(Magazine) Yojana Magazine: Issue December 2010
Yojana Magazine: Issue December 2010
About the Issue :
While December is not the end of the fiscal year in India, it however provides a very good occasion to do a cross check on often untouched themes. One of them is a review of the North East India, the region of eight states that is the new economic frontier for India. In the year 2010, there is an even better reason to do a stock check for the region. The Prime Minister has asked for a massive push for the development of the road network of the entire region. A road is not just a means of transport in this hilly region. Roads are the underlying foundations for the entire economic development of the North East. The region, for geographic and sometimes strategic reasons has very thin railway network and air service cannot be the means to take care of the humungous transport needs of even one state, forget eight states. Thus how the road network shapes up is more than an integral part of the story of the development of the region, it is also a very key index.
The North East states conceal some interesting paradoxes. Some of them have excellent demographic characteristics like a high literacy rate and consequent access to education. Yet at the same time they all suffer from high infant mortality as hospital care for the mother and child are few and far between. The region has splendid swathes of forests harbouring massive varieties of fauna and flora. Yet development of the states could mean cutting into those regions, as there are few alternatives to not do so.
The other issues are of course maintaining of the tribal way of life, key to understanding the diversity of the region. The development imperatives often bring up challenges of how to protect the tribal culture, while at the same time help use modern science and education for the benefit of the region.