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PSIR 2B-3.4 India – Bangladesh Relations – Previous Year Questions – Solved

Model Answers to PYQs (2018-2023)

1] Discuss the steps required to realise ‘hydro-co-operation’ between India and Bangladesh. [2022/10m/150w/5c]

Given the geographical situation of Indian and Bangladesh where they both share a huge amount of resources, establishing a framework for regular dialogue and mutual understanding between India and Bangladesh is essential.

Hydro cooperation between the two neighbours can be facilitated through bilateral discussions, joint working groups, and high-level meetings. The objective is to promote open and transparent communication, build trust, and foster a spirit of cooperation.

Both partners should enhance the sharing of hydrological data, particularly related to river flows and rainfall patterns. This information exchange is crucial for both countries to effectively manage water resources, mitigate the impact of floods and droughts, and make informed decisions regarding water allocation and infrastructure development.

Collaborative mechanisms should be established for the joint management and planning of shared river basins. This involves the formulation of joint river basin management plans, including the identification of common goals, priorities, and strategies.

Both countries should explore opportunities for joint infrastructure development projects, such as multipurpose dams, reservoirs, and water diversion schemes. These projects should be designed and implemented in a manner that takes into account the ecological and socio-economic impacts on both sides of the border. Transparent mechanisms for cost-sharing, benefits-sharing, and dispute resolution should be established to ensure fairness and equity.

Training programs, workshops, and knowledge-sharing platforms can enhance the capabilities of stakeholders involved in water resources management.

By implementing these steps, India and Bangladesh can foster a cooperative and sustainable framework for “hydro-cooperation.” This approach will enable the two countries to effectively manage shared water resources, mitigate water-related challenges, and promote mutual benefits and regional stability. [264 words]

2] Write a brief analysis of the ethnic conflicts and cross-border migrations along India-Myanmar and India-Bangladesh borders. [2021/15m/200w/6c]

Ethnic conflicts and cross-border migrations along the India-Myanmar and India-Bangladesh borders have been a significant challenge with complex dynamics.

The India-Myanmar border region is home to various ethnic groups, some of which have faced conflicts with the Myanmar government. Ethnic insurgent groups from Myanmar, such as the Arakan Army and the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), have sought refuge and conducted operations across the border into India.

The India-Myanmar border has also witnessed cross-border migrations due to political unrest, conflicts, and economic factors. People from Myanmar, particularly from regions like Chin State and Rakhine State, have sought asylum in India, leading to refugee influx and migration challenges.

Similarly, the India-Bangladesh border region has experienced ethnic conflicts, particularly in the state of Assam. The border has also witnessed significant cross-border migrations, primarily driven by economic factors and political instability. Economic migrants from Bangladesh, seeking better livelihood opportunities, have entered India illegally. The porous border has presented challenges in regulating and managing such migrations.

Ethnic conflicts and cross-border migrations along these borders have raised security concerns for both India and its neighbouring countries. Insurgent activities, smuggling, and infiltration by extremist elements have posed challenges to border security and internal stability. The influx of refugees and illegal migrants has put a strain on the resources and infrastructure of the border regions. It has impacted local communities’ access to essential services such as healthcare, education, and employment opportunities.

Addressing the root causes of ethnic conflicts through dialogue, inclusive governance, and socio-economic development can help in reducing tensions and promoting stability. Engaging with ethnic communities and addressing their grievances is crucial. Moreover, developing comprehensive migration policies that balance security concerns with humanitarian considerations is essential. [281 words]

3] Analyze the impact of hydropolitics on Indo-Bangladesh relations. [2020/10m/150w/5c]

Ever since Bangladesh was formed, water has been a critical explanatory factor in Bangladesh-India relations with 54 rivers crossing each other’s boundaries.

The most contentious issue in the hydro-political relations between the two nations, so far, had been the construction of the Farakka barrage. The barrage had been the point of contention right from its design phase when Bangladesh was East Pakistan. The 1996 Ganges Water Sharing Agreement (GWA) between Bangladesh and India saved the hydro-political impasse.

The recent inauguration of “Maitri Setu,” the bridge on the transboundary Feni river shared between Bangladesh and India was another feather added to the Bangladesh-India friendship cap.

While GWA and Maitri Bridge over Feni seem to be the sweet spots of success from a hydro-diplomacy perspective, the Teesta River remains the bone of contention between the two riparian nations. An ad-hoc agreement of 1983 lapsed within two years. An attempt in 2011 to ink an agreement by the Bangladesh and Indian governments based on the 1984 recommendations could not be implemented due to objection from the state of West Bengal.

From an institutional and governance perspective, the Bangladesh-India Teesta stalemate is largely created due to water being a State subject in the Indian Constitution. In the case of the GWA, West Bengal played an enabling role, while for the Teesta it is just the contrary. Therefore, Bangladesh-India transboundary water relations will always emerge as a “two-level” game as far as India is concerned.

As such, the 50 years of hydro-political relations between the two nations can best be described as a mixed bag of sweet spots and some bitter pills. [267 words]

The post contains answers to the last 6-year papers i.e. (2023-2018). Answers to the previous year questions from 2013-2017 are a part of our book PSIR Optional Model Answers to PYQs (2013-2022)

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