INDIA BANGLADESH AGREEMENTS

  • Recently, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh has visited India and held talks with Indian Prime Minister.
  • India and Bangladesh have signed seven agreements for cooperation in areas ranging from sharing of river waters to space and unveiled new connectivity and energy initiatives.

The two sides seven Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which includes:

  1. The withdrawal of water from the cross-border Kushiyarariver.
  2. The agreement will benefit southern Assam in India and the Sylhet region of Bangladesh.
  3. Cooperation in space technology.
  4. Collaboration on Information Technology systems used by railways in areas such as movement of freight.
  5. Science and technology cooperation.
  6. Training of Bangladesh Railway personnel and Bangladeshi judicial officers in India.
  7. Cooperation in broadcasting between PrasarBharati and Bangladesh Television.

The two nations unveiled the first unit of the Maitree super thermal power project being built in Khulna division of Bangladesh with concessional funding from India.

  • The unit was synchronized with Bangladesh’s power grid in August 2022, and the project will generate 1,320MW, when completed.
  • The 5.13-km Rupsharail bridge was also inaugurated, a key part of the 64.7-km Khulna-Mongla port broad gauge railway project.
  • The bridge was constructed with an Indian line of credit of $389 million.

It will increase connectivity with Mongla, Bangladesh’s second largest port.

India has provided concessional loans worth USD 9.5 billion for development projects in Bangladesh, which includes:

  1. Rail connectivity between Khulna and Dhaka, Chilahati and Rajshah.
  2. Connecting Mongla port with Darshana-Gede at a cost of USD 312 million.
  3. The Parbatipur-Kaunia rail project to facilitate the transportation of fuel is being built at a cost of USD 120 million.
  4. Supply of road construction equipment and machinery worth USD 41 million to repair and maintain Bangladesh’s road network.

Issues which Both Nations should Resolve

  • There should be efforts to resolve pending issues concerning sharing of waters, resolving continental shelf issues in the Bay of Bengal, bringing down border incidents to zero, and managing the media.
  • PM of Bangladesh held out the hope that the two countries will resolve the issue of sharing the waters of the Teesta River – an agreement on the matter has been pending since 2011.
  • Bangladesh has already raised concerns over roll out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, an exercise carried out to identify genuine Indian citizens living in Assam and weed out illegal Bangladeshis.
  • Currently, Bangladesh is an active partner of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that Delhi has not signed up to.
  • In the security sector, Bangladesh is also a major recipient of Chinese military inventory, including submarines.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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