India Bangladesh Relations

  • History of India- Bangladesh Relations
  • Areas of Cooperation between India Bangladesh
  • Irritants in India Bangladesh Relation ships
  • Current Developments in India Bangladesh Realations

 

India Bagladesh

 

India shares historical and civilizational ties with Bangladesh. India Bangladesh relations have remained friendly ever since the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971. India attaches high diplomatic importance to Bangladesh which can be deduced from the regular Bilateral visits of leaders of both the countries.

Areas of Cooperation: 

  1. Bangladesh is one of the largest trading partner of India. Indian companies like Airtel, Marico have invested in Bangladesh economy
  2. Both the countries cooperate for conserving the entire Sundarbans ecosystem
  3. Both the countries have 54 rivers in common and there is a treaty in place for sharing of Ganges river water
  4. India has recently signed a Land Boundary Agreement for exchange of enclaves. (Enclaves refers to territories inside India that actually belongs to Bangladesh and vice versa)
  5. Both the countries have inter grid electricity connectivity and Bangladesh imports power from India.
  6. India has extended soft credit (loans with less interest rates) to Bangladesh for investments in several Infrastructure projects
  7. A Bilateral Cultural Exchange Program (CEP) promotes cultural exchanges in Arts, Music etc.,
  8. Both the countries face the risk of Terrorism and has extended mutual help to combat it
  9. Both the countries are members of SAARC, BIMSTEC and IOR-ARC

Note:

  • SAARC  stands for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
  • BIMSTEC stands for Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation
  • IOR-ARC stands for Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation

Contentions: 

  1. Teesta river water sharing agreement has not been signed due to opposition from West Bengal. (River is a State subject is notable in this context)
  2. India shares a porous border with Bangladesh and as a result illegal immigration from Bangladesh to Indian territories like West Bengal and North Eastern states have become a source of conflicts in these areas
  3. Indian visa for Bangladeshi travellers is not easy to obtain
  4. Bangladesh recently suffers from political and social crisis due to communal violence and increase in terrorist activities

Way Forward:

  1. Concluding the Teesta river water agreement by building consensus with West Bengal Government
  2. Steps to improve border relations by improving the border infrastructure to reduce illegal migration
  3. Establishing more border haats for improving the trade among the locals residing along the borders of both the countries
  4. Increased cooperation in information sharing with respect to terror activities in both the countries
  5. Looking beyond bilateral relations, there is a need for improving trilateral relations between India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. For Example: a trilateral gas pipeline between these countries can improve energy security
  6. BCIM (Bangladesh China India Myanmar Corridor) aims at improving connectivity through road, rail, air and water. If developed it has the potential to become a game changer in South Asian trade and economy
  7. India need to revive and increase investments in the BBIN (Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal Corridor) that can be competitive to Belt and Road Initiative of China
  8. Extending the Visa on arrival to Bangladesh can improve people to people contact

Source: Ministry of External Affairs, thediplomat.com

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