India-Bangladesh Current Affairs - 2020

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India Nepal inaugurate new check post, Jogbani-Biratnagar at the border

On January 21, 2020, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nepalese PM Oli inaugurated an integrated check post (ICP) at Jogbani-Biratnagar. This is the second check post that is being built at the border with Indian Assistance.

Highlights

The aim of the new integrated check post is to facilitate trade and movement of people across the border. The check post was built under assistance of India. India helped in the construction based on its “Neighbourhood First Policy”. The check post was built over 260 acres with Indian assistance of Rs 140 crores.

The first integrated check post of the countries was built at Raxaul-Birgunj in 2018.

Significance

The check posts ensure better border management for the movement of passenger and cargo. They will also help to boost 7 billion USD trade between the countries.

What is Integrated Check Post?

Integrated Check Posts are trade facilitation centres at borders of India. The centres help boost bilateral trade and also help to improve movement of passengers in the border. This helps to generate employment, developing the area surrounding the check post. Ultimately, it helps in overall growth of the economy.

There are 7 Integrated Check Posts in India. The GoI is planning to construct 14 more ICP and 13 Land Customs Stations. The India-Pakistan ICP is located in the states of Punjab and Rajasthan. The following are the other ICPs in the border located at the corresponding states

  • India-Nepal-Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Uttarakhand.
  • India-Myanmar-àManipur and Mizoram
  • India-Bhutan-àWest Bengal
  • India-Bangladesh-àAssam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Tripura and West Bengal.

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India-World Bank sign 88 million USD to implement Assam Inland Water Transport Project

On January 16, 2020, the Government of Assam, Government of India and World Bank signed 88 million USD agreement. The agreement aims to modernize Assam’s Ferry transport service on the Brahmaputra river.

Highlights

There are over 361 ferry routes across Brahmaputra river in Assam. These routes act as a crucial means of transport to 1000s of commuters in both rural and urban areas of the valley.

The aim of Assam Inland Water Transport Project (AIWTP) is to help Assam improve its ferry infrastructure and strengthen institutions operating inland water transport. It also aims at introducing new and energy efficient vessels with least disturbance to nature. The project also includes cargo transport vessels in the route.

The inland water transport is the most sustainable water transport for Assam. This is mainly because it provides low-cost and low-carbon options.

The project will adopt “Working with Nature” principles to design new infrastructure.

Inland Waterways

Around 15 waterways are operating in Assam. They operate on rivers such as Barak, Beki, Lohit, Doyang, Kopili, Subansiri, Aai, Dihing, Dikihow, Puthimari, Gangadhar, Jinjiram and Tiwang. It is important to develop these water ways as they are connected to Bay of Bengal through the Brahmaputra and will help increase exports of locally produced goods of north east. The IBP (India-Bangladesh Protocol), National Waterway-2 that was recently launched in November 2019 makes this possible. Assam Inland Water Transport Development is the implementing authority of these routes.

 

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