Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MKC) : Headquarter, Members | UPSC Notes

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Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MKC) UPSC

• The Mekong–Ganga Cooperation (MGC) was set up at the First MGC Ministerial Meeting, which took place on November 10, 2000, in Vientiane, Laos.

• The Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) is an effort by six countries: India and five ASEAN countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The organisation gets its name from the Ganga and the Mekong, two big rivers in the area.

Both the Ganga and the Mekong are civilizational rivers, and the goal of the MGC project is to make it easier for the people who live along these two major river basins to get to know each other better.

The MGC also shows how cultural and economic ties have grown over time between the countries that are part of it.

• The four main parts of Mekong Ganga Cooperation are culture, education, transportation, and communication.

Objective of Mekong Ganga Cooperation

The Objective of the Mekong–Ganga Cooperation (MGC) is to bring the member countries closer together and help them understand each other better. This will strengthen friendship, unity, and cooperation.

Making it easier for people to move and travel between states.

Moving goods and people around the area.

Putting in place the necessary infrastructure in the Ganga-Mekong basin

Promoting active action in the fight against poverty.

Structure of Mekong Ganga Cooperation

• The MGC has not yet set up its institutions in the right way. A preliminary idea paper that the MGC agreed to said that Ministerial Meetings and Annual Ministerial Meetings (AMMs) would be held every year right after each other.

• The presidency will change hands in the order of the alphabet.

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• The country that is in charge will be in charge of coordinating and putting the plan into action. This will be done by the country that is in charge of being the head.

Working Mechanism of Mekong Ganga Cooperation:

• The Annual Ministerial Meetings, Senior Officials Meetings (SOM), and 5 working groups make up the working mechanism of Mekong Ganga Cooperation.

• The joint parts of MGC are taken care of by these five working groups. Here’s what they are:

Working Group of Education Working Group of Tourism Working Group of Culture Working Group of Action Plans Working Group of Communication

India’s approach to the MGC by sector


India has been trying to improve direct air connections between major tourist spots because there is a lot of untapped potential for tourists to come from Mekong countries.

Capacity Building:

Centres for English Language Training (CELTs) have been set up in Cambodia (August 2007 at the Royal Academy of Cambodia), Laos (June 2007 at the National University of Laos), Myanmar (2009 at the National University of Yangon), and Vietnam (July 2009 in Danang). These were done as part of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI).


Every year, India gives scholarships to the MGC countries through bilateral and multilateral tracks. The plan is run by ICCR, but its budget comes from the ASEAN ML Division.

• At the ninth MGC meeting, India agreed to give five more scholarships to Mekong countries to study museology and conservation methods. This could help the MGC Asian Traditional Textile Museum in Siem Reap, Cambodia, a lot.


• India has always backed connectivity corridors, especially the idea of East-West corridors that connect India to the Mekong region.

• India has put a lot of effort into building the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, which goes from Moreh, India, to Mae Sot, Thailand.

• CLMV countries want India to promise to extending the Trilateral Highway to Cambodia and Lao PDR, as well as to building a new highway that connects Vietnam to the Trilateral Highway.

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• India has suggested a Joint Working Group on Maritime Connectivity between India, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Viet Nam to look into Maritime Cargo Routes and Coastal Shipping Services between these countries.


India spent US$1.772 million to build the MGC Museum of Traditional Asian Textiles in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Cambodia gave the land to them.

• At the ninth MGC meeting, India asked that the member countries of the Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) bloc work together in more areas to strengthen their partnerships and cooperation in ways that are good for everyone.

• Keeping historical and cultural landmarks in good shape. This is done through the exchange of delegations, workshops, and training courses. India offers 10 scholarships for training in museology and conservation methods. Each member country gets two of these scholarships.

• A Common Archival Resource Centre (CARC) will be set up at Nalanda University.

Public Health and Traditional Medicine:

• Getting people to work together in workshops and training to get rid of high-incidence communicable and non-communicable illnesses.

Water Resource Management:

• India will hold training programmes and workshops so that people can share their experiences and the best ways to handle water resources and farm in communities.

Science and Technology

• One of the MGC countries will be in charge of the Innovation Forum.

• It wants to encourage social innovations in agriculture, transportation, communication, industry know-how transfer, e-commerce, information and communication technology (ICT), health, energy and the environment, food, etc.


• Putting together the MGC trade show in one of the MGC countries.

• The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) will study “Integration of MGC MSMEs into a Regional Production Chain: Potential and Challenges.”

Activities for Mekong Ganga Cooperation

• At the first meeting, which took place in November 2000, tourism, culture, and the development of human resources were named as the first steps on a path that will lead to better communication, transportation, and infrastructure development through networking.

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• In the tourism field, the MGC is committed to doing strategic studies for joint marketing, releasing the Mekong-Ganga Tourism Investment Guide, making it easier for people in the region to travel, expanding multimodal communication and transportation links to improve travel and tourism, and promoting cultural-religious package tours.

• When it comes to building infrastructure, member countries are dedicated to building transport networks, especially the “East-West Corridor” and the “Trans-Asian Highway.”

• When finished, the Asian highway project will connect Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, Vientiane, Chiang Mal, Yangon, Mandalay, Kalemyo, Tamu, Dhaka, and Kolkata in South Asia to Singapore.

• The two countries also work together on air services and connections, as well as IT systems and networks.

• In the field of culture, the group will do joint research on music, dance, and theatre, as well as hold roundtables for writers, journalists, and experts in fields like literature, health, women’s empowerment, performing arts, and nutrition. • Conservation, preservation, and protection of heritage sites and artefacts will also be a focus.

• It is also planned for universities in the area to work together to set up networking and twinning programmes.

• Putting the works of MGC countries into the languages of other MGC countries.

• Member countries can take part in book shows for business reasons.