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Niti Aayog Favours 'Himalayan Authority' for Integrated Development of Region

The government think tank has recommended that the proposed authority should provide strategic guidance for development of the region in a sustained manner.

PTI

Updated:August 27, 2018, 10:05 PM IST
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Niti Aayog Favours 'Himalayan Authority' for Integrated Development of Region
File photo of NITI Aayog building.
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New Delhi: Niti Aayog has suggested setting up of an overarching 'Himalayan Authority' for coordinating integrated and holistic development of hilly states at the foothills of Himalayan region.

The government think tank has recommended that the proposed authority should provide strategic guidance for development of the region in a sustained manner.

"A 'Himalayan Authority' as an overarching institution may be set up to coordinate integrated and holistic development of the Himalayan States to ensure convergence and synergy, to provide strategic guidance, to commission assessments of the programmes and to monitor fulfilment of the SDG goals," the Aayog said.

Its summary report, 'Contributing to Sustainable Development in the Indian Himalayan Region', said: "It would also foster regional collaboration to address issues that have regional dimensions."

According to the report, the Himalayan Authority may be housed in the NITI Aayog.

The chief secretaries of the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) states, secretaries of the ministries concerned at the Centre, subject experts and think tank representatives could be members of the authority, it suggested.

The report pointed out that IHR presents both challenges and opportunities for skill development and building an entrepreneurial culture.

IHR which makes up India's north and north-eastern borders, comprises 10 mountain states and four hill districts from states of Assam and West Bengal.

The region stretches from the mountains in the northern states of Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh to the north-eastern states of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. It also covers the hill districts of Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong in Assam and Darjeeling and Kalimpong in West Bengal.

IHR shares borders with 6 neighbouring countries with upstream-downstream geographical connect.

Niti Aayog in 2017 had set up Five Thematic Working Groups contributing to Sustainable development in the Indian Himalayan Region.

These themes related to improving water security in mountain towns and cities through revival of springs, developing responsible mountain tourism, increasing skilled workforce, transforming shifting cultivation in north eastern hill region to ensure ecological, food and nutritional security and making available required dataset and information.

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