South Asia is one of the fastest growing regions that exhibit a potential to emerge as a leading economic centre of the world. Nevertheless, South Asia is riddled with inter and intraregional conflicts embedded in ethnicity, religion, border disputes, and resource politics. These conflicts act as an impediment to peace, development and regional cooperation. In the post-1990’s economic restructuring (liberalisation and privatisation) paved the way for economic growth in the region. Not only India but other South Asian countries Like Nepal and Bangladesh recently earned a reputation of moving swiftly on the path of economic growth. It is a region, nascent in development and growth trajectory and all these are in favour of South Asia. It is expected that in the next couple of years both Nepal and Bangladesh will graduate from the category of the Least Developing Country (LDC) to Developing Country. At the same time, India with its newly acquired economic strength now transited from aid recipient to a donor country. While these are positive indications for a post-colonial region but some issues require serious academic deliberations. The foremost is the question of lack of peace, stability, development and regional integration that is also related to dismal connectivity and lack of cross-border mobility management/governance in South Asia. This is related to the fact that South Asian economies remained open to globalisation, but the same enthusiasm is missing for regional cooperation. Therefore the benefits associated with regional integration are still to be reaped. In short, South Asia is a region of hope and despair and the realisation of potentialities and overcoming the challenges largely depends on the prospect of peace, stability and regional cooperation/ integration.
The conference was organized by the Department of Civics and Politics (University of Mumbai, Mumbai), the Department of International Relations (South Asia University, New Delhi), the Center of Statelessness and Refugee Studies (School of Law, Rights and Constitutional Governance, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai), and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (New Delhi).