The Northeastern India is slightly sliced region between eastern region in India and Purvanchal Range – an eastward extension of theHimalayas in the northern belt of India that primarily consists of all the regions that have been carved out of the original Province of Assam of British India that consists the present day Assam or Assam Valley and rest of the contiguous- Arunachal Pradesh,Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and former Princely States of Manipur and Tripura. Apart from these, more recently as a part ofgreater Northeast India, state of Sikkim and parts of North Bengal (districts of Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, and Koch Bihar) can also be collectively referred as Northeast India. Sikkim was recognized as a part of North-East states in the 1990s.
Linguistically the whole region can widely be distinctly differentiated into 2 splits where, one region is characterised by speakers ofAsamiya or Assamese which is written and spoken in Assam Valley and other parts and indeed one of the most recognised and established language systems that dates back to 900c and traces its origin from Charyapada; the other region which essentially includes the rest of the states with preponderance of Tibeto-Burman languages however, to this exception could be Tripura whereBengali is spoken. The states are officially recognized under North Eastern Council (NEC) constituted in 1971 as the acting agency for the development of the eight states. The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) was incorporated on August 9, 1995 and the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) was set up in September 2001.
The Siliguri Corridor in West Bengal, with an average width of 21 km to 40 km, connects the North Eastern region with the mainland Indian sub-continent. The region shares more than 4500 kilometres of international border (about 90 per cent of its entire border area) with China (South Tibet) in the North, Mayanmar in the East, Bangladesh in the South-West, and Bhutan to the North-West.
The Northeast region can be physiographically categorized into the Eastern Himalayas, Northeast Hills (Patkai-Naga Hills andLushai Hills) and the Brahmaputra and the Barak Valley Plains. Northeast India (at the confluence of Indo-Malayan, Indo-Chinese, and Indian biogeographical realms) has a predominantly humid sub-tropical climate with hot, humid summers, severe monsoons and mild winters. Along with the west coast of India, this region has some of the Indian sub-continent’s last remaining rain forests which supports diverse flora and fauna and several crop species. Similarly, reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the region constitute a fifth of India’s total potential. The region is covered by the mighty Brahmaputra-Barak river systems and their tributaries. Geographically, apart from the Brahmaputra, Barak and Imphal valleys and some flat lands in between the hills of Meghalaya andTripura, the remaining two-thirds of the area is hilly terrain interspersed with valleys and plains; the altitude varies from almost sea-level to over 7000 metres above MSL. The region’s high rainfall averaging around 10000 millimetres and above creates problems of eco system, high seismic activity and floods. The states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim have a montane climate with cold, snowy winters and mild summers.