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Day 47 – Q 5.Critically evaluate the recent measures taken by the government to ensure the development of the North-Eastern region.

5. Critically evaluate the recent measures taken by the government to ensure the development of the North-Eastern region. 

पूर्वोत्तर क्षेत्र के विकास को सुनिश्चित करने के लिए सरकार द्वारा हाल ही में किए गए उपायों का समालोचनात्मक मूल्यांकन करें।


The North East States are categorized as Special Category States and receive central assistance on a liberal 90:10 sharing pattern. The Central Government is also supplementing development efforts of States in NER through Special Central Assistance (SCA) and Special Plan Assistance (SPA) through State Plans. 


The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has made the following   schemes for the development of North-Eastern region during the last three years:

  • North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS)

The Government has approved a 100% Central Sector Scheme to be implemented till March 2020, named North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) for development of North-Eastern region to be implemented by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER). A sum of Rs.1600 crore has been allocated for funding physical infrastructure relating to connectivity, power, water supply enhancing tourism and social Infrastructure relating to education and health sectors in North Eastern States. Till date, 6 (six) projects costing Rs.272.31 crore have been recommended for sanction for North Eastern States under this scheme. 

  • Schemes of North Eastern Council (NEC) and North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS)

The Government has also approved schemes of North Eastern Council (NEC) and North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) at a total cost of Rs.4500 crore for 3 years          i.e. 2017-18 to 2019-20. Under NERSDS, 3 (three) projects have been taken up and 1 (one) has been completed while 2 (two) are ongoing.

  • North East Venture Fund (NEVF)

North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFi) under the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has set up the North East Venture Fund (NEVF) for North East Region. The capital commitment to the fund is Rs.100.00 crore with an initial contribution of Rs.75.00 crore consisting of Rs.45.00 crore from Ministry of DoNER and Rs.30.00 crore from NEDFi. The balance fund of Rs.25.00 crore has been committed by Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in-principle. The proposals are considered by the NEVF. For investment decisions, an Independent Investment Committee is formed, comprising of experts from the field of venture capital financing, banking, technocrats and representatives of investors, which regularly monitor the implementation of the projects. So far, the NEVF has approved eight proposals for start ups in various sectors ranging from health to media with an investment commitment of Rs.1092.5 lakh.

  • Science & Technology Interventions in the North East Region   (STINER)      

STINER aims to bring relevant technologies developed by the academic, scientific and research institutions to the artisans and farmers especially women. The Ministry has sanctioned funds to disseminate some identified technologies developed by IITs such as Feed block machine;        Eri-Cocoon opener; Hank to bobbin winding machine; Chaff Cutter; Dryer; Potter’s wheel; Puffed Rice making machine and Fish cage structure.

  • North Eastern Region Vision 2020

This document provides an overarching framework for the development of the North Eastern Region to bring it at par with other developed regions under which different Ministries, including Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region have undertaken various initiatives.

  1. Mandatory earmarking of at least 10% of GBS of Central Ministries/Departments for North Eastern Region (NER) and creation of Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) has augmented resource flow to the region.
  2. An allocation of Rs.59,369.90 crore (BE) during 2019-20 has been made for the North Eastern Region, including Ministry of DoNER.
  3. Strengthening infrastructure and connectivity is a major thrust area identified by the Vision document. 
  4. For Road,Under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme (SARDP-NE) including Arunachal Package of Roads and Highways, 1,514 km of road length worth Rs.20,065 crore has been completed in the last five years in the North East Region (NER). Under Bharatmala Pariyojana (BMP) roads stretches aggregating to about 5,301 km in NER have been approved for improvement. Out of this, 3246 km road length has been approved for development of Economic Corridors in the North East. Under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), road length of 20,708 km has been constructed at a cost of Rs.9033.76 crore, thereby connecting 3,123 habitations in North Eastern Region.
  5. In respect of Rail Connectivity, during the last four years the entire North East Region has been converted to the Broad Gauge (BG) network. In respect of Air Connectivity, modernization and development of Airports have been taken up. This includes construction of a new integrated terminal building at Guwahati, Imphal and Agartala Airports etc.
  6. Moreover, Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS-UDAN) has been launched to provide connectivity to unserved and underserved Airports within the country and to promote regional connectivity by making the airfare affordable through Viability Gap Funding (VGF). The North East has been kept as a priority area under RCS-UDAN.
  7. Under Swadesh Darshan Scheme of Ministry of Tourism, projects worth Rs.1400.03 crore have been sanctioned for the North East Region in the last five years and Rs. 896.12 crore has been released for the same.
  8. Ministry of Civil Aviation has granted ‘Site Clearance’ and ‘In-principle’ approval on 18.01.2019 for setting up a New Greenfield Airport at Holongi, ltanagar, for which Airports Authority of India (AAI) has already initiated preparation of bidding documents.
  9. Other major initiatives taken up in the North-East Region inter alia include Promotion of MSMEs in North Eastern Region and Sikkim, Comprehensive Telecom Development Project (CTDP) for the North-Eastern Region, Comprehensive Scheme for strengthening of Transmission and Distribution Systems (CSST&DS), North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP), Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region scheme, North East Region Textile Promotion Scheme (NERTPS), National Sports University at Imphal, Agartala-Akhaura Rail-Link to connect the existing Agartala station in Tripura to Akhaura Station of Bangladesh Railways, development of Brahmaputra and 19 new waterways including Barak.


  1. The Northeast region does not attract big industries because the region is resource deficit, and does not have economies of scale to match. Moreover, the security situation in the whole of the region has not improved uniformly.
  2. The North East Council (NEC) and the Ministry for the Development of the North East Region (DoNER) have become fund disbursing agencies instead of strategic planning agencies. 
  3. The North East still remains inward looking focussing primarily on internal conflicts. There is no discussion on the benefits that could accrue to the region from the Look East Policy.
  4. The international borders in the North east are extremely porous. Thus, cross border infiltration of militants, and smuggling of arms are rampant in the region.
  5. Poverty, High rate of unemployment, inadequate health care, public unrest adds to  the challenges in the region.


Given the north-eastern region’s strategic location, India has been keen to involve countries of South East Asia and East Asia in its development. The ten key areas for development of north east are highways, railways, power, internet, BPOs, Organic food, assistance, timely implementation of projects for job creation, tourism and development of rural areas. The pro-active approach in the north east region is the key to give fillip to development of the region.

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