A PUBLICATION OF THE RESEARCH CENTRE FOR EASTERN AND
NORTH EASTERN REGIONAL STUDIES, KOLKATA

A University Grants Commission Approved Journal
(under UGC-CARE, Arts & Humanities Citation Index)
ISSN 2582-2241

  • Latest Issue: Volume 4, Issue 2 (May 2020)
FIRST PAGES
RESEARCH ARTICLES
Rural Banks In North East India An 'Efficient-Policy' Prescription For Assam Gramin Vikash Bank
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Abstract

This study focuses on the Assam Gramin Vikash Bank, which is at the forefront of the effort by the Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) to develop agriculture and the rural economy of Assam. As the foot soldiers of a bank, the branches are crucial in generating business. Thus, it is of paramount importance to measure the efficiency/inefficiency of the branches. This study analyzes the level of efficiency at which selected branches of the AGVB operate and investigates the cost savings potentiality. The AGVB was selected because of its large network spread over the different districts of Assam. The study uses economic modeling to identify the factors that are responsible for efficiency/inefficiency and it also determines the total factor productivity changes. The results show that on an average the branches operate at 67 percent efficiency level and that there remains scope of cost saving potentiality to the tune of 33 percent. The total factor productivity has grown by 13.4 percent, which indicates that the productivity growth of the branches is mainly driven by technological upgrades in the banking sector. The RRBs are exhibiting greater potentialities towards the financial inclusion of the rural areas as the branches of these banks are mainly located in places where few financial service providers are operating. Since the various schemes of the RRBs are modeled solely to uplift the rural masses, they are demonstrating a great impact on the lives of the people residing in rural Assam.

The Bay Of Bengal - Going Slow In The Fast Lane Of Regional Integration Through Sea Trade
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Abstract

The BIMSTEC nations are collaborating through bilateral and multilateral agreements to develop ports, terminals, and direct linkages across the Bay of Bengal, or BoB, for quicker and efficient exchange of goods and services. This article examines the growing prominence of BIMSTEC in the South- and Southeast Asian region while simultaneously exploring the significance of maritime connectivity projects in the BoB pertaining to the littoral nations in order to understand the coherence of these ventures in promoting regional growth. The article fills a gap in research on Thailand’s missing role in regional connectivity projects. It explores whether maritime connectivity strengthens ties between the BoB littorals in general and the BIMSTEC organization in particular. It concludes that progress is being held back because of, first, the belated political willingness by member states to bring development to this region, and secondly due to slowness in the functioning of BIMSTEC.

Unending Strategic Discords and Emerging Dynamics in Afghanistan-Pakistan Relations: Implications for India
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Abstract

The involvement of external powersrarely solves the internal crisis of a nation; instead, it invites the hostility of the local population to aggravate the crisis further.Historically, Afghanistan has always sailed through the turbulent waters, mainly owing to its geo-strategic and geo-political importance. The Nineteenth-Century ‘Great Game’ ended with no winners, but power contestationshaveincreasedthe instability in Afghanistan. From the mid-20th century, Afghanistan has faced a similarlydaunting challenge from its hostile neighbour Pakistan. The latter,which shares a long porous border with Afghanistan, has contributed heavily in the ongoing instability of Afghanistan. Pakistan’s constant search of ‘strategic depth’ in the polity of Afghanistan has proved itself a disastrous policy move for an already war-torn nation. Further, its political and material support to the centrifugal forces like Taliban, who havecreated a sort of ‘proto-state’ within Afghanistan, have been used despicablyby Pakistan against India for settling its strategic score. Moreover, a dramatic shift has taken place in Afghanistan in the first-half of 2020 with the declaration of the US withdrawal leaving behind every stakeholder, including India disconcerted.

Idyllic Hopes Versus Countrified Actions: Geostrategic Discombobulations of the Commanding-Compliant Countries in Global Energy Governance
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Abstract

This research article delves into the geostrategic pursuits of national governments which guise competitive negotiations in the name of pursuing universally envisioned goals of energy cooperation and sustainability – while deliberating at the international energy fora. The logic behind this geopolitical behaviour is the extent of availability of naturally-endowed energy resources – both conventional and renewable – within their territorial realms. This resource-abundance enables the Commanding countries to give idyllic hopes and aspirations of energy trade and thereby, energy security to the resource-deficient/ Compliant countries. Contradictorily, the former countries simultaneously pursue their unilateral competitive energy policy goals focusing on their national energy security – regionally and internationally. This contravening, fuzzy and hyper-cyclical nature of energy negotiations to give in to the national energy security interests has been observed – to be epiphenomenal to the universally envisioned energy goals – in both Commanding and Compliant countries’ international negotiations.

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