DoNER minister inaugurates third Asian Confluence Young Scholars Forum at Sapru House, New Delhi

The union minister of state Shri Jitendra Singh inaugurated the two day "Policy Dialogue and Young Scholars Forum" on the theme "The Age of Multilateralism and Connecting India’s Northeast: Opportunities and Challenges" hosted jointly by the Asian Confluence and the Indian Council for World Affairs(ICWA) at the prestigious Sapru House New Delhi on March 19 and 20th. For the very first time, the ministry of DoNER was also a co host to the event. In his inaugural address, he congratulated Asian Confluence and ICWA for organising the event and also for facilitating DoNER’s work. He said that in the past the northeast was a land of unexplored potential; and there were both (a) physical and (b) psychological reasons for not realising that potential. While we have taken steps towards realising the potential, we need to remember that the region is a land of "diversities within diversities", i.e. within the larger unity in diversity that describes India. The Northeast is not a homogeneous whole but has learned to live in harmony.

On the psychological distances, he said that the government’s idea was not only to bring the northeast closer to the rest of India but also to bring rest of India closer to the northeast. He stated that although the northeast is constituted of smaller states, they have literacy rates and GDP that are better than the national average. He also made the vital point that the northeast region is ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to women’s empowerment. He pointed to the natural talent of the people.

The two day seminar attended by a host of chosen young scholars from across the north eastern region was addressed by Ambassadors of Myanmar, Thailand, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. The Joint secretary of the Bangladesh Myanmar desk of the Ministry of External affairs Smt. Shripriya Ranganathan, political minister at embassy of Japan along with formers ambassadors of India to Nepal and Myanmar, former secretary East in Ministry of external affairs Anil Wadhwa, The secretary DoNER Ministry Shri Naveen Verma delivered the valedictory address in which he held an hour long interaction with the young scholars.