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Sustainable Development in the Indian Himalayan Region

The Indian Himalayan Region is spread across 12 Indian States (namely Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, two districts of Assam namely Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong and Darjeeling and Kalimpong in West Bengal) stretching across a length of 2500 km and width of 250 to 300 km. Nearly 50 million people reside in the Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) alone. The IHR is characterized by diverse demographic, economic, environmental, social and political systems.

 

In 2017 Five Working Groups were constituted by NITI Aayog, Government of India, along with Lead Institutions as Conveners of the Groups for Sustainable Development in Mountains of Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) to prepare a report each, on thematic areas.

  1. The Thematic Working Groups are :

  2. Inventory and Revival of Springs in Himalayas for Water Security,

  3. Sustainable Tourism in Indian Himalayan Region,

  4. Shifting Cultivation: Towards Transformational Approach,

  5. Strengthening Skill & Entrepreneurship (E&S) Landscape in Himalayas and

  6. Data/Information for Informed Decision Making.

 

The Working Groups held several meetings:

  • 3rd  July, 2017:    Meeting of Inter-thematic Group to discuss ToRs and methodology

  • 24th May, 2018:  Draft reports circulated to IHR States/Central Ministries

  • 27th June 2018:   Meeting of IHR States, Central Ministries and Thematic Leads

  • 15th July 2018:    Revision of Reports; Development of Summary Report

  • 10th August 2018: Thematic report and Summary report review & revisions

 

On 23 August 2018, the Working Groups Reports and a Summary Report on Sustainable Development in the Mountain of Indian Himalayan Region was released by Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, Dr. V. K. Saraswat, Member and Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog.

 

Constitution of ‘Himalayan State Regional Council’ for Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region

On the basis of the recommendations of Five thematic Working Group Reports, on 9 November 2018, NITI Aayog has constituted ‘Himalayan State Regional Council’ for Sustainable Development in Indian Himalayan Region. The Council, chaired by  Dr. V. K. Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog,  will review the implementation of the identified action points based on the reports.

 

Rest of the Council will comprise, Chief Secretaries of the 12 Himalayan States, Secretaries of M/o Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, M/o Environment, Forest and Climate Change, M/o Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, M/o Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, M/o  Tourism, D/o Rural Development, Land Resources and Science and Technology, VC and MD of  Telangana Forest Development Corporation, Government of Telangana, Director General, ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal and Advisers of NITI Aayog.

 

The Council will also be the nodal agency for sustainable development in the Himalayan Region and will monitor the implementation of action points for Central Ministries, institutions and the l2 Himalayan State Governments in IHR. It will also monitor finance-related matters and will have the power to co-opt other members as deemed fit to best suit the overall objective of the Sustainable Development of IHR.