The Gist of Yojana: January + February 2013

The Gist of Yojana: January + February 2013


  • Higher education at the National Level
  • Component of Infrastructure
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Khasi Sacred Forests
  • Apatani Composite Farming
  • Nitrogen Fixing Techniques of the Angamis
  • Recommendation of the High Level Committee
  • National Policy on Electronics and R&D and Innovation
  • Approach of XII Plan
  • The Yozmna Programme in Israel
  • Perfromance of Farmers
  • Areas of Concern
  • Technical Training and Schemes For Kashmiri Youth
  • Entrepreneurship Development in India
  • Developing Entrepreneurship in North East
  • Entrepreneurship Development in Nagaland
  • Do You Know What’s FDI?
  • Some Key Recommendations of 13th Finance Comission
  • Mechanical Innovations for Commercial Applications
  • Nagaland-A Land of Festivals
  • North Eastern Rural Livelihood Project

Higher education at the National Level

The country presently (2011­12) possesses 634 universities and 33,023 colleges with the student strength of 1,69,75,000 (girls 70,49,000). The number of graduates coming out of technical colleges was slightly over 7,00,000 in the last year. However, 75 percent of technical graduates and more than 85 percent of general graduates are unemployable by India’s high growth global industries, including information technology. In the North-East states 40 universities and such institutions are present with Nagaland having 3, Assam 10, Meghalaya 9, Sikkim 5, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura each having 3. The small number of institutions in these states can be due to the small size of the states.

In the country out of the GDP, 3.77 percent was spent on education in 2011, 32.3 percent of the total amount went to higher education.

Despite growing investment in education, 25 percent population still remains to be illiterate; 15 percent of Indian students reach high school and just 7 percent college and university. The quality of higher education is significantly poor. India’s post-secondary institutions offer only enough seats for 7 percent of India’s college-age population.

Component of Infrastructure

Infrastructure Development is a fundamental prerequisite for realizing the vision of progress towards peace and prosperity and for creating an investment climate and market development in the North East. In fact, this is a basic prerequisite for development and has strong complementarities with measures to improve health and education as well as industry and services are crucial for establishing a stable and peaceful society and hence for the progress and prosperity of the entire region.


Transport is a vital input for the proposed shift from subsistence agriculture to cash crop based farming, as well as the planned development of industry and the service sector. Most of the area in the region is hilly and undulating with low population densities, accompanied by low per area production of goods. In the hilly terrain, what it is in the NER (except in Assam and some parts of other states) development of inland waterways is the most expensive. Similarly, rail connectivity in such a terrain is not only time consuming but would need prohibitive investments, probably beyond the means of the nation. It is road connectivity which would play a dominant role in fulfilling the transportation needs of the public. Air connectivity would certainly play a role for a limited segment of people and goods.


The main grid of transportation of goods and passengers in the North East is the road network of 82,000 Kms. This network is most developed in the Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The five other main States in the region have networks ranging from 5000 to 9000 Kms. The vast majority of roads, around are unpaved roads, which are generally unsuitable for transport of heavy goods.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has been paying attention to the development of National Highways (NHs) in the North-Eastern region and 10 percent of the total allocation is earmarked for this region. The total length of NHs in the NE, including Sikkim, is 6880 Kms and these are being developed and maintained by three agencies-the State Public Works Department (PWD), Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the North Eastern Region (SARDP­NE) is a flagship programme implemented by the Mof Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) covering the improvement/ construction of 8737 kms road. Phase-A covering 2304 km had approved for implementation and Phase-B the length to be covered is 4570 Kms. The objectives of the programme are as under:

  • Connectivity of all State Capital towns with NH through at least 2 lane road
  • To provide 2-lane connectivity to the remaining 51 District Headquarter towns of NER (there are in all 85 District Headquarter towns of NER, 23 are already connected by 2-lane road and connectivity to l l District HQ is provided under Phase-A of SARDP­NE).
  • To provide inter-connectivity of all the State Capital towns by at least 2-lane NH
  • To improve certain roads of strategic importance
  • To provide improved connectivity to remote and backward areas, and
  • To improve road connectivity to border areas, Land Custom Stations and neighbouring countries

The Asian Highways project covering a road network of about 65,000 km. and passing through 15 countries is lying dormant for more than 40 years. The objective of this project is to promote and coordinate development of international road transport for connecting all the capital and industrial cities, sea routes and places of tourist and commercial interests in the Asian region. The proposed roads in the Asian Highways project would connect the NER not only with Bangladesh but also with other East Asian countries. This will give a big boost to the development of this region. This project, therefore, needs to be pushed through for implementation.


The railroad network is limited to 2500 Kms and lies almost entirely within the State of Assam (2466 Kms), with short stretches in Nagaland (13 Kms) and Arunachal Pradesh (I Kms). Only 960 Kms of this network consists of standard gauge track suitable for haulage of bulk goods and the majority of the network is made up of narrow gauge track suitable for small trains and transportation of passenger and transportation of smaller cargo.

Similarly, there is an urgent need for a rail link to Meghalaya and Sikkim. The more important issue from the long-term point of view of the strategic planning is to develop a rail network with the aim of increasing inter-state connectivity. In addition, rail connectivity should be integrated with developments in the other avenues of transport being proposed for the NER as a whole.


The terrain of the region and very tenuous land link with the rest of the country makes air connectivity a sine qua non for trade and commerce, tourism, realization of the potential for horticulture and floriculture in the region, promotion of higher and technical education and even for reducing the image deficit that the region suffers from.

The air connectivity was extremely unreliable prior to 2002 as the limited traffic made the use of Boeing jets uneconomical and led to irregular flight schedules. However, since 2002 the introduction of smaller ATR planes has made flights within NER somewhat more reliable though Kolkata still seems to be the hub rather than Guwahati. To make Air connectivity within region and with India there is a need for substantial investments and participation from both the Government and private investors.

During 11th Plan, three Greenfield airports, one each at Packyong in Sikkim, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh, and Chiethu in Nagaland was proposed. In addition, some existing airports in NER also has taken up for expansion/modification, to make them operational for scheduled flights.


One of the key development constraints for the Northeast over the past decades has been its geographical isolation. Certainly the advances in air flight have brought markets closer to the North East, but the relatively high proportion of bulky goods in the region’s economy requires the further development of a means of transport. Specifically, the use of inland waterways as the main network for transportation of bulk goods in the Northeastern Region has a number of advantages.

The main network of 1800 Kms of navigable waterways of the Brahmaputra and Barak system has been designated National Waterways (NW)-2 which is currently used for the transport of bulk goods, but expansion of the transportation sector is limited by the lack of transport and overhaul facilities and natural restrictions in the river system due to sedimentation and shallow water levels.

A number of infrastructure developments have been proposed to expand the inland waterway network linked to NW-2 and improve port facilities. Such initiatives would enable the further development of several cargo routes and ferry service routes along NW-2.

There is also a range of other waterways besides NW-2 that could be developed and contribute to the economic growth of the Northeast and promote Indo-Myanmar cross­border trade.

The third major option for increased inland water transport is the further development of the international Indo-Bangladesh Protocol route for water transport. The development of this route would increase options for goods movement to and from the Northeast and peninsular India through the Sundarbans and Bangladesh, improving the accessibility of the Northeastern Region.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

The teledensity of the North East is low in comparison to the rest of India except Mizoram. In addition to that the Internet usage is also low in the North East is clear from the insignificant number of connections in NER, being a low 15,303 in 2002, just 0.48 per cent of the total number in the country. This increased since 2003 but was still less than 1 per cent (0.88 per cent) of the total. It is thus reasonable to conclude that the NER states have not been impacted by the telecommunication revolution as much as the rest of the country. The low Internet penetration is particularly worrying given the long-term plan of rapidly increasing the spread of IT services in the region.

Cellular mobile services were introduced in the region only in 2003 after a delay of eight years than the rest of the country for security reasons. There are still some restrictions in border areas and no signals are allowed within 500 metres of the international border. This restriction is particularly harsh to the North East states where a significant population lives in border areas and, therefore, should be removed as early as possible. To address the situation, BSNL declared the year 2007 as the “Year of Development of Telecom Network in NE Region”.

In addition, major initiatives have been taken to boost the ICT activities in the region by the DoT are: (i) introduction of IMS­compliant functions into the existing solution, (ii) Testing is in progress for the implementation of IMS-SSF functionality, (iii) Development work for implementation of IMS Gateway control functions, (iv) BBWT system has been installed at Agartala, Tripura for Proof-of­concept and is being evaluated for implementation of SWAN (State­Wide Area Network) and (v) it is also planned to explore north­eastern states for piloting some of the new technologies developed.


There is a huge potential for the power generation in the region. Apart from this almost every North Eastern state is a deficit in power. This power deficit is a major constraint in the economic development of the region which is important for the growing state of industrial and other economic activities based on power in the region. The power generation opportunities especially in the hydro power are there in the states especially Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Meghalaya.

As noted in the Pasighat Declaration, the total power potential in NER is about 50,000 MW. According to NEC Vision 2020 the estimated hydro-power potential of Arunachal is around 50,000 MW. The state is expected to generate an additional 22,584 MW hydel power by 2020 in 166 hydel projects, of which only 88 MW is to be created under state projects, the rest will be under central and private projects.

Many policies like the “50,000MW hydro initiative”, Hydro policy 2008 have been formulated by Central Government to promote investment in hydropower in the north-eastern region. Under the Mega Power Policy of the Central Government, the qualifying threshold capacity for setting up hydro power plants in the region and for availing the special benefits thereof is 350 MW, whereas for the rest of the country, it is 500 MW.

As per the ‘North Eastern Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP) - 2007’ by Ministry of Commerce and industry, the whole of NER has been declared as SEZ and many subsidies, tax exemptions/ waivers are offered on cost of infrastructure, transport, power etc.

Khasi Sacred Forests

Arguably, one of the best examples of ancient wisdom in ensuring ecological sustainability is the Khasi tradition of sacred forests. Like many tribes in different parts of the world, including central India, forests, rivers and trees were considered to be the home of gods and spirits. Hence these were revered, worshipped and protected. Such forests were venerated, protected and preserved. Under the belief system, it was considered taboo to pick up even a leaf and carry it out of the forest. It was believed that disobedience of this led to punishments in the form of ailments, which unless atoned for, through prescribed rituals, could prove fatal. The forests spirits were also appeased through rituals and sacrifices and in turn the spirits ensured the welfare of the people. Such beliefs, in the industrial age, were often dubbed as animism and superstition and under the relentless onslaught of modernism, such belief systems are fast disappearing.

With them are disappearing a way of life that was instrumental in preserving the sustainability of human civilization. As a case in point may be cited the example of the sacred forests in Meghalaya. In the not too distant past, many forests of the state were designated as sacred. In fact even the name Shillong is derived from the hill U Lum Shyllong, where the present day Shillong Peak is located. It was a sacred forest, where resided the spirit of the guardian deity, U Lei Shyllong. The Laitkor forest Range which housed the sacred forests, are today accepted as an important rain catchment area that feeds the perennial springs that supplies crystal clear water to a large part of Shillong round the year. Today, with the denudation of this forests, mountain springs are drying up and water scarcity has become much more common.

Apatani Composite Farming

The Apatanis are one of the major tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. Predominantly occupying the Lower Subansiri district, the tribe is renowned for its skills in composite agriculture.

Their terraced wet rice fields are also used to grow fish while the elevated borders or bunds, that retain water in the fields are used for growing finger millets. The millet plants not only bind and hold the soil but reduces weed growth. Moreover, the millet produced is highly prized for its use in manufacturing the local brew. Normally fish fingerlings are released in the paddy fields and subsequently, the fish feed on the plankton and other micro flora and insects. As they forage for food, they release micro-nutrients from the soil that is beneficial for the paddy. The fish grow along with the paddy crop and sometimes the fish is harvested as much as two times during the year.

In addition, the Apatanis have perfected the art of nutrient management of the rice terraces in a number of ingenious ways. Compost is derived through decomposition of paddy straw by inundating fields. A number of essential mineral supplements are added to the fields through ash derived from burning of straw and other vegetation that remain in the fields and outlying areas.

In addition, additional manure is derived from animal droppings, rice husks and kitchen waste. It was also observed that it was common practice for Apatani villages which are normally located at high elevations, to direct the organic sewage generated in the villages, to the outlying fields. This was a good source of organic manure, useful for both the plants as well as the fish.

Nitrogen Fixing Techniques of the Angamis

The Angamis are one of the major tribes of Nagaland and the village of Khonoma, near the capital Kohima, is considered to be one of the oldest inhabited village in the region. In and around the hills of Khonoma can be found trees that are hundreds of years old. Many of these are Alder trees, a species extolled by agricultural scientists for its nitrogen fixing capacity. The ancient tradition of the Angamis seems to have realized the value of the Alder in agriculture and hence its preservation over the centuries. In fact, they seem to have developed an alder based system of shifting cultivation or Jhum, that gave spectacular productivity. Under this system, while the secondary foliage or the undergrowth is cleared and burnt to clear the ground for cultivation, the primary vegetation the Alder trees are left undisturbed.

Recommendation of the High Level Committee

A High Level Committee comprising of Dr. V Krishnamurthy, Chairman, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC), Dr. Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the Prime Minister for Public Infrastructure, Information and Innovation, among others had submitted a report to the Prime Minister in 2010, to fast-track the growth of the Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) sector. The Committee made five key recommendations in their report. One of the five recommendations specifically related to promotion of R&D and innovation in the sector. The relevant extract of the report is as follows.

“There is an urgent need for intervention to promote and develop innovation, R&D, Indian IPR and manufacturing within the country for electronic products, which include telecom products, especially those having security implications. It is proposed to create a dedicated `Electronic Development Fund’ with an initial corpus of Rs. 5,000 crore for Innovations, R&D, TPR and product development and promotion of electronics equipment manufacturing. This fund would also support seed, angel and venture funding. The fund may be leveraged to acquire foreign companies so as to shift the production of products currently imported in large volumes, into the country. Some of the PSUs which are well positioned may take a lead role and venture into such acquisitions. The fund would be managed professionally and accessible to both Government and private sector.” “To take up a major programme for design and fabrication of an Indian Microprocessor. This would have multiple benefits such as (i) elimination/reduction of licence fee/royalty paid by the country for using foreign microprocessor core (ii) develop systems for critical installation with enhanced security. While the development of microprocessor is likely to cost around Rs. 1000 crores, the detailed costing for the complete ecosystem needs to be worked out, which is expected to be around Rs.5000 crores.”

National Policy on Electronics and R&D and Innovation

The draft National Policy on Electronics 2011 was released recently. It reflects the Government emphasis on development of R&D and innovation capabilities in this sector. The goals and targets of the Policy underline this thrust. The relevant goals are extracted below.

To become a global leader in creating Intellectual Property (IP) in the ESDM sector by increasing fund flow for R&D, seed capital and venture capital for start-ups in the ESDM and nanoelectronics sectors.

Furthermore, creating an Electronic Development Fund (EDF) to promote Innovation and IP and R&D, commercialization of products, etc. to facilitate IP development by Indian industry, academic and R&D institutions is recognized as a key strategy for achieving the aforesaid goal. The Policy also envisages that the EDF will be a “Fund of Funds” which will participate in “Daughter Funds” for various innovation and manufacturing stages. It also states that all Daughter Funds are to be professionally managed.

Approach of XII Plan

The draft approach to the Twelth Plan points out that the R&D expenditure in the country is only about 0.9 percent of GDP, of which about three- fourth is in the public sector and only one fourth is in the private sector which is simply not adequate. The total expenditure in R&D is required to be increased to 2 percent of GDP by the end of the Twelfth Plan. This could consist of about 1 percent in the public sector and 1 percent in the corporate sector, including PSUs. It recognizes that the current practices and policies for promoting R&D and innovation do not promote this objective sufficiently. It states, “we also need to migrate from defensive decision syndrome to trust based decision logic and from risk averse to risk prepared social behaviour”.

It is necessary to create a framework that takes into account the entire life cycle of ideas beginning with discovery/ creation to commercialization, extension and value addition. It is success in this area alone that can stimulate appropriate innovation across the wider system. Significant changes will have to be brought in current interaction of publicly owned S&T establishment with industry, both in public and private sector. This should result in a significant enhancement of the private sector R&D expenditure, which is presently estimated at around 25 percent of national R&D expenditure to at least 50 percent in the Twelfth Plan.

The important elements which may play the catalytic role in achieving this outcome are: first, leveraging the Government grants and other forms of financing, to secure private financial flows and support around a demand driven R&D development path. Industry, both public and private, would also need to be incentivized to invest at least 2 percent of their sales turnover in R&D. The second is developing a workable protocol for facilitating interaction amongst these players. This would cover a range of issues, from the nature of testing to that of the regulatory framework and the facilitation of foreign direct investment (FDI) in related R&D activity.

The Yozmna Programme in Israel

  • There are important lessons which the proposed Electronic Development Fund can derive from the Yojana programme of Israel.
  • Yozmna created a solid base for a competitive Venture Capital (VC) industry with critical mass in Israel.
  • Yozmna created a solid base for a competitive Venture Capital (VC) industry with critical mass in Israel.
  • It is also created a network which enabled entrepreneurs in Israel to learn from foreign limited partners; and to acquire a network of international contacts.
  • Yozma was started as a $ l00M Government owned Venture Capital fund (with the same name) oriented to two functions: a) fund of funds- investment in 10 private VC funds (‘Yozma Funds’ - 80M); and b) direct investments in high tech companies-$20M (through the Government -owned ‘Yozma Venture Fund’).

Perfromance of Farmers

  • The share of oil seeds crops in terms of area [1.8 percent] and production [0.6 percent] in the total in 1961-62 went up to 16.7 percent and 6.6 percent respectively in the total in 2010-11.

  • While share of area under commercial crops in the total increased significantly from 5.1 percent in 1961-62 to 7.5 percent in 2010-11, their share of production, however, remained stagnant at 39.1 percent and 38.1 percent respectively.

  • Area under all crops in rabi season sharply shot up from 3,350 hectares in 1961-62 to 67,440 hectares [2013 percent] and production from 2,580 metric tons to 1, 14,950 metric tons[4455 percent] in 2010-11. Consequently yield of crops also improved from 770 kg/ha to 1,704 kg/ha [221 percent] respectively.

  • Cereals which did not find place during the rabi season till 1970s covered 2,700 hectares in 1980-81 and increased to 6,500 hectares [240.7 percent] in 2000-01 and 10,330 hectares [382.6 percent] in 2010-11. The cereal production improved significantly from 4,000 metric tons to 12,200 metric tons [305 percent] and 19,480 metric tons [487 percent] respectively. The yield of rabi cereals increased from 1,481 kg/ha to 1,876 kg/ha and 1,885 kg/ha respectively.

  • In 2009, out of the total geographical area of 16,57,900 hectares, the gross area under total agriculture was 3,87,860 [23.39 percent].

  • Between 2003 and 2009, share of average area under jhum paddy, pulses & oil seeds, and other cereals in the total declined,from the level in 2003 whereas share of average area under maize and commercial crops increased.

  • Between 2003 and 2009, average area as compared to the level in 2003 under Jhum and TRC paddy marginally improved to 104.58 percent and 104.22 percent respectively, followed by significant rise in average area under pulses & oil seeds [108.14 percent], total agriculture [110.23 percent] and maize [124.93 percent] and phenomenally under commercial crops [200.40 percent] but it significantly declined to 82.23 percent under other cereals. Area under jhum paddy and TRC paddy rose to meet with the demand of the population increase [from 18,06,844 in 2002 to 24,34,897 in 2010]. Area under maize significantly increased in view of farmers’ response to produce maize on a commercial scale because of its high demand in the market.

  • Commercial crops demonstrated shift in terms of their share [7.86 percent] in the total area as well as increase in percentage [200.40 percent] between the level in 2003 and average of seven years.

  • Between 2003 and 2009 while the yield of Jhum paddy per hectare increased from 1450 kg to 1930 kg [ 133.10 percent] yield of TRC paddy increased from 1810 kg to 2340 kg [ 129.28 percent]. The increase is attributed to selection of higher yielding variety from among the land races available within the village by discarding low yielding ones and better management practices.

  • Government’s efforts in 2005­06 under the programme “Year of the Farmers” significantly boosted area under all categories of crops except TRC paddy during the said year.

  • The cropping pattern has been gradually witnessing a shift from mono -cropping to mixed and multiple cropping.

  • Average area, production and yield of Jhum paddy during 2003-09 increased to 104.58 percent, 119.27 percent and 113.72 percent from the level in 2003 whereas projected Jhumia population increased to 116.66 percent. Despite area held per person declined to 87.5 percent milled rice per person marginally rose to 102.03 percent.

  • The area and production per hectare under terrace rice cultivation (TRC) is increasing across the State. Perhaps because of the increase in TRC, the shortfall of rice from jhum is somewhat mitigated. Innovative uses of TRC, such as cultivating winter crops of cabbage, tomato and potato cultivation and incorporating fishes and snails as supplementary activities are generating income for the farming families.

Areas of Concern

Water: Agriculture is mainly dependent on rainfall. However, because of hilly terrain there is severe surface runoff leading to [i] low rate of water absorption into the soil and [ii] heavy loss of plant nutrients that are essentially required for crop-growth. This phenomenon impacts adversely on crop productivity. During pre­monsoon and monsoon period more than 80 percent of the total rainfall is received. Most of this water, however, flows quickly and drains out into the streams as surface runoff. Small quantity of rainfall gets stored in few farm ponds constructed on the hill terraces but high seepage rate does not allow the ponds to hold the water for longer period. Scanty rains are received during post monsoon and winter season which is also the season for cultivating rabi crops. During rabi season crops are not irrigated because of inadequate storage structures for storing the rain water being received during rainy season. The Department of Irrigation and Flood Control has been implementing program to create irrigation potential which, however, is not adequately utilized due to lack of leveled land and farmers’ pursuing mono-cropping pattern. Erratic and heavy rains often lead to landslide and damage irrigation structures/infrastructure which are not restored on time due to lack of sufficient funds. Soil Degradation: According to the National Bureau of Soil Survey & Land Use Planning [2000], 60 percent of the total geographical area of the state was affected by different types of land degradation. Soil erosion was the serious and major problem which is followed by soil acidity and nutrients loss. Heavy rainfall causes soil erosion which in turn makes productive soil acidic affecting the quality of the soil. This also leads to reduced availability of Phosphorus to the plants that inhibits the growth of rice plant. Soils in Tuensang and Kohima districts are normally low in potash levels adversely affecting quality of grains. Soils of the state based on internal drainage are classified into excessively drained and somewhat excessively drained.

According to the Department of Soil and water conservation, huge acreages are affected by both these types of problems. Based on nature of soil erosion significant acreages experience soil erosion ranging from moderately steep to severe.

Jhum cultivation: Above 52 percent of land is under Jhum cultivation and this traditional practice accounts for 70 percent of soil loss, degradation of land and deterioration of water resources. According to the ICAR in absence of effective soil conservation measures the soil loss under jhum cultivation area was estimated between 40 tons and 90 tons per hectares in 2008. Besides, other adverse effects of Jhum cultivation include, inter alia, [i] polluting the air [ii] problem in phosphorus fixation in the soil [iii] reduction in water table and soil moisture [iv] increased floods in the foot hills [v] increased sedimentation load in rivers

Low productivity: Factors responsible for low productivity include, inter alia, [i] incidence of natural calamities and degradation of prime agricultural land. The natural calamities include landslides, higher incidence of floods near river belts, high wind velocity and recurrent droughts. [ii] grossly inadequate institutional infrastructure to provide support services to facilitate a large number of small farmers to adopt scientific methods of cultivation, post-harvest management, marketing services and transport.

Strategy: The State has the potential for transforming traditional agriculture to commercial agriculture, making Nagaland a leading State in sustainable rain­fed farming and promoting organic agriculture. In this context, the Government seeks to promote technically sound, economically viable, environmentally non­degrading, socially acceptable and sustainable development of agriculture in the state through optimum utilization of resources, such as the land, water and genetic endowment, among others. In the process, focus of agricultural growth is value addition, promoting agri-business, creating more employment opportunity in rural areas that can reduce migration to urban centres. Field studies and interaction with the farmers necessitate following strategic actions to accomplish the goals envisioned in the Vision 2020 document.


A projected honey output of over 500 tonnes, 7,500 beekeepers and growing, with 29,850 bee colonies A between them. Beekeeping has been catching on in Jammu and Kashmir, with production having Limped from 300 tonnes in 2010 to 597 last year. It’s a trend that also creates job avenues for the unemployed, say officials, pointing out that many educated youths are among those setting up bee colonies in the countryside because of its promise. Honey has not only a local market but also demanded nationally and internationally. In the last six years, 1,067 tonnes was exported out of the valley.

Beekeeping had once fallen into decline. “In 1988, a local bee became the victim of a disease, which caused the death of all colonies throughout Kashmir. It contributed to the decline of the beekeeping culture in the valley, and thousands left this business,” said Farooq Ahmed Shah, who has been rearing bees for five decades. Shah, who never gave up, has 100 bee colonies and earns about Rs 2,60,000 with a season’s produce. An Italian bee resistant to that disease was introduced but Shah says the local bee coped better with the conditions.

What attracted fresh beekeepers, mostly the young, was the introduction of subsidies, schemes and technical training. “We provide beehives and bee colonies on a 50 percent subsidy,” said G M Rather, chief agriculture officer. “There are various schemes and the subsidy is given on hives, medicines, honey extracting equipment, besides free knowhow.” The state’s apiculture department keeps 100 bee colonies for demonstration to beneficiaries, besides holding disease awareness programmes. “The bee colonies are for the people who come here; we train them in beekeeping. Last year we produced one quintal of honey within the department,” said Imtiyaz Ahmed, a beekeeper in the department.

Entrepreneurship Development in India

In India, Small Industry Extension Training Institute (popularly known as SIET Institute, Hyderabad), had first introduced the efforts for developing entrepreneurship in the country in the year 1962 in collaboration with Harvard University. Dr. David Maclleland, Professor of Harvard University who developed his Trait Model concept in 1961 was invited to India to experiment and apply the concept in India. He along with SIFT Institute went on to first apply the concept through training and research in a remote place called Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh and later in Tamil Nadu (Prof. D. Nagayya, Entrepreneurship Development in North East, Edited by Dr. D.D. Mali, 2000). Since 1962 to till now, many Institutions in India have adopted the concept with or without modifications from time to time. The well known and experienced Institutions like MSME-NI (Hyderabad formerly known as SIFT Institute/NISIET), EDI (Ahmedabad), NIESBUD, New Delhi (both the organizations were started in 1983), IIE (Guwahati­1994) etc have also been applying some new approaches on trial and error basis.

The post liberalisation industrial and economic scenario in India makes it imperative that a more dynamic and pragmatic approach be adopted to create first generation entrepreneurs on a large scale in the various parts of the country. Such entrepreneurs must be compatible as per international standard. The youths located in the urban areas, however, can avail many facilities offered by many organizations and institutions, but reaching out to the rural youth is a big task and it can be possible by involving various institutions and organizations of repute including involving some local level institutions/ agencies. In this respect, the national level institutions like NI-MSME (Hyderabad), EDI (Ahmedabad), NIESBUD (Noida) and HE (Guwahati) are involved in developing an entrepreneu­rial culture by conducting Entrepreneurship Development Programmes (EDPs) or similar programmes in their own campus as well as across the urban and rural areas. Various State level entrepreneurship development institutions like CED/IED have also been involved in developing entrepreneurship both in urban and rural areas. Universities, Institutions in India have also introduced the entrepreneurship concept in their academic curriculums in the beginning of the twentieth century.

In India, at present more than 2000 institutions, organizations, forums and associations have been imparting various courses on developing entrepreneurship. In addition, almost all the universities and other institutions in India like management, engineering, commerce etc have introduced entrepreneurship development in their academic curriculums. The dimensions and focus areas have also been widened like general entrepreneurship development, development of entrepreneurship for rural youth, women entrepreneurship, agri-entrepreneurship, techno entrepreneurship, sustainable entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship (intrapreneurship), global entrepreneurship etc. In addition some Institutions like EDI, NIESBUD, EMPI Business School, Nursee Monjee Institute of Management etc have also introduced a few full time courses on entrepreneurship development, rural entrepreneurship etc.

Developing Entrepreneurship in North East

In the North Eastern Region, the concept of developing entrepreneurship was first introduced in Assam in the year 1973 when Government of Assam under the Chief Ministership of Late Sarat Chandra Sinha introduced a scheme called ‘Half a Million Job’ and which was entrusted to a new organisation called the Entrepreneurial Motivation Training Centre (popularly known as EMTC) under the State Planning Board. The Government of Assam also requested SIET Institute, Hyderabad to be associated with EMTC mainly on training and research in the field of entrepreneurship development. Nine EMTCs branches were set up in different places of Assam. Similarly in the year 1973, the North Eastern Industrial Consultancy Organisation (NEITCO) was created by development financial institutions and banks and it started its operation from Guwahati. One of the functions of NEITCO was organizing training programmes on entrepreneurship development. In 1979, the SIET Institute, Hyderabad set-up its NER Centre at Guwahati. This SIFT Institute became NISIET (NER Centre) in 1984 and the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) in 1994. In 1987, development financial institutions and banks created another organization called the North Eastern Consultancy Organisation (NECON) with its headquarter at Imphal (Manipur). Entrepreneurship development is one of the activities of NECON. In addition, organization like Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute (MSME­DI), National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) have been operating in the region for developing entrepreneurship as well as micro and small enterprises. Other organizations like NIRD, RGVN, CAPART, and a number of NGOs, Industry Associations/ Forums etc have been engaged in developing entrepreneurship and small enterprises in the region. Similarly, some state level organizations like Directorate of Industries & Commerce including its District Industries and Commerce Centres (DICC), Directorate of Rural Development (DRDA), State Industrial Development Corporations (SIDCs) like ASTDC and AIDC (Assam), NIDC (Nagaland), TIDC (Tripura), MIDC (Meghalaya), MANIDCO (Manipur), APSFDC (Arunachal Pradesh), SIDICO (Sikkim) etc and also the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRDs), State level Handloom and Handicrafts Development Corporations like NHHDC (Nagaland), AGMC (Assam), MHHDC (Meghalaya), MIIHDC (Manipur), SHHDC (Sikkim), THHDC (Tripura) etc are involved for developing entrepreneurship and enterprises in their respective areas and states.

In the North Eastern Region, a large number of other promotional, developmental and financial institutions/organizations like KVIC, DC (Handicrafts), NSIC, NERAMAC, NEHHDC, Spices Board, Central Silk Board, Tea Board, Coffee Board, Coconut Development Board, Rubber Board, Coir Board, APEDA, MPEDA, NHB, TRIFED, NIRD etc have been organizing a number of training programmes, research studies etc for the development of entrepreneurship in the region. Similarly, financial institutions like SFCs, SIDBI, IDBI, NABARD, NEDFi and Commercial Banks etc have also been set up (or opened their branches/regional offices) in the North-Eastern Region to help the local entrepreneurs. A number of committees, forums, associations like FINER, NESIA, NEWEA, NECCI, ICC, CII, ASSIA, MEA, etc have also organized seminars, workshops, training etc and have forwarded their recommendations to the central and state governments on various issues from time to time for developing entrepreneurship in the region. In-spite of all these efforts, the results are still slow and not very encouraging as it should have been. However, there are many other reasons like geographical isolation, limited infrastructural facilities, lack of finance, lack of techno-economic information, stiff competition from outside, high manufacturing cost etc which are also contributing to the slow growth of industries in the region. But of all, the dearth of entrepreneurship is regarded as one of the most important factors for the slow growth of industries in the region. Some of the institutions in the region have also been trying to develop the entrepreneurship culture by slightly changing the techniques and approaches on trial and error methods. The results are yet to be seen.

Entrepreneurship Development in Nagaland

Nagaland, one of the eight states of North East India is a hill economy marked by agriculture as the mainstay of all economic activities with a small proportion of the populace engaged in the rearing of livestock, weaving, black smithy, handloom and handicrafts. The State is predominantly rural with 82.26 percent of the population living in villages. Over the last decade, while the share of the primary sector has declined, the share of the tertiary sectors has seen a steady increase. This is owing to the fact that besides agriculture, it is retail trade and public administration which is generating the maximum employment opportunities for the unemployed in the state. According to live employment exchange registers of the state, more than 66,000 youths are presently unemployed. This is only a fraction of total unemployed in the state which is presently around 6.5 percent. Though unemployment rate in Nagaland is steadily increasing self employment rate has remained high. Employment in Nagaland (released by NSSO) indicated that in the rural sector, as much as 60 percent i.e. 596 per 1000 distribution of household by household type are self employed in agriculture. While in the urban sector about 44 percent of the population accounted for regular wage earners but about 43 percent of the population were self employed.

In terms of self employment in the rural areas, 565 per thousand are involved in the agriculture sector and 8 per thousand in non­agriculture sector. In the urban areas self-employment accounts for 305 per thousand households. Self employment based options in urban areas relate mostly to simple bakery, fast food, confectionary, restaurant, hotel, resort, car rental, tourism, stone crushing and other diverse merchandising business largely in the service sector. This covers repair and servicing of a wide range of objects starting from house hold implements, mobile repairing, photography, car repairing and servicing etc and also covering even hi-tech computers and other complex electronic gadgets. It also includes typical modern services such as developing website, software development, computer accounting, DTP etc and also tasks related to booking tickets, payment of bills and arranging for licenses and permissions etc. In the manufacturing areas, a beginning has been made by setting up of small units like still fabrication, wooden carpentary and furniture making, handicrafts, scrap rubberized items etc. Though self-employment has been the driving force in overall economic development of the state, but lack of entrepreneurial attitude has not resulted in full utilization of the inherent potential of the youths of the state. Recent developments show youths coming forward with knowledge and acumen. This has resulted in development of Trading business (11 percent), Hotel and Restaurant Business (3 percent), Transport business (2 percent), Construction (1 percent), Manufacturing (1 percent). These enterprises employ 18 percent of the total workforce of the state.

According to the Planning Department of Nagaland, during last two years (2010-11 and 2011­12) nearly 3,000 Naga youth were sent out for training in different vocations. Government ofNagaland is supporting these trainees with the idea that after returning these persons would start their own business units. To supplement these trainees the state government has also drawn up special package for Rs.10 Crores to assist the entrepreneurs as a part of the capacity development initiative.

Though Nagaland’s young demographic profile has made the State favourably placed in terms of manpower availability, but for the State’s dismal performance in the manufacturing sector, it has failed to build up its capacity to absorb the vibrant workforce. The severity of the unemployment problem, therefore, is also on the rise in the State. Coupled with high rate of pass outs from universities and colleges and compounded by lack of adequate employment opportunities, the problem of educated unemployment and its resultant effects is growing exponentially. Needless to say, industrialisation is an integral part of any development. However, the remoteness of the State along with poor infrastructure like road linkages and acute shortage of power along with customary land laws that restrict the transfer of land to outside investors continue to deter industrialisation in the State. Despite the prevailing constraints, efforts at industrialisation continue in the State. The Paper Mill in Tuli has been revived after being sick for more than 15 years. The commissioning of the Nagaland Pulp & Paper Company Ltd. (NPPC), Tuli, with an enhanced capacity from 100 metric tonnes to 200 metric tonnes per day is expected to generate both direct and indirect employment. There has also been creation of infrastructure for the growth of industries and service enterprises in the state like the Industrial Growth Centre and the Export Promotion Industrial Park. With a view to promote and develop bamboo and its potentials as a major economic activity in the State, both as a resource and as an enterprise, the Government of Nagaland has adopted the Nagaland Bamboo Policy in March 2004.

The handicrafts and handloom sector, the traditional self­employment avenues in the state has vast employment and livelihood potential for growth due to availability of abundant skilled labour and raw materials, as well as the rich cultural traditions of its people. Organised efforts and methodical interventions for holistic upliftment of the sector for a competitive reach in the world market can pave the way for larger sustainable self-employment and also give a boost to the gross state domestic product.

To take up entrepreneurship development in a more streamlined manner, the Government of Nagaland has initiated a series of capacity building measures. This included declaring of the year 2010­11 as the ‘Year of Entrepreneurs’ in Nagaland recognising the fact that Nagaland has been a consumerist society and that it was time to start production through micro, small and medium enterprises -i.e. the MSME sector to achieve self-sufficiency in the State. To make this initiative successful, the Government of Nagaland partnered with Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and Nagaland Entrepreneurs Association. ITE was mandated with training up of 1,000 Naga youths during the period so that they may take up entrepreneurship as career.

Even prior to the declaration of the ‘Year of Entrepreneur’ in Nagaland, efforts at developing the MSME sector were put into. Institutions like the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) had come up with a DC-MSME cluster on cane and bamboo in Dimapur, (Nagaland) in the year 2005-06. At the start of the endeavour there were only eighteen volunteers ready to join and form a part of the cluster but with the passage of time, the membership steadily increased and the total strength of the cluster counted at eighty­two by the time HE made an exit. The cluster later spread across a spatial area of 100 sq km covering the districts of Dimapur, Kohima, Longleng, Mon, Mokokchung, Jalukie, Phek and Zunheboto. The cluster could successfully provide handholding support to a number of artisans in the cane and bamboo sector by guiding them and providing with credit and market linkages and product upgradation and diversification.

Yet another area approach programme under the SIDBI called the Rural Industries Programme (RIP) has been implemented in Dimapur, Nagaland. Under the programme, HE has so far grounded around 97 MSME unites, out of which 87 with Bank Finance and 10 with proprietor’s finance. Around 900 beneficiaries have been trained so far under this programme.

Do You Know What’s FDI?

Q. l. What is the objective of FDI?

It is the intent and objective of the Government of India to attract and promote foreign direct investment in order to supplement domestic capital, technology and skills, for accelerated economic growth. Foreign Direct Investment, as distinguished from portfolio investment, has the connotation of establishing a ‘lasting interest’ in an enterprise that is resident in an economy other than that of the investor.

The Government has put in place a policy framework on Foreign Direct Investment, which is transparent, predictable and easily comprehensible. This framework is embodied in the Circular on Consolidated FDI Policy, which may be updated every year, to capture and keep pace with the regulatory changes, effected in the interregnum. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India makes policy pronouncements on FDI.

Q. 2. Who can invest in India?

A non-resident entity (other than a citizen of Pakistan or an entity incorporated in Pakistan) can invest in India, subject to the FDI Policy. A citizen of Bangladesh or an entity incorporated in Bangladesh can invest only under the Government route. NRIs resident in Nepal and Bhutan as well as citizens of Nepal and Bhutan are permitted to invest in the capital of Indian companies on repatriation basis, subject to the condition that the amount of consideration for such investment shall be paid only by way of inward remittance in free foreign exchange through normal banking channels.

Q. 3. How will FDI in retain sector benefit?

  • Entry of global retail giants is likely to see new investment, in the short run, it has the potential to add 3-4 million new jobs
  • Another 4-6 million jobs could be created in logistics, contract labour, house-keeping and security
  • Expected to help develop logistics, cold chains, warehouses
  • Government revenues could get an additional $ 24-30 billion through various taxes,
  • Help reduce wastage of vegetables and other perishables and help in taming inflation, For Consumers it could mean savingsof5-10% ,
  • May help farmers get 10-30% higher remuneration
  • Add to economic growth

Q. 4. What do the new rules say? What is single Brand retail?

  • Government has allowed 100% FDI in single-brand retail
  • The foreign investor should be the owner of the brand
  • Products to be sold should be of a ‘single brand’ only
  • Products should be sold under the same brand name in one or more countries other than India
  • Sourcing of 30 percent of the value of goods purchased will be done from India preferably from small and medium units, village and cottage industries, artisans and craftsmen
  • Quantum of sourcing to be self certified, to be checked by statutory auditors.
  • Retail trading, in any form, through e-commerce not allowed.

Q. 5. What is Multi-Brand retail?

  • Government allows 51 % FDI in multi-brand retail
  • Minimum amount to be brought in as FDI by the foreign investor would be $100 million
  • At least 50% of total FOI to be invested in back-end infrastructure in three years
  • At least 30% of the value of procurement of manufactured processed products shall be sourced from Indian small industries which have a total investment in plant and machinery not exceeding $1 million
  • Retail sales outlets may be set up only in cities with a population of more than 10 lakh as per 2011 census and may cover an area of 10 Km around the municipal/urban limits of such cities
  • Retail trading in any forms, by means of e-commerce would not be allowed
  • Fresh farm produce, including fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains, pulses, fresh poultry, fishery and meat products may be unbranded
  • Government will have the first right to procure farm products

Q.6 Why foreign retailers want to enter India?

  • Large market, rising disposable incomes and spending power
  • The estimated size of the Indian retail market is about $450 billion.

Millenium Development Goal

  • Goal 1: Ertadication of extreme Poverty and hunger
  • Goal 2: Achieve Universaal Primary Education
  • Goal 3: Promote Gender Equity and Empowerment
  • Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality
  • Goal 5: Improve Material Mortality
  • Goal 6: Combamt HIV/AIDS malaria and other diseases
  • Goal 7: Ensure Environment Sustainability
  • Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Develop

Some Key Recommendations of 13th Finance Comission

  • Chaired by the distinguished economist Dr Vijay Kelkar with Indira Rajaraman and Sanjiv Misra as members, the report outlining a roadmap for fiscal consolidation in a medium-term framework stirred up a hornets’ nest by focussing on slashing fuel and food subsidies, besides recommending the rationalization of plan expenditures.

  • Pruning of fiscal deficit to three percent of GDP by 2014-15.

  • The rationale for a credible and effective fiscal consolidation postulated by the committee is predicated on three major rounds: the economy is in the state of high fiscal stress, with a ‘do-nothing’ approach likely to result in a Central government fiscal deficit of 6.1 percent of GDP in 2012- 13; this could result from a likely shortfall in gross tax revenues by around Rs 60,000 crore and higher than budgeted expenditures on subsidies, out Rs 70,000 crore; (ii) this fiscal stress is also compounding the problem of twin deficits, with the current account deficit at 4.2 percent of GDP last year and possibly at 4.3 percent of GDP this year, at a time when the global market and capital flows are exceedingly fragile and where financing of this magnitude is creating huge risks for macroeconomic an external stability an ... the gross borrowing requirement, already high, is likely to exceed last year’s level by a large margin (5.8 percent of GDP versus 5.4 percent of GDP last year), leading to crowding out of private sector financing for investment. Foreign exchange reserves are falling and the currency is especially vulnerable, the report cautioned adding that “the combination is reminiscent of the situation last seen in 1990-91”.

  • Referring to subsidies, it said subsidy on diesel was a major contributor to fiscal slippage in recent years.

  • The Kelkar Committee said polity goal should be to eliminate the LPG subsidy by a2014-15 by reducing it by 25 percent this year with the remaining 75 percent reduction over the next two years. For kerosene, the aim is to reduce the subsidy one one-third by 2014-15.

  • In fertilizer subsidy, it proposed an immediate revision in the price of urea not only to prune the high subsidy but also cut down the unsustainable imbalance in the current consumption pattern of fertilizer.

  • On food subsidy, it plumped for an increase in the central issue price (CIP) supplied through public distribution system, though it suggests that the increase may be targeted to shield poorer sections of the society by limiting the price increase to consumers above the poverty line (APL).

  • Alongside it also favoured more efficient foodgrain delivery operations in the medium term.

Mechanical Innovations for Commercial Applications

UDDHAB BHARALl (48) is a serial innovator who has designed and prototyped an entire range of mechanical innovations since his lust innovations in 1987. He has innovated around eighty-five engineering devices for different purposes. Out of these thirteen have found commercial applications, albeit most being individual custom orders from different parts of the country. As of today, he has set up a research workshop in his idyllic hometown of North Lakhimpur. It is a small town, on the banks of the Brahmaputra river and in the foothills of the Himalayas, surrounded by lush tea gardens on gentle slopes. He has set up a workshop to help local communities and industries solve their technological needs.

The Innovations

Since he first developed the Polythene making machine in 1988, Bharali has developed a number of machines, which he considers as his main assets that have and will always help in his time of need. Some of these machines are:

Pomegranate De-seeder: It separates the outer cover and thin inner membrane without damaging the seeds. It has a capacity of deseeding 50-55 kg of pomegranate fruits per hour. The machine has been exported to Turkey and USA.

Arecanut Peeler: Annoyed by the injuries caused while peeling the areca nuts manually, he developed an areca nut peeling machine with a capacity of peeling 100-120 nuts per minute.Cassava peeler: It is a portable electric machine that can process up to five kg of cassava per minute. NIF facilitated the technology licensing on non­exclusive basis to a Guwahati based entrepreneur. One unit has even been sold to a customer based in Kenya.
Bamboo processing machines: Bamboo processing by hand is a time consuming and difficult process. Bharali has developed an assembly of machines that can perform operations like splitting long lengths of bamboo, sizing, surface finishing, polishing etc. These units have been installed with the help of NIF in a CFC (Common Facility Centre) of the NERCRMP (North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project) at North Cachar hills in Assam.

Bharali has also developed remi recortication machine, garlic peeling machine, tobacco leaf cutter, paddy thresher, cane stripping machine, brass utensil polishing machine, Jatropha de-seeder, mechanized weeding machine, passion fruit juice extractor, trench digger, chopper for cattle and fisheries feed and portable dheki.

For many of his innovations, the innovator was supported under the Micro Venture Innovation Fund scheme (MVIF) at NIF. Facilitated by NIF, the innovator was also supported from the TePP scheme at DSIR, Government of India.

Nagaland-A Land of Festivals

Hornbill Festival was launched by Government of Nagaland in the first year of new millenium. Since then the Government controlled festival is being organized in the first week of December every year. Though, the weeklong festival unites one and all in Nagaland and take a shape of fair, people from all corners of the state, neighbouring states and abroad gather together to enjoy the colourful performances, crafts, sports, food fairs, games and ceremonies. Traditional arts like hand-paintings, wood carvings and sculptures are also displayed in this festival. In addition, one can enjoy flower shows, cultural medley, songs and dances, fashion shows, beauty contest, traditional archery, Naga wrestling, indigenous games and musical concert. Unusual events like climbing greased bamboo pole and Naga King Chili eating contest evolve great response. Finally, herbal medicine stalls in the fair draw large crowd.

After enjoying the symphony of traditional tribal cultures of different tribes and sub-tribes of Nagaland, if you have interest in historical artifacts, visit the Kohima War Cemetery. This cemetery is a tribute to the soldiers who laid down their lives during World War 11. The dead bodies of around 1100 British and 330 Indian soldiers were buried here.

The widely publicized Hornbill Festival is a bit sophisticated compared to rituals in traditional festivals of Nagaland. It does not follow the rituals that are elaborate or spontaneous like festivals celebrated in the villages. Specifically, festival in particular times of the year when the entire village participate in the rituals. Here, the rituals are more compact as to make it look simpler and acceptable to spectators from outside the state.
Aoleng Monyu is celebrated by the Konyak tribe of Mou district to observe the traditional post-sowing festival period. This six days long festival is celebrated in the month ofAolengLee (March-April). Here prayers are performed to deities Youngwan and Kaahshih for health, harvest, safety and progeny and local delicacies i.e. pound, chop and brew rice, meat and beer are served. Fishing, hunting, and sports to singing, dancing and feasting are regular phenomena. In earlier times, Aoleng Monyu was also an occasion for settling engagements and marriages.

Bushu is an eight day long festival observed in last week of January by the Kachari tribe in Dimapur district. To the Kachari, Bushu is music for the soul. Kacharis celebrate Bushu with a lot of singing, dancing and merry making are also part of the festival and showing respect to the elders as ritual. A Muree, bagpiper like local flute, is played throughout the festival.

The Zeme and Liangmai tribe generally known as Zeliang of Peren district observe the post­sowing festival, Meleingi n Chega­N-Khia during March and October every year. With the chanting of the village priest the festival starts with lighting a fire as a symbol of protection to the women and children from enemies and wild beasts. Villagers take the holy fire to their houses and to cook their own food. During this festival, the women enjoy a recess from their daily routine of weaving and household work. The festival also gives opportunity for family get-together, exchange of gifts, arranging community feast, hosting drinking parties and other cultural activities. Besides the young unmarried men as a traditional practice go for invading the forest to show their gallantry to their girlfriends.

Metum-Neo festival is observed in two districts i.e. Tuensang and Kiphire by the Yimchungru tribe. The harvest festival starts on August 8 and continuous for five days. As per local belief, the rice beer-loving god Arimpuh wants his followers to take a five day break from harvesting millets. After an announcement by the priest that the festival is on, the healthiest animal is sacrificed. Portions of meat are distributed among the villagers. Other than seeking prosperity, it is the time to forget enmity and propagate friendship through a series of community activities through sports, singing, dancing etc.

The ‘Ao’ tribe of Mokokchung district celebrate Moatsu as a post-sowing festival during May for six days. Tug-of -War sport is arranged to mark the activities of ‘stretching of paddy’. In fact, Moatsu means better harvest in the days to come. During the festival the Aos try to appease their god Lijaba by sacrificing pigs and cattle. The cooked meat and rice beer are served by the women to the dancing youth who move around the village to expel the evil. Village head delivers his advices on the issues that need to be addressed in near future. Circulation of government policies through Moatsu altar is a recent addition.

During September every year the Sangtam tribe of Tuensang/ Kiphire district observe a six days long harvesting festival known as Mongmong. ‘Six’ is a sacred number for the Sangtam community. A baby boy is named after six days of his birth. During the festival one baberu (priest) announces a dummy festival for the spirits of the dead and another baberu declares the actual Mongmong for the living ones. The actual celebrations starts after observing Musuyangtap, a custom to pay obeisance to three stones in the kitchen harth representing god Lijaba. Monyu is a post-sowing new year festival observed in the first six days of a peril of every year by the Phom tribe of Longleng district. Monyu means affection and respect to the women and provides an opportunity for the male members of the family to show their affection to their married daughters and sisters by giving them the best rice beer and specially prepared food. The festival ends with the elderly people exchanging meat and jugs of rice beers The Chang Tribe of Tuensang district celebrates Nakyulum in mid-July every year to get rid of darkness. The oldest man of the village takes the lead to decorate the community dormitory and distribution of millet cakes among the children.

Nazhu a sowing festival is observed during February for ten days by the Pochury tribe of Phek district. Nazhu is all about the spiritual connection between the living and the dead and between the people and their unseen protector. Besides, Nazhu promotes a bonding within the community. Apart from other functions, selection of partners by the unmarried youth is also a component of the Nazhu festival.

Sekrenyi is a ten day long harvesting festival being celebrated by the Angami tribe of Kohima district. The official festival day is February 25. InAngami philosophy, a human body is a combination of Umo (physical) and Euphu (meta­ physical). So the human body warrants periodic purification. Water is the best cleansing agent. The festival starts with ceremonial cleansing bath by the male members of the community in the sacred well. Drops of sacred water are sprinkled on two new shawls - one white and another black which are to be worn by the young men during the festival as a part of the ritual. Women are not allowed to touch the purification well but they have to clean their own houses before the festival.

Like Sekrenyi festival of the Angami, the Chakhesang tribe of Phek district observe Sukryunyi a ten day long harvesting festival in mid-January. Here a specific day reserved for the mothers to perform purification of their daughters by the water of sacred well. The hunted animals and birds are slung on tall bamboo poles outside the main clan houses. Such a display indicates prosperity of the village and the victory over enemies in the year ahead. The rituals as usual give away to social feasting for promotion of better interaction within the community.

The Lotha tribe of Wokha district celebrates Tokhu Emong, a nine day long post-harvest festival during first week of November. Pieces of meat, preferably in multiples of three are gifted to friends and kin to express closeness. Boiled rice, cooked liver and rice beer are placed on the grave of the deceased for his or her soul. Unlike other festivals Tokhu Emong is a festival of resting and it bars villagers from any activities like hunting, fishing indulging in trade and travel.

Tsokum is an eight day long harvest festival celebrated by the Khiamniungan tribe of Tuensang district. Worship and sacrificial offerings to the spirit is a part of the festival. Formation of a new Jhum field is also commenced during Tsokum. By rule, the host cannot divulge their proposed Jhum land to friends or members of their community. The festival is an occasion to infuse social discipline for promoting culture of sharing of resources. An interesting part of this festival is that some time is set aside for discussions on village administration and storytelling through which elders pass on traditional messages to the youngsters. During the festival the importance of the remembering the dead are ritually observed.

North Eastern Rural Livelihood Project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved implementation of North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP) on 16th November 2011 at an estimated cost of Rs 683.2 crore, comprising assistance as a soft loan from the World Bank of Rs 614.8 crore and Central Government funding of Rs 68.4 crore, in two selected districts each of four States of Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The North East Rural Livelihood Project has become effective in March, 2012. Recruitment process for Regional Project Monitoring Unit and eight District Project Management Units is in final stages.

The objective of NERLP is to improve rural livelihoods especially that of women, unemployed youth and of most disadvantaged; by providing access to economic opportunities, improving adoption of sustainable agricultural and natural resource management through establishing participatory and accountable community based institutions. Targeted outcome indicators of project development objectives are:­

(i) At least 60% of women Self Help Group members achieve minimum increase of 30% in income, in real terms by end of project.
(ii) At least 30% of project-benefited unemployed youths are employed.
(iii) At least 50% of disadvantaged households achieve minimum of 30% improvement in livelihood indices from entry into the project.

The project aims at providing resources to engage various private and public sector organizations who in turn will assist Producer Organizations and Self Help Groups to access better market information and latest technology, obtain higher returns for their produce and help communities align their produce better with market demands. Following strategies are proposed for marketing and for establishing marketing linkages around them:

  • support for production cluster development, collective marketing, market infrastructure development, market intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination;
  • value chain analysis and linkage support;
  • public-private partnership;
  • linkage with nodal agencies to facilitate marketing;

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