11th Mekong Ganga Cooperation Senior Officials’ Meeting Held

Foreign Affairs

New Delhi. The 11th Mekong Ganga Cooperation Senior Officials’ Meeting (11th MGC SOM) was held in New Delhi on July 9.

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

The MGC SOM 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.

They also discussed the Draft MGC Plan of Action (2019-22) for adoption in the 10th MGC Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok on August 1. Prepartions for the 10th MGC Ministerial Meeting were also discussed.

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

Other notable initiatives under Mekong Ganga Cooperation include the MGC Asian Traditional Textile Museum (MGC 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 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; 10 scholarships for courses in Museology and Conservation Techniques at National Museum Institute, New Delhi; and close to 700 scholarships for short-duration training programmes administered bilaterally by the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India under its Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC).