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Govt scheme to push NE economy

The government is all set to launch a scheme to promote youth activities in the upper reaches of northeastern states such as Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.

The government is all set to launch a scheme to promote youth activities in the upper reaches of northeastern states such as Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. The proposal,approved by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,is expected to generate economic activities in areas considered to be vulnerable to foreign surveillance and “help in their national integration”.

The proposal by the Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Ministry envisages to “integrate” the remote areas of bordering northeastern states with the rest of the country through promotion of youth activities. The move will also help in encouraging people to expand the government’s administrative reach and motivate the local populace to start living in the hitherto unpopulated areas,considered to be sensitive as they have international borders,the Ministry believes. The bordering areas of such states are sparsely populated,leading to huge “no-man’s land”. For example,in Arunachal Pradesh the population density is only 16 persons per sq km,which is extremely low as compared to the national average. In view of this,the Ministry has secured the PM’s approval in launching a full-fledged scheme from the 12th Plan wherein youths from other parts of the country would be facilitated in taking up activities such as trekking,mountaineering,rock climbing,jeep safaris,water sports and caving in these states.

This new initiative is aimed at enhancing the capacity building of the local youth through skill development. Under its pilot project,two trekking trails would be finalised in Arunachal Pradesh and one in Mizoram.

Though the scheme — titled Movements of youth from rest of India to the border areas of NE states to participate in specially structure adventure activities — would be launched in the 12th Plan period,beginning next year,the government has approved a pilot project to be commenced this year itself.

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The scheme,worth Rs 2,65,56,750,will be implemented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports under the aegis of DoNER Ministry in coordination with the respective state governments.

“Through this proposal we are seeking to ensure generation of economic activity in these bordering regions to help people lead a better life and also understand the hardships of the people of these areas and help their better integration with the mainland,” Minister for DoNER B K Handique told The Indian Express.

The poor population density in Arunachal Pradesh has,for instance,led to inadequate development of the remote areas and they reportedly do not have good roads or any major economic activity. In its proposal,the Ministry has argued that “increased presence in border areas of NE region and promotion of national integration” as the key reasons behind the proposal.

First published on: 13-06-2011 at 00:10 IST
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