INTRODUCTION The main focus of the proposed study is to analyse the Act East Policy in the context of the ethnic mobilsations and assertions in North East India with special focus on Manipur. North East is a region of various ethnic groups where they interact with each other. Sometimes there arise ethnic tensions among different ethnic groups. Such ethnic assertions are visible in Manipur, one of the border states of North East India. This study will explore how Act East Policy whose evolutionary concern is economic interest and security logic interacts with ethnic issues. The Act East Policy The Act East policy was previously known as Look East policy. Look East policy is an effort to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with the nations of Southeast Asia in order to bolster its standing as a regional power and a counterweight to the strategic influence of the People’s Republic of China. Look East policy was initiated in 1991 which marked a strategic shift in India’s perspective of the world. It was developed and enacted during the government of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao (1991–1996) and rigorously pursued by the successive administrations of Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1998–2004) and Manmohan Singh (2004–2014). With the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War and the onset of the era of globalization and economic liberalization, the need to secure international trade and encourage foreign investments was felt strongly by nations all over the world. The 1990s was a period seeing rapid economic development and growth of Asian countries, especially in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia came to be recognized as region with vast economic potential and the Indi an sub¬continent was fast emerging as an economic and political force to be reckoned with. This is when the Indian leadership came up with the concept of “Look East” . India sought to create and expand regional markets for trade, investments and industrial development. It also began strategic and military cooperation with nations concerned by the expansion of China’ s economic and strategic influence. Thus, from the very start, India’ s strategy has focused on forging close economic and commercial ties, increasing strategic and security cooperation with emphasis on historic cultural and ideological links.According to Eric Koo Peng Kuan (2005), “The origin of the ‘ Look East’ policy arose from political consciousness, focusing primarily on forging mutually beneficial ties between India with South East Asia and Japan. At the end of World War II, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru tried to engage Asia by supporting anti ¬colonial struggles, advocating pan ¬Asianism, and a new international order based on not choosing sides during the Col d War . It can also be said that the ‘ Look East Policy’ for India is an indirect expression of wishing to return to a continuation of India’ s historical behaviour . ” However, India’ s border defeat by China in 1962 became a setback of India’s foreign policies and was viewed as an unimpressive military and diplomatic performance record from the South East Asian (SEA) perspective. Moreover, India’s pro ¬Soviet attitude alienated it from other SEA countries, culminating in the Indo ¬Soviet Treaty of 1971, which earned India even more distrust. Until the 1990s, ASEAN and Japan in general did not share high opinions about India, with not very attractive impressions of a corrupt government and a population yielding generally poor work ethics and sloth, resulting in low quality products and services¬ a perception that India was determined to change.