Bangladesh Current Affairs

Samvedna 2018: IAF’s first multilateral HADR air exercise in South Asia

Samvedna 2018, the first multilateral Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise of Indian Air Force (IAF) in association with South Asian Region nations was held off the coast of Kerala. The multilateral exercise was spearheaded by IAF and conducted by Southern Air Command (SAC) and involved representatives from air forces of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and UAE.

Key Facts

Samvedna, which means ‘Empathy’ focused on practising Air Force-centric HADR solutions in Multi-national cooperative Disaster Management environment. The objective of exercise was to galvanise all stakeholders in synergising unified HADR efforts. It will also ensure better understanding and sharing of response procedures between number of friendly neighbouring nations.

The entire settings of exercise was based on scenario of tsunami in western coast of India originating from earthquake in Makran subduction zone (along northeastern margin of Gulf of Oman adjacent to southwestern coast of Balochistan of Pakistan) and resulting in post-tsunami disaster management along western coast and western islands of India.

The exercise will provide clear understanding of scope, role and task, including challenges in air operations and ensuring better understanding and sharing of response procedures among nations. The broad format of exercise will include ground training and flying exercise.

This exercise will help in putting in place basic framework for conduct of Joint Air HADR operations in the region, which will be further refined during subsequent exercises. It is also expected to lead to more coordinated and efficient HADR Air operations in entire South Asian region when need arises.

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India, Russia, Bangladesh sign pact for Rooppur atomic plant

India, Bangladesh and Russia have signed tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in construction of Rooppur nuclear power plant near Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is first initiative under India-Russia nuclear deal to undertake atomic energy projects in third countries. It will also be India’s first atomic energy venture abroad.

Rooppur nuclear power plant

Rooppur Nuclear project is having capacity of 2*1200 MWs. It is Bangladesh’s first atomic energy project. It is being built with Russia’s help near Dhaka. After commissioning of this plant, Bangladesh will become third South Asian country after India and Pakistan to harness atomic energy for energy purpose.

Russia will build nuclear power plant for this plant on a turnkey basis.  It means that contractor will complete whole project and they will be liable for any problems that arise in plant. Russia’s scope of work includes design, production and supply of equipment, construction, installation, start-up and commissioning.

India being not member of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will not participate directly in construction of atomic power reactors. But, Indian companies will be involved in construction and installation works and in supply of equipment of non-critical category.

Background

In December 2014, India and Russia had signed ‘Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy’ to explore opportunities for sourcing materials, equipment and services from Indian industry for construction of Russian-designed nuclear power plants in third countries. Moreover, India had signed a civil nuclear cooperation deal, along with two more agreements, with Bangladesh in April 2017 under which two sides can supply and manufacture equipment, material for atomic power plant.

Comment

The nuclear deal with Bangladesh allows Indian nuclear establishment to grow, internationally as for years it was not been able to grow due to sanctions imposed on New Delhi post 1974 Pokhran tests. However, it is not clear what kind of nuclear collaboration India is having with Bangladesh since both countries are not members of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an elite grouping of 48 members that prevent nuclear proliferation by controlling  export of materials, equipment and technology that can be used to manufacture nuclear weapons.

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