NEW DELHI, Feb 28: 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 said here today that the Northeast youth are blessed with natural talent and the unique feature is that these youngsters have the capacity to excel both in academic curriculum as well as activities requiring physical attributes. While on the one hand, some of the best faculty in leading Universities of Delhi and other metropolis comprise of young scholars from Northeast, on the other hand, some of the world-level sports persons and medalists also hail from the same region, he said.
Addressing a felicitation programme hosted in the honour of young sports persons from Northeast who had made it to the recently held Rio Olympics, Dr Jitendra Singh said, one of the issues confronting the region today is mass exodus of the youth from the eight States to other parts of the country and even abroad. The most common factors responsible for this, he said, are lack of avenues to pursue higher education or to groom the aptitude / talent and secondly, lack of avenues of vocation. If these issues are addressed effectively, he said, there would be significant decline in the youth preferring to go outside of Northeast and would instead stay back and serve their native States.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, soon after the formation of government in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the setting up of a world-class Sports University in Manipur, considering the fact that this region produced maximum number of athletes, Olympians and medalists, but most of them achieved this only through informal or voluntary training. The idea was, he said, that if there was an institutionalized grooming of the talent, not only more and more youngsters will become achievers, but the exceeding achievers will also be able to raise their medal tally and number of awards. However, he regretted that due to lack of cooperation from the State Government, the project is yet to take off.
Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to a number of initiatives undertaken by the DoNER Ministry with youth of Northeast as the focus. These, for example, he said, include establishing “Dr A.P.J. Kalam Chair of Learning” at Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Shillong and decision to set up Brahmaputra Study Centre at Guwahati University. Similarly, under the “Start up India” programme, he said, the DoNER Ministry has decided to offer “Venture Fund” to any youngster who wishes to set up an entrepreneurship in Northeast.
MoS Home Kiren Rijiju, while speaking on the occasion, referred to the changing scenario in the region, which had created a more conducive atmosphere for the youth to pursue their desired goals. He also congratulated the sports persons who had done India proud by making it to Rio Olympics.
Among the world-class sports persons who attended the felicitation function were Dipa Karmakar (Gymnastics), P. Sushila Chanu (Hockey-Women), H. Lal Ruatfeli (Hockey-Women), L. Bombayla Devi (Archery), K. Chinglensan Singh (Hockey-Men), K. Kothajit Singh (Hockey-Men) and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (Weightlifting)