D r AK Neog, a former Economic & Statistical Adviser and Ex-Officio Addl. Secretary to the Government of India left this world on February 19 after prolonged treatment in NewDelhi. The news of his demise came to me late at night and I could not see him before his body was taken out for cremation. It is the biggest shock for me in this new year as he was one of my best friends, both being deeply interested in the development of the North-east India, especially Assam. He married Dr. (Prof.) Anja Neog who retired as Head of Philosophy Department from Pragjyotish College recently. She is the daughter of Justice (Retd) KN Saikia , who is famous for his book on Assam Land Revenue.
Dr Neog was a lecturer in Darrang College and thereafter joined the Indian Economic Service (which I also got) to serve in various Ministries of the Government of India.
Our friendship developed as we were students of Economics and both of us attended many semirs all over the North-east as we were invited either as Chief Guest or as keynote speakers. Dr Neog did lots of works on Look East and Act East Policy and wrote many articles in various jourls. He also did many field surveys with Dr DD Mali, Ex-Director of IIPE, Government of India.
Both Dr Neog and myself spoke and discussed a lot for two full days at Morigaon College when they organized a tiol semir on Act East Policy in collaboration with Indian Economic Association (which completed 100 years in December 2017). Dr A K Thakur, General Secretary Indian Economic Association and Dr. Budhen Saikia (Jt. Secy of IEA) and Professor of Morigaon College played a leading role in this All India Semir and they, including Dr Neog, felicitated me for my life time engagement with Economics Social Science.
As both Dr Neog and myself were interested in infrastructure development, especially transport development in Assam and the North-east India, we set up ‘NETA’ - Northeast India Transport Development Association - in 2004 while the first issue of the NETA Newsletter was released in the Guwahati Press Club on August 31, 2015 in the presence of Dr D Bharali, Ex-Chairman Oil, Prof PM Passah of NEHU, Shillong, Dr B Saikia of Morigaon College and many distinguished scholars and experts of NE India. But our ‘NETA’ works suffered due to illness of Dr. Neog.
In view of my deep interest in sustaible and holistic development of Assam and the North-east India, many of my articles were preserved by him and handed over to me for further publications.
I lost my best friend for future works of development in Assam. Today, I feel very lonely and it may be difficult for me to run ‘NETA’ in his absence. May his great soul rest in peace and my deepest condolence to all his family members.
—Shyam Bhadra Medhi
bagraha Hills, Guwahati.