IRS |Institute of Regional Studies


News Updates

19th May - 28th May
  • Bhutan has to date approved 64 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth Nu 34 billion since the country allowed foreign investment in 2002. (Kuenselonline, 27 May, 2018)
12th May - 18th May
  • ICIMOD-Bhutan Partnership
    The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) believes that solutions devised for mountain problems can benefit populations downstream and Asia at large. ICIMOD brings together eight countries that share mountain resources in the HKH. Our strength lies in working between countries to develop and share knowledge on critical issues. For example, we know that springs are drying up across the HKH, and we work with partners in several countries to develop methods to revive them. To combat the devastation that floods cause to communities – an increasingly important issue with the increased impacts of climate change– we worked with partners to develop a community-based flood early warning system that has saved lives and property in four of our HKH countries. We extend the same spirit of collaboration into research. The Himalayan University Consortium brings together academics and researchers across the region who study mountain development. The Himalayan monitoring and assessment programme connects scientists to better understand what is happening in the region and to propose solution to the pressing issues of the mountains. Bhutan has been a member of ICIMOD for 34 years, and its experiences and knowledge through the years have shaped our initiatives. ICIMOD’s human wellbeing framework, for instance, draws from learnings in several countries, but it is inspired by and based on Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness. Bhutan has much to offer in other areas of mountain development, including energy and benefit sharing. For example, its management of yartsa goenbub (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) has been exemplary, and is being shared with other countries in the region. ICIMOD has worked closely with Bhutan on glacial monitoring and spring-shed revitalization, developing organic agriculture value chains and diversified livelihood options for Bhutanese people. (kuenselonline, May 17, 2018)
3rd May - 11th May
  • Bhutan, known for its Gross National Happiness Index, comes to terms with mental health crisis:
    The tiny kingdom of Bhutan, tucked away in the Himalayas between China and India, is known for its innovative Gross National Happiness Index, a measurement tool used to incentivize policies that increase the well-being of its people. When Bhutan became a constitutional monarchy 10 years ago, the index was written into the new constitution as a guiding principle of governance, one deeply rooted in Buddhism. The country’s tourism council paints an image of a real-life Shangri-La, where visitors seeking a high-altitude paradise will find chiming bells, fluttering prayer flags, crimson-robed monks, staggering mountain views and one of the world’s most unspoiled cultures. But this idealized view of Bhutan lies at odds with some realities. The country known as the world’s happiest — and the only officially Buddhist country on earth — had a suicide rate that measured at roughly 20th in the world, the nation's first comprehensive suicide survey found in 2014. It's impossible to say how much this has increased in recent years because the data wasn't tracked until that year. The country did not even get its first psychiatrist, Dr. Chencho Dorji, until 20 years ago.(PRI- May 7, 2018)
  • Norbuling Rigter College in Paro inaugurated by PM: Norbuling Rigter College was established in July 2017 by offering BBA and B.Com programmes. The college is affiliated to the Royal University of Bhutan. The college was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay on 5 May, and was also attended by the Education Minister Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk, Former Minister Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup and many other dignitaries including the Vice Chancellor, Education Secretary, Dzongdas of Paro and Haa and all the sector and local government heads of Paro. (The Bhutanese, 5 May, 2018)
Credit: Maryam Mastoor