New Public Governance and the Northeastern Region of India

DOI10.1177/0019556120160303
AuthorSachin Chowdhry
Date01 July 2016
Publication Date01 July 2016
SubjectArticle
NEW PUBLIC GOVERNANCE
AND
THE
NORTH-
EASTERN REGION
OF
INDIA
SACHIN
CHOWDHRY
The North-Eastern Region (NER)
of
India, which consists
of
eight states, has received focused attention
of
the Union
Government since the 1970s when the North-Eastern Council
(NEC) was established under an Act
of
1971
of
Parliament
of
India. The persistent backwardness
of
the region elicited
further response from the Union Government
in
the form
of
the establishment
of
Ministry
of
Development
of
North-Eastern
Region (DoNER). Policy pronouncements like Non-Lapsable
Central Pool
of
Resources (NLCPR)
and
amendment
in
the
NEC Act tried
to
address the problems from time
to
time. This
article tries
to
find the reasons
for
not so effective intervention
of
the state and assesses the scope
of
New Public Governance
-
approach
in
the
NER
and
the
road
ahead
for
speedy
development
of
the region
in
the national interest, especially
in the background
of
the 'Look East' and 'Act East 'policies.
North-Eastern Region
The North-Eastern Region (NER) consists
of
eight states, viz. Arunachal
Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and
Sikkim. The Region covers an area
of
about 262,000 square km and the
eight states that together share over 5,400 km
ofborder
with neighbouring
countries. The region
is
known for its ethnic, linguistic, cultural, religious and
physiographical diversities. Its population has grown rapidly, though
it
still
is approximately 3.76 per cent
of
the total country's population (Table
1).
Along with the population growth, the economy
of
the states has also
registered growth. However, despite the growth rate picking up in the last
decade, the economic gap between the
NER
and the rest
of
India has not
narrowed down at the desired pace (Table 2).
Various other economic indicators indicate that this growth has also
not led to the growth
of
secondary sector. Growth was actually supported
by
good agriculture sector performance, including horticulture, floriculture,
fisheries, rubber and oil palm. Ministry
of
DoNER
points
out
that

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