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Modi, Merkel nudge FTA, sign a dozen agreements


Mains Paper 2: IR | Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Mr. Modi’s four nation tour is expected to bring new rigour in India’s foreign policy as superpowers like Russia and USA are coming closer leaving behind the past and this has made other countries worrisome and thus they are seeking new partners. India-Germany is one such example. Read article to know which areas are being discussed for cooperation  between two nations and future prospects of FTA between them.

From UPSC perspective, following things are important:

Prelims level: India-EU BTIA, What is an FTA and other related topics.

Mains level: India-Germany relations and new world order.


  1. India and Germany agreed on the need to resume free trade talks between India and the European Union soon
  2. They also signed a dozen wide-ranging but low-profile MoUs on the subjects of education, health, skill development and sustainability after a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday
  3. The two sides also announced agreements on cyber policy, railway safety, and the training of Indian Skill Development Officers and Cluster Managers

Reaffirmation for FTA:

  1. Both leaders also reaffirmed their strong commitment to the EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement (as the FTA is called) and their commitment to bring about a resumption of the negotiations at the earliest possible date
  2. This would allow to establish provisions for the mutual protection of new foreign investments

EU-India summit

  1. Indian and EU negotiators would meet in July this year and then in October for the EU-India summit in Delhi, in an effort to take FTA talks forward
  2. FTA talks had stalled after 16 rounds of negotiations in 2013. Since then bilateral investment treaties with Germany and other European countries have also lapsed

Angela Merkel looks East in one-on-one with PM Narendra Modi



Mains Paper 2: IR | Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

Multilaterism and Multipolarism is the new world order. Changing geopolitical relationships are now proving this point. Asia has emerged as new power centre and China and India as the two bright spots. Read article to know about changing views of countries regarding west and hopes from the east.

From UPSC perspective, following things are important:

Prelims level: EU-India BTIA, places which PM visits and related geographical features, Climate change efforts.

Mains level: India emerging as strategic partner of P5+1, how this will help India and other related issues.


  1. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to discuss her vision for expanding the country’s strategic partnership with India during a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi late Monday evening

Trust issues and search for new partners:

  1. Following on from growing strains with United States on a range of issues from climate change to free trade, as well as Britain’s looming exit from the European Union, Merkel said at a Sunday rally of her Christian Democratic Union that “the times in which we can fully count on others are somewhat over”
  2. Though the Chancellor underlined the need for continued friendly relations with the United States, Britain and Russia, she said that “we Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands”
  3. This led to press to raise questions about whether powers like India would now be cultivated as new allies

India’s status changing:

  1. Germany continued to see its trans-Atlantic relationship with the United States as key to its future,  but now it “sees countries like India, with its growing economy and democratic political system, as important partners”, a German diplomat said
  2. Merkel and Modi are also expected to discuss climate change, a key concern for Germany, which has pitted it against the United States (India is focusing very much on it and efforts are now bearing fruits) .


  1. German businesses have been concerned at the failure to firm up a treaty between India and the European Union, which would safeguard their investments in the country
  2. Modi’s visit coincides with that of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who has been seeking greater German participation in the One Belt, One Road initiative
  3. Like India, Germany has said it has concerns over the lack of transparency on the norms that would govern OBOR, and is seeking guarantees that existing World Trade Organisation free trade rules would apply to the ambitious project

What it amounts to?

  1. The presence of both the Indian and Chinese leaders in Berlin has been interpreted by several writers in the German media as a sign that the country increasingly sees its economic destiny as linked to Asia, rather than its traditional Western partners

India, Germany ratify social security agreement

  1. Pact: India and Germany have ratified the Social Security Agreement (SSA) which will come into force from May 1 this year
  2. Aim: To help promote more investment flows between the two countries
  3. The SSA will also integrate the provisions of the 2008 social insurance pact that exempts detached workers of the two countries from making social security contributions in either countries so long as they were making such contributions in their respective countries
  4. The new agreement establishes the rights and obligations of nationals of both countries and provides for equal treatment of the nationals of both countries
  5. The requirements to be entitled to a pension can be met by aggregating the periods of insurance completed in India and Germany, whereby each country pays only the pension for the insurance periods covered by its laws


Panel to probe Gurdwara blast

  1. Context: An explosion at a Gurdwara in German city of Essen
  2. Pane: A special commission has been set up to probe the explosion at a Gurdwara in Germany
  3. Security: Authorities have assured India that all steps will be taken to ensure security for all minorities including the Sikhs
  4. Motive? Police said they have no indication that the attack was racially motivated or was undertaken with a terror motive

India, Germany agree to resume FTA talks

  1. Pacts signed for expediting German investments in India; loans worth €1 bn for solar power generation.
  2. EU restrictions on more than 700 generic drugs were unfair. Hopefully this will be taken care of.
  3. What is FTA? A group of countries that have few or no price controls in the form of tariffs or quotas between each other.
  4. One of the most well-known and largest free trade areas was created by the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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

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