Volume 24, No.3, July 2003

 

TECHNOLOGY CO- OPERATION AMONG THE BIMST-EC COUNTRIES: ISSUES, CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES.

by Mahendra P Lama

         Mahendra p. Lama, ph. D, is professor of south Asian Economies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. His e-mail contact is: mahendra.lama@vsnl.com

         The Science and Technology as a strategic variable for socio-economic development planning has been well recognized by the Development planners and thinkers alike. The emphasis on Research and Development activities with more and resources set aside for this purpose has both strengthened the process of re-skilling the work force and reinforced the competitive edge of the industrialised economies. On the other hand, the developing economies are caught in the process of a vicious circle of poverty contributing to low investment in technology resulting in low productivity. If the South is to benefit from the advances of the world, this state of affairs needs to be changed to its advantage. Despite gains achieved in the BIMST-EC region consisting of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka Thailand, especially during the last two decades, these countries fall under a category of developing region with vast unexploited potentials for development. In order to explore the vast potentials for development, for the countries in the BIMST-EC region, the development of scientific and technological institutions, and manpower must be an important objective in national and collective planning for the future. For this, co-operation among them is of crucial importance. This article deals with some of the issues, challenges and opportunities that characterise the technology co-operation among the BIMST-EC countries. It also discusses the prospects for co-operation in software and information technology at the regional as well as inter-regional levels and finally deals with the policy options aimed at harnessing these opportunities.

NEPAL-BANGLADESH  RELATIONS:  RETROSPECT AND PROSPECTS

by Madhukar SJB Rana

         Madhukar SJB Rana is Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Royal Government of Nepal and Board Member, Institute of Foreign Affairs, Kathmandu. His e-mail address is:shaligrm@mos.com.np. The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable contributions by the former Nepalese Ambassadors to Bangladesh, namely, Dr. Mohon p. Lohai, Mr. Lok Bahadur and, the Foreign Secretary, Mr Madhu Raman Acharya. Dr. Rajendra. B. Thapa is also warmly thanked for sharing his unpublished notes on Bangladesh-Nepal relations. Because of the inspiration derived from scholar-statesman Mr. Rishi kesh Shaha, and soldier-patriot Brig. general Maheswar SJB Rana (Authors father), the paper is dedicated to their memory.

           The emergence of Bangladesh as an independent state marked a turning point in South Asian history with some specific implications for Nepal. Initially hesitant, Nepal could soon realise that the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent state could increase Nepal's manoeuvrability at the regional level, particularly vis-a-vis India Nepal and Bangladesh have traversed a long way since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1972. Bilateral relations between the two countries are marked by remarkable potentials for developing mutually beneficial co-operation. As a result, vast potentials for co-operation in a large number of areas, like, water resources, Trade, Energy Environment, Transit, Education, Tourism and, Military and Security, remain unexplored or under-explored. Thus, the relationship is still far from being intense, despite the convergence of interests in the areas of crucial importance. It has been mainly.

ENVIRONMENTAL   ASPECTS    OF   ENERGY EXPLORATION IN  BANGLADESH AND THE ROLE OF EIA: THE CASE OF THE SUNDERBANS.

by ABM Ziaur Rahman

   

         AMB Ziaur Raahman is a Research officer at BIISS His E-mail contact is: zia@biiss.org, mailto:abm/@hotmail.com

       Since the 1990s, mainly under economic compulsions, Bangladesh opened up its energy sector for the International Oil Companies to explore and exploit hydrocarbon resources in different blocks in the country, including the ecologically critical Sunderbans. Under the existing rules and regulations in Bangladesh, hydrocarbon exploration projects require to carryout a mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and implement the recommended measures. In this respect, the article discusses various aspects that the EIA document should take into consideration and their application in the case of Bangladesh. Reviewing EIA processes and documents, the article finds different problems with respect to its application in Bangladesh as in other countries for a number of reasons. Consequently, true adherence to EIA continues to remain half-hearted in most of the cases. If it continues to be so, deterioration in environmental conditions with decline in the quality of people’s life would remain as a challenge in the future.

ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY: AN APPENDAGE TO GEO-POLITICAL WORLD ORDER OF THE UNITED STATES?

by Narottam Gaan

         Narottam Gaan, ph .D., D.Litt., Department of political Science, M.S.College,Baramba, Cuttack, Orissa, India. His E-mail contact is: narottam@email.com

         Environmental security is an appendage to US and its allies’ conventional understanding of security based on realist paradigm. The western pattern of development, economy, life style and contributed largely by science and industrial revolution, resulted in a masculine understanding of power to exploit the nature at the peril of others and to have access to resources by the use of force where these are available in total ignorance of sovereign state system and principles of intergenerational equity, justice and responsibility. It is due to the exercise of this power by the US and its allies that vast damages were done to the mature and environment on terms of global warming, sea level rise, ozone layer depletion and other natural hazards. These non-military threats were posed to the entire humanity, more particularly to the people of South, as they lack the necessary scientific, technological and financial wherewithal to withstand the brunt of environmental hazards. so the very realist paradigm of security to provide security to the people came in for questioning about its elevance after the end of Cold war. So the need for redefining security in terms of environmental security was seriously felt. But American security think-tanks continued to define security in its old style and, conventional wisdom and logic in order to give fulfillment to its domestic imperatives of over consumption, inordinate life style and amassing of wealth shaped by its liberal political-economic thinking, From a post Cold war perspective it redefines environmental security not in terms of what it is required of- for example, rethinking life style, pattern of development, respecting intergenerational equity and accountability- but in terms of an extension of its conventional geopolitical interests. This paper questions the