Bangladesh declares March 25 as ‘Genocide Day’

  1. Bangladesh unanimously adopted a resolution declaring March 25 as Genocide Day, in remembrance of the atrocities carried out by the Pakistani Army in the night of March 25, 1971
  2. Condemning the denial of history by Pakistan, the Bangladeshi legislators passed the motion unanimously after a marathon seven-hour discussion on Saturday night
  3. Operation Searchlight: The Pakistan Army swooped on unarmed civilians on the night of March 25, 1971, to crush the Bengali rebellion following refusal by the military leadership to accept the election results of 1970 in which the Awami League got thumping majority
  4. The operation began in the first hours of March 25 in Dhaka

Note4students:

Note the info for prelims.

[op-ed snap] Ways of sharing

Context:

  1. India’s decision to allow its border roads in Mizoram and Tripura to be used by Bangladeshi forces
  2. Bangladeshi’s construct border outposts in the inhospitable terrain of the Chittagong Hill Tracts
  3. It shows just how far the two countries have come to bridging their trust deficit

Strengthening ties:

  1. The decision came as Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar flew into Bangladesh to begin preparations for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in early April
  2. If the visit goes as planned, it will be her first bilateral trip to India since 2010, when the MoU for the Land Boundary Agreement was originally signed
  3. The terms of that agreement have now been fully implemented, and Ms. Hasina’s visit will build on the boost that relations received from the historic agreement that was signed in 2015 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka
  4. Hasina has long made it clear that she would only return the visit when there are ‘substantive outcomes’ on the table

Expected agreements:

  1. There is speculation about a
  • Defence partnership agreement
  • Movement on the Teesta water-sharing agreement
  • Ganga water barrage project
  • Other energy and connectivity projects
  1. Any of these would go a long way in cementing ties that are increasingly described as a “win-win” for both neighbours

Possible bumps:

  1. Hurdles can involve the Centre and the affected Indian States
  2. For instance, water-sharing is a highly emotive subject, and movement on Teesta water-sharing has been held up largely because of West Bengal’s reservations
  3. To address them, the Central government needs to reach out to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee
  4. Similarly Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has raked up the Farakka Barrage project

Ms. Hasina’s political worries:

  1. She faces an election in 2018, and with the opposition accusing her of being soft on India, she cannot be seen to be returning home empty-handed on the water question
  2. Also, while the border issue has been resolved, border firing has not ceased, an issue Ms. Hasina’s rivals use to target her
  3. Meanwhile, she faces the task of addressing India’s mistrust over Chinese investment in Bangladesh, with $38 billion pledged in infrastructure cooperation and joint ventures during President Xi Jinping’s visit last year
  4. Hasina has sought to address this by arguing that India will also benefit from Bangladesh’s enhanced prosperity if all these projects go through
  5. Yet, Dhaka may need to be more aware of India’s anxiety as Bangladesh and other neighbours become more heavily invested in China’s One Belt One Road project, that India has opted to stay out of for now

Note4Students:

The op-ed is important for developing an understanding on India-Bangladesh issues. Keep track of further developments for a possible Mains answer.

Delhi allows Dhaka use of border roads

  1. In a rare gesture, India has decided to throw open its border roads to help Bangladesh construct border outposts in Chittagong hill tracts, known for its inhospitable terrain
  2. Some areas in Chittagong, bordering Tripura and Mizoram, have no motorable roads and India has decided to allow the Border Guard Bangladesh to construct 13 border outposts using the road connectivity available in the two States
  3. The Border Security Force, deployed along the Bangladesh border, will monitor the construction activities
  4. India has on multiple occasions handed over details of insurgent camps operating from the Bangladesh soil, particularly in the dense Chittagong Hill Tract area
  5. Following the leads, the neighbouring country has acted against these camps and demolished them

Note4students:

See which states share a boundary with Bangladesh in an atlas. See all boundary states and which countries they share a border with.

Delhi, Dhaka push Ganga basin project

  1. Bangladesh and India have held talks on the Ganga basin development project after dialogue on the Teesta water sharing agreement slowed down
  2. The project is expected to feature prominently on the agenda of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s next visit to India which is yet to be finalised
  3. Navigation and irrigation: Ganga basin development project will help agriculture and river navigation and revive the river economy
  4. Joint dredging and development activities in the basin area are also part of the project
  5. Former Bangladeshi ambassador Mohammed Zamir who is a specialist on the issue said Bangladesh needs India’s support to build a new Ganga barrage on its territory to operationalise the scheme
  6. For joint development: The main component of the Ganga basin development is the issue of joint development and management
  7. Utility: That apart, Bangladesh needs a new Ganga barrage to hold water released from the Farakka barrage
  8. The proposed barrage would provide a solution to aridity in the Bangladeshi territory that Dhaka blames on the Farakka barrage in India
  9. Once completed, the Ganga barrage can hold water for the lower riparian system in the lean season
  10. A Ganga basin development project can become a major achievement for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before the next election of Bangladeshm due in two years.
  11. Background: The Ganga basin development project was first conceived during the UPA rule and came up for discussion during Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s Dhaka visit in 2011

Note4students:

The project and its impacts on Indian and Bangladesh and utility are important for prelims as well as mains. It is a sign of growing relations between India and Bangladesh. Note how India’s federal setup can impact relations with other countries. Both, the Indian and Bangladeshi, govts want to collaborate on water issues, however, water is a state subject in India. Hence political differences between the central and state govt are delaying any cooperation.

Recently there have been proposals to make water a concurrent subject. Although it is unlikely to happen, it could help in such situations.

Modi-Mamata spat may cast a shadow on Hasina visit

  1. Event: Upcoming visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India
  2. Context: WB CM Mamata Banerjee’s political fight against PM Narendra Modi’s demonetisation drive
  3. The visit was unlikely to witness any progress on the Teesta water-sharing issue because of these political differences
  4. The focus of the visit was likely to be on greater defence and maritime cooperation, and not on river-water sharing
  5. At the Budapest Water Summit 2016, PM Hasina said Bangladesh remained vulnerable as 92% of its surface water originated from outside its borders
  6. According to her, water challenges today are not the scarcity of water in absolute term; rather its equitable distribution
  7. Effective management of trans-boundary river water would serve a lasting and viable solution

Back2basics:

  1. Teesta deal has become more of a symbol than having a strong substance in it.
  2. The Teesta deal was set to be signed during the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in September, 2011 but was postponed
  3. The Teesta river is said to be the lifeline of Sikkim, flowing for almost the entire length of the state.
  4. The river then forms the border between Sikkim and West Bengal before joining the Brahmaputra as a tributary in Bangladesh.

What is Budapest Water Summit 2016?

  1. The Summit is organised by the Government of Hungary in cooperation with the World Water Council.
  2. The World Water Council is an international and independent organization which fight for better water management across the world.
  3. It’s just a think tank!

Note4students:

This news demonstrates the impact that the federal nature of our polity can have on our international relations. Although external affairs is under the Centre, the views of a state CM are impacting our relations with another country. This article is important for polity and international affairs.

Parrikar in Dhaka to boost defence ties

  1. Event: The first ever bilateral visit by an Indian Defence Minister to Bangladesh
  2. The visit was a way to revitalise India’s defence partnership with its immediate neighbours, especially Bangladesh and Myanmar, which share long land boundaries
  3. At present the defence relationship is limited, except some training and military-to-military cooperation
  4. This is also an attempt by India to offset growing engagement by China and Pakistan with Bangladesh on the defence front
  5. India is open to selling them platforms and is keen to extend cooperation in the naval area
  6. India is also keen on concluding a white shipping agreement to exchange information on commercial traffic
  7. The armies of India and Bangladesh have last week concluded the sixth edition of joint military exercise “Sampriti-2016”
  8. It focussed on counter-terrorism operations

Back2basics:


What is white shipping and how does it help in India’s maritime security?

  1. White shipping information refers to exchange of relevant advance information on the identity and movement of commercial non-military merchant vessels
  2. Being aware of the identity of these vessels is imperative to preventing any potential threat from the sea from impinging on the coastal and offshore security of the country.
  3. The 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack is a case in point.
  4. Indian Navy has thus been working towards achieving complete Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) along with all other concerned agencies like the coast guard, customs, ports, fisheries, etc.
  5. India has signed white shipping agreements with several countries including United States and Singapore and is seeking similar agreement with more countries as part of its ongoing effort at developing an effective regional MDA.

Note4students:

There are some important terms here, such as white shipping and Sampriti. These can come in prelims. India has signed many white shipping agreements this year. These will provide valuable information so that India can better monitor the Indian Ocean. This news also demonstrates the closer relations between India and Bangladesh and how we are reacting to China’s inroads.

Dhaka seeks balance of strategic ties

  1. Issue: China’s government-to-government and private deals worth $38.05 billion have upgraded the Bangladesh-China relationship to a strategic partnership
  2. There is a debate in Bangladesh on a possible tilt in balance vis-a- vis Dhaka’s relations with New Delhi
  3. At present relations are at an all-time high under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
  4. Many experts, including key government leaders, see the growing Dhaka-Beijing relations as purely commercial and economic
  5. Others feel the need for a crucial balance under the new reality
  6. Dhaka has categorically said that Mr. Xi’s visit would not have any negative impact on its relations with other countries, including India.

Reviving Radio Bangla

  1. Context: Radio Bangla was discontinued in 2010 but with DRM, Radio Bangla will be active again
  2. AIR is using both FM transmitters and DRMs to reach out to India’s neighbours
  3. History: This radio transmission had played an important role in the liberation of Bangladesh
  4. India: Hoping to have specific programmes to interest listeners, like discussions on rising fundamentalism in Bangladesh, which poses a danger to India

What is simulcast transmission?

  1. What? It is the simultaneous transmission of an amplitude modulated (AM) and DRM in the same or a neighbouring channel
  2. Advantage: Both DRM and AM radios can receive a signal they can discriminate and demodulate
  3. Disadvantage: It can decrease DRM range
  4. Also, there can be local oscillator interference in the AM receiver, known as noise

What is DRM?

  1. DRM is the universal, openly standardised digital broadcasting system for all broadcasting frequencies
  2. Digitisation: DRM ensures the efficient and complete digitisation of those countries committing to the digital radio roll-out
  3. Advantages: DRM has the twin capabilities of anologue and digital transmission, which makes it perfect for simulcast modes
  4. It also has longer range than FM transmitters
  5. Disadvantages: DRM receivers cost around Rs. 15,000 and people may not buy such expensive receivers
  6. It would have been better to install more FM transmitters if the objective is to reach listeners

Govt goes digital for cross-border outreach

  1. Context: President Mukherjee will inaugurate a transmitter at Chinsurah later in 2016
  2. Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM): It is the cross-border broadcasting initiative & will kick start after inauguration of the transmitter
  3. It will provide cross border radio service to Bangladesh

India exports power to Bangladesh, gets Internet bandwidth

  1. Context: India trades 100 MW of power from Tripura for 10gbps of Internet bandwidth from Bangladesh
  2. Power: India currently supplies 500MW of power to Bangladesh through West Bengal
  3. Bandwidth: Import of bandwidth will help India strengthen telecom services and connectivity in the north-eastern region
  4. An international gateway for broadband connectivity will be set up at Agartala through which connectivity will be provided via Bangladesh

India’s major power deal in B’desh to beat China

  1. Context: BHEL would seal a contract to build a $1.6 billion power plant in Bangladesh beating Chinese competitors
  2. Plant: a 1,320-megawatt (MW) thermal power station in Khulna in southern Bangladesh
  3. Relief: for India, who has long fretted over Beijing’s encroachment in its own back yard
  4. String of Pearls: India believes Bangladesh is a part of China’s String of Pearls

Let’s know more about Border Haats?

  1. Border Haats will be established on a pilot basis at selected areas, including on the Meghalaya border,
  2. To allow trade in specified products and in accordance with the regulations agreed and notified by both Governments.
  3. Presently there are 4 Border Haats which are operational.
  4. In addition, both the Governments have agreed to further establish two Border Haats in Tripura and 4 Border Haats in Meghalaya on the Bangladesh border.

MoU between India and Bangladesh for Border Haats

  1. MoU between India and Bangladesh for Mode of Operation of Border Haats on India-Bangladesh Border.
  2. These are common marketplaces which aim at promoting the wellbeing of the people dwelling in remote areas across the borders of two countries.
  3. By establishing traditional system of marketing the local produce through local markets in local currency and/or barter basis.
  4. Though not significant as a percentage of bilateral trade, these measures help to improve economic well-being of marginalised sections of society.
PIB

What is a Border Haat?

  1. Border haat allows small time traders and consumers of both the countries to engage in trading activities within the stipulated boundary and set period.
  2. People residing within a distance of 5 km from the border are entitled to engage in tax-free selling and buying.
  3. They allow trade in limited commodities with participation of buyers and sellers from both countries.
  4. In 2011, India & B.Desh countries opened their first border haat, reviving the traditional border trade after nearly 40 years

Tripura, Meghalaya to get six more border markets

  1. Union govt. has sanctioned a proposal to open 6 more border haats (markets) in its northeast frontier with Bangladesh.
  2. Currently, there 4 such facilities are presently functional in Tripura and Meghalaya.
  3. These 4 locations are Srinagar and Kamalasagar in Tripura, Kaliachar and Balat in Meghalaya.
  4. The people residing in far-flung border locations are getting benefit of trade transaction at border haats.

Let’s know more about SEBI?

  1. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is the regulator for the securities market in India.
  2. It was established in the year 1988 and given statutory powers on 12 April 1992 through the SEBI Act, 1992.

SEBI vested with the following powers –

  • Approve by-laws of stock exchanges.
  • Require the stock exchange to amend their by−laws.
  • Inspect the books of accounts and call for periodical returns from recognized stock exchanges.
  • Compel certain companies to list their shares in one or more stock exchanges.

Sebi, Bangla regulator sign pact over co-operation

  1. The Sebi has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) on co-operation and technical assistance.
  2. The MoU is aimed at promoting economic links, enhancing investor protection, and development of capital markets.
  3. It also aims at enhancing investor protection and creating conditions for an effective development of securities markets in the two countries.

India, Bangladesh agree to share militant information

  1. India and Bangladesh agreed to share information on militants, while reviewing internal security and other cross-border issues.
  2. It is possible to eliminate terrorism and insurgency through bilateral understanding and intelligence sharing.
  3. There was a need to educate people on both sides, so that they do not cross the borders and abide by all international regulations.
  4. Bangladesh sought Indian cooperation in cross-border drug smuggling.

Indo:Bangla – Freedom after many midnights

  1. The resolution of maritime dispute with Bangladesh in 2014 and land accord recently, are one of the important diplomatic achievements of India’s foreign policy.
  2. The settlement of inter-country dispute involving territorial issues are always remarkable achievements.
  3. The enclave issue, which had its roots in partition led to denial of right to freedom and justice to many.
  4. Now, the ball is in govt.’s court to step up infrastructure and development initiatives to mitigate the trauma of citizens.

90% of enclave dwellers give choice of nation

India and Bangladesh will complete a survey asking each of the 51,000 people living in 162 enclaves on the border to give their choice of citizenship of either nation.

Now, China seeks maritime deal with Dhaka

  1. China has approached Bangladesh to sign a deal on blue economy and maritime cooperation in the Bay of Bengal.
  2. Do note that India had just signed a deal for joint research on oceanography of the Bay of Bengal.
  3. The Indo-B.Desh deal was signed between Univ. of Dhaka and India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

[op-ed snap] A next step called Teesta

  1. No breakthrough on the proposed Teesta water-sharing agreement.
  2. Bangladesh has delivered on its pledge towards zero tolerance for terrorism by extremely proactive in last few years.
  3. But, Indian side yet to deliver on its commitment of zero deaths on the India-Bangladesh border.
  4. There is a need to work together to discover practical and humane solutions to labour mobility, human trafficking and the movement of illegal goods across the border.

Indo-Bangladesh: On rivers and dams

Atal Bihari Vajpayee to get ‘Friends of Bangladesh Liberation War Award’

Bangladesh Cabinet approves 3 pacts to be signed with India

Modi’s Bangladesh visit: IT Centers & Border haat

[op-ed snap] Breakthrough in India-Bangladesh ties

Cabinet delinks Assam from new border pact

  1. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the long-pending – and controversial – Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh.
  2. However, it has de-linked Assam from the agreement for now. Why? Because of major protests etc.
  3. For now, we are settling the West Bengal and Meghalaya segments of the Indo-Bangladesh border.
  4. A Constitution amendment bill required for ratifying the boundary agreement is expected to be tabled in Parliament when the budget session reconvenes next week.

Rice sent via Bangladesh to reach Tripura

  1. The 8 NE states, including Sikkim, are largely dependent on Punjab, Haryana for food grains and essential commodities.
  2. The rice is being ferried via Bangladesh to avoid the long and mountainous surface road up to Tripura via Assam and Meghalaya.
  3. Following diplomatic parleys, the Bangladesh government in the first phase agreed to transport 10K tonnes of foodgrains for Tripura across its territory without charging any duty under a special transit facility.

Bangladesh wins Women in Parliaments Award

  1. Bangladesh is only country in the world where the PM, Parliament speaker, Leader of the Opposition, Deputy Leader of the house, and a major opposition leader are all women.
  2. In the World Economic Forum report it has been placed among the top 10 countries in the world in reducing gender gap
  3. WIP Award is based on the rankings of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report.
  4. The report assesses 135 countries that represent more than 93 % of the world’s population.


:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.







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