Why Technology still remains a dream for many in the Northeast region when the initiative for establishing a Science and Technology institute dates back to 1979. This is perhaps a very intimating question at the time when the rest of the country has advanced so much into Technology. Today, name any field, be it education system, government and non-government organisation, business small or big have all adapted Technology in its main stream. Northeast today is not far from Technology but, far from the proper use of technology for benefits of the people in the region.
Let’s look at every household in extreme villages. This reminds me of my travel to a very remote place in one of my Scouts & Guides camp back in 2002. The village still lacked regular electricity supply but many households had telephone lines. It was not surprise for me as I knew that these Telephones were kept with a purpose to connect with their children studying outside of the state. What I want to say here is that, Technology is available only we, the people of the region need to take the initiative to drive through the benefits it offers.
Northeast today has leading science and technology institutes like IIT, leading medical institutes with well-equipped latest technology. However, the region still rest behind every other part of the country. WHY? Some of the barriers/issues preventing the drive through the benefits could be: A huge gap / mismatched of needs & resource availability, lack of local manufacturing facility, lack of maintenance infrastructure, low level active participation from NGOs and minimal efforts put in to drive governmental projects. One of the Prime factor could also be the hyper-active insurgency that is spread across the region like a non-treatable virus. Thus preventing all kinds of developmental projects inflow into the states. Low or Nil employment opportunity due to non-availability of factories or manufacturing units, that can generate employment for the people. Sad, but this is a hard core fact.
Way Ahead: At least 98% of the border line of Northeastern states is that of an international one. Knowing the potential and also the vulnerability of the geographical location, today the Indian Govt. is focusing on improved communication, better roads, railway connectivity and bringing in renowned education institutions. Despite all attempts by the central government, many developmental projects have failed due to the failure of support from the local government and its functional bodies. Let us look at some of the projects like projects to improve Tourism in the NE region, Digitisation of India, Make in India initiatives by the Centre. How many of our young entrepreneur minds have positively reacted if not proactive and work to take opportunity of such initiatives.
As I write this blog, I came across a reporting on a seminar organised at Press Club, Imphal on “Prospects of Technical Education in NE India” and it is here that so many leaders from the education and political arena were present. One of the Chief Guest Dr. Binoy an ex-vice Chancellar of Manipur University during his speech pointed out that “the modern civilisation is based on information and technology. If we are to be in the limelight, then we have to accelerate our steps and most importantly adapt our ways of living in accordance with the changing trends of the information age”. He added that the seminar organised was very appropriate with the present time and predicted that it will bring notable changes in the education system of the northeast.
Conclusion: With Technology and Innovation, if every individual, groups, non-governmental organisation, government, schools and colleges join hands in driving change, Results will never be less than a miracle for the people of the region. Every effort should be made to produce more innovation in our daily walks of life, thereby giving yield to social change through Technology and Science.