Dr. Asok Kumar Ray

The Look East Policy and the North East India

With its genesis in the 1950s, the Look East Policy (LEP) drew attention when economic reform was at the doorstep of India in the 1980s. The LEP was restored in the larger context of economic reforms. This paper will discuss three major contours of the policy: regional groupings; trade, investment and infrastructure; and peacebuilding and contextualize these in the specific context of northeast India. The geographical proximity of the northeast with Southeast Asia makes the region more relevant for the prospects in regional cooperation, cross-border trade and in peacekeeping. Considering this relevance, the LEP has reimagined the once sensitive border region of the northeast as a prospective economic zone. One is to see how the northeast has responded to the policy
contours for development of this region. In this process, the region has faced problems, yet the prospects are visible. This paper will open for discourse, the response, problems, and prospects of the LEP in northeast India.