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Some Important Aspects of Arunachal Pradesh:
Overview: Arunachal Pradesh is the largest among the seven states located in the Northeast of India. It shares its borders with the neighboring countries of Bhutan in the west, China (Tibet) in the north and northeast, Myanmar in the east and southeast and the Indian states of Assam and Nagaland in the south. The geographic location of the state provides immense opportunities for international trade with South Asian countries such as Myanmar, Bhutan and China. The land is mostly mountainous with the Himalayan ranges running north-south. The state is divided into five river valleys – the Kameng, the Subansiri, the Siang, the Lohit and the Tirap. These river valleys have immense hydropower potential, currently estimated at 60,000 MW, or approximately 22 per cent of India’s current power generating capacity.
However, currently the state’s economy is largely agrarian, based on the terraced farming of rice and the cultivation of crops such as maize, millet, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, ginger, oilseeds, cereals, potato, and pineapple. In 2014-15, total food grain production in the state increased to 456,000 metric tonnes from 374,000 metric tonnes in 2011-12. Some of the other key industries of the state include art and crafts, weaving, cane and bamboo, horticulture, power and mineral based industry. Due to its topography, the state has varied agro-climatic conditions suitable for horticulture of flowers and aromatic and medicinal plants. Arunachal Pradesh is home to 601 species of orchids, or 52 per cent of the species of orchids known in India, indicating a huge potential for attracting tourists, especially foreign ones. The state and central governments have both offered huge fiscal and policy incentives for the development of thrust sectors in the state. Some of these policies include Public Private Partnership Policy 2011, the State Industrial Policy 2008 and the Hydro Power Policy 2008.
Economic Aspects of Arunachal Pradesh: Agriculture primarily drives the economy. Jhum, the local term used for shifting cultivation is being widely practiced among the tribal groups, though owing to the gradual growth of other sources of income in the recent years, it is not being practiced as prominently as it was earlier. Arunachal Pradesh has close to 61,000 square kilometers of forests, and forest products are the next most significant sector of the economy. Among the crops grown here are rice, maize, millet, wheat, pulses, sugarcane, ginger, and oilseeds. Arunachal is also ideal for horticulture and fruit orchards. Its major industries are rice mills, fruit preservation and processing units, and handloom handicrafts. Sawmills and plywood trades are prohibited under law. Arunachal Pradesh accounts for a large percentage share of India’s untapped hydroelectric potential. In 2008, the government of Arunachal Pradesh signed numerous memorandum of understanding with various companies planning some 42 hydroelectric schemes that will produce electricity in excess of 27,000 MW. Construction of the Upper Siang Hydroelectric Project, which is expected to generate between 10,000 to 12,000 MW, began in April 2009.
Arts and crafts industry: Arunachal Pradesh is a land of beautiful handicrafts comprising wide range in variety. All the people have a tradition of artistic craftsmanship. A wide variety of crafts such as weaving painting, pottery, smithy work, basketry, woodcarving etc. are found among the people of Arunachal Pradesh. On the basis of the art and cultural pattern, the indigenous inhabitants of the state may be divided into three distinct groups, (i) the group comprising Bodic tribe like Monpa, Sherdukpen, Memba, Khamba, Khamti and Singpho, (ii) group including the Aka, Miri, Miji, Sulung, Nishing, Adi, Apatani, Hill Miri, Tagin, Mishmi, Tangsa, Nah, (iii) and the Nocte and the Wancho. All of these groups have some speciality in their art items. The members of first group are good in art of woodcarving and painting works. The second group is widely known for their weaving and cane and bamboo works. The third group viz. Nocte and Wancho are also good wood carvers but their style and motifs are quite different from the other groups. They also specialize in beads works. Apart from these, carpet making, screth painting, tattooing, pottery, smithy and ivory works are also practiced by some of the tribesmen, which assume significance of their respective society.
Weaving industry: Weaving is the occupation of the womenfolk throughout the territory. They are very particular about colors and have a beautiful sense of colour combination. The favorite colors are black, yellow dark blue, green, scarlet and madder. Originally they used natural dye but now a day they switch over to synthetic dyes available in the market. The designs are basically geometrical type varying from a formal arrangement of lines and bands to elaborate patterns of diamonds and lozenges. These designs are enhanced by internal repetition and other decorations. A few of the woven products that deserves mention are Sherdukpen shawls, Apatani jackets and scarves, Adi skirts, jackets and bags, Mishmi shawls, blouses and jackets and Wancho bags Although fly shuttles are now being introduced particularly in the government run weaving centers, the traditional looms are still in use and the genuine textiles are products of these looms.
Cane and bamboo industry: Cane and bamboo industry of Arunachal Pradesh is of very high standard. Most of the domestic requirements are made of cane and bamboo. Hats of different sizes and shapes, various kinds of baskets, cane vessels, a wide variety of cane belts, woven and plains, elaborately woven brassier of cane and fibre, bamboo mugs with carvings, a variety of ornaments and neckless are some of the products that deserve special mention. The technique of basketry is also worth mentioning. The two basic techniques are twill and hexagon both open and closed. Arunachal basketry is beautiful not only because of the fine texture but also because of the unusual shapes. Many a baskets have pleasing forms. There is definite correlation between the shape and the topography and climatic condition of the region. The angular and curvatious nature of some of the baskets has definite functional value.
Carpet Industry: Carpet making is the specialty of the Monpas. They weave lovely colorful carpets with dragon, geometric and floral designs. The choice of color and the color combination is unique. Though originally they weave carpet for domestic use, it has now become an item of trade. Along with increase in demand, production has also been made in large scale.
Wood Carving Industry: Woodcarving is a tradition with some of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. The Monpas, Khamtis, and Wanchos occupy significant place in this art. The Monpa wood carvers make beautiful cups, dishes, fruit bowls and carve magnificent masks for ceremonial dances and pantomimes. Wooden masks are also carved by the Khambas and Membas of West Siang. The Khamptis make beautiful religious images figures of dancers, toys and other objects. Very beautiful woodcarvings are made by the Wanchos of Tirap. In fact the Wancho area is the chief center of woodcarving. Wancho woodcarving was earlier associated mainly with head hunting and human head dominated everything that they made. But now-a -day’s variety of subjects is included. They are invariably free standing. Minute observation on the details will reveal that the Wancho wood carver has deep sense of proportion, in spite of the fact that they give much attention to the head. Of late departure from the traditional fixed form is noticed in many carved figures. Asymmetrical ones replace symmetrical postures; relief works are experimented in various themes. There is no doubt that change has penetrated deep into the Wancho woodcarving.
Ornaments Industry: Ornament making is another craft widely practiced in Arunachal Pradesh. Besides beads of various colors and sizes blue-feathered wings of birds and green wings of beetles are also used in decoration. The Akas make bamboo bangles and ear ornaments, which are sometimes decorated with pocker work designs. Most of the ornaments are made of beads, as the tribes are very fond of it. While some people just hang strings of beads round their neck, others such as the Noctes and Wanchos weave them into very attractive patterns. The Wancho girls particularly are very expert in beadwork. The designs and color combination are superb. Besides beadwork, the Wanchos make ear ornaments from glass beads, wild seeds, cane, bamboo and reed. Various ornaments of coloured glass beads hold a special fascination for the people of Arunachal Pradesh. Silver ornaments are a specialty of the Mishmis. The Idu Mishmi women wear silver fillet necklaces with lockets and beautiful earring. The Sherdukpens and the Khamtis at one time were also renowned for silver work.
Tourism: Department of Tourism, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh has made a humble beginning to create tourism infrastructure at different locations. Arunachal Pradesh has tremendous scope for development of various types of tourism activities, such as cultural tourism, adventure tourism, historical tourism, wildlife tourism, nature based tourism and eco-tourism. The Department of Tourism, during last couple of years has taken up various developmental programmes to boost up tourism activities in the state. Some of the achievement made during this period in infrastructural sector are: – Construction of tourist lodges at Dirang, Darak, Zemithang and Ziro, construction of cafeteria at Itanagar and Dirang, construction of coffee house -cum-guest House at Mayudia, construction of Hawa Garh at Itanagar and Yazali, construction of viewpoint at Namdang and Darkang, electrification at Ganga lake has been completed, development around Malinithan was completed.
The Department of Tourism proposes to take up more such developmental schemes and exploring more of places of tourist interests in the form of providing infrastructural facilities such as construction of tourist lodges tourist, huts, hawa garhs, wayside amenities, development of lakes, of all types of adventure sports, etc at various places of tourist interests in near future.
Eco and Adventure Tourism: Similarly, eco-tourism has a great potential for development. There are a large number of tourists on pilgrimage, who would like to visit Tawang monastery along with similar places of interests in Eastern Bhutan, which may be ideal for pilgrim tourism for the Buddhists. For that a massive investment in infrastructure and manpower planning will be required. Arunachal possesses fantastically breadth taking natural beauty and scenery within its limits, which very few States in India command. Tawang in particular and former Kameng district in general commands famous Buddhist sites, which have an instant international attraction to the potential tourists. It may be an ideal location winter games and sports in India. Once the relations with China are normalized, the Tawang and Bomdila, located on the shortest possible route from the Indian plains to Lhasa will open up a new possibility of prosperity. Similarly, the Tsango- Brahmputra river system does not only have the possibility of generating only electricity and providing irrigation water to the parched agricultural fields, but also will lead to adventure tourism across the boundary in the region. Incidentally, this is also the region, where bird and wild life sanctuaries are located. in which gibbons, “spectacle” monkeys, rare breeds of squirrels and a number of birds, not found anywhere in the world are located Arunachal Pradesh being a protected area, tourists are required to get an Inner Line Permit (ILP)/ Protected Area Permit as follows:
For Domestic Tourist: Inner line Permits are issued by the Secretary (Political), Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar and respective Deputy Commissioner and Additional Deputy Commissioner of the districts. These can also be obtained from Resident Commissioner’s office/ Liaison offices located at New Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur, and Jorhat.
For Foreign Tourists: The foreign tourists can obtain the Protected Area Permit from all Indian Missions abroad, Home Ministry, Govt. of India and Home Commissioners, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar, for a period of 10 (ten) days for a group consisting of four or more persons.
Investment Opportunities-Arunachal Pradesh:
–Industries based on locally available raw materials.
–Textiles (handlooms and power looms) and handicrafts.
–Electronics and knowledge based industries.
–Industries based on non- timber forest produce.
–Infrastructure, such as power and communications.
Art and Craft Industries:
Weaving: Weaving forms part of the major occupation for the women folk. Most woven products use natural dyes and have geometric designs. Some note worthy products include: Shawls, Jackets, Bags and Scarves.
Cane and Bamboo work: Cane and Bamboo is an important industry in Arunachal Pradesh. Most products are made of fine standards. Some noteworthy products include: Hats, Baskets, cane vessels, Cane belts, Bamboo mugs and Carvings and Ornaments and Necklaces.
Carpet Making: Carpet Making is one among the specialty occupations. Carpets are woven with varied colours, designs (geometric, dragon, floral) and shapes. With increase in demand, carpets have become an item of trade and a major occupation for some women folk.
Wood Carving: Wood carving is a tradition with some of the tribes of Arunachal Pradesh. Some noteworthy products include: Wooden cups, dishes, fruit bowls, Masks (For ceremonial dances and Pantomimes). Some other Art and Craft Industries are: Ornaments, Paper Making, Black smithy, Ivory work and Carpentry.
Horticulture: Horticulture is the backbone of the rural economy in Arunachal Pradesh. It has a vast potential owing to varied agro climatic conditions and topography for the development of varied varieties of Tropical, sub tropical and temperate fruits, spices, aromatic and Medicinal plants and mushrooms.
Tourism: Arunachal Pradesh has tremendous scope for the development of varied tourism ventures such as Cultural tourism, Adventure tourism, Historical tourism, Wildlife tourism and nature based tourism and Eco-tourism.
Transport: The capital of Arunachal Pradesh is actually two twin towns, Naharlagun-the older town and Itanagar-the official capital.
Airways: The nearest airport is Tezpur in Assam, 216 km. from Naharlagun and 226 km. from Itanagar. Naharlagun is also connected by Helicopter service from Mohanbari (Dibrugarh) and Guwahati in Assam.
Railways: The nearest railway station is at Harmoti in Assam, 23 km from Naharlagun and 33 km from Itanagar. Arunachal Express departs daily from Kamakhya station (Maligaon) at 16.15 hrs.
Road: Itanagar is connected by a network of roads with all important cities and towns in the neighboring states and major cities in the country.
Advantage Arunachal Pradesh: Nature’s paradise with a phenomenal biodiversity of flora and fauna in terms of diverse forests and wildlife, market potential for the cultivation of orchids and a variety of medicinal plants, huge scope for development of traditional arts and crafts and excellent opportunities in the tourism sector.
(Source: indiainbusiness.nic.in, ibef.org and Wikipedia)
Rubber plantation catching farmers’ fancy in Arunachal Pradesh: Rubber plantation has of late become the centre of attraction for farmers in Arunachal Pradesh, with the government laying emphasis on the crop over the past few years. Days are not far away when rubber would replace the traditional jhum practices of the tribal communities in this Himalayan state as the state government has accorded top priority to the sector for the past several years with separate budgetary allocation. For the current financial year, the state government has allocated an amount of Rs 15 crore for the rubber sector.
(Source: Times of India)
Google offers Chromebooks for Arunachal Pradesh school students: Global tech giant Google is in discussions with the Arunachal Pradesh government to run a pilot for deploying Chromebook laptops for school students. The pilot is proposed to be run in schools in two cities — Itanagar and Ziro. Chromebook is a laptop running Google’s Chrome Operating System. The devices are designed to be used primarily while connected to the internet with most applications and data residing “in the cloud”.
(Source: The Hindu)