The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh inaugurated the two-day international seminar on ” The Age of Multilateralism and Connecting India’s North East: Opportunities and Challenges”. The seminar is being jointly organized by the Ministry for Development of Northeast (DoNER), the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) and Asian Confluence (A Unit of Divya Jeevan Foundation), Shillong, Meghalaya March 19 & 20, 2018.
Addressing the seminar, Dr Jitendra Singh said that North East has unexplored potentials and the region is on the priority of the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He said that psychological outreach towards development of North East region is as important as physical outreach. The fast-track thrust by the Union Government in the last 3 years, Dr Jitendra Singh said, has resulted in a sea-change by improving the connectivity scenario, both in air, rail and road connectivity, and this is bound to overcome many of the earlier constraints faced by the potential entrepreneurs. With the Union Government’s emphasis on “Act East” policy, he said, this is a great opportunity to explore the new possibilities of growth production for international trade in the region.
He also said that the keeping in view the scenic beauty of the Arunachal Pradesh a second Film and Training Institute of India (FTII) will be set up in Itanagar, the first being in Pune, Maharashtra. He also said that region-based road development scheme for NE region namely “North-East Road Sector Development Scheme” (NERSDS) has also been started for maintenance, construction and upgradation of such roads, which remain neglected because of being interconnecting roads between two States as a result of which they remain un-owned and had thus gained the dubious distinction of being described as “orphan roads”.
He said that the Ministry for Development of Northeast (DoNER) is encouraging investments, both through the Government agencies as well as private parties. In this regard, he cited the example of huge collaboration with the Government of Japan, which is planning a heavy investment in the region as well as Singapore which has offered to set up a Skill Center in Assam.
Appreciating the role of facilitators being played by ICWA and Asian Confluence in the efforts being by Ministry for Development of Northeast (DoNER) towards the development of the region, the Minister said that priority is also being given to promote tourism in the North eastern states. Speaking on the ‘Act East Policy’ of the Government, he said that North East region shares similarity with neighbouring countries in terms of culture, lifestyle and food habits. He said that, keeping this fact in mind, the NE states should focus on manufacturing such products that will find market in these places and promote trade in North eastern states
He said that North East being a land of diversity within diversity, still it has been maintaining its integrity. He said with the setting up Camp secretariats at various places in North-East by the centre, local people have become more familiar with officials thus taking central Government to the region instead of North-Eastern states approaching the centre.
Highlighting various youth-centric initiatives taken by the Ministry of Development of North East Region (DoNER), the Minister said that the Barak hostel for students from North East in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in Delhi and a Hostel exclusively for Northeast girl students in Bengaluru are being constructed. He said that a North Eastern Cultural and Information Centre will soon be set up in Dwarka, New Delhi.
The Director General of Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) , Shri Nalin Surie and The Director, Asian Confluence, Shri Sabyasachi Dutta were present on the occasion.