India Bangladesh Cooperation
Indo-Bangladesh relations have warmed up as the ties between both nations have moved beyond historical and cultural ties to intermingle in the areas of economic, connectivity, communication, energy, and defence.
The last decade witnessed the peaceful resolving of border issues by brining in the historic Land Boundary Agreement in 2015.
Bangladesh is India’s biggest trading partner in South Asia.
The trade between both nations worth $10 Bn in financial year 2018-19. India exports little over $9 bn worth goods and imports at $1 bn.
India allows duty free access to numerous Bangladeshi products.
Bangladesh helps tourism industry of India, as 20% of foreign tourists being a Bangladeshi.
Also, 50% revenue of medical tourism comes from Bangla nationals.
Developmental Partnership between both the nations:
India offered three LoC (Line of Credit) to Bangladesh in recent years that amounts $8 billion.
These money will be utilized for infrastructural development in Bangladesh for constructing roads, railways, bridges, ports, etc.
Connectivity and Comomunication:
Both countries are connected through rail and road network.
Direct bus and train services have been provided by connecting major cities like Kolkata and Dhaka.
Also a unique bus service connecting Kolkata (India) and Agartala (India) that runs through Bangladesh is a great example of friendly relations between the countries. The bus service takes a convenient journey of 500 km as compared to the long route covered through Indian Territory via Siliguri Chicken Neck.
Three passenger train services are provided by Indian and Bangladesh Railways together by sharing rakes and engines of each other.
Inauguration of Maitri Setu (1.9km) connecting Sabroom (India) and Ramgarh (Bangladesh) and Chilahati – Haldibari Railway Link has been significant.
Also, Bangladesh allows shipments through its port to landlocked Assam, Meghalya, and Tripura through Chattogram and Mongla Ports.
Teesta Water Sharing issue
Smuggling through international border
India’s decision of to implement National Register of Citizen has somehow and up to some extent damaged India – Bangladesh relations.
India Pakistan hold 116th Permanent Indus Commission Meeting
Officials from India and Pakistan have participated in 116th edition of Permanent Indus Water Commission organized at New Delhi. Previous meeting was conducted at Lahore in 2018.
Highlights of the meeting:
Pakistan raised objections over constrction of 2 Hydroelectric Projects in Jammu & Kashmir – Pakal Dul Hydro Electric Project and Lower Kalnai Project.
The Pakal Dul Hydro Electric project (1000 MW) is proposed on Marusudar River (a tributary of Chenab River), and a 48 MW project is proposed on Chenab River.
Other projects like Kishanganga Project and Ratle Project were also objected by the Pakistan.
About Indus Water Treaty:
Both India and Pakistan have signed an Indus Water Treaty in 1960 at Karachi, Pakistan.
The treaty was signed by the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President of Pakistan Ayub Khan.
The treaty was aimed for sharing water available in Indus River and its tributaries.
The treaty is brokered by World Bank.
The treaty warrants commissioners from both the countries (one from each country) to meet at least once a year.
Finance Commission Chairman recommended healthcare sector to move to concurrent list
The 15th Finance Commission Chairman N. K. Singh recommended that the healthcare sector should move in to Concurrent List. He also urged for a developmental finance institution dedicated to healthcare sector.
What is Concurrent List?
It is one of the list under seventh schedule of Indian Constitution consists of 52 items.
Both the central government and state government possess power to make law on subjects enlisted in the Concurrent List.
What is seventh Schedule?
The Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution deals with the distribution of powers between the Union Govt and State Govts.
It has enlisted numerous subjects in three lists namely Union List, State List, and Concurrent List.
Number of subjects included – 98 (originally 97)
Legislative Power – Parliament (Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha)
Number of Subjects included – 59 (originally 66)
Legislative Power – State Govts
Number of Subjects included – 52 (originally 47)
Legislative Power – Both Union and State Govts
Constitution on Healthcare:
Healthcare sector comes under the State list i.e., it is a state subject.
Art. 39, 41, 42 and 47 in the Directive Principles for State Policy incorporated responsibility of the state in ensuring basic healthcare like nutrition, provision for disabled person, and health standards, etc.
Also, the Fundamental Right enumerated in Art. 21 of Part III provides Right to Life.
India spends 1.28% of its GDP on healthcare which is too low, the 15th Finance Commission chief has recommended to increase it to 2.5% of the GDP.