The recent article by Hibu Robin about the obsession of Arunachalee youth with government jobs and their low inclination towards entrepreneurship intrigued me on many levels.
I started exploring various dimensions of the article in my mind, extrapolating and relating it to many fields, which are lagging, in our beloved state today.
One of the most underrated fields in India and in extension to Arunachal is the field of Research & Development (R&D).
Given the number of engineers and basic & applied science graduates that come out, we still lack a proper technical think tank in our state. To be fair, most of the states in India don’t really care for it. The social sciences field research is also facing a dearth of proper research and talent.
This area could be an innovative way of engaging the youth and their potential for social capital.
Arunachal could very well pioneer this movement and come out as an R&D leader in the North East region.
We have a very small amount of tribal youth pursuing any kind of research irrespective of the field. Given the socio-economic conditions of the state, giving a boost to local contextual research could really prove to be a game-changer.
We have a plethora of areas where these initiatives can be beta tested. For example, in the agriculture sector, the state has an ample number of agri-science and engineering graduates who can help in sustainable agriculture development.
The most number of engineering graduates are from the civil background. Given the deplorable infrastructure of the state and its constant inability to cope with torrential rain and landslide management, these research areas could provide deep insight and help build a robust policy in line with international standards.
The social sciences research could focus on the inter tribe integration and protection of ethnic customs and tradition and at the same time via research publications bring the tribal studies into the mainstream.
Setting up a state level state of the art research facilities and institutions with proper funding and fellowships will not only attract the young to adventure into the unknown, it will also boost the entrepreneurial vigour and contribute to the state GDP.
The context for research & development has never been more relevant than these trying times of the pandemic. It provides financial security to young enthusiasts as well as sparks a scientific endeavour which has been lacking in the land of the dawn-lit mountains.
Gaurav K Yadav