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A New Troika for India’s Northeast Region

Recently, the third India-Japan Intellectual Dialogue was hosted by the Asian Confluence (ASCON) in Agartala (Tripura).
Context :
  • Recently, the third India-Japan Intellectual Dialogue was hosted by the Asian Confluence (ASCON) in Agartala (Tripura).
    • It was an ideal opportunity to assess the evolving thinking of experts and policymakers.
  • North-eastern India is an extensive web of linkages with neighbouring Bangladesh.
    • Besides, Japan has emerged as a significant development partner for both India and Bangladesh.
    • It showed that the current decade may produce path-breaking changes in the northeast, bringing the troika of Bangladesh, India and Japan closer.

The North East Region of India

  • The Northeast region of India comprises eight states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura – each with its own distinct history and identity.
International Boundaries:
  • The region shares its borders with Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
India’s Act East Policy:
  • It is a diplomatic initiative by India to promote economic cooperation, and cultural ties and develop strategic relationships with countries in the Asia-Pacific region through continuous engagement at bilateral, regional, and multilateral levels thereby providing enhanced connectivity to the States of North Eastern Region with other countries in our neighborhood.
  • The Northeast of India has been a priority in India’s Act East Policy.
  • This eastward drive started in 1992 under the Look East policy.

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Importance of North-Eastern States

  • Strategic Location: The North Eastern Region of India is a landlocked region with no sea access. The existence of the Siliguri Corridor, known as the chicken’s neck in India, complicates matters.
  • Links with Southeast Asia: The North Eastern Region is physically next to Myanmar, which is part of South-East Asia. As a result, it has the potential to serve as India’s “Gateway to Southeast Asia.”
  • Electricity Resources: Due to the presence of the Brahmaputra and its tributaries, the North-Eastern area offers enormous potential for hydroelectric electricity. It has also been a source of crude oil and natural gas in the form of the Digboi oil fields.
  • Carbon Sink: As part of the Paris Summit, India has pledged to develop an additional 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon sink each year through its Nationally Determined Contributions. With its vast forest cover, North-Eastern India can play a significant part in such an endeavor.
  • Agricultural Resources: The North Eastern area is endowed with natural resources that are critical to the country’s economic progress.
  • Ecotourism and the Environment: Because of its lush green terrain, distinctive tribal culture, fresh air, agreeable climate, and different topography, the North Eastern area has the potential to be a tourist hotspot.

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Challenges in the North East Region

Physical Connectivity:
  • Difficult and hilly terrain, geographical location, and short working season pose a challenge to the development of optimal infrastructure and communication links within the region and with the rest of the country.

Infrastructural Bottlenecks:
  • The infrastructural bottlenecks include inadequate road and railway connectivity, power transmission and distribution, telecom connectivity, and the absence of airports in the region.
Digital Connectivity:
  • The objectives of improving mobile connectivity in all the villages in the region, improving high-speed internet connectivity, last mile internet connectivity from the village to a consumer have not been achieved satisfactorily.
Trade and Commerce:
  • The industrial scenario is not encouraging in terms of the number of factories as well as the shares of fixed capital, invested capital, net value-added and the number of workers in the industrial sector as compared to the all-India position.
Population and Education:
  • While there are number of colleges and universities, North East Region lags behind in quality education and lack of constructive higher educational institutions.
  • Natural Resources Utilization: Northeast India is a storehouse of natural resources that are essential for creating employment and generation of GDP in Northeast India are either underutilized, unutilized, and mismanaged.
External Security:
  • All eight states of the North-East have international borders with China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Myanmar, or Bhutan.
  • With such vast borders, there is always room for illegal immigration, arms smuggling, cattle, and commodity smuggling.
Internal Security: 
  • The North-Eastern states have witnessed a rise of insurgent activities and regional secessionist movements. Some of the insurgent groups are United ULFA, PLA, NSCN, and ATTF.
Territorial Conflicts:
  •  There are existing inter-state and international territorial conflicts within the Northeast that are often based on historical border disputes and differing ethnic, tribal or cultural affinities. Example: Assam-Mizoram Border Dispute.


  • The northeastern state boasts of high potential in many fields of economic and strategic endeavor that should be exploited responsibly.

Read also:- 2nd G20 Culture Group (CWG) Meeting In Odisha 

United ULFA, United ULFATroika for India’s Northeast Region,Troika for India’s Northeast Region,Troika for India’s Northeast Region

Manasvi Patidar

Serious Aspirants

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