From Look East to Act East : Opportunities for North-East India with Special Reference to Silchar


Priyotosh Sharma, Research Scholar
Department of Political Science Assam University, Silchar.


The Act East Policy of India which actually succeeded India’s Look East Policy has deepened India’s engagement and ties with the East and Southeast Asian countries. The Act East Policy is a continuation of former Look East Policy of India which was introduced by P. V. Narasimha Rao Government in the early years of 1990s. If we, however, look at both the policies we could find the Act East Policy has reached far beyond in several areas where the former policy could not reach. The Act East Policy emphasizes on practicing more action oriented policies towards East and Southeast Asian Countries so that India can emerge as a major power in Asia. Under the Act East Policy, India’s linkages and connectivity with the Southeast Asian countries and ASEAN have been strengthened through a numbers of bilateral and regional trade agreements. The new Policy also aims at effective implementation of proposed policies and programs by developing better relations with these countries through bilateral talks, trade, business and economic, strategic and cultural ties. This paper tries to summarize the opportunities that the Act East Policy offers to India in general and to the North-East India, in particular. To point out the role Silchar and its strategic importance in the Act Policy is another objective of this paper. At the end, it highlights the major challenges which may harm the growth of Act East Policy of India.