Guwahati: Union Minister RK Ranjan on Sunday asserted that countries need to look beyond political barriers to work for the mitigation of challenges posed by rivers which flow across international boundaries.
He also highlighted the fact that people in the South Asian region directly or indirectly depend on rivers for livelihood.
Delivering a special address on the concluding day of the third edition of ‘Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence’ conclave here, the Union MoS for Education and External Affairs said rivers, which carry with them ancient culture and ethos, also brings challenges such as flood and other disasters.
“Mitigation of these challenges needs close coordination beyond political boundaries,” he maintained.
Ranjan stated that countries need to work together and share experiences for overall development of the region.
“Profusion of rivers in India and North Eastern region is unparallel 627 million people are influenced by Ganga-Brahmaputra valley,” he added.
The Union minister also took pride in the role played by India for expanding educational ties with its neighbouring countries, including arrangement of exchange programmes for students, media personnel and parliamentarians.
Educational ties have always been robust between India and its neighbours This tradition has continued to the present day, and we have been engaging in student exchange programmes with bordering nations, Ranjan said.
The two-day conclave, which got underway on Saturday, is an international ministerial-level river conference to articulate collective vision of cooperation in the Bay of Bengal and South-East Asian region.
It was organised by Shillong-based think tank Asian Confluence in collaboration with the Union External Affairs Ministry, Act East Policy Affairs Department of Assam Government, North Eastern Council and other partners.
Bangladesh Foundation for Regional Studies is the country partner for the event.
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