Realizing the growth
• Pratyush Vashishat
• Sagar Sahni
• Shubham Sharma
• Pankaj Wadhwani
• Agam Gupta
SAVE NORTH EAST: THEY ARE ALSO INDIANS
The North East India comprises of eight contiguous states of highly undulating hilly terrains,
covering 263,179 sq km which is about 8% of the total geographical area of the country. The
region is one of the landlocked regions of South Asia. About 4500 km i.e. 98% of its border is
with five different countries of South Asia–Nepal, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. No
other region of the Indian union share common border with so many different countries
connecting with the heartland through the tenuous 22 km Siliguri corridor. Most of the North
Eastern states have more than 60% of their area under forest cover, a minimum suggested
coverage for the hill states in the country.
The region is richly endowed with bio-diversity, hydro-potential, minerals like oil and natural gas,
coal, limestone, dolomite, graphite, quartzite, sillimonite etc. and forest wealth. Over 10 per
cent of forest products requirement in the country are met from this region only. The economy
of the region primarily depends on agriculture sector contributing over 40 per cent of the
income and employ about 70 per cent of the total working population. North East India is a part
of Indo-Burma 'hotspot'. The hotspot is the world's second largest, next only to the
Mediterranean basin with an area 2,20,60,000 km2 among the 25 identified.
The region is the home of extraordinarily diverse mosaic of ethnic groups having distinctive
social, cultural and economic identity, more akin to their South Asia neighbors than main land
India. The total population of the region is about 38 million, 3.8 per cent of the ou try s total
population, of which Assam contributes 68 per cent of the total population. Assam recorded the
highest density of population with 340 per sq. km., which is also higher than the national
average of 313 per sq. km., followed by Tripura with 305 per sq. km. Otherwise, the region is
sparsely populated with an overall density of population of 149 per sq. km.
The goals of human development,
however can be achieved only
through inclusive development and
bridging the various divides that
afflict our country. However, the
ou try s orth east has ee
experiencing a comparatively slower
pace of industrialization and socio-
economic growth. Though the region
is blessed with abundant natural
resources for industrial development
and social development, they have
not been utilized to their full
The region is cited as a conflict-stricken remote
corner of India, witnessing a series of
insurgencies and illustrating the alienation of the
locals from the mainstream. Although the causes
of insurgency in the region have been primarily
political, the ambiguity related to the economic
potential has added fuel to the turmoil.
The Naga insurgence, which started
in the 1950s, known as the mother
of the Northeast insurgencies, is
one of the oldest unresolved armed
conflicts in the world. In total,
Manipur, Assam, Nagaland and
Tripura have witnessed scales of
conflict that could, at least between
1990 and 2000, be characterized as
low intensity conflicts.
Bundles of Problems
The various problems and conflict
constellations in the Northeast
represent durable challenges to the
integrative and accommodative capacity of
I dia de o ra y . : Clemens Spiess
Bundles of Causes
The data and information on the region is not
sufficiently analyzed and communicated
between the region and the Centre,
contributing to further misinformation,
mismanagement and alienation.
Efforts by the Govt.
Operation of Food
& Civil supplies &
under 12th Plan of
Central Pool of
The region has a very high potential to
generate hydropower i.e. about 80 per cent of
the total hydropower potential in the country.
Arunachal Pradesh alone is expected to
generate 2,67,474 MW i.e. 30 per cent of the
total available in the country.
Inland water transport can be a viable, cost-effective alternative in the plain areas of NER
given the high cost of expanding other mode of transportation. It will also create
employment opportunities, promote tourism and open up inter-country routes for trade
and commerce. However, the following needs to be done:
-There is a need to improve facilities for night navigation and mechanical handling.
-Cargo vessels and terminals should be increased to meet the rising demands.
-Emphasis should be on PPPs for the development of fairways and infrastructure in IWT.
Since it adjoins with Bay of Bengal and
with China and other small South East
.It has major scope of trading with all the
eastern countries and hence contributing
To the major trading share of India and
thereby helping in stabilizing
The economic growth of country as well as
of seven sisters.
In North-east, one of the critical problems is that of governance. Basic needs are not met, basic
services are not delivered, so naturally people get alienated. Now the political problems are
not necessarily related to the problems of governance but the problems of governance
accentuate the problems of political alienation and conflict.
To sum up the large document in a few words is difficult, but I think the final document was a
bit too ambitious as it said that North-east needs to grow at 8-12% over the next few years to
at h up to the rest of I dia. I do t thi k that s goi g to happe e ause it s just ot possi le
i a state, i regio s that are threate ed y a ds e ery fe days a d y pro le s of la k of
So we have to essentially raise the bar high for performance of local governance and that is
riti al. There is o poi t la i g Delhi for hat s ro g. Go er a e i this ou try is a state
issue a d states eed to deli er. They ha e the fu ds yet they are ot deli eri g a d there is t
any excuse for that.
But this is not going to happen immediately.
Innovation, Initiative, Ideas, and Implementation - the four I s also eed to go together i the
North-east if things have to change. You can make a big picture, you can try and do big things
ut i the fi al a alysis, it s hat you do at the lo al le el a d ho ell you do it, that s goi g
to make a difference.