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State PCS

Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. The relationship between India and Bangladesh has improved significantly as a result of India's assistance in the liberation war in Bangladesh, but it is not without its challenges. Discuss.

    27 Sep, 2022 GS Paper 2 International Relations


    • Start your answer by giving a brief about India and Bangladesh relations.
    • Discuss major issues between India and Bangladesh.
    • Conclude your answer by giving a Way Forward.


    India was the first country to recognize Bangladesh as a separate and independent state and established diplomatic relations with the country immediately after its independence in December 1971 as a friendly South Asian neighbour.

    Bangladesh occupies a key place in India’s Neighbourhood First policy. India's links with Bangladesh are civilisational, cultural, social, and economic. There is much that unites the two countries- a shared history and common heritage, linguistic and cultural ties, and passion for music, literature, and the arts. Also, Rabindranath Tagore created the National Anthems of both India and Bangladesh.

    Main Body

    Current Major Issues Between India and Bangladesh

    • Teesta River Water Dispute: Bangladesh complains that it does not get a fair share of the water. Since water is a state subject in India, the bottleneck lies in the non-consensus between the state government of Bengal and central government.
      • Meanwhile, no treaty has been signed yet to resolve the Teesta water-sharing dispute between the two nations.
    • Illegal Migration: Illegal immigration from Bangladesh to India, which includes both refugees and economic migrants, continues unabated.
      • The large influx of such migrants across the boundary has posed serious socio-economic-political problems for the people of Indian states bordering Bangladesh with serious implications for its resources and national security.
    • Drug Smuggling & Trafficking: There have been many incidences of cross-border drug smuggling & trafficking.
      • Humans (especially children & women) are trafficked & various animal & bird species are poached through these borders.
    • Terrorism: The borders are susceptible to terrorist infiltration. A number of outfits are trying to spread their tentacles across India, such as Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
      • JMB is listed as a terror group by Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
    • Growing Chinese Influence in Bangladesh: At present, Bangladesh is an active partner in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) (India is not a part of BRI).
      • Also, Bangladesh imports Chinese military equipment, including submarines, in the defense sector that is major concern for India’s National Security.

    Way Forward

    • Addressing Water Dispute: To establish a consensus towards demarcating the extent of Teesta River water sharing and reaching a mutual agreement, both the West Bengal government and the central government should work together with mutual understanding and signal cooperative federalism.
    • Better Connectivity: There is a need to enhance connectivity in the region through strengthening cooperation in coastal connectivity, road, rail and inland waterways.
    • Energy Security: As the global energy crisis continues to rise, it is imperative that India and Bangladesh cooperate in making use of clean and green energy in order to make South Asia Energy self-sufficient. It will promote synergy between the two.
    • Shifting Focus Towards CEPA: Bangladesh will graduate from a Less Developed Country (LDC) to a developing country by 2026 and will no longer be entitled to trade and other benefits that are accorded to LDCs under international and regional trading agreements.
      • Through the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India, Bangladesh will be able to manage this transition and preserve its trade privileges. It will also strengthen economic ties between the two.
    • Countering China’s Influence: Assisting Bangladesh with Nuclear technology, Artificial intelligence, Modern farming techniques, and flood data exchange will further strengthen India's relationship with Bangladesh and help India in countering China’s influence to a greater extent.
    • Tackling the Refugee Crisis: India and Bangladesh can take the lead in encouraging other countries in the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to develop a SAARC declaration on refugees, laying down a specific procedures for determining status of refugee and economic migrants.

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