An awareness update on KEN-Manipur initiative (i.e. Knowledge Exchange Networks for Manipuris on a global level)1) What is ‘KEN-Manipur initiative’?It is an initiative to create a web-based interactive platform for Manipuris to effectively engage in anenvironment of professionalism and theme-wise discussion for the socio-economic development ofManipur and Manipuris across the globe. It is also to enable global Manipuris to contact and shareknowledge with higher officials in the relevant ministries within Govt of Manipur. Thus, KEN-Manipur is aimed towards building a Public-Private-Partnership for exchange of knowledge andinvestment for the benefit of Manipuris and Manipur.2) How is KEN-Manipur going to be different from already existing social or professionalorganisations for Manipuris?It is of its first kind to enable theme-wise professional engagement among Manipuris residing invarious global locations along with add-on direct interaction opportunity to Manipur State Govtofficials in relevant ministries for any feasible support. It is about building a system to allow Manipuriprofessionals residing locally/nationally/overseas to contribute their expertise for socio-economicdevelopment projects in Manipur in conjunction with the support of higher officials in variousministries within Govt of Manipur. (1) Access to a huge experts database in specific domains within’KEN-Manipur’ including access of expertise support across other industry/social domainsinstantaneously, and (2) Presence of a closely knitted structure for direct interaction betweenManipuri Professionals and higher officials in Govt of Manipur, are the distinct features of how ‘KEN-Manipur’ is different from already existing social or professional organisation for Manipuris. Thus, itis about creating a network for Manipuri Professionals rather than a project execution by itself; yet itenables whoever is interested to find partners and experts among Manipuris to undertake socio-economic development projects within Manipur/abroad benefiting Manipuris.3) How may KEN-Manipur look like when the concept is fully implemented?From an user’s perspective: Any Manipuri can register in the KEN-Manipur website and then getsigned up further in the specific domain areas to participate in discussion/knowledge share whereinhe/she is interested to engage with fellow Manipuri professionals (including state govt officials).From Govt’s perspective: Since domains for knowledge exchange activities in KEN-Manipur are to becreated with a mapping approach to departments/ministries in the Govt of Manipur, relevant Govtofficials can see/hear/know various innovations and ideas discussed among Manipuri Professionalsin that particular domain. Govt officials (from a specific ministry in the state govt) can send outperiodic updates to appropriate Manipuri professionals about activities/projects undertaken by Govtand hence achieving the purpose of reaching out to the intended target audience among Manipuripeople effectively. Also, govt officials will be able to recognise vast number of Manipuriprofessionals in global locations with whom each govt ministry can work along for the socio-economic development of Manipur.From KEN-Manipur Administrator’s perspective: The KEN-Manipur web-platform needs to bemanaged appropriately so that the services and benefits of this networking platform are sustained.Moderation of each domain in the KEN-Manipur may be allowed to selected volunteers who areprofessionals in that domain and to one official from the relevant ministry in Govt of Manipur; whilethe entire web-management of KEN-Manipur may be done by few chosen designated Manipuriswho have the knowledge of network building and stakeholders engagement, along with few higherofficials in the Govt of Manipur’s administrative services.
Thus, KEN-Manipur may become a Public-Private Partnership initiative (integrated with variousministries in the govt of Manipur) wherein people (i.e. professionals) take main lead roles to executesocio-economic development projects with support role by govt officials in the background.4) Whose is KEN-Manipur for and what is in it for me?KEN-Manipur is for usage by • Academic and Research Institutions in Manipur (e.g. Manipur University, Central Agricultural University, Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, etc) – towards building industry-academia relationship, technology transfer, student internship/employment, research project partnership, professional training, industry tour program, international collaboration, exchange of students and staffs, etc • Departments / ministries in the govt of Manipur - towards indentifying who is who among Manipuris in each expertise domain relevant to the state govt officials in various ministries, connecting to Manipuri professionals residing in various global locations, involving Manipuri people/experts in the project planning and execution of Govt’s new development ventures, promoting Manipur’s prestige at global locations (about history, culture, industry, etc), reaching out to intended audience directly by respective govt departments instead of mass advert without any orientation, enabling creation of various public-private partnership projects, looking out for investment from private individuals and firms (including Foreign Direct Investment), etc • Working Professionals (esp. Manipuris and well-wishers of Manipur) residing in global locations – towards expertise contribution in social responsible projects in Manipur and abroad voluntarily, grooming personal brand among global Manipuris in addition to expanding own professional career network, finding new project and business opportunities by meeting like-minded professionals, learning new value-added skills by involving in various projects proposed by individuals/teams in various KEN-Manipur domains, getting recognised in the expertise areas by state govt officials, etc • Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Manipur, and Corporate firms outside Manipur – towards creating supply chain network for expanding business growth in global locations, getting access to best Manipuri brains/professionals in Manipur and abroad, conducting joint trade exhibitions in global locations for mutual benefits, providing collective feedback to concerned govt ministries on acts/policies that impacts business of local SMEs and Corporate firms in Manipur, etc.5) How does KEN-Manipur initiative come up?KEN-Manipur initiative came out of follow-on discussions among overseas Manipuris who hadparticipated in the 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) held at New Delhi on 7-9 Jan 2011. The PBD2011 was organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) in partnership with theMinistry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) with special emphasis on the eight North-eastern states of India. The intention for KEN-Manipurinitiative was initially to try answering ‘how can overseas Manipuris contribute to the socio-economic development of Manipur?’ by sharing global experiences of Manipuri professionals backto local Manipuris and Manipur. In due course, the scope of KEN-Manipur initiative got expanded tobecome a web-platform for all Manipuris globally (i.e. inclusive of those within Manipur, outsideManipur but within India, and outside India) and also for well-wishers of Manipur.6) What has been done so far on the KEN-Manipur initiative?
During PBD 2011, representatives of Overseas Manipuris (namely Lakshmikanta Laikangbam fromBoston, USA – IT Professional, Shanjoy Mairembam from London, UK – Business Strategy Consultant,and Bishwajeet Okram from Ireland – Financial Controller) hold extensive discussions with seniorofficials from state govt of Manipur and central ministry of DoNER on what activities overseasManipuris can contribute, and what state and central govts can provide as support to projectsinitiated by Overseas Manipuris towards socio-economic development of Manipur. The OverseasManipuris team also attended a special conference organised just only for overseas Indians fromNorth East India which was chaired by ‘Sam Pitroda – Advisor to the Prime Minister of India onPublic Information Infrastructure & Innovations’. Sam Pitroda briefly explained the vision behind theimplementation of National Innovation Council, State Innovation Council, and Sectoral InnovationCouncil. He encouraged the overseas Indians from native North East Indian states to engageproactively with respective state governments in North East India to enable rapid socio-economicgrowth in North East regions.After returning from PBD 2011, the overseas Manipuris team hold series of web-conferences withvarious stakeholders (including higher officials from Govt of Manipur and Ministry of DoNER) tocreate an appropriate mechanism so that every overseas Manipuri can contribute without muchhassles voluntarily (if willing to do so). Oinam Nabakishore Singh (IAS, Principal Secretary -Department of Commerce & Industries, Sericulture - Govt of Manipur) championed the continuousengagement with the overseas Manipuris team to convert the concepts into reality since PBD 2011interaction. Under the advice of DS Poonia (IAS, Chief Secretary - Government of Manipur) andsupport from Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC), a conference was held at State GuestHouse, Imphal on 6th Oct 2011 to continue discussion on the ways of contribution by OverseasManipuris and it was chaired by Oinam Nabakishore Singh (IAS, Principal Secretary). ShanjoyMairembam (London, UK) was invited in the conference as resource person and a presentation wasdelivered on “Contribution to socio-economic development of Manipur by Overseas Manipuris viaKnowledge Exchange Networks (KENs)". The conference was attended by around 15-20 high rankingofficers from various state govt departments (e.g. Commerce and Industries, InformationTechnology, Science and Technology, Education (S), Education (U), Art and Culture, Planning, etc),5-6 representatives from academic and research institutions (e.g. Manipur University, CentralAgricultural University, Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development, etc), fewrepresentatives from media (e.g. ISTV, DDK-Imphal, Sangai Express, etc), few representatives fromlocal entrepreneurs (e.g. All Manipur Entrepreneurs Association, etc).In post Oct 2011 conference, Oinam Nabakishore Singh (IAS, Principal Secretary) updated Ministry ofOverseas Indian Affairs about the successful conduct of the Imphal conference and learningexperiences out of the discussion among the attendees. Henceforth, as a short tem measure, adedicated web-forum titled ‘Overseas Manipuris’ was created on the website of OIFC so that anyoverseas Manipuris who are willing to contribute voluntarily towards socio-economic developmentof Manipur can signed up for interaction among like-minded Manipuris. The support from overseasregional associations of Manipuris (such as North American Manipur Association - NAMA, EuropeanManipuri Association - EMA, Manipur Canada Association - MAC, etc) are sought to urge fellowManipuris living abroad to sign-up on the OIFC web-forum for ‘Overseas Manipuris’. The long termplan on the KEN-Manipur initiative is aimed towards creating a dedicated website for all Manipuris(covering local, national and overseas residents). The technical implementation activity of KEN-Manipur website may be undertaken either by National Informatics Centre under the centralMinistry of Communications and Information Technologys Department of Information Technology,or Manipur Government (being outsourced to some companies). Later on, the final KEN-Manipur
website may be managed by selected officials in govt of Manipur or by delegated group createdunder Public Private Partnership model with the global Manipuri professionals.7) What is the current status of KEN-Manipur initiative?The immediate step for KEN-Manipur initiative is to increase the number of membership registrationon ‘Overseas Manipuris’ web-forum in the OIFC website by Overseas Manipuris and Manipuriswithin India. This is to convince state govt of Manipur on the growing genuine interest of globalManipuris to contribute towards socio-economic development through a knowledge exchangenetwork for Manipuris. A number of members on OIFC web-forum around 200-300 will urgeManipur state govt officials to take up the creation of a dedicated KEN-Manipur website sooner thanlater.8) What is being planned for Pravashi Bharatiya Divas 2013, Jan 7-9 (in Kerala)?A series of theme-based seminars and group discussion can be conducted for Manipuris during theupcoming PBD 2013 (likely to be in Kerala) on 7-9 Jan. This approach will reinforce the urgent needfor creating KEN-Manipur website to Govt of Manipur as top priority for global Manipuris’professional interaction. Early invitations for the PBD 2013 can be sent out proactively by Govt ofManipur in advance to enable Overseas Manipuri professionals booking journey tickets to India, andalso Manipuri professionals and researchers/scientists residing in various Indian cities to attend thefirst-ever global conference for Manipuris towards socio-economic development of Manipur. Therepresentatives from academic and research institutions in Manipur, local firms in Manipur, andwell-wishers of Manipur, etc can be also requested to attend the PBD seminars. Govt of Manipurmay be asked to provide financial travel assistance per attending Overseas Manipuris (as in the past,e.g. INR 20,000) and per pre-registered Manipuris within India to encourage larger participation atPBD.9) What action item should I do now about KEN-Manipur initiative?Log on to http://www.oifc.in/ to register with your basic professional profile information.- Select "Groups" in right hand side drop down menu, enter "Overseas Manipuris", click "Search"button. Or, Shortcut link is http://network.oifc.in/Group/Overseas-Manipuris- Start discussing with fellow Manipuris by joining interested domains and connect to like-mindedManipuri professionals- Also provide input to web-forum administrators on how we can plan seminars in PBD 2013 atKerala- Contact email@example.com for sharing your any inputs towards the KEN-Manipurinitiative. Interested Manipuris can also request to join the online Skype conference conductedperiodically among the team behind the KEN-Manipur initiative working to realise a final dedicatedKEN-Manipur website.Also, provide your intention to attend the PBD 2013 (likely to be in Kerala) on 7-9 Jan as a presenteror as a participant or as a resource person, etc. We will require a sizeable number of Manipuriattendees to inspire and empower Manipur state govt in organising Manipur state specific programswith support from OIFC during the PBD 2013 (likely to be in Kerala).10) What is the upcoming plan for KEN-Manipur Initiative before the concept is fully implemented?* Request all regional social organisations of Manipuris across the globe to endorse the KEN-Manipur initiative to their respective members.* Request every Manipuri (residing whether overseas, or at Indian cities or within Manipur) andwell-wishers of Manipur state to get registered on the OIFC web-forum titled ‘Overseas Manipuris’
to enable having a sizeable number of registered users to empower govt of Manipur consideringKEN-Manipur initiative as a high priority task for the state government* Inform KEN-Manipur Initiative team (or officials in Govt of Manipur) confirming the wish to attendPBD 2013 (likely to be in Kerala) on Jan 7-9 for group discussion among Manipuris and interactdirectly with higher govt officials towards KEN-Manipur initiative.Future Plan once KEN-Manipur initiative is implemented:* Annual Gathering of global Manipuris – to be conducted as part of PBD or as a separate event [fornetworking, sharing of global business case experiences, creating socio-economic projectsvolunteered by Manipuri professionals, promoting Manipur tourism and culture at global locations,contributing feedbacks on state govt’s policies and activities, etc]* Periodic e-Newsletters – creation of online human resource database for Manipuri professionalsacross the globe, business case reports on SMEs created by Manipuris globally, Academic andresearch updates from Manipuris globally and institutions in Manipur, announcement from stateGovt ministries, etc10) Who is to be contacted for any further info on KEN-Manipur initiative?Email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ask executive officers of NAMA, EMA and MAC.Or, for personal Contact, reach out to Lakshmikant (USA), Shanjoy (UK), Bishwajeet (Ireland).11) For further Info, refer to the following notes:Presentation slide from Imphal Conference of Oct 2011:http://tinyurl.com/cmn5sprPBD 2011 Experience note:http://tinyurl.com/677tw92Govt of Manipur Letter to Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs:http://tinyurl.com/cc6cdpu