Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu attending the 6th NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting through video conferencing, in Itanagar on Saturday. – Photo: Correspondent

ITANAGAR, Feb 21: Lauding the Centre’s New Education Policy, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has pitched for including Northeast India’s history and culture in the national curriculum to reinforce national integration in the true spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’.

Speaking virtually in the 6th NITI Aayog Governing Council meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Khandu said the Central government must include the history and culture of the region in the national curriculum to increase awareness about the rich culture and history of the northeastern States at the national level.

He said the State government would localise State-specific curriculum of culture and traditions at primary level and Arunachal history at middle school level.

On behalf of the entire Northeast, he expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues for giving special attention to the region and said that under the present government, all the States of the region have witnessed accelerated development and benefited from welfare schemes.

He informed that the State government has cancelled almost all the MoUs signed with private parties earlier for development of hydropower in the State. He said only Central government agencies would be roped in to undertake hydropower development in the State keeping in mind the environmental impact and people’s wish, and sought the Centre’s support in this regard.

The Chief Minister said that physical infrastructure like roads have come up in the State like never before. Thanking the Centre for the same, he requested relaxation in criteria for implementation of PMGSY schemes for Arunachal Pradesh.

“We still have about 1,047 villages that remain to be connected by road as they do not qualify for inclusion under PMGSY. If the criteria are relaxed a bit, these villages can be connected in the next few years,” he said.

To push forward the objective of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, Khandu said the State government is focusing on agriculture and horticulture, besides turning the State into a manufacturing hub.

“We have abundant land resources. Therefore, we are implementing cluster farming and nutritional kitchen garden schemes across the State. The Centre may handhold us in establishing food processing industry in a big way. We are happy to inform that we have concentrated on ‘ease of doing business’ and have a policy in place,” he informed.

Appreciating the Centre for assuring 4G digital connectivity to about 1,683 habitats in the region, Khandu requested that the scheme be implemented in a time-bound manner so that the objective of ‘Digital India’ initiative can be achieved on time.

He requested for setting up an all-girl Sainik School and a Central Medical College in the State.

Khandu lauded the Prime Minister for leading from the front in the fight against COVID-19. “With your guidance sir, Arunachal Pradesh could successfully tackle the pandemic. Recent survey by the Union Health Ministry has revealed that our recovery rate is one of the best and the mortality rate in one of the lowest in the country,” he said.