GUWAHATI, Sept 27 - A two-day international conference on Look (Act) East Policy and North East India was organized by the Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development (Institute) in collaboration with North Eastern Council, Shillong and Planning and Development Department, Government of Assam, at the seminar hall of the Institute on September 25 and 26, 2015, said a press release here today.
The inaugural session was chaired by the Director of the Institute and attended by CK Das, Member, NEC, and KV Eapen, Additional Chief Secretary, Planning and Development, Government of Assam.
In his keynote address, Prof Atul Sarma, Chairman of the Institute, exhorted the policy makers to make Northeast India central to the Look East Policy framework. He said that the Look (Act) East Policy is very important because with its promulgation, the Government of India has developed, for the first time, a roadmap for economic integration of the region with the rest of India and Southeast Asia. He suggested certain preconditions in order to develop Northeast India as central to the Look (Act) East Policy, namely � developing a unified market for all Northeastern states, making the region a hub for production of goods and developing infrastructure of the region, particularly its road connectivity.
There were five technical sessions in the conference that focused on issues like the achievement of Look East Policy so far, the issues of connectivity, trade and investment, India�s other multilateral engagements and its relations vis-�-vis Look East Policy and the challenges and opportunities in building strategic partnerships keeping Northeast India in focus.
The conference saw the participation of distinguished academicians and policy experts from different institutions of South and Southeast Asia, like Dago Tshering, former Ambassador of Bhutan to India; Dr Walter Fernandez, Animation and Research Centre, Yangon, Myanmar; Dr Piti Srisangnam, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and Dr Shankaran Nambiar, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research.
Distinguished academicians like Prof Atul Sarma, Prof AC Bhagabati, Prof Mahendra Lama, Prof Swaran Singh, Prof Madhurjya Prasad Bezbaruah, Dr Prasenjit Biswas, Dr Rakhee Bhattacharya, Dr Munmun Mazumdar, Dr Ashis Nath, Dr Thongkholal Haokip, policy framers and bureaucrats like CK Das, IAS, KV Eapen, HN Das, Madan Prasad Bezbaruah, Amb Sudhir Devare and journalists from the region namely Rajib Bhattacharya, Mrinal Talukdar and Samudra Gupta Kashyap and China Correspondent of The Hindu Atul Aneja.
A plethora of suggestions and recommendations were made during the course of the conference and it was decided that all of them would be incorporated in a thematic policy brief, to be brought out by the Institute soon. The Chairman of the Institute also anticipated that this would materialize into action plan in the coming years. The Institute would soon take up research agenda in this respect in collaboration with institutes from across the region, said the press release.