Seminar on democratic decentralisation and tribals in N-E India kicks off

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IMPHAL, February 12: A two-day national seminar on Democratic Decentralisation and the Tribals in North East India has begun today at the lecture hall of the Economics department, Manipur University which is being organised by the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Manipur University under the sponsorship of Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi.

The objective of organising the seminar is to realise the vital importance of a balanced and healthy socio-economic and political development in the region. The seminar would critically discuss, deliberate, explore, dissect and reflect upon whether local self-government and Democratic Decentralization in the North Eastern states especially Manipur have been effective and have served the intending purpose and objective, stated a press handout issued at the seminar.

It further said whether the socio-economic and political development processes in the State excludes the tribes. It would also analyse the root cause of such disparities if there is any trace of it. An attempt will also be made to provide concrete recommendation to bring about balanced socio-economic and political development and thereby reducing and eliminating regional disparities and bringing about true democratic and egalitarian States, it said.

The central aim of this seminar is to review and discuss the literature of Indian decentralization and to assess the extent to which the Indian States in the North East have devolved political, administrative and fiscal authority to the Autonomous District Councils, the statement said.

It will also analytically examine the implementation, functioning, problems and prospects of ADC. In so doing, it aims to inform all stakeholders and the concerned authority, the relevance of democratic decentralization in the North-East, it said.

The seminar would also set out to trace in brief the origin of the ADC council, and would also offers to look into some historical examples of the Traditional Tribal administration system with special reference to the Tribal Administrative system of Kuki, Mizo, Khasi, Garo,Karbi, Bodo, Naga tribes etc in the North East, it further said.

It will also examine the relevance and stability of ADCs to the tribal population and make a comparative study of traditional tribal administrative systems of ADC and should try to explain about the minds of politicians, NGOs and administrators.

Vice chancellor of MU, HNK Sarma said the organisers are very vibrant and most of the times bring out new data which when collected are made available in monographs. The Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Manipur University was established in 2008.

He said the seminar should also analyse the water, electricity, medical and communication facilities in the tribal areas which must be highlighted to the government to bring about development. It is very important to consider the relationship between ADCs and chiefs.

He alleged that most of the ADC members are settling in valleys. They need to settle in their own areas and analyse the problems faced by the people.

MU registrar Prof N Lokendra Singh said some positive outcome is expected from this seminar.

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