South Asian countries need deeper regional cooperation. Enumerate the present concerns for India and neighbouring countries along with ways to tackle these challenges.
South Asia coversï¿½only about 3.5% of the worldï¿½s land surface area but hosts a fourth of its population. It is a region of significant importance for international development.
Challenges for Present India:
- Insufficient natural resources left for exploitation
- Increasing population specially of youth
- Achieving a reduction in fertility growth
- Environmental concerns
- Jobless growth
Challenges for South Asia:
- Intra-regional trade is 5% of the total trade
- Intra-regional investment is less than 1% of the regionï¿½s overall global investment
- Average GDP per capita is only about 9.64% of the global average
- Economic cooperation remains less than adequate
- Persistent challenges related to industry, innovation and infrastructure, zero hunger, gender equality, education, sustainable cities and communities and decent work and economic growth
- Most of South Asia continues to be vulnerable to climate change and climate-induced natural disasters
Way Forward: The whole region must focus on stabilizing population numbers, achieving sustainable development. State must focus on improving education and health access for women. Urban facilities have to be redesigned, with an emphasis on access to good, affordable housing and mobility. There is a need ofï¿½state support and strong civil society institutions. Aï¿½regional strategic approach is required to tackle common development challenges. The region should address institutional and infrastructural deficits.