International Inter-disciplinary Seminar on Human Resource Development in South Asia: Capabilities, Challenges and Prospects 16th – 17th March, 2018

International Inter-disciplinary Seminar on Human Resource Development in South Asia: Capabilities, Challenges and Prospects 16th – 17th March, 2018

Organized by:
Department of Economics
Internal Quality Assurance Cell,
Synod College, Shillong

in association with
South Asia Social Science Research Network (SASSRN), India Chapter

Synod College cordially invites researchers, policy makers, social workers and students to participate and present their original research papers in the two day international inter-disciplinary seminar to be held in the College premises during 16 – 17 March, 2018.


Human resource is an important factor impacting development either positively or negatively. Huge but under-developed human resource is a burden on the economy of any nation but on the contrary it can be a critical factor that can propel the nation towards growth and development trajectory when it is youthful and qualitatively improved upon. It has been experienced that countries like Japan, China, South Korea and ASEAN countries have spectacularly benetted from their human resource development. While on the one hand, their human resources contributed to the skilled labour requirement in other countries, on the other hand, their huge and cheap labour force attracted foreign direct investment that has helped in achieving high economic growth rate and at the same time reducing poverty in their respective countries. However it is being predicted that the scope for development in these countries including European and other developed nations would slow down in the near future because of the increasing aging of pulation and also because of the increasing cost of labour.

South Asia which comprises of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives is one of the promising regions in the future of world economy because of huge potential of human resources. The region has a population of 1.749 billion which constitute about one fourth of the world’s population with only about 3.4% of the world’s land surface. Among these countries, India is the largest country with 1.34 billion people and according to UN estimates, India will be the most populous country in the world by early 2020s.

Looking at population of South Asian countries, it is evident that it constitutes a large percentage of young population. According to Fozia Fayyaz (2014), the percentage of population below 25 years in Afghanistan was 62.2%, Bangladesh 51.1%, Bhutan 47.4%, India 46.6, Maldives 44.4%, Nepal 52.2%, Pakistan 54.8% and Sri Lanka 39.6%. It is stated that the 21st century belongs to Asia and given the fact that the South Asian Region has this youthful population, the region can play a principal role in this regard. According to the report of the World Bank (2016), South Asia has been experiencing the most economic robustness in the world. However, in terms of economic growth rate there has been intra-regional variations. While India’s growth rate was as high as 7.1% in 2016, the GDP growth rate of Afghanistan was only 1.9% during the same year.

From the gathered information mentioned above it may be noted that in spite of the promising future in terms of potential for growth, almost all South Asian Countries at present have a low human development index and the region houses the largest number of poor people in the world. The region faces another problem of gender inequality which is an important area which the policy makers need to address upon. This calls for an effective policy formulation and implementation particularly in the sphere of education, poverty reduction and gender inequality without which its future would not be as promising as it should be.

In the pursuit of the goal of human resource development, the role of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) assumes great importance by playing an effective role to bring together the countries under its umbrella to have policy convergence, to share the common opportunities and try to overcome common challenges. However, in this aspect it is imperative for India and Pakistan, the two major countries to try the best possible way to strengthen the SAARC to reap the full potential that the world economy has thrown open to the region.

Effective human resource development in combination with regional cooperation would help to share the potentialities for development by enabling intra-migration of the labour force. Optimum human resource development is also important because the region sends a large number of migrant labour forces to other countries. This particularly holds true in the future since advanced countries are experiencing growing aging of population leading to domestic scarcity of the required labour force.

Taking the issue of Human Resource Development in South Asia, certain questions need attention.
1. What are the developmental prospects and challenges in South Asia and the contribution of human resources in this process?
2. What are the levels, potentialities and constraints of the human resources of South Asian Countries?
3. What are the policies adopted by the different countries to develop human resources in South Asia? How are these policies and programmes implemented and how far they have been successful?
4. Whether there is need to re-strategize the approach towards human resource development in South Asia?
5. What are the fundamental problems associated with low human development index in South Asian Countries?
6. How can the SAARC contribute towards promoting regional cooperation to develop human resources in the region?

The seminar tries to achieve the following objectives:
1. To analyse the levels, prospects and challenges of development in South Asia and the role of human resources in the process.
2. To analyze the development of human resources in South Asia.
3. To examine the policies and programmes to develop human resources in South Asia and their implementation.
4. To analyse the problem of low human development index in South Asia and its relation with human resource development and vice-versa.
5. To examine the role of SAARC in exploring possibilities to develop human resources in South Asia through bilateral and multi lateral cooperation.

1. South Asia: Regional disparities and issues of development & planning
2. Population stock in South Asia: Composition and challenges
3. Planning and prospects of human resource development in South Asia
4. Employment generation in South Asia: Avenues and employability
5. Education Scenario in South Asia: Human resource enhancement and constraints
6. Individual programs and performance in South Asia to optimize human resource capability and engagement.
7. Possibilities and issues of intra-regional adjustment of human resource in South Asia
8. Intra-regional migration in South Asia : Possibilities, prospects and problems
9. South Asian diaspora: Quest for intra-regional employment opportunities
10. Programs and measures to ensure ‘No Exploitation’ of migrants.
11. Poverty alleviation programmes in South Asia: Achievements and evaluation
12. Women empowerment: Planning, prospects and challenges in South Asia
13. Human health: Individual and international efforts for better health- observations and evaluation.
14. Issues and conicts in South Asia: Looking ahead for better tomorrow.

Last date for submission of Abstract: 26th December, 2017
· Date for communication of acceptance of Abstract: 31st December, 2017
· Last date for submission of full paper: 15th February, 2018
· Last date for submission of application form along with registration fees: 15 February, 2018
(Note: No abstract will be included in the souvenir without registration fee.)