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The North Eastern Council (NEC) is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the North Eastern Region (NER). The Council’s Secretariat had been functioning to bring expediate socio-economic development of the Region including Sikkim. Consisting of many Sectors such as Planning, Transport and Communication, Agriculture and Allied, Medical and Health, Power, Human Resource Development & Employment, Evaluation and Monitoring, Banking, Industries and Tourism, Information and Public Relations, Science and Technology and Irrigation and Flood Control, the NEC has taken up many developmental projects for overall development of the Region.

In order to implement and complete the projects and programmes sanctioned by the North Eastern Council on time, without delay and cost overrun, the Council has taken concerte effort in monitoring and evaluation of the projects being implemented in different states and as a result of which more than 82 projects were inspected and assessed.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, jointly with the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER)/NEC, have initiated the works on construction of a 500 seats capacity girls’ hostel in Delhi University for girl students from the NER and other tribal girl students studying in Delhi University. Total cost of the project amounting to Rs.23.33 crores is being shared between the NEC and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on 60:40 basis, i.e., the NEC shares an amount of Rs13.998 Crores(60%) towards the project. Out of this amount, the NEC has so far released an amount of Rs.11.50. crores.

A 500-seater Working Women’s Hostel in Jasola Delhi was constructed in association with the Ministry of Women and Child Development. Accommodation will be provided for the working women hailing from North Eastern States. Total cost of the project is Rs.17.44 crores, wherein the NEC’s share is 25%. Land cost for the hostel is being shared in 50:50 ratio. NEC has released Rs.4.36 crores for construction and Rs.0.42 Lakhs for Furniture, Electricity, Water Supply etc.

Pilot Project of sponsoring students in school has been taken up and accordingly 23 students each for all 7 North Eastern States and two for Sikkim are being sponsored at Assam Rifles Public School, Laitkor, Shillong for Financial Year 2011-12 in class VI. Selection/Examination conducted by Assam Rifles in all the States after proper advertisement. Besides that, brilliant students and girl children and students from economically backward classes also need to be supported in schools and colleges. About 5,500 students have so far been benefited under this scheme during the last Financial year and equal number, if not more, are to benefit this Financial year also.

The ‘Youth to the Edge’ programme was taken up to promote integration and a sense of brotherhood in the country. This programme will help mitigate to some extend the notion of North East being a foreign country. More than thousand youth from rest of India will be visiting the North Eastern Region where combined adventure activities are being conducted to promote the spirit of brotherhood, adventure, environmental awareness, national integration, disaster management, promotion of adventure tourism, channelizing youth in a positive direction, sense of self-employment and self-recognition, etc. The programme will expose the youth to the Flora, Fauna, culture, livelihood, practices and to the people in general of the North Eastern State. It is to promote general understanding of the region and promote integration. To start with, three trails namely; Dzukou Velley in Nagaland, Roing and Hayuliang in Arunachal Pradesh are identified and more than nine hundred youth are already exposed under this programme.

To encourage and develop sport talent in the region, the NEC had constituted the Chairman’s Sport Award for Excellence on International and National Sport where Cash Awards are given to Medal Winners of Olympic, Asian Games, Common Wealth Games and National Games. This is a popular scheme amongst the Achievers and also act as an encouraging factor for the sport persons to perform better in the sport events. More than Rs. 7.00 crores were distributed to the medal winners of the recently held National Games at Jharkhand. It may be mentioned that the Manipur Stated had bagged 2nd highest medals next only to the services.

To encourage football skills and inculcate the sense of competitiveness amongst the players, the Dr. T. Ao Football Tournament was constituted for the NE States to be held annually in the states on rotation. The tournament is aptly named after the legendary Barefoot Indian Football Captain and is a great morale booster for the players.

In line with the skill development mission of the Union government, the NEC has sponsored many job Oriented Training programmes to cater to the need of unemployed youth in the field of computer hardware and software, BPO, Hair Style and Beauty Care, Banana Fiber Extraction, Ayurveda Therapist, Hearing Disability sector, adventure sports, CNC technology and Machinery Operation, Plastic Processing and Recycle, Retail Management, Automobile Repairs etc. These programmes are conducted for various levels of educational background including school drop outs who forms majority of the unemployed youths and who needs this value addition the most. More than 6000 youth have been trained with good placement report. These training programmes help develop their personalities and confidence of the trainees and also supplement the family income.

To increase competitiveness among NER students for preparation in entrance examinations and Government job opportunities, the NEC has for the first time sponsored coaching programmes for various examinations.

PIB Aizawl

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