E-Pao! Education - Future of Physics in Manipur

Future of Physics in Manipur

By: Ningombam Bupenda Meitei *

Physics is indeed a study of nature in true sense. I have come across so many Physics students from Manipur, some are now working as undergraduate students, Master students, some doing Ph.D and a few are in some universities both in our nation and abroad.

We, Manipuris have pride in taking up the subject because it is the subject where one needs to really devote and give time with hard work. Studying physics is not everyone's cup of tea.

In this century, its not the question of developing Biotechnology, Nanotechnology or Computer Science which needs to be stressed but also the importance of Physics and in particular High Energy Physics that needs to be acknowledged.

There are so many students coming out from Manipur to study or to pursue science as mostly their parents enforced them to do so and they think that by doing so , they can live with some prideness telling the society that they are science students whether they study physics or chemistry or biology or some field of science.

Yes, we need to appreciate this mentality. And so many people who have taken science also did well and a few even fared extremely well in so called securing good grades or marks in Universities or institute exams. Even , some continue to do Ph.D and become some high profile people in the society.

Now the question is , we are good but we don't have some feeling to keep continuing with our work and doing something to generate our own originality which is very much required to fight or to compete in the international forum in Physics. People who have done physics even till M.Sc are preparing for becoming IAS and keeping beating around the bush.

Many with Physics graduation are working here and there for some white collar jobs. Why , why we have to go around looking for jobs, why can't we as physicist think and try to do something in physics? We can do it because we have the potential. Manipuris are there in the Physics department as faculty in the Cornell University in USA (to my knowledge).

Yet , there is no Manipuri faculty in Physics Dept., IISc,Bangalore though there are so many Ph.D students there also,hardly we have Manipuris in IIT doing physics or there is none in IIT Physics faculty, we have one faculty in Physics Dept., Delhi University and I think there must be a few more in some universities in India besides having in some reputed Indian colleges.

Now,the whole question is towards the future physics students from Manipur.

Why can't we sacrifice our life to do some contributions in this field?

Why can't we think or dream of getting Nobel Prize?

Why parents in majorly don't want their son or daughter to become physicist?

Why should we stay as mediocre in our life?

Why we want to just satisfy very quickly in our life journey by just getting some good paid job?

Ladies and gentleman, we have come only once on this earth and there is no logic or scientific proof to disprove that our life right now in this universe will be repeated after our death, then why shouldn't we think of doing something which nobody has done it ,at least we need to encourage people particularly the youngsters to do it both by our educational and environmental systems.

Why students need to think only of getting high marks? We need to look and study the life of so many great physicists who have set the really meaningful life in terms of hard work, dedication and total commitment with sincerity to Physics. And, we know today of Einstein, Feymann, Abdus Salam, Fermi, Pauli, Schrodinger, Dirac etc.

Well , there are so many Nobel laureates but the unfortunate is there is no one from Manipur inspite of so many great global celebrities in sports. I think physics students of today need to open their eyes in this regard that what shall we do to get Nobel Prize.

Yes, some may say that why we should go after the prize, indeed the more fortunate will be to contribute something in the field of Physics. Why should we just use physics for our livelihood by just becoming a mere lecturer?

Yes, there is nothing wrong in becoming lecturer but I feel there is no point of getting salary or staying as a Physics lecturer without doing any present research in his own field or without publishing any paper. We have so many lecturers and professors in so many colleges and university in Manipur and in India also but the unfortunate part is they hardly have any web page showing their works ,their interests and their publications in some Physics journals.

Without having any original paper or some papers published in some national and international journals , what is the big deal in teaching physics to the college students , there is nothing great in that, so many teachers are there just doing their jobs and get salary but where is their mind of doing research and without this mentality of doing research,how can that lecturer or teacher or that professor going to inspire the coming up future physicists.

Yes, people may become physicists but who will be motivated to get Nobel Prize by working whole heartedly. Well,we the present students of Physics need to think a lot in this regard that marks or grades are not the end of life, by just getting degrees or just getting some Ph.D, our life shouldn't be made to be ended as far as our intellectual curiosity is concerned.

There is an enormous amount of untapped energy in our Manipuris but due to lack of adequate laboratories and infrastructure and the most importantly, we need to culture the mindset and encourage the youths to think in the way that will bring the scientific revolution not only in the state or in region or in nation but in the entire world and I think time has come that we need to honour those who are going to sacrifice their life for physics.

Life is indeed a function of time.

Nowadays, people don't want to spend their life only in one field and that too by spending life long in physics ,one need not have to expect at all and that too in the field like Particle Physics one needs to work hard and hard and the correct results may be obtained after his or her demise but that part of research becomes an important part in the building of great theories or principles in Modern High Energy Physics in the times to come.

Parents are expected to encourage their child to become physicist but in our society ,most of them rather force their child to go to medical or engineering.

I am very happy to see science exhibitions like Science Meet organised by MASTEC and ST Dept. of Manipur but the question is how long we can continue selflessly in physics to contribute something new so that we will be remembered like Einstein ,Fermi ,Feymann,we need to have the globalised mindset.

When I was doing my summer project in CHEP,IISc , I met one physics professor who led the teachers and students of one school in Bangalore to go for a rally to publicise the World Year of Physics 2005 ( last year) and when I saw that , I remembered my home state where there are so many strikes ,bandhs and calls to disrupt the education in the state and in fact , there is no such rally to tell to the people of Manipur that Physics is the saviour of all and all mankind and its going to bring a total change in our lifehood.

I am sure that those young minds who love to continue in Physics will appreciate my writing if there are so many to discourage people of this type of mentality also.

Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, an IISc (Indian Institute of Science) Young Science Fellow, writes regularly to
The writer can be contacted at
This article was webcasted on March 04, 2006.

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