India-Bangladesh Joint Working Group (JWG)

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    In News

    Recently, India-Bangladesh held the 18th meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on security and border management

    Key Points

    • Issues discussed:
      • They agreed to deepen and strengthen mutual cooperation on security and border-related issues.
      • To implement Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) in letter and its spirit for effective guarding of the Indo-Bangladesh border was the main issue. 
      • Bilateral issues such as border fencing and developmental works within 150 yards of the International Border, illegal crossing, bilateral cooperation in checking insurgency.
      • Combating terrorism, organised crimes and smuggling were also discussed.
    • Recent history:
      • In the last more than four decades, the two countries have continued to consolidate their political, economic, trade and cultural relations and have built a comprehensive institutional framework to promote bilateral cooperation. 
      • Both countries share 54 rivers, out of which, a treaty is already in existence for sharing of the Ganges water and both sides are working for early finalisation of agreements for sharing of water of other common rivers. 
      • Both countries are also cooperating in the conservation of the entire Sundarbans ecosystem, which is a common biodiversity heritage. 

    India Bangladesh Relations

    • Political: 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. 
    • Power and energy cooperation:
      • Cooperation in the power sector has become one of the hallmarks of India -Bangladesh relations. 
      • Bangladesh is the biggest development partner of India. 
    • Defence Cooperation: 
      • High level exchanges at the level of services chief of Indian Navy, Bangladesh Navy and Indian Air Force, conduct of second annual defense dialogue and inaugural tri-services staff talks, service specific talks of Navy and Air Force.
      • 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: 
        • Maitree Express:
        • Mitali Express: 

    Way Ahead

    • India needs to look at more ways to deepen its ties with Bangladesh, especially keeping in mind the shifting nature of geopolitics and geoeconomics in South Asia. 
    • India and Bangladesh have more or less agreed on most issues and this stability must be maintained.
    • India needs to find a fine balance in respecting Bangladesh’s economic growth while maintaining its economic progress. 

    Source: Air + TH