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Policy for the North East: A Bird’s Eye View

North Eastern Region (NER) comprising of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura are all special category States and the national planning and resource allocations impart a special emphasis on the economic and social development of the region. The development plans in the North East are centrally financed on the basis of 90% grant and 10% loan.

The Department of Higher Education has launched a number of schemes for the educational development in the region to be implemented through State Governments and through the agencies other than State Governments viz. autonomous bodies/NGOs, etc. As per the instant Government orders, Department of Higher Education earmark about 10% of its Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) for implementing these schemes in the region.

The Planning Commission has approved the Plan outlay of Rs.6483.00 crore for 2007-08 for the Department of Higher Education. Out of this, an outlay of Rs.640.30 crore has been earmarked for the North East. As on 25.01.2008 Rs.177.22 crores have been sanctioned during the current financial year. The shortfall in utilization of this 10% provision (by any Ministry/Department except some exempted ones) is automatically transferred to the Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) administered by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) for funding specific development programmes in the North Eastern Region. During 2007-08(as on 30.11.2007), proposals worth Rs.51.87 crore has been released for various infrastructure development projects in the region.

GOI’S MAJOR INITIATIVES IN NORTH EASTERN REGION DURING 2007.

Setting up of an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in NER.

In view of the felt need of expansion of facilities for high quality management education & research in the North East, the Government has been established an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Shillong, Meghalaya (named after former PM, Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi). The Government of Meghalaya has agreed to provide land free of cost for RGIIM at Shillong. The State Government has made an appropriate temporary accommodation available and the academic session is likely to commence from 2008-09.

Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh, and Tripura University, Agartala, Tripura have been converted into Central Universities in 2007.

Established a Central University in Sikkim in 2007.

National Institute of Technology (NIT), Agartala:

The NIT, Agartala (the erstwhile Tripura Engineering College (TEC), Agartala) would be integrated with other National Institutes of Technology (NITs) in terms of academic and administrative practices from the academic session 2006-2007.

Up gradation of Manipur Institute of Technology (MIT) into a National Institute of Technology (NIT):

The Central Government has approved, in principle, the up gradation of the Manipur Institute of Technology (MIT) to that of National Institute of Technology (NIT). In this regard, a Central Team has conducted Feasibility Study for conversion / upgradation of MIT as NIT. The central team has submitted its report, which is under consideration of the Ministry.

Setting up of Engineering and Management faculties in the North Eastern States:

In order to tackle the problem of regional imbalances in access to higher education, wherever engineering and / or management faculty are not available, and such faculty has been sanctioned in one Central University in each State of the North East. Such faculty has also been sanctioned to one State University in those States of the North East, where there is no Central University. The Ministry has allocated over Rs.100.00 crore for the universities of the NE region from the additional Rs.153.00 crore provided by the Planning Commission under the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP).

The courses in Engineering and Management have been started in all such universities except Mizoram. The Mizoram University has also started Management Programme in July 2007 and the University is working on the project to start Engineering Programme from the academic year 2008-09. The Universities have projected requirement of additional funds to the UGC for building up of necessary infrastructure as well as expansion of academic programmes in these two faculties.

During the Financial Year 2007-08, the Govt. has earmarked a sum of Rs.239.23 crore for Central Universities located in North East Region. It is expected that with the increased allocation during the 11th Plan period, it should be possible for the UGC to release necessary funds.

LANGUAGE DIVISION.

DEVELOPMENT OF HINDI LANGUAGE:

Development of Hindi language is undertaken in the North East Region through Central Hindi Directorate (CHD) and Kendriya Hindi Sansthan (KHS), Agra.

The Central Hindi Directorate is a subordinate office of Ministry of Human Resources Development. The objective of the Directorate is propagation and development of Hindi as a link language. The Directorate has its centre at Guwahati.

The Kendriya Hindi Sansthan is an autonomous organization of the Ministry of HRD. The objectives of the Sansthan is to improve the standards of teaching of Hindi at various levels. The Sansthan conducts Hindi Language Teaching and Training Programmes by applying the latest methodologies of language learning and teaching. It has centers at Guwahati, Shillong and Dimapur. Guwahati Centre covers the states of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Sikkim states. Shillong Centre covers Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram states. Dimapur Center covers Nagaland and Manipur states. Short terms courses for imparting knowledge of Modem Methodologies of Language Teaching to the in-service Hindi teachers and workers of Voluntary organizations engaged in Propagation of Hindi and Hindi Teaching and Training are regularly conducted by these centers.

CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF INDIAN LANGUAGES (CIIL), MYSORE:

The Central Institute of Indian Languages was established to help evolve/implement the Language Policy of the Government of India and coordinate the development of Indian languages by conducting research in the areas of language analysis, language pedagogy, language technique and language use in society. It has a Regional Centre at Guwahati.

Under CIIL’s North-Eastern Projects 2007-08 (i.e. NER activities), 43 teachers are now undergoing 10 Month Training Program in Language Education in Guwahati at the NERLC [North East Regional Language Centre] since April 2008. Under the North East Language Development, 20 resource persons are working on 15 NER languages covering 6 states- Manipur, Assam. Meghalaya, Arunachal, Nagaland and Tripura. A major project Linguistic and Cultural Documentation of Sikkim has also been undertake.

The following are the other NER programmes:

Two workshops on revision of Mother tongue text books in 17 tribal languages recognized in schools were organized at Kohima, Nagaland. In Assam, one workshop on teaching tribal mother tongues was organized at Guwahati, one at Kokrajhar and two in Silchar. The other activities included preparation of a Pictorial Glossary of Kok Borok (Tripura), Monpa (Arunachal Pradesh) and Kuki –Chin Languages (Manipur).

Over 30 resource persons of Northeast region were trained in the 40-day Summer School of Linguistics organized in May-June at Mysore. In addition, the institute, in collaboration with the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), is organizing a programme called NEWSOL-North East Winter School of Linguistics – to train 150 Resource persons in language analysis and language documentation.

Seminars on issues related to development of script and understanding the linguistic scene in Northeast India were conducted at Shillong, and Workshops on preparation of multilingual dictionary viz-Bodo, Brishnupnya Manipuri, Tiwa, Rabha, Deori, and Misin were also held.

PROMOTION OF URDU LANGUAGE:

The National C ouncil for Promotion of Urdu Language is an autonomous organization for promotion of Urdu Language through various schemes such as those of Calligraphy Training Centres, production and publication of books and schemes for correspondence courses in Urdu.

The various activities have been undertaken for development and promotion of Urdu Language in the North East Region under the approved scheme. One Year Diploma in Computer Application and Multilingual DTP to give technical education to Urdu speaking boys and girls for getting employment in IT field.

Financial assistance to voluntary organizations to hold seminar/lecture series have been sanctioned. A National Seminar on the ‘Impact of Mir on Urdu Poetry’ was held from 26th to 28th Oct. 2007 in Imphal, Manipur. An Urdu Mela to promote the sale of Urdu books was held at Guwahati from 12th to 18th Jan 2008.

73 Urdu Study Centre established in NER to teach ‘One year course of Urdu Diploma’ through Distance Education.

To promote classical languages Arabic and Persian and to preserve cultural heritage of India, 10 Arabic Study Centres were established NER to impact Two year Diploma and One-year Certificate course in functional Arabic.

SCHEME OF APPOINTMENT OF LANGUAGE TEACHERS:

The scheme has three component:-

100% financial assistance to State/UT Government for salary of Appointment of Hindi Teachers in the Non-Hindi speaking States.

100% financial assistance to the State/UT Government for Appointment of Urdu Teachers and Grant of Honorarium for teaching Urdu.

100% financial assistance for appointment of Teachers in other languages.

During the year 2007-08 the funds amounting to Rs.244 lakhs are provided to Mizoram for appointment of 687 Hindi Teachers.

(Courtesy PIB)

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