Draft action plan discussed in Mekong Ganga Cooperation meeting


The 11th Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Senior Officials’ meeting was held here on Tuesday where the six member countries discussed a draft action plan scheduled to be adopted at the bloc’s ministerial meeting next month.

The MGC came into existence in 2000 and comprises six countries — India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

The meeting, which was attended by Senior Officials from all six countries, was co-chaired by Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs and Doan Phuong Lan, Deputy Director General, Department of Economic Affairs in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, according to an official statement.

“The meeting reviewed the progress made since the 9th MGC ministerial meeting held in Singapore on August 2, 2018 in all seven areas of cooperation — tourism and culture, education, science and technology, traditional medicine and health, agriculture and allied sectors, water resources management, transportation and communication, and small and medium enterprises,” the statement said.

They also discussed the draft MGC plan of action (2019-22) for adoption in the 10th MGC ministerial meeting in Bangkok on August 1 this year. Preparations for the upcoming meet were also discussed.

India’s assistance to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) under the MGC Quick Impact Project Scheme (QIPS) since its inception in 2014 is moving at a steady pace, the statement said.

A total of 24 projects have been completed so far, including 15 in Cambodia and nine in Vietnam at a cost of USD 1.2 million, generating significant positive impact among beneficiary communities. In addition, currently, one project in Cambodia and three projects in Laos are under implementation.

Other notable initiatives under the MGC include the Asian Traditional Textile Museum (ATTM) in Siem Reap, Cambodia and the Common Archival Resource Centre (CERC) at Nalanda University, Rajgir.

India also offers a large number of scholarships for the MGC countries. These include 50 annual scholarships under the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) MGC Scholarship Scheme, six CLMV scholarships for master’s programmes at Nalanda University and 10 scholarships for courses in Museology and Conservation Techniques at National Museum Institute, New Delhi.

Close to 700 scholarships are offered for short-duration training programmes administered bilaterally by the Ministry of External Affairs, under its Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC).

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