Sikkim is a strategically located tiny hill State with an area of 7096 sq km. One of the special category States in the country Sikkim is also the 8th Member of the North  Eastern Council. The lofty mountains, perennial glaciers, lush green hills, valleys and the rich bio-diversity constitute the magnificent watershed for sustainable social and economic development and also for enriching the traditional and cultural heritage of the State. Sikkim is encircled by three different international boundaries. To its west lies Nepal and Bhutan, to its east Tibet Autonomous Region of People’s Republic of China and to its south Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council of West Bengal. The State joined the democratic mainstream of the Indian Union only 32 years ago in 1975. Since then progress in democratic and planned development has generated ample social and economic security to the masses. Their choices are broadened and their hopes transformed into opportunities. The journey so far has been rewarding and the development efforts satisfactory.


However, no development programme and orientation can remain the same for ever. It has to undergo a whole range of transformation depending upon the changing aspirations of the people, broadening nature of development instruments and agencies, new dimensions of social problems and economic ills, increasing resource crunch, sustainability imperatives of the State and the growing complexity in the functioning of both national and international systems. In other words, the development challenges in the 21st century for a State like Sikkim are formidable, enormous and complex. The devising of new strategies, approaches and instruments for meeting these challenges itself is a complicated and serious task. The State of Sikkim has been debating and deliberating on the entire spectrum of new challenges particularly in the context of globalisation during the last over one decade. Thus a very systematic thought has gone into the process of devising the new strategies, approaches and instruments that fit into the development needs and goals of the State.