Reminiscence of attempts made for Technology Transfer and Academic Entrepreneurship at Manipur University
- Part 1 -

Dr N Irabanta Singh *


Technology transfer can potentially generate revenues for Universities, create research connections between academia and industry and enhance economic growth and development. The process of technology transfer from invention to commercialization is often assumed to be something of a block box. A generalizable model of technology transfer is different to find, and one that accurately depicts the subtleties of how knowledge and technology are transferred in practice is non-existents.

As Universities become more entrepreneurial and look towards technology transfer into non-traditional fields; there is a need for alternative conceptualization of technology transfer into non-traditional fields, there is need for alternative conceptualization of technology linear model and that are generalizable to the nuances of the University to which they are applied (Bradley stays and Link, 2013).

The concepts of academic entrepreneurship reflects the need to bring academia and private sector R&D closer together. It is about boosting the economic value of processes of transfer and application of knowledge between University and business fibrics . Learn more in entrepreneurial mission of an academic creative incubator. The process of creating economic value through commercializing technologies or research outcomes generated by individuals or group of individuals in academic institutions.

(a) Training, Technology Transfer Cum Demonstration

In this article reminiscence of attempts made for technology transfer and academic entrepreneurship at Manipur University are described . The flowing Training Cum Demonstration Programmes were attended/conducted by the Prof. N.I. Singh and his team in aerobiological and allied fields during 1984 to 2015.

Under the team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, a Training Cum Demonstration Programme on BGA for NGO's of North Eastern India during 3-5 Oct., 1994 was organised at the Department of Life Sciences, Manipur University, Canchipur. Twenty trainees attended to the Training Programme. BGA Packets were distributed to the trainees free of cost.

He also attended as a resource person in the Orientation Course on Biofertilizer Technology for the State Agricultural Extension Workers at the Regional Biofertilizer Development Centre, Iroisemba, Imphal during 19-20 Sept., 1994. About 30 delegates attended the programme.

"BGA and Azolla Biofertilizers Technology

Dr. N. Irabanta Singh, Department of Life Sciences, Manipur University received training course in Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) from Oct., 3 to 14, 1988 at the National Facility for Blue Green Algal Collections, IARI, New Delhi - 110012.

Under the team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, a three day training cum demonstration programme on BGA and Azolla biofertilizers technology was organised for 20 representatives of NGO's and Agricultural workers/ Progressive farmers of Manipur during 17-19 May, 1995 at the Manipur University.

Under the team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, another training cum demonstration programme on BGA and Azolla biofertilizer was organised for the representative of NGO's during 28-31 May, 1997. Twentyfive representatives attended the same training. Packets of BGA biofertilizer and Azolla inoculum were provided free to all the participants. The scheme was sponsored by CSIR, New Delhi.

Under the team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, five training cum demonstration programmes on mushroom cultivation were organised for the benefit of 287 progressive growers (224 rural women and 63 educated unemployed youths) in Imphal East-II C.D-Block under Imphal East District, Manipur. The trainings were conducted during (1997 to 2000), under the scheme "Technology Development and Demonstration Project on wild edible fungi of Manipur" sponsored by ICFRE, Deharadun.

Under the team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, 18 Mushroom cultivation Training Programmes (8 during 1990-2000 and 10 during 2000-2001) were organised covering 23 Youth Clubs/Women organisations in Imphal East District, Manipur. Out of which 875 persons (male-185 and female-690) were trained in two day training cum demonstration programmes.

It was sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, New Delhi. A total of 12,988 packets/quality mother spawn were supplied to the progressive growers. Further, interactions with the growers were arranged with the project staffs. Some of the trained beneficiaries are still continuing cultivation of mushroom for their own consumption as well as sale in the market.

Under the team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, a project entitled "Azolla biotechnology for socio-economic upliftment of SC/ST population in Imphal East District, Manipur" was executed during 1999 to 2002. Eight in numbers of two-day training cum demonstration programmes were conducted during 2001-2002.

These programmes were conducted in the adopted villages of Imphal East District, Manipur. The theoretical course consists of (i) production of Azolla and its utilization and (ii) the utility of Azolla as green manure for rice and supplemental feed for fish, duck and pig.

Earthworm in Organic Farming

Under the team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, an awareness among SC/ST communities under Imphal East - II C.D. Block, Manipur (2004 - 07) was created about the utility of earthworm in organic farming. Ten lecture cum demonstration programmes ( 4 for ST Communities and 6 for SC Community) were arranged.

Further, off- campus training for selected SC/ST beneficiaries, earthworms rearing methods for vermicomposting and harvesting of vermicompost were conducted. Harvested vermicompost was also shown to the participants. At the end of each session, participation certificates were distributed to the trainees.

Green Manure Technology Transfer

Based on microplot (5x5 sq. m) trails conducted at the Experimental plots of life Sciences Department, Manipur University, Canchipur during 2002 and 2003 Kharif crops, the use of Aeschynome aspera as green manure doubled rice yields. Yields of dry matter (grains and straw) were double than those of controls in the microplots (5x5 sq. m) where A. aspera green manure was used.

The effect of inorganic nitrogrn fertilizer was significantly less pronounced than that of A. aspera manure. Moreover, the nitrogen content of grains and straw in A. aspera plots was significantly higher (by 50%) than that of the control plots (Singh, 2004) Since A. aspera L. could be produced by the farmer in his own field without disrupting farming, the net value for using A. aspera as green manure was substantially higher than control. Therefore, the use of A. aspera will reduce the cost of cultivation and raise the net value output from the farm (Devi, 2010).

Training and demonstration of Aeschynome aspera green manure Technology

The following training programmes were organized for the personnel of the State Agriculture Department, NGOs representatives, marginal and progressive farmers.

(i) Organised two day training cum Demonstration programme representing NGOs on the North-East India during 8th and 9th June, 2002 at the Department of Life Sciences, Manipur University, Canchipur, on the use of Aeschynome aspera as green manure for rice cultivation. Fifteen trainees attended the programme.;

(ii) Organized two day training cum Demonstration programme on the use of Aeschynome aspera as green manure for rice cultivation for twenty representatives of NGOs and poor and marginal farmers of Manipur during 13th and 14th July, 2002 at Manipur University Campus.;

(iii) Organized two day training cum Demonstration programme on the use of Aeschynome aspera as green manure for rice cultivation with representatives of NGOs during 9th and 10th August, 2003. Fifteen representatives attended the training.;

(iv) Organized two day training cum Demonstration programme on the use of Aeschynome aspera as green manure for rice cultivation for 15 representatives of NGOs and poor and marginal farmers during 4th to 5th Oct, 2003.;

A group photograph was taken for trainees along with Prof. N.I. Singh, P.I. cum team leader during 2 day training cum demonstration of Aeschynome aspera green manure technology.

Mass Propagation of Water-mimosa

Under the team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, imparted off-campus training to Ithai Barrage affected farmers of Manipur for giving them awareness to introduce mass propagation of water mimosa as vegetable for sustainable income generation. The first and second phase of two-day off-campus training programme for mass propagation of water mimosa as vegetables for sustainable income generation was conducted on 19-20 Ap[ril 2008 and 29-30 April 2008 respectively with a total of 114 (56-58) beneficiaries.

The target groups were selected within the project area where water impounded by Ithai Barrage. Two days were engaged in theoretical as well as practical training about the technology development for mass propagation of water mimosa as vegetables for sustainable income generation. The training programme was concluded with the distribution of participation certificates and photo session.

To be continued

* Dr N Irabanta Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is the former Professor (Higher academic grade)/ Life Sciences and former Dean, School of Life Sciences, Manipur University.
This article was webcasted on October 04, 2019.

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