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North-East India refers to the easternmost region of Indiamarker consisting of the contiguous Seven Sister States, Sikkimmarker, and parts of North Bengal (districts of Darjeelingmarker, Jalpaigurimarker, and Koch Biharmarker). North-East India is ethnically, linguistically and culturally very distinct from the other states of India. This region is officially recognized as a special category of states. The North East Council (NEC) was constituted in 1971 as the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the eight states, the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) was incorporated on August 9, 1995 and the Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region (DONER) was set up in September 2001.

Of these, Sikkim became an Indian protectorate in 1947 and a full state in 1975. The states border Nepalmarker, Bhutanmarker, Chinamarker, Myanmarmarker and Bangladeshmarker. However they share only a 21 km common border with the rest of India via the Siliguri Corridor (Chicken's Neck).


A ferocious lion excavated in Madan Kamdev close to Baihata Cariali in Assam representing the powerful Kamarupa-Palas (c.
9th-10th century A.D.)
For detailed history please see the articles on the individual states.

North-East India has been added to political India only in recent times. Assammarker (which included at the time of Indian independence, Nagalandmarker, Mizorammarker and Meghalayamarker) was rarely part of political India for most of its history; Manipurmarker and Tripuramarker were princely states also rarely a part of political India; Arunachal Pradeshmarker was beyond the outer line of British India at the beginning of the 20th century; and Sikkimmarker too was not part of political India. These areas were incorporated into mainstream India during the British Raj when British colonial authorities annexed traditionally separate border countries into Indian territory to form a buffer between their colony and external powers (ie: Assammarker, Manipurmarker and Tripuramarker in the Northeast, and Balochistan and the North West Frontier Provincemarker in the northwest). After independence in 1947, extension of the Indian state and political apparatus has been a challenge.

Much of Arunachal Pradesh is claimed by Chinamarker. Sino-Indian relations degraded during the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The cause of the escalation into war is still disputed by both Chinese and Indian sources. During the war in 1962, the PRCmarker captured much of the NEFA (North East Frontier Agency) created by India in 1954. However, China soon declared victory and voluntarily withdrew back to the McMahon Line and returned Indian prisoners of war in 1963.

The region is known for its unique culture, handicrafts, martial arts, and scenic beauty. Problems include insurgency, unemployment, drug addiction, and lack of infrastructure. Since the beginning of the economic liberalization in the 1990s, studies have shown that this region is lagging behind the others in terms of development.


North-East India has a predominantly humid sub-tropical climate with hot, humid summers, severe monsoons and mild winters. Along with the west coast of India, this region has some of the Indian sub-continent's last remaining rain forests. The states of Arunachal Pradeshmarker and Sikkimmarker have a montane climate with cold, snowy winters and mild summers.

Political issues

The isolation of the Northeastern states began earlier as a result of British imperialism, when the region was cut-off from its traditional trading partners (Bhutanmarker, Myanmarmarker and Indo-China). In 1947 Indian independence and partition made this a landlocked region, exacerbating the isolation that is being recognized lately, but not studied yet. Soon it became a captive market for mainstream India.

The northeastern states, having a comparitively small electorate (3.8% of India's total population) are alloted just 25 out of a total of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha (4.6% of the total number of seats).

The northeastern states are home to many ethnic groups, that are engaged in self-preservation . In recent times, some of these struggles have turned violent, leading to proliferation of armed insurgent groups, like the ULFA, NLFT., NDFB and NSCN. Soon after the Sino-Indian War of 1962 and especially after the rise of insurgency in the region, security influence on policies has increased.

See also


  1. North East Council
  2. North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd.
  3. Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region
  4. Ministry of Development of Northeastern Region from Northeast Vigil
  5. Verghese, V. G. (2001) Unfinished Business in the Northeast: Pointers Towards Restructuring, Reconciliation and Resurgence, Seventh Kamal Kumari Memorial Lecture, Guwahati
  6. Baruah, Sanjib (2004), Between South and Southeast Asia Northeast India and Look East Policy, Ceniseas Paper 4, Guwahati
  7. Seventh Kamal Kumari Memorial Lecture.
  8. Khanna, Sushil: (2005) Economic opportunities or continuing stagnation Seminar, June 2005.
  9. National Liberation Front of Tripura - South Asian Terrorism Portal
  10. National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) - Terrorist Group of Assam - South Asia Terrorism Portal
  11. National Socialist Council of Nagaland - Khaplang - South Asia Terrorism Portal
  12. Sanjib Baruah (2001) Generals as Governors: The parallel political system of Northeast India, Retrieved April 24, 2009

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