On 27 April 2023, the Center for Strategic Studies and Simulation (CS3), United Service Institution of India (USI) hosted a Round Table Discussion on ‘India-Bangladesh: 50 Years of Partnership’. Maj Gen BK Sharma, AVSM, SM and Bar (Retd) Director General of USI, delivered Welcome Remarks, followed by Opening Remarks by Lt Gen DS Rana, AVSM, YSM, SM, PhD DGDIA and DCIDS (Int).

In the first session the guest speaker Maj Gen Shafayetul Islam (Retd) spoke on the topic ‘1971 War of Liberation: Bedrock of Shared History and Sacrifices-Legacy for the Future’, highlighting the importance of the shared history and sacrifices of both countries. The second session discussed ‘India-Bangladesh Relations: Opportunities and Prospects for the Future’. This was moderated by Maj Gen RS Yadav, VSM (Retd), Distinguish Fellow, USI. The other discussants included Amb Veena Sikri, IFS (Retd) and Amb Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, IFS (Retd). They shared their insights and perspectives on the opportunities and prospects for the future of the bilateral relationship. Following the session, an interactive Q&A round was held to allow the participants to further delve into the topic.

In the final session Amb Riva Ganguly Das, IFS (Retd), spoke on the topic ‘Connectivity between Bangladesh & Northeast Indian Regions: Catalysing Shared Growth and Prosperity’. She emphasized the need to strengthen the connectivity between the two regions to achieve shared growth and prosperity. There was a fruitful and insightful discussion on the 50 years of Indo-Bangladesh partnership. The programme concluded with the closing remarks given by Maj Gen RPS Bhadauria, VSM (Retd), Director CS3. Also, a token of appreciation was given by the Director General to Maj Gen Shafayetul Islam (Retd).

Key Takeaways

·        The India-Bangladesh relations hold immense potential for cooperation in crucial areas, such as maintaining security in the extensively porous India-Bangladesh land border.

·        Considering, India - Bangladesh share a network of 54 rivers, hence, cooperation in this area was paramount.

         Various issues of India’s Northeast connectivity with Bangladesh were also discussed. For example, a system for streamlining trade between the two nations through standardization of parameters and trademarks needs to be established. This would effectively reduce the time taken for processing and transporting goods between them

·        Also, it was felt that there is a need for easier connectivity in the subcontinent, along the lines of EU, which can further revolutionize economic growth and increase people to people interaction.

         Finally, the importance of establishing a strong dialogue between the two nations' militaries was also emphasized.

 Maj Gen BK Sharma, AVSM, SM**(Retd), Director General USI

Lt Gen DS Rana AVSM, YSM, SM, PhD & DGDIA & Deputy Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (Intelligence)


Maj Gen Shafayetul Islam (Retd)

Panel Discussion

Group Photograph

 Report by Mr. Manav Saini

Research Assistant CS3, USI