Press Release – Knowledge Exchange Networks (KEN) – Manipur Initiative


Knowledge Exchange Networks (KEN) – Manipur Initiative


The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) in partnership with the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized the 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) from 7-9 January 2011 at New Delhi. Theme for the PBD 2011 was “Engaging the Global Indian” with special emphasis on the eight North-eastern states of India. The PBD Conventions provide a platform for exchange of views and networking to the Persons of Indian Origin settled all over the world on matters of common interest.

Manipur State Government sent the invitation to participate in PBD 2011 to all overseas Manipuris including the members of North American Manipuri Association (NAMA) and European Manipuri Association (EMA). Confederation of Indian industries (CII) invited Lakshmikanta Laikangbam from Boston, USA, NAMA member, as a panelist on “Diaspora role models from the North East: Success Stories“, held on 7 January 2011. EMA members namely Bishwajit Okram from Ireland and Shanjoy Mairembam from London, UK also attended PBD 2011.

PBD 2011 experience information can be found in the following links” title=”

Post PBD 2011:
After returning from the conference, overseas Manipuris who participated in PDB 2011 had series of discussions on how to contribute on the socio-economic development of Manipur.

We requested Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre ( to facilitate a conference in Manipur on the topic ‘How Overseas Manipuris can contribute to Manipur’s development via knowledge exchange network?’. OIFC sent an official letter to DS Poonia, Chief Secretary, Government of Manipur requesting for the conference.

The conference was held at State Guest House, Imphal On 6th Oct 2011. Shanjoy Mairembam presented “Contribution to socio-economic development of Manipur by Overseas Manipuris via Knowledge Exchange Networks (KENs)”.

Details of the conference can be found in the following link” title=”

Oinam Nabakishore Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary (Department of Commerce & Industries, Sericulture, Government of Manipur) officially responded to Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs after the successful conduct of the conference. [Note: The official letter is attached at the end of this document]

Enrolment invitation for KEN-Manipur Initiative:
Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC) have provided a dedicated space in their website for Overseas Manipuris to discuss on the Knowledge Exchange Network initiative, only registered users can access this group. They have also provided administrative rights to us so that we can moderate the participants and the discussions. Here are the instructions to sign up on OIFC website.

• Log on to to register.
• Select “Groups” in right hand side drop down menu, enter “Overseas Manipuris”, click “Search” button. Or, Shortcut link is
• Contact for any queries.

We like to invite enthusiastic overseas Manipuris (such as students, professionals, and academics) who have an urge to contribute something back to Manipur to enrol to this group on voluntary basis. Currently, discussions are focused in two industry themes as follows (and themes can be expanded in future):
Information Technology & IT-Enabled Services [Software Development, Electronics, Communication, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications]
Education & Knowledge Transfer [Teaching and learning from School Education (SE), Further Education (FE), Higher Education (HE); Research & Development (R&D), Business and Community Engagement (BCE) from Universities and Research Institutes]

Founding Members:
• Lakshmikanta Laikangbam, Boston, USA
• Bishwajit Okram, Ireland
• Shanjoy Mairembam, London, UK

Target Timeline for Short-term Activities:
Feb-May 2012: Promotion of KEN-Manipur concept and generating critical mass for overseas Manipuris
June 2012: First trial KEN-Manipur workshop event in Manipur to engage with officials in govt ministries
July-Oct 2012: Promotion and feasibility check for conducting first KEN-Manipur Jan 2013 event at Imphal
Nov-Dec 2012: Inviting Overseas Manipuris and finalising state specific programs for PBD 2013 January
Jan 2013: Development of a dedicated KEN-Manipur website based on interest developed so far from volunteered Manipuris and Govt of Manipur (for all Manipuris – Overseas, National and Local)

Next Vision for KEN-Manipur Initiative:
To migrate from OIFC website (meant for only Overseas Manipuris) to a dedicated KEN-Manipur website for all Manipuris (i.e. Overseas, National and Local) supported by relevant ministries in the Govt of Manipur
Suggested activities to be supported within KEN scope:
1) Workshop Networking Program:
• A 1-day Lecture/workshop event to be conducted every month (e.g. on the last Saturday) for sharing experience of Manipuris working in various industry domains and innovative approaches used elsewhere globally, which are relevant to the local projects
• To be organised by Govt of Manipur by coordinating with volunteered Manipuris (who are most likely to be on holiday break to Manipur) and relevant local firms
2) Group Sponsored Projects Program:
• A team of individual Manipuris may propose to undertake a socio-economic development project within Manipur on a clearly pre-specified project proposal document (with detailed info on costing expense, volunteering experts, start and end date, project objectives and deliverables, expected support from Govt of Manipur, social impact measurement, etc)
• Role of the Govt of Manipur to a Group Sponsored Project will be of supporting and non-monetary (unless Govt of Manipur decides otherwise), such as match-making of local Manipuris and organizations relevant to the project proposal; and role of KEN-Manipur administrative team is to coordinate successful completion of project via web-promotion and appropriate project support
3) Manipuris Yum-Hallakpa Program:
• A 3-day event to welcome Overseas Manipuris and National Manipuris in Manipur for social networking and business discussions, preferably to be conducted on the following weekend after the conclusion Pravashi Bharatiya Divas in January 7-9 every year (to allow Overseas Manipuris to attend both events at one instance of visiting India)
4) Apprenticeships Mentoring Program:
• A 4-12 weeks project mentoring support on non-paid basis for Manipuri students (and job-seekers) by volunteered Manipuris who has extensive domain expertise and industry exposure
• Departments in Govt of Manipur (including Regional Development Agencies – RDAs) will provide future enterprise development tips and non-monetary business support to the participating students undergoing apprenticeship at a sponsoring organisation on pre-specified industry domain.
Proposed add-on domains for Knowledge Exchange activities on the KEN-Manipur website:
• Health & Social Care [Assistive Technology and Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical, Life Sciences, Medical, Hospital/clinic Management, social work]
• Tourism & Hospitality [Hotels, Restaurants, Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Transport, Market Stores, Holiday Homes, Tourist Parks]
• Cultural and Creative Industries [Advertising, Architecture, Arts and antique markets, Crafts, Design, Designer Fashion, ‘Film, video and photography’, ‘Software, computer games and electronic publishing’, Music and the visual and performing arts, Publishing, Television, Radio]
• Food and Agricultural Industries [Food products (catered goods, meat, fish and seafood, fruits & vegetables, dairy, bottled water, etc), crops, fertilizers and pesticides, farming]
• Power and Energy [Oil and Gas, Hydro, LNG, Wind, Solar, House energy supply, community energy supply]
• Policy and Social Governance [Law, Project planning, Policy studies, Town planning, Economic studies, Public governance]
[Each domain will be mapped to relevant ministries within the Govt of Manipur, so that appropriate officials in those ministries can keep direct engagement with Manipuris globally]

Enclosed Official Letter:

Oinam Nabakishore Singh, IAS, Principal Secretary (Department of Commerce & Industries, Sericulture, Government of Manipur) officially responded to Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs after the successful conduct of the conference.


  1. Dear Readers, 

    I have started the same concept few years ago. This platform is good enough to start with. Please visit at and register yourself and start contributing your valuable thoughts.

    Do share your opinion at

    Good luck Manipur and our future generation.

    Thank you.

    Rojit SorokhaibamA Global Entrepreneur


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