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2024 MSSRC International Conference

1. Rational

          This research conference “Mekong-Ganga Development in Regional Transition and Uncertainty” focuses on a shared cross-learning process among scholars, students, local peoples, practitioners and policymakers. The prevailing transition in both Mekong and Ganga regions include regional dynamics of investment and trade that play a crucial role in determining the resource use change, access to these resources and resource governance for the peoples. The development transition often comes with uncertainty and the peoples in both regions are living in such an uncertain situation that includes resource pressures, inequalities, societal transformations, widespread and intensi­fying polarisation in which non-human actors also play key roles in the development agenda. Therefore, the conference “Mekong-Ganga Development in Regional Transition and Uncertainty” is timely to highlight, address and reflect upon the current issues of poverty and development from a number of different perspectives, concepts, methods and practices. Hence, what will be discussed is the future research agenda for the  Mekong-Ganga development and poverty which includes both theories and practices.

          Since the establishment of the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC) in 2002, the country members including India, Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam have had common development agendas and initiatives. They are tourism, education, culture and communication and transportation under the regional cooperation frameworks, particularly the Ayeyawady - Chao Phraya - Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and ASEAN. Over the past twenty years of the MGC, twelve MGC Ministerial Meetings have been held. The most recent meeting took place on 12 July 2023. Since then, there are plans of actions such as the Hanoi Program Plan of Action and the Phnom Penh Road Map that are underway. All these are mainly initiated by the government agencies.  MCG has been mainly progressing on the physical connectivity including the construction of the India - Myanmar - Thailand Trilateral Highway to enhance the connectivity between the Mekong sub-region and the Indian sub-continent, as well as the signing of the Motor Vehicle Agreement.

          However, regarding to the status of the Mekong-Ganga studies as important knowledge space, academic discussion on development, progress and poverty fields within the contexts of transition and uncertainty are rarely organised.  According to the current debates on development and poverty, one school of thought would say that development brings propensity, poverty eradication and sustainability. Benefits of poverty would be trickled down by other factors like education, employment and quality of life. On the other hand, another school of thought would argue that poverty would not be eradicated as poverty policy, plan and implementation do not tackle inequality, the limited access and control of resources available in society. Poverty reduction is complicated as it is related to the issues of gender, ethnicity, marginality, identities and emotion. The discussion on the  intersectionality of poverty and development is urgently called for as it helps understand its multi-dimensional nature and other forms of inequality.

          Certain key potential researches have been conducted with the themes of regional cooperation and geopolitics focusing upon the models of cooperation under systems of competition for natural resource use, driving factors and mechanisms of cooperation in the Mekong and Ganga regions. Other themes include the Chinese perspective of the Mekong-Ganga challenges and integration. Hence, the issues of water-food-energy nexus have been discussed. They are the livelihood improvement, women empowerment and water-energy-food governance issues. Climate change as a political factor that affects the development and poverty issues still needs to be addressed. The related topics include risk assessment for climate change, induced vulnerability, co-production of knowledge on climate change responses, livelihood and the lifestyle study with respect to high carbon and low carbon mapping. In addition, the lives of common peoples including their identities, culture, believes, ages, ethnicities, classes, and gender need to be understood and debated. They need to be discussed on how development benefits the peoples, whether they have equal access to enjoy the development growth, how the intersectionality matters in development agenda and poverty reduction programmes as well as how and why different actors that include researchers, students, CSCs, private sectors and the media get involved with the issue of development and poverty eradication. These issues are very important in the development and poverty reduction agenda.

1. Mekong Sub-region Social Research Center, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand
2. India Studies Center, Faculty of Political Science, Ubon Ratchathani University            
3. Embassy of India
4. India Foundation
5.Lovely Professional University, Panjab, India
6. School of Management, Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand
7. Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand


2. Objectives

1) To seek an emphasis on debate and criticise the ideas, approaches and methodologies on development and poverty

2) To present and discuss many different stories and narratives of development and poverty pathways from multidimensional themes about the Mekong and Indian development transition and uncertainty

3) To seek further research cooperation among scholars from both the Mekong riverine countries and India


3. Call for Paper

Themes of the conference

1) Theories, concept, approaches and methods of development and poverty

2) Lifestyle and livelihoods in development transition and uncertainty

3) Gender, intersectionality and development agenda

4) Arts, music, language and culture in development and poverty perspectives

5) State and development agenda in the uncertain world

6) CSOs, actors and networks in development

7) Non-human actors in development and poverty reduction

Paper submission [before 10 February 2024] herehttps://forms.gle/q7ZsD7Wxqh7BHtcU6

           Selected paper will be published in the conference proceedings. The certifcate will be provided for presenter.

4. Time/ Place

1-2 March 2024 at U-Place Hotel, Ubon Ratchathani University, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand

More information about U-Place: https://www.ubu.ac.th/web/uplace


5. Registration

          Registration here: https://forms.gle/AfobVUzzGJks12CQ8

          Account Name: Faculty of Liberal Arts, Ubon Ratchathani University, International Conference Project

         Bank: Siam Commercial Bank Public Company Limited

         Account number: 869-252345-4

- Early bird

before 31 December 2023

General  2,500 Baht/Person   

Student 1,000 Baht/Person 

- Normal 

before 15 February 2024   

General  3,500 Baht/Person   

Student 1,500 Baht/Person 


6. Final Program

(*program update: 28 February 2024)

1 March 2024


09.00 - 09.30

Opening Ceremony

09.30 – 10.45  

“Mekong-Ganga in the Transition”(Online)

Keynote:Dr. M. Sivaguru

                Counsellor (Political) & Alternate DPR to UNESCAP,

                Embassy of India, Bangkok


“The Social Construction of Poverty in India”               

Keynote: Assoc.Prof. Dr. Ameeta Motwani

               University of Delhi, India

10.45 – 12.00

“Marginalization and SDGs: Questions on Sustainable Development”

Keynote: Prof.Dr. Surichai Wun’gaeo

               Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

12.00 - 13.00


13.00 – 14.30  

Panel Discussion / Oral Presentation 


Room 1 [Ballroom C]: Panel Discussion: Beyond Poverty in Thailand

1. Assoc.Prof. Dr. Kanokwan Manorom, Ubon Ratchathani University

2. Asst.Prof. Dr. Pinwadee Srisupan, Ubon Ratchathani University

3. Asst.Prof. Dr. Chantra Thaawattanawong, Ubon Ratchathani University

4. Thawat Maneephong, Ubon Ratchathani University



14.45 – 16.15

Room 1 [Ballroom C]: Presentation PanelDevelopment in India and Mekong

1.  Cross-border women mobility and changes of social organization among Laotian community

     Susan Moe Kyaw, Ubon Ratchathani University

2.  Diaspora in South and Southeast Asia

     Dr.Abdunrohman Mukem, Chulalongkorn University

3.  Being a Pluralistic Society and Acting Multiculturalism in Mueang Ubon

     Sutida Tonlert, Ubon Ratchathani University

4.  ASEAN Governance Expansion of Human Rights in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and an Overview of its Processes

      Alex Lew  Wen Jie, Chulalongkorn University

5. Food Security: Lesson from India to the Mekong

    Asst.Prof. Boontiwa Puangklad, Ubon Ratchathani University

6.On Energy Securiry: A Comparison of India’s and Thailand’s Renewable Energy Cases    

       Dr.Sirinbhattra Sathabhornwong, Ubon Ratchathani University

7. Disaster and Resilience [Board Game presentation]

      Ratikorn Vuttikorn, a Play Activist, Club Creative Ltd.


Moderator:  Professor Dr. Valentina Bodrug-Lungu, Moldova State Universityand



Welcome reception (Cocktail)



2 March 2024


09.00 – 9.30

Plenary session “Poverty in the Inequity World”

1. Prof. Dr. Catherine Baron, Toulouse University

2. Assoc.Prof. Dr. Kanokwan Manorom, Ubon Ratchathani University

3. Assoc.Prof.Ameeta Motwani,  University of Delhi


Moderator: Dr. Thanachate Wisaijorn, Ubon Ratchathani University

10.30 – 12.00

Panel Discussion / Oral Presentation

Room 1 [Ballroom C]: Towards 25 years of Mekong Ganga Cooperation

1. Dr.Titipol Pakdeewanich, Ubon Ratchathani University

2. Dr.Chaiwut Grudpan, Ubon Ratchathani University

3. Dr.Shristi Pukhrem,India Foundation

4. Asst.Prof.Patawee Chotanan, Ubon Ratchathani University

        5. Asst.Prof.Dr. Piyanat Soikham, Ubon Ratchathani University


Moderator:Prof. Dr.Erhan Dogan, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey



12.30 - 13.30


13.60 - 16.00

Mekong-Ganga Dialogue: Networking Academic Cooperation




*Break will be served during session


7. International Committee

1. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Kanokwan  Manorom


Faculty of Liberal Arts

Ubon Ratchathani University

2. Assistant Prof.Dr. Piyanat Soikham

Faculty of Political Science

Ubon Ratchathani University

3. Assistant Prof.Dr. Pinwadee Srisupan

Faculty of Liberal Arts

Ubon Ratchathani University

4.Assistant Prof.Boonthiwa Paunglad

Faculty of Political Science

Ubon Ratchathani University

5. Asst.Prof.Dr.Jirayudh Sinthuphan 

Institute of Asian Studies, Chualongkorn University

6. Prof. Pavitar Prakash Singh

School of Liberal and Creative Arts

Lovely Professional University

7. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Javeed Ahmad Bhat

Department of Political Science

Lovely Professional University

8. Dr. Kuldeep Kumar Saxena

Department of Research Impact and Outcome

Lovely Professional University

9. Dr.Pranav Kumar Prabhakar

Department of Research Impact and Outcome

Lovely Professional University