best performance by the Manipur Technical University rather than end up as defunct Government Organization. (concluded)


* Prof N Irabanta Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Former Professor (Higher Academic Grade)/Life Sciences, M.U;Former Coordinator, DBT/GOI's Centre for Bioinformatics Infrastructure Facility, LSD, M.U. and Former Dean, School of Life Sciences, M.U. and can be reached at irabanta(DOT)singh(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on August 13 2016.


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