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Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Mechanism

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Multi-lateral organizations


Source: ET

 Context: Speaking at the 12th Mekong Ganga Cooperation (MGC) Mechanism meeting, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted the importance of peace and prosperity in the Mekong region for India’s Act East policy.


About MGC

The Mekong–Ganga Cooperation was established in 2000, at Vientiane, Laos at the First MGC Ministerial Meeting. It comprises six member countries, namely India, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. The four areas of cooperation are tourism; culture; education; transportation and communication.


  • Aim: Both the Ganga and the Mekong are civilizational rivers, and the MGC initiative aims to facilitate closer contact among the people inhabiting these two major river basins


About the Mekong River:

The Mekong or Mekong River is a transboundary river in East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is the world’s twelfth-longest river and the third-longest in Asia. Covering a distance of nearly 5,000 km from its source on the Tibetan Plateau in China to the Mekong Delta, the river flows through six countries: China, Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Viet Nam.


About the Lower Mekong region:

The lower Mekong region refers to the area surrounding the lower section of the Mekong River, which runs through Southeast Asia. It encompasses countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.


The historic and contemporary significance of the lower Mekong region for India:

Historic Significance Contemporary Significance
Cultural Heritage: The lower Mekong region holds a rich historical and cultural heritage that has connections with India’s ancient river civilizations. Economic Cooperation: The Mekong region plays a vital role in India’s Act East policy for fostering economic growth and shared opportunities.
Geographical Ties: The region’s geographical proximity to India has facilitated trade, cultural exchanges, and historical interactions. Comprehensive Connectivity: India is committed to enhancing connectivity within the region through infrastructure projects like the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and Motor Vehicles Agreement
Cultural Exchange: The Mekong region has been a hub for cultural exchange between India and the ASEAN countries, fostering mutual understanding and friendship. Development Partnerships: India aims to collaborate with the Mekong sub-region countries in various developmental initiatives, addressing contemporary aspirations and promoting stability.
Historical Trade Routes: The lower Mekong region has historically served as a significant trade route, facilitating commerce and exchanges between India and Southeast Asia. Tourism and Education: The Mekong region offers opportunities for tourism, educational exchanges, and cooperation in sectors like science and technology.


Insta Links:

Act East Policy


Mains Links:

 India’s northeastern region is already a main pillar of the Act East policy but it can also be a key component of Indo-Pacific policy and strategy. Comment. (15M)


Prelims lInks:

In the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, an initiative of six countries, which of the following is/are not a participant/ participants?

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Cambodia
  3. China
  4. Myanmar
  5. Thailand


Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 1, 2 and 5


Ans: C