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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 08 September, 2022

  • 8 Min Read

India Bangladesh Agreements

India Bangladesh Agreements

Image Source - BBC

  • The Bangladeshi Prime Minister recently visited India and spoke with the Indian Prime Minister.
  • In addition to announcing new connectivity and energy initiatives, India and Bangladesh have inked seven agreements for cooperation in fields ranging from the sharing of river waters to space.

Key Moments from the Meeting

  • An interim water-sharing agreement for the Kushiyara river was struck by India and Bangladesh, marking their first such arrangement in more than 25 years.
  • In 1996, the Ganga Water Treaty was ratified.

Importance:

  • The Kushiyara accord will assist residents of Sylhet, Bangladesh, and southern Assam.
  • Bangladesh will benefit from India's decision to expand the window for sharing real-time flood-related information.
  • Trade and collaboration: India and Bangladesh have made the decision to begin talks on a comprehensive trade agreement and step up their collaboration against terrorism and extremism.
  • Both nations will shortly begin discussions on the bilateral comprehensive economic partnership agreement in an effort to further expedite this progress.
  • Rail, space, IT, and media agreements were reached by the two sides.

Mujib Scholarship:

  • Recently, Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina established the Mujib Scholarship for the illegitimate children of Indian troops who died or suffered grave injuries during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

  • Hasina's father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is honoured with a prize bearing his name.
  • The Bangladeshi government estimates that 1,984 Indian Army soldiers died in the conflict.

Loans and Advances:

  • India has offered Bangladesh development projects concessional loans totalling USD 9.5 billion. These projects include rail connectivity between Khulna and Dhaka and Chilahati and Rajshahi.
  • Connecting the Darshana-Gede and Mongla ports for USD 312 million.
  • The Parbatipur-Kaunia rail project, which would make it easier to move gasoline, will cost USD 120 million to complete.

Defence Purchasing:

  • In 2018, India gave Bangladesh a Line of Credit (LoC) for $500 million.
  • Bangladesh and the Defence Public Sector Undertaking of Kolkata inked a Memorandum of Understanding in May 2018 to exchange information and expertise about the planning and building of warships.
  • A wish list of military platforms and systems that Dhaka's armed forces would like to purchase from India has been made public.

The Bangladesh Army has authorised the purchase of three things:

  • $5,000,000 for 5 Bridge Layer Tanks (BLT-72)
  • , 7 Portable Steel Bridges, USD 2.2 million
  • At USD 2.2 million, one mine protective vehicle
  • Off-road vehicles, large recovery vehicles, armoured engineer reconnaissance vehicles, and bulletproof helmets are among the further proposed purchases.

Thermal Power Project:

  • The first unit of the Maitree Super Thermal Power Project, which is being constructed in Bangladesh's Khulna Division with Concessionary Funding from India, was unveiled by the two countries.
  • In August 2022, the unit was synchronised with Bangladesh's electrical grid, and when the project is finished, it will produce 1,320MW.

Connectivity:

  • Rushpa Rail Bridge: A vital piece of the 64.7-km Khulna-Mongla port wide gauge railway project, the 5.13-km Rupsha rail bridge was also opened.
  • A $389 million Indian line of credit was used to build the bridge.
  • It will boost communication with Mongla, Bangladesh’s second largest port

India Bangladesh Relations

  • India was one of the first nations to recognize Bangladesh and open diplomatic relations after the nation gained its independence in December 1971 was India.
  • On a global scale, both countries participate in the SAARC, BIMSTEC, Indian Ocean Coastal Regional Cooperation Association, and Commonwealth organizations.
  • Trade and investment: Bangladesh is India's top trading partner in South Asia, and India is Bangladesh's top export destination in Asia.
  • India exported $14.09 billion to Bangladesh in 2021.
  • Bangladesh may move up five positions in two years to the fourth-largest export market for India in FY22.
  • Bangladesh's expansion is largely a result of its performance as an exporter of clothing, which makes up about 80% of all exports.

Collaboration in energy and power:

  • One of the defining characteristics of relations between India and Bangladesh is cooperation in the power sector.
  • Currently, 1160 MW of power are imported by Bangladesh from India.
  • India's largest development partner is Bangladesh.
  • In the last eight years, India has provided Bangladesh with three lines of credit (LOCs) totalling $8 billion for the construction of various types of infrastructure, including roads, trains, shipping, and ports.

Building capacity and developing human resources:

  • India's development cooperation initiatives in Bangladesh focus heavily on developing human resources through its numerous ongoing training programs and Scholarships.
  • since 2019 at the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), Mussoorie, the Government of India has been teaching 1800 members of the Bangladesh Civil Service.
  • The celebration of the two nations' shared cultural heritage involves the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC), which is located in Dhaka.
  • Its training programs in yoga, kathak, Manipuri dance, the Hindi language, Hindustani classical music, and cultural events with well-known performers from Bangladesh and India all support the development of intercultural relationships.

Defence Cooperation:

  • High-level discussions between the services chiefs of the Indian Navy, Bangladeshi Navy, and Indian Air Force; the second annual defence dialogue; the first tri-services staff meetings; and Navy and Air Force-specific discussions.
  • The Coast Guards' DG-level discussions have significantly improved their bilateral defence cooperation.
  • Both nations have maintained and improved mutual engagements in the training sector.
  • Various joint exercises between the two nations are conducted, including Exercise Milan and Exercise Sampriti (Army) (Navy).

Multimodal Connectivity:

  • Bangladesh-bound passenger trains between India:
  • Since 2017, the Bandhan Express has run from Kolkata to Khulna.
  • To meet the needs of the citizens of both nations, it travels the distance via the border crossings at Petrapole and Benapole.
  • Since 2008, Maitree Express has run from Dhaka to Kolkata.
  • Previously, 90% of the seats on the three-weekly route between Kolkata and Dhaka were occupied.
  • The Bandhan Express's 456-passenger capacity is shared by this train.
  • Mitali Express: departing from North Bengal's New Jalpaiguri for Dhaka.
  • Both administrations have chosen to start a bus service. Siliguri, Gangtok, Bangladesh, and Bangladesh To improve interpersonal connections between the two nations, a bus service between Siliguri and Darjeeling and a trail run between Dhaka and Siliguri and Gangtok and Dhaka were both held in December 2019.

Way Forward

But the rising assistance from China in the form of port development like Ashuganj, the issues of refugees and infiltration through the porous India – Bangladesh border, and The Teesta River water dispute are a cause of concern for India. Despite that India and Bangladesh continue a strong bilateral development.

Also, Read - Importance of Regional Language

Source: The Indian Express


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