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  • Context (PIB): Achievements of Ministry of Development of NorthEastern Region for the year 2023.

Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MoDNER)

  • It is responsible for the matters relating to the planning, execution and monitoring of development schemes and projects in the North-Eastern Region.
  • This is the only Ministry with territorial jurisdiction.

North Eastern Region (NER)

  • It consists of eight states — Assam, AP, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Sikkim.

North Eastern Region

  • It accounts for 7.9% of the total geographical area of the country.
  • It shares its boundary with four countries viz, China, Myanmar, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
  • The western side of the North-East is connected to the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent by a narrow land corridor, sometimes referred to as the Siliguri Corridor or “Chicken’s Neck“.

North Eastern Council (NEC)

  • It is the nodal agency of MoDNER overseeing the economic and social development of the NER.
  • It is a statutory advisory body constituted under the NEC Act 1971.
  • The headquarters of the council is situated in Shillong.

Members

  1. The Governors and the Chief Ministers of the eight-member States.
  2. Chairman and three Members nominated by the President of India.

Functions

  • The council discusses any matter in which some or all of the States represented in the Council have a common interest and advises the Central and State governments concerned, particularly concerning:
    1. Any matter of common interest in economic and social planning.
    2. Any matter concerning inter-State Transport and Communications.
    3. Any matter relating to Power or Flood-control projects of common interest.

MoDNER Schemes and Initiatives

North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme

  • NESIDS is a Central Sector Scheme (100% central funding to the State Governments) under the Ministry of Development of the northeast region that was approved by the GoI in 2017.
  • It’s for projects of Physical Infrastructure relating to water supply, power, connectivity, enhancing tourism, and social infrastructure (Education and Health).
  • The scheme was restructured in 2022-23 to include two components:
    1. NESIDS-Road
    2. NESIDS-Other Than Road Infrastructure (OTRI)
  • The objective of NESIDS is to supplement the efforts of the different Central Ministries and departments for uncovered development/welfare activities in the NER.

NESIDS – Road

  • It subsumes the project sanctioned under its predecessor following schemes:
    1. North-East Road Sector Development Schemes (NERSDS)
    2. Road/ Bridges projects of NESIDS.
  • It aims to provide specific gap funding in the construction of roads:
    1. To provide access to remote locations,
    2. To provide access to markets,
    3. From a security point of view.
  • Till date, 10 projects have been sanctioned and 3 projects have been selected for sanction.

NESIDS – Other Than Road Infrastructure

  • It subsumes the projects sanctioned under its predecessor following schemes:
    1. Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR)
    2. North-East Special Infrastructure Development Schemes (NESIDS)
    3. Hill Area Development Programme (HADP)
  • Total projects sanctioned are 1548, out of which 1098 projects are completed, and 450 projects are ongoing. 

Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE)

  • The scheme was announced as a 100% Central Sector Scheme in Budget 2022-23.
  • The scheme has an outlay of Rs. 6,600 crore for the four years from 2022-23 to 2025-26.
  • It is implemented by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) through the North Eastern Council (NEC).

Objectives

  • Fund infrastructure convergently in the spirit of PM GatiShakti.
  • Support social development projects based on the felt needs of the North Eastern Region (NER).
  • Enable livelihood activities for youth and women.
  • Fill the development gaps in various sectors.

Achievements

  • Till 26.12.2023, 9 projects have been sanctioned and 14 projects have been recommended for sanction.
  • In addition, 12 projects have been recommended in principle (selected).

Special Development Packages

Bodoland Territorial Council

  • It is an autonomous district council in the state of Assam.
  • It was established under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule following the Bodo Accord in 2003.
  • It consists of four districts of Assam: Kokrajhar, Baksa, Udalguri and Chirang.
  • Through this council, the Bodo people have a self-governing body that seeks to preserve their political, cultural and language rights.
Areas covered
  • BTC has legislative, administrative, executive and financial powers over 40 subjects in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).
Structure
  • BTC is governed by a council that comprises 46 members, of which 40 are elected representatives and the remaining 6 are nominated by the Governor from unrepresented communities of BTAD.
Key functions
  • It is entrusted with responsibilities related to town & country planning, land & revenue, forests & environment, and education among other subjects.
Achievements
  • Under the old package, 65 projects have been sanctioned, 54 projects are completed, and 11 projects are ongoing. 

Karbi Anglong Autonomous Territorial Council (KAATC)

  • It is a local governing body in Assam, created under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the IC
  • It covers the Karbi Anglong district and the West Karbi Anglong district of Assam.
  • It seeks to protect the social-cultural rights and autonomy of the Karbi people (also known as Mikir).
  • The Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council emerged from the North-East Frontier (Administration of Justice) Regulation, 1945.
  • Over time, it was renamed as the Karbi Anglong district and governed by the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC).
  • KAAC is composed of 30 members, 26 of whom are elected, and 4 nominated by the governor from unrepresented classes.
Achievements
  • Under the old KAATC package, 26 projects have been sanctioned, 4 projects are completed, and 22 projects are ongoing. Also, 6 other projects have been in-principle approved under this package.
  • Under the new KAATC package, 3 projects have been in-principle approved.
  • The Project is funded by GoI under an Aid Grant to Bangladesh on the Bangladesh side and the Ministry of DoNER on the Indian side.
  • Objective: Extension of Maitree Express (running between Kolkata to Dhaka) up to Agartala, reducing the travel time from 38 hours to 16 hours.

Initiatives for Startup Ecosystem

  • NorthEast Venture Fund: MDoNER and North-Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) collaborated to establish the 1st dedicated venture fund for the North-East Region.
  • Manipur Startup Venture Fund an initiative for startups in Manipur in collaboration with the Government of Manipur.
  • NRL Ideation Angel Fund was established in association with Numaligarh Refinery Ltd, a subsidiary of Oil India Ltd.

Signing of MoUs

  • Between MoDNER and UNDP: UNDP would provide MDoNER with technical support on:
    1. Fast-tracking progress on the SDGs;
    2. Monitoring, evaluation, and capacity building;
    3. Support Aspirational districts and blocks;
  • Between NorthEastern Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporation Ltd. (NEHHDC), MDoNER and Department of Heritage & Tourism, Government of Haryana for bilateral, cross-cultural exchange & promotion of handicrafts, handlooms, textiles, crafts, culture, and cuisine of the state of Haryana and North-East India.

Advancing North East Portal

  • It is a digital platform and web-based initiative developed by NEC through the North-Eastern Development Finance Corporation (NEDFi) which provides knowledge and guidance for the youth of NER. 

Design Labs for Livelihood Generation

  • Objective: Train local youth in the identified areas to acquire the required Digital Skills to get gainful employment in the knowledge economy/digital economy.

Achievements of North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Ltd. (NERAMAC)

  • Procurement of Agri-horti Produce: Procurement of products like Pineapple, Avocado, Black Rice, Cashew nut, Large Cardamom, Cinnamon, and Black Pepper, etc. under its umbrella brand ‘NE Fresh’.
  • Branding and marketing of the locally processed products.
  • Launched Brand ‘NERAMAC Premium’ for marketing of G.I. tagged products.
  • Formation and Promotion of FPOs in NER: 205 FPOs have been formed across NER.

Achievements of North Eastern Handicrafts & Handlooms Development Corporation Limited (NEHHDC) 

  • Established Ashtlaxmi Haat & Experience Centre at Guwahati: It will provide market access to artisans of all Northeast states and provide accommodation to artisans from out station.
  • ERI silk spinning plant at Integrated Textile Park, Mushalpur, Baksa (Assam) envisioned to provide employment in the NER.
  • Providing market development by way of digitalization, authentication, and traceability covering 10,000 weavers across 7 states (except Sikkim) in NER.
  • Livelihood Business Incubators (LBI): The Corporation has received sanction for the establishment of Jewellery and Handicraft Incubation Centre under the ASPIRE Scheme of the Ministry of MSME.
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