Dr Jitendra Singh delivers keynote address on ‘Border States and National Security’


New Delhi: The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, DrJitendra Singh said that Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is going to preserve India’s vast resources, both natural and human resources. He said that awareness needs to be generated about this aspect. Dr Singh was delivering keynote address on ‘Border States and National Security’, at an event organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), here today.

Speaking about the bordering states, Dr Jitendra Singh said that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has placed border areas on high priority and lot of initiatives have been taken for bordering areas. He said that during the last five-six years, there has been an entirely different approach on how to approach the border security.Speaking about Jammu & Kashmir, this approach of Government has sent signals both ways; across the borders and to those living at the international borders. He added that this has uplift the morale of the people living in the bordering areas.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the Government has taken cognizance of the difficulties faced by the people living in the border areas. He spoke about many initiatives taken by the Government for them, such as constructing bunkers, toilets, Seema Bhawans and provision of cattle insurance, among others. This has been possible because of extreme sensitivity of the Government towards these people, he added.

Speaking about the borderstates, the Minister said that the North East India has a huge borderingarea along with many countries. The abrogation of Article 370 is primarily associated with the Northern most bordering state of India. He said that we owe to pay tribute to the efforts of security forces deployed at the borders. At the same time, he said, we need to understand the people living near the bordering areas and respect their courage, as they are first ones to face the burnt in case of any disturbance. He added that their situation is not only security-related, but also has socio-cultural impact on them.The Minister said that security forces are perpetually in the war modenowadays. Earlier the security forces were trained to fight an enemy from cross-borders and not the anti-nation elements within the country, he added. The Minister said that militancy and cross-border terrorism have become a serious challenge. He added that the entire security dynamics have changed over the years, consequently the obligation of security forces has also changed.

Dr Jitendra Singh said that the ‘Look East Policy’ has been changed to ‘Act East Policy’. Emphasising upon the socio-cultural proximity of NE states with the bordering countries, the Minister said that these areas share common eating habits, common culture and other aspects. But at the same time, that does not obliviate the importance of security. The Minister said that peace and development are reciprocal in relation. If peace is not there, the development cannot happen. Similarly, if development is not there, it gives a breeding ground for unrest. The Minister said that the North East has undergone a huge transformation during recent years. Various steps have been taken to boost rail, air and road connectivity, he added. He said that a train has been started from Itanagar to New Delhi i.e. Arunachal Express. He added that a train will soon be flagged off to Bangladesh from North East. He also spoke about Sikkim Airport. The Minister said that to boost start-ups in North East, Venture fund has been started by the DoNER Ministry. The Minister also said that a citrus fruit park has been set up in Mizoram with Israeli collaboration.He said that these initiatives have been taken by the Government based on the understanding of the issues of bordering areas.

The DG, IDSA, Amb. Sujan R. Chinoy and representatives of bordering states and associated agencies also attended the event, among others.