New Delhi, A first ever meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group (IMCG) at Secretary level was convened by Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on April 12.
The IMCG has been setup as a high-level mechanism towards mainstreaming of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, in line with vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Secretaries of Ministries/Departments of Home, Commerce, Finance, Fisheries, representatives from Ministries/Departments of Defence, Railways, Economic Affairs, Consumer Affairs, Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, Information & Broadcasting and from Cabinet Secretariat, National Security Council Secretariat as well as other relevant agencies along with heads of Border Guarding Forces participated in April 12 meeting.
The meeting deliberated upon and took important decisions on various aspects of India’s bilateral relationship with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the areas of trade and investment, connectivity, border infrastructure, immigration, development cooperation, border security, etc.
The IMCG is supported by Inter-Ministerial Joint Task Forces (JTF) convened by the concerned Joint Secretaries in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Government of India’s efforts to deliver benefits like greater connectivity, stronger inter-linkages and greater people-to-people connect under India’s Neighbourhood First policy takes place through a whole-of-government approach with coordination involving various Ministries, Departments and agencies of GOI and of concerned State governments.
The IMCG will further improve institutional coordination across government and provide comprehensive direction to this whole-of-government approach on India’s relations with its neighbouring countries.