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BPSE-145: Democracy and Development in Northeast India

BPSE-145: Democracy and Development in Northeast India

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BPSE-145 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Democracy and Development in Northeast India, you have come to the right place. BPSE-145 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in BAPSH, BAG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BPSE-145/ASST/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: BPSE-145

Assignment Name: Democracy and Development in Northeast India

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Answer all questions in the three Assignments and submit them together.


Assignment - I


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


1. Discuss the formation of Northeast India as a region. 20

Ans) Northeast India is the easternmost region of India representing both a geographic and political administrative division of the country. It comprises eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Sikkim. The region shares an international border of 5,182 with several neighbouring countries – 1,395 kilometres with Tibet Autonomous Region, China in the north, 1,640 kilometres with Myanmar in the east, 1,596 kilometres with Bangladesh in the south-west, 97 kilometres with Nepal in the west, and 455 kilometres with Bhutan in the north-west. It comprises an area of 262,230 square kilometres, almost 8 percent of that of India. The states of North Eastern Region are officially recognised under the North Eastern Council, constituted in 1971 as the acting agency for the development of the north eastern states. Long after induction of NEC, Sikkim formed part of the North Eastern Region as the eighth state in 2002. India's Look-East connectivity projects connect Northeast India to East Asia and ASEAN. Guwahati city in Assam is called the Gateway to the North East and is the largest metropolis in North East India.

The formation of Northeast India as a region:

In the early 19th century, the Ahom and the Manipur kingdoms ruling over the northeast were taken over by a Burmese invasion. There were three Burmese invasions of Assam between 1817 and 1826, during which the Ahom and Manipur kingdom came under the control of Burma. Then in the 19th century, the British fought the first Anglo-Burmese War with Burma, which ended in the British’s victory. This period is also referred to as the Colonial period. During the British reign, North East India became a part of Bengal Province. In the early 20th century, the north-eastern states were established and became isolated from their traditional trading partners Bhutan and Myanmar. The British also made some of the communities of present-day Mizoram, Nagaland, and Meghalaya convert to Christianity.

This is the region majority of the present community in these regions are Christians.

Post-independence, the North-eastern region consists of only Assam and the princely states of Manipur and Tripura. Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal, Mizoram were part of the larger territory of Assam. They subsequently got separated and formed their own state. The states of Tripura and Manipur were Union Territories till 1972 till they attained statehood. Prior to 2002, Sikkim was not a part of the northeast. During British rule, the city of Shillong served as the capital of the Assam province. It served as the capital of undivided Assam until Meghalaya separated to form its own state in 1972. Post Meghalaya’s separation, the capital of Assam was shifted to Dispur whereas Shillong became the capital of present-day Meghalaya.

The state of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya are popularly termed as The Seven Sister States. The new states were inaugurated in January 1972 and subsequently, the “seven sister states” term was coined to address them. They are termed as seven sisters due to their interdependence on each other. The nickname gained popularity after the publication of a book on the Seven Sisters with the name “Land of seven sisters”. The name is still very much popular among the masses. Sikkim formed part of the North Eastern Region as the eighth state in 2002 and is referred to as the only brother of the seven sisters.


2. Explain the main features of the VI Schedule of Indian Constitution. 20

Ans) The Sixth Schedule consists of provisions for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram, according to Article 244 of the Indian Constitution. Passed by the Constituent Assembly in 1949, it seeks to safeguard the rights of the tribal population through the formation of Autonomous District Councils (ADC). ADCs are bodies representing a district to which the Constitution has given varying degrees of autonomy within the state legislature. The governors of these states are empowered to reorganize boundaries of the tribal areas. In simpler terms, she or he can choose to include or exclude any area, increase, or decrease the boundaries and unite two or more autonomous districts into one. They can also alter or change the names of autonomous regions without separate legislation.

Along with ADCs, the Sixth Schedule also provides for separate Regional Councils for each area constituted as an autonomous region. In all, there are 10 areas in the Northeast that are registered as autonomous districts – three in Assam, Meghalaya, and Mizoram and one in Tripura. These regions are named as district council of (name of district) and regional council of (name of region). Each autonomous district and regional council consists of not more than 30 members, of which four are nominated by the governor and the rest via elections. All of them remain in power for a term of five years.

The main features of the VI Schedule of Indian Constitution are as follows:

  1. The Constitution (One Hundred and Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2007 and the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2007 seek to amend the Constitution to include Gorkha Hill Council, Darjeeling in the Sixth Schedule.

  2. The Sixth Schedule provides for the creation of autonomous District Councils in certain tribal areas of the North-Eastern states. The Bill seeks to form a District Council for the hill areas of Darjeeling in West Bengal called the Gorkha Hill Council, Darjeeling (GHC).

  3. All District Councils have the power to make laws on a range of subjects such as the allotment of land, use of water course, and inheritance of property. The GHC has the power to make laws on 45 additional subjects such as agriculture, education, and transport.

  4. The laws made by GHC cannot nullify the existing rights and privileges of any Indian citizen, including land rights, if such citizen is otherwise eligible to acquire land within that area.

  5. Due to the prevailing situation in Darjeeling, the Standing Committee was unable to verify facts on the ground. Therefore, it accepted the views of the central and state governments and recommended that the Bills be passed with some amendments.

  6. The original purpose of the Sixth Schedule was to provide autonomy to the predominantly tribal areas of north-east India. Thirteen per cent of the people living in Darjeeling district belong to Scheduled Tribes.

  7. Scheduled Castes constitute 16 per cent of the total population of Darjeeling. The Standing Committee has recommended reservation for Schedule Castes and women in the GHC.

  8. The Bill does not address any of the structural issues highlighted by various official reports related to the Sixth Schedule.

  9. The powers devolved to the District Councils are not identical. An expert committee has recommended that the minimum powers should be stated in the Constitution.


Assignment - II


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


3. Discuss the significance of migration in Northeast India. 10

Ans) The significance of migration in Northeast India:

Northeast India has over 220 ethnic groups and the equal number of dialects in which Bodo form the largest indigenous ethnic group. The hills states in the region like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland are predominantly inhabited by tribal people with a degree of diversity even within the tribal groups. The region’s population results from ancient and continuous flows of migrations from Tibet, Indo-Gangetic India, the Himalayas, present Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The first group of migrants to settle in this part of the country is perhaps the Austro-Asiatic language speaking people who came here from South-East Asia a few millennia before Christ. The second group of migrants came to Assam from the north, north-east, and east. They are mostly the Tibeto-Burman language speaking people. From about the fifth century before Christ, there started a trickle of migration of the people speaking Indo-Aryan language from the Gangetic plain. Almost all groups inhabiting the region have come from different places at different periods of history and most of the early settlers claim their origin from various places of East and Southeast Asia. In fact, the entire region can be called a ‘museum of races’.

Migration-centric literature concerning NE states suggests that these states’ economic development has always been deplorable and, therefore, a major factor driving out-migration, even though the potential to prosper is abundant. Another important observation is that out-migration for education from the NE states is almost double the national average at 5.72 per cent. Empirical studies by Shimray and Ushadev found that in the last two decades, students’ flow from the NE states to the major metropolitan cities has increased. They also suggested that student mobility pattern reflected a lack of education and employment opportunities in the region. Student migration from the NE states has witnessed a constant rise in recent years.

4. Highlight the characteristics of a regional party in Northeast India. 10

Ans) The characteristics of a regional party in Northeast India are as follows:

  1. It generally operates within a specific state or specific region. Its electoral base is limited to a single region.

  2. It articulates regional interests and identifies itself with a particular cultural, religious, linguistic, or ethnic group.

  3. It is primarily concerned with exploiting the local resources of discontent or preserving a variety of primordial demands based on language, caste or community or region.

  4. It focuses on local or regional issues and aims to capture political power at the state level. It has no inclination to expand and control the central government.

  5. It has a political desire for greater regional autonomy of states in the Indian Union.

  6. They provide better governance and a stable government at the regional level

  7. They pose a challenge to the one-party dominant system in the country and led to a decline in the dominance of the one party.

  8. They make a strong impact on the nature and course of centre-state relations. The tension areas in centre-state relations and the demand for grant of greater autonomy make the central leadership more responsive to the needs of the regional actors.

  9. They make politics more competitive and popular participation in the political process more extensive at the grass roots.

  10. They widen the choice for voters in both the parliamentary and assembly elections. The voters can vote for that party which aims to promote the interest of the state/region.

  11. They increase the political consciousness of the people and also their interest in politics. They bring into focus the local or regional issues which immediately attract the attention of the masses.

5. Identify the main characteristics of autonomy movements in Northeast India. 10

Ans) The hill tribal people of Assam inhabit the two hill districts of Assam viz. the North Cachar Hills district and the Karbi Anglong district. Here the study mainly confines to the autonomy movement in N.C. Hills district of Assam. The N.C. Hills district is one of the twenty-seven districts of state of Assam in India. It is situated at the southern end of Assam covering an area of 4,890 It is one of the two hill districts in Assam and one of the backward districts as well. The autonomy movement by the tribals in the N.C. Hills district was a result of continuous resentment and frustration of the hill tribal people, due to discrimination and oppression by the government of Assam and the plain people of Assam. Although, Autonomous District Council (ADC) existed in N.C. Hills district since 1952 to give some sort of autonomy to the tribal people to administer themselves and take some developmental steps, much improvement could not be achieved due to limited power of the ADC and the state government’s apathy.

The main characteristics of autonomy movements in Northeast India are:

  1. Autonomy is a matter of degree.

  2. It is functional.

  3. The concept of autonomy is institutionalized in view of the multi-national make up of a modern state.

  4. It aims at giving expression to distinct cultural and linguistic identities and at uplifting the backward socioeconomic conditions of the nationalities.

  5. It aims at consolidating the units within the state system.

  6. The autonomous units have certain degree of independence in decision making in internal matters.

  7. This independence is regulated by the state.

  8. As it is regulated, there is latent or patent conflict potentialities.

Assignment - III


Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.


6. Discuss the significance of Autonomous District Councils. 6

Ans) The significance of Autonomous District Councils is as follows:


The ADCs are empowered with civil and judicial powers, can constitute village courts within their jurisdiction to hear trial of cases involving the tribes. Governors of states that fall under the Sixth Schedule specifies the jurisdiction of high courts for each of these cases. The councils are also empowered to make legislative laws on matters like land, forests, fisheries, social security, entertainment, public health, etc. with due approval from the governor. The roles of the central and state governments are restricted from the territorial jurisdiction of these autonomous regions. Also, Acts passed by Parliament and state legislatures may or may not be levied in these regions unless the President and the governor gives her or his approval, with or without modifications in the laws for the autonomous regions.

7. Analyse the role of women in new social movements in Northeast India. 6

Ans) The role of women in new social movements in Northeast India are:

  1. Nupi Lan, Manipur: Nupi Lan/Lal which means Women’s War first started in 1904 against the British order in Manipur. The heirs apparent of the former ruling family were not happy with the selection of Chura Chand Singh as the King by the British. So, they stirred up the first Nupi Lan.

  2. Meira Paibi, Manipur: Meira Paibi was another women’s movement started in the late 1970s to control the social order and gendered violence occurring due to alcoholism and drug abuse. Meira Paibi (meaning the torch bearers – the Meira symbolises the declaration of war) presently aims to protects human rights in their community and fight against the injustices of AFSPA.

  3. Irom Sharmila, Manipur: Irom Sharmila’s movement against AFSPA has been as long as almost 16 years now, though recently she broke her fast to fight elections against Okarm Ibibo in Manipur.

8. Highlight the relationship between ethnicity and politics of recognition. 6

Ans) The rise across Europe of political parties espousing an ethnic conception of the nation, explicitly opposed to immigrants and minorities, has brought into stark relief the politics of identity. Locating our analysis within social identity theory, we consider the role of observed characteristics, including party affiliation, the experience of harassment, and political context in shaping ethnic and political identities. We also show that there are unobserved factors jointly implicated in individuals’ political and ethnic identities, which we interpret as providing suggestive evidence of more general political mobilisation of ethnicity. By contrast, harassment, and discrimination shapes minorities’ political but not ethnic identity. Contrary to expectations, both political and ethnic identities are stronger among second-generation compared to immigrant minorities.

9. What was “Crown Colony”? Discuss. 6

Ans) A Crown Colony is a British overseas territory under the direct authority of the British Crown. As such, a Crown Colony does not possess its own representative government and is not represented in the British Parliament. The colony is administered by a governor appointed by the Crown and responsible to the colonial office (or its forerunners) and, from 1966 onward, to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. The governor has wide-ranging authority and is assisted either by an appointed advisory council or by both a legislative and an executive council. Council members were usually appointed by the governor. Only at a later stage did Crown Colony government in some colonies rely on elected councils.

10. Write a note on Sikkim.

Ans) Sikkim, state in India, is located in the north-eastern part of the country, in the eastern Himalayas. It is one of the smallest states in India. Sikkim is bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north and northeast, by Bhutan to the southeast, by the Indian state of West Bengal to the south, and by Nepal to the west. The capital is Gangtok, in the south-eastern part of the state. A part of the Eastern Himalaya, Sikkim is notable for its biodiversity, including alpine and subtropical climates, as well as being a host to Kangchenjunga, the highest peak in India and third highest on Earth. Sikkim's capital and largest city is Gangtok. Almost 35% of the state is covered by the Khangchendzonga National Park. Long a sovereign political entity, Sikkim became a protectorate of India in 1950 and an Indian state in 1975. Its small size notwithstanding, Sikkim is of great political and strategic importance for India because of its location along several international boundaries. Area 2,740 square miles (7,096 square km). Pop. (2011) 607,688.

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