24th March, 2023

The School of Economics Commerce and Management of Martin Luther Christian University organised the ‘LYNGWIAR-2023’ from 22nd to 24th of March 2023. The theme of the fest was “The Hearth of Information, Innovation and Knowledge”. Lyngwiar is a Khasi word that comes from the phrase ‘Sawdong ka lyngwiar dpei’ which translates into ‘around the hearth’. The concept is essentially a place where the members of the Khasi family gather together around the fireplace which is normally placed at the heart of the kitchen. When modern education was still not common, the Khasi families preserve their heritage and culture by passing on the knowledge and ideas to their children, grandchildren nieces and nephews in and around the hearth to learn the traditions, customs, cultures which we are all proud of till today.

The Chief Guest for the opening ceremony, Mr Malcom David Roy, an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and retired Executive Director NEEPCO in his inaugural speech commended the faculty and students of the School of Economics, Commerce and Management for arranging such a fest which was a need of the hour. He complimented on the vibrancy of the youth in the university and the hope they hold for the nation. Mr Roy emphasised on the New Education Policy which greatly promotes experiential learning and encouraged participants on community engagement. Mr Roy further spoke that during these four decades he witnessed massive transition and advancement in all aspects of life. He advised students to keep abreast with information and innovation happening around. He also stressed on the need to look beyond traditional job providers like the government and instead create employment in various fields. The Chief Guest exhorted students to equip themselves and venture into the fields of entrepreneurship. He stressed on the importance of knowledge and competence and encouraged students to keep learning which is a continual process.

The Guest of Honour Dr Ailynti Nongbri, Head of Khasi Department, Shillong College, with her in-depth knowledge, spoke in length on ‘Lyngwiar’, which was so central to the Khasi folklore but is gradually losing its rightful place. She commended the faculty and students for linking the fest to their roots. Dr Nongbri also narrated on the origin of Khasi literature and the story of ‘shangkwai’, ‘kwai’ and ‘tympew’ and ‘shun” while also highlighting the importance of folklores, myths, stories and legends for survival of the society. The captivating talk was an eye opener as it revealed numerous facets of the Khasi language and culture which were lost overtime. The Registrar of the university, Dr Iwamon W.J. Laloo elaborated on the importance of experiential learning i.e. learning beyond the classroom which is in consonance with the New Education Policy.
A panel discussion on the theme of the fest was conducted on the second and third day. The panel for the second day included Dr Bhogtoram Mawroh, NESFAS, Mr R.K. Vijay Byrsaat from Centre of Learning, Knowledge and Services, Mr Manoj Kumar Mishra from Meghalaya State eGovernance Mission Team and Mr Afu N. Y. Jana, Direction of Operations, Yoga Spice Meghalaya. The speakers discussed in depth the challenges farmers face in the state and the lack of accessibility to the available schemes. The panel also discussed the suitability of growing cash crops in different areas of the state. The speakers exhorted the students to take up agro business as it offers a huge potential for the future.

The panel for the third and final day included Mr Malcom David Roy, retired Executive Director NEEPCO, Mr B.K. Sohliya, Executive Advisor, Meghalaya Farmers Empowerment Commission, and Mr Chandrakant B. Kulkarni, Asst Manager, HR & Admin, Parle Biscuits Pvt Ltd. Mr Roy spoke on the theme and stressed on the need for adapting to change. Mr Kulkarni spoke on the food industry and challenges it faces while Mr Sohliya discussed in depth the changing attitudes of farmers and the changing landscape of businesses in Meghalaya as a whole.

Numerous competitions witnessed students from the participating colleges take active part in all events. Events like case study, stock market competition, crossword puzzle, quiz, business story writing, creative ad, business plan competition were mostly related to business and management. However other activities like marathon, singing, dancing, minute to win it, debate, data interpretation, essay competition, cosplay, etc, were also conducted over three days. Students from participating colleges were seen putting up stiff competition with a burning desire to bag trophies for their respective institutions.

Besides competitors, students from other learning institutions also joined to witness the events. The fest fostered a healthy spirit of competition amongst the students. Scores were allotted to the institutions for winning the various competitions. The closing ceremony was held yesterday during which learning institutions were acknowledged for their participation and prizes were distributed to all winners.