India’s North East, comprising the eight states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Megalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura is a region of undoubted natural beauty and a plethora of diverse cultures. There seems to be a growing interest and need to understand the North East in a holistic manner. However, a lack of both quantitative and qualitative focus has generally been perceived in terms of understanding the North East and its people. The North East is India’s sentinel at the eastern frontier, and a bridge to Southeast Asia, thus increasing the significance of its development, progress and integration to the rest of India. The socio-cultural and politico-economic condition of the region is an important vector in understanding the connectivity between India’s mainland and this region. The history of the North East and its people provide a distinctive clue to the pride associated with their identities, which needs to be safeguarded and nurtured for not only their future generations, but also for dissemination to the wider population of India.
The need for conducting research on various facets of the North East with a focus on the challenges faced by the people of the region is being felt across the spectrum. As an academic effort, the North East Studies Centre (NESC) at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations will make an attempt to promote teaching and research on India’s North East in a multifaceted fashion. Both a spatial and temporal understanding of the complex issues of the region and its people are needed, to be able to make sense of the challenges faced by the people within the region and beyond. The centre besides the academic rigour of the attempt to develop a holistic understanding of the region will also endeavour to bring about a sense of national integration among people of the region and other parts of India. A modest attempt will be made to analyse and assess the socio-economic and cultural dimensions of the North-eastern region and such learning will be a value addition to the growth of a comprehensive understanding of the various complexities.