India-Bangladesh River Pact

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    • Recently, India and Bangladesh signed a water sharing agreement for the first time in 25 years.

    About

    • River pact:
      • India and Bangladesh signed an interim water sharing agreement for the Kushiyara river, the first such pact between them in over 25 years 
        • The Ganga water treaty was signed in 1996.
      • Significance:
        • The Kushiyara pact will benefit people in southern Assam and Sylhet in Bangladesh.  
        • India has extended the period of sharing flood water related information in real-time which will help Bangladesh counter the annual floods.
    • Trade and cooperation:
      • India and Bangladesh have decided to start negotiations on a comprehensive trade pact and strengthen cooperation against terrorism and radicalism.
        • To further accelerate this growth, both countries will soon start discussions on the Bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
      • Two sides signed pacts on railways, space, IT and media.
    • Mujib Scholarship:
      • Bangladesh’s PM Sheikh Hasina also announced the Mujib Scholarship recently for the direct descendants of the Indian soldiers killed or grievously injured in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. 
        • The award is named after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Hasina’s father.
        • As many as 1,984 Indian Army personnel were killed in the war, according to the Bangladeshi government.

    Rivers shared between India and Bangladesh

    • India and Bangladesh share 54 rivers.
    • Of which seven have been identified earlier for developing the framework of water-sharing agreements on priority. 
      • During the recent meeting, the neighbours agreed to include eight more rivers for data exchange.
    • Common Rivers:
    • The Ganges, 
    • Teesta, 
    • Manu, 
    • Muhuri, 
    • Khowai, 
    • Gumti, 
    • Dharla, 
    • Dudhkumar and 
    • Kushiyara 

    Kushiyara River

    • About:
      • The Kushiyara River is a distributary river in Bangladesh and Assam, India. 
      • It forms on the India-Bangladesh border as a branch of the Barak River, when the Barak separates into the Kushiyara and Surma
    • Origin and course:
      • The waters of the Kushiyara thus originate in the state of Nagaland in India and pick up tributaries from Manipur, Mizoram and Assam
      • From its origin at the mouth of the Barak, also known as the Amshid bifurcation point, the Kushiyara flows westward forming the boundary between Assam, India, and the Sylhet District of Bangladesh
    • Distance covered:
      • Altogether, the Kushiyara runs about 160 kilometres. 

    India Bangladesh Relations

    • India was one of the first countries to recognize Bangladesh and establish diplomatic relations immediately after its independence in December 1971.
    • Internationally both the nations share the following platforms: 
      • SAARC, BIMSTEC, Indian Ocean Coastal Regional Cooperation Association, and Commonwealth.
    • Trade and investment:  
      • Bangladesh is India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia and India is the largest market in Asia for Bangladesh’s exports
      • India’s exports to Bangladesh during 2021 was US$14.09 Billion.
      • Bangladesh may become India’s fourth-largest export destination in FY22, jumping five places in two years.
      • Bangladesh’s growth stems largely from its success as an exporter of garments, which account for around 80 percent of its total exports
    • Power and energy cooperation:
      • Cooperation in the power sector has become one of the hallmarks of India -Bangladesh relations. 
        • Bangladesh is currently importing 1160 MW of power from India.
      • Bangladesh is the biggest development partner of India. 
        • India has extended 3 Lines of Credits (LOC) to Bangladesh in the last 8 years amounting to US$ 8 billion for the development of infrastructure in various sectors including roads, railways, shipping and ports.
    • Capacity Building and Human Resource Development:  
      • Human resource development is a key component of India’s development cooperation efforts in Bangladesh through its several ongoing training programs and Scholarships.
      • The Government of India has been training 1800 Bangladesh Civil Service officials from 2019 at National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), Mussoorie
      • The Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC) in Dhaka plays an important role in the celebration of common cultural links between the two countries.
      • Its training programs including Yoga, Kathak, Manipuri dance, Hindi language, Hindustani classical music and the cultural programs of renowned artists of India and Bangladesh contribute to the promotion of people-to-people contacts.
    • Defence Cooperation: 
      • High level exchanges at the level of services chief of Indian Navy, Bangladesh Navy and Indian Air Force, the conduct of second annual defence dialogue and inaugural tri-services staff talks, service specific talks of Navy and Air Force.
      • DG-level talks between the Coast Guards have contributed to significant improvement in bilateral defence cooperation.
      • In the training domain both the countries have continued and enhanced mutual engagements.
      • Various Joint exercises take place between the two countries:
        • Exercise Sampriti (Army) and 
        • Exercise Milan (Navy).
    • Multimodal Connectivity: 
      • The passenger trains between India and Bangladesh:
        • Bandhan Express: starting from Kolkata for Khulna – Since 2017
          • It covers the distance via Petrapole and Benapole border route to cater to the demands of the people from both countries.
        • Maitree Express: starting from Dhaka for Kolkata – since 2008
          • The tri-weekly service between Kolkata and Dhaka used to run with 90 percent occupancy. 
          • The train has a capacity to carry 456 passengers, the same as Bandhan Express.
        • Mitali Express: starting from New Jalpaiguri in North Bengal for Dhaka.
      • Bus Service:
        • Both the governments decided to commence: Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka and DhakaSiliguri-Darjeeling-Dhaka bus service to enhance people to people contacts between both the countries and the trail run of Dhaka-Siliguri-Gangtok-Dhaka was also held in December 2019.
      • The Government of India has also been providing grant assistance to Bangladesh for various infrastructure projects including the construction of the Akhaura-Agartala rail link, dredging of inland waterways in Bangladesh and construction of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline.

    Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

    • Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a Bangladeshi politician, statesman and Founding Father of Bangladesh.
    • He served as the first President and later as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from April 1971 until his assassination in August 1975.
    • Mujib is considered to have been a fundamental figure in the efforts to gain political autonomy for East Pakistan.
    • He has also been the central figure behind the Bangladesh Liberation Movement and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
      • He is revered in Bangladesh with the honorific title of “Bangabandhu”.

     

    Source: TH