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Modi expresses concern at Australia visa policy

  1. Australia’s newly introduced visa policy is likely to impact India.
  2. Prime Minister Modi expressed India’s concern to Australian Prime Minister about the possible impact of the recent changes in Australian regulations for the skilled professionals.
  3. Scrapping of the “457” Policy: Recently, Australian Prime Minister has announced the scrapping of the “457” visa policy that benefited skilled Indian IT workers.
  4. India’s Concern over new Visa Policy: As part of the new policy, the tenure of the visas was to be reduced from four to two years.
  5. The new notification also announced an increase of visa fees.
  6. India’s Reaction: India had indicated that this move which came almost simultaneously with a similar step by the U.S. government on the H1B visas, would impact talks on CECA(Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement)


Now, Australia wants a LEMOA

  1. Australia has put forward a proposal to have a logistics support agreement with India on the lines of the one concluded with the US
  2. However, yet to take a call on it, India has said that it would first like to get the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Understanding (LEMOA) with the U.S. operational
  3. Background: India and Australia have been expanding their military-to-military cooperation, especially in the maritime domain, given their shared interests and concerns in the Indian Ocean, with the rapid expansion of China’s naval presence in the region
  4. To facilitate cooperation in this regard, Australia has proposed a logistics agreement and has already submitted a draft to India
  5. Malabar exercise: The proposal comes in the backdrop of Australia’s recent request for observer status during this year’s Malabar trilateral naval exercises scheduled to be held in July
  6. While a formal decision has not yet been taken, it may not be accepted this year
  7. Indo-US: After a decade of negotiations, India and the U.S. signed LEMOA, the first of the three foundational agreements, last August
  8. However, it is yet be operationalised as India had to streamline its administrative procedures
  9. That process is now almost complete and the Defence Ministry is expected to issue the notification from its end in the next few days
  10. At the time of signing LEMOA, defence officials had said that that they were open to similar agreements with other countries as well, depending on the necessity and the advantage that they would bring to India


Note about LEMOA with US, Malabar exercise from prelims PoV. Track the development of LEMOA with Australia- a new dimension in the bilateral relationship.

Canberra keen on joining naval games

  1. Australia is keen on joining the Malabar trilateral naval exercises among India, Japan and the U.S., and has requested observer status at the upcoming edition, scheduled for July
  2. Australia had been a part of the exercises in 2007
  3. But a sharp response from China, which saw the joint exercises as a coalition against it, put an end to the quadrilateral format
  4. The Malabar drills, which began in 1992 as a bilateral naval exercise between India and the U.S., has since grown in scope and complexity, acquiring considerable heft in recent times
  5. In 2015, it was expanded into a trilateral format with the inclusion of Japan


Important for prelims. This has been a long standing issue and has been covered earlier too – Click here.

India, Australia to soon hold talks on FTA

  1. Context: Australian PM’s visit to India
  2. News: India and Australia have decided to soon hold the next round of negotiations on the proposed bilateral Free Trade Agreement
  3. The agreement is officially known as a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)
  4. Aim of talks: To expedite the implementation of the pact and for boosting trade and investment ties
  5. Background: Negotiations began in May 2011 on the proposed India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)
  6. It is aimed at opening up bilateral investment as well as trade in goods and services
  7. So far nine rounds of talks have been held with the last one being in September 2015
  8. Sticking points: India has been reluctant to agree to Australia’s demands to drastically reduce/eliminate duties on wine, dairy, pharmaceuticals, fresh fruits and meat
  9. Australia has not taken a final call on India’s demands to eliminate duties on textiles, automobile components and fresh fruits as well as ensure more market access — including easier mobility to a larger number of high-skilled professionals — in the services sector
  10. Besides, both the countries are more focused on concluding by this year-end or early next year, the negotiations on the proposed mega-regional Free Trade Agreement called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
  11. Trade: After hitting a peak of $18 billion in FY’12, India-Australia trade had fallen and remained stagnant at the level of $12-13 billion between FY’14 and FY’16


Very important for prelims and mains. Note the sticking points in the negotiations.

Indian, Australian artistes come together in Sydney

  1. As a part of the ongoing Confluence- Festival of India in Australia, artistes from across disciplines collaborated with each other
  2. Examples: Aboriginal dancers from Australia shared the stage with the Pung Cholom dancers from India’s Manipur, and a Western a cappella group sang with Indian classical singers
  3. The festival was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2014

Australia offers multiple-entry visa to Indians

  1. A three year multiple entry visitor’s visa to Indians by Australian govt
  2. Now Indians can go to Australia many times on the same visa
  3. Will be implemented from July 2016
  4. Benefit: To boost Australia’s tourism growth
  5. Already implemented in Thailand, Vietnam, Chile

India Australia Energy Security Dialogue Held at Canberra

  1. India had an Energy Security Dialogue with Australian Ministry for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia
  2. Ministry of power emphasised the need to make the Energy Dialogue a regular feature with alternate year meetings in each of the 2 countries
  3. During the dialogue, 5 new working groups be set up in the energy field –
  • Renewables and grid integration
  • Clean Coal technologies for efficient power generation
  • Energy Skill development
  • LNG and Coal Gasification
  • Energy efficiency and Smart grids

India to defer finalizing trade pact with Australia

India to defer finalizing a trade deal with Australia until the multi-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) talks come to a conclusion

  1. Australia is part of the RCEP. India thinks it may lose its leveraging power by finalizing a trade deal ahead of the RCEP deal
  2. A bilateral trade deal with Australia has to be an improvement over the RCEP
  3. Hence, there is no point signing an agreement with Australia ahead of the RCEP deal
  4. Australia has been very keen to sign the agreement but both sides missed the December target
  5. Australian trade minister Andrew Robb visited India four times in 2015 to convince India to fast-track the trade deal

India, Australia seal N-deal procedures

  1. The procedures for a civil nuclear agreement with Australia for supply of uranium has been completed.
  2. This opens doors for the much-needed uranium supply for India’s nuclear reactors.
  3. India will be the I country to buy Australian uranium without being a signatory to the NPT.
  4. The significant part of the agreement is that Australia agreed to become a long-term reliable supplier of uranium to India.

Nuclear pact with India to be ready soon, says Australia

Australian panel gives conditional nod for N-deal

Economic cooperation top priority: Australia

:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.

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