Centre's decision to include the North-Eastern 'Seven Sisters' in the vision document of India's ‘Trillion dollar digital opportunity' is a welcome move. It is time that the North East is really integrated with the nation in every sense. The political and emotional neglect of the region is dangerous for the country and its integrity. North East has always been meted out injustices in every way and this has resulted in several militant movements seeking separation. The simmering North East has awaited a healing touch since the Independence.
The Vision Document for Digital North East 2022 released by the Centre the other day provides the roadmap for bringing about a digital transformation of the North East region through an accelerated implementation of the various initiatives under the Digital India programme of the government. Simultaneously, a foundation was laid for the Common Facilitation Centre and Smart Meter Manufacturing facility in Electronics Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) in Tech City, Bongara Village in Assam for promotion of electronics manufacturing in the North East.
This move came along with the foundation-stone laying of four NIELIT (National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology) permanent centres in Guwahati, Shillong, Lunglei and Gangtok. The NIC (National Informatics Centre) launched the Secure, Scalable and Sugamya website as a service website for Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura. There is more to rejoice for the citizens of North East. ‘StateMyGov’ portals have been launched for Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura. Software Technology Park of India' s incubation Centre was inaugurated in Agartala, Aizawl and Shillong.
A BPO centre under the North East BPO Promotion Scheme was inaugurated in Majuli, Assam. To further boost the technology, the Manipur State Data Centre is being migrated to the cloud centre. Tripura students will now enjoy the Nation Research and Education Network that offers virtual classroom facility. Nagaland e-district too has been integrated with the Secondary Education Board of Assam. Topping it all, a comprehensive GIS based Decision Support System for North East States and North Eastern District Resource Plan Geo-P)ortal were also launched.
Integrating North East has always been critical to the digitisation of socio-economic sphere of the country. This is a unique territory in many aspects including geographical terrain, rich and variegated culture of the people and their requirements. Each State has its set of critical requirements demanding special attention. It is in this context that the Government's resolve should be commended. The opportunities for growth and development would be leaping now and the youth are on par with the rest of India and improving their skills and securing jobs.
North East has been two decades behind in digitalisation process. With the current initiatives one could say that justice has been delivered at last. The aspirational youth of North East had always looked at the rest of India with pain at the denial of equal opportunities to them. The ill-treatment of North Eastern students in the hands of the 'mainlanders' has always been a cause of concern. Geographical, political and developmental limitations have backwardised the States. One would only hope that this will change it all.