International Relations: Vision IAS March 2021 Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

UPSC Mains: International Relations, Social Issues & others

UPSC : International Relations: Vision IAS March 2021 Current Affairs Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


	
2.	INTERNATIONAL	RELATIONS	
2.1.	INDIA-BANGLADESH		
Why in news? 
The year 2021 marks the golden jubilee (50 
years) of 1971 India-Pakistan war that led to the 
liberation of Bangladesh.  
Various facets of relationship and areas of 
cooperation 
• Trade relations: Bangladesh is India’s biggest 
trading partner in South Asia. 
o To address trade imbalance India has offered 
duty free access to multiple Bangladeshi 
products and is developing 10 Integrated 
Check Post with state-of-the-art facilities. 
• Development Partnership: Bangladesh is one of 
the biggest beneficiaries of India’s line of credit 
(US$ 8 billion). In last 8 years in various sectors 
like road, railways, shipping and ports. 
o Small Development Projects (SDPs) 
constitute an active pillar of India’s 
development assistance. The Government of 
India has funded 55 SDPs including academic 
buildings, cultural centers and orphanages 
etc. in Bangladesh.  
• Foreign Policy: Bangladesh is at the centre of 
India’s flagship ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act 
East’ policies and has been crucial in ensuring 
peace and stability in India’s northeast region. 
• Humanitarian assistance: India has always 
responded first in Bangladesh’s times of crises, whether in the aftermath of natural disasters like cyclone Sidr 
(2007), or amidst health emergencies such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic (in the form of PPE kits, 
medicines etc.).  
• Military cooperation: The armed forces from both sides regularly conduct joint drills like exercise Sampriti 
and Milan. India has extended $500 million line of credit to Bangladesh for defence imports from India. 
• Security: Indo-Bangladesh security and intelligence cooperation have resulted into curbing of anti-India terror 
camps and militancy in Northeastern region. Cooperation has also been effective in curbing militancy in 
Bangladesh.   
• Multilateral cooperation: Both countries are members of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Indian Ocean Rim Association 
and the Commonwealth. Recently, Bangladesh backed India's election to the UN Security Council.  
• Connectivity:  
o Both the governments are restoring the pre- 1965 rail links and other connectivity links that existed 
between India and Bangladesh. For E.g., railway link between Haldibari in India and Chilahati in 
Bangladesh was recently inaugurated and work on Akhaura-Agartala rail link is underway. 
o Both countries are committed for early implementation of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN), 
Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA), 2015 for the regulation of passenger, personnel and cargo vehicular 
traffic among the four South Asian neighbors.  
o Bangladesh has also recently granted permission to use its inland route and ports of Chittagong and 
Mongla for transshipment of goods to northeast Indian states.  
• Border Management: India shares its longest border with Bangladesh. The ratification of the Land Boundary 
Agreement in 2015 and the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal in 2014 led to the 
peaceful resolution of long pending border disputes between the countries. 
Evolution of India-Bangladesh relationship 
• The friendship between India and Bangladesh is historic, 
evolving over the last 50 years.  
• India’s political, diplomatic, military and humanitarian 
support during Bangladesh’s Liberation War played an 
important role towards Bangladesh’s independence.  
• Post-Independence, the India-Bangladesh relationship 
has oscillated as Bangladesh passed through different 
regimes.  
• However, in the last decade, India-Bangladesh relations 
have warmed up, entering a new era of cooperation, 
and moving beyond historical and cultural ties to 
become more assimilated in the areas of trade, 
connectivity, energy, and defence.  
	
Page 2


	
2.	INTERNATIONAL	RELATIONS	
2.1.	INDIA-BANGLADESH		
Why in news? 
The year 2021 marks the golden jubilee (50 
years) of 1971 India-Pakistan war that led to the 
liberation of Bangladesh.  
Various facets of relationship and areas of 
cooperation 
• Trade relations: Bangladesh is India’s biggest 
trading partner in South Asia. 
o To address trade imbalance India has offered 
duty free access to multiple Bangladeshi 
products and is developing 10 Integrated 
Check Post with state-of-the-art facilities. 
• Development Partnership: Bangladesh is one of 
the biggest beneficiaries of India’s line of credit 
(US$ 8 billion). In last 8 years in various sectors 
like road, railways, shipping and ports. 
o Small Development Projects (SDPs) 
constitute an active pillar of India’s 
development assistance. The Government of 
India has funded 55 SDPs including academic 
buildings, cultural centers and orphanages 
etc. in Bangladesh.  
• Foreign Policy: Bangladesh is at the centre of 
India’s flagship ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act 
East’ policies and has been crucial in ensuring 
peace and stability in India’s northeast region. 
• Humanitarian assistance: India has always 
responded first in Bangladesh’s times of crises, whether in the aftermath of natural disasters like cyclone Sidr 
(2007), or amidst health emergencies such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic (in the form of PPE kits, 
medicines etc.).  
• Military cooperation: The armed forces from both sides regularly conduct joint drills like exercise Sampriti 
and Milan. India has extended $500 million line of credit to Bangladesh for defence imports from India. 
• Security: Indo-Bangladesh security and intelligence cooperation have resulted into curbing of anti-India terror 
camps and militancy in Northeastern region. Cooperation has also been effective in curbing militancy in 
Bangladesh.   
• Multilateral cooperation: Both countries are members of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Indian Ocean Rim Association 
and the Commonwealth. Recently, Bangladesh backed India's election to the UN Security Council.  
• Connectivity:  
o Both the governments are restoring the pre- 1965 rail links and other connectivity links that existed 
between India and Bangladesh. For E.g., railway link between Haldibari in India and Chilahati in 
Bangladesh was recently inaugurated and work on Akhaura-Agartala rail link is underway. 
o Both countries are committed for early implementation of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN), 
Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA), 2015 for the regulation of passenger, personnel and cargo vehicular 
traffic among the four South Asian neighbors.  
o Bangladesh has also recently granted permission to use its inland route and ports of Chittagong and 
Mongla for transshipment of goods to northeast Indian states.  
• Border Management: India shares its longest border with Bangladesh. The ratification of the Land Boundary 
Agreement in 2015 and the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal in 2014 led to the 
peaceful resolution of long pending border disputes between the countries. 
Evolution of India-Bangladesh relationship 
• The friendship between India and Bangladesh is historic, 
evolving over the last 50 years.  
• India’s political, diplomatic, military and humanitarian 
support during Bangladesh’s Liberation War played an 
important role towards Bangladesh’s independence.  
• Post-Independence, the India-Bangladesh relationship 
has oscillated as Bangladesh passed through different 
regimes.  
• However, in the last decade, India-Bangladesh relations 
have warmed up, entering a new era of cooperation, 
and moving beyond historical and cultural ties to 
become more assimilated in the areas of trade, 
connectivity, energy, and defence.  
	
	
• Tourism: Bangladesh accounts for more than 35% of India’s international medical patients and contributes 
more than 50% of India’s revenue from medical tourism.  
• Protecting ecology: Both countries signed an 
(MoU) on the Conservation of the Sundarbans 
in 2011. 
• Capacity Building and Human Resource 
Development: The Government of India has 
been training Bangladesh Civil Service officials, 
police officials and judicial officials. Bangladesh 
is also an important Indian Technical and 
Economic Cooperation (ITEC) partner country 
and annually around 800 participants from 
Bangladesh avail the ITEC training courses.  
o In addition, scholarships are awarded by 
ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) 
every year to students from Bangladesh in 
the IITs and NIITs. 
Challenges in the relationship 
• Cross-border Migration: Illegal migration from 
Bangladesh induced demographic shift in the 
bordering states in North East. This has given 
rise to the socio-ethnic tensions among the 
locals and migrants. 
o Recently, the National Registration of Citizens (NRC) was carried out in Assam, to which the people of 
Bangladesh expressed concern and feared an influx of thousands of people across the border following 
deportation. 
o Similarly, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) caused major resentment in Bangladesh and the 
cancellation of Bangladesh Foreign Minister’s visit to India. 
• Water Disputes: India and Bangladesh have 54 common rivers including Ganges and Brahmaputra. The major 
issues are sharing of river waters, interlinking of the rivers and building of dams. For example, Teesta river 
water dispute. India has also expressed concerns on the level of pollution in the Churni river due to the 
discharge of effluents from factories in the upstream Bangladesh. 
o India and Bangladesh have instituted a joint river commission (JRC) for the resolution of water disputes. 
However, doubts have been raised about the credibility of JRC, and the demand for reforming JRC has 
gained traction recently. 
• Rising Radicalization: Radicalization in Bangladesh is on a rise, and the influence of the radicals is believed to 
have increased in the country’s politics. The growing presence of international militant organizations like the 
Islamic State in the region is also a serious concern for India. 
• Cross border crime: Tough terrain and porous border leads to crimes in border areas, such as smuggling of 
arms, narcotics, fake Indian currencies, cattle and trafficking of women and children. 
• Negative perception of India: Popular resentment is emerging in Bangladesh about the treatment of 
minorities in India. The basis for such perception has been various media reports that are exploited by the 
radical groups for propaganda. 
Way Forward 
The political leaders of two countries must strive to forge a progressive partnership for a peaceful, prosperous, 
and progressive region. Following steps could be taken in this direction: 
• Dealing with cross border migration: There is a need to bring in transparency and strengthen infrastructure 
for the issuance of identity documents that validate one’s claim to citizenship. In this regard, priority should 
be given to digitalization of governance at the grassroots level, primarily in the bordering states.  
• Managing water resources: While the Teesta issue needs a speedy resolution, the two countries should also 
simultaneously explore the possibility of institutionalizing a framework for management of the rivers with a 
basin-wide approach.  
India-Bangladesh vs India-Pakistan: Contrasts and Learnings  
Over the period of 50 years, in the east, India and Bangladesh 
have cooperated at bilateral and regional level. The same has 
not been possible in North-west, with Pakistan. This can be 
attributed to following reasons-  
• Political stability and policy continuity: This has helped 
Delhi and Dhaka deepen bilateral ties over the last decade. 
o In contrast, the political cycles in Delhi and Islamabad 
have rarely been in sync.  
• Concern for mutual security: Cooperation in countering 
terrorism built deep mutual trust between Dhaka and 
Delhi. That trust helped deal with many complex issues 
facing the relationship.  
o In the case of Pakistan, its army has sought to use 
cross-border terrorism as a political lever to compel 
India to negotiate on Kashmir.  
• Depoliticization of important economic issues: Delhi and 
Dhaka have steadily moved forward on issues relating to 
trade, transit and connectivity by dealing with them on 
their own specific merits.  
o Pakistan, on the other hand, has made sensible 
bilateral commercial cooperation and regional 
economic integration hostage to the Kashmir question.  
Page 3


	
2.	INTERNATIONAL	RELATIONS	
2.1.	INDIA-BANGLADESH		
Why in news? 
The year 2021 marks the golden jubilee (50 
years) of 1971 India-Pakistan war that led to the 
liberation of Bangladesh.  
Various facets of relationship and areas of 
cooperation 
• Trade relations: Bangladesh is India’s biggest 
trading partner in South Asia. 
o To address trade imbalance India has offered 
duty free access to multiple Bangladeshi 
products and is developing 10 Integrated 
Check Post with state-of-the-art facilities. 
• Development Partnership: Bangladesh is one of 
the biggest beneficiaries of India’s line of credit 
(US$ 8 billion). In last 8 years in various sectors 
like road, railways, shipping and ports. 
o Small Development Projects (SDPs) 
constitute an active pillar of India’s 
development assistance. The Government of 
India has funded 55 SDPs including academic 
buildings, cultural centers and orphanages 
etc. in Bangladesh.  
• Foreign Policy: Bangladesh is at the centre of 
India’s flagship ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act 
East’ policies and has been crucial in ensuring 
peace and stability in India’s northeast region. 
• Humanitarian assistance: India has always 
responded first in Bangladesh’s times of crises, whether in the aftermath of natural disasters like cyclone Sidr 
(2007), or amidst health emergencies such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic (in the form of PPE kits, 
medicines etc.).  
• Military cooperation: The armed forces from both sides regularly conduct joint drills like exercise Sampriti 
and Milan. India has extended $500 million line of credit to Bangladesh for defence imports from India. 
• Security: Indo-Bangladesh security and intelligence cooperation have resulted into curbing of anti-India terror 
camps and militancy in Northeastern region. Cooperation has also been effective in curbing militancy in 
Bangladesh.   
• Multilateral cooperation: Both countries are members of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Indian Ocean Rim Association 
and the Commonwealth. Recently, Bangladesh backed India's election to the UN Security Council.  
• Connectivity:  
o Both the governments are restoring the pre- 1965 rail links and other connectivity links that existed 
between India and Bangladesh. For E.g., railway link between Haldibari in India and Chilahati in 
Bangladesh was recently inaugurated and work on Akhaura-Agartala rail link is underway. 
o Both countries are committed for early implementation of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN), 
Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA), 2015 for the regulation of passenger, personnel and cargo vehicular 
traffic among the four South Asian neighbors.  
o Bangladesh has also recently granted permission to use its inland route and ports of Chittagong and 
Mongla for transshipment of goods to northeast Indian states.  
• Border Management: India shares its longest border with Bangladesh. The ratification of the Land Boundary 
Agreement in 2015 and the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal in 2014 led to the 
peaceful resolution of long pending border disputes between the countries. 
Evolution of India-Bangladesh relationship 
• The friendship between India and Bangladesh is historic, 
evolving over the last 50 years.  
• India’s political, diplomatic, military and humanitarian 
support during Bangladesh’s Liberation War played an 
important role towards Bangladesh’s independence.  
• Post-Independence, the India-Bangladesh relationship 
has oscillated as Bangladesh passed through different 
regimes.  
• However, in the last decade, India-Bangladesh relations 
have warmed up, entering a new era of cooperation, 
and moving beyond historical and cultural ties to 
become more assimilated in the areas of trade, 
connectivity, energy, and defence.  
	
	
• Tourism: Bangladesh accounts for more than 35% of India’s international medical patients and contributes 
more than 50% of India’s revenue from medical tourism.  
• Protecting ecology: Both countries signed an 
(MoU) on the Conservation of the Sundarbans 
in 2011. 
• Capacity Building and Human Resource 
Development: The Government of India has 
been training Bangladesh Civil Service officials, 
police officials and judicial officials. Bangladesh 
is also an important Indian Technical and 
Economic Cooperation (ITEC) partner country 
and annually around 800 participants from 
Bangladesh avail the ITEC training courses.  
o In addition, scholarships are awarded by 
ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) 
every year to students from Bangladesh in 
the IITs and NIITs. 
Challenges in the relationship 
• Cross-border Migration: Illegal migration from 
Bangladesh induced demographic shift in the 
bordering states in North East. This has given 
rise to the socio-ethnic tensions among the 
locals and migrants. 
o Recently, the National Registration of Citizens (NRC) was carried out in Assam, to which the people of 
Bangladesh expressed concern and feared an influx of thousands of people across the border following 
deportation. 
o Similarly, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) caused major resentment in Bangladesh and the 
cancellation of Bangladesh Foreign Minister’s visit to India. 
• Water Disputes: India and Bangladesh have 54 common rivers including Ganges and Brahmaputra. The major 
issues are sharing of river waters, interlinking of the rivers and building of dams. For example, Teesta river 
water dispute. India has also expressed concerns on the level of pollution in the Churni river due to the 
discharge of effluents from factories in the upstream Bangladesh. 
o India and Bangladesh have instituted a joint river commission (JRC) for the resolution of water disputes. 
However, doubts have been raised about the credibility of JRC, and the demand for reforming JRC has 
gained traction recently. 
• Rising Radicalization: Radicalization in Bangladesh is on a rise, and the influence of the radicals is believed to 
have increased in the country’s politics. The growing presence of international militant organizations like the 
Islamic State in the region is also a serious concern for India. 
• Cross border crime: Tough terrain and porous border leads to crimes in border areas, such as smuggling of 
arms, narcotics, fake Indian currencies, cattle and trafficking of women and children. 
• Negative perception of India: Popular resentment is emerging in Bangladesh about the treatment of 
minorities in India. The basis for such perception has been various media reports that are exploited by the 
radical groups for propaganda. 
Way Forward 
The political leaders of two countries must strive to forge a progressive partnership for a peaceful, prosperous, 
and progressive region. Following steps could be taken in this direction: 
• Dealing with cross border migration: There is a need to bring in transparency and strengthen infrastructure 
for the issuance of identity documents that validate one’s claim to citizenship. In this regard, priority should 
be given to digitalization of governance at the grassroots level, primarily in the bordering states.  
• Managing water resources: While the Teesta issue needs a speedy resolution, the two countries should also 
simultaneously explore the possibility of institutionalizing a framework for management of the rivers with a 
basin-wide approach.  
India-Bangladesh vs India-Pakistan: Contrasts and Learnings  
Over the period of 50 years, in the east, India and Bangladesh 
have cooperated at bilateral and regional level. The same has 
not been possible in North-west, with Pakistan. This can be 
attributed to following reasons-  
• Political stability and policy continuity: This has helped 
Delhi and Dhaka deepen bilateral ties over the last decade. 
o In contrast, the political cycles in Delhi and Islamabad 
have rarely been in sync.  
• Concern for mutual security: Cooperation in countering 
terrorism built deep mutual trust between Dhaka and 
Delhi. That trust helped deal with many complex issues 
facing the relationship.  
o In the case of Pakistan, its army has sought to use 
cross-border terrorism as a political lever to compel 
India to negotiate on Kashmir.  
• Depoliticization of important economic issues: Delhi and 
Dhaka have steadily moved forward on issues relating to 
trade, transit and connectivity by dealing with them on 
their own specific merits.  
o Pakistan, on the other hand, has made sensible 
bilateral commercial cooperation and regional 
economic integration hostage to the Kashmir question.  
	
• Encouraging people-to-people interactions to counter propaganda and misinformation. Steps need to be 
taken in the management of public perception about India in Bangladesh and adequate emphasis should be 
given on strengthening the counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries. 
• Collaborative approach in dealing with trade issues:  India and Bangladesh should undertake a collaborative 
approach and policies should be framed accordingly to avoid any future conflicts. Enhancing investment from 
India to Bangladesh and vice versa could be considered as a starting point. 
Bangladesh: A Model for the developing world 
• The impressive economic and social 
progress in Bangladesh is a source of 
inspiration not only for South Asia but also 
the entire developing world. From being one 
of the world’s poorest countries in 1972, 
Bangladesh is now racing to be in the 
world’s top 25 economies by the end of this 
decade. 
• Its GDP per capita is just under $2,000 — 
almost the same as India’s. In five years, by 
2026, Bangladesh will drop its least 
developed country tag, and move into the 
league of developing countries — on par 
with India. 
2.2.	 INDIA-REPUBLIC	 OF	 KOREA	 (SOUTH	 KOREA)	 BILATERAL	
RELATIONS	
Why in News? 
Recently, India and South Korea concluded their bilateral talks on defence cooperation. 
More on News 
• India and South Korea have agreed to go for joint production and export of military hardware, enhance 
intelligence sharing and boost cooperation in cyber and space domains as part of overall expansion of 
defence and security ties. 
• South Korea also expressed interest in India's two defence corridors. 
o Government is working on setting up two defence industrial corridors, one in Uttar Pradesh and another 
in Tamil Nadu, with an aim to ensure connectivity among various defence industrial units. 
What have been the key pillars of India South Korea relations?  
• Political 
o India played an important and positive role in 
Korean affairs after Korea's independence in 
1945. During the Korean War (1950- 53), both the 
warring sides accepted a resolution sponsored by 
India. 
o Bilateral consular relations were established in 
1962. 
o In 2015, bilateral relationship was upgraded to 
‘special strategic partnership’. 
o Later Korea announced to upgrade the relationship 
with India equivalent to four traditional partners 
(U.S., China, Japan, Russia) under the “New Asia 
Community Plus” framework. 
• Commercial Relations 
o Trade and economic relations grew with the 
implementation of Comprehensive Economic 
Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2010. 
ü CEPA commits the two countries to lowering or eliminating import tariffs on a wide range of goods. 
Page 4


	
2.	INTERNATIONAL	RELATIONS	
2.1.	INDIA-BANGLADESH		
Why in news? 
The year 2021 marks the golden jubilee (50 
years) of 1971 India-Pakistan war that led to the 
liberation of Bangladesh.  
Various facets of relationship and areas of 
cooperation 
• Trade relations: Bangladesh is India’s biggest 
trading partner in South Asia. 
o To address trade imbalance India has offered 
duty free access to multiple Bangladeshi 
products and is developing 10 Integrated 
Check Post with state-of-the-art facilities. 
• Development Partnership: Bangladesh is one of 
the biggest beneficiaries of India’s line of credit 
(US$ 8 billion). In last 8 years in various sectors 
like road, railways, shipping and ports. 
o Small Development Projects (SDPs) 
constitute an active pillar of India’s 
development assistance. The Government of 
India has funded 55 SDPs including academic 
buildings, cultural centers and orphanages 
etc. in Bangladesh.  
• Foreign Policy: Bangladesh is at the centre of 
India’s flagship ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act 
East’ policies and has been crucial in ensuring 
peace and stability in India’s northeast region. 
• Humanitarian assistance: India has always 
responded first in Bangladesh’s times of crises, whether in the aftermath of natural disasters like cyclone Sidr 
(2007), or amidst health emergencies such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic (in the form of PPE kits, 
medicines etc.).  
• Military cooperation: The armed forces from both sides regularly conduct joint drills like exercise Sampriti 
and Milan. India has extended $500 million line of credit to Bangladesh for defence imports from India. 
• Security: Indo-Bangladesh security and intelligence cooperation have resulted into curbing of anti-India terror 
camps and militancy in Northeastern region. Cooperation has also been effective in curbing militancy in 
Bangladesh.   
• Multilateral cooperation: Both countries are members of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Indian Ocean Rim Association 
and the Commonwealth. Recently, Bangladesh backed India's election to the UN Security Council.  
• Connectivity:  
o Both the governments are restoring the pre- 1965 rail links and other connectivity links that existed 
between India and Bangladesh. For E.g., railway link between Haldibari in India and Chilahati in 
Bangladesh was recently inaugurated and work on Akhaura-Agartala rail link is underway. 
o Both countries are committed for early implementation of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN), 
Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA), 2015 for the regulation of passenger, personnel and cargo vehicular 
traffic among the four South Asian neighbors.  
o Bangladesh has also recently granted permission to use its inland route and ports of Chittagong and 
Mongla for transshipment of goods to northeast Indian states.  
• Border Management: India shares its longest border with Bangladesh. The ratification of the Land Boundary 
Agreement in 2015 and the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal in 2014 led to the 
peaceful resolution of long pending border disputes between the countries. 
Evolution of India-Bangladesh relationship 
• The friendship between India and Bangladesh is historic, 
evolving over the last 50 years.  
• India’s political, diplomatic, military and humanitarian 
support during Bangladesh’s Liberation War played an 
important role towards Bangladesh’s independence.  
• Post-Independence, the India-Bangladesh relationship 
has oscillated as Bangladesh passed through different 
regimes.  
• However, in the last decade, India-Bangladesh relations 
have warmed up, entering a new era of cooperation, 
and moving beyond historical and cultural ties to 
become more assimilated in the areas of trade, 
connectivity, energy, and defence.  
	
	
• Tourism: Bangladesh accounts for more than 35% of India’s international medical patients and contributes 
more than 50% of India’s revenue from medical tourism.  
• Protecting ecology: Both countries signed an 
(MoU) on the Conservation of the Sundarbans 
in 2011. 
• Capacity Building and Human Resource 
Development: The Government of India has 
been training Bangladesh Civil Service officials, 
police officials and judicial officials. Bangladesh 
is also an important Indian Technical and 
Economic Cooperation (ITEC) partner country 
and annually around 800 participants from 
Bangladesh avail the ITEC training courses.  
o In addition, scholarships are awarded by 
ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) 
every year to students from Bangladesh in 
the IITs and NIITs. 
Challenges in the relationship 
• Cross-border Migration: Illegal migration from 
Bangladesh induced demographic shift in the 
bordering states in North East. This has given 
rise to the socio-ethnic tensions among the 
locals and migrants. 
o Recently, the National Registration of Citizens (NRC) was carried out in Assam, to which the people of 
Bangladesh expressed concern and feared an influx of thousands of people across the border following 
deportation. 
o Similarly, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) caused major resentment in Bangladesh and the 
cancellation of Bangladesh Foreign Minister’s visit to India. 
• Water Disputes: India and Bangladesh have 54 common rivers including Ganges and Brahmaputra. The major 
issues are sharing of river waters, interlinking of the rivers and building of dams. For example, Teesta river 
water dispute. India has also expressed concerns on the level of pollution in the Churni river due to the 
discharge of effluents from factories in the upstream Bangladesh. 
o India and Bangladesh have instituted a joint river commission (JRC) for the resolution of water disputes. 
However, doubts have been raised about the credibility of JRC, and the demand for reforming JRC has 
gained traction recently. 
• Rising Radicalization: Radicalization in Bangladesh is on a rise, and the influence of the radicals is believed to 
have increased in the country’s politics. The growing presence of international militant organizations like the 
Islamic State in the region is also a serious concern for India. 
• Cross border crime: Tough terrain and porous border leads to crimes in border areas, such as smuggling of 
arms, narcotics, fake Indian currencies, cattle and trafficking of women and children. 
• Negative perception of India: Popular resentment is emerging in Bangladesh about the treatment of 
minorities in India. The basis for such perception has been various media reports that are exploited by the 
radical groups for propaganda. 
Way Forward 
The political leaders of two countries must strive to forge a progressive partnership for a peaceful, prosperous, 
and progressive region. Following steps could be taken in this direction: 
• Dealing with cross border migration: There is a need to bring in transparency and strengthen infrastructure 
for the issuance of identity documents that validate one’s claim to citizenship. In this regard, priority should 
be given to digitalization of governance at the grassroots level, primarily in the bordering states.  
• Managing water resources: While the Teesta issue needs a speedy resolution, the two countries should also 
simultaneously explore the possibility of institutionalizing a framework for management of the rivers with a 
basin-wide approach.  
India-Bangladesh vs India-Pakistan: Contrasts and Learnings  
Over the period of 50 years, in the east, India and Bangladesh 
have cooperated at bilateral and regional level. The same has 
not been possible in North-west, with Pakistan. This can be 
attributed to following reasons-  
• Political stability and policy continuity: This has helped 
Delhi and Dhaka deepen bilateral ties over the last decade. 
o In contrast, the political cycles in Delhi and Islamabad 
have rarely been in sync.  
• Concern for mutual security: Cooperation in countering 
terrorism built deep mutual trust between Dhaka and 
Delhi. That trust helped deal with many complex issues 
facing the relationship.  
o In the case of Pakistan, its army has sought to use 
cross-border terrorism as a political lever to compel 
India to negotiate on Kashmir.  
• Depoliticization of important economic issues: Delhi and 
Dhaka have steadily moved forward on issues relating to 
trade, transit and connectivity by dealing with them on 
their own specific merits.  
o Pakistan, on the other hand, has made sensible 
bilateral commercial cooperation and regional 
economic integration hostage to the Kashmir question.  
	
• Encouraging people-to-people interactions to counter propaganda and misinformation. Steps need to be 
taken in the management of public perception about India in Bangladesh and adequate emphasis should be 
given on strengthening the counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries. 
• Collaborative approach in dealing with trade issues:  India and Bangladesh should undertake a collaborative 
approach and policies should be framed accordingly to avoid any future conflicts. Enhancing investment from 
India to Bangladesh and vice versa could be considered as a starting point. 
Bangladesh: A Model for the developing world 
• The impressive economic and social 
progress in Bangladesh is a source of 
inspiration not only for South Asia but also 
the entire developing world. From being one 
of the world’s poorest countries in 1972, 
Bangladesh is now racing to be in the 
world’s top 25 economies by the end of this 
decade. 
• Its GDP per capita is just under $2,000 — 
almost the same as India’s. In five years, by 
2026, Bangladesh will drop its least 
developed country tag, and move into the 
league of developing countries — on par 
with India. 
2.2.	 INDIA-REPUBLIC	 OF	 KOREA	 (SOUTH	 KOREA)	 BILATERAL	
RELATIONS	
Why in News? 
Recently, India and South Korea concluded their bilateral talks on defence cooperation. 
More on News 
• India and South Korea have agreed to go for joint production and export of military hardware, enhance 
intelligence sharing and boost cooperation in cyber and space domains as part of overall expansion of 
defence and security ties. 
• South Korea also expressed interest in India's two defence corridors. 
o Government is working on setting up two defence industrial corridors, one in Uttar Pradesh and another 
in Tamil Nadu, with an aim to ensure connectivity among various defence industrial units. 
What have been the key pillars of India South Korea relations?  
• Political 
o India played an important and positive role in 
Korean affairs after Korea's independence in 
1945. During the Korean War (1950- 53), both the 
warring sides accepted a resolution sponsored by 
India. 
o Bilateral consular relations were established in 
1962. 
o In 2015, bilateral relationship was upgraded to 
‘special strategic partnership’. 
o Later Korea announced to upgrade the relationship 
with India equivalent to four traditional partners 
(U.S., China, Japan, Russia) under the “New Asia 
Community Plus” framework. 
• Commercial Relations 
o Trade and economic relations grew with the 
implementation of Comprehensive Economic 
Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2010. 
ü CEPA commits the two countries to lowering or eliminating import tariffs on a wide range of goods. 
	
o India’s share in Korea’s global trade was 1.72% in 2020 and India’s contribution in Korea’s global imports 
was 1.05% in 2020. 
ü Major items of India’s export to Korea are mineral fuels / oil distillates (mainly naphtha), cereals, iron 
and steel. 
ü Korea’s main exports to India are automobile parts, telecommunication equipment, hot rolled iron 
products, petroleum refined products, nuclear reactors etc. 
o India and South Korea launched an initiative ‘Korea Plus’ in 2016 to promote and facilitate South Korean 
Investments in India. 
ü Major South Korean conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai Motors and LG have made significant 
investments into India. 
• Cultural relations 
o Spread of Buddhism from India to East Asia in the 4
th
 century formed a direct connection and since then 
has continued to remain a critical reference point. 
o To further enhance cultural exchanges, Indian Cultural Centres were established in Seoul and Busan. 
o In order to boost people-to-people relations and travel between the two countries, India extended visa-
on-arrival facility for Korean tourists from 2014. 
o An annual festival of India in Korea titled SARANG was initiated in 2015. 
o India offers scholarships and fellowships to Korean nationals for various programmes and disciplines 
including courses in Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Yoga and Homeopathy. 
New emerging areas of Cooperation 
• Cooperation in Afghanistan: Korea recently agreed to explore a tripartite partnership with India for the development 
of capacity building programmes in Afghanistan. 
• Korea’s support to India in nuclear realm:  
o As a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), South Korea has supported India’s bid for membership. 
o Korea is also seeking to strengthen relationships in the strategic sectors, including civil nuclear industries. 
• Shared Values of Democracy: As middle-power democracies in Asia where there are growing and the common threat 
from authoritarian non-democratic power, democracy building, and cooperation can be a critical platform. 
• Bollywood, K-pop and Korean Cuisine: For years, Korean cuisine and TV serials have emerged as a key point of 
consumption among several states in India’s northeast.  
• Swacch Bharat and New Village Movement (NVM): Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India campaign can learn from 
the experience of South Korea, especially its Saemaul Undong or NVM.  
Apart from the above areas, the geopolitical and geoeconomic situation of the Asian and South Asian region has brought 
the two nations together in terms of Defence Cooperation.  
How India's defence cooperation with South Korea is 
growing?  
• In 2005, the two sides signed an agreement to 
cooperate in defence and logistics and another MoU 
on cooperation between the two Coast Guards was 
signed in 2006. 
• In 2010, Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) on 
Defence Cooperation, as well as, between Defence 
Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and 
Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) 
of Korea for cooperation in R&D were signed. 
• In 2019, both sides concluded two agreements, namely,  
o Naval logistics sharing pact: It will significantly 
enhance Indian reach in the Indo-Pacific and will 
place South Korea amongst close partners of India 
like the US and France that have similar bilateral 
pacts. 
o Defence educational exchanges.  
• In 2019, the two countries put in place a forward-looking roadmap that will streamline and strengthen 
bilateral defense industry collaboration. 
o India also invited the South Korean industry to explore the feasibility of local production of items, used 
in main weapon systems imported by Defence public sector undertakings (PSUs). 
Page 5


	
2.	INTERNATIONAL	RELATIONS	
2.1.	INDIA-BANGLADESH		
Why in news? 
The year 2021 marks the golden jubilee (50 
years) of 1971 India-Pakistan war that led to the 
liberation of Bangladesh.  
Various facets of relationship and areas of 
cooperation 
• Trade relations: Bangladesh is India’s biggest 
trading partner in South Asia. 
o To address trade imbalance India has offered 
duty free access to multiple Bangladeshi 
products and is developing 10 Integrated 
Check Post with state-of-the-art facilities. 
• Development Partnership: Bangladesh is one of 
the biggest beneficiaries of India’s line of credit 
(US$ 8 billion). In last 8 years in various sectors 
like road, railways, shipping and ports. 
o Small Development Projects (SDPs) 
constitute an active pillar of India’s 
development assistance. The Government of 
India has funded 55 SDPs including academic 
buildings, cultural centers and orphanages 
etc. in Bangladesh.  
• Foreign Policy: Bangladesh is at the centre of 
India’s flagship ‘Neighborhood First’ and ‘Act 
East’ policies and has been crucial in ensuring 
peace and stability in India’s northeast region. 
• Humanitarian assistance: India has always 
responded first in Bangladesh’s times of crises, whether in the aftermath of natural disasters like cyclone Sidr 
(2007), or amidst health emergencies such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic (in the form of PPE kits, 
medicines etc.).  
• Military cooperation: The armed forces from both sides regularly conduct joint drills like exercise Sampriti 
and Milan. India has extended $500 million line of credit to Bangladesh for defence imports from India. 
• Security: Indo-Bangladesh security and intelligence cooperation have resulted into curbing of anti-India terror 
camps and militancy in Northeastern region. Cooperation has also been effective in curbing militancy in 
Bangladesh.   
• Multilateral cooperation: Both countries are members of SAARC, BIMSTEC, the Indian Ocean Rim Association 
and the Commonwealth. Recently, Bangladesh backed India's election to the UN Security Council.  
• Connectivity:  
o Both the governments are restoring the pre- 1965 rail links and other connectivity links that existed 
between India and Bangladesh. For E.g., railway link between Haldibari in India and Chilahati in 
Bangladesh was recently inaugurated and work on Akhaura-Agartala rail link is underway. 
o Both countries are committed for early implementation of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN), 
Motor Vehicles Agreement (MVA), 2015 for the regulation of passenger, personnel and cargo vehicular 
traffic among the four South Asian neighbors.  
o Bangladesh has also recently granted permission to use its inland route and ports of Chittagong and 
Mongla for transshipment of goods to northeast Indian states.  
• Border Management: India shares its longest border with Bangladesh. The ratification of the Land Boundary 
Agreement in 2015 and the delimitation of the maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal in 2014 led to the 
peaceful resolution of long pending border disputes between the countries. 
Evolution of India-Bangladesh relationship 
• The friendship between India and Bangladesh is historic, 
evolving over the last 50 years.  
• India’s political, diplomatic, military and humanitarian 
support during Bangladesh’s Liberation War played an 
important role towards Bangladesh’s independence.  
• Post-Independence, the India-Bangladesh relationship 
has oscillated as Bangladesh passed through different 
regimes.  
• However, in the last decade, India-Bangladesh relations 
have warmed up, entering a new era of cooperation, 
and moving beyond historical and cultural ties to 
become more assimilated in the areas of trade, 
connectivity, energy, and defence.  
	
	
• Tourism: Bangladesh accounts for more than 35% of India’s international medical patients and contributes 
more than 50% of India’s revenue from medical tourism.  
• Protecting ecology: Both countries signed an 
(MoU) on the Conservation of the Sundarbans 
in 2011. 
• Capacity Building and Human Resource 
Development: The Government of India has 
been training Bangladesh Civil Service officials, 
police officials and judicial officials. Bangladesh 
is also an important Indian Technical and 
Economic Cooperation (ITEC) partner country 
and annually around 800 participants from 
Bangladesh avail the ITEC training courses.  
o In addition, scholarships are awarded by 
ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) 
every year to students from Bangladesh in 
the IITs and NIITs. 
Challenges in the relationship 
• Cross-border Migration: Illegal migration from 
Bangladesh induced demographic shift in the 
bordering states in North East. This has given 
rise to the socio-ethnic tensions among the 
locals and migrants. 
o Recently, the National Registration of Citizens (NRC) was carried out in Assam, to which the people of 
Bangladesh expressed concern and feared an influx of thousands of people across the border following 
deportation. 
o Similarly, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) caused major resentment in Bangladesh and the 
cancellation of Bangladesh Foreign Minister’s visit to India. 
• Water Disputes: India and Bangladesh have 54 common rivers including Ganges and Brahmaputra. The major 
issues are sharing of river waters, interlinking of the rivers and building of dams. For example, Teesta river 
water dispute. India has also expressed concerns on the level of pollution in the Churni river due to the 
discharge of effluents from factories in the upstream Bangladesh. 
o India and Bangladesh have instituted a joint river commission (JRC) for the resolution of water disputes. 
However, doubts have been raised about the credibility of JRC, and the demand for reforming JRC has 
gained traction recently. 
• Rising Radicalization: Radicalization in Bangladesh is on a rise, and the influence of the radicals is believed to 
have increased in the country’s politics. The growing presence of international militant organizations like the 
Islamic State in the region is also a serious concern for India. 
• Cross border crime: Tough terrain and porous border leads to crimes in border areas, such as smuggling of 
arms, narcotics, fake Indian currencies, cattle and trafficking of women and children. 
• Negative perception of India: Popular resentment is emerging in Bangladesh about the treatment of 
minorities in India. The basis for such perception has been various media reports that are exploited by the 
radical groups for propaganda. 
Way Forward 
The political leaders of two countries must strive to forge a progressive partnership for a peaceful, prosperous, 
and progressive region. Following steps could be taken in this direction: 
• Dealing with cross border migration: There is a need to bring in transparency and strengthen infrastructure 
for the issuance of identity documents that validate one’s claim to citizenship. In this regard, priority should 
be given to digitalization of governance at the grassroots level, primarily in the bordering states.  
• Managing water resources: While the Teesta issue needs a speedy resolution, the two countries should also 
simultaneously explore the possibility of institutionalizing a framework for management of the rivers with a 
basin-wide approach.  
India-Bangladesh vs India-Pakistan: Contrasts and Learnings  
Over the period of 50 years, in the east, India and Bangladesh 
have cooperated at bilateral and regional level. The same has 
not been possible in North-west, with Pakistan. This can be 
attributed to following reasons-  
• Political stability and policy continuity: This has helped 
Delhi and Dhaka deepen bilateral ties over the last decade. 
o In contrast, the political cycles in Delhi and Islamabad 
have rarely been in sync.  
• Concern for mutual security: Cooperation in countering 
terrorism built deep mutual trust between Dhaka and 
Delhi. That trust helped deal with many complex issues 
facing the relationship.  
o In the case of Pakistan, its army has sought to use 
cross-border terrorism as a political lever to compel 
India to negotiate on Kashmir.  
• Depoliticization of important economic issues: Delhi and 
Dhaka have steadily moved forward on issues relating to 
trade, transit and connectivity by dealing with them on 
their own specific merits.  
o Pakistan, on the other hand, has made sensible 
bilateral commercial cooperation and regional 
economic integration hostage to the Kashmir question.  
	
• Encouraging people-to-people interactions to counter propaganda and misinformation. Steps need to be 
taken in the management of public perception about India in Bangladesh and adequate emphasis should be 
given on strengthening the counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries. 
• Collaborative approach in dealing with trade issues:  India and Bangladesh should undertake a collaborative 
approach and policies should be framed accordingly to avoid any future conflicts. Enhancing investment from 
India to Bangladesh and vice versa could be considered as a starting point. 
Bangladesh: A Model for the developing world 
• The impressive economic and social 
progress in Bangladesh is a source of 
inspiration not only for South Asia but also 
the entire developing world. From being one 
of the world’s poorest countries in 1972, 
Bangladesh is now racing to be in the 
world’s top 25 economies by the end of this 
decade. 
• Its GDP per capita is just under $2,000 — 
almost the same as India’s. In five years, by 
2026, Bangladesh will drop its least 
developed country tag, and move into the 
league of developing countries — on par 
with India. 
2.2.	 INDIA-REPUBLIC	 OF	 KOREA	 (SOUTH	 KOREA)	 BILATERAL	
RELATIONS	
Why in News? 
Recently, India and South Korea concluded their bilateral talks on defence cooperation. 
More on News 
• India and South Korea have agreed to go for joint production and export of military hardware, enhance 
intelligence sharing and boost cooperation in cyber and space domains as part of overall expansion of 
defence and security ties. 
• South Korea also expressed interest in India's two defence corridors. 
o Government is working on setting up two defence industrial corridors, one in Uttar Pradesh and another 
in Tamil Nadu, with an aim to ensure connectivity among various defence industrial units. 
What have been the key pillars of India South Korea relations?  
• Political 
o India played an important and positive role in 
Korean affairs after Korea's independence in 
1945. During the Korean War (1950- 53), both the 
warring sides accepted a resolution sponsored by 
India. 
o Bilateral consular relations were established in 
1962. 
o In 2015, bilateral relationship was upgraded to 
‘special strategic partnership’. 
o Later Korea announced to upgrade the relationship 
with India equivalent to four traditional partners 
(U.S., China, Japan, Russia) under the “New Asia 
Community Plus” framework. 
• Commercial Relations 
o Trade and economic relations grew with the 
implementation of Comprehensive Economic 
Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in 2010. 
ü CEPA commits the two countries to lowering or eliminating import tariffs on a wide range of goods. 
	
o India’s share in Korea’s global trade was 1.72% in 2020 and India’s contribution in Korea’s global imports 
was 1.05% in 2020. 
ü Major items of India’s export to Korea are mineral fuels / oil distillates (mainly naphtha), cereals, iron 
and steel. 
ü Korea’s main exports to India are automobile parts, telecommunication equipment, hot rolled iron 
products, petroleum refined products, nuclear reactors etc. 
o India and South Korea launched an initiative ‘Korea Plus’ in 2016 to promote and facilitate South Korean 
Investments in India. 
ü Major South Korean conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai Motors and LG have made significant 
investments into India. 
• Cultural relations 
o Spread of Buddhism from India to East Asia in the 4
th
 century formed a direct connection and since then 
has continued to remain a critical reference point. 
o To further enhance cultural exchanges, Indian Cultural Centres were established in Seoul and Busan. 
o In order to boost people-to-people relations and travel between the two countries, India extended visa-
on-arrival facility for Korean tourists from 2014. 
o An annual festival of India in Korea titled SARANG was initiated in 2015. 
o India offers scholarships and fellowships to Korean nationals for various programmes and disciplines 
including courses in Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha, Yoga and Homeopathy. 
New emerging areas of Cooperation 
• Cooperation in Afghanistan: Korea recently agreed to explore a tripartite partnership with India for the development 
of capacity building programmes in Afghanistan. 
• Korea’s support to India in nuclear realm:  
o As a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), South Korea has supported India’s bid for membership. 
o Korea is also seeking to strengthen relationships in the strategic sectors, including civil nuclear industries. 
• Shared Values of Democracy: As middle-power democracies in Asia where there are growing and the common threat 
from authoritarian non-democratic power, democracy building, and cooperation can be a critical platform. 
• Bollywood, K-pop and Korean Cuisine: For years, Korean cuisine and TV serials have emerged as a key point of 
consumption among several states in India’s northeast.  
• Swacch Bharat and New Village Movement (NVM): Swachh Bharat Abhiyan or Clean India campaign can learn from 
the experience of South Korea, especially its Saemaul Undong or NVM.  
Apart from the above areas, the geopolitical and geoeconomic situation of the Asian and South Asian region has brought 
the two nations together in terms of Defence Cooperation.  
How India's defence cooperation with South Korea is 
growing?  
• In 2005, the two sides signed an agreement to 
cooperate in defence and logistics and another MoU 
on cooperation between the two Coast Guards was 
signed in 2006. 
• In 2010, Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) on 
Defence Cooperation, as well as, between Defence 
Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and 
Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) 
of Korea for cooperation in R&D were signed. 
• In 2019, both sides concluded two agreements, namely,  
o Naval logistics sharing pact: It will significantly 
enhance Indian reach in the Indo-Pacific and will 
place South Korea amongst close partners of India 
like the US and France that have similar bilateral 
pacts. 
o Defence educational exchanges.  
• In 2019, the two countries put in place a forward-looking roadmap that will streamline and strengthen 
bilateral defense industry collaboration. 
o India also invited the South Korean industry to explore the feasibility of local production of items, used 
in main weapon systems imported by Defence public sector undertakings (PSUs). 
	
Conclusion  
South Korea’s shifting perception about its economic engagement with China has influenced its strategy towards 
other Asian powers including India. India needs to take advantage of this opportunity as South Korea can be a 
major economic partner in India’s economic growth. Such engagement will also enhance India’s strategic 
leverage, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.  
2.3.	INDIA	AND	PERSIAN	GULF	REGION		
Why in news? 
Indian Air Force participated for the first time in Exercise Desert Flag-VI (annual	multi-national	exercise) hosted 
by the United Arab Emirates Air Force indicating India's growing military ties with the Persian Gulf Region. 
About Persian Gulf Region 
• The Persian Gulf region includes 8 countries- 
Iran, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi 
Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Iraq 
bordering the Persian Gulf (an extension of 
the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Oman) through 
the Strait of Hormuz). 
• The Persian Gulf and its coastal areas are the 
world's largest single source of petroleum (50 
percent of the world's oil reserves), and 
related industries dominate the region.  
o Safaniya Oil Field, the world's largest 
offshore oilfield, is located in the Persian 
Gulf. 
• The Persian Gulf has many fishing grounds, 
extensive coral reefs (mostly rocky) and 
abundant pearl oysters, but its ecology has 
been damaged by industrialization and oil spills. 
• The Persian Gulf was a battlefield of the 1980–1988 Iran–Iraq War, and is the namesake of the 1991 Gulf War (Iraq's 
invasion of Kuwait). 
• India’s historical connection with the Gulf dates back more than five thousand years, to trading between the ancient 
civilisations of the Indus Valley and the Dilmun (linked with present-day Bahrain). British India’s imperial interests in 
the Gulf were determined, pursued and administered from Bombay Presidency. The Indian rupee was legal tender in 
Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the Trucial states – now the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – until the early 1960s. 
• Today, the Gulf is an integral part of India’s ‘extended neighbourhood’, both by way of geographical proximity and 
as an area of expanded interests and growing Indian influence. over a period of time the region holds immense 
significance for India’s ascendance as a growing regional and global power. 
Strategic importance of PGR for India 
India’s relations with the Persian Gulf countries have been exceptionally significant since ancient times and are 
multifaceted. The foundation of the relationship is based on the 3Es, namely, energy, economy and expatriates.  
• Economic relation 
o Trade: The India-Gulf trade in 2019-20 was nearly 19% India’s global trade. The United Arab Emirates 
(UAE) and Saudi Arabia are India’s third and fourth-largest trading partners respectively and UAE also 
features in the top 10 sources of FDI inflows into India. 
ü Trade is dominated by import of crude oil and natural gas. India mainly exports finished precious 
stones and jewelry items, mineral fuels and refined oil, and electronic items to the Gulf countries. 
o Investment: India and the countries in the region have invested in infrastructure development in both 
India as well as in the Gulf. For instance, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi signed an agreement to jointly 
develop the largest refinery in the world in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra.  
• Energy Security:  Fifty-three per cent of India's oil imports and 41 per cent of gas imports come from the 
region.  
• Expatriates 
o Remittance:  Around 9 million Indians reside in PGR remitting $ 40-50 billion which is two percent of 
India’s GDP and two-thirds of total remittances to the country. 
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