Bangladesh and India are South Asian neighbours. Relations have been friendly, although sometimes there are border disputes. The historic land boundary agreement was signed on 6 June 2015 which opened a new era in the relations and further stopped all irritants in ties. 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 states of West Bengal and Tripura are Bengali-speaking. Bangladesh has a high commission in New Delhi with consulates in Mumbai and Kolkata. India has a high commission in Dhaka with a consulate in Chittagong. 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. In a 2014 survey, 70% percent of Bangladeshis expressed a favorable opinion and perception of India.
India's links with Bangladesh are civilisational, cultural, social and economic. There is much that unites the two countries – a shared history and common heritage, linguistic and cultural ties, passion for music, literature and the arts. The two nations were strong allies during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. From the mid-1970s, however, relations worsened because Bangladesh developed closer ties with Islamic nations, participated in the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and increased emphasis on Islamic identity over the country's ethnolinguistic roots. The two countries developed different Cold War alliances in the 1980s, which further chilled bilateral relations. With the onset of economic liberalization in South Asia, they forged greater bilateral engagement and trade. The historic Ganges Water Sharing Treaty was concluded in 1996. India and Bangladesh are close strategic partners in counter-terrorism. They are also the largest trading partners in South Asia.
Areas of contention
- A major area of contention has been the construction and operation of the Farakka Barrage by India to increase water supply in the river Hoogly. Bangladesh insists that it does not receive a fair share of the Ganges waters during the drier seasons, and gets flooded during the monsoons when India releases excess waters. See also Sharing of Ganges Waters.
- There have also been disputes regarding the transfer of Teen Bigha Corridor to Bangladesh. Part of Bangladesh is surrounded by the Indian state of West Bengal. On 26 June 1992, India leased three bigha land to Bangladesh to connect this enclave with mainland Bangladesh. There was a dispute regarding the indefinite nature of the lease. The dispute was resolved by a mutual agreement between India and Bangladesh in 2011.
- Terrorist activities carried out by outfits based in both countries, like Banga Sena and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. Recently India and Bangladesh had agreed jointly to fight terrorism.
- Bangladesh has consistently denied India transit facility to the landlocked North Eastern Regions of India. Although India has a narrow land link to this North Eastern region, which is famously known as the Siliguri Corridor or "India's Chicken Neck".
- Illegal Bangladeshi immigration into India. The border is porous and migrants are able to cross illegally, though sometimes only in return for financial or other incentives to border security personnel. Bangladeshi officials have denied the existence of Bangladeshis living in India and those illegal migrants found are described as having been trafficked. This has considerable repercussions for those involved, as they are stigmatized for having been involved in prostitution, whether or not this has actually been the case. Cross border migrants are also at far higher risk of HIV/AIDS infection.
- Continuous border killing of Bangladeshi people by Indian border guards, aiding illegal immigrants, helping in armed dacoity, fake money transfer and illegal drug trades by both Indian and Bangladeshi people are the major problems between Bangladesh and India.
- Both Bangladesh and India made claims over the same seawater at the Bay of Bengal before settlement of the issue.
- There was a minor glitch in their relation when former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accidentally mentioned that 25% of Bangladeshis are anti-Indian, during an informal press meet.
Border killings of Bangladeshi civilians
Main article: Deaths along the Bangladesh–India border
Deaths of Bangladeshi citizens in the Indo-Bangladesh border became one of the embarrassments between the two nation’s bilateral relations in recent years. The so-called ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy by India’s Border Security Forces (BSF) that according to Human Rights Watch killed nearly 1,000 Bangladeshis between 2001 and 2011 has remained at the core of the talks between Bangladeshi and Indian officials visiting each other.
Indian officials visiting Bangladesh including the Indian foreign ministers and BSF chiefs numerously vowed to stop BSF shootings, but Bangladeshi nationals, comprising both illicit border crossers and innocents, have continued to be shot dead by the Indian troops.
While anger grew in Bangladesh because of the continued BSF shootings and subsequent deaths, Indian officials argue that heightened security has followed the increasing flow of illegal migrations into India as well as continued misuse of the border by illicit traders. Indian officials, vowing to cut down the number of casualties at border, showed statistics that the number of Bangladeshi deaths was in a steady decline in recent years.
The Bangladeshi deaths caused by BSF shootings at the border became subject to a so-called cyber war between the hackers of the two countries that took the websites of BSF, National Informatics Centre and Trinamool Congress as victims. The government of Bangladesh was found to comment on the issue condemning the cyber attacks on Indian websites.
Border police often shoots to kill any refugee crossing the border. Human Rights Watch estimates say 1,000 people were killed in the area between 2001 and 2011 by Indian border security force BSF. 
In September 2011, the two countries signed a major accord on border demarcation to end the 4-decade old disputes over boundaries.This came to be known as the tin bigha corridor. India also granted 24-hour access to Bangladeshi citizens in the Tin Bigha Corridor. The agreement included exchange of adversely held enclaves, involving 51,000 people spread over 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 Bangladesh enclaves in India. The total land involved is reportedly 7000 acres.
On 9 October 2011, Indian and Bangladeshi armies participated in Sampriti-II (Unity-II), a 14-day-long Joint military exercise at Sylhet to increase synergy between their forces.
In 2012, Bangladesh allowed India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation to ferry heavy machinery, turbines and cargo through Ashuganj for Palatana Power project in southern Tripura.
From October 2013, India started exporting 500 megawatts of electricity a day to Bangladesh over a period of 35 years. A 125-kilometre Baharampur-Bheramara transmission line, 40 km of it in Bangladesh, connects the two substations. Bangladesh officials believe the export would greatly ease the national shortage once 500 MW flows into the national grid. The two country's Prime Ministers also unveiled the plaque of the 1,320-MW coal-fired Rampal power plant, a joint venture between the two countries. The link is being seen as a major milestone in strengthening the bilateral relationship and comes at a time when India is desperate to make up for its inability to deliver on two key pacts with Bangladesh: one on Teesta waters and the land boundary pact.
From November 2013, A Wagah Border-like ceremony is being organised at Petrapole (in West Bengal, India) - Benapole (Bangladesh) border checkpoint. The ceremony which includes parades, march-past and lowering of the national flag of both the countries is now a daily routine, at sundown, on the eastern border. The relations between the countries are definitely moving in positive direction.
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Bangladesh in her first official overseas trip in June, 2014. On 7 May 2015 the Indian Parliament, in the presence of Bangladeshi diplomats, unanimously passed the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) as its 100th Constitutional amendment, thereby resolving all 68-year old border disputes since the end of the British Raj. The bill was pending ratification since the 1974 Mujib-Indira accords.
In June 2014, during her first official overseas visit, Foreign Minister of India, Sushma Swaraj concluded various agreements to boost ties. They include:
- Easing of Visa regime to provide 5 year multiple entry visas to minors below 13 and elderly above 65.
- Proposal of a special economic zone in Bangladesh.
- Agreement to send back a fugitive accused of murder in India.
- Provide an additional 100 MW power from Tripura.
- Increase the frequency of Maitree Express and start buses between Dhaka and Guwahati and Shillong.
- Bangladesh allowed India to ferry food and grains to the landlocked Northeast India's using its territory and infrastructure.
During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's state visit to Bangladesh during June 2015 as many as 22 agreements were signed by two sides. During the visit India extended a US$2 billion line of credit to Bangladesh & pledged US$5 billion worth of investments. As per the agreements, India's Reliance Power agreed to invest US$3 billion to set up a 3,000 MW LNG-based power plant (which is the single largest foreign investment ever made in Bangladesh). Adani Power will also be setting up a 1600 MW coal-fired power plant at a cost of US$1.5 billion. The two countries signed a total of 22 agreements including the ones on maritime safety co-operation and curbing human trafficking and fake Indian currency. Modi also announced a line of credit of $2 billion to Bangladesh.
At midnight on 31 July 2015, around 50,000 people became citizens of India or Bangladesh after living in limbo for decades. Ending a prolonged dispute, the two nations swapped 162 enclaves on the border region, allowing the people living there to stay or opt out to the other country. While 14,214 citizens of Bangladesh residing in 51 enclaves on the Indian side became Indians, a large number of people in the 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh preferred to stay with Bangladesh and just 979 opted to move to India.The total number of new Indian citizens will be 15,193. 
During Sheikh Hasina's four-day visit to New Delhi in April 2017, Bangladesh and India signed two defence agreements, the first such agreements between India and any of its neighbours. Under the agreements, the militaries of the two countries will conduct joint exercises and training. India will help Bangladesh set up manufacturing and service centres for defence platforms that both countries possess with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency in defence manufacturing in Bangladesh, and will also provide the Bangladesh military with expert training, and technical and logistic support. India also extended its first ever defence-related line of credit to a neighbouring country, by providing Bangladesh with $500 million to purchase defence equipment.
India has recently introduced the concept of the Regional Power Trading System which will help various regions of the country in reducing the power deficit by transferring surplus power from another region. Under the Electricity Act 2003, the Indian companies could pool power in an exchange. A consumer would be free to buy it from anyone. This concept of power pool within India can also be enlarged to cover the neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal after the establishment of a sub-regional power pool and necessary inter-connections among these countries are put in place. This can ultimately form a regional power pool thereby generating a huge opportunity for power trading in the region.
India is also looking to export electricity from its north-eastern region with potential to generate some 58,971 MW to its eastern States through Bangladesh. Bangladesh hopes to have access to Nepal and Bhutan’s power through India. Bangladesh has formally requested a ‘power corridor’ to access the Bhutanese and Nepalese markets. It has agreed to allow India to transfer hydroelectricity from Assam to Bihar through its territory. The proposed meeting would attempt to remove irritants in project-related areas. In 2016 deal between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was criticized. Bangladeshi critics accused the deal for setting a high price for the import of electricity, especially from Tripura. Equipment for the plant was sent through Bangladesh which waived most the transit fees. Adani Power said on 8 November 2017 its arm Adani Power (Jharkhand) has inked long-term pact with Bangladesh Power Development Board to supply electricity from its upcoming 1,600 MW plant at Godda in Jharkhand.
Nuclear Energy Pacts: India would set up nuclear reactors in Bangladesh and technical cooperation and sharing of information in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection.
High level visits
President Ershad visited India in 1982. Sheikh Hasina visited India in 2010 to sign number of deals. Manmohan Singh visited Dhaka in 2011 to sign number of deals. Narendra Modi visited Bangladesh which was historic as land boundary agreement was solved in 2015.
India is very active in development activity in Bangladesh.
India has recently given several loans to Bangladesh. It gave $750 million for developing Bangladesh infrastructure in 2011
In 2014 India extended a $1 billion soft loan for infrastructure development.
Lines of Credit
$862 million was given to buy equipment and services from Indian entities such as BHEL, RITES, small and medium enterprises.
Small development projects
India announced a grant of nearly $10 million to Bangladesh for the implementation of various small development projects and also assured it to address trade imbalance issues.
India and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the fields of health and medical sciences that will include joint research in health and exchange of doctors and health professionals.The MoU is aimed at promoting cooperation between the two countries in the fields of health and medical sciences through exchange of scientific materials and information and joint collaboration in research in medical science.
Every year 200 Bangladeshi students receive ICCR scholarships. India has offered scholarships for meritorious Bangladeshi under and post graduate students and PhD researchers to undertake studies in traditional systems of medicines like Ayurveda, Unani and Homeopathy, according to Indian High Commission in Dhaka. In 2017, 400 Indian medical students protested in Chittagong after they failed to register with the Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council.
Trade and investment
The two-way trade is $7 billion.The trade is set to go at $10 billion by 2018 through ports. Bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh stood at USD 6.6 billion in 2013-14 with India's exports at USD 6.1 billion and imports from Bangladesh at USD 462 million, representing more than double the value of USD 2.7 billion five years ago.
Bangladesh Cabinet has approved a revised trade deal with India under which the two nations would be able to use each other's land and water routes for sending goods to a third country, removing a long-standing barrier in regional trade. Under the deal India would also be able to send goods to Myanmar through Bangladesh. It incorporated a provision that the deal would be renewed automatically after five years if either of the countries did not have any objection.
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A post of the Bangladesh–India border
India Bangladesh relations UPSC
India’s links with Bangladesh are civilisational, cultural, social and economic. There is much that unites the two countries – a shared history and common heritage, linguistic and cultural ties, passion for music, literature and the arts. With Bangladesh, India shares not only a common history of struggle for freedom and liberation but also enduring feelings of both fraternal as well as familial ties. This commonality is reflected in multi-dimensional relations with Bangladesh at several levels of interaction. High-level exchanges, visits and meetings take place regularly alongside the wide ranging peopleto- people interaction. India’s Missions in Bangladesh issue about half a million visas every year and thousands of Bangladeshi students study in India on self-financing basis and are recipients of over one hundred annual GOI scholarships.
Sharing of River Waters
India and Bangladesh share 54 common rivers. The Ganga Waters Treaty was signed on December 12, 1996 for water sharing of river Ganga during lean season (January 1-May 31). The 37th Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) meeting was held in New Delhi from March 17-20, 2010. In the last technical level meeting held in Kolkata in February 2012, both sides exchanged data at Dalia in Bangladesh and Gazaldoba in India.
Bangladesh is an important trading partner for India. The two-way trade in FY 2010-2011 was US$5.099 billion with India’s exports to Bangladesh accounting for US$ 4.586 billion and imports US $ 0.512 million.
Some of the important institutional mechanisms that meet periodically to discuss bilateral issues include Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) and Joint Economic Commission (JEC) at Ministerial level, Foreign Office Consultations, Home, Commerce and Water Resources Secretary level talks, BSF-BDR DG-level border coordination conference, Joint Working Group on Security (JWG), Joint Boundary Working Group (JBWG), Joint Working Group on Trade (JWG), Joint Group of Customs Officials (JGC), Protocol Renewal Committee and Standing Committee to review implementation of Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade, and Inter- Governmental Railway Meeting.
India’s Economic Assistance to Bangladesh
On the economic assistance side, India has extended a line of credit of US$1 billion to Bangladesh for a range of projects, including railway infrastructure, supply of BG locomotives and passenger coaches, procurement of buses, and dredging projects. The Line of Credit Agreement was signed in Dhaka on August 7, 2010 between EXIM Bank of India and Government of Bangladesh. India has stood by Bangladesh in its hour of need with aid worth over Taka 250 crore (over US $ 37 million) to help it cope with natural disasters and floods in 2007-08 including supply of 1,000 MT of skimmed milk powder, and 40,000 MT of rice. India has completed and handed over 2,649 core shelters in the affected villages in Bagerhat district in southern Bangladesh.
On January 29 2012, NTPC and BPDB signed an agreement to set up a Joint Venture for the establishment of a 1320MW coal-based power plant in Bagerhat district, Khulna at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion and is expected to be commissioned by 2016. Scholarships and training programmes under ITEC, TCS of Colombo Plan, ICCR, AYUSH, Commonwealth, SAARC and IOR-ARC scholarships/ fellowship schemes are being offered to Bangladesh nationals. India offers 100 slots under ITEC and 35 slots under Technical Cooperation Scheme of Colombo Plan every year to Bangladesh.
Given the shared history and commonality of language, cultural exchanges form an important bond of friendship between the people of two countries. Special emphasis has been laid on promotion of exchanges in the fields of music, theatre, art, painting, books, etc. A bilateral Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) 2009-2012 provides the framework for such exchanges.
Recent Indo-Bangladesh Maritime Delimitation Award
Recently, UN tribunal has awarded Bangladesh nearly four-fifths of an area sprawling over 25,000 sq km (9,700 sq miles) in the Bay of Bengal, ending a dispute over a sea border with India that has ruffled ties between the neighbours for more than three decades. The verdict, binding on both countries, opens the way for Bangladesh to explore for oil and gas in the Bay of Bengal, the site of important energy reserves.
When It All Started?
The award brings to an end an arbitration process Bangladesh kicked off in 2009 under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, over disputes with Myanmar and India. The Myanmar dispute was settled in 2012 after arbitration at the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea in Hamburg. Bangladesh finally won more than 118,813 square km of waters comprising territorial sea and an exclusive economic zone extending out to 200 nautical miles.
Analysis Of Award And Prospects Of Relationships
On July 7 this year, a panel of five jurists of the Permanent Court of Arbitration delivered the long-awaited award concerning the maritime delimitation of Bangladesh and India. Bangladesh/India cements the boundary of the four maritime zones that the U.N. Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) entitles states to: the territorial sea, the exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the ‘inner’ continental shelf extending up to 200 nautical miles from the coasts of the states as well as the ‘outer’ continental shelf extending beyond 200 nautical miles from the coasts of the states. The award is undoubtedly historic but raises more questions than delivers answers. To quickly recapitulate, under the UNCLOS, the territorial sea of adjoining coasts (like those of India and Bangladesh) must be delimited using an equidistance line drawn from each coast. However, no guidelines are provided for the delimitation of the continental shelf or EEZ. The only caveat provided by treaty is that the delimitation conforms to ‘equity’. Prior delimitation awards have generated a three-step analysis for dividing the continental shelf and EEZ. The first step is the establishment of a provisional equidistance line between the states, the second, consideration of relevant circumstances for the adjustment of this line and, finally, an ex post facto correction of any disproportionality in the final result. The Bangladesh/India tribunal contributes to greater certainty in EEZ and inner continental shelf delimitation by explicitly stating that the three-step test now constitutes international law. Unfortunately, while reiterating emerging norms, the Tribunal also perpetuates their attendant disadvantages by entangling itself in the redundant rhetoric of ‘equity’. The three-step test emerged from equitable considerations in the UNCLOS. Questions have already been raised about the value of the ‘disproportionality’ stage in the three-step test as it appears to be merely a synonym for equity. It is alleged that discretion to correct for ‘disproportionality’ adds unnecessary subjectivity to a test already predicated on personal discretion. Bangladesh/India complicates this further by subjecting the ‘relevant circumstances’ to equity considerations as well. The court is overtly cautious and is enlarging the scope for arbitral discretion in maritime delimitation. Outer Continental Shelf Rights