Guwahati, Dec 21: Assam Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi said that the North Eastern region of the country has the potential to become a future hub of organic products, renewable energy, international tourism and the country’s gateway to ASEAN countries.
Speaking at the brainstorming session of a conclave on Atmanirbhar North East through science and technology interventions at Cotton University on Tuesday, Governor Prof. Mukhi said that the government at the Centre has been very committed for the last seven years to rapid infrastructure and economic development of the region. He also said that considering the region’s strategic location, the Central government under the leadership of the Prime Minister took several initiatives to develop international routes with the 10 ASEAN countries.
The Governor said that the re-opening of the trade routes with the ASEAN countries which were closed for the region since independence will re-open the gates of economic development of the entire region. Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on 4 C’s that is culture, commerce, connectivity and capacity building of the entire North East, the Governor said that the objective of transforming the Indian economy into a five trillion-dollar economy will not be possible without unfolding the commercial and economic potential of the North East. The NDA government, therefore, as a complete deviation from the earlier stand of the Central government, took keen interests for the development of the North Eastern region.
The Governor during his speech said that the North East was one of the richest regions of the country. However, after the independence, the region lost its sheen. During the British period, the economy of the North Eastern region was dependent on the use of resources such as tea, forest produce, crude oil etc. Post-independence the entire North Eastern region became land-locked due to partition of the county leading to closure of all the international trade routes and sea links. Moreover, after the independence, there was no credible effort for speedy economic development of the region. As a result, economic deprivation engulfed the region. This economic deprivation led to generating a feeling of alienation which ultimately culminated into several other problems, Prof. Mukhi added.
However, he emphasised that a concerted and planned effort for the rapid and systematic development of the North East started in 2001 with the creation of a separate ministry that is Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). Moreover, the Act East Policy thoroughly overhauled the focus of development of the North East to ensure action-oriented project and outcome- based policy. This new approach created and developed a new narrative of development for the entire North East to utilise its potential of becoming the organic hub, international tourism and India’s gateway to ASEAN countries, the Governor observed.
It may be noted that the conclave organised by North East Centre for Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR) in collaboration with Vijnana Bharati, Unnat Bharat Abhiyan and Cotton University was attended among others by director general of NECTAR Prof. Arun Sharma, director, CSIR National Institute of Scientific Communications and Policy Research Dr. Ranjana Agarwal, vice chancellor, Cotton University Prof. Bhabesh Ch. Goswami, national organizing secretary Vijnana Bharati Jayant Sahasrabudhe, national coordinator Unnat Bharat Abhiyan Prof. Virendra K. Vijay and MD,NRL S. K. Barua.