Redeveloping the North East
Ambika Mohan
SOCIAL SECTOR DEVELOPMENT IN NORTH-EAST INDIA by Ashok Pankaj, Atul Sarma, and Antora Borah SAGE Publications (Sage Studies on India’s North East), New Delhi, , 39 pp., 1,595.00
May 2021, volume 45, No 5

This book was, perhaps, envisaged along with a conference titled ‘Social Sector Development in North-East India: Problems, Issues and Challenges’. The most striking point the book states is that human capital development should be the focus of all efforts for the social development of the region; it states this point but does not emphatically make it—does not delve much into it to provide a strong rationale for its validity. It is, however, this very underpinning that makes the work stand out from others (for, by now, plenty has been written about the status and development of the North East, and the bleakness of the unresolved issues and challenges) and that guides the book’s structure.

The book is a compilation of informative articles by different authors. These articles are arranged into themes that are factors contributing to human capital formation. After an introduction by the editors, there is a section that introduces the reader to the context of the North East. This context-setting is another strength of the book, providing different lenses through which to analyse the rest of the sections. Then, there are sections on different areas of development—education; health; poverty, unemployment and food security; and governance—the areas that directly concern human capital development. The book ends with a chapter on the unique challenges in social sector development in North East India.

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