Policy Analysis

One of the primary objectives the Centre is to develop different development policies for states of North Eastern Region. Initially, the Centre has identified six different sectors such as Handicraft, Horticulture, Handloom, Tourism, Business Process Outsourcing and Logistics, which have the potentiality to drive the economic development of North Eastern Region. The Centre is engaging with analysing different policies of these six sectors.

Research Highlights

The handicrafts sector is considered as the second-largest employment generating sector after agriculture in India, with numerous artisans engaged in craftwork on a part-time basis (68.89 per cent of Indian population is lives in the rural area). However, due to its highly fragmented and unorganised nature, it has led to scattered development of the handicrafts sector in the country with disappointing attempts made by several government and other agencies. Therefore, a detailed preliminary study was conducted for the respective sector to understand the ground reality as well as the opportunities available in the handicrafts sector with addition to suggesting measures to fulfil the policy gaps so to aim at an overall growth and development of the sector. Furthermore, a second study is in progress to know the current gaps and challenges of the handicraft industry in the global, national and regional level, with particular reference to the North Eastern States.

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A study has been undertaken on the Handloom sector of north east India by analysing secondary data, to understand the handloom industry in India and especially in North East India, keeping in view the long-term goal of "Handloom Policy formulation" for NER states. The primary focus of the Report (Status of Handloom sector in NER and Challenges of Handloom sector in NER) is to analyse the current state of the Handloom industry in North East India and its contribution towards generating sustainable employment and income for weavers, The next Report analyses the issues and challenges concerning the sector .

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Horticulture is a critical sector that raises the economic level of the people of the North East Region, making them self resilient and offering food security. The demand for horticultural produce is increasing in both domestic and international market. The horticultural crops of northeast include fruits like pineapple, oranges and citrus, strawberries, jackfruit, kiwi to mention a few. While flowers like roses, anthuriums, gerberas, gladioli’s, chrysanthemum find a profitable market outside the northeast, vegetables from the states of Assam and Meghalaya are exported to neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. Good infrastructure plays a vital role in the development of horticulture of a region. Rural infrastructure is a prerequisite for significantly improving the quality of human life and accelerating the process of agricultural development. It has the potential to transform the existing conventional agriculture or subsistence farming into advance, commercial and dynamic farming system. Notwithstanding the critical role that horticulture plays in modern communities, globally, horticulture is undergoing significant challenges which impact the production of crops and research and development. Many of these challenges are quite recent and are of considerable magnitude. The challenges that are faced with the horticulture sector is mostly with storing the harvested products, transporting them and finding a potentially lucrative market. If these problems faced by the farmers are met with immediate solutions, then horticulture sector of the North Eastern Region will be one of the best performing sectors with regards to income and sustainable livelihood practices. The Centre has prepared a Report on the Current states of the Horticultural sector and is now preparing the next report on the Challenges of Horticultural sector in North East India.

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The Centre has also undertaken a research study to prepare a Report on the current status of the Tourism sector in North East India. The Report provides an overall understanding of the tourism industry in the region. It focuses on the trend of the foreign and domestic tourist arrivals into the region, the economic impact of Tourism in each of the northeastern states, the state-wise expenditures on the sector and it examines the various tourism product of the northeastern states. Another ongoing research study focuses on the Gaps and Challenges, which are the primary missing links and issues of the tourism sector in the different states of the northeastern region.

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The logistics sector is an essential and significant infrastructure requirement in North Eastern Region of India (NER), and its importance has been highlighted in the upcoming reports “Status of the logistics sector in the North Eastern Region of India" which gives an overview of the current scenario of the logistics sector in NER. It also provides information about the Government initiatives and policies to develop the necessary infrastructure and strengthen connectivity in NER. The analysis of this research has incited the search for another report “Gaps and challenges faced by the logistics sector in NER." This report emphasis on the infrastructure gap intensified skill gap situation that exists in the NER logistics industry. The ongoing research in the Centre also tries to focus on the role of the logistics sector in reviving the state's economy post-COVID-19 as the revival of the state’s economy needs a reliable logistics and supply chain backbone for its growth.

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In the presence of a large pool of English-speaking and comparatively cheap labour force, it is natural to expect that the North Eastern Region will be home to the BPO sector of the country, which however has not been the case. Therefore, a report has been prepared to make a comprehensive study for understanding the contemporary scenario, existing problems and prospects of the sector which are deemed to be of great significance for the promotion of this sunrise industry in NER. With this objective in mind, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Centre for Policy Research and Analysis envisions to play a vital role by assisting the states of NER with adequate guidance in significant areas of empirical analysis, development planning, policy formulation and framing strategies for BPO sector, based on both secondary and primary sets of data. The very initial research under the Centre is inspired by the motive of finding the competitive advantages, the current scenario and future opportunities for developing a sturdy BPO sector in the North-East part of India. Through the entire study, a factual analysis has been presented, highlighting the positive aspects as well as current impediments associated with the sector in NER. Further, another set of research is under progress which is aimed at deciphering the risks associated with this rapidly evolving service sector and finding out redressal measures. The study seeks to throw light on the myriad of deficiencies and challenges faced in the NE region while incubating and sustaining activities as third-party vendors or merely as a BPO entity. The infrastructural deficiencies combined with poor management skills, workforce restraints and inefficient policy measures have been preventing an enduring and pervading development of ITeS industry, basically BPOs in the Region. However, the research done so far suggests that the industry has the potential to grow at a significant pace in North East Region, if provided with the right set of strategies and other supporting facilities.