The North East has had serious challenges when it comes to the exodus of youth from the region due to lack of opportunities. There has been little of strategic significance that has been undertaken to stem this flow and counter the rampant disillusionment, which, amongst other things, has led to insurgency in the region.
NEC, the retirement plan for bureaucrats & its failures
The North Eastern Council (NEC) can and must play a vital role in addressing this issue – besides other extremely relevant issues - with an innovative approach, however the body has rendered itself irrelevant by its lackadaisical approach to the problem. It was felt and possibly rightly so, that those with administrative experience might be best suited to understand and address these problems, however regrettably it has been noted that down the years, the Council has become a retirement plan for bureaucrats and an old’ boys club, where old contacts get precedence and little censure is placed on the use of funds, leading to frequent charges of large-scale corruption. Furthermore, even though the term of these assignments (of Member, NEC) is restricted to three years, we have seen in at least one instance that the incumbent has carried on for eight years till a regulation was put in place. As a result, inertia has set into the system and rendered this organization a paper tiger.
NEC needs young blood, new approach
At a time when the Union Government is opening up lateral positions to area experts in the bureaucracy, it is essential to do the same with the NEC. It would be a much needed break in form – if the two positions of NEC Members that are to be filled are assigned to younger members from civil society, who have experience in the real world and do not draw from the same pool of bureaucratic certainties, in order to deftly tackle the demands and pressures of the present.
Recently, the baton of the NEC Chairman has been passed on to the Union Home Minister – a move interpreted in concerned circles as a step closer towards a more elaborate rejig within the NEC in the times to come, especially in regard to its approach, functioning and profile of its Members are concerned.
Image Source: necouncil.gov.in