New Delhi [India]: At the first Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group (IMCG) meeting organized on Tuesday as part of efforts to promote relations between India and its neighbouring countries, Ministries and Departments have been requested to accord priority to India’s neighbours in their international activities, programmes and projects.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday convened the first meeting of the IMCG, a high-level mechanism for mainstreaming India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Among various issues that were considered by today’s IMCG meeting on India’s neighbours were the construction of border infrastructure that would facilitate greater trade with neighbours like Nepal –special needs of countries such as Bhutan and Maldives in terms of supply of essential commodities — opening rail connectivity with Bangladesh — humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and Myanmar — fisheries issue with Sri Lanka.
Further, the first-ever training module on India’s neighbourhood was also organized by MEA at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration as part of the Foundation Course earlier this year, read a press release by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Secretaries of Ministries/Departments of Home, Commerce, Finance, Fisheries, representatives from Ministries/Departments of Defence, Railways, Economic Affairs, Consumer Affairs, Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Information & Broadcasting and from Cabinet Secretariat, National Security Council Secretariat as well as other relevant agencies along with heads of Border Guarding Forces participated in today’s meeting.
The meeting deliberated upon and took important decisions on various aspects of India’s bilateral relationship with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the areas of trade and investment, connectivity, border infrastructure, immigration, development cooperation, border security, among others, read the MEA statement.
The IMCG is supported by Inter-Ministerial Joint Task Forces (JTF) convened by the concerned Joint Secretaries in the Ministry of External Affairs. The government of India’s efforts to deliver benefits like greater connectivity, stronger inter-linkages and greater people-to-people connections under India’s Neighbourhood First policy takes place through a whole-of-government approach with coordination involving various Ministries, Departments and agencies of GOI and of concerned State governments.
As per the press release, the IMCG will further improve institutional coordination across government and provide comprehensive direction to this whole-of-government approach to India’s relations with its neighbouring countries. (ANI)