India-Bangladesh Current Affairs

India, Russia to collaborate on Bangladesh nuclear plant

India is collaborating with Russia to build Rooppur nuclear power plant in Bangladesh. It will be first initiative under an 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 project (capacity of 2*1200 MWs) is Bangladesh’s first atomic energy project. It is being built with Russia’s help near Dhaka. After commissioning of two units, each with capacity of 1200 MWs, Bangladesh will be third South Asian country after India and Pakistan to harness atomic energy for energy purpose.

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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Union Cabinet approves JIN pact between India and Bangladesh

The Union Cabinet has given its approval for the Joint Interpretative Notes (JIN) on the Agreement between India and Bangladesh for the Promotion and Protection of Investments.

Decision in this regard was taken at the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Purpose of JIN

In general, JIN plays an important supplementary role in strengthening the investment treaty regime. Looking at increasing trend in Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) disputes, issuance of such statements is likely to have strong persuasive value for resolving disputes before arbitration tribunals. Moreover, such pro-active approach by states also can foster more predictable and coherent reading of treaty terms by tribunals.

Approval of JIN

The approval JIN by the Union Cabinet will impart clarity to the interpretation of the existing agreements between India and Bangladesh for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (BIPA). The JIN between India and Bangladesh includes interpretative notes to be jointly adopted for many clauses, including, the definition of investor, investment, exclusion of taxation measures, National Treatment (NT), Fair and Equitable Treatment (FET) and Most Favoured Nation (MFN) treatment, essential security interests, expropriation and Settlement of Disputes between an Investor and Contracting Party.

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