Kolkata-Dhaka Dialogue focusses on bilateral cooperation between India and Bangladesh

H.P. Ghosh Research Centre, a unit of Bandhan-Konnagar, hosted the Kolkata-Dhaka Dialogue, with the guidance and support of the Ministry of External Affairs. The Dialogue was attended by dignitaries from India and Bangladesh, including Dr. Gowher Rizvi, the Hon’ble International Affairs Advisor to the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Dr. Anupam Ray, the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India, and Mr. Toufique Hasan, the Hon’ble Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh.

The H.P. Ghosh Research Centre has recently been established under the aegis of Bandhan-Konnagar to provide a forum to Kolkata’s intellectual community to engage themselves with issues of nation-building in India and world politics. Initially, it is proposed to have four verticals: the first on Public Finance in India: Banking and Fiscal Administration; the second on Science and Society: Issues of convergence; the third on India and World Politics; and the fourth on Public Administration in India: Challenges of good governance. The Kolkata-Dhaka dialogue is the first major public exercise of the H.P. Ghosh Research Centre, and was organised by the group concerned with the portal on India and World Politics.

This year is a special year for Indo-Bangladesh relations. It marks 50 years of the emergence of Bangladesh as a sovereign entity and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who has been posthumously awarded India’s prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize. Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to visit Bangladesh to celebrate the momentous occasion.

There is growing focus on the relations between India and Bangladesh and there is a need to sustain this bilateralism through new civil society initiatives. Kolkata and Dhaka could provide the two focal points of such initiatives. It is in this context that the Dialogue was planned, especially to identify and discuss areas of convergence which would be mutually beneficial to both countries.

The various panel discussions in the Kolkata-Dhaka Dialogue included important topics like regional and sub-regional connectivity, bilateral cooperation on science and technology, issues of strategic cooperation, cooperating to achieve agenda 2030 SDG goals, cooperation in information technology and the legacy of Bangladesh liberation war.

Speaking on the occasion, Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, Founder, Bandhan-Konnagar, said, “It is a privilege for us to be a part of the Kolkata-Dhaka Dialogue and play a role in bilateral ties between the nations. With the guidance of the Ministry of External Affairs and the luminaries involved in this initiative, we are confident to further strengthen the Indo-Bangladesh ties.”

Prof. Suranjan Das, Vice Chancellor of Jadavpur University and the Chair of the panel on ‘Issues of Strategic Cooperation: Regional and Global’, said, “This is an important milestone in the relations between India and Bangladesh. The panels discussed each subject in detail and arrived at an action plan for the same. We look forward to more such initiatives and successful completion of the streams with the Kolkata-Dhaka Dialogue.”

Prof. Dhrubajyoti Chattopadhyay, Vice Chancellor, Sister Nivedita University, said, “It is our privilege to get the opportunity to organise the Kolkata-Dhaka Dialogue. We look forward to more such initiatives and fruitful completion of the projects that will strengthen the ties between the two nations.”

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