Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today underscored the need for strengthening of intelligence gathering mechanism and better coordination among States and the Central intelligence agencies to deal with new challenges in the wake of increased jehadi activities in neighbouring Bangladesh. Speaking at the 11th meeting of the Inter-State Council Mr Sonowal said the North East Region faces serious challenges of insurgency aided by anti-India forces, ethnic conflicts, long standing border disputes, drug trafficking, human trafficking and illegal international trade of rhino horns and other wild life and above all illegal migration through porous borders and needs to have in place a coordinated and effective intelligence gathering mechanism to foil the sinister designs of nefarious forces out to disturb peace and harmony in the region.
To put across the gravity of the situation, Mr Sonowal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh to equip the Assam Police with latest gadgets and weapons and intensive training to deal effectively with insurgents and jehadi elements. The Chief Minister underlined the need for strengthening the road communications and telecom connectivity along border areas and remote habitations in Assam and neighbouring States to thwart the nefarious designs of forces inimical to India. Mr Sonowal said this is right time to harness the untapped potential of natural and human resources through innovative methods to achieve better life for the people against the backdrop of ‘reasonable level of peace and normalcy returning to my State’. The Chief Minister requested the Prime Minister to consider alternative mechanism, to Aadhar as the NRC updation exercise is on and Aadhar enrolment process will take time. Mr Sonowal proposed the use of Jan Dhan accounts for the purpose till the Aadhar enrolment is taken up after completion of NRC updation exercise.
At present there are only around 13 lakh Aadhar enrolments out of a population of more than three crore. Dwelling at length on the significant initiatives taken up by the State Government in the education sector, Chief Minister Sonowal said the major thrust is on three focus areas of access, equity and quality of education. Mr Sonowal further mentioned the state government’s slew of initiatives to provide separate toilets for boys and girls with running water in schools under Swachha Vidyalaya Abhiyan, giving recognition to the best practices of schools on Water Sanitation and Hygiene Education (WASH) through Swachha Vidyalaya Puraskar, developing curriculum and syllabus in the light of National Curriculum Framework (NCF) and learning enhancement (remedial teaching) for slow learners of Class IX. Mr Sonowal requested for setting up of an Indian Institute of Management, a Central Horticulture University and scientific and educational research institutions under the agencies like National Remote Sensing Agency, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Department of Bio-Technology as well as enhancing the capacity of existing Central institutions in the State.
Appreciating the initiatives taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to devolve more financial resources and decision making space to the State Governments, Sonowal said, “We are sure that under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister, the spirit of cooperative federalism will be further strengthened and the States will have a better say in financial and administrative matters.” The Chief Minister also hoped that the deliberations in the Inter-State Council meeting would pave the way for all the States to march ahead hand in hand in line with Prime Minister’s mantra ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’.