From ‘Look East Policy’ To ‘Act East Policy’
We are all aware of India’s “Look East” policy. This policy has now been converted by PM Narendra Modi to the “Act East” policy. The Prime Minister recently inaugurated a number of projects in several northeastern states of India, such as Tripura and Manipur. From a strategic and geopolitical prism, the significance of the northern development agenda is unparalleled for the country. This is because India borders a number of countries like China, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Moreover, the northeast is connected with the remaining country through Siliguri via a narrow stretch of land. Hence, the northeast has massive security dynamics and political implications on the entire country. Also, until this part of India is properly developed and integrated completely into the mainstream, problems will prevail.
Currently, the Center is pushing to enhance connectivity in the northeast with Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh as they are essentially the geopolitical contours of that area. A lot has changed in the past year in this part of India as the PM inaugurates projects in northeastern India with vigor and continued strategies. According to an analyst, it is extremely important for the country to develop northeast India from an economic and security point of view.
In a study, the Australian Institute of International Affairs noted that even though the northeastern states of India are physically, economically, and numerically small, they are gaining an important strategic value with time. Moreover, with the engagement of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the northeast is transforming into a central pillar of the foreign policy direction of the country. Furthermore, these states play a vital role because they bridge the physical gap between Southeast Asia and India.
Development & Economic Growth In Northeast India
In his official address, the Prime Minister mentioned that the northeastern states will transform into the “new gate of development.” For this development to take place, it is important for the Center to push even more investments in order to boost the region’s manufacturing sector. According to sources, several development projects are already in the pipeline. The focus lies in boosting connectivity and developing the area.
It is noteworthy that boosting jobs is of paramount importance in this regard. Moreover, this can only be done with the flourish of the manufacturing sector. It is crucial to employ the youth to change the socio-economic structure of northeast India.
The upcoming assembly elections in Manipur will tell what lies ahead for the northeastern part of India.