The Nagaland Governor – Prof. Jagdish Mukhi noted that the northeastern state has been facing acute power deficit, as the state generates only 26 MW against the peak requirement of around 115 MW.
Addressing the 70th Plenary session of the North Eastern Council (NEC), the Nagaland Governor highlighted some of the issues been faced by the northeastern state, including – the acute power deficit, issue of employability, among others.
Considering the power sector as “critical for industrialization, technological advancements and overall economic development”, Prof. Mukhi urged the NEC to include power in the thrust areas.
In this regard, the state government has submitted a proposal “Construction of 2.4MW Duilumroi HEP at Peren district” to NEC for gap funding; thereby requesting the council to consider for sanction of this project.
He mentioned that capacity-building and skill development along the region can provide gainful employment to large number of educated unemployed youth in various fields.
“Nagaland is struggling with the problem of employability of the educated unemployed youth. It may be noted that the youth of today have high aspirations and expectations. When these aspirations are not met, frustration sets in and they are easily misled to take to crime and anti national activities. Most north-eastern states are confronted with insurgent activities and if we are to usher in peace and development in the region, the youth must be provided with opportunities to lead productive lives. These youths need to be imparted with the skills in tourism and hospitality, aviation, nursing, para – medics, wellness industry, music and entertainment, IT and the BPOs, sports, therapists, and specialized skills in automobile sector and in the construction sector,” – he stated.
The Nagaland Governor further added that “the various Naga tribes have their own rich costumes, patterns and crafts. Basketry, using bamboo and cane is an integral part of Naga activity; and therefore Nagaland has immense potential to export readymade apparel, handlooms, handicrafts and textile products to South-east Asian countries.”
Harnessing this skill commercially will provide better means of income particularly to womenfolk especially in the rural areas; and therefore the Nagaland Governor appealed NEC to provide due emphasis for development of loin-loom production of the NE States, as a promotion of traditional industry.
“Nagaland is an agrarian state. The future of the state lies in exploiting the opportunities in agriculture and allied activities. Commercial crops like coffee and rubber needs to be given a big push. Horticulture is another area where the state has immense potential. Crops like orange, kiwi, passion fruit, cucumbers and pineapples are suited for the soil and climatic conditions of the state. Spices like ginger, turmeric and Naga King chilly are grown in abundance. Value addition has to be created and organic certification is necessary to fetch good prices. We are living today in an age of advanced digital technology, where online services have made many services accessible to the common man at the click of a button. Many young aspiring entrepreneurs are starting small businesses operating from home and marketing their products online. However, the State is still struggling with poor internet connectivity. Therefore, NEC is requested to intervene in providing infrastructure for high speed internet connectivity upto the village level in the entire region,” – he added.
He mentioned that through the introduction of flagship initiative ‘Startup India’, the state government has also launched Nagaland Start-up Policy which aims to establish Nagaland as a model startup leader in the region, by creating a culture of entrepreneurship that nurtures creative and innovative youth, allowing them to build successful start-up companies, become job creators and contribute towards building a healthy and sustainable economy.
Under this, the state aims to facilitate growth of at least 500 start-ups in the next five years, with a focus on establishing innovative “Made in Nagaland” products and services. In this regard, NEC may intervene in establishing an Innovation hub that can house all the startups under one roof, on PPP mode.
Besides, coaching plays a vital role for candidates in clearing competitive exams. Most of the civil service aspirants from Nagaland cannot afford to go to New Delhi for coaching as the fees charged by these institutes has become very high.
As such, NEC may come forward in this field by tying up with a reputed coaching institute for providing online coaching classes at subsidized rates which will immensely help the civil service aspirants.
During the session, he also pointed-out the significance of sportpersons and added that “athletes from the region are bringing laurels to the country in various international events and competitions. NEC is requested to include sports as one of the thrust areas. Apart from creating sporting infrastructure, there is need to create opportunities for developing the skills and providing exposure to young people at the National and International levels. It will be very good if NEC could organize junior level interstate football tournament in line with Senior Level Dr.T.Ao North East Football Tournament which will give the necessary platform and exposure for young talents.”