Guwahati, Wednesday, November 21, 2012
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ASEAN skill development centre likely in city
Kalyan Barooah
 PHNOM PENH, Nov 20 – In an encouraging development having far reaching impact for human resources development, an ASEAN-India Centre for Skill Development and Vocational Education is likely to be set up in Guwahati.The project proposal has been recommended by the high-powered Eminent Persons’ Report to the ASEAN Leaders submit here on Monday.

The recommendation suggests launching of an ASEAN-India skill initiative and establishment of a virtual network of existing, upgraded and new human resource and training institutions in identified strategic sectors.

The report, authored by experts drawn from various fields belonging to the ASEAN, identified Guwahati for setting up of the skill development centre because IIT Guwahati already exists there.

The ASEAN-member States and India have a rich reservoir of time-tested traditional skills such as in textiles, metallurgy, building architecture and medical herbs and holistic healing practices, the report said.

Guwahati incidentally has slowly started becoming hub of ASEAN activities. The ASEAN Car Rally is being flagged down in the city, which would play host to the Commerce and Economic Ministers of ASEAN for the India ASEAN Economic Ministers’ meet.

Meanwhile, in another piece of good news for the region, the northeastern region is set to become the gateway to the bustling markets of the South East Asia, with an ambitious project envisaging road connectivity to Vietnam and Cambodia getting a fresh boost at the ongoing ASEAN and East Asia Summit.

Confined only to drawing board stage so far, the new proposal got a fresh boost with the ASEAN-India Eminent Persons’ Report to the ASEAN Leaders strongly backing the project.

With the targeted date for completion of the Trilateral Highway Project having been firmed up, the deck is being cleared for extending the road links up to Cambodia. The project is now being fast tracked.

The proposed new highway project, connecting India, Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR-Vietnam and Cambodia and

extension of the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway to Lao PDR and Cambodia, as well as development of Mekong-India Economic Corridor connecting Southeast Asia to South Asia on the eastern part of India should receive high priority in order to add greater momentum to the growing trade and investment linkages between ASEAN and India, the report recommended.

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