The following sectors would be given preference. However, organizations working in other sectors and doing high-impact work will not be ignored.

  • Poverty – North East has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. Meghalaya is the poorest state in the region and the 5th poorest in India. With 32.67 percent, Assam is the second poorest state in the Northeast and 6th poorest in the country, followed by Nagaland (10th with 25.23 percent), Arunachal Pradesh (11th with 24.27 percent), Manipur (14th with 17.89 percent), Tripura (16th with 16.65 percent), and Mizoram (17th with 16.65 percent) (22nd with 9.80 percent ). Hence, poverty alleviation, zero hunger and inequality reduction should be a priority sector.
  • Education – In terms of education, Mizoram has one of the highest literacy rates in the whole country. However, states like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Assam and Sikkim do not fare very well according to the 2011 census. There is also a huge rural-urban difference as well as male-female difference in the literacy rates.
  • Health – Covid-19 pandemic has shown that health should remain a priority in today’s world. With a low doctor-patient ratio in the region, NER requires more work and investment on health. Moreover, certain districts in the region are deemed “priority districts” as identified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MHFW).
  • Livelihood – As NER has seen massive out-migration as well as rural-urban migration, there is a change and evolution in livelihoods. With per capita income remaining constant and focus on poverty reduction, a major way out is livelihood development in both rural as well as urban areas.
  • Skill Development & Entrepreneurship – Local livelihoods can be developed through generation of local entrepreneurship as well as skill development. As jobs in public administration has declined and a stagnating manufacturing sector in the region, the role of entrepreneurship here is immense. Hence, young people need skills and this serves as a major sector where the region needs to invest. Moreover, the large return migration after the pandemic saw a need to cater to the brimming young population who need new skills to get into gainful employment.
  • Culture & Heritage – NE is home to various cultures and heritages, including many indigenous cultures. The region is also home to several distinct customs, cuisines, attires, and handicrafts. Innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in these aspects can create local livelihoods but at the same time, these heritages need protection and conservation.
  • Digital Access, Inclusion and Empowerment – Reports show that the NER lags behind the rest of the country in terms of internet connectivity and ownership of digital devices. In fact, according to information given by the government in the Lok sabha, internet in the NE has reached only 35% of the total population while it is 42% for the rest of the country.
  • Gender Equality – NE has always been seen as a region that has done well in terms of gender equality when compared with the rest of the country. This, however, can be debated given that Assam is the worst performing state in SDG Gender Equality goal. Other NE states do not fare very well either. Female literacy rates remain lower in most of the NE states. Incidents of domestic violence, violence against women, and the rising number of cyber crime against women make it important to discuss gender equality as a priority issue in the region.
  • Social Inclusion – While NER can be seen as a region which has remained farm from mainland India in terms of many socio-economic issues, there communities within the region who need betterment and inclusion. Minority communities, persons with disabilities, transgender, tribal groups, tea communities, and other ethic groups need to be included in major discourses. Social inclusion, hence, needs to be seen as a priority sector in the region.
  • North East Himalayas – The Western Himalayas has received attention in recent years as climate change has started to wreck havoc in the region. However, the Eastern Himalayas need more attention as it is home to several ethnic groups, indigenous communities and their cultures, cuisines, attires, and heritages. These communities need inclusion, protection, and conservation.
  • Access to Public Schemes and Entitlements – While public schemes and entitlements have been given priority in the recent years, lack of information about them, increasing digitalization, and the subsequent exclusion of vulnerable communities from these schemes need to be addressed.