PIB – October 5 , 2019


GS- 2nd Paper

Topic- India and its neighborhood- relations.

India-Bangladesh Relations

Context

MoUs/Agreements exchanged during Official Visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India.

About India- Bangladesh Relations

  • 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.
  • The relationship between India and Bangladesh is anchored in history, culture, language and shared values of secularism, democracy, and countless other commonalities between the two countries.
  • It is based on sovereignty, equality, trust, understanding and win-win partnership that goes far beyond a strategic partnership.
  • In the last couple of years, the relationship has been further strengthened including through cooperation in new and high-technology areas.

MoUs/Agreements exchanged between Bangladesh and India

Major MoUs/Agrrements were signed during Official Visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India.

  • Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on the use of Chattogram and Mongla ports
  • MoU on withdrawal of 1.82 cusec of water from Feni river by India for drinking water supply, scheme for Sabroom town, Tripura, India
  • Agreement concerning implementation of GoI Line of Credits (LOC) extended to Bangladesh
  • MoU between University of Hyderabad and University of Dhaka
  • Cultural Exchange Programme- Renewal
  • MoU on Co-operation in Youth Affairs
  • MoU on providing Coastal Surveillance System

Importance of Bangladesh to India

Bangladesh is important neighboring country of India. There are numerous reasons of its importance. Such as-

Border sharing and Connectivity

  • India and Bangladesh have signed several pacts, so India can send goods and passengers over land across Bangladesh, connecting Bengal to Tripura.
  • Chittagong port is now open to Indian vessels and will ease supply of goods, meaning India is much more connected to the northeast than before.
  • Akhaura-Agartala rail project will provide a major boost to development and economy of eastern Bangladesh and north eastern India.

Border Security and Management

  • Both the countries are resolved to zero-tolerance policy against terrorism.
  • Both sides emphasized simplifying people-people movement between the two countries.
  • Both leaders agreed that closer cooperation against extremist and radical groups, terrorists, smugglers, smuggling of fake currency, and organized crime remain a shared priority.
  • It was Sheikh Hasina who proactively cracked down on groups like the JMB that had a free-run in the previous regime of Begum Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
  • India’s relationship with Bangladesh is also linked to its relationship with China. India does not want Bangladesh to become a pearl in China’s “String of Pearls” strategy to hem in India by using its neighbours.

Trade Ties and Industry

  • Bangladesh is India’s largest trading partner in South Asia with an annual turnover of around $9 billion plus an estimated informal trade of around $8-9 billion.
  • To enable the flow of Bangladeshi exports into India, duty-free entry was granted in 2011 under the South Asian Free Trade Area.
  • Given Bangladesh’s GDP and economic growth, the Indian industry is taking a serious interest in investing in the country.
  • Sheikh Hasina has helmed an economic upswing in the country which the industry hopes will continue.

Capacity Building

  • India offers a number of training courses for interested Bangladesh officials/nationals including personnel of administration, police, judiciary, nuclear scientists, teachers etc.
  • Capacity building under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme is an important strand in bilateral ties and people-to-people interaction.
  • Improvement in bilateral ties has led to newer areas of cooperation such as cyberspace.

Challenges in the Bilateral Relations

  • Illegal immigration has always been a primary problem for India since the partition of Bengal.
  • Cattle smuggling is another issue, which is considered to be one of the losses for India of losing its indigenous variety and trade.
  • Terrorist Infiltration has been a matter of concern for India.
  • Fake Indian Currency Notes– Duplicate notes have been found along the border, which is a threat to cripple the Indian Economy.

River Water Sharing – Teesta

  • Teesta waters issue remains a big problem due to continuous protest by the Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government.
  • Bangladesh is unhappy about the lack of resolution on all the common rivers.
  • Mamata Banerjee is of the view that with Bangladesh having its largest irrigation project, the Teesta Barrage, running, they do not deserve more water.
  • The treaty is particularly important for the Bangladesh government to show that there has been genuine progress in bilateral relations.
  • Bangladesh is also very keen about a Ganga Barrage.

GS- 3rd Paper

Topic- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.

National e-Assessment Centre

Context

Finance Minister to inaugurate National e-Assessment Centre of Income Tax Department.

About National e-Assessment Centre

  • Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs inaugurates National e-Assessment Centre ( NeAC) in New Delhi .
  • The Income Tax Department is ushering in a paradigm shift in its working by introducing faceless e-assessment.

Objective

  • To impart greater efficiency, transparency and accountability in the assessment process.
  • To better taxpayer service, reduction of taxpayer grievances in line with Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Digital India’ and promotion of ease of doing business.

Key features

  • There would be no physical interface between the tax payers and the tax officers.
  • Under the new system, tax payers have received notices on their registered emails as well as on registered accounts on the web portal.
  • The replies to the notices can be prepared at ease by the tax payers at their own residence or office and be sent by email to the National e-Assessment Centre by uploading the same on the designated web portal.
  • This is another initiative by CBDT in the field of ease of compliance for our tax payers.

For Prelims-

Paryatan Parv 2019

Context

Nationwide “Paryatan Parv 2019” to promote tourism concludes  in New Delhi.

Highlights

  • The Minister of Petroleum &Natural Gasand Minister of Steel, inaugurate the nationwide  “Paryatan Parv 2019”.
  • The idea of Paryatan Parv is to propagate the message of ‘DekhoApna Desh’, with the objective to encourage Indians to visit various tourist destinations of the country and also to spread the message of ‘Tourism for All’.
  • This was the 3rd edition of Paryatan Parv.
  • Paryatan Parv 2019 is dedicated to 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The three components of Paryatan Parv, are–

  1. Dekho Apna Desh
  2. Tourism for All
  3. Tourism & Governance

Goa Maritime Conclave – 2019

Context

The Goa Maritime Conclave (GMC) 2019, which was conducted by the Naval War College, Goa concluded.

Highlights

  • The Indian Navy will host‘Goa Maritime Conclave – 2019’ in its bid to foster friendly relations with maritime neighbours.
  • Naval War College, Goa, is hosting the eventwhich is follow-on to the maiden Goa Maritime Conclave held in 2017.
  • Theme-The theme for the conclave is “Common Maritime Priorities in IOR and need for Regional Maritime Strategy”.
  • The conclave will facilitate interaction between the participating navies and maritime agencies in the IOR on common issues of maritime interest.
  • It will play a constructive role in bringing together stakeholders that have a role in evolving strategies, policies and implementation mechanisms in the maritime domain.
  • Goa Maritime Conclave, participated by the heads of the navies of ten nationsfrom the Indian Ocean region –
  • Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand