The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee lighting the lamp to inaugurate the cultural festival ‘Songs and Dance of the North East’, in New Delhi on April 11, 2015. The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (I/C), Prime Ministers Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Dr. Mukul Sangma and other dignitaries are also seen.

The President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee recently inaugurated the first ever national event titled Songs & Dances of North-east. The event was organized by North-eastern Council (NEC) and Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER) in New Delhi in April, 2015. This event will be held by rotation in different parts of the country in collaboration with one of the eight States of the region.

Speaking on the occasion, the President noted that the states of North-east are an important part of the country. He also highlighted that despite their small population, all the North-eastern states have made immense contribution to the nation. The people of the region took active part in the freedom struggle.

Many of their political personalities have enriched national life. Song, dance and music are part of the everyday life of the people of the region, who are known for their hospitality and courtesy. The President also noted that the North-east region has rare flora and fauna, natural scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage.

Emphasizing on the need for economic development of the region, the President noted that economic development taking place in the region will benefit not only the people of the area but also the entire country. Locational advantage and rich resource endowment of the North-east makes it an ideal hub for dealing with India’s eastern neighbours.

NER therefore has a critical role to play in the implementation of the Government’s Act East Policy which seeks to build closer bonds with the ten countries of ASEAN who are amongst the fastest growing countries of the world.

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