The North-East India is a true frontier region. It comprises the contiguous Seven Sister States (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura), plus the Himalayan state of Except for the Goalpara region of Assam, the rest were late entrants to the British India, the Brahmaputra valley area of Assam became a part of British India in 1824, and the hill regions were incorporated even later. Sikkim joined the Indian union through a referendum in 1975 and was recognised as part of North-East India in the 1990s.
In terms of geographical size, North-East India constitute about 8% of th.e total India’s size. North-East India’s population (all 8 states combined) is approximately 45 million (2011 census), which represents 3.1% of the total Indian population (1,210 million). The Siliguri Corridor (called the ‘Chicken’s Neck’ or ‘Bottle Neck’) in West Bengal, with a width of 21 to 40 kilometres (13 to 25 mi), connects the North-Eastern region with the main part of India. The region shares more than 4,500 kilometres (2,800 mi) of international border (about 90 per cent of its entire border area) with China (South Tibet) in the north, Myanmar in the east, Bangladesh in the south-west, and Bhutan to the north-west. Each state is a traveller’s paradise, with picturesque hills and green meadows which shelters thousand of species of flora and fauna. In addition, the states provide scope for angling, boating, rafting, trekking and hiking. Besides, there are a number of wild life sanctuaries and national parks where rare animals, birds and plants which will surely provide fascinating insight to the visitors.
The states are officially recognised under the North-Eastern Council (NEC), constituted in 1971 as the acting agency for the development of the eight states. The North-Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) was incorporated on 9 August 1995 and the Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) was set up in September 2001.
ARUNACHAL PRADESH – Location• Arunachal Pradesh is located in the extreme North-Eastern corner of the Indian Union. It is situated between 26’28’ N to 29°31′ N latitude and between 91°31 E to 97’30’ E longitude. To.
Boundaries- Arunachal Pradesh (land of the Dawn-lit Mountains) is a thinly populated hilly tract on the eastern most part of India. Arunachal Pradesh is skirted by Bhutan in West, Tibet Arid China in north and north-east, Myanmar to east and Assam and Nagaland in south and south-east. It consists of the submontane and mountainous ranges sloping to the plains of Assam. It is the largest state area-wise in north-east region.
• Geography Much of Arunachal Pradesh is covered by the Himalayas. However, parts of Lohit, Changlang and Tirap are covered by the Patkai hills. Kangto, Nyegi Kangsang, the main Gorichen peak and the Eastern Gorichen peak are some of the highest peaks in this region of the Himalayas. At the lowest elevations, essentially at Arunach,a1 Pradesh’s border with Assam, are Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests. Much of the state, including the Himalayan foothills and the Patkai hills, are home to Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests. Toward the northern border with China, with increasing elevation, come a mixture of Eastern and Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests followed by Eastern Himalayan alpine-shrub and meadows and ultimately rock and ice on the highest peaks.
Some Basic Data Arunachal Pradesh
Date of Formation : 20 February, 1987
Area- 83,743 sq km
Languages – Monpa, Aka, Miji, Sherdukpen, Nishi, Apatani, Hill Miri, Tagin, Adi, Gallong, Digaur-Mishmi, Idu-Mishmi, Miju-Mishmi, Khampti State : • :, Nocte, Tangsa, Wancho etc.
Population (2011) • • 13,83,727
Male • 7• ,13,912
Female • • 5,18,027
Sex Ratio (2011) : 938 females per 1000 males
Density (2011) 17 persons per sq km
Literacy (2011) • 65.38%
Male • ▪ 72.55%
Female : 53.52%
No. of Districts • ▪ 20
Per Capita Income : Rs. 23,788 (at current prices, 2005-06)
Villages •. 3,863
Towns • ▪ 18
Principal Cities/Towns : Itanagar, Anini, Along, Khonsa, Zero, Tezu, Seppa, Tawang, Pasighat, Bomdilla.
State Bird- Hornbill
State Flower- Foxtail Orchid
State Animal -Bos Frontalis
State Tree- Hollong
Members of Legislative Assembly- 60
Members of Lok Sabha : 2
Members of Rajya Sabha 1
In 2006 Bumla pass in Tawang was opened to traders for the first time in 44 years. Traders from both sides of the pass were permitted to enter each other’s territories, in addition to postal workers from each country. The Himalayan ranges that extend up to the eastern Arunachal separate it from Tibet. The ranges extend toward Nagaland, and form a boundary between India and Burma in Changlang and Tirap district, acting as a natural barrier called Patkai Bum Hills. They are low mountains compared to the Greater Himalayas.
• Climate The weather and climate of Arunachal Pradesh are quite distinct from rest of the country. The most important variables are the north to south variation in elevation, variability of rainfall, trend and range of temperature, so that the climatic types in the state vary from humid meso-thermals of the southern foot hills and plains to alpine type in the higher altitude of the northern parts of the State. The. climate of the State is dominated by the Himalayan system and the attendant altitudinal variations. Rapid changes in topographic and terrain conditions have introduced variations and differences that significantly influence the climatic patterns. There is the distinct contrast in temperature and rainfall regions between the sheltered valleys, the foothills and the high mountain ridges. The climate is highly hot and humid at the lower altitudes and in the valleys covered by swampy dense forests parti-cularly in the eastern section, while it becomes exceedingly cold in the higher altitudes.
• Rainfall The rainfall of Arunachal Pradesh is amongst the heaviest in the country. The annual average rainfall in Arunachal Pradesh is more than 350 cm.
• Rivers Some of the prominent rivers are Siang or Dihang, Kameng, Subansiri, Lohit, Tirap, Dibang, Kurung, Na-Dihing, Digaru, Siyum, Ranga etc.
• History A sentinel of the country on the north-east, Arunachal Pradesh finds mention in the early literature such as Kalika Purana, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. It is known that it was here that Parasuram washed away his sins, Vyasa meditated, Bhismaka founded his kingdom, Lord Krishna married his consort Rukmini, King Balinarayana drew men for his armies from among the hardy people.
• Recorded history of Arunachal Pradesh can be traced only when Ahom Kings began to rule Assam in the 16″‘ century. The British took possession of Assam in 1826. British government had brought Arunachal Pradesh also under their administrative control. Arunachal Pradesh acquired an identity of its own for the first time in 1914, when some tribal areas separated from the then Darrang and Lakhimpur districts of the province of Assam to form the North-East Frontier Tract. The North-East Frontier Tract was further sub-divided in to Balipara Frontier Tract, Lakhimpur Frontier Tract, Sadiya Frontier Tract and to Tirap Frontier Tract during various stages of evolution between 1914 and 1946. These Frontier Tracts, together with the Naga Tribal area, were collectively renamed the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) in 1951. In 1954, the NEFA was reconstituted into the Kameng Frontier Division, Subansiri Frontier Division, Tirap Frontier Division, Siang Frontier Division, Lohit Frontier Division and Tuensang Frontier Division. The Tuensang Frontier Division was separated from NEFA in 1957 and merged with the newly constituted Naga Hills and this area now belongs to state of Nagaland. Later, five Frontier divisions of the territory became the five original district.
Districts .of Arunacha Pradesh ,-District, Headquarters, Population ,Area (2011) ,Density (sq km)
Anjaw-Hawai, 21,089 ,3,234 ,6. Changlan-Changlang ,147,951 4,662,27. East Kameng,Seppa ,78,413 4,134,14. East Siang -Pasighat ,99,019 ,4,005 ,22. Lohit – Tezu ,145,538, 2,402,13 Longding*- Longding ,NA,NA ,NA.Lower Subansiri- Ziro,82,839 ,10,135 ,10. Papum Pare,Yupia, 176,385 ,2,875 42.Tawang -Tawang Town ,49,950 ,2,085 ,19. Tirap -Khonsa ,111,997, 2,362 ,42. Lower Dibang Valley- Roing,53,986 ,NA,14. Upper Siang -Yingkiong ,33,146 ,6,188, 5. Upper Subansiri- Daporijo 83,205,7,032,8 .West Kameng- Bomdila 87,013 ,7,422 ,10. West Siang-Along 112,272 ,8,325 ,12 Upper Dibang Valley- Anini 7,948,13,029 NA. Kurung Kumey- Koloriang -89,717,NA ,7 Namsai – Namsai ,NA ,NA,NA Kra Daadi . Jamin, NA,NA,NA .Siang –Pengin,NA ,NA, NA
This region acquired an independent political status in January 20, 1972, when it was declared as Union Territory under the name of Arunachal Pradesh. The Agency Council, which had been at the apex of the Panchayati Raj system in the Territory, was replaced by a Pradesh Council in 1972, which in turn, was converted into a provisional Legislative Assembly in 1975. The first general. election to the 30 member Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly was held in 1978, constituting a land mark in the political evolution of the Union Territory. The state of Arunachal Pradesh Bill was passed by the Parliament in 1986 and with effect from February 20,1987 Arunachal pradesh became the 24th state of Indian Union.
• Economy Nearly 80 percent of the population of Arunachal Pradesh is engaged in agriculture. The traditional method of agriculture is jhumming, a kind of shifting cultivation. The forests are cleared and crops are raised for one to three years, depending on the fertility of the soil. Thereafter the cultivators move on elsewhere. A determined effort in being made to wean the people from jhumming. The main crops are rice, maize, millet, wheat and mustard.About 61,000 sq km of the State is covered by forest, which has become an important source of revenue for the State. The principal industries of the State are forest-based. Besides handloom and handicraft industries, saw mills, plywood and veneering mills, rice mills, fruit preservation units, soap and candle manufacturing, steel fabrication, oil expellers are in the medium and small industrial sectors. The State has reserves of coal and crude oil. Deposits of dolomite ore, limestone, graphite, quartzite, granite, mica, iron ore, copper ore have also been reported.
• Arts & Crafts Arunachal Pradesh is a land of beautiful handicrafts comprising a wide variety. The main handicraft is canework. Other crafts include carpet weaving, done mainly in West Kameng and Siang. Wood carving is the forte of the Khambas and Mambas of Siang who carve exquisite wooden masks. The Tudung jackets, the shawls of Sherdukpens„ the Apatani jackets and scarves, the Manpa and Wancho bags are all very beautiful. Crafting ornaments is another art widely practiced by the Arunachalese. Paper making, smithy work, carpentry, pottery and ivory work are the other crafts practiced by the Arunachalese.
• Irrigation & Power Jhum fields on the slant of hill under shifting cultivation are rainfed, patches of land under terrace and wet-rice cultivation,particularly in riverine tracts and along foothill belt, are irrigated usually by small gravity channels and diversion weirs. Pumping sets are also used for irrigation of small holdings, Under the minor irrigation projects 50,455 hectare of land was brought under irrigation potential. The State has started a few medium projects. Of these, the Lakhmi Irrigation Project at Roing in Debang Valley was commissioned in 1987 and has been irrigating about 5000 hectare of agricultural land. Number of micro and small hydel stations commissioned is 22 with a total installed capacity of about 30,735 MW.
• Education- The current education system in Arunachal Pradesh is relatively underdeveloped. The state government is expanding the education system in concert with NGOs like Vivekananda Kendra. With this, the state’s literacy rate has had a sharp improvement in the recent past through the schools run by the Catholic Diocese of Miao, under the leadership of Bishop George Pallipparambil. The state has 33 schools under his patronage, expanding from Tirap District in the extreme east and Lohit and Changlang Districts in the central part of Arunachal Pradesh. There are nine Government Colleges, affiliated to the Rajiv Gandhi University, Doimukh. The first college, Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat, was established in 1964; the college has been recognised by the UGC as a College with Potential For Excellence. The College was awarded B++ by the NAAC. The state has several reputable schools, colleges, and institutions. There are also trust institutes like Pali Vidyapith run by Buddhists. They teach Pali and Khamti scripts in addition to typical education subjects. Khamti is the only tribe in Arunachal Pradesh that has its own script. Libraries of sciptures are in a number of places in Lohit district, the largest one in Chowkham. Rajiv Gandhi UnLversity (formerly known as Arunachal University) is the premier educational institution, the only university, and North. Eastern Regional Institute of Science and
Technology the only deemed university in the state. Additionally, there are nine government colleges and four private colleges in different districts, providing students a higher education. NERIST plays an important role in technical and management higher education. The directorate of technical education conducts examinations yearly, so that students who qualify can continue on to higher studies in other states. The state has two polytechnic institutions : Rajiv Gandhi Government Polytechnic in Itanagar and Tomi Polytechnic College in Basar. The state has only one law college called Arunachal Law Academy, ltanagar. e People Although a number of tribal groups constitute the total population, the density of the population is only 17 per sq km. There are as many as 25 tribal groups and a number of sub-tribals that contribute to the human mass in the State. The principal tribes are : Adi, Nishi, Apatani, Tagin, Mishmi, Khampti, Nocte, Wancho, Tangsha, Singphou, Monpa, Sherdukpen and Aka. All the individual tribes have a rich cultural heritage and the government is making all out efforts in helping conserve their traditional heritage. They society of Arunachal is patriarchal and primogeniture and the fundamental laws of inheritance with variations are not uncommon. The follow endogamy and strictly observe the rule of clan exogamy. Polygamy is socially sanctioned and practiced by most of them. The people are highly democratic, and each tribe has its own organised institutions that maintain law and order, decide disputes and take up all activities for the welfare of tribes and the villages. The members constituting these organisations are selected by the people.
• Festivals Festivals form and essential aspect of the socio-cultural life of the people of the State. As a matter of fact, festivals are the mirror of the people’s culture. Since agriculture is the mainstay of the population, naturally, the festivals celebrated by the
Panting Dance of Adic people are closely connected with their occupation. Such festivals are celebrated at a larger scale for thanking the Gods for their providence and for saying a prayer for a bumper crop. Throughout the year festivals are celebrated by one or other tribe. Some of the important festivals are Solung, Mopin, Losar, Boori Boot, Dree, Nechi Dau, Khan, Kshyat-Sowai, Loku, Longte, Yullo, Mol, Nyokum, Ojiale, Reh, Sanken, Si-donyi and Tamladu. Animal sacrifices are a common ritual in most of the festivals, particularly in the Non-Bodic Tribes. The festivals have been firmly blended with the life-style of the people of Arunachal Pradesh. For some communities like the Mijis, these are the occasions to bring all people together who might otherwise be scattered in far flung villages. This serves as a reminders of the richness of their cultural heritage.
Tourist Centres Ziro (150 km from Itanagar) : a levelled valley covered on all sides by pine-clad low, stooping hills and famous for paddy and fish culture. Malinithan (185 km from ltanagar) : a place of great sanctity and archaeological excavations. Bomdila (160 km from Tezpur, Assam) : a place for orchids, apple orchards and Buddhist Gamphas, and to view snow-clad Himalayan ranges. Bhalukpung and Tipi (60 km from Tezpur, Assam): rich in flora and fauna, with more than 500 species of orchids. Tawang (180 km from Bomdila) : famous for a seventeenth-century Mahayanna Buddhist monastery having priceless gold-lettered Buddhist scriptures. Tezu (140 km from Dibrugarh and Tinsukia, Assam) : a religious place on the bank of river Lohit. Namdapha National Park (140 km from Dibrugarh, Assam) : a wildlife site having tiger, leopard, snow leopard and clouded leopard.