India-Bangladesh Current Affairs - 2019

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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.

Indian high commissioner visits Indo-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge 1

Riva Ganguli Das, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh visited the ongoing construction of the India-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge 1 (Feni Bridge) and land port (Ramgarh Land Port) in Khagrachhari, Bangladesh.

Key Highlights

Background: The Feni Bridge also known as Maitree Setu, is a bridge being constructed over Feni River started in 2017, and it is expected to be completed by April 2020. In 2015 foundation of bridge was laid jointly by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Construction: Bridge is being constructed by National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) of Union Ministry of Road and Transport highways (MoRTH), at a cost of more than Rs.82 crores.

Economic Importance:

Feni Bridge is being developed as a corridor for trade and commerce between India’s North-East and Bangladesh. Once opened, the bridge will connect Tripura with Chittagong port of Bangladesh, improve economy of hill tracts and the communication and trade of Bangladesh with Tripura and other regions in India will also get better. It will also benefit tourists visiting Tripura.

It will also provide direct road connectivity between South Tripura and Chittagong which will allow India to use Chittagong as a port of call and will also help promote trade, tourism and people-to-people ties.

Bridge will also facilitate carrying of heavy machines and goods to and from northeastern states (and rest) of India through Bangladesh via Chattogram.

Significance of Ramgarh Land Port: It will serve as a link between India and the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, thus will ease export-import procedure of businessmen and also reduce unemployment. The land port users will be able to save time and money by using Chittagong International Seaport and airport facilities also. It will be constructed with support from Indian government and will start soon after the completion of Feni Bridge.