With an aim to further strengthen bilateral cooperation, India and Bangladesh on Friday signed four MoUs in key areas including capacity building, anti-corruption issues, and medicinal plants.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of India and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) of Bangladesh, which is aimed at sharing expertise and developing anti-corruption mechanism.
An MoU was inked between the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), Mussoorie, and Ministry of Public Administration (MOPA), Bangladesh, which envisages training and capacity building programme for 1,800 Bangladesh civil servants over the next six years.
An agreement was signed for cooperation in the field of medicinal plants between the National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB), Ministry of AYUSH and Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladesh. An MoU was also inked between Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority and Nidar Industrial Park Pune (Private) Limited, Hiranandani Group.
According to an official statement, these MoUs were signed in the presence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Abdul Momen during the 5th Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) between the two countries at Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan in New Delhi.
India and Bangladesh signed a MoU for training 1,800 Bangladesh Civil Servants at the National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), an institute under the over the next six years, an official statement said.
KV Eapen, Secretary, Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DAR&PG), Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India, and also the Director General of NCGG, said the collaboration represented a historic milestone in training and capacity building programmes between the two countries.
He said that Bangladesh civil servants would be trained in e-governance and service delivery, public policy and implementation, information technology, decentralisation, urban development and planning, ethics in administration and challenges in the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs).
This is the second time that NCGG has signed an MoU for a training programme for Bangladesh civil servants. Under the first MoU signed five years ago, about 1,500 Bangladesh civil servants have already been trained at the NCGG.
The participants of the training programme will be selected amongst Additional Deputy Commissioners, Additional District Magistrates, Upazila Nirbahi Officers, Deputy Director Local Government, Senior Assistant Secretaries, Senior Assistant Commissioners, Assistant Commissioners (Land) and Officers of equivalent rank in the ministries from Bangladesh Civil Service (Administration) cadre.
The NCGG is planning to conduct 15 training programmes in 2019 each of duration of two weeks. The trainee officers will undergo training at the NCGG's Mussoorie Centre and in Delhi where they would visit the Indian government's establishments as well.
External Affairs Minister Swaraj congratulated the visiting dignitary on his assumption of the office of Foreign Minister, and appreciated the significance attached to the bilateral relationship, as indicated in his decision to make India the destination of his first visit abroad.
In her opening remarks, Swaraj underscored that trust and partnership are the bedrock of understanding between India and Bangladesh. She highlighted that both countries are two of the fastest growing economies in the world and India stands in full support of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's development agenda.
The External Affairs Minister noted with satisfaction that Bangladesh-India bilateral relations are going through a 'Shonali Oddhay' (golden chapter). The Bangladeshi Foreign Minister highlighted that under the leadership of Prime Minister Hasina and Prime Minister Modi, bilateral ties have reached unprecedented heights.
Following the talks, the two Foreign Ministers witnessed the signing of four MoUs between both sides. They also reaffirmed that the relationship between India and Bangladesh, forged in the 1971 Liberation War, goes far beyond a strategic partnership.
During the meeting, Swaraj and Momen discussed an entire gamut of bilateral issues of mutual interest. They reviewed the ongoing cooperation including the implementation of decisions taken during the visits of Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Hasina, as well as those at the last meeting of JCC in October 2017 in Dhaka.
The two ministers expressed satisfaction that both countries are working closer than ever before in every sector, from security and border management to mutually beneficial trade and investment flows, power and energy, river water sharing, development partnership, transport connectivity, culture and people-to-people contacts.
They said that the relationship was now broadening to include new and high technology areas for partnership, such as space, nuclear energy, IT and electronics, and tasked their accompanying officials to develop a forward-looking roadmap for bilateral cooperation to make the partnership irreversible.
"In particular, they desired that partnership-building efforts should be enhanced in a manner commensurate with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Liberation War," said the official statement.
Swaraj expressed appreciation for the humanitarian gesture of Bangladesh in supporting a large number of displaced people from the Rakhine region of Myanmar and assured her Bangladeshi counterpart of India's continued support for safe, speedy and sustainable return of the displaced people to Myanmar.
Momen conveyed the gratitude of the Bangladesh government for the humanitarian assistance provided by India in four tranches since September 2017 to help meet the requirements of the displaced people from Myanmar. The two ministers also agreed on the need to expedite safe and sustainable repatriation of the displaced people from the Rakhine state of Myanmar.
The Bangladeshi Foreign Minister sought India's cooperation for early repatriation of the Rohingyas. He emphasised that economic diplomacy is emerging as a foreign policy priority for Bangladesh. He noted that resource mobilisation for achieving the SDGs and the importance of South-South and triangular cooperation for developing countries, where India could play a crucial role.
Momen requested for water sharing of all common rivers including early resolution of Teesta water sharing. Swaraj assured that India would work for early conclusion of the Teesta water sharing agreement, the statement further said.
The Bangladeshi Foreign Minister, who is leading a 21-member delegation in his visit, also called on Prime Minister Modi and conveyed the greetings of Prime Minister Hasina.
During the talks, Prime Minister Modi conveyed his good wishes to his Bangladeshi counterpart for her success in her third consecutive term in office, and reaffirmed New Delhi's abiding commitment to remain Dhaka's most committed partner for security and development.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)