Sunday, 30 April 2017


MU obscured

It is really unfortunate that the Manipur University did not even figure in the top 100 universities in India in the recently announced list by the Ministry of Human Resources, Government of India. Manipur’s other universities, with perhaps the exception of the Central Agriculture University, are too new to be blamed for missing the list. Six universities from the Northeast did make it to the list, but because of the failure of the MU, even this commendable achievement has been reduced to a bitter-sweetness experience for those of us in the state – sweet because six from the region made it, but also bitter because MU has been left far behind. The six universities which made the grade are: Gauhati University, Assam (Rank. 27), Tejpur University, Assam (Rank. 30), North Eastern Hill Universtity, NEHU, Meghalaya, (Rank 48), Mizoram University, Mizoram (Rank 58), Dibrugarh University, Assam (Rank. 74, Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh (Rank. 76) and Assam University, Assam (Rank. 92). It is time for the Manipur University to begin serious introspection. What is it that it lacks that the other universities have? It is also curious that except for Gauhati University, all of the other universities from the Northeast which have made the ranks this time are either the contemporaries of MU or else much younger. This should make MU’s failure even more painful, for it does indicate it is not inexperience which let the MU down, but its management and competence. Again, with the exception of Gauhati University, which grittily decided to remain as a state university, all the rest are now Central universities as per their wishes, therefore in terms of project funds, salaries and infrastructure, somewhat homogenous. The MU therefore cannot complain on these counts.

The MU while it was a state university after its founding in 1980, was in financial trouble like the rest of the state. This was especially so about two decades ago starting from the time of the implementation of 5th Pay Commission recommendation for Central government employees. But those lean days are now over, and in terms of infrastructure expansion and salaries hike, the MU has like other Central institutions have been enjoying unprecedented bonanzas. Even those outside the MU community cannot mistake these change. Widening avenues, shining new buildings springing up one after the other each year without end, increasing number of swanky cars parked outside the university’s department blocks, all point to this. These advancements make pleasing sights and no doubt this level of material prosperity is necessary, but certainly cannot be sufficient condition for a university to excel for it is also supposed to be a centre for higher learning and knowledge. The question is, how committed is the MU to this later mission? Anybody who visits the MU faculties on a regular basis will vouch this is probably where another failing is. On most of the days, many of the departments in the arts and social sciences blocks are deserted. Especially in the afternoons, the lecturers’ rooms are most of the time locked and students sparse. In the science block the scene is better. Again, in terms of peer-reviewed writings published in reputed and specialised journals are few and far between, and if not for the science blocks, would have been rarer still. Indeed the atmosphere inside the MU campus can hardly be said to be ideally academic, where students and lecturers hang around reading, writing, discussing and conferencing even on days of no classes.

What has instead become a feature of the MU are strikes and students unrests of all hues, sometimes paralysing the entire university for weeks, giving the university a very bad image in the state as well as outside. If the face is the index of the mind, this image is also very important, and probably MU being given the miss this time had a lot to do with it too. Besides bringing order in the campus, there are other obligations the teachers especially but also the students of the university are called upon to shoulder. While their primary concern must be to endeavour to excel in their chosen disciplines, they must also public intellectuals, sharing their understanding of the world, in particular of the trials and tribulations of the state they are in, with the larger public, through their writings. That on so many occasions, in its times of extreme crisis, Manipur remained invisible to the rest of the world tells of a grave failure of the intelligentsia as a whole, of which the academic community should have been one of the major flag bearers. A moribund image and the seeming lack of intellectual ferment are probably some of the factors behind the absence of a gravity around MU to attract students from outside the state, another important scale by which a university’s worth is measured. There probably are more reasons for the MU’s failure this time. We hope the MU community will collectively pull up their socks and give a more credible performance next year. They must remember they cannot exist in an ivory tower, and good performance on their part is a public responsibility, therefore answerable to the public.

18-Apr-2017 / IFP Editorials / 0 Comments


No comments found for this entry!

Random Items 

People’s participation needed in governance: Letpao

IMPHAL | Apr 29 “Every action of the government is your business and every single penny spent by the government is your money. The government belongs to the people,” IFCD and YAS minister Letpao Haokip said and urged the people not to hesitate to take th.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Man with drugs nabbed

IMPHAL | Apr 29 As a part of drive against drugs, Imphal east district police team comprising of Narcotic cell, Imphal East along with women police led by Inspector N John under the supervision of SDPO, Porompat, Roni Mayengbam conducted raids in three l.....

30-Apr-2017 | Press Release | 0 Comments

Promote tourism for better human relationship, says Dr Ranjan

UKHRUL | Apr 29 Consultative meeting for the successful conduct of Shirui Lily Festival was held at DRDA Hall, Ukhrul today. The consultative meeting was attended by Dr Sapam Rajan, parliamentary secretary Tourism, MLAs from Ukhrul district, ADC members.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Hindi as compulsory national language is unfair to most Indians

By Garga Chatterjee Imagine you are a citizen of the Indian Union. Imagine you are a non-Hindi speaker who does not know Hindi and imagine your friend is a Hindi speaker who does not know your non-Hindi mother language. You two are co-citizens of a repub.....

30-Apr-2017 | IFP Articles | 0 Comments

Jayantakumar assures better health services for Moreh

IMPHAL | Apr 29 State Health minister, L Jayantakumar Singh has assured overall development in health sector especially for border town Moreh in a reception cum interaction programme with the civil voluntary organisations of Moreh at Trade Centre, Moreh .....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Push for better drainage system

IMPHAL | Apr 29 “Nahakhong Maril Shengba” an initiative to clean Nahakhong Maril of Uripok Wards No. four and five was inaugurated today by Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar at the community hall of Uripok Sorbon Thingel in Imphal West. The initiati.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

The Hidden Desire

By KanchalLaishram Word Love Hope Decision Appreciation Life…… Do they come together? Who defined you? You, your family, society, or who else When the very question raise “are u strong enough to hold the world all alone?”“Who is going to stand b.....

30-Apr-2017 | IFP Articles | 0 Comments

Police start license verification drive

IMPHAL | Apr 29 As per the state government initiative to take precautions for rash driving and preventing accidents, the driving license of motorists and four wheeled vehicles including commercial transport is ordered to be checked. Following the initi.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Workshop on Entrepreneurship Skill Development concludes

IMPHAL | Apr 29 A five-day workshop on “Start-ups and Entrepreneurship Skill Development” concluded with the valedictory function held today at the Training Hall of Centre for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development, School of Social Sciences, Manipur Uni.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Trinamool refutes merger claim

IMPHAL | Apr 29 Remaining office bearers of Manipur Pradesh Trinamool Congress today refuted the claim by the BJP that the state unit of the Trinamool Congress was merged with BJP. The party office bearers clarified that there is no such act of merger by.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

AITUC to observe May Day

IMPHAL | Apr 29 The All India Trade Union Congress, Manipur will be observing the 127th May Day Celebration on May 1, from 1:00 pm at GM Hall Imphal. A release said the observation will be attended by E Tombi Singh, deputy Labour commissioner, governmen.....

30-Apr-2017 | Press Release | 0 Comments

Police seize liquor at Moirang area

IMPHAL | April 29 A combined team of Moirang police station personnel and commando team of Bishnupur under instruction of the SDPO Moirang raided several hotels at Moirang area today. The team seized assorted qualities of Indian Made Foreign Liquor and.....

30-Apr-2017 | Our Staff Reporter | 0 Comments

Latest Comments