- GS-2: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
- GS-2: India and its neighborhood- relations
Context: In the last decade, India-Bangladesh relations have warmed up, entering a new era of cooperation, and moving beyond historical and cultural ties to become more assimilated in the areas of trade, connectivity, energy, and defence.
- Bangladesh and India have achieved the rare feat of solving their border issues peacefully by ratifying the historic Land Boundary Agreement in 2015, where enclaves were swapped allowing inhabitants to choose their country of residence and become citizens of either India or Bangladesh.
|Security & Insurgency
- The Bangladesh government has uprooted anti-India insurgency elements from its borders, making the India-Bangladesh border one of the region’s most peaceful, and allowing India to make a massive redeployment of resources to its more contentious borders elsewhere.
|Economic & Trade relations
- Bangladesh today is India’s biggest trading partner in South Asia with exports to Bangladesh in FY 2018-19 at $9.21 billion and imports at $1.04 billion.
- India has offered duty free access to multiple Bangladeshi products.
- India extended three lines of credit to Bangladesh in recent years amounting to $8 billion for the construction of roads, railways, bridges, and ports.
|Act East Policy
- Bangladesh allows the shipment of goods from its Mongla and Chattogram (Chittagong) seaports carried by road, rail, and water ways.
- This allows landlocked Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura to access open water routes through the Chattogram and Mongla ports.
- Bangladeshis make up a large portion of tourists in India.
- Bangladesh accounts for more than 35% of India’s international medical patients and contributes more than 50% of India’s revenue from medical tourism.
Concerns in India-Bangladesh relations
- Unresolved Teesta water sharing issue looms large.
- Border killings are yet to stop.
- National Register of Citizens across the whole of India reflects poorly on India-Bangladesh relations.
- China, in lieu of its cheque-book diplomacy, is well-entrenched in South Asia, including Bangladesh, with which it enjoys significant economic and defence relations.
Connecting the dots: