SAARC endorses India’s proposal to set up school of governance

  • Utpal Parashar, Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
  • Updated: Sep 19, 2014 21:06 IST

The 6th home ministerial meeting of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries has endorsed a proposal by India to set up a school of governance in the region.

“The proposal to set up a school of governance was unanimously endorsed by all member states,” said Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam.

He added that the school is aimed at implementing good governance in countries of the region by rooting out corruption, improving transparency and accountability in government dealings.

“We are yet to fine tune the proposal. The idea is to learn from good governance initiatives in other countries and try to implement in SAARC member nations,” Gautam said.

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh had made the proposal in his speech stating that the school could be a place where officials from all member countries can exchange experiences on good governance.

Singh underlined that terrorism is a major concern for the region and also highlighted problems faced by India like drug smuggling, cyber crime, human trafficking, money laundering, terrorist funding and illegal movement of arms across borders.

The three day meeting which witnessed deliberations among immigration officials, home secretaries and home ministers of all eight member states concluded here on Friday.

Gautam, who chaired the home minister’s meeting, informed that the decisions taken in the meetings of immigration officials and home secretaries were endorsed by the home ministers.

“There are ample opportunities for making our region peaceful and prosperous. We can make the South Asian region a better place to live through our collective efforts,” Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said while addressing the inaugural session of the meeting of home ministers.

The meeting deliberated on ways to coordinate between member states to tackle terrorism, smuggling of drugs and counterfeit currency, cyber crimes and trafficking of women and children in the region.

In order to address of security threats, member countries also agreed to improve immigration facilities.

Setting up of an immigration network, improvement of immigration facilities with better technology were some ideas discussed by senior immigration officials in the meeting.

The SAARC visa exemption scheme which now allows senior officials and dignitaries of the region hassle free travel within the member states would now be widened to cover other categories.

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