India and Bangladesh have, in recent months, taken several efforts to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries

India and Bangladesh are scheduled to hold Director-General level border talks from September 13 to 18 in Dhaka.

While the Indian side will be led by newly appointed BSF DG Rakesh Asthana, the Bangladeshi side will be headed by BGB DG Maj Gen Md Shafeenul Islam.

During the six-day long meeting, the two sides are expected to discuss several issues, including crimes on the border, joint border security management, fencing of areas which have not been fenced.

This will be the 50th round of DG-level talks between the two countries sharing a 4,096 km long border and both sides are expected to discuss a host of confidence-building measures to enhance cooperation between the two countries. It should be noted that India and Bangladesh enjoy very cordial relations between them.

Last week, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla undertook a two- day visit to Dhaka and held a meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This was the first meeting of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with a visiting foreign dignitary in the last few months.

During the meeting, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das was also present, where focus of discussions revolved around projects in the area of connectivity and power, including the Rampal Maitree Power Plant, India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, and rail links between Akhaura-Agartala and Chilahati-Haldibari and Khulna-Mongla rail line, which are expected to be completed by next year.

A proposal to set up a high-level monitoring mechanism to review the progress of the ongoing projects came up during the meeting. The two countries further discussed the Covid-19 situation. India has provided Covid-19 related assistance to Bangladesh and has been organizing capacity building courses for Bangladesh medical personnel following the creation of the SAARC Emergency Response Fund for COVID-19.

Bangladesh has committed US$ 1.5 million to the fund. Both sides agreed to continue their discussions in the area of vaccines and therapeutics.

Shringla also met his Bangladeshi counterpart Masud Bin Momen and comprehensively discussed all issues of bilateral interest.

The two sides have made several efforts to bolster the bilateral ties in recent months. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in touch with his Bangladeshi counterpart over the phone after his planned visit to Bangladesh in March was called off due to the pandemic.

Furthermore, India has taken several steps to improve connectivity with Bangladesh, including handing over 10 railway locomotives last month. This was done days after the first container train made its way from India to Bangladesh and the first shipment of goods was sent from Kolkata to Tripura via Chattogram port.