- SAARC related three current affairs topics in news during September and October 2014.
- for background theory on SAARC organization visit Mrunal.org/diplomacy
- Relevance: UPSC GS Mains paper 2: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests. + CSAT MCQs on Bamiyan given UPSC’s affection for Buddhism.
- 2014, Oct: SAARC education ministers’ meeting held at Delhi.
- They issued a joint statement called “SAARC Delhi declaration on education”.
Education for all
- Students from disadvantaged groups, cannot finish education or gain vocational skills, due to discrimination and poverty. Therefore, we’ll adopt “inclusive education” policy.
- We’ll increase budget provisions for above “inclusive education”, Gender equitable education and higher education.
- Thus, we’ll achieve Education for all / Universalization of education (= in long term less terrorist-recruits for ISI).
- School dropouts in 15-24 age group, will be given vocational training / distance education.
- Promote Massive Open Online Course, e-learning, ICT tools for learning.
- Mutual recognition of paper degrees, Harmonize of academic standards. So migrant workers can get job easily in another SAARC member-country.
- Each member will share its best education practices and secret coaching class material with others.
- Each SAARC nation will develop an accreditation system. So foreign students can know the bogus colleges before applying.
- Student and faculty exchange programs among SAARC members.
- Linkages between universities, R&D bodies and think tanks.
- (facebook) networking among scientists, students and organizations.
- Four years back, we had setup South Asian university in Delhi. Let’s promote it institute of excellence.
- We’ll Formulate “post-2015 education development goals”. Expert group will meet in 2015, June for this.
- Next meeting of education ministers @Maldives.
Mock Question (GS2): Discuss the importance of Education and cultural diplomacy to strengthen relationship between the SAARC countries. 200 words.
Why SAARC Energy grid?
- SAARC nations’ 30% energy needs met through imports.
- Direct correlation between Per capita electricity consumption vs Human Development index (HDI). But SAARC region’s per capita consumption very low (128 units) compared to world average (3045 units).
- ADB report says SAARC energy trade will increase people to people and economic ties among the SAARC nations.
- At present, India is imports hydro-electricity from Bhutan (1500MW)
- India exports electricity to Nepal (150 MW) and Bangladesh (500MW)
- Rivers can flow in one direction but energy can flow in any direction of our choice. Therefore, Once SAARC energy grid is setup, deeper cooperation is possible. For example:
- Bangladesh is in dire need of electricity. During irrigation season, it has to reduce power to manufacturing industries, to supply electricity to agriculture belt. But with a grid-network, it could import North East India’s hydroelectric power.
- Same way, Sri Lanka / Tamilnadu’s offshore wind energy could be sold to Nepal or Afghanistan.
- Under BCIM forum (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar), China proposed energy cooperation. If SAARC-grid setup, then a large electric network of SAARC+BCIM = cheaper electricity = per capita consumption will increase = better HDI for all countries.
- SAARC Market of Electricity (SAME) Agreement.
- Finalized at New Delhi meeting of SAARC energy ministers. (2014, October)
- Aims to setup a “SAARC energy grid”
- This grid will help transferring electricity among SAARC-nations.
- Focus on 3 pronged strategy:
- Harness both conventional and renewable energy.
- Build inter-connected transmission grids
- Power trade agreements.
- + building underwater DC line to Shri Lanka.
- Will come into force after all members ratify it.
|2005||SAARC energy ministers’ 1st meeting.|
|2010||They begin deliberation on Energy cooperation agreement.|
Mock Question (GS2): Discuss the scope of energy cooperation among SAARC nations and examine the importance of “SAME Agreement” in this regard. 200 words
For background theory on SAARC organization visit Mrunal.org/diplomacy.