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‘Time for NE think tank at Centre’
Staff Reporter

Director General of RIS Prof Sachin Chaturvedi addressing the valedictory session of a seminar on ‘Physical and social infrastructure for regional development’ in Guwahati on Tuesday. – AT Photo
 GUWAHATI, May 15 - “Instead of connecting different cities and urban centers in the remote and less-developed areas, the ideal approach should be to develop it in the framework of corridors for regional development. The time has come that there should be a dedicated think tank for the North Eastern Region at the Central government level,” said Prof Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), today on the final day of the two-day seminar on the theme of ‘Physical and social infrastructure for regional development’ organised by the Ministry of Finance here.

On the salient takeaways from the consultation, he said, “There were several important recommendations discussed in the seminar which are essential for physical and social infrastructure in NE. The first point was low integration due to the land-locked nature of the region.

“Historically, NE had strong trade linkages with the countries in South East Asia and was a prosperous region. Post Independence, the connectivity links were broken due to the creation of independent nations in the South Asian region. As a result, NE became land-locked which stalled the pace of development. However, with fresh initiatives there is a greater recognition of opening of the arteries of connectivity both within NE and with neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, etc. Emphasis will be made on Education, Health and Skill Development in the region. In addition, Horticulture, Tourism, Food Processing, use of Bamboo and Made in NE will be developed through five Mission Mode projects in a time-bound manner,” he said.

The valedictory session of the concluding day was chaired by Prof Bhupen Sarmah, Director, Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development. PR Jaishankar, Chief General Manager, Indian Infrastructure Finance Company Limited, Dipok Kumar Barthakur, Vice Chairman, State Innovation & Transformation Aayog and many other dignitaries were present in the occasion.

Before the valedictory session, there was another session on ‘Creating social infrastructure for inclusive growth’ and it was chaired by Dinesh Sharma, former Special Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs. Shyam Jagannathan, Commissioner & Secretary, Finance Department, AK Yadav, Chief Administrative Officer, Northeast Frontier Railway, Halla Maher Qaddumi, Senior Water Economist, The World Bank, Sabyasachi Dutta, Executive Director, Asian Confluence and Dr. Otojit Kshetrimayum, Associate Fellow and Coordinator, Centre for North East India, VV Giri National Labour Institute were present in the occasion as panelists.

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