STATE TIMES NEWS NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also Vice Chairman of the North Eastern Council (NEC) has lauded the decision taken at Union Cabinet meeting today, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approving allocation of 30 percent of NEC budget for new projects for focused development of deprived areas, neglected sections of society and emerging priority sectors in Northeast. As per cabinet decision, the projects under existing ‘Schemes of NEC’ will accrue socio-economic benefits to the marginalised and vulnerable groups of people in backward areas and neglected sections of the North Eastern States. It will lead to faster decision making and quick implementation of the projects. Dr Jitendra Singh thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah who is also the Chairman of NEC, for the momentous decision. At a high level joint-meeting attended by senior officials of the union Ministry of Northeast as well as of Gujarat and North Eastern State Governments, Dr Jitendra Singh also reviewed preparations for forthcoming Madhavpur Mela of Gujarat. He directed the officials that events including cultural performances, crafts display and food festivals of NER region be showcased in major cities of Gujarat including Ahmedabad to generate wider interest among local population. The Madhavpur Mela will mark cultural integration of Gujarat with the North-East, he added. Madhavpur Ghed, a small but culturally significant village, is the place where, according to folklore, Lord Krishna married Rukmini, the daughter of King Bhishmaka. Madhavpur lies on seashore, close to Porbandar. A 15th century Madhavrai temple marks the site. The event is commemorated by a cultural fair held every year, commencing on Ram Navami. A colourful chariot carrying the idol of Lord Krishna circumnavigates the village and festivities usually continue for five days. The week-long ‘Utsav’ will see a vibrant cultural trail of art, dance, music, poetry, story-telling and folk drama from Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and other North-Eastern States with an aim to integrate rich cultures of the two regions. During the meeting, Dr Jitendra Singh was also informed about progress of utilisation of funds by different States under various schemes of NEC and MDoNER with special focus on Manipur, setting up of Bamboo Industrial Park at Dima Hasao district of Assam and digital/virtual classrooms in NER, student hostels at JNU, Rohini and Dwarka in New Delhi besides examining viability of introduction of sea plane at Brahmaputra River Front and Umrangso Reservoir under UDAN 3.0 of Regional Connectivity scheme of Civil Aviation Ministry. Dr Jitendra Singh stressed on expediting and setting deadlines for completion of projects.
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