Time for a dedicated think tank for the NER at the Central Government level: Prof. Sachin

New Delhi, May 15: “Instead of connecting different cities and urban centers in the remote and less-developed areas, the ideal approach should be to develop it in the framework of corridors for regional development. The time has come that there should be a dedicated think tank for the North Eastern Region (NER) at the Central Government level”, said Prof. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), today on the final day of the two day Regional Conference on the theme of “Physical and Social Infrastructure for Regional Development” being organized by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India in Guwahati, Assam.

Discussing on the salient takeaways from the consultation of the two day, Prof. Chaturvedi said, “There were several important recommendations discussed in the two day Conference which are essential for physical and social infrastructure in the North Eastern Region. The First Point was low integration due to the land-locked nature of the Region. Historically, the North East had strong trade linkages with the countries in South-East Asia and was a prosperous Region. Post-Independence, the connectivity links were broken due to the creation of independent nations in the South Asian region.

As a result, the NER became land-locked which stalled the pace of development. However, with fresh initiatives by the Government, there is a greater recognition of opening of the arteries of connectivity both within NER and with neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, etc. Emphasis will be made on Education, Health and Skill Development in the Region. In addition, Horticulture, Tourism, Food Processing, use of Bamboo and Made in North-East will be developed through five Mission Mode Projects in a time-bound manner.”

Prof. Chaturvedi also added several other important takeaways like water and waterways strength in the Region, improving economic corridors, digital technology as the future of connectivity, addressing infrastructure deficit as per local demand and needs, encouraging grassroots R&D facilities, strengthening regional value chains, and focusing on Clean and Green Energy among others.

The Valedictory Session of the two day Conference was chaired by Prof. Bhupen Sarmah, Director, Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development. Shri P R Jaishankar, Chief General Manager, Indian Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL), Shri Dipok Kumar Barthakur, Vice-Chairman, State Innovation & Transformation Aayog and many other dignitaries were present in the occasion.

Before the Valedictory Session, there was Session on “Creating Social Infrastructure for Inclusive Growth” which was chaired by Shri Dinesh Sharma, Former Special Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs. Shri Shyam Jagannathan, Commissioner & Secretary, Finance Department, Shri A. K. Yadav, Chief Administrative Officer, Northeast Frontier Railway, Mr. Halla Maher Qaddumi, Senior Water Economist, The World Bank, Shri Sabyasachi Dutta, Executive Director, Asian Confluence and Dr. Otojit Kshetrimayum, Associate Fellow and Coordinator, Centre for North East India, V. V. Giri National Labour Institute were present on the occasion as panelists.

The two day Regional Conference was organized by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India in collaboration with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).  This was 5thsuch Conference in a build-up to the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of AIIB which is going to be hosted by the Government of India in Mumbai on 25th and 26th June, 2018. Three more such Regional Conferences are going to be held at Bhopal, Pune and Mumbai leading to the final culmination to the 3rd Annual Conference.

 

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