Saarc centres reduced to 5 from 11Three regional centres of Saarc have been shut down and four are in a merger process as per the earlier decision of the member states.
Three regional centres of Saarc have been shut down and four are in a merger process as per the earlier decision of the member states.
A senior government official said the people working at the closed centres were relieved of their duties with “golden handshake”.
Ahead of the 18th Saarc Summit, the member states had decided to close down three regional centres and merge four, lowering their number to five from 11. The decision was taken keeping in a view of avoiding duplication of works and to cut down the expenses.
The meeting had decided to shut Saarc Information Centre of Nepal, Saarc Human Resource Development Centre of Pakistan and Saarc Documentation Centre of India.
As per the decision, the mandates of Saarc Information Centre and Saarc Documentation Centre have been transferred to the Saarc Secretariat in Kathmandu.
The meeting had also decided to merge Saarc Forestry Centre of Bhutan and Saarc Disaster Management Centre of India, Saarc Coastal Zone Management Centre of the Maldives and Saarc Meteorological Research Centre of Bangladesh to form the proposed Saarc Environment and Disaster Management Centre.
Where the centres will be located following the merger has not yet been decided. The activities of these centres will be updated on the Saarc Secretariat website.
Meanwhile, Saarc Agriculture Centre of Bangladesh, Saarc Tuberculosis Centre of Nepal, Saarc Energy Centre of Pakistan and Saarc Cultural Centre of Sri Lanka will continue their operations.
The member states are also mulling upgrading the laboratory of Saarc Tuberculosis and HIV/Aids Centre into “a supranational laboratory”. For this, Nepal has already constructed a new building in Bhaktapur with the assistance of Bangladesh and India.