North East: Yojana April 2018 Summary (Part – 1) (Download PDF)

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Forthcoming Issue: Nutrition - North East is about pleasant tourist spot, fabulous handlooms and handicrafts or its friendly people, Due to its Geographical Isolation and perceived difference, the region has, faced backwardness and indifferent development in many sectors.

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North East: Yojana April 2018 Summary (In English)

Dr. Manishika Jain explains Yojana April 2018: North East

  • Low agricultural productivity, low credit flow from banks, absence of large scale industrial base, lack of infrastructural facilities have impeded its path to inclusive growth.

  • Launch of historic projects:

    • 👌 1st train in Mendipathar in Meghalaya to Guwahati in Assam and dedicated Unit-II of the ONGC Tripura Company LTD Power Plant to the nation.

    • India’s longest bridge 9.15 km Dhola-Sadiya bridge in Assam, laying of foundation stone of IIIT Guwahati.

  • The Government has introduced a restructured National Bamboo Mission with an allocation of Rs. 1290 Cr.

  • Connectivity has been another major hurdle.

  • Poor Rail, Road Connectivity and Non-Existent Air Connectivity

  • Government has now given a substantial budgetary allocation for development of infrastructural facilities in the region with Rs. 5,886 Cr. committed over the past four years for rail connectivity in the region; a staggering Rs. 2 lakh Cr. of allocation for investment in new roads, bridges etc. from 2014 - 19; Rs. 1014 Cr. for revival of 50 airports in the region.

  • Introduction of various skill development initiatives like Employment Generation Mission and Assam State Livelihood Mission in Assam, Meghalaya State Skill Development Society etc. have opened up new avenues for the youth in the North East.

  • North Eastern region Community Resource Management Project for Uplands Areas (NERCOMP) and NARMGs (Natural Resource Management Groups) etc. have acted as vehicle for bringing about gender empowerment.

Inclusive Growth in the North East

  • North Eastern Region of India, known as North East.

  • It consists of 8 states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

  • Its geographical area is 2,62,179 km2

  • The Centre’s renewed emphasis on translating the Act East Policy into reality has brought great hopes to the people of the North East.

  • It is connected to the country through a narrow corridor, called the Chicken Neck, near Siliguri region.

  • Only about 30 to 35 % of the area of North East is plain land, mostly in 3 valleys namely the Brahmaputra, the Barak and the Imphal Valleys.

  • Population of North East was only about 44 lakhs when population of India of 1901 was more than 29 Cr. In 2011 the population of North East has increased to 450 lakhs. Between 1901 to 2011 the population of India of 1901 has increased by about 5.4 times the population of North East has increased by more than 10 times.

  • One of the Biggest Rivers: Brahmaputra

  • It is stated since the great earthquake (of intensity of 8.5 in Richter Scale) of 1950 in Assam, flood and erosion have increased in the state. Till date about 5000 to 6000 km2 of land have been lost due to erosion by rivers.

Despite Natural and Manmade Challenges the Economic Condition of the North East:

  • Partition of the Country

  • The Chinese aggression of 1962- in Arunachal Pradesh (Called NEFA at that time)

  • The Bangladesh Liberation war of 1971 – entered some states of North East as refugees. Insurgency affected the present day Nagaland and Mizoram.

📝 Natural and Historical Challenges:

  • Low agricultural productivity

  • Low cropping intensity

  • Low coverage of irrigation

  • Low application of chemical fertilizers.

  • Low credit flow from banks.

  • Inadequate availability of certified seeds

  • Inadequate facilities for godowns.

  • Absence of modern well equipped markets

  • Very low per capita consumption of power

  • Very low use of power for irrigation

  • Non-availability of ores of industrially useful metals

  • Non-Availability of big reserve of good quality coal contains high percentage of sulfur

  • Teachers’ Training in the whole of North East is another issue

  • Absence of big industries except four oil refineries and two petrochemical complexes.

  • There is now also one IIT and one IIM in the North East

Future of the Region Depends Primarily on Developing the Following Sectors-

  • Agriculture including horticulture and floriculture;

  • Dairy farming;

  • Goat rearing;

  • Piggery;

  • Poultry;

  • Duckery;

  • Fishery;

  • Food and meat processing;

  • Tourism;

  • Sericulture and weaving

  • Production of organic tea,

  • Production of plastic goods

  • Setting up small and medium scale industries

  • Setting up industries for marking garments, pharmaceuticals, paper and sugar etc. (Due to high rainfall and moisture content in the soil, North East seems highly suitable for large scale production of sugarcane, pulses, oil seeds and costly flowers like orchids);

  • Setting up sufficient number of polytechnics

  • Bank branches and Credit-deposit ratio also has to be increased in the region

  • Urgent need for improving tele connectivity in the region.

  • Policy Markers go a big way for setting up electronic industries and BPOs in the region.

  • North East youth in railways nationalized banks, central para-military forces including Assam rifles, airlines, oil refineries and other big central public sector undertakings.

North East: An Economic Perspective

  • Innovation, Initiatives, Ideas and Implementation all the four need to go together.

  • Tripura and Mizoram are two of the country’s most highly literate states.

  • Assam tea industry is the 2nd largest commercial producer of tea, next to China

  • 1st oil well of Asia is in Digboi of Assam

  • As per India Spend Research, impressive growth rate of 9.7 % of Meghalaya is higher than that of the fastest-growing big state, MP at 9.5%

  • Tripura reported India’s highest unemployment rate, 25.2 % in urban areas, followed closely by Nagaland with 23.8%

  • Manipur poorest: Sikkim the richest

  • For the British, the North East was a storehouse of raw materials.

📝 Reasons Behind the Tragedy Progress of NER

  • Geographical Factors: Hills account for about 70 % area of NER and accommodate about 30 % of the population. Floods and Landslides in Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys of Assam.

  • Infrastructural Factors: NER has about 6 % of the national roads and about 13 % of the national highways, quality is not good.

  • Constraints on Industrial Growth: Industrial sector in Assam which was mostly dominated by the colonial capitalists. Region for industrial development comes from its huge natural resource base. National Hydro-Electric Power Corporation harness the huge hydro-electric potential of the region and Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and ONGC for exploration and extraction of oil and gas reserves. Tea Industry is one of the oldest industries in India.

  • Agriculture: Tribal population here. Rice is the major crop of the region (Kharif). NER produces only 1.5 % of the country’s total food grains and provides livelihood support to 70 % of the population. North-East is shifting or “Jhum” cultivation. Approx. 1.7 million hectares of land is under it which leads to a large scale deforestation.

  • Natural Resource Base: Indiscriminately exploited and mismanaged.

  • Transport and Communication: Road development in the region has been very slow. The railway network is only 4 % of India’s rail network. Entire network in east of New Bongaigaon was in meter gauge. Another gigantic challenge of NER today is Globalization.

  • Social Dis-Organization: Brain-drain, attributable to the Policy Paralysis of the region needs to be addressed. Substance Addiction. More than 30 % of its youth are narcotic drug abusers. The Pandemic of HIV/AIDS, spreading fast in Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram. In 1971, GoI set up the North Eastern Council. With Headquarters in Shillong, functions under Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region. Now has been sanctioned as a regional planning body since 2002.

  • The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFCL) is a Public Limited Company providing assistance to micro, small, medium and large enterprises within the NER. 2017, the centre has approved North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme which will fill the gaps in creation of infrastructure in two sectors- One is physical infrastructure relating to water supply, power, connectivity and especially projects promoting tourism.

  • The other is social sector projects of education and health. 100 % centrally funded scheme as against the NLCPR, where 10 % contribution had to come from the State Governments. Tuirial Hydro-power project is the first major Central Sector Project to be successfully commissioned in Mizoram. It will produce 251 million units of electrical energy every year.

  • Union Government will be investing another Rs. 60,000 Cr. under Special Accelerated Road Development Program in the North-East and Rs30,000 Cr. under Bharatmala in the next 2 to 3 years. ‘Act East Policy’ include Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project, the Rih-Tedim Transport Project and Border Haats. Revival of 50 airports and improving aviation infrastructure. Airports like Pakyong in Sikkim, Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh.

Way-Forward:

  • Empowering people by maximizing self-governance and participatory development through grass-root planning.

  • Creation of development opportunities for the rural areas.

  • To develop sectors having comparative advantage

  • Enhancing the skills and competencies of the people

  • Creating a hospitable investment

  • Harnessing the resources of the Government and the private sector.

Governance Challenges in the North East

  • Its own tax collection and internal resources are quite meagre rendering the region totally dependent on central devolution.

  • Local moneyed people prefer to invest in landed property

  • Beginning of 1970s Assam was one of the better-off states in India.

  • Assam accounts for almost 70 % of NER population.

Fund Utilization

  • All non-exempt Union Ministries are required to mandatorily earmark 10 % of their Gross Budgetary Allocation (GBA) annually for the North Eastern Region.

  • States are not able to expedite land transfer or grant Forest Clearance for Project Land.

  • Delays are mainly due to time lag between release of funds and sanction of the projects, non-submission of utilization certificates.

  • Problems related to land acquisition and forest clearance, prevailing law and order situation and limited working season due to high rainfall.

Improve M & E Systems

  • There is a failure of the departments in verification of their correctness and almost total absence of accountability procedures.

  • Severely malnourished children in the north-eastern states is much less than 1%

  • In 2014 UNICEF has reported a much higher figure varying from 3.5 % in Manipur to almost 16 % in Meghalaya and Tripura.

Promote E-Governance

  • To accomplish reform by fostering transparency, eliminating distance and other divides, and empowering people to participate.

  • World Bank report on Assam observed in 2014 absence of a comprehensive ICT Plan

  • There was a backlog of more than a year in payments of commission to ASHA workers in Dhalai district of Tripura

Redundant Bureaucracy

  • The non-plan expenditure of NE states is quite high due to huge presence of group C and D staff.

  • NER is the culture of ‘bandhs’ (State closure) widely prevalent in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland that goes against the notion of individual rights.

  • Good governance calls for probity, transparency and accountability.

Providing World Class Logistics

  • Indian Railways 162-year old national asset has the distinction of being the 2nd largest railway system in Asia and the 4th largest railway system in the world, operating more than 19,000 trains and 7,112 stations.

  • Enabling geographic connectivity, citizen mobility and commercial activity, to providing a world-class logistics and transportation infrastructure.

  • IR is the 5th biggest rail network in the world with 1.3 million employees

  • Upgrading the quality of coaches, adding Wi-Fi, running special trains like super luxury Tejas and modern Deen Dayal unreserved coaches to reducing costs, speeding up project execution, and dreaming up new ways of raising finances.

Budget Allocations

  • Allocated capital expenditure of Rs. 1,48,528 Cr. for Indian Railways for 2018 - 19

  • Redevelopment of 600 major railway stations has been taken up; Rs. 17,000 Cr. is being set aside for the Bengaluru Metro and Rs. 11,000 Cr. is being allocated for the Mumbai suburban railways.

  • Government to eliminate 4267 unmanned rail crossing in broad gauge in 2 years; 4000 km of electrified railway network during 2017 - 18

Challenges

  • Slow Pace of Expansion and Modernization

  • IR has added only 10,000 route-km since Independence while China has added more than 50,000 route km in the same period.

  • % of total route km has grown by only 52 % over the past 3 decades and today only 30.32 % of the route km have double/multiple tracks.

  • Railway Accidents

  • Travel without Tickets

  • Fiscal Problems

  • Operating Efficiency

  • Finance and Accounting

  • Old Track and Poor State of Rolling Stock

  • Lack of Modern Management

  • Outmoded Technology

  • Problem of Replacement

  • Problem of Laying Double Lines

  • Inadequate Investment

  • Highlighted by different committees, National Transport Policy Committee, the Rail Tariff Enquiry Committee and Railway Reforms Committee.

  • Competition with Road Transport

  • Market Size

  • Investments/Developments

  • A plan for redevelopment of Surat’s railway station will soon be announced requiring a total expenditure of Rs. 4,650 cr.

  • In the next 5 years, Indian railway market will be the 3rd largest, accounting for 10 % of the global market.

  • 3 new arms of Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) in various regions of the country, Indian government is planning to invest Rs. 3,30,000 Cr.

  • IR is planning to invest in order to adopt European Train Control Systems (ETCS)

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North East: Yojana April 2018 Summary (In Hindi)

Dr. Manishika Jain explains Yojana April 2018: North East

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- Published/Last Modified on: April 18, 2018

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