North East is a brand and it needs to be strengthened to create the region as a hub of national activity. This was the consensus at the two- day National Conference on Transforming North East India here today.
The conference was addressed by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) Jitendra Singh. He said the central government is keen on integrating and promoting North_East. It has to become the main activity area. The fund for the region is no problem. The funds have to be utilised to create it as a centre of excellence so that people from the entire country flock to north-east. There are 28 activity areas which can become its core area and the rest of the nation could learn from it. It will not only integrate the country but also would create the strength for North-East to get closer to the rest of India and beyond.
Olympic boxing champion Mary Kom, MP, said that North-East produces the best sportsmen and athletes. The Under 17 Indian team for FIFA is dominated by the players from North-East, Very few knew it. They are dominating the hospitality industry, education and many others. They are possibly more Indian than rest of the Indians. Agreeing with Mr Jitendra Singh, she said the region is the jewel of the country and can transform the entire country.
The conference began with a session on awareness. Prof Shivaji Sarkar chairing the session said that N-E has the potential to be the magnate not only for India but beyond, Situated critically between Bangladesh, Myanmar and path to Southeast Asia, it could replace Bengaluru as the hub of activity of education and international trade. Its geographic isolation could be terminated by involving Bangaldesh to create a corridor, which started in a small way. An elevated rail corridor linking Agartala and Guwahati to Kolkata through Bangladesh can bring the region closer to heartland.
Dr VInay Sahashrabuddhe, MP, chairman of Rambhau Pradodhini, said that the purpose of the programme was not to discuss the problems but ideas that could take the country and North-East ahead. During the two days wonderful ideas enriched the policy makers. The meet would pave the way for a New India and fast development of the region. India cannot progress unless its natural-resoruce rich region takes the stride. This would fructify the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
Mr Hemant Goel, Chairman, Himalayan University, Itanagar, Aruanachal Pradesh said that the university has decided to carry forward the vision provided by the two-day meet. The university would collate the vision presented by the conference and interact with all the states to implement the recommendations. The vision is to attract talent from all over the country to education and activity centres in North-East to enrich the region as well as create positive vibe across the country to make it the heart of India,
The two-day National Convention was inaugurated by Brig (Retd) BD Mishra, Governor, Arunachal Pradesh and addressed by a galaxy of speakers including Rajiv Kumar, (Vice Chairman, Niti Aayog), Shri Sunil Deodhar, Mridul Hazarika (VC, Guwahati University), Mr C.K Das (Member North East Council), Patricia Mukhim (Editor, Shilong Times)., Colonel (Retd.) Ranjan Chaterjee.