North Eastern Council
North Eastern Council is a statutory, advisory body established in 1972 via the North Eastern Council Act, 1971 for three key objectives viz. balanced development of the North Eastern Region; effecting better inter-state coordination; and maintaining security and public order in the region. In 2002, the NE Council Act, 1971 was amended to make the North East Council as By virtue of the 2002 Amendment, the Council has been made the Regional Planning Body for the north eastern region. The Council operates under the administrative control of the Union Ministry of Development of the North Eastern Region (DONER).
The council consists of eight member states of the North Eastern Region, viz., Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. In 2002, Sikkim became the eighth member state of the Council. The Secretariat (Headquarters) of the Council is located at Shillong, Meghalaya.
The Council consists of the following members:
- The Governors of the eight member states
- The Chief Ministers of the eight member states; however, if there is no Council of Ministers in any of these eight states, then the President may nominate one person to represent that state in the Council for so long as there is no Council of Ministers in that state
- Three members are to be nominated by the President of India to the Council
- The President of India may, if deemed necessary, nominate a Union Minister to be a member of the Council
- The President of India nominates the Chairman of the Council
- The President of India may, if deemed necessary, nominate another member of the Council to act as Vice Chairman of the Council.
Functions of the Council
The amended NEC Act provides that NEC will function as the Regional Planning Body for the North East and will formulate specific projects and schemes, which will benefit two or more States. NEC was instrumental in the preparation of North Eastern Region Vision 2020, which provides the road-map, outlines the goals, identifies the challenges and suggests implementation strategies for various sectors for peace, prosperity and development of the North Eastern Region. It helps in formulation of an integrated plan for the development of the North Eastern Region.
Critical Appraisal of the North East Council
Created with the twin objectives of balanced development and security, the North-Eastern council has remained halfway point to make any progress in either sphere. North Eastern Council (NEC) was expected to be instrumental in setting in motion a new economic endeavour 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.