TODAY -

After IIT, AIIMS it is now IIM : Still missing the bus
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: June 14, 2024 -



Manipur is perhaps the only State in India where student organisations are compelled to come out with ‘Make education a free zone’ slogan.

Should reflect the reality, a not at all pretty scenario where students need to come out and coin such a slogan to make their voice heard.

Now place the slogan against the fact that hundreds, if not thousands of students, make a beeline for institutions based outside the State once they finish their Class XII, and this should say so many things.

For the well to do parents or family, sending their children outside Manipur for further studies may not be much of a problem, but not all parents and elders are financially placed well, but the fact remains that parents go out of their way to ensure that their children move to a college or a university outside the State, keeping in mind their future.

Nothing surprising in parents desiring the best possible for their children, but it should have set the Government, the civil society organisations and the different student organisations to put on their thinking cap and study why there is the compulsive need to send so many young students outside for their further studies.

This point should be understood not only in terms of better colleges, institutions and universities, but on the push factor, factors which compel parents and elders of the family to explore the possibility of sending their children outside so that their academic pursuit will not be disturbed.

For those who crack NEET, JEE and other professional courses, this may not be an issue but not all students aspire to be doctors or engineers and this is where the need to create the right ambience for the young students becomes paramount.

Not the first time that The Sangai Express has raised this point and this will not be the last either, for there is nothing to suggest that steps are being taken to create the right environment for students to expand their knowledge and become productive members of society.

Creating the right environment is the responsibility of every member of the great Manipuri society and the Government must reciprocate this by using all the resources at its disposal to attract centres of eminence to come here and set up shop.

More than ten years back, The Sangai Express had questioned why no efforts were seen to showcase the potential of Manipur as the right place when the Indian Institute of Management for the North East went to Shillong.

Why not Imphal in the North East was the question raised back then, for remember Guwahati already had the IIT, Guwahati and Shillong already had NEIGRIMS.

The Government back then paid no attention, perhaps satisfied that a National Institute of Technology was in the pipeline, refusing to buy the fact that IITs are on a different plane.

So while Manipur and her people continue to exist in a self bloated sense of superiority, neighbouring Guwahati has emerged as the key point in India’s Act East Policy.

It was as recently as 2023 that AIIMS Guwahati was opened and come to 2024, the neighbouring city is set to have an IIM.

This would place Guwahati as the second city in India to have an IIT, IIM and AIIMS.

Double engine Government is a term that has been used left, right and centre by the BJP led Government at Imphal and New Delhi and one wonders why this slogan was not used to at least try and see if Manipur could have been marked as the place in the North East to have the second IIM.

Why wasn’t the fact that the same party which is in power at New Delhi and Imphal put to good use and further the interests of Manipur ?

The coming of a centre of eminence such as an IIM should be seen beyond the institution, but what it can do for the surrounding area as well as the job opportunities that will come for the local people.

Manipur has missed the bus too many times and this is where one is reminded of the far sightedness of political leaders like the late Alimuddin who was instrumental in bringing RIMS, which was RMC back then, in 1972.

The upgradation of JN Hospital to JNIMS in 2010 is another example that comes to mind. Manipur definitely deserves something better and for this the Government at Imphal would need to be far sighted and see why it continues to be overlooked in the larger scheme of things of New Delhi.

Let Manipur be the next destination for any centre of eminence to be set up in the North East.



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