Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Centre giving substantial attention to NE region: NITI Aayog VC Suman Bery

NITI Aayog Vice Chairperson Suman Bery has said the attention of the government towards India’s Northeast is substantial and political parties are vying with each other to offer attractive platforms for the region, amidst the “assertiveness of China”.
Berry made the remarks while addressing a round table organised by the Consulate General of India here on Transforming India, in partnership with NITI Aayog, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum and TiE New York.
Bery said the assertiveness of China and the Northeast region becoming an area of significant contention in Indian politics are two factors that are making the difference and political parties are vying with each other to offer attractive platforms for India’s Northeast region. Bery, responding to a question about Assam and the Northeast and how it can get better linked to the rest of India, said I would suggest that two factors which are linked with each other are making a difference, whether they are making enough of a difference we can debate.
One is the assertiveness of China and the second is that the Northeast region has become an area of significant contention in Indian politics in a way that it hadn’t (earlier). I think parties are vying with each other to offer attractive platforms for the Northeast, he said adding that the kind of attention that I’m aware of within government circles towards Northeast is substantial.
Bery said how long it will take to integrate it is a question of physical distance, infrastructure. Infrastructure is being put in. But I wouldn’t lose sight of how much effort this government has also been putting into deeper infrastructure integration with Bangladesh, and include Bangladesh into a kind of US-Canada sort of infrastructure linkage, which would be huge for the Northeast.
And India has also been giving attention to another mechanism of regional connectivity BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation), essentially attempting to make the Bay of Bengal area, which is a large area, another area of integration. So, those will be my sets of responses on why the future for the Northeast region will be different from the past, he said. India shares a 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control with China from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
The most recent border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area.
The face-off escalated after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15, 2020. Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.
China has unresolved territorial disputes with a number of countries in the South China Sea and well as the East China Sea.


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