- Historical backwardness
- Geographical remoteness
- Sparse population
- Difficult terrain
- and strategic location.
Income tax exemptions are also provided to ST population of the northeast region. Many affirmative actions have been taken by the government so that ST population can get access to higher education and government jobs. These interventions have brought about a substantial change in the region, but some issues still remain as a challenge.
Some of the significant transformations in the region.
- The literacy rate of all the states of NER was more than the national average in the 2011 census, the highest being Mizoram at 91.3 percent.
- The sex ratio of the states of the NER was more than the national average in 2011, except Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
- The infant mortality in 2016 was well below the national average, with Manipur being the lowest at 11 deaths per 1,000 live births.
- In 2011-12, as per the Tendulkar Committee report, all the states of the NER had poverty ratio less than the national average, except Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
Some of the sectors which are needed to be worked upon.
In the Health sector,
- According to NFHS-4 data, the percentage of institutional deliveries is the lowest in this region except in Sikkim, Mizoram, and Tripura.
- Manipur has the highest adult prevalence of HIV in the country, followed by Mizoram and Nagaland.
- High tobacco consumption, poor hygiene are the primary cause of cancer.
- There is an absence of adequate diagnostic and treatment facilities.
In the education sector,
- As per U-DISE 2016-17, the dropout rate from primary schools is the highest in NER, the worst in Arunachal Pradesh at 23.6 percent.
- The NER has the highest percentage of poor quality rural classrooms in the country.
- The All India Survey of Higher Education report 2017-18 points out that the gross enrollment ratio in higher education for five out of the eight NER states is below the national average of 25.8 percent.
Rural Infrastructure and connectivity,
Significant improvements can be seen in rural infrastructure and connectivity under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Border Area Development Programme. The recently-commissioned airports at Pakyong in Sikkim and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh can be marked as a historic achievement. But still, state highways and rural roads are not well constructed.
On the employment front,
- The work participation rate in the NER is marginally lower.
- Racial prejudice and discrimination have made matters worse for the youth of northeast to work in other parts of India.
To be socially, and economically sustainable, India’s growth story needs to be inclusive. However, the country’s northeast has been experiencing a comparatively slower pace of industrialization and socio-economic growth.
The region has certain distinct advantages. With the combined efforts of all stakeholders and proper resource allocation framework, northeast of India can be raised to higher levels of inclusive developments.