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  1. 1. Contact: 8013523310, 8013435423,9051643933, 9836954099, 9836802643 nirjhar503@gmail.com University: Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Team Members: Nirjhar Mukherjee, Arja Sadhukhan, Ashmita Banerjee, Sayak Ray, Kaushalya Gupta Constructing a New Dawn: Dreaming a Prosperous North East Theme: Sunrise States: Realizing the growth potential of North-East Team Name: JUktibaadi
  2. 2. Partition increased the distance between Kolkata and Agartala increased from 362 kms to 1600 kms, the ports of Chittagong and Mongla were lost to East Pakistan. Geographically marooned, politically marginalised , culturally alienated and economically stranded, North Eastern India has not been at par with the rest of the country in social, economic as well as cultural spheres. The Paramount Importance of the North East. • The ful ru of I dia’s Look East Poli y- door to ASEAN, the Far East and Oceania. • Immense geopolitical importance to I dia’s foreign policy and energy and maritime security. • Scope for India to aggrandise its national power due to favourable conditions. • Stable North East needed to counter China. Also can open fronts for engagement with other powers. • Foreign Trade- Export oriented benefits, South East Asia, a perfe t arket for I dia’s exports. • Reservoir of untapped resources: economic, agrarian and industrial, as well as the service sector. Examples: Hydroelectric power, tourism. The Distress of Eight Sisters • North East: one of the most underdeveloped regions in India. • Neglected financially, racially, culturally and politically, the North Eastern states are a breeding ground for insurgency, drug trade and human trafficking. • Shunned and disillusioned, the people have lost faith in the system. • The area is today a hotbed of insurgency, trafficking, drugs and all sorts of illegal activities. • The situation is being exploited by countries like China which gleefully wants such turbulence to o ti ue at I dia’s e pe se. • There is comparatively high literacy. However, lack of employment opportunities make the ground fertile for such ills to thrive. It’s high ti e that e look i to a alter ati e ple ia a d sustai a le odel. We seek to reate a alter ati e y asking the government to implement more pragmatic policies and establish a new organisation for implementation. We suggest the government to build a development model, inspired by Amartya Sen a d Martha Nuss au ’s theory of development though capacity building where the development comes through increase in options for the people.
  3. 3. The State in the North East: Engagement and Reaction Existing Policies • Mammoth sums invested (in fact the highest per capita investment in India). Some corporations set up like NEDFI. However, there is a total lack of research and knowledge of ground realities. • Money disbursed through the regular state bureaucracy. • Aggressive military presence to combat insurgency. Army endowed with wanton powers like AFSPA. • Use of traditional sops to attract investment. Results and Scope for Improvement • The state is unable to understand the real needs and aspirations of the people and ground realities. Adequate research and development is a must before investment. • Unnecessary allocation of resources in certain sectors while severe shortage of resources in ore i porta t e tures. The state ust prioritize i s ith the people’s aspiratio s a d needs. Ground level research is the need of the hour. • Skyrocketing corruption. North East India has lowest levels of percolation rates. A separate system to oversee percolation needed in addition to anti corruption drives. • Aggressive presence of the armed forces have further alienated the populace. They are pere iall stu k i a de il’s alter ati e: et ee the ar a d the i surge . AF“PA has to go, unconditionally. The state has to reclaim its legitimacy in the eyes of a suffering people with genuine grievances. • Sops fail to work out due to insurgency, native hostility aggravated by influx of people from other states, poor roads and infrastructure etc. Building roads a must. Investment must generate huge employment for natives. Self help organisations must be encouraged.
  4. 4. The people of the North East have been systematically alienated since independence. And it is the Indian State which is largely to blame. Thus the onus of reconciliation also lies on the hands of the sate. Moreover, the people of the North East have been marginalised culturally. Thus the I dia i il so iet at large a also ot ig ore it’s respo si ilit i the ultural integration of the North East. An alternate model can be developed through the use of utual ooperatio usi g the a ariatio of Ga e Theor . The idea of o operatio – development model as illustrated later on. [see annexure 1] Chronological Sequence Three [Future Prediction]: Indian State Still Cooperates, People of North Also Cooperate. Gain for the Indian State Gain for the North East Chronological Sequence Two [Future Case One]: Indian State Cooperates, People of North East Defect. Loss For the Indian State Loss For North East Chronological Sequence One [History/Present]: Indian State Defects, People of North East also Defect. Loss For the Indian State Loss For North East Thus, as per Ro ert A elrod’s theor of e olutio of ooperatio , people (or t o a tors ith mutual suspicions) start cooperating, once they realise that there is gain for both from doing the same. Moreover, defection on either side will harm both actors. It stays as a shadow of the future.
  5. 5. Political and Policy Making • Peace talks with rebels and try integration into the mainstream. • Offer attractive surrender terms. Adept policy making needed. • Make concessions. Amend political blunders. Eg. AFSPA must go! • Crackdown on drug lords, trafficking and remaining hostile insurgents. Material Sustainable Development • Develop industries sustainably. PSUs, PPPs, encourage private players. • Impetus to cottage industries, export promotion and tourism. • Invest i9n Human Capital. Engage in Human Resource development through educational institutes. Promote research, think tanks. • Build infrastructure of basic amenities and social services. Connectivity: Material and Cultural • Connectivity: Build and repair roads and highways and railways. • Internationalise Guwahati and Aizawl airports. • Promote North Eastern culture, tourism. Promote exchanges. • Provide media footage. Promote, subsidize sports and other activities. • Stop cultural hegimonisation. Help in retention of cultural identities.
  6. 6. Setting up of a Government Body Exclusively For the Development of the North East. 1. Directly under the Ministry for the Development of the North East Region 2. Highly decentralised and autonomous. To have branches in each North Eastern state . Priorities subjective to the needs and aspirations of the particular state. 3. Funds to the North East to be disbursed to and spent by this body. Name of Body: Comprehensive Development Corporation or CDC. Composition: 1. Top bureaucrats, scientists, medical staff, social workers , academicians and other experts in various fields. 2. Management experts and social scientists. Best brains to be recruited from top B Schools and other institutions. 3. Foreig poli e perts: the shall e eeded due to the i porta e of the North East ith I dia’s foreign policy. 4. Local people in the local units. Who shall be there and at what level shall be entirely subjective to the specific needs and requirements of the area. Also elected representatives, both urban and rural, of the people. 5. A cadre of trained personnel to be recruited through competitive public exam. Dedicated full time to development of the North East region. Different types of cadre to be selected as per requirement. 6. Local units to have a great deal of autonomy. Many important office bearers of the unit to be elected by the members of the CDC unit. 7. Tie ups with existing bodies like NEDFI and other corporations. All to be merged with the CDC. 8. As evident from above, the people will be joint stake holders along with the state. Thus development comes to the hands of the people themselves.
  7. 7. •Autonomy for units. No interference from higher authorities. •Will reduce red tape and bureaucratic miscalculationsDecentralisation • Different levels of the CDC will have different powers and well defined jurisdictions. No possibilities of clashes. A higher level does not mean power over lower units.Separation of Powers • Presence of local people and experts will keep the policy makers in touch with ground realities. • Will be feasible for the CDC to oversee proper implementation. Localisation Working and Powers of the CDC 1. The CDC will be have a central committee and eight state committees. One each in all the eight sisters. The central committee will consist of delegations from the state committees and experts, recruits appointed at both the central and state levels. 2. Ce tral o ittee’s po ers li ited to affairs of e tral o ittee: R&D, allo atio of funds to state committees, awareness drives. No power to dictate over lower units. 3. State committees to have most of the powers. To have a sub unit in each ward/village. The local units decide on local policy implementations. Each unit to be autonomous with its own executive committee. This is an attempt to shift governance, production, economy and power from the elites to the local people. 4. The touch with the people may enable the state to gain some legitimacy in the region.
  8. 8. Foreign Policy Measures Conducive to North Eastern India • Diplomatic negotiations with Bangladesh and Myanmar. Try to open Mongla, Chittagong and Sittwe ports to Indian goods. Establish joint naval patrol. Also a counter to Chinese string of pearls strategy. Water sharing treaty and development of Bangladesh is very important. • E ourage further order trade a d i itiati es like ross order haats or te porar arkets with both Myanmar and Bangladesh. • Ensure strong security checks to prevent illegal immigration. • Build roads and rails facilities in Myanmar and Bangladesh as they will help in movement of Indian goods in those countries and open markets. Infrastructure developments across the border are of strategic importance as far as trade goes. • Build and/or repair roads to international trade centers at the border points and connecting these points through the existing roads to state capitals is important. Link them to foreign cities. • Engage with BIMSTEC and ASEAN for development projects. Example: establish Free Trade Area (FTA), Trans Asian Railway (complete rail routes like Jiribham – Hanoi), Energy Centre, Weather and Climate Centre, international highways to South East Asia. Take part and complete Mekong Ganga Co operation, Kunming Initiative, Kaladan Multi Modal project etc. • Enter into joint agreements with Bangladesh and Myanmar for the extradition of rebels in all countries. A strict zero tolerance towards insurgency has to be consistently followed. Myanmar and Bangladesh have insurgencies of their own in the border region. • Use international collaboration to clamp down on human trafficking and drug dealing. • The question of mass migration must be mutually dealt by the three states. A joint development pact must be signed by India, Bangladesh and Myanmar for the development of this region. This area is a troubled area and one of concern for all three countries. It will only help to go for a joint development programme.
  9. 9. Domestic Policies to Help the People of North East India • In addition to building new educational institutes, provisions must be made for the students of North East India to get easier access to higher education in the Rest of India. Example: Train fare concessions, hostel reservations, subsidies for students. • Special scholarships to students from the North East based on merit. • Special sops and attraction like bonuses to be given for faculty from other parts of India for teaching in North East India to attract talent. • Tax holidays and other attractive business incentives should be given to investors for investing. However, jobs should go to locals and not hamper demographics. Everything should be supervised and scrutinised through the proposed CDC. • Develop Kolkata as the nearest metro. Great value. Similarly, Assam has to be developed as a state. Guwahati should be developed into a Metro. • Stop racism! North Eastern people are as much Indians as Punjabis, Bengalis or Tamils. They are not Chi ese or Chi kies ! La s should e e a ted agai st ra is . • The CDC should be able to oversee projects like the Kaladan Multi Modal project . Alternatives must be sought quickly if there are hurdles to any particular project. Funding the CDC and Challenges 1. Funding: The CDC is a to be endowed with the investment amounts which are directly poured into solitary projects. It is a comprehensive alternative. Addition funds would should be provided by the central government. The CDC can be funded by raising additional taxes from tobacco , alcohol (where applicable) and other luxury items. 2. No doubt that the CDC will face challenges from allegations of central dominance to the question of partiality. However, it is through raising mass awareness, engaging the local population backed by positive, inclusive politics which can help in ameliorating the situation. When the people will be a part of their own progress, faith will be restored.
  10. 10. Some Select State Specific Solutions to State Specific Problems Assam • Build massive irrigation scheme to arrest the Brahmaputra to prevent floods. • Build a strong patrol system along borders to prevent illegal immigration. Manipur • Repeal AFSPA. Justice must be delivered for army excesses. • Connect Moreh with main roads. Repair NH 37 • Counter insurgency. Meghalaya •A massive rural development programme needed for basic amenities. •Build Roads •Develop tourism •Watershed management to control rainwater. Sikkim •Urban development must be controlled to prevent landslides. Establish country planning •Promote tourism. But only to sustainable levels. Arunachal Pradesh • Defend the border. Build infrastructure for better troop movement. Road to Tawang must be developed. • Rampant opium trade must be eradicated Tripura • Stop shifting cultivation and destruction of forests. • Launch a massive food security drive. • Bridge the gap between Bengalis, migrants and native tribes. Nagaland • Counter insurgency. Stop wanton advances of extremists like NSCN (IM) • Stop communal politics involving the Church and Hindus and the tribal people. Communal harmony must be restored. Mizoram • Wo e ’s Issues ill have to be dealt with. Progressive legislation and implementation needed on issues like divorce. • Illegal immigration from Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar must be checked.
  11. 11. Possible Challenges • Challenges are to be many. Insurgency will not disappear in a day. Nor will organised crime especially in a setup with entrenched corruption. Good surrender terms and employment for locals will have to be systematically increased sway them away. • Sustained opposition will come from reactionary elites who have vested interests in status quo as they benefit from the system. • As of now, the people have resentment against the state. Astute persistence, continued development, integration and good policies are needed to win their trust. • Funds need to be spent properly and new funds mooted. Moreover, the policies suggested must be whole heartedly and impartially implemented. Hoping for the Best and Proceeding Earnestly! However, despite everything, we hope that the model mentioned above provides a solution to these problems. If the policies are implemented earnestly with dedication, adequate concentration and integrity backed up by equally tactful state governments and a diplomatically successful foreign ministry, there is no reason why the North East cannot develop. Vision 2020 as declared by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008 would not e that u h of a illusio . The pri ipal reaso for people’s alie atio is that the are ruled and oppressed by local elites. The state has so far been another oppressive elite who has come to rule them. The evolution of powers from the elite to the people through the CDC system has potentials of a landmark breakthrough. If people through the CDC are able to evolve into their own policy makers, the state is bound to win some much needed but much lacking legitimacy. This it is time to start thinking in a new way of ruling by letting the people rule over themselves. There lies the essence of true democracy!
  12. 12. Annexure 1 This is a a itious odel take fro the o ept of o operatio odel ased o priso er’s dile a from Game Theory. It is seen that usually mutual co operation is beneficial for both parties. We are using a variation of the prisoners dilemma here. In the original game (situation) Situation 1. A defects, B Co operates. Situation 2. A co operates, B defects Situation 3. A co operates, B co operates. However, here in situation 1, when A defects, B also defects. This is because human behaviour cannot be predicted with cent per cent accuracy by any mathematical model and situations in real human life are often different from optimised and/or customised ones used in examples. Moreover, when in politics, counter defection is often very quick. Thus we adapt a lot from this model but refrain from copy pasting it as it does not match the chronological history of North East India. The people of the North East ha e ee opposi g I dia or defe ti g i priso ers dile a ter i olog . Now the idea is to take the situation to a level of corruption. The people of the North East have been defecting due to prolonged maltreatment, underdevelopment and alienation. Thus it is the Indian State which defected first! Naturally (matching with game theory) the result was that the people of North Eastern states also defected. We all know the result. Both the state and the people of the North East suffered. Now, thanks to the distrust and disrepute of the Indian state, the people of the North East are likely to defect when the state offers co operation. However, the people of the North East will see that they are losing out. More importantly, the state must continue to keep its policy of cooperation even at the wake of continued defection as the people of the North East would ultimately realise that there is more to gain from co operation than defection!
  13. 13. References • http://zeenews.india.com/exclusive/mizoram-womens- issues-development-and-migrants_2325.html • http://www.hindustantimes.com/India- news/ArunachalPradesh/Opium-for-masses-a-problem-in- Arunachal/Article1-827427.aspx • http://www.downtoearth.org.in/node/19707 • http://jair.net.in/files/documents/SHASHI-THAROOR.doc • http://jair.net.in/files/documents/REPORT.docx • http://www.himanshushekhar.com/2010/09/nagaland-the- problem-it-faces-today/ • http://sikkim.nic.in/udhd/problems.html