IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


19th August, 2019

International Relations

Jaishankar to visit Dhaka to discuss bilateral ties

The entire gamut of bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh will be discussed when External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar visits Dhaka between August 19 to 21, a diplomatic source said on Sunday.


-        The meeting will firm up the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visit to India in October.

-        Earlier, Dhaka’s minister of Interior met Home Minister Amit Shah but it didn’t conclude into a Joint Statement. It had led to speculation of differences.

-        Bangladesh considers National Register of Citizens of India (NRC) as an internal issue; however, Bangladesh Media continues to raise it.

-        Dhaka wants India to play more proactive role in settling Rohingya’s back in the Mayanmmar.

Other Relations between Both Countries:

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.

Security and Border Management:

-        Both country shares 4096.7 Km of Border. India –Bangladesh signed and ratified Land boundary agreement paving the way for complete demarcation of borders.

-        Both the country has signed Coordinated Border Management Plan ( CBMP) to counter illegal activities and foster peace and development across the border.

-        Both countries settled the maritime dispute as per the award of UNCLOS.

Sharing of River Water:

India and Bangladesh share 54 common rivers.

-        A bilateral Joint Rivers Commission is working since 1972 to maintain liaison between the two countries for effective management of river waters.

-        Ganga Water Treaty was signed in 1996 for sharing of water in lean season is working satisfactorily.

Bilateral Trade and Investment:

-        Exports from India is close to US $4.5 billion and imports are at US$.67 billion.

-        The Trade Agreement guides bilateral trade between both countries.

-        India has provided duty free quota free access to all tariff lines except Tobacco and Alcohol products under SAFTA since 2011.

-        Four Border Haats, two in each Tripura and Meghalaya, are held for economic development.

-        Total Indian investment proposals in Bangladesh registered with the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) exceed US$ 3billion.

India’s Economic Assistance to Bangladesh:

-        India has extended 3 Lines of Credits to Bangladesh in the last 7 years amounting to US$ 8 billion.

-        Government of India also provides grant assistance to Bangladesh for projects under ‘Aid to Bangladesh’. Government of India has financed projects such as construction of school/college buildings, laboratories, dispensaries, deep tube wells, community centres, renovation of historical monuments/buildings etc. under this programme.

Power and Energy Sector Cooperation:

-        Bangladesh is importing around 660 MW electricity from India.

-        Many Indian public sector units such as Indian Oil Corporation, Numaligarh Refinery Limited, Petronet LNG Ltd are working with their Bangladeshi counterparts in the oil and gas sector of Bangladesh.

-        India has agreed to fund the construction of India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline from Siliguri to Parbatipur for supply of Diesel to Bangladesh from Numaligarh Refinery Limited.

-        The possibility of gas grid interconnectivity for the mutual benefit of the two countries is also being explored.


-        The movement of goods by road is operationalised through 36 functional Land Customs Stations (LCSs) and 2 Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) along the border.

-        The Protocol on Inland Water Trade and Transit (PIWTT) permits movement of goods on barges/vessels from India through the river systems of Bangladesh on eight specific routes.

-        Trans-shipment of goods to North-eastern States of India through Ashuganj river port and further through Akhaura Agartala by road commenced in June 2016 under the PIWTT.

-        Coastal Shipping Agreement has enabled direct sea movement of containerized/bulk/dry cargo between the two countries.

-        Four Broad Gauge inter-country rail links between the two countries are operational now.

-        There are regular bus services between Kolkata-Dhaka, Shillong-Dhaka and Agartala-Kolkata via Dhaka.

-        The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal – Motor Vehicle Agreement (BBINMVA) will significantly boost connectivity by road.

Issues in Relationship:

Water Dispute:

-        There is a dispute regarding flow of Ganga from Farakka Barrage . Bangladesh argues over flow of inadequate water for agriculture, industrial and drinking water need during lean season.

-        Sharing of Teesta Water remains contentious between both the countries.

-        Bangladesh argues over Tipaimukh dam on Barak River in Manipur that it destructs the ecology at border.

Illegal Immigration:

-        Poor economic development in Bangladesh has fuelled illegal immigration to India which had altered the demographic balance in north-eastern regions.

-        It has become a security menace for India and led to protests by local population.

-        It also fuels the fake currency circulation in India.

-        Immigration of Rohingya’s from Bangladesh had amplified the terrorism threat for India. NIA had unearthed links of Many Rohingya immigrants to Pakistani ISI and terrorist groups.

-        Many terrorist groups are known to take shelter in Bangladesh ,But Bangladesh firm approach to these groups has been good for India.

Open Border :

-        Due to riverine nature, much of the border between India-Bangladesh remains porous. It has led to drug trafficking from Bangladesh to India.

-        Open Border has also been a cause for Cattle smuggling leading to mob-lynching in India.


Reference : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/jaishankar-to-visit-dhaka-to-discuss-bilateral-ties/article29127160.ece



Madhya Pradesh wants Legislative Council: what it entails

The Madhya Pradesh government has indicated that it plans to initiate steps towards creation of a Legislative Council.

Need for a second House:

-        Check hasty actions

-        Enable non-elected individuals to contribute to legislative process.

-        Provides a check on despotic tendencies of the lower house.

-        Doesn’t act as a barrier. Rather, provide time for public opinion.

-        Non- controversial bills can be initiated in the upper house.

-        An opportunity for more mature and wisdom oriented discussion around public issues.

Argument against Second House:

-        Upper house is superfluous with having either majority of same party or delaying the bills for four months unnecessarily.

-        A time limit of four month hardly act as a check against hasty decisions.

-        Act as a backdoor entry for the defeated members.

-        Expensive institution without any utility and act as cost on state-exchequer.

-        A blend of direct election, indirect election and nomination makes the Council a hotchpotch of representation.

Constitutional Provisions:

-        Under Article 169, a Legislative Council can be formed “if the Legislative Assembly of the State passes a resolution to that effect by a majority of the total membership of the Assembly and by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the members of the Assembly present and voting”.

-        Parliament can pass a law with simple majority to bring it into action.

-        Under Article 171 of the Constitution, the Legislative Council of a state shall not have more than one-third of the number of MLAs of the state, and not less than 40 members.

-        As with Rajya Sabha MPs, the tenure of a Member of the Legislative Council (MLC) is six years, with one-third of members retiring every two years.

-        One-third of the MLCs are elected by the state’s MLAs, another one-third by a special electorate comprising sitting members of local governments such as municipalities and district boards, 1/12th by an electorate of teachers and another 1/12th by registered graduates. The remaining members are appointed by the Governor for distinguished services in various fields.

-        MLCs cannot vote in elections for the President and Vice President. 

-        Assemblies can override suggestions/amendments made to a legislation by the Council.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-madhya-pradesh-may-get-a-second-house-why-do-some-states-have-vidhan-parishads-5913149/



PM Economic Advisory Council: Need to set up GST Council-like body for public spending.

-        Strategizes the public expenditure for maximum impact.

-        Success of GST council provides a template for creation of public expenditure council.

-        Public expenditure faces limits of fiscal consolidation issues.

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/pm-economic-advisory-council-need-to-set-up-gst-council-like-body-for-public-spending-5915850/


Explained: What is NASA’s Parker Solar Probe

The mission’s central aim is to trace how energy and heat move through the Sun’s corona and to study the source of the solar wind’s acceleration.

-        It’s Part of NASA’s Living with a Star Program which explores different aspects of Sun-Earth system.

-        Seeks to gather information about Sun’s atmosphere.

More on Sun:


-        The photosphere is the bright outer layer of the Sun that emits most of the radiation.

-        The effective temperature on the outer side of the photosphere is 6000°K (11,000°F).

-        Just above the photosphere is the chromosphere.

-        A dark patch on the surface of the Sun is known as sunspot.

-        Sunspots appear as dark areas because they are about 1500° cooler than the surrounding chromospheres.

-        A corona is a distinctive atmosphere of plasma that surrounds the Sun and other celestial bodies.

-        Plasma is simply ionized gas (an atom, molecule, or substance) into an ion or ions, typically by removing one or more electrons]

Reference: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/this-word-means-parker-solar-probe-5915961/