Visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India

IAS Prelims 2023

Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh paid official visit to India in April 2017. Apart from her official engagements in New Delhi, Prime Minister Hasina visited places of historical and cultural importance in India.

She met Indian PM Modi and held long-ranging discussions with him. The two Prime Ministers presided over a ceremony at the Manekshaw Centre in New Delhi in honour of the Indian martyrs who fought alongside the Bangladeshi Muktijoddha in the Great Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

Both Prime Ministers jointly released the Hindi translation of the book “Unfinished Memoirs” by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Prime Minister Hasina thanked the Indian government for renaming a road in New Delhi in memory of her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib. Both the Prime Ministers recalled the visionary leadership of Bangabandhu.

Prime Minister Hasina personally handed over a citation and a crest to the next of kin of 7 Indian officers and soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Modi announced a special medical scheme under which 100 Muktijoddhas of Bangladesh will be provided medical treatment in Indian hospitals every year. He also extended the Muktijoddha Scholarship Scheme for 10,000 heirs of Muktijhoddhas for another 5 years.

The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the excellent progress made in the utilization of the first line of credit of US$ 862 million, as well as identification of specific projects for the second LOC of US$ 2 billion extended by India to Bangladesh.

The two Prime Ministers welcomed the identification of a number of projects in the areas of port construction, railways, roads, airports, power & energy, telecommunications, shipping etc in Bangladesh to be implemented under the 3rd Line of Credit of US$ 4.5 billion being given by Government of India.

Prime Minister Hasina thanked Prime Minister Modi for supporting various public interest projects in Bangladesh as fully funded grant-in-aid projects. These include city improvement projects in Rajshahi, Sylhet and Khulna; and setting up of 36 community clinics in identified districts.

The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the steady progress made between Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) and Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) towards construction of the Indo-Bangla Friendship Pipeline from Siliguri to Parbatipur for supply of HSD to Bangladesh and both sides have agreed to sign a Sales and Purchase Agreement in this regard.

The two Prime Ministers appreciated the positive steps taken in respect of Bangladesh’s proposal for jointly developing the Ganges Barrage on the river Padma in Bangladesh. They welcomed the visit of an Indian technical team to Bangladesh, establishment of a ‘Joint Technical Sub Group on Ganges Barrage Project’ and study of the riverine border in the upstream area of project.

The two Prime Ministers appreciated the commencement of transshipment of goods through the Ashuganj River Port under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade (PIWTT). Both sides stressed the need to expedite the construction of the Ashuganj Inland Container Port (ICP) and suggested inclusion of more ports of call under the PIWTT framework.

Indian and Bangladesh Partnership in Power Sector:

The two Prime Ministers underlined the need for bringing about greater integration of power and energy supply networks as well as cooperation in the field of energy efficiency between the two countries.

They lauded the positive momentum in cooperation between India and Bangladesh in the power sector and the achievements so far in line with Bangladesh’s goal of ensuring power for sustainable development of all by 2021.

They appreciated that 600 MW of power is currently flowing through the two existing interconnections between India and Bangladesh at Bheramara-Bahrampur and Tripura-South Comilla.

The two Prime Ministers also expressed satisfaction at the continued engagement on all power sector related proposals, including additional 500 MW of power through the existing Bheramara-Bahrampur inter-connection.

They also welcomed the consensus on the proposed additional interconnection between Bornagar (Assam, India), Parbatipur (Bangladesh), Katihar (Bihar, India) for power evacuation facilities from which Bangladesh can draw 1000 MW of power from Assam-Bihar transmission through Bangladesh with suitable tapping points at Parbatipur (Bangladesh).

Prime Minister Hasina expressed satisfaction at the regular supply of 100 MW of power from Tripura to Comilla since March 2016 and on the inauguration of the supply of additional 60 MW from Tripura.

She also welcomed further discussions that have been initiated regarding the supply of 340 MW from various NTPC stations.

Following Agreements/MoUs were signed during the visit:

1 MoU on Defence Cooperation Framework

2 MoU between Defence Services Staff College, Wellington (Nilgiris), Tamil Nadu, India and Defence Services Command and Staff College, Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangaldesh for Enhancing Cooperation in the Field of Strategic and operational studies.

3 MoU between National Defence College, Dhaka, Bangladesh and National Defence College, New Delhi, India for enhancing cooperation in the field of national security, development and strategic studies

4 MoU on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Chairman

5 Agreement on Cooperation in Peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy

6 Arrangement between The Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) India and The Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) for the Exchange of Technical Information and Co-operation in the Regulation of Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection

7 Inter-Agency Agreement on Cooperation regarding Nuclear Power Plant Projects in Bangladesh

8 MoU on Co-operation in the field of Information Technology and Electronics

9 MoU on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security

10 MoU on Establishing Border Haats Across the Border between India and Bangladesh

11 MoU on Bilateral Judicial Sector Cooperation EAM

12 MoU on Training and Capacity Building Programme for Bangladeshi Judicial Officers in India

13 MoU Concerning Cooperation on Aids to Navigation (Shipping)

14 MoU in the field of Earth Sciences for Research and Development.

15 MoU & SOPs on Passenger and Cruise Services on the Coastal and Protocol Route

16 MoU on Development of Fairway from Sirajganj to Daikhowa and Ashuganj to Zakiganj on Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route

17 MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Mass Media

18 Audio-visual Co-production Agreement between India Bangladesh

19 MoU between GoI and GoB for extending Defence LOC of USD 500 million.

20 Agreement between Bangladesh And India for the Regulation of Motor Vehicle Passenger Traffic (Khulna-Kolkata route)

21 MoU for Extending a 3rd Line of Credit (LoC) by GoI to GoB

22 Financing Agreement for the Construction of 36 Community Clinics in Bangladesh.