NEW DELHI, Jan 6: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh announced here today the formation of exclusive “North-Eastern Tourism Development Council” (NETDC) on a public-private partnership (PPP) mode under the auspices of union Ministry of DoNER. This, he said, is for the first time in the history of independent India that the Government of India has decided to set up a separate tourism development agency devoted to a particular region of the country.
Speaking to media persons after releasing separate calendars for the year 2017 by the North Eastern Council (NEC) and the Ministry of DoNER respectively, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the setting up of an exclusive North-Eastern Tourism Council is also a reflection of the high priority that the Modi government accords to the development of the peripheral States of Northeast.
While North-Eastern Tourism Council is yet another addition to several new innovative initiatives undertaken with regard to Northeast, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the year of 2016 was also marked by several new initiatives which were, the first of their kind, in the history of independent India. These, for example, included the setting up of “Venture Fund” as initial capital assistance for any young entrepreneur or start-up who wishes to launch an establishment or venture in the North-Eastern region.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, he was proud to declare that in October 2016, the Ministry of DoNER set up “Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research & Analysis” at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Shillong. This, he said, was our humble way of paying tribute to the iconic scientist Dr Kalam who had breathed his last during a lecture-visit to the same venue.
The “North-East Road Sector Development Scheme” (NERSDS) is also, the first of its kind, region-based road development programme in India which was launched during 2015-16, said Dr Jitendra Singh and added that it has particularly proved to be a great blessing for maintenance, construction and upgradation of such roads which remain neglected either because of being low in the priority or being interconnecting roads between two States as a result of which they remain un-owned and had thus gained the dubious distinction of being described as “orphan roads”.
The North-East Council Calendar for 2017 carries the theme of “seasonal fruits” in different parts of the year, whereas the DoNER calendar bears the theme of “livelihood” for young startups and entrepreneurs.
Senior officers from the Ministry of DoNER were present on the occasion.