North Eastern Council (NEC) is under the administrative purview of Ministry of Development of the North-Eastern Region (MDoNER). Established by an Act of the Parliament in 1971 (Act No. 84 of 1971), NEC was formally inaugurated on 7th November, 1972 at Shillong, Meghalaya, marking the beginning of a new chapter of concerted and planned endeavor on the part of the Government of India for the North Eastern Region. Originally consisting of the seven states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, Sikkim was included as the eighth member state through the NEC (Amendment) Act, 2002 (68 of 2002).
NEC has made significant contributions to the socio-economic development of the North Eastern region, as an Advisory body and as a Planning body. Some of the most iconic Institutions of the North Eastern Region such as the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal; North East Police Academy (NEPA), Shillong; North East Region Institute of Water and Land Management (NERIWALM), Tezpur; North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC), Shillong; Dr. Bhubaneswar Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI) Guwahati etc. have been set up with NEC support. Besides, NEC has supported significant capital and infrastructure development investment – over 11,500 km of Roads have been constructed, 694 MW of power generating capacity installed, approximately 9,000 Ckt-km of transmission and distribution lines erected. NEC has also taken up the improvement of connectivity infrastructure – 5 major airports in collaboration with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and 11 Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) projects and Four Inter-State Truck Terminus (ISTT) projects – across different States in the NE Region, to ease out interstate trade and movement of people.
NEC has created valuable capital and social infrastructure, especially in critical gap areas across Education, Health, Sports, Water Resources, Agriculture, Tourism and Industries etc. sectors, in all the States of the Region. This has greatly benefitted the North Eastern Region and built immense goodwill for the Council among the local population. A third-party evaluation of the Schemes of NEC conducted in 2019-20 indicated that over all the projects are planned and conceived well in keeping with the needs and demands of the place it is to be implemented and that a majority of the on-going projects are delivering or will deliver the intended and planned results/ objectives.
The policy deliberations at the NEC are conducted at the Plenary meetings of the Council. Since 1972, the NEC Plenary has been held in various North Eastern States and the national capital on seventy occasions. The deliberations of the Plenaries, which include suggestions and recommendations by the Governors and Chief Ministers of the North Eastern States, have informed and influenced policies and interventions by both the Central and State Governments. Following the deliberations of the 65th NEC Plenary Session at Shillong in 2016, NEC has taken steps to setup a state-of-the-art resource centre, equipped with the necessary resources, knowledge and skills, to augment the efforts of the States and the implementing agencies to plan and execute projects, promote research & innovations and provide strategic policy vision for the region. The APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research and Analysis was set up under IIM-Shillong in October 2016, and the North East Resource Centre in the NEC in December 2021.
As per the decision at the 70th Plenary meeting held at Guwahati in October 2022, the Golden Jubilee of the NEC is being now celebrated in a befitting manner in Shillong on the 18th December 2022 – where an official meeting of the NEC and another public meeting are being organized. The official internal meeting of the Council and selected invitees to be held at the State Convention Centre Auditorium, Shillong, will be graced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister as the Chief Guest. Later on the same day, approximately 10,000 people, including prominent persons, achievers, representatives of Self-Help Groups and Farmers’ Groups and common citizen from all the eight NE States, are expected to join the public meeting to be held at the Polo Grounds, Shillong.
On this momentous occasion, a commemorative volume chronicling NEC’s contribution towards the development of the North Eastern Region over the last fifty years will be released by the Hon’ble Chief Guest. It will document the journey of the NEC and its role in the development of the Region in 12 chapters, capturing its ongoing interventions and including a chapter on the vision of the NEC.
For promotion of Hindi, NEC has taken up the initiative to support State Universities and Government Colleges in the North Eastern states for setting up and strengthening of Hindi Sections in Libraries in their own campuses. The 21 Hindi Libraries being supported in 5 states in the first phase are planned for inauguration during the Golden Jubilee celebrations. Apart from the above, infrastructure and development projects with a total cost of nearly 2500 crore are either being inaugurated or foundation-stone being laid by the Hon’ble Prime Minister during the Golden Jubilee celebrations.