ATAL Conclave
DoNER Minister Dr Jitendra Singh with Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu at the ATAL Conclave in Itanagar. Photo Credit - Northeast Now

Union DoNER (Department of Development of North Eastern Region) Minister Dr Jitendra Singh in presence of Chief Minister (CM) Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and other dignitaries inaugurated the three-day Arunachal Transformation & Aspirational Leadership (ATAL) Conclave on Friday.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Singh congratulated the State Government for conducting a first-of-its-kind conclave targetted towards the age group of 18 to 30 years to engage them proactively in areas of public policy and governance.

He said the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee initiated the work of transforming India, which is being taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi now. Singh said the wholesome growth of India is not possible if one part of the country lags behind and stressed that it was under Vajpayee that North East got “unprecedented attention” from the Centre. He also stated that there is so much to learn from North East and rest of India should start coming closer to this region.

Earlier, speaking on the occasion, CM Khandu said the whole idea of ATAL conclave is to know what our youths are thinking, what their aspiration is and how they wish to contribute for betterment of Arunachal. He expressed happiness that youths from all over the State numbering about 150 have come together enthusiastically responding to their call. He said the Government will try to incorporate all the suggestions and solutions proposed.

The CM said due to limited opportunities, youths are forced to migrate to better places resulting in “brain drain”. He said the objective of the conclave is to create opportunities for youths by taking them onboard and engaging them in the growth process.

Deputy CM Chowna Mein said the door of Pema Khandu-led Government is open to all sections of the society. While citing that today’s youths are leaders of the future, who will govern the affairs, he called upon them to make optimum use of the platform and make meaningful deliberations besides being a partner in drawing a roadmap for the development of the State.

The first day of the ATAL Conclave witnessed impressive interactive session between the younger minds of Arunachal and representatives from the State Government. Sessions and discussions on prevalent issues such as education, health, sustainable management of water and sanitation were conducted wherein officials from the respective departments addressed the questions raised by the young participants.

The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Director Shakti Sinha spoke on Act East Policy – transforming India’s North East in his first keynote address.


Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at:

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