“Science and Technology (S&T) in Manipur is progressing in a very slow pace since it gets its independence. Although, the human resources and biodiversity in Manipur are immense, their development in a managed way is limited. Since time immemorial, the scientific and technological innovations of Manipur are notable in many spheres like sports, defense, medicine, energy conservation, conservation of environment, sustainable agricultural development etc. A deep and rational thinking would reveal many of this socio-economically challenging knowledge from our past ancestral practices. However, this knowledge’s has been slowly straggled from the rest of the scientific and technological trends with time.
It can be recollect here that the indigenous ways for sustainable development, performed by our ancestors in terms of fish rearing, netting of fish, localized or managed forest resources utilization, soil, water, grassland, wetland and biodiversity conservation, mud-thatches housing and many others, are today the best ways for natural resource utilization and development. However, in contrast to this, there are also other practices, which are rather unsustainable. The only thing lagging behind in our time is the scientific investigation of these positive or negative practices and how it worked in such a long span!
Due to the lack of researches, non indigenous materials and products are introduced, which coupled with the post independence mismanagement by the decision makers of the State, resulted in terms of environmental degradation, pollution and waste enhancement, decreased agricultural and horticultural products, economic crises, unemployment, brain drain, public and political instability, moral losses, diseases etc. Focusing on this, a need for research and development is needed if we want to put Manipur in the international platform.
Another problem arises here that how a scientific challenge can be meet without any proper infrastructures, transport, communication, education, awareness, political turmoil, economic crunches, cultural shifts etc. These itself became a challenging research for finding a means to overcome the needs. The import of high cost technology will not be a solution before we have the proper knowledge and handling of the imported equipment.
However, the possible solution could be that the local knowledge and know-how practice by our ancestors, which we thought to be obsolete can be materialize again with precise understanding and publications in a scientific and technical ways. Thus, requiring only the indigenous technology and knowledge.
To achieve this goal, a little effort would be needed. These will mainly be comprises of quality higher education, establishment of state sponsored mini laboratories, utilization of existing laboratories of the universities and institutions, organizing state level symposiums, conferences, exhibitions, debates and talent search programs, periodically. The events should try to focus mainly on the establishment of scientifically planned farming processes, aquaculture, aforestation, large-scale commercialization of handloom and handicrafts, R&D to bring various agricultural revolutions (green, white, blue, and yellow), sustainable resource utilizations, research for non-conventional energy sources (hydro power, solar and biomass energy) etc.
On the other hand, researches on why the socio-economy of Manipur is declining can be discussed. A precise study and investigation of the natural resources and biodiversity of Manipur, and their sustainable utilization in an economically beneficial ways is much needed. Of course these are time-consuming process, a slow and effective implementation, taking help of the legislation and the public supports in a small state like Manipur would curb many of the major problems being faced in the state.
Here, it can also be pointed out that in this 21st century, S&T has penetrated in almost the entire sphere such as religion, culture, socio-economy, crimes, politics, sports, tourisms etc. Thus, core scientific groups to study and investigate the political scenario, sports, culture and religion in a scientific manner will help in rapid development of the state. This will also helps in mitigating the primary political chaos, environment degradation, and socioeconomic crunches etc. of the State. The best example is the world largest economy, Japan, who has different scientific groups to look after each cabinet minister.
In conclusion, to accomplish the objective of this challenging scenario, only the basic science subjects are not compulsory. It is suggested that in all schools, colleges, universities and institutions, multidisciplinary subjects and applied sciences and engineering courses should be introduce in the curriculum, starting from primary level to higher education. With these, it is optimistic that Manipur will develop within a short time frame.
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