Sonia Gandhi’s poll plan for North-east regions
By Yatish Yadav - NEW DELHI
26th November 2012 10:37 AM
With assembly elections due in three of the seven sister states, the National Advisory Council has urged the UPA Government to look for a new telecom policy for better penetration using Bangladesh gateway, enhanced air connectivity and a separate healthcare services for the development of the neglected Northeast.
Headed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the NAC is said to have expressed its dissatisfaction over poor implementation of the 72 tele-medicine project, rolled out jointly by the ISRO and Northeast Council. The NAC has called for time-bound implementation of these projects, which should be backed by adequate nd well-trained staff. One of the suggestions for the centre is to set-up and fully fund medical colleges for the benefit of the students who want to take up their further studies in medicines. Many of the students have to come all the way to Delhi and other colleges for enrolling themselves in Bachelor and Master courses in various disciplines of medicines. The NAC’s working group on development of north-eastern region, having Pramod Tandon as its convener, was also of the view that telecom connectivity in the seven states should be treated as an “essential service”.
The UPA Government’s advisory panel has recommended a separate comprehensive telecom plan for the northeastern region to bring remote areas on the telecom map through the “farthest first” principle.
Interestingly, the NAC agreed to a demand the region to provide Internet connectivity from the Cox’s Bazaar international gateway in Bangladesh, instead of Internet gateways at Mumbai and Chennai.
“It is recommended that the feasibility of national alternative be explored in addition to the request of the states of the NER for Cox’s Bazaar connectivity, subject to technical feasibility and consultation with the Ministry of External Affairs, as this would bring adequate bandwidth to the region,” the NAC working group said. Favouring better air connectivity with rest of the country, it also stressed that every state capital of the region be connected to Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata with a direct daily flight during the 12th Plan.
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