The protocol was signed by A P Joshi, Special Secretary in the DAE, and S A Storchak, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation.

institutional mechanism supervising Powder Metallurgy (Hyderabad), NEW FOUND GEOPOLITICAL cooperation in the area of economic Vaccine Production  cooperation.

With the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project likely to be commissioned in August, Russia has agreed to extend a $3.4-billion cred: for setting up two 1,000-MW atomic power plants at the same site in Tamil Nadu. The protocol was signed by A P Joshi, Special Secretary in the DAE, and S A Storchak, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation. After facing seven months of protest, the Kudankulam project is at an advanced stage of completion, with the first 1,000-M1N unit expected to be commissioned next month,What   do the agreements say:   The two nations signed a protocol in Moscow for financing units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam project, under which the Russ!an Federation will extend export credit amounting up to $3,4 billion for 85 per cent of the value of works, supplies and services provided by the Russian organisations for the two units.
The protocol also has provisions for state export credit amounting to $800 million, at 4, per cent interest, for financing up to 85 per cent nuclear fuel and control assemblies. The estimated cost of building units 3 and 4 at Kudankulam will be Rs.32,00′) crore, out of which Rs.17,000 crore is expected to be met through the Russian state credit, a Department of Atomic Energy (DAE.) statement said.Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), is the main Joint Centres of excellence on


institutional mechanism supervising Powder Metallurgy (Hyderabad), NEW FOUND GEOPOLITICAL cooperation in the area of economic Vaccine Production (Bulandshahr), cooperation. The IRIGC-TEC integrates Advanced Computing (Moscow), Gas.
inputs from six working groups on Hydrate Studies (Chennai), Biotechnol‑
economic and trade cooperation, mines ogy (Allahabad), Ayurvedic Research BANGLADESH PROFILE
and metallurgy, energy, tourism and (Moscow) and Earthquake Research  Capital – Dhaka
culture, science and technology, and IT. (New Delhi) have already been set up.Official language- Bengali (Bangia)
Indo-Russian Forum on Trade and Three Centres on Technology Prime Minister- Sheikh Hasina
‘Investment (established in 2007) and the Transfer (Moscow &- New     Delhi),
India-Russia CEO’s Council (established Laser & Accelerators (Indore) and  Area- 147,570 km’
in February 2008) are the two primary Non-Ferrous Metallurgy (Jamshedpur)  Population- 161,083,804
mechanisms for promotion of direct have been agreed to and are in the   GDP (nominal)- 5113.032 billion
business to business contacts between process of being set up.   the two countries.
Cultural Cooperation :
The year  India’s links with Bangladesh are civilisational, cultural, social and 2008 was celebrated as the Year of RussiaIn addition, mechanisms such as the India-Russia Business Council (in in India, while 2009 was celebrated as economic. There is much that unites partnership with FICCI of India and the Year of India in Russia. Currently, the two countries – a shared history CCI of Russia) established in 2007; as part of the celebrations of the 150th and common heritage, linguistic and the India-Russia Trade, Investment anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, cultural ties, passion for music, litera­ture and the arts. With Bangladesh, the JNCC has been organizing various and Technology Promotion Council  India shares not only a common ‘ (in partnership with C11 of India and cultural events around Russia.
A mini Pragmatism is the rule of IR in action. High-level exchanges, visits nology under the aegis of IRIGCTEC, today’s world. If India started to sell and meetings take place regularly and the Integrated Long Term Pro- this aspect of FP then Russia has also alongsiale the wide ranging people-gramme (ILTP) are the two principle come out of its communist ideology of to-people interaction.
institutional mechanisms for SiSzT cold war set up and started to entice  Last year on September 6, 2011 PM Icooperation between India and Rus- Pakistan in its fold. Pragmatism also Manmohan Singh visited Bangladesh. 1 sia. The Working Group focuses on flows when Russia joins hands with The much awaited visit to Bangladeshcollaboration activities in mutually its Asian eastern foe that is China,after a 12-year break – is an opportuneagreed priority areas of biotechnology,Russia and Pakistan in the recent moment to enhance the relationship.
building materials, industrial realiza-  between the two neighbours which tion of technologies, medical research, days have come closer and this finds nosedived during the Khaleda Zia metrology & standardization, mete- for a very interesting study as far as government in Bangladesh. • orology, oceanology and seismology, pragmatism is concerned vis-à-vis IR .
However, the improvement in The ILTP programme focuses on the   Indo-Russia relational dynamics is relations once again began with the collaborative research in the basic sci- also bound to get a new booster post coming of Sheikh Hasina government ences and on inter-academy exchange Russian entry into the World Trading which seemed to be cordial and programmes. The ILTP was given a ten Organization. After discussing Indo constructive in addressing India’s 10 years extension beyond 2009 with Russian partnership, we come to the concern and improving relations with India. PM Singh’s visit also came amidLed Technology Growth”. importance for India-Bangladesh.   a growing tussle for influence vis-a-visa renewed mandate for “Innovation next important nation vis-a-vis strategic Thanhawla of Mizoram — gave the visit a ne
The presence of the Chief Ministers — Tarun Gogoi of Assam, Manik Sarkar of Tripura Mukul Sangma of Meghalaya and Lal India needs to connect its landlocked States w— some 2,62.230 and about five crore people — through Bangladesh. dimension, as it had direct ramifications for Much desired trade and connectivity that For the northeast, access to Bangladesh’s Chittagong port, 75 km from Tripura, and gateway, was of importance. This has also policy.
During their interactions with government, business and civil society leaders, the Chief Ministers sought increased trade, investment and connectivity They offered joint venture industrial projects and promotion of tourism. The failure to sign a “letter of exchange” — the transit deal — did frustrate them, but they were in unison pursuing their common goal — connectivity Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president A.K. Azad requested clearance for and movement of goods, and acceptance of certificates issued by the designated national bodies to speed up trade with the northeast.
The geographical proximity between Bangladesh and the northeast should be beneficial to both. Mr. Sarkar asked Bangladeshi businessmen to utilise resources in the northeast, to set up agro-based industries and gas-based units like a fertilizer factory. Tripura is a potential hub of trade with Bangladesh in the entire northeast India,” he said in an earlier interview. Bangladeshi products have a competitive advantage due to lower transportation costs n e also said once a proposed power plant is commissioned, Tripura could supply 100 MW to power-starved Bangladesh if an acc. Hed was negotiated with India. Mr. Sangma is of the view that Bangladesh and the northeast have “a lot of potentialities and concerns” and must try to engage in fruitful cooperation Mr. Gogoi said, We want connectivity of not only roads and infrastructure.. . we want connectivity of minds.”
All the Chief Ministers laid stress on improving Bangladesh’s relations with the “Seven Sisters” in all sectors and proposed an increase of land ports. They also wanted cooperation in health, education and environment.
They praised the resolve of the Sheikh Hasina government to act against separatists and insurgents The government, despite strong political adversaries who often term those insurgents “freedom fighters,” has decisively responded to New Delhi’s request in this issue. Mr. Gogoi thanked Bangladesh for taking steps against the separatist United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). Although there is no official bar, there are demands in a number of bordering States for Bangladeshi TV channels There was an assurance of ensuring their telecast. Talks were also held on offering package tours to promote bilateral tourism.
Despite a shadow of controversy around the visit because of the Teesta deal, the Prime Ministers did not detract from their corn­mitment to furthering the bilateral relationship.For the Hasina government, postponement of the Teesta water sharing accord came as an embarrassments Maybe   e so for
india, The Bangladesh media said it was “a big let-down” for Bangladesh. Another question addressed was the long-standing border issue including 6.5 km of undemarcated land boundary in three sectors — Daikhata-56 (West Bengal), Muhun River-Belorsa (Tripura) and Dumaban (Assam) — and land of adverse possessions — which were a source of conflict. The status of 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 Bangladesh enc.Javes in India was addressed.
These deals will not only end border skirmishes but also help improve trade with Bangladesh across West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. The residents of Bangladesh’s Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves have already started enjoying their right to round-the-clock movement through the Teen Bigha corridor.
Experts are of the view that increased trade and investment will not only benefit the northeast but also help Bangladesh’s economy grow faster, creating jobs and higher income which will eventually deter illegal migrants, a concern India has repeatedly raised. Higher income in Bangladesh will also foster political and social stability, and likely subdue all forms of potential extremism.
The political opposition has claimed that the Hasina government has provided the “corridor” facility to India although it did not gain Bangladesh’s just share of rivers. Bangladeshi Nationalist Party leader Khaleda Zia told her loyalists: This government must be uprooted.” Joined by Islamist radicals, they have announced plans to “dislodge” Sheikh Hasina for her alleged “surrendering” of national interests to India. The last 40 years of history stipulate that there are varying aspects of criticism of Dhaka-New Delhi relations. While the first group is comprised of those who did not forgive India for assisting Bangladesh in achieving independence from Pakistan, the second section considered the “Indian bogey” political capital. And, of course, there is the third section which has a fear or doubt about Bangladesh getting its rightful share or equal treatment from India. This concern, right or perceived, must not be overlooked. India has its own priorities and domestic compulsions, but for Bangladesh, which is a fragile democracy and a weak economy and which is threatened by Islamists, the lingering irritations may have political implications, say analysts.
India and Bangladesh signed a framework agreement on bilateral cooperation, in which a commitment has been made for cooperation in trade, connectivity and water resources, They also adopted a 65-point joint declaration reaffirming their positions against terrorism iP all its forms and manifestations, and reiterating the assurance that their territories would not be allowed for any inimical activity.
Referring to the presence of the Chief Ministers, Dr. Singh termed it “a special moment,” adding it is a demonstration of our collective will to shape a better future for ourselves.” He was also right in saying that there are few countries whose destinies are so interlinked There was also the resolve to preserve the memory of Bangladesh freedom fighters. New Delhi is to enhance scholarships for their heirs toP ursue higher studies in India. Dhaka has also requested facilitation for setting up memorial plaques and visits of family members to theidentifiedg raves of freedom fighters buried along the border in Tripura, Meghalaya, Assam and West Bengal. These States, which were the sanctuary of Bangladesh liberation fighters, also sheltered 10 million refuges during the liberation war in 1971.
The building of a durable Bangladesh-India relationship cannot be judged by one trip. The political leadership will have to show Prudence to overcome the challenges that may bedevil the relations in the future by taking quick and appropriate measures. Geog­aPhY and history are for India and Bangladesh to be together.


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