New Delhi, Apr 9 (By PTI) Conflict and security issues in the South Asian region have impeded the pace of poverty reduction and improvement in human development, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today.
Unequal access to productive resources as well as massive inefficiency and inequities in the "system of governance practiced" are probably important factors in explaining a discrepancy between growth and poverty reduction in the South Asian region, he said.
"Conflict and security have also loomed large in this region posing a constant challenge to a common developmental agenda. Without a satisfactory resolution to the different intra and international conflicts which plague this region, the goals of inclusive development cannot be realised," he said.
He said in spite of the robust economic growth achieved by the individual countries as well as the region as a whole, South Asia still has the largest concentration of poor, uneducated and ill-educated people in the world.
Singh recalled that way back in November 2005 during a 13th SAARC meeting he had mooted the creation of South Asian University.
Renowned economist Jean Dreze said in his key note address that on several social parameters India lags behind South Asian countries like Bangladesh and Nepal despite having 25 years of "run away" growth.