Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: BIMSTEC, Particulars of the Exercise
Mains level: BIMSTEC as a bridge between SAARC and ASEAN
A Counter-Terrorism Exercise
- India will host the first military exercise of the BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) group focussing on counter-terrorism in September.
- As part of this, a conclave of the Army chiefs of all seven member-states is being planned.
- The exercise is scheduled to be held in Pune in the second week of September.
- The aim of the exercise is to promote strategic alignment among the member-states and to share best practices in the area of counter-terrorism.
- The theme includes “counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain and cordon and search”, and each side will bring in some 30 soldiers.
What is so special?
- The conclave of Army chiefs is scheduled on the last two days of the exercise.
- The chiefs will debate the challenge of terrorism and transnational crime, which is a major concern among all the states and on how they can promote collective cooperation.
- BIMSTEC countries held a disaster management exercise in 2017, but this is the first military exercise of the grouping which brings together important neighbors of India in South and Southeast Asia
- The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional organization comprising seven Member States lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal constituting a contiguous regional unity.
- This sub-regional organization came into being on 6 June 1997 through the Bangkok Declaration.
- The regional group constitutes a bridge between South and South East Asia and represents a reinforcement of relations among these countries.
- BIMSTEC has also established a platform for intra-regional cooperation between SAARC and ASEAN members.
- The BIMSTEC region is home to around 1.5 billion people which constitute around 22% of the global population with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.7 trillion economies