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India-Bangladesh ties

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Bilateral, regional and global groupings involving India and Affecting Indian interests, India-Bangladesh relations etc

 

Source: The Hindu

Directions: Important for Prelims (mapping, organization, trade between two countries) and mains (Indo-Bangladesh relation).

Context: On the occasion of, Sheikh Hasina’s much-anticipated visit to India,  countries are expected to sign at least one major river agreement.

India-Bangladesh trade:

      • Sixth largest trading partner: Bangladesh is India’s sixth largest trade partner with bilateral trade rising from $2.4 billion (two point four) in 2009 to $10.8 billion in 2020-21.
      • Industrial raw materials: Bangladesh imports critical industrial raw materials from India on which its exports are reliant.
      • World Bank working paper: Bangladesh’s exports could rise 182% under a free trade agreement.
        • This could become 300% if combined with trade facilitation measures and reduced transaction costs.
      • Service sectors: Bangladesh also could improve several manufacturing industries by leveraging Indian expertise in service sectors.
      • India and Bangladesh have expanded their partnership to include:
        • Artificial Intelligence
        • Fintech
        • Cybersecurity
        • Startups
        • Connectivity

 

Projects to boost eastern India-Bangladesh connectivity:

      • Economic growth: India’s connectivity projects with ASEAN and Bangladesh will open up the region to economic growth.
      • Joining IMT project: Bangladesh’s interest in joining the India-Myanmar-Thailand highway project.
      • Use of Bangladesh ports: India-Bangladesh bilateral waterway trade will get boosted as India can now use the Mongla and Chittagong
      • Use of Indian ports: India is rallying Bangladesh to divert its exports through Indian ports in place of Malaysian or Singaporean ports.
      • Train and bus connectivity: Three express trains and international bus services operate between India and Bangladesh.

 

Importance of Teesta for India and Bangladesh:

India:

      • Important for farming: For West Bengal, Teesta is important to sustain its impoverished farming districts which comprise 12.77% (twelve point seven seven) of its population.

 

Bangladesh:

      • Dependence on agriculture: For Bangladesh, the Teesta’s flood plains cover about 14% of the total cropped area of the country and provide direct livelihood opportunities to approximately 7.3% (Seven point three) of the population.

 

Role of China:

      • Bilateral ties: China has been actively pursuing bilateral ties with Bangladesh.
      • Mega projects: Bangladesh had successfully approached China for a mega project to enhance the Teesta river water flow.
      • Rohingya issue: Bangladesh also requires China’s support in resolving the Rohingya refugee crisis.
      • Arms import: Bangladesh is the second biggest arms market for China after Pakistan.

 

Issues:

      • Teesta water sharing: The two have failed to resolve long-standing issues such as Teesta water-sharing and killings at the border.
      • China factor: Chinese inroads into Bangladesh have been a cause of worry for India.

 

Conclusion:

Earn the trust and confidence across the spectrum: The prevailing perception in Bangladesh is that India’s goodwill towards the country is aligned to one particular political ideology or school of thought as opposed to Bangladeshi society at large.

      • For India, the challenge is to earn the trust and confidence of Bangladeshis across the spectrum and strata.

 

Insta Links:

 

Mains Link:

Q. Project ‘Mausam’ is considered a unique foreign policy initiative of the Indian Government to improve relationships with its neighbours. Does the project have a strategic dimension? Discuss. (UPSC 2015)

 

Prelims Links:

      • Teesta river dispute
      • Land boundary agreement
      • Ganga and its tributaries
      • Rivers between India and Bangladesh
      • Mapping of India-Bangladesh border

Which of the following is/are common rivers between India and Bangladesh?

  1. Dharia
  2. Kushiyara
  3. Kaladan
  4. Teesta

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a. 1, 2 and 4 only

b. 1, 2 and 3 only

c. 4 only

d. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Ans: (a)

Justification: