Kohima: In an effort to make way for investment in Nagaland‘s education sector, the first ever Edu-Connect Conclave, an educational conclave, organized by the Investment and Development Authority of Nagaland (IDAN) and the North East Educational Council (NEEC), began at the Capital Convention Centre in Kohima on Tuesday. 

With hundreds of students in attendance, the two-day event began with a formal ceremony graced by Advisor to School education & SCERT KT Sukhalu as chief patron, and Advisor to Technical Education & Elections Medo Yhokha as the keynote speaker. 

Speaking on the topic “Investment in Educational Sector in Nagaland”, Professor KRS Sambasiva Rao, vice chancellor of Mizoram University, suggested that to facilitate investment in Nagaland’s education sector, the state may have to consider some tax free benefits for investors at least for the initial period of 5-10 years. 

Professor Rao also suggested that investments under Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model can be followed to develop the education sector to a global level. He said that Nagaland has potential to attract foreign investments, which will also make way for quality education. 

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While he challenged the state government to consider the sustainability of investments in the education sector, he also recommended that a benchmark be made while bringing in investments to ensure that there is qualitative education. 

On the higher education system in the country, he expressed concern that the current faculty-centred, monopoly-sustained university paradigm is ill suited to the intensely competitive technology-driven global market. 

Lack of awareness should not lead to loss of opportunity

Advisor to school education & SCERT KT Sukhalu, while addressing the students at the educational fair, said lack of awareness should not lead to loss of opportunity for the students. 

“It is important that proper information, knowledge about educational institutions of choice, and customized information access to a wide array of educational institutions from across India at a single platform to explore and exercise options is made available to our students,” he said. 

Even as he said that Naga youth are talented, the legislator is of the opinion that many youth are unable to discover what they can do. In this regard, he said that there is a need to realise the strength of the youth. 

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He lauded IDAN and the NEEC for the collaborative effort in taking a step to facilitate educational interface between students from the state and educational institutions from across the country. 

As he hoped that the event will springboard potential investment in the state, particularly in the education sector, he said that such an investment will bring in quality education benefitting both students and investors. 

Absence of industries root of unemployment

Advisor to Technical Education & Elections Medo Yhokha said that with the absence of any big or medium industries, a sector that absorbs large sector of workforce and employment, Nagaland has a very high percentage of educated unemployed youth–the second highest (25%) in the country after Lakshadweep (31.6%). 

He stated that the purpose of the Edu Connect Conclave is to provide a platform and rope in investors/ firms desiring to invest in the educational sector in the state. The Advisor added that the state government is committed to providing all possible help to them. He encouraged the setting up of educational institutions as a huge opportunity which he said will be a winning situation for the investor and the state. 

Highlighting about the Naga political issue, he said that the constant state of being overwhelmed with peoples’ struggles and unrest has reeled in a poor state of affairs, for which fresh efforts are required for a resource building society. 

He hoped that the Edu Connect Conclave will provide a platform and rope in investors desiring to invest in the educational sector in the State. He also assured of the State Government commitment in being a lead partner to facilitate potential investments. 

A shift in educational process

Sharing about the idea behind the event, IDAN CEO Alemtemshi Jamir said that although education is not a mandate for IDAN, the education sector has a tremendous potential of investment in Nagaland by way of setting up institutes of medicine, engineering, technical, digital, management, vocational and skill building institutes and other areas where the state government cannot cover all. 

He hoped that the educational fair will open the eyes of Naga students in availing opportunities from educational institutions from across the country while also inviting potential investors to the state. 

Jamir stressed on the need to shift out of the present education process of “memorization” – a system that cater basically to blue and white collar jobs – to that of “creative thinking” and technological jobs in Nagaland. 

He said after the first Edu-Connect Conclave the baton will be passed on the line departments in the following years to elevate the event to much higher scales. 

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