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1. NORTH EAST : AN ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE ...................................................... 3

2. PROVIDING WORLD CLASS LOGISTICS ............................................................... 4

3. BAMBOO MISSION : A TOOL FOR ECONOMIC PROSPERITY ............................... 6

4. REAPING BENEFITS OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE .........................................8

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1. NORTH EAST : AN ECONOMIC • Constraints on Industrial growth :

PERSPECTIVE After independence, due to partition of
India the industrial sectors in Assam
What are the reasons for the tardy
received a serious setback as its trade
progress of North Eastern states ?
routes were cut-off from the rest of
• Geographical factors : The hills India.
account for 70 percent area of NER
and accommodate about 30 percent of • This, in turn, hindered the economic
population and the plains constituting integration with other parts and also
the remaining 30 percent of area hold reduced the attractiveness of the
about 70 percent of its population. region for the investment.

• The region's accessibility has always • Tea is a major industry in Assam

remained weak due to geographical region but this also faces multiplicity
reasons and underdeveloped of issues like conflict between
transport links with the rest of India. labourers, health benefits and welfare
• Also, as the region witnesses floods
and landslides in the Brahmaputra • Agriculture : The pace of agricultural
and Barak valleys of Assam, growth in the eastern and North
considerable strain is exerted on the eastern regions has been slower than
economy of not only Assam but other rest of the country.
NER states too.
• The Green revolution was largely
• Infrastructural factors : One of the limited to the parts of North wester
reasons for the economic parts and has not benefitted the North
backwardness of the North Eastern east region.
states is the poor state of basic
• Natural resource Base : In spite of
infrastructural facilities like roadways,
having a reservoir of natural
waterways, energy and so on as well
resources - soil, water, vegetation and
as social infrastructure like
hydrocarbons, the NER is
educational institutions, health
underdeveloped because the
facilities etc.,.
resources are being indiscriminately
• The NE region is witnessed with exploited and mismanaged, thereby
increasingly congested roads, frequent leading to depletion of the very assets
power failures, shortage of drinking that are usually highlighted as
water etc., triggering the greatest potential for

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growth and development of NER. • To develop sectors in the region
having a comparative advantage such
• Transport and Communication :The
as agro processing, hydro power
road development in the NER is very
slow due to various geographical and
economic reasons. • Enhancing the skills and
competencies of the people and
• As a result of partition, the region
building the capacities for institutions
suffered not only economically in the
within the Government and outside.
form of relatively high prices of
consumer goods but also by a sense of • Creating a hospitable investment
isolation from the rest of the country. climate to encourage investment by
the private sector particularly for
• Miscellaneous factors : With India's
"Act East policy" which heralded the
tectonic shift of India's west oriented • Harnessing the resources of the
stance towards east oriented posture, Government and the private sector to
it is extremely difficult for the NER to realize the objectives of the vision.
successfully compete with the MNCs
and foreign entrepreneurs and trade.
• It is generally accepted that more than
What are the problems existing in the
30 percent of the youth population are
railways sector ?
addicted to drugs and it is a major
hindrance in the economic • While the passenger traffic and

development of this region. number of routes operated by IR has

increased significantly since its
What is the way forward ? inception, the corresponding growth
• Empowering people by maximising in the infrastructure is not sufficient.
self governance and participatory
• In fact IR has only added 10,000 route
development through grass root
kms since independence while China
planning to promote inclusive
has added 50,000 route kms in the
same period.
• Creation of development opportunities
• The incidence of railway accidents in
for the rural areas through enhancing
our country is greater when compared
productivity in agriculture and allied
to other countries in the world and it
activities such as animal husbandry,
occurs mainly of the errors and
horticulture, floriculture, fisheries and
negligence of the employees.
generation of livelihood options
through rural non - farm employment. • Another problem that is faced in India
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is large number of passengers travel • The rolling stock technology is
without purchasing the tickets and it outdated and this had made railways
costs around 5 crores annually to the incapable of coping with increasing
IR. transport demands and of raising and
improving the traffic volume and flows
• The fares of the trains and routes are
at lower unit of operation.
not periodically revised and due to
these populist measures of the • The problem of replacement of old and
Government the IR got trapped into obsolete railway engines, wagons and
the fiscal trap. other equipment has created serious
problems in India.
• IR has a huge employee base of 1.3
million, which includes powerful trade • Most of the railway lines are single
unions which makes the quicker lines which create great inconvenience
decision making impossible. to the railway organisations and
• Operating ratios are likely to worse as
costs pile up, including money for the • The railway transport lagged behind
7th pay Commission the requirement due to inadequate
recommendations which is nearly Rs investment and not opening the
28,000 crores this year to retirees and investment window to the private
saving employees of Railways. enterprises.

• Indian Railways spends heavily on • The lack of coordination between the

revenue expenditure and there is little roadways and railways has lowered
left on the capital expenditure side. the earning capacity of the railways.

• Another major impediment is the What are the recommendations to settle

tracks of IR are old and outdated and these issues ?
it leads to many accidents. • Redevelopment of station like

• In every new timetable of IR, the installing the escalators, Wi Fi

running time of all the trains has been facilities will enhance the experience

increased while railways in other of the passenger and it will promote

advanced countries are reducing it the sector further.

drastically. • As a measure to avert accidents, the

• There is a lack of modern trains are to be equipped with "ditch

management as railways failed to lights" and painted bright yellow that

attract adequate incentives and will enable more visibility even during

suitable talent. twilight hours.

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• The level crossings and paths are to ➢ Withdrawal of dual freight policy
be painted with a crosshatched on the iron ore.
pattern that can alert and highlight
➢ Reintroduction of short lead
the dangers for the people in the area.
concession and reduction in
• The authorities have been suggested minimal distance for charge.
that to review timetables such that
maintenance block of four hours is
provided weekly on all main lines as
well as review safety performance in What is National Bamboo Mission ?
terminal operations with the intent of • Bamboo is a versatile group of plants
recognising prevailing risks. which is capable of providing
ecological, economic and livelihood
Some of the other measures can be
security to the people.
➢ Classification of new commodities
• Till recently, it has remained confined
➢ Tariff rationalisation to the forests (12.8% of forest cover);
two third of the growing stock located
➢ Expansion of freight basket
in the North-Eastern States.
through containerisation
• Importance of the crop as a source of
➢ new policy guidelines for station to
raw material for industrial and
domestic use with its growing demand
➢ Policy guidelines for Merry Go all over the country necessitated its
Round system cultivation in farm lands as well.

➢ Discount for loading of bagged • With a view to harness the potential of

consignment in open and flat bamboo crop, Department of
wagons Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC),
Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers
➢ Complete transformation to LHB
Welfare is implementing a 100%
rake coaches.
Centrally Sponsored Scheme called
➢ Liberalised automatic freight Mission for Integrated Development of
rebate system for traffic loaded in Horticulture (MIDH) in which National
empty flow directions. Bamboo Mission (NBM) is being
implemented as a sub scheme.
➢ Digital payment for freight
business and Long term tariff • The Mission envisages promoting
contract policy. holistic growth of bamboo sector by
adopting area-based, regionally

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differentiated strategy and to increase How the mission can bring revolution in
the area under bamboo cultivation NER ?
and marketing. • In the North East, for generations -
the natives and traditional bamboo
• Under the Mission, steps have been
growers have always used bamboo for
taken to increase the availability of
overall rural and urban benefits.
quality planting material by
supporting the setting up of new • People have made adequate
nurseries and strengthening of commercial use as bamboos can be
existing ones. grown on non agricultural land with
annual harvests.
• To address forward integration, the
Mission is taking steps to strengthen • Besides industrial benefits, the
marketing of bamboo products, communities have been using bamboo
especially those of handicraft items. shoots as nutritious food which has
medicinal values.
What are its objectives ?
• Growing bamboo also facilitates soil
• To promote the growth of the bamboo
quality improvements, improved water
sector through as an area based
holding capacity, higher water capture
regionally differentiated strategy;
and water recharge benefitting
• To increase the coverage of area under agriculture and food security.
bamboo in potential areas, with
• The state governments in Manipur
improved varieties to enhance yields;
and Arunachal Pradesh agreed to

• To promote marketing of bamboo and supply bamboo to the Assam based

bamboo based handicrafts; Numaligarh Refinery's upcoming bio

refinery which can be a game changer
• To establish convergence and synergy in the region.
among stake-holders for the
• In states like Tripura, an official
development of bamboo;
estimate suggests that bamboo sector
• To promote, develop and disseminate can be developed as a major livelihood
technologies through a seamless provider and provide dependable and
blend of traditional wisdom and respectable employment opportunities
modern scientific knowledge. to a least 20,000 bamboo growers.

• To generate employment opportunities • Multiple products like Bamboo

for skilled and unskilled persons, pickles, Bamboo vinegar, Flower vase,
especially unemployed youths. Furniture, Ornament etc.,. can be
made from the "Green gold" and it will
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bring economic prosperity to the • John McCarthy coined the term
region. "Artificial Intelligence" and
demonstrated the first running AI
• Despite the fact that the hat and other
program at Carnegie Mellon University
products have huge export potentials,
in 1956.
the market has not been exploited.
• In 1964, Danny Bobrow's dissertation
at MIT showed that computers can
understand natural language well
What is Artificial Intelligence ? enough to solve algebra word

• Artificial Intelligence is defined as the problems correctly.

ability of a machine to perform

• In 1969, scientists at Stanford
cognitive functions we associate with
Research Institute Developed
the human mind such as perceiving,
"Shakey", a robot, equipped with
reasoning, learning, interacting with
locomotion, perception, and problem
the environment, problem solving and
even exercising creativity.
• Harold Cohen created and
• There are varying views of AI globally -
demonstrated the drawing program,
some see this as the next biggest
Aaron in 1985.
disruptive technology that would
bring accelerated growth and • In 1997, The Deep Blue Chess
productivity, whereas others view in a Program beats the then world chess
negative sense combined with huge champion, Garry Kasparov.
job losses.
• By 2000 interactive robot pets become
• PrincewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) commercially available. MIT displays
estimates the global AI market Kismet, a robot with a face that
business opportunity of an additional expresses emotions.
15.7 trillion dollars making it the
What are the various applications of AI?
biggest commercial opportunity in
today's fast changing economy. • Gaming − AI plays crucial role in
strategic games such as chess, poker,
What is the history of AI ? tic-tac-toe, etc., where machine can
• Alan Turing introduced Turing Test think of large number of possible
for evaluation of intelligence and positions based on heuristic
published "Computing Machinery and knowledge.
Intelligence" in 1950.
• Natural Language Processing − It is
possible to interact with the computer

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that understands natural language • It can handle different accents, slang
spoken by humans. words, noise in the background,
change in human’s noise due to cold,
• Expert Systems − There are some
applications which integrate machine,
software, and special information to
• Handwriting Recognition − The
impart reasoning and advising.
handwriting recognition software
• They provide explanation and advice reads the text written on paper by a
to the users. pen or on screen by a stylus. I

• Vision Systems − These systems • It can recognize the shapes of the

understand, interpret, and letters and convert it into editable
comprehend visual input on the text.
• Intelligent Robots − Robots are able
• For example, A spying airplane takes to perform the tasks given by a
photographs, which are used to figure
out spatial information or map of the
areas. • They have sensors to detect physical
data from the real world such as light,
• Doctors use clinical expert system to
heat, temperature, movement, sound,
diagnose the patient.
bump, and pressure.
• Police use computer software that can
recognize the face of criminal with the • They have efficient processors,

stored portrait made by forensic multiple sensors and huge memory, to

artist. exhibit intelligence. In addition, they
are capable of learning from their
• Speech Recognition − Some
mistakes and they can adapt to the
intelligent systems are capable of
new environment.
hearing and comprehending the
language in terms of sentences and
their meanings while a human talks
to it.

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