Northeast India was at the forefront of economic development and prosperity during British India but has faced marginalisation since Independence. In this context, discuss some of the steps taken to replenish the past glory of the region.

Published: April 21, 2018

North east hasn’t received the required attention from the mainland in post independence period. This has resulted in deprivation and huge gaps in the north east. In order to bridge these various measures have been undertaken

  • A separate ministry called Ministry for Development of North-East Region has been set up to bring renewed focus on the development of the region.
  • North eastern states receive financial stimulus under the category of special status. As a result their contribution in central sector scheme is in the ratio 90:10.
  • The Indian Forest (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 to exempt bamboo grown in non-forest areas from the definition “Tree”, thereby dispensing with the requirement of obtaining a permit for felling of bamboo for economic use. This is expected to give impetus to the north east economy.
  • Government constituted a high-level committee for proper management of the water resources in the North Eastern Region (NER) under the Chairmanship of Vice-Chairman, Niti Aayog. The Committee would facilitate optimising benefits of appropriate water management in the form of hydro-electric power, agriculture, bio-diversity conservation, reduced flood damage erosion, inland water transport, forestry, fishery and eco-tourism. 
  • Ministry of DoNER started an extensive exercise to reorient and rejuvenate the North Eastern Council (NEC) in a new format so that it could perform the effective role of an important resource-cum-research centre for the entire region and could be developed as the hub of innovation for the upliftment of entire Northeast.
  • “Hill Area Development Programme” (HADP) for Northeast has been launched.
  • North east business summits are organised. The summit aimed to explore the scope for business opportunities in the North-Eastern region of India. Focus areas were Infrastructure and Connectivity with Public Private Partnership, Skill Development, Financial Inclusion, Services Sector Development- Particularly in Tourism, Hospitality & Food Processing.
  • Northeast is all set to get India’s first-ever “Air Dispensary” based in a helicopter 
  • The ‘North East Venture Fund’ was also launched, which is a joint initiative of Ministry of DoNER and North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. The objective of the fund is to promote entrepreneurship and Start up in the North Eastern Region. It is the first dedicated Venture Fund for the region with a corpus of Rs 100 crores.

Development in north east together with addressing the challenges in the region will also provide diplomatic benefits as north east is our gateway to ASEAN.

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