Headline : Modi launches Bahrain temple project
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the $4.2 million redevelopment project of the 200-year-old Lord Shreenathji temple in Manama in Bahrain.
- The redevelopment project for the Shreenathji (Shree Krishna) temple will highlight the heritage and the 200-year-old legacy of the temple.
- The new iconic complex will house the sanctum sanctorum and prayer halls.
- There are also facilities for traditional Hindu marriage ceremonies and other rituals, promoting Bahrain as a wedding destination and boosting tourism.
- The redevelopment project will kick off later this year.
Other Key decisions and discussions during the PM’s visit to Bahrain:
- The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency agreed to collaborate in the area of space technology.
International Solar Alliance (ISA)
- The two sides agreed on collaboration of the kingdom with International Solar Alliance (ISA).
- The ISA was launched in 2015 by Prime Minister Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, is a major global initiative for contributing to the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement through rapid and massive deployment of solar energy.
Need of UN reforms:
- Both the sides also emphasised on the urgent need to pursue UN reforms, including the Security Council through an expansion of both categories of its membership, to make it more representative and effective in tackling global challenges.
- An MoU was also signed between BENEFIT, a Bahrain company handling ATM and POS transactions among others, and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) for launch of RuPay card in the Gulf Kingdom.
Counter-Terrorism and Cyber Security:
- Both the countries agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism and the exchange of intelligence and information and also work in the field of cyber security so that the cyberspace is not used for terrorism and radicalization.
- In a humanitarian gesture, the Bahrain government also pardoned 250 Indians serving sentences in Bahrain.
About: India- Bahrain Relations:
- India and Bahrain enjoy excellent bilateral relations characterized by cordial political, economic and cultural contacts.
Trade and Economic Relations:
- The Trade and commercial exchanges between the two countries go back to about 5,000 years ago tracing their origins to the period of Dilmun Civilization in Bahrain to the era of Indus valley civilization in
- Ancient Bahraini traders are believed to have carried out flourishing trade of Bahraini pearls with Indian spices from
- India-Bahrain economic and trade relations received fresh impetus from the oil boom of the early seventies.
- Relative prosperity and higher standard of living in Bahrain and Bahrain Government’s policy of industrial diversification played an important role in enhancing economic co-operation between India and Bahrain.
- Bahrain serves as the gateway to the GCC market because of its location.
- India is the 5th largest trading partner of Bahrain.
- In 2018-19, India-Bahrain bilateral trade was US$ 564 million.
- India’s exports to Bahrain was US$ 292 million whereas Bahrain’s exports to India was US$ 272 million.
- India exports to Bahrain: Mineral fuels, mineral oils, inorganic chemicals, organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals of rare earth, Elam/radii/isotopes, cereals, nuts, fruits, articles of apparel and clothing accessories etc.,
- Bahrain exports to India: Crude oils, mineral fuels, their bituminous substance, distillation, aluminum, fertilizers, ores/slags/ ashes of aluminum, iron and copper, pulp, salt, printed books, newspapers etc.
- A large infrastructure project pipeline in Bahrain offers potential for maintaining the increasing trend in India’s exports to Bahrain.
Indian Expatriate Community:
- The Indian community in Bahrain is the largest expatriate community.
- Around 350,000 Indian nationals comprise a third of Bahrain’s total population of 1.4 million is an important anchor of our bilateral relations with Bahrain.
- The vast majority of the community, almost 60%, are in the category of blue collar
- In addition, there is a sizeable number of professionals and businessmen, who play an important role in the socio-economic development of the country as well as in building influence.
‘Little India in Bahrain’ project
- In 2015, Bahrain launched ‘Little India in Bahrain’ project to acknowledge and mark the contribution of Indian community to the history and progress of Bahrain.
- Under the project, exterior of various buildings were restored and renovated, as well as a small public space for holding regular markets, fashion shows, Indian food stalls, and cultural performances etc. was created so as to give the visitors a feeling of being in India.
Section : International Relation