India on Tuesday signed three agreements with the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) members on culture exchanges, weather warning and establishment of permanent secretariat.
The documents were signed by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Bangladesh Foreign Affairs Minister Md. Shahriar Alam, Bhutan Foreign Affairs Minister Lyonpo Rinzin Dorje, Myanmar Foreign Affairs Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, Nepal Foreign Affairs Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, Sri Lanka External Affairs Ministry Secretary Kshenuka Senewiratne and Thailand Foreign Affairs Ministry Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow.
Member countries signed a Memorandum of Association (MoA) on the establishment of the BIMSTEC Permanent Secretariat. The objective of MoA is to establish Secretariat at Dhaka, Bangladesh, which will coordinate and facilitate the implementation of the BIMSTEC activities and projects and to service meetings of BIMSTEC. The Secretariat is expected to function from May 2014 with Sumith Nakandala of Sri Lanka as the first Secretary General of BIMSTEC.
The members also signed another MoA on the establishment of a BIMSTEC centre for weather and climate. The document aims to establish the weather and climate centre in India which will promote cooperation in identified areas of fundamental and applied scientific research in weather prediction and climate modeling and capacity building in weather and climate research.
Ministry of Earth Sciences is establishing the centre in premises of National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, NOIDA.
The nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the establishment of the BIMSTEC Cultural Industries Commission (BCIC) and BIMSTEC Cultural Industries Observatory (BCIO).
The objective of this MoU is to set up Observatory in Bhutan, which will serve as a repository for information on cultural industries, disseminate such information and facilitate its access by the member countries. The Cultural Industries Commission is a high level oversight mechanism for the observatory, which will develop plans and programmes in this area.