Govt announces slew of projects for Northeastern States

S Ronendra Singh Guwahati (Assam) | Updated on August 11, 2018 Published on August 11, 2018

Ravi Shankar Prasad

Ravi Shankar Prasad lays foundation stone for electronics cluster in Guwahati


In an effort to make the Northeastern States digitally strong, the government on Saturday has released 'Digital Northeast Vision 2022' in which it is spending around Rs. 10,000 crore in the next four years in eight areas such as digital infrastructure, digital service, digital empowerment, promotion of electronics manufacturing, BPOs and cyber security.

Under this vision, the government is expected to roll out 400 programmes in the next four years.

“The idea is to leverage digital technologies to transform the lives of the people of the north-eastern region and ensure inclusive and sustainable growth,” Electronics and IT, and Law & Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said here.

Chief Ministers of Meghalaya and Tripura also attended the event, apart from Assam Chief Minister.

“This is the first time that the central government has conducted an in-depth analysis of the strength and weaknesses of the various states in the north-eastern region before finalising a comprehensive investment programme as part of the ‘Digital North-East Vision 2022’,” Prasad said.

He said the idea is to bring the states at par with the other regions of the country. Prasad also laid foundation stone of an electronics cluster site at Guwahati, which will be completed in the next 11 months.

"This electronic manufacturing cluster must be one of the fastest approved projects by the Central government and I am grateful to our lT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad for making it real in just a few months of our request," Sarbananda Sonowal, Chief Minister of Assam said.

The programmes also aim to give a boost to the telecom infrastructure in the region, where some of the States share their borders with China. This will require investment of Rs 7,800 crore for enhancing towers, optic fibre and other connectivity infrastructure.

“Improving mobile connectivity and providing high-speed Internet through fibre, wireless and other alternate technologies will be worked out. Also, we will focus on enhancing the digital delivery of government services and increasing the participation of the local population in such initiatives,” Prasad said.

As part of this Digital Northeast Vision 2022, a cloud hub for northeast will be created at Guwahati. Capacity for 50,000 State government employees will also be taken up in use of digital technologies including GST ad digital payments, he said.

The government is also looking at providing mobile-based services in the official language of the various States for better connect with the locals. Special provision will also be made to empower women in digital programmes, as per the Vision Document,

Prasad said that the number of BPO seats provided for the region will also doubled to to over 10,000 from 5,000 till now. “We are hoping to mobilise youth from the north-eastern region in the digital initiatives to provide them employment opportunities right at their door-step."

"Central government is resolved to improve governance in north eastern states for which all necessary measures will be supported by the central government. As Central government initiatives, all the six medical colleges in the region will get e-class facility and all hospitals will be linked to e-services for which states will only bear the cost of infrastructure," Prasad said.

The government also plans to encourage the setting up of start-ups in the region in line with major technology hubs such as Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Gurugram. Start-ups and innovation hubs will be set up to provide a comprehensive ecosystem and support to new digital initiatives.

"The region being gateway to India would get all Central support in promoting electronic manufacturing and with this purpose, Centre would welcome proposals from the State governments," Prasad added.

Published on August 11, 2018
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