National Seminar on "External Dimensions of Security of the Northeast Region" (October 10-11, 2019)
Last Updated On: October 16, 2019
The Indian Council of World Affairs in collaboration with Asian Confluence, Shillong organised a one and a half day National Conference on ‘External Dimensions of Security of the Northeast Region’, at Sapru House from October 10-11, 2019. The Conference had a total of 22 speakers and participants from all the eight states of Northeast. These included representatives from the administration, armed forces, academia, media, and civil society. The conference explored the broad security dimensions under four sessions which are;
Policy Overview: Governance
External Dimension of Security of the Northeast: Part One [China]
External Dimension of Security of the Northeast: Part Two [Bangladesh and Myanmar]
The Policy Outreach: Emerging Perceptions and the Politics of Identity in the Public Narrative
In the Opening Session the Director General of the Indian Council of World Affairs, Dr. T.C.A. Raghavan, gave the Welcome remarks, this was followed by the Introductory Remarks by Mr. Sabyasachi Dutta, Director, Asian Confluence. The Opening Address was delivered by Dr. Inderjit Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Government of India, who stated that there exist a close relation between security and the development of the region. The Secretary also emphasized on the need to promote skill development, entrepreneurship, the strengthening of economic relations with the neighbors; in which the ‘Act East’ policy would play an instrumental role.
The first session on governance was chaired by Mr. G.K. Pillai, IAS [Retd], Former Home Secretary. The speakers at the session included Mr. Alemtemshi Jamir, former Chief Secretary of Nagaland and currently the CEO of Investment and Development Authority of Nagaland, Mr. Pallab Bhattacharya, IPS [Retd], Former DG [CD & HG], Assam, Mr. Rajiv Bhatia, IFS [Retd], Distinguish Fellow Gateway House, Former Ambassador of India to Myanmar, Mr. P.C. Haldar, IPS [Retd], Former Member NSAB, Lt. Gen. A.S. Lamba [Retd], Former Vice Chief Army Staff, and Prof. Kham Khan Suan Hausing, Department of Political Science, University of Hyderabad. This session discussed the issue of governance in the Northeast and how there is a requirement to incorporate the developmental agendas such as connectivity and trade to help address the larger issue of security.
The second session was chaired by Lt. Gen. [Dr.] S.L. Narasimhan, [Retd], DG, Centre for Contemporary China Studies. The speakers at the session included Maj. Gen. S.B. Asthana, [Retd], Chief Instructor, USI of India, Mr. Pradip Phanjoubam, Senior Journalist and Author, Maj. Gen. Apurba Kumar Bardalai [Retd], Dr. Panu Pazo, Assistant Professor, Namchi Government College, Sikkim, Dr. Sanjeev Kumar, and Dr. Puyam Rakesh Singh, Research Fellows, ICWA. The session discussed the impact of China on the security in the Northeast region. China’s support to insurgent groups in the past to its current developmental projects had a bearing on the region.
The third session was chaired by Mr. Gautam Mukhopadhyay, IFS [Retd], Former Ambassador of India to Myanmar. The speakers of the session included Lt. Gen. (Dr.) K. Himalay Singh [Retd], Dr. Laishram Rajen Singh, Assistant Professor, Manipur University, Dr. Biplab Debnath, Assistant Professor, Tripura Central University, Mr. Sayandeep Chattopadhyay, Senior Research Associate, Asian Confluence, and Dr. Ashish Shukla, Research Fellow, ICWA. The session covered the two external neighbors bordering the Northeast and discussed border management issues, trade, maritime connectivity, and the larger human security which would enhance the internal security situation of the region.
The fourth session was chaired by Mr. A.B. Mathur, Member National Security Advisory Board. The speakers in this session included Ms. Patricia Mukhim, Editor, The Shillong Times, Mr. Mrinal Talukdar, Senior Journalist and Writer, Ms. Monalisa Changkija, Editor, Nagaland Page, Dr. Binayak Dutta, Assistant Professor, Department of History, NEHU, and Dr. Dhrubajyoti Bhattacharjee, Research Fellow, ICWA. The session discussed the internal factors which have had an impact on the security of the Northeast such as the persisting issue of identity, exclusion, as well as the challenges to human security.