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Focus: GS-III International Relations

Why in news?

India and Bangladesh are set to operationalise a new riverine trade route connecting Sonamura in Tripura to Daudkandi in Bangladesh.


  • The route is being operationalised under an agreement signed by the two sides to boost riverine trade by adding two new routes and five more ports in order to improve connectivity to India’s northeastern states and reduce transportation costs.
  • The new route will facilitate bilateral trade with improved reliability and cost effectiveness for the business community.
  • India and Bangladesh signed the Protocol for Inland Water Trade and Transit in 1972 for inland waterways connectivity between the two sides for bilateral trade and to improve connectivity to India’s northeastern states.
  • The other new route – Rajshahi-Dhulian-Rajshahi – will help augment infrastructure in Bangladesh and reduce the cost of transporting goods such as stone chips to northern Bangladesh. It is also expected to decongest land customs stations on both sides.
  • The new riverine trade route is being operationalised against the backdrop of India’s concerted efforts to boost economic aid and connectivity with key neighbours amid the border standoff with China.

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Bangladesh–India relations

  • Bangladesh and India are South Asian neighbours and Diplomatic Relations between the two countries was followed by the visit of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1972 where there she had signed the Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Peace Relations, popularly known as the ‘Indira-Mujib Treaty of 1972, with then Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
  • The relations between the two countries have usually been friendly, although sometimes there are border disputes.
  • They are common members of SAARC, BIMSTEC, IORA and the Commonwealth.
  • The two countries share many cultural ties. In particular, Bangladesh and the east Indian state of West Bengal are Bengali-speaking.
  • In 1971, the Bangladesh Liberation War broke out between East Pakistan and West Pakistan; India intervened in December 1971 on behalf of East Pakistan and helped secure East Pakistan’s independence from Pakistan as the country of Bangladesh.

-Source: Hindustan Times

December 2023