SAF Regional Cooperation Seminars - Netaji Subhas Open University

Conference Kolkotta, India - 29th May 2007

Dr. Arunanshu Dasgupta, organized the event and invited noted History and International Relations professors from both Kolkotta University and Jadavpur University.

The most interesting address was given by a young lecturer at Kolkotta University, Dr. Chakrabarty.  He said that, in the political arena, it is becoming commonplace to judge the success of SAARC with the same measuring index used for organisations such as the European Union and ASEAN.  As a result, there is a tremendous amount of internal apathy within member states of SAARC in regard to the organisation, so much so, that that many proposals and papers presented at SAARC summits are funded from external agencies (e.g. European and American think tanks. However, Mr. Chakrabarty added, the South Asian community should not be quick to judge SAARC, as a true measure of success would be its longevity and stability - over the last two decades no member has called for disengagement, nor has any member opted to leave.  Further indications of success and relevance come from recent requests for “observer status” by countries such as China, the United States and the European Union.
After the address, there was a general discussion with all the speakers and students right, at the end of which, cheques were distributed and lunch was served.


Netaji Subhas Open University

Within the city of Kolkotta, NSOU has 5 main campus’ spread across the city of Calcutta and over 166 distance learning centres across West Bengal.  NSOU was my very last Seminar on the Open University circuit and also turned out to be the most intellectually stimulating. (Prof Surabhi Banarjee Vice Chancellor of Netaji Subhas Open University, Kolkotta).