Conference on Governance and Security in South Asia

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A diagnosis of the crisis of governance in South Asia and its implications for the security of its plural societies is required before any remedial action is suggested to deal with them. Towards this end, the country studies envisaged under this project focused on the following questions.

i. Discerning the linkages between governance and state/human security in South Asia and their roles for developing a holistic view of national/regional security.
ii. Historical review of the events and trends that have accentuated the crisis of governance and insecurity in South Asia.
iii. Criminalisation of politics with its roots in organized crime; the growing nexus between criminal elements in politics, bureaucracy, and business resulting in the establishment of an exploitative, rentier class.
iv. Role of armed forces in civil society as part of the problematic. The culture of militarisation is permeating the South Asian ethos-revealed by easy manner in which military rule was established in Pakistan; this requires closer inquiry as it is concomitant with strengthening the forces predisposed towards the centralization of powers in the state.
v. Mal-effects of the crisis of governance on State/ human security. This could include a lack of accountability encouraging public corruption, and the deprivation of the people from access to public, including civic, services.
vi. Remedial measures to mitigate these problems accommodating ethnic identities; strengthening civil society; promoting liberal democracy by decentralization and devolution of powers down to the grassroots level; encouraging indigenous forms of governance by strengthening local bodies like nyaya panchayats to dispense justice; recognizing/ accommodating the aspirations of marginalised minorities; and so on.
vii. Given the dismal state of the social sector in South Asia, the region requires a sustained economic growth of at least 5% for a quarter of a century to match global standards.
The conference opened with remarks from Mr PR Chari the Director of the project and Major General (Retd) Dipankar Banerjee, Executive Director, RCSS. The morning session was chaired by Dr. Mira Sinha Bhattacharjee and the afternoon session was chaired by Mr. Muchkund Dubey. The conference concluded with comments from Mr Chari and Maj Gen Banerjee.

Following is a list of the authors and discussants.
Authors
1. Amena A Mohsin – ( Bangladesh),
2. Meenakshi Gopinath – (India)
3. Lok Raj Baral – (Nepal)
4. Shahrukh Rafi Khan – ( Pakistan ) {did not attend}
5. P Saravanmuttu – ( Sri Lanka)
Discussants
1. IP Khosla – (Bangladesh)
2. Gopi Arora – (India)
3. Ramaswamy Aiyar – (Nepal)
4. G. Parthasarathy – (Pakistan)
5 Eric Gonsalves – (Sri Lanka)

Winter Workshop on Sources of Conflict in South Asia: 2001
Eighth Summer Workshop Defence Technology and Cooperative Security in South Asia 2000