1. Prologue
  2. SAARC#1: Delhi declaration on Education
  3. SAARC#2: Energy cooperation & SAME agreement


  • 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.

SAARC#1: Delhi declaration on Education


  • 2014, Oct: SAARC education ministers’ meeting held at Delhi.
  • They issued a joint statement called “SAARC Delhi declaration on education”.
Salient Features Delhi declaration on Education

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).

But how?

  • 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.

In Future:

  • 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.

SAARC#2: Energy cooperation & SAME agreement

SAARC Energy Market of Electricity (SAME) Agreement

Salient Features: SAARC Market of Electricity (SAME) Agreement

Why SAARC Energy grid?

  1. SAARC nations’ 30% energy needs met through imports.
  2. 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).
  3. ADB report says SAARC energy trade will increase people to people and economic ties among the SAARC nations.
  4. At present, India is imports hydro-electricity from Bhutan (1500MW)
  5. India exports electricity to Nepal (150 MW) and Bangladesh (500MW)
  6. 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:
  7. 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.
  8. Same way, Sri Lanka / Tamilnadu’s offshore wind energy could be sold to Nepal or Afghanistan.
  9. 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.

SAME agreement

  1. SAARC Market of Electricity (SAME) Agreement.
  2. Finalized at New Delhi meeting of SAARC energy ministers. (2014, October)
  3. Aims to setup a “SAARC energy grid”
  4. This grid will help transferring electricity among SAARC-nations.
  5. Focus on 3 pronged strategy:
    1. Harness both conventional and renewable energy.
    2. Build inter-connected transmission grids
    3. Power trade agreements.
  6. + building underwater DC line to Shri Lanka.
  7. Will come into force after all members ratify it.
Timeline of events
2005 SAARC energy ministers’ 1st meeting.
2010 They begin deliberation on Energy cooperation agreement.
2014, Oct
  • SAARC energy ministers finalized the agreement at Delhi. (Pakis did not come though).
  • Although Pakis recently signed a separate agreement to import electricity from Central Asia via Afghanistan.
2014, Nov
  • SAARC summit in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • Theme: Deeper integration for peace and prosperity.
  • Members will sign this 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.