Act East Policy Current Affairs - 2020

DD India channel to be available in Bangladesh, South Korea

In bid to boost India’s relations with its neighbours, the government has entered into agreements with Bangladesh and South Korea to broadcast DD (Doordarshan) India channel in two countries and their state channels will be shown on DD Free Dish in India.

Key Highlights

Bangladesh Agreement: As per the agreement inked with Bangladesh, Indian government has decided to show BTV World, a channel owned by Bangladesh TV, on DD Free Dish which will be available for viewers of Doordarshan (around 35 million households) in India. Also, DD India would be made available in Bangladesh for being viewed by Bangladesh’s citizen.

In this regard a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has already been signed between Prasar Bharati and Bangladesh TV (BTV) on 7 May 2019.

South Korea Agreement: Indian government has also approved Prasar Bharati (India’s Broadcasting agency) proposal for making available KBS World, a 24×7 South Korean channel (English) for Indian viewers and simultaneously South Korean people would be able to view DD India in their country.

Significance: This move is part of a robust cultural exchange in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Act East policy and also marks an important watershed moment with respect to strengthening of ties between two countries. The step is also in line with importance of building mutual cooperation with neighbouring countries.

Ramayana Themed Stamp Released by Indonesia

Indonesia has released a special commemorative stamp on the theme of Ramayana to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of its diplomatic ties with India.

About the Stamp

  • The stamp is designed by renowned Indonesian sculptor Padmashri Bapak Nyoman Nuarta.
  • The stamp features a scene from Ramayana in which Jatayu valiantly fought to save Sita.
  • It is a specially signed version of the stamp will be on display at the Philately Museum in Jakarta.

India-Indonesia Bilateral Relations

India and Indonesia have shared close cultural and commercial contacts spanning back to two millennia. The Hindu, Buddhist and later Muslim faith travelled to Indonesia from the shores of India. The Indonesian folk art and dramas portray great influence from the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

The shared culture, colonial history and post-independence goals of political sovereignty, economic self-sufficiency and independent foreign policy had a unifying effect on the bilateral relations.

The foundation of the Non-Aligned Movement at the Asian-African Conference held in Bandung in 1955 and the adoption of India’s ‘Look East Policy’ in 1991, provided avenues for rapid development of bilateral relations in political, security, defence, commercial and cultural fields. The diplomatic relations have further received uplift with the Act East policy.