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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 13 August, 2022

  • 11 Min Read

India and Bangladesh Relationship

India and Bangladesh Relations

Image Source - The Daily Guardian

News: The 4th India-Bangladesh Annual Defence Dialogue, which was recently held in Delhi, decided to intensify the cooperation between the two-armed forces.

Highlights

Military training

  • The discussions focused on the current bilateral training and exercises, and it was decided to make them more challenging.
  • The development of various bilateral defence cooperation was assessed by both parties.
  • 500 million dollars in credit lines (LOC) to Bangladesh.

UN peacekeeping

  • The Bangladeshi government received praise from India for its UN peacekeeping actions.

India-Bangladesh Relations

Historical Background

  • In December 1971, India made it possible for former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) to be freed from the former Western Pakistan, which had ordered the genocide of Bangla residents.
  • Throughout the conflict, the US and China sided with Pakistan while opposing India's support for East Pakistan.
  • India successfully liberated Dhaka with help from the USSR and gave Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a symbol of political leadership, the reins of power.
  • One of the first nations to acknowledge Bangladesh's independence and establish diplomatic ties was India.

Security and Border Management

  • Border Security Force (BSF) and the Bangladeshi Border Guard held Director-General Level Talks (DGLT)
  • The 4096.7 km of the India-Bangladesh land border are managed and secured through regular border coordination conferences between Regional Commanders of the BGB and the Frontier Inspectors General of the BSF.

Defence Cooperation

  • The second India-Bangladesh CORPAT "Bangosagar" exercise, the Coast Guard Regional Commanders meeting, and the Annual Defense Dialogue are examples of high-level interactions.
  • Engagements pertaining to Muktijoddha and the launch of the Muktijoddha Medical Scheme in Bangladesh in 2020.
  • Various joint military drills between the two nations take place, including Exercise Sampriti for the Army and Exercise Milan for the Navy.

Connectivity

  • Several steps have been taken to reestablish the train connections and other connectivity between India and Bangladesh that existed before 1965.
  • To promote interpersonal connections, Chilahati (Bangladesh) and Haldibari (India) jointly reopened their railway connection.
  • As the Covid-19 outbreak continued, both nations began utilizing side-door container and parcel trains to maintain uninterrupted supply lines.
  • It was decided to start a bus service between Dhaka and Siliguri, Gangtok, and Darjeeling. A trial run between Dhaka and Siliguri, Gangtok, and Dhaka was also held.
  • Jointly inaugurated is the Feni Bridge (Maitree Setu) that connects the LCS Sub room (Tripura) with LCS Ramgarh (Bangladesh).
  • Two new India-Bangladesh Protocol Routes were included in the second addendum to the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT) (Sonamura-Daudkandi on river Gomti and extension of Dhulia to Godagiri up to Aricha on river Padma).

Economic and Commercial

  • India's largest trading partner in South Asia is Bangladesh and Bangladesh's largest trading partner is India.
  • India exported 8.2 billion dollars to Bangladesh in the FY 2019–20 while importing 1.26 billion dollars.
  • The India-Bangladesh CEO's Forum was established to foster business community interaction and offer policy-level advice.
  • The India-Bangladesh Textile Industry Forum had its inaugural meeting to strengthen connections and teamwork in the textile industry.
  • One of the defining characteristics of relations between India and Bangladesh is cooperation in the power sector.
  • Currently, 1160 MW of power is imported by Bangladesh from India.

Development Partnership

  • India's largest development partner is currently in Bangladesh.
  • In the past eight years, India has given Bangladesh three lines of credit (LOC) totalling USD 8 billion for the construction of infrastructure.
  • India has also been giving grants to Bangladesh for several infrastructure projects, including the development of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, the Akhaura-Agartala rail link, and the dredging of Bangladesh's inland waterways.
  • An active pillar of India's development assistance is High Impact Community Development Projects (HICDPs).

Capacity Building and Human Resource Development

  • At national institutes in India, the Indian government has been training judges, police officers, and civil servants from Bangladesh.
  • Bangladesh is a significant partner nation for Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC).
  • Every year, students from Bangladesh are given scholarships by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to attend undergrad, graduate, and other programs in Indian universities.

Cultural coexistence

  • The celebration of the shared cultural ties between the two nations involves the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC), which is located in Dhaka.

Visas

  • Six new Indian Visa Application Centers (IVACs) have been opened in Bangladesh by the government of India policy to further liberalize the application process for Indian visas and to improve interpersonal relationships.
  • Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, both nations have started a temporary air travel bubble to meet the urgent needs of passengers from Bangladesh and India.

Cooperation amidst Covid-19

  • Bangladesh received three shipments from India of medical supplies, including RT-PCR test kits, surgical masks, and hydroxychloroquine pills.
  • Bangladeshi medical practitioners have been receiving training from India through a variety of online training modules.
  • Bangladesh received Covishield (vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca) from India.

International Coordination

  • Both are members of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Commonwealth, and the Indian Ocean Coastal Regional Cooperation Association.
  • Bangladesh has played a significant role for India in the Neighborhood First Policy and Act East Policy.

CONCERN:

  • The 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) have strained relations because Bangladesh has voiced opposition to the Act and believes it is unneeded.
  • Agreements to share river water that has failed, such as the Teesta accord. Despite being signed in 2011, it hasn't advanced because of political hostilities between the state and the federal government.
  • A project to upgrade the Ganga-Padma barrage is currently in progress.
  • Delays in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal Initiative's implementation (BBIN).
  • Bangladeshi residents' opinions on India are directly impacted by the communal climate there.
  • Relations have been harmed by the Land and Maritime Boundary Agreements and the issue of Bangladeshi civilians being killed along the border.

WAY FORWARD

Solving the water-sharing conundrum and providing amicable mutual solutions to refugee crises, border infiltration, and land issues can further strengthen the ties between the countries.

Also, Read - Garuda Shield: deterrence against Chinese Encroachment

Source: The Indian Express


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