India Bangladesh observe ‘Maitri Divas'
- India and Bangladesh observed ‘Maitri Divas' or friendship day on 6th of December.
- It is the day on which India formally recognised Bangladesh as an Independent, sovereign country and it is pertinent to note that India was one of the first countries to establish bilateral ties with Bangladesh on 6th December 1971.
- India recognised the new country 10 days before the liberation of Bangladesh.
- During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh to attend the national day of Bangladesh earlier in March, the two countries mutually decided to commemorate December 6 as Maitri Divas.
- In a statement released by the Ministry of External Affairs, the Maitri Diwas is being commemorated in 18 countries around the world apart from Dhaka and Delhi.
- These countries are Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Qatar, Singapore, UK, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE and USA.
- The holding of Maitri Diwas is a reflection of the deep and abiding friendship between the people of India and Bangladesh that has been forged in blood and shared sacrifices.
- As mentioned, India was one of the first countries to recognize Bangladesh formally and henceforth establish diplomatic relations immediately after its independence in December 1971.
- India and Bangladesh share a 4,096.7km international border which is accounted as the longest land boundary that India shares with any of its neighbours.
- The India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) came into force following the exchange of instruments of ratification in June 2015.
- Considered as India's biggest trade partner in South Asia, India’s exports to Bangladesh for the financial year 2018-19 stood at US 9.21 billion USD and imports from Bangladesh for the same period stood at US 1.22 Billion USD.
Cooperation in Connectivity:
- Both countries jointly inaugurated the newly restored railway link between Haldibari (India) and Chilahati (Bangladesh).
During Covid 19 Pandemic:
- Under India’s Neighbourhood First Policy, India assured that vaccines for Covid-19 would be made available to Bangladesh as and when produced in India.
- India also offered collaboration in therapeutics and partnership in vaccine production.