India Will only Gain If the North East Gains: The eight states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura located in the north and east corner of the country known as North East India/ Region (NEl/NER) or Seven Sisters and One Brother. Underlining the significance of the states of the region, Prime Minister has awarded the region with a new name as Ashta Laxami and visualised that ”Yeh Bharat ke bhagya ko badalne ki ashta lakshmi hai”. Prime Minister on 65th Plenary Session of North Eastern Council (NEC) said ” I see no reason why the North East region of the country cannot develop. I am also convinced that India can move forward if all the regions develop including the North East region”.

Potentials to be Unleashed:

The Region covers an area of 2,63,179 sq. km, approximately eight per cent of the country’s total geographical area and is home to around 3.76 per cent of the total population the country (NCERT-2017). Out of total area of the region, 98 per cent are International boundaries. Each of the States has its own history. There is a significant difference between the states and also within each State in terms of language, ethnic stock, cultural diversity, economy and polity. The region is the habitat to over 200 of the 635 tribal groups scheduled in the country and each of the tribal groups in the States has their own culture, tradition and governance systems. So, the region is a beautiful example of unity in diversity.

Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas: Framework of Development:

It is true that the region has made some progress in poverty reduction and ensuring access to the basic amenities and services which are essential for a dignified human existence but still it remains a concern in all the NER States. It is worthwhile to mention that the nature of poverty between the valley and the hills is quite different. But because of the egalitarian foundation of tribal societies which form a majority of the population in the hill areas of the region, there is no case of the ’abject poverty as found in many other parts of India. But, the people of this beautiful region are yet to gain the fruits of development.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA):

MGNREGA came into force to generate employment and enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing hundred days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household, whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work. There are three prime aspects of MGNREGA, generation employment, creation assets with a focus on natural resources management and agriculture activities.

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G):

Under the scheme, a total of 42.56 lakh houses, as on 19.07.2018, have been constructed against the target of constructing 1.0 crore houses by march 2019. The target were allocated to the states on the basis of housing deprivation parameters as per SECC, 201. The beneficiaries are provided with the unit assistance of Rs 1.20 lakh for plan areas and Rs 1.30 lakh for the hilly, difficult, and integrated Action Plan areas. Apart from the unit assistance, they are entit led to 90-95 days of employment under MGNREGS and Rs 12,000 for constructing toilets under SBM.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana:

Road connectivity is called as lifeline of the development. The connectivity especially rural connectivity in the States of North East region is extremely poor and the constructed roads are especially rural roads are highly vulnerable to the landslide and other vulnerability caused due to the Hilly terrain. The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) is a successful intervention initiated by the Union Government. Under this scheme, an one-time special intervention is provide for enhancing rural connectivity, by single lane ali-weather road, to the eligible unconnected habitations in the core network.


North East Region is truly a wonderful region. The States of the region presents a picture of change and development in a relatively difficult and disadvantaged region, and in complex & diverse society. North East Region Vision 2020 observed that the people in the region, like those in the rest of the country, have a vision of achieving prosperity and happiness for their children, if not for themselves. It is worthy to mention here that the realizing the potential that the region has, will require significant changes including the thinking of the people residing in the region and outside. Creating an enabling environment is the first condition to harness the physical resources of the North East region for the welfare of its people. It needs to be addressed on a priority basis. To achieve the sustainable development, we have to move to next phase of development and change as the Prime Minister has urged the nation that the time for incremental change is over and we must now move into a phase of decisive and transformational change.

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Courtesy: Kurukshetra