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Bangladesh-India cooperation in Science and Technology

25 Oct 2015

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Bangladesh has received assurances from its neighbour India that it will provide all help in various sectors of science and technology, including in the field of atomic energy.

India’s assurance came at bilateral talks for cooperation in the fields of science, technology, oceanography, earth sciences and atomic energy among others. These issues cropped up when the visiting Bangladeshi delegation led by Yafes Osman, Minister of Science and Technology, held a meeting with his Indian counterpart Dr Harsh Vardhan on October 13 in New Delhi.

 

During talks, Osman said that the recent resolution of boundary issue between the two countries shows the extra-ordinary friendly relations between the two countries, their leaders and people. Dr Harsh Vardhan expressed the view that both the neighbouring countries share a common cultural heritage and a special relation and both should identify areas for cooperation in the field of oceanography, earth sciences, in the field of water treatment for arsenic or in any other field for mutual benefit.

 

In 2012 the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission signed a Tk 82.5 crore consultancy deal with US based firm Space Partnership International (SPI) to design a satellite, named ‘Bangabandhu -1’, named after the country’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. A meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in Bangladesh gave the go-ahead to manufacture and launch of the satellite and two ground stations.
Before commencement of the meeting the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued specific instructions to the concerned authorities to cooperate and extend every kind of help as asked by Bangladesh.

 

Earlier, during the third round of Bangladesh-India Foreign Ministers’ Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting held in 2014 at New Delhi, Bangladesh and India agreed to move forward on bilateral cooperation in two high technology areas - nuclear field and space. The JCC identified several new areas of cooperation including nuclear science and technology, energy and space.

 

After the JCC meeting, Sripriya Ranganathan, Joint Secretary in Ministry of External Affairs of India, referring to Bangladesh’s interest in these areas, said “We had preliminary discussions at the technical level with Bangladesh. We have put the offer on the table that whatever returns they feel that they can gain by collaborating with us, whatever be the form, we have given them more or less a  carte blanche to tell us what they would like to do. So, we are awaiting their response to it”. It was made clear that India would move on cooperation in nuclear energy and space as soon as it received a request from Bangladesh about specific areas.

 

In 2012 the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission signed a Tk 82.5 crore consultancy deal with US based firm Space Partnership International (SPI) to design a satellite, named ‘Bangabandhu -1’, named after the country’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. A meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in Bangladesh gave the go-ahead to manufacture and launch of the satellite and two ground stations.

 

During the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Dhaka in June, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that ‘Bangabandhu Satellite- 1’, the country’s first satellite, was to be launched in 2017. She also appreciated the SAARC Satellite Project being undertaken by India.

 

Prime Minster Modi, during his last visit to Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), had said that he wanted the benefits of India’s significant expertise in science and technology and space to reach other developing nations, especially member nations of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He urged the ISRO to develop a satellite designed to serve the SAARC nations.

Prime Minster Modi, during his last visit to Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), had said that he wanted the benefits of India’s significant expertise in science and technology and space to reach other developing nations, especially member nations of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He urged the ISRO to develop a satellite designed to serve the SAARC nations.

 

Once Bangladesh gets its own satellite, it expects to reduce its reliance on foreign satellites for cable channels and improve telecom services to remote areas of the country. Moreover, meteorological data, including disaster warnings, will be easily available via the satellite. It may also be used for mapping natural resources.

 

There is no doubt that Bangladesh can immensely benefit from India’s advancement in science and technology, particularly in space technology, given the Indian Prime Minister Modi’s outreach to help Bangladesh and his government’s desire to be a partner in each other’s development.




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