India-Bangladesh Current Affairs - 2019

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India Bangladesh old rail links of 1965 prewar to be reopened

The Bangladesh PM Sheik Hasina announced that India Bangladesh rail links that were closed after 1965 war will be reopened. The announcement was made at the inaugural function of the first intercity train between Dhaka and Kurigam.

Rail Links between India and Bangladesh

  • The first rail link between India and Bangladesh was opened in 2008. The first train was the Maitri Express that connected Dhaka and Kolkata.
  • In 2017, the Bandhan Express was launched that connected Kolkata and Khulna
  • In September 2019, the Governments of India and Bangladesh jointly laid foundation stone for the up gradation of missing tracks on Haldibari-Chilahati track that connects Bengal and Assam via Bangladesh. The track was a part of the broad-gauge main route from Kolkata to Siliguri during British rule.
  • On the whole there are 4 rail links between India and Bangladesh.
  • Two more rail tracks are to be revived

Till 1965, the trains from Bangladesh to Darjeeling via Siliguri were operated. However, the services were stopped after the war in 1965. These tracks are to be revived jointly by both the governments.

India- Bangladesh Navies to participate in maiden bilateral drill at Visakhapatnam

Navies of India and Bangladesh will participate for the first time in a IN-BN Bilateral Exercise at Visakhapatnam from 12 to 16 October 2019. This exercise which takes place a week after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India, will entail development of mutual communication and sharing of best practices, thus adding a new dimension to India- Bangladesh maritime relations.

About India-Bangladesh maiden Bilateral Navy Exercise

The maiden edition of IN-BN Bilateral Exercise will be held after the second edition of Indian Navy (IN) and Bangladesh Navy (BN) Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT). The first edition of CORPAT commenced in 2018.

Objective: To develop mutual communication and sharing best practices between the two navies.

The exercise would include air familiarisation of Bangladesh Navy aircrew and a 10-day training exercise between Indian Navy Marine Commandos and Bangladesh Navy SWADS (or Special Warfare Diving and Salvage, an elite special operations unit of Bangladesh Navy).

About IN-BN CORPAT 2019

The two-day IN-BN CORPAT 2019 that commenced in northern part of Bay of Bengal, is aimed towards upgrading to a bilateral exercise with navies of both countries engaging in seamanship evolutions, flying exercises with integral helicopters as well as maritime patrol aircraft at sea. During the current edition of CORPAT, the navies of both countries aim to practice and hone their mutual cooperation whilst patrolling near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

Participants in CORPAT: In the bilateral exercise, Indian Navy’s guided-missile destroyer Indian Naval Ship INS Ranvijay and ingeniously built missile Corvette INS Kuthar are participating along with Bangladesh’s BNS Ali Haider, a Type 053 frigate and BNS Shadinota, a Type 056 stealth guided missile corvette.

NOTE: India and Bangladesh have a common territorial boundary of more than 4000 km and a maritime boundary.