North Eastern Region (NER) of India has been on the back front so far as visible economic indicators are concerned. However it has huge potential to grow. There are several inherent limitations as well. But while these limitations pose challenge for growth, it becomes more important to concentrate on the potential that this region has and by focusing on this we can deal with the limitations in a better way. Having spent more than two decades in this region, having interacted with policy makers, stakeholders, members of the civil society, and read related literature, I would like to put forth my views as to the initiatives that the new government at the centre needs to take. These are required for capacity building and tapping the potential this region has.
- Need for inclusion of some chapters related to the life, people, and places of the north eastern region in the primary and secondary standard syllabus (CBSE & ICSE) so that the students of all regions are aware of this region. This could reduce many problems that people from north east face when they go to other parts of the nation. It shall build a sense of attachment, belonging and responsibility among them.
- Need for a Music University or similar institution for North East Region and preferably it should be based in Shillong as Shillong is the music capital of NE. There is huge talent, interest and drive in the youth for pursuing music as a career, however an institution of national repute is missing. Establishment of Music University or some such institution shall enthuse these young children to put their energy in positive ways and shall go a long way in portraying the music talent of this region to the world.
- Need for Training Centres for different sports. The youth of this region are good in sports and given the opportunity they would really perform better in sports. In the absence of appropriate infrastructure and training centre/s they are not able to nurture their talent. I am sure if their energies are diverted towards this, much of the problems could be solved.
- Need for an institution to study Culture, Craft and Creativity for this region. This institution could ideally get involved in documenting rich cultural past, their practices and the lessons, nature of craft, innovations to develop the craft for market and to nurture creativity.
- There is huge scope of developing institutions in the area of agro-based industries. Some innovation centres could be initiated to channelise the fruit production and processing units.
- Development of industrial network in this region through improving general infrastructure.
I feel that if these suggestions are followed, the capacity and competence of the people of this region shall get enhanced they would be able to play more important role in nation building.