Give a critical appraisal of the North Eastern Council.

Model Answer:
The North Eastern Council (NEC) came into being by an Act of Parliament, The North Eastern Council Act, 1971 to act as advisory body in respect of balanced socio-economic development of the North Eastern Areas consisting of the present States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. The NEC started functioning in the year 1972.The NEC Act was amended in 2002. As a consequence there of, Sikkim is now a member of the NEC and NEC is now made the Regional Planning Body for the North Eastern Region.NEC was created with the twin objectives of balanced development and security, on one hand NEC has shown remarkable progress  the vital sectors such as power sector, which remained underdeveloped with only 211.99 MW installed capacity as on 1974.But, NEC has a reckonable contribution in the power sector of the NE region by way of developing the basic infrastructure. The generating capacity of the region has increased considerably due to the addition of hydro-electricity projects (HEP) and a gas based project. The generating capacity increased to 673.5 MW contributing to National Grid. Inadequate transport facility was a serious drawback that crippled the development of the region for a long time. But; NEC has been involved in the development of roads, railways and waterways since its inception. On the other hand; the North-Eastern council has remained halfway point to make any progress in other spheres. North Eastern Council (NEC) was expected to be instrumental in setting in motion a new economic endeavor aimed at removing the basic handicaps that stood in the way of development of the region. However, it became merely a funding agency and an unwitting platform of acrimony and mutual suspicion, where every state is more interested in getting its schemes, oblivious of long term interests, approved.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Give a critical appraisal of the North Eastern Council.

Published: February 7, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019