Statehood Day of Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura

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    • Recently, the Prime Minister of India has congratulated the people of Manipur, Meghalaya, and Tripura on their 50th statehood day.

    What is Statehood Day?

    • Statehood Day has been celebrated on an annual basis as Manipur, Meghalaya, and Tripura on January 21, 1972, became full-fledged states under the North Eastern Region (Reorganization) Act of 1971.
      • Meghalaya has been given the status of an autonomous state within Assam, through the Assam Reorganization (Meghalaya) Act 1969, according to the sixth schedule of the Indian constitution.
      • Manipur and Tripura states were granted the status of Union Territories in 1949 based on the tribal and ethnic population in the region.

    About 

    • Meghalaya:
      • Meghalaya, literally meaning the abode of clouds, is essentially a hilly state.
        • Capital Shillong
        • Languages Khasi, Pnar, Garo & English
      •  It is bounded on the north by Goalpara, Kamrup and Nowgong districts, on the east by Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills districts, all of Assam, and on the south and west by Bangladesh.
      • It is predominantly inhabited by the Khasis, the Jaintias, and the Garo tribal communities. 
      • The Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills, form the central and eastern part of Meghalaya.
      • It is subject to the vagaries of the monsoon. 
    • Tripura:
      •  It shares borders with Bangladesh, Mizoram and Assam. 
      • The state is connected with the rest of India by NH-44 that runs through Assam, Meghalaya, North Bengal, Kolkata and other parts of India
        • Capital Agartala
        • Official Languages:Bengali, Kokborok and English
    • The social composition of the population of Tripura is diverse.
      • Around one-third of the population belongs to the Scheduled Tribes.
    • Manipur:
      • It is one of the seven states of Northeast India, and one of the Seven Sister States
      • It means “A jeweled land” nestled deep within a lush green corner of  Eastern India.
      •  The state shares borders with other northeast states like Nagaland, Mizoram and Assam as well as with the neighbouring country of Myanmar.
      • It is  Surrounded by blue hills with an oval-shaped valley at the centre, rich in art and tradition and surcharged with nature’s pristine glory. 
      • The then Governor-General of India Lord Irwin on his visit, described ‘Manipur as the Switzerland of the East.
      • Its rich culture excels in every aspect as in martial arts, dance, theatre and sculptor
      • The state capital of Manipur is Imphal. 
      •  Manipur hills are inhabited mainly by the Nagas, Kukis (Chin-Mizos)and smaller tribal communities and the valley are mainly by the Meiteis (including Meitei Muslims known as Meitei Pangal or Pangal and “Bhamons” who are non-Meiteis). 
        • Some Naga and Kuki settlements are also found in the valley region. 

    Importance of Northeast

    • Growth Engine: The Northeast has the potential to become the growth engine of the country. It is in the context of the future of the region, with lots of development opportunities it has. 
    • Act East Policy: North Eastern Region is geographically contiguous to Myanmar, which is a part of South-East Asia. Therefore, it has the potential to act as the Indian ‘Gateway to SouthEast Asia’. 
      • This is important in the context of the Indian relationship with countries like Thailand and Singapore, with which we share a good rapport. They are high-income countries and can help India in the alleviation of poverty in the region.
    • Strategic Location: North Eastern Region of India is a landlocked region, with no access to seas. This is complicated by the presence of the Siliguri Corridor, called chicken’s neck for India. 
      • Siliguri Corridor is a mere 21 km wide corridor that connects India with its North Eastern Region. In the event of a war, India would need to safeguard the corridor, so that any potential advances by the Chinese in the Northern part of the North-East region can be suitably repelled by the Indian armed forces.
    • Carbon Sink: India has vowed to create an additional 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon sink per year under its Nationally Determined Contributions as a part of the Paris Summit. North-Eastern India with its dense forest cover can play a huge role in such endeavour. Mizoram is the best state in India in terms of forest cover.
    • Energy Resources: Due to the presence of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries, the North-Eastern region has immense potential as far as hydroelectric energy is concerned. Similarly, it has been a source of crude oil and natural gas in the form of Digboi oil fields. Potential oil and natural gas reserves have been found at the Arakan Basin.
    • Agricultural Resources: The North Eastern region is blessed with natural resources which are important for the economic growth of the country. 
      • E.g., the tea plantations of Assam earn a significant value of foreign exchange for the country. Similarly, Bamboo is useful in the cane and furniture industry. 
    • Tourism: The North Eastern region can be a hub for tourist activity due to its lush green landscape, unique tribal culture, fresh air, comfortable climate and distinct topography. It can be harnessed as a source of eco-tourism and rural tourism. 
    • The North Eastern Region is ideal for both passive and adventure forms of Ecotourism with wildlife sanctuary/parks, good scenic beauty, waterfalls, forests etc. 

    Challenges to the Development of the NER

    • Difficult Terrain
    • Backward Areas
    • Connectivity.
    • Lack of Physical and Social Infrastructure
    • Insurgency

    Initiatives of the Government of India

    • Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER): it was established in 2001 and was elevated to a full ministry in 2004.
      •  It acts as the nodal department for the coordination of matters related to the development of the North Eastern Region.
    • Mission Organic Value Chain Development (MOVCD-NER): The program has been implemented in the North-Eastern states since 2017. The mission aims to promote organic farming in the region. 
    • Sub Mission on Seeds and Planting Material (SMSP): It aims to increase the availability of seeds of the High Yielding Varieties of crops. 
    • North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS): The scheme aims to enhance the physical infrastructure related to power, connectivity and water supply, and social infrastructure in the form of health infrastructure. 
    • North Eastern Council (NEC): It is a statutory body constituted under the North Eastern Council Act 1971. 
    • Peace Efforts: The government of India has tried its best to accommodate the demands of the tribal groups and other inhabitants in the region, within the framework of the Indian Constitution. The outcomes are visible in the form of the Nagaland Peace Accord and Bodo Peace Accord, which have decreased the prevalence of violence and insurgency in the region, bringing the focus back to the development of the region.
      • Earlier initiatives like Mizo insurgency, Bru or Reang resettlement are good efforts in this regard.  
    • Connectivity Projects: To create alternate routes to the region and decrease its dependence on the Chicken’s Neck, the Indian government has planned additional routes through South East Asia:
      • Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Project: It is a massive connectivity project to connect the Haldia port to Mizoram through Myanmar.
      • Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Corridor: The project has been envisaged to enhance economic connectivity between China and India while benefiting Myanmar and Bangladesh, which lie on the route.
    • National Bamboo Mission: The Mission envisages promoting holistic growth of the bamboo sector by adopting an area-based, regionally differentiated strategy.
    • The aim is to increase the area under bamboo cultivation and marketing.

    Source:PIB