The first meeting of Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group (IMCG) on India’s neighbourhood outreach
Recently the first meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group (IMCG) led by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India was held.
The first meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group (MCG) on India’s better connectivity with its neighboring countries was held under the chairmanship of the Indian Foreign Secretary.
The initiative involves all member countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) as well as Myanmar.
It emphasizes the following:
- Creating cross-border infrastructure to enhance trade with Nepal, expanding rail connectivity with Bangladesh, meeting the special needs of Bhutan and Maldives, providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and Myanmar and issues related to fishermen and fishing with Sri Lanka.
- The Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group has been set up as a high level (secretary level) mechanism. It is working towards mainstreaming India’s “Neighborhood First” policy.
- IMCG is supported by the Inter-Ministerial Joint Task Force (JTF). This task force is called by the concerned Joint Secretaries in the Ministry of External Affairs. IMCG will improve institutional coordination at all levels of government. At the same time, it will also provide a broader direction to the all-government approach (joint activities carried out by ministries, departments, etc. of the government).
- It aims to promote better connectivity, stronger inter-connectivity and people-to-people engagement in India’s relations with its neighboring countries.
- SAARC (SAARC) is an economic and political organization of eight countries in South Asia.
- It was established in the year 1985. It was established with the formal adoption of the Charter by Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
- Afghanistan joined it in the year 2007 as its 8th member.
Source – The Hindu