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India, U.S. plan to expand Malabar naval exercises

  1. What: India and the U.S. are looking to expand the scope of their annual Malabar naval exercises
  2. The 21st edition of the Malabar exercises, now in a trilateral format including Japan, will take place in the Indian Ocean next year
  3. Malabar has over the years grown in size and complexity involving aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines

Note4students:

Exercises like these are important for prelims. They can also be used as part of answers for India-US, India-Japan relations. Or about India’s Act East policy (due to inclusion of Japan).

Back2basics:

1. India and US have regularly conducted the annual bilateral exercise named ‘MALABAR’ since 1992. Since 2007, MALABAR has been held alternatively off India and in the Western Pacific. The 19th edition of the exercise, Ex MALABAR-15, was conducted off Chennai and included participation by the Japan.

2. The primary aim of this exercise is to increase interoperability amongst the three navies and develop common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations.

No direct impact on U.S.-India ties: Experts

  1. Context: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil, for Secretary of State
  2. According to experts and former diplomats. the Indian leadership would have no issue dealing with a businessman-diplomat or for that matter the U.S.’s businessman-President
  3. Mr. Tillerson, with close business ties with Russia, is expected to improve ties between Washington and Moscow
  4. Better U.S.-Russia ties are to India’s benefit
  5. India has been worried about the strategic nightmare if there is a formal alliance between Russia and China, given how important Russia is to India on military and energy supplies
  6. Any easing of tensions between the U.S. and Russia will also make things easier for India
  7. However, there are concerns about the new administration’s attitude to climate change and the Paris accord in particular
  8. Another worry is Mr. Trump’s recent reiteration that he would curtail ‘H-1B visas’
  9. According to experts, the greater strides made during the Obama administration were in the field of defence, which are more long-term, and unlikely to be reversed by the new appointees

Note4students:

Deteriorating relations between the US and Russia have been responsible for the closeness between Russia and China recently. This has further led Russia to support Pakistan in fora such as the recently concluded Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar. Better relations under Trump between Russia and US will counteract this trend.

U.S. arms technologies come closer

  1. Context: U.S. designating India as a Major Defence Partner (MDP)
  2. Outcome: Licensing regulations to acquire sensitive military technologies, such as those that go into the F-16 and F-18 fighter jets, will be simplified
  3. This designation is generally only given to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) countries and U.S. treaty allies such as Australia and Japan
  4. Earlier this week, the U.S. Congress passed the National Defence Authorisation Act to enhance defence and security cooperation with India
  5. This comes at a time when India is considering proposals for a new fighter aircraft
  6. The aircraft are to be built under the “Make in India” initiative, in significant numbers, with technology transfer
  7. A senior official of the Pentagon, with experience in defence acquisition and technology, will be designated to expedite matters for India
  8. However, the status will not help circumvent multilateral control regimes

Note4students:

Add these to your notes on India-US relations. If you have been reading the news regularly then this should not be be new to you.

[op-ed snap] Binding friendship

  1. Context: “Major Defense Partner” status bestowed upon India by the US
  2. Bilateral defence cooperation is institutionalised and enshrined in American law
  3. The India amendment, as part of the 2017 American defence budget, has been passed by the US Senate and signed by President Obama
  4. “Major Defense Partner” is based on the concept of the US treating India as its closest ally and partner for the purpose of technology transfer
  5. Eases US licensing requirements for India, particularly from the US commerce department on dual-use items
  6. The new status does not provide a blanket exception nor circumvent multilateral export control regimes
  7. The status hopes that India will become part of all the four export control regimes at the earliest

Note4Students:

This is an important bilateral agreement with the U.S. Go through the B2B mentioned below and revise your concept on MECRs. Quite important for Prelims.

Back2Basics:

A Multilateral Export Control Regime (MECR) is an international body that states use to organize their national export control systems. There are currently 4 such regimes:

  • The Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
  • The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for the control of nuclear related technology
  • The Australia Group (AG) for control of chemical and biological technology that could be weaponized
  • The Missile Technology Control Regime for the control of rockets and other aerial vehicles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction

Trump picks climate change sceptic to lead EPA

  1. What: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has picked climate change sceptic Scott Pruitt, to head America’s Environmental Protection Agency
  2. His appointment could undermine the proactive environmental programme pursued by President Barack Obama
  3. Effect on India: A dilution of the U.S. climate change agenda could have a bearing on its relationship with India
  4. Cooperation in climate change mitigation has been a prominent component of bilateral relations
  5. Both countries have explained several initiatives, including the civil nuclear cooperation, from that perspective
  6. The first commercial agreement between India and the U.S. under the civil nuclear pact is to be concluded in June 2017

Note4students:

This would not be the first time the US has put the environmental movt in danger. It previously backed out of the Kyoto Protocol. Such decisions could set back progress and worsen the climate change impact in the long run. In the short term it could alter the power balance with India and China assuming leadership of the environmental movt.

India, U.S. talk defence partnership

  1. What: India and the U.S. finalised the specifications for designating India a ‘Major Defence Partner’ of the U.S
  2. This status puts India on a par with the closest allies and partners of the U.S.
  3. Both sides reviewed the progress achieved under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)
  4. DTTI is intended to promote opportunities for co-production and co-development of weapon systems and platforms
  5. It will strengthen India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative

Note4students:

This news article indicates the strengthening relationship between US and India. Especially note the status of Major Defence Partner for India.

Future of India-U.S. military agreements under Trump

  1. Source: Heidi Grant, Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs
  2. What: Enthusiasm for the India-U.S. defence logistics agreements is not waning from the U.S. side despite the transition in the White House
  3. Context: The feeling in New Delhi has been that the enthusiasm for the deals has dampened with the imminent Trump presidency
  4. India and the United States signed LEMOA in August, a custom made version of the Logistics Sharing Agreement (LSA)
  5. However, the agreement is yet to be operationalised
  6. There are 2 other logistics and information sharing agreements, the Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)
  7. And the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)
  8. These together with LSA form the 3 foundational agreements that define American defence ties with partner countries.
  9. These other two agreements are yet to be signed

Back2basics:

What are LSA, CISMOA and BECA agreements?

Welcome to the world of 3 foundational agreements that the US has been insisting on India to sign to further enhance the bilateral defence and strategic relationship.

The Logistics Support Agreement (LSA)

  1. LSA would set a framework for the two countries to share military logistics
  2. To assist each other’s armed forces with simple military logistics. For the U.S. Navy, for example, logistics support from India would be a valuable asset, helping it better project power in the Indian Ocean.

LSA would allow each other to access their military bases without any conflict for e.g in 1991 Gulf war India denied the US from refuelling its aircraft from Indian territory.

The Communication and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)

  1. CISMOA would allow the United States to supply India with its propriety encrypted communications equipment and systems
  2. Thus allowing secure peacetime and wartime communication between high-level military leaders on both sides
  3. CISMOA would extend this capability to Indian and U.S. military assets, including aircraft and ships

The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)

  1. BECA would set a framework through which the United States could share sensitive data to aid targeting and navigation with India

Note4students:

This news is mainly important because of the many agreements listed. Questions based on it could come in prelims and mains. You could be asked for short notes, or to give their features, importance etc.

India-U.S. meet to focus on market access issues II

  1. India also wanted the U.S. to look into the delay in reaching an agreement on totalisation (or a social security pact)
  2. The absence of a totalisation pact is imposing a burden on the Indian software sector (who send professionals to the U.S. on projects)
  3. These companies have to shell out over $1 billion per year to the U.S. Government towards social security, with no benefit or prospect of refund
  4. U.S. Issues: U.S. companies said they continued to fear the retrospective aspects of India’s taxation regime despite the government’s assurances
  5. They had also raised concerns on protection of IPR in India as well as concerns over inefficiencies in infrastructure and commerce in India
  6. The U.S. government had red-flagged investor concerns about India’s “high” tariff walls, localisation requirements as well as other “trade barriers” created by standards on testing, certification, and registration

India-U.S. meet to focus on market access issues I

  1. Event: India-U.S. Trade Policy Forum (TPF) meetings
  2. Market access issues on goods and services as well as Intellectual Property Rights policy-related matters are expected to be discussed
  3. Strong bilateral commercial ties between the U.S. and India are reflected by the increased bilateral trade in goods and services of $109 billion and the highest-ever FDI inflows in 2015-16
  4. Both countries had set a goal to take two-way trade to $500 billion in the years ahead
  5. Indian issues: In August, the U.S. had agreed to look into India’s concerns the move to hike fees for H1-B and L1 visas

US stands in solidarity with India on cross-LoC strikes

  1. Source: Interview of U.S. Ambassador Richard Verma
  2. On strikes: The U.S. supports cross-LoC strikes by India
  3. Funds to Pakistan: Washington has drastically cut assistance to Pakistan in the past five years over concerns on terror
  4. Since 2011, U.S. military aid to Pakistan had dwindled 73 per cent over differences with the Pakistan government’s action on terror
  5. U.S. economic assistance to Pakistan since 2011 is down 54 per cent

Learn about Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement

  1. Background: The US has been pressing New Delhi to sign the agreement for the last 10 years
  2. Provisions: It will provide access to supplies, spare parts and services from each other’s land facilities, air bases and ports, which can then be reimbursed
  3. It also provides a framework that governs the exchange of logistics support, supplies and services
  4. It does not provide automatic access to the use of military bases
  5. Impact: This would move India closer to the US as a strategic partner

A background to Yudh Abhyas

  1. LEMOA impact: Accounting and book-keeping for the exercise will be done under the arrangement which does away with the need for settling bills and payments every time
  2. They will be recorded and cleared every three months
  3. The exercise comes against the backdrop of Pakistani media reports that Pakistan and Russia will hold their first joint military exercise later this year
  4. Possible sale of Russian military hardware to Islamabad is also on the cards
  5. Separately, China and Russia began naval war games in the contested waters of the South China Sea, where India had joined the chorus for enforcing freedom of navigation and open sea lanes of communication

After LEMOA, it’s war games now

  1. Yudh Abhyas: The 12th edition of the annual bilateral military training exercise between India-US
  2. Will take place at Chaubattia in Uttarakhand, close to the China border
  3. It is one of the longest running joint military training exercises
  4. Both countries host the exercise alternately
  5. Officials would soon discuss ways to enhance the scope and scale of exercises in tune with the deepening military cooperation

Act against terror, Kerry tells Pakistan

  1. Context: The Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) between India and US
  2. US: Echoed India’s concerns for an end to distinction between good terrorism and bad terrorism
  3. Sought action from Pakistan on 26/11 attacks and the attack on the Pathankot airbase
  4. Will hold trilateral talks with Afghanistan and India during next month’s U.N. session to fine-tune counter-terror measures

India, U.S. to sign logistics agreement

  1. News: The LEMOA which was agreed upon ‘in principle’ earlier in 2016 will be signed now on Defence Minister’s visit to the US
  2. Background: LEMOA was finalised during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Washington in June
  3. LEMOA: The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement allows both sides access to each other’s military facilities for refuelling and replenishment
  4. Discussions have already begun on the other two foundational agreements:
  • Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)
  • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA)

Join agreement against parental abduction: U.S.

  1. Context: Almost a hundred children born to Indian-American couples are facing an uncertain future due to the trauma of separation of their parents and the complex legal issues involved
  2. News: Thus, US has urged India to join the ‘Hague Abduction Convention’ to create a more effective response to deal with such cases
  3. IPCA: International Parental Child Abduction is a situation that is attained when one parent takes a child to a foreign country to prevent the other parent from seeking custody of the child
  4. Stats: India’s case-load (regarding IPCA) is second largest in the United States which is followed by Mexico
  5. As more and more Indians are studying and working in the U.S, such cases are growing in number and we need to get a better mechanism to deal with this

What is the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)?

  1. The DTTI is not a treaty or a law. 
  2. It is a flexible mechanism to ensure that senior leaders from US and India, are persistently focused on the opportunities and challenges associated with growing defense partnership.
  3. It aims to strengthen India-US cooperative research, co-production, and co-development of capabilities needed for the sustainment and modernization of our military forces.

India-US deal to procure four Poseidon-8i aircraft

  1. These planes will be used for long-range maritime surveillance and anti-submarine warfare
  2. The acquisition is seen as a boost to our naval surveillance capabilities
  3. Make a note this development alongside the Chinese forays in Indian Ocean including docking of their nuclear submarines in Sri Lanka
  4. Currently, the US figures among India’s top military hardware suppliers along with France and Israel
  5. Good time to revisit Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)

US seeks trade sanctions in India poultry dispute

  1. News: According to WTO, US is seeking trade sanctions against India after winning a dispute at the WTO)regarding Indian restrictions on imports of US poultry meat, eggs and live pigs
  2. The United States has requested a WTO meeting on July 19 to launch the claim for compensation
  3. USTR: US annual exports of poultry meat to India could exceed $300 million once the restrictions are removed, and are likely to grow substantially in the future as Indian diets and pockets grow richer
  4. Background: The United States won the dispute in June last year, when the WTO’s Appellate Body ruled that India’s restrictions were discriminatory and based on unsubstantiated fears over bird flu
  5. US argued that it had not had an outbreak of high pathogenic avian flu since 2004, while India had 90 such outbreaks between 2004 and 2014

U.S. wants progress in investment pact talks with India

  1. Context: Ongoing India-US BIT negotiations
  2. Issue: The new model text of Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) is making it difficult for America to hold bilateral talks on the proposed India-U.S. BIT
  3. Why? India’s model BIT text substantially narrows the scope of investments that can be covered by the proposed India-U.S. BIT
  4. It also requires that disputes be exhausted in local Indian jurisdictions before alternative investor-state dispute mechanisms can be initiated
  5. Delays: Investors from developed countries including the U.S. have been citing ‘judicial delays’ in India to demand that they be granted the flexibility in the BITs
  6. Flexibility: To take disputes to international arbitration tribunals without waiting to exhaust remedies available in India

India to get access to 99% of US defence technologies

  1. News: India will be the only country outside Washington formal treaty allies that will gain access to almost 99% of latest US defence technologies
  2. Only 1% exports denied to India, due to global US licensing policies
  3. The category of ‘Major Defence Partner’ was created specifically for India
  4. This was to recognise that although India will not be an alliance partner of the US, India will be treated as such for giving it access to advanced technologies
  5. India would receive licence-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies together with steps taken by India to advance its export control objectives
  6. Earlier: The US recognised India as a Major Defence Partner in a joint statement

India, U.S. to ratify Paris deal by 2017

  1. India and the U.S agreed to initiate domestic processes to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change and complete the process within this year
  2. The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCL) and nuclear reactor builders, Westinghouse, will immediately start the engineering and site design work on six reactors to be set up in Gujarat under an early work agreement
  3. All commercial agreements will be completed by June 2017
  4. This is a step ahead in civil nuclear cooperation

India, US and Japan to hold major naval drill in Western Pacific- II

  1. Conflict: A group of uninhabited isles, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, which are controlled by Japan and claimed by China
  2. The islands are located around 220 km (137 miles) west of Taiwan
  3. China claims most of the neighbouring South China Sea
  4. But the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims
  5. Concern to US: China’s extending influence into the Western Pacific, with a growing fleet of submarines and surface vessels to ply distant oceans

India, US and Japan to hold major naval drill in Western Pacific- I

  1. Context: Malabar, a large scale joint naval exercise between India, U.S., Japan will start for eight days
  2. Exercise will take place in the Western Pacific, close to a Japanese island chain, part of which China claims
  3. Malabar: An annual event between the U.S. and India, and Japan is joining it this year for the first time since 2007

Modi, Obama welcome work on nuclear reactors in India

  1. Context: India-U.S. will start work together on six nuclear reactors in India very soon
  2. India and the U.S. Export-Import Bank intend to work together toward a competitive financing package for the project
  3. US: Fulfilling the promise of Civil nuclear agreement and demonstrating the commitment to meet India’s growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels

Climate change to be a priority in talks in Indo-US talks

  1. Context: Modi will have a bilateral meeting with President Barack Obama and address a joint session of Congress
  2. Agenda: Advancing the ambitious climate change and clean energy agenda and enhancing our security and diplomatic cooperation across the Indo-Pacific
  3. Mr. Modi is visiting the U.S – the fourth time since he took over as PM in 2014

India, U.S. to share data on terrorists

  1. Context: India has joined the global terror database maintained by the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) of the U.S.
  2. TSC? Has details of 11,000 suspects on its database including nationality, date of birth, photos, finger prints and passport number
  3. Both the countries will give each other access to terrorism screening information through designated contact points, subject to domestic laws and regulations
  4. History: The proposal was initially made by the U.S. in 2012 but had made no progress due to objection of Indian security agencies

U.S. Senate to vote on pro-India defence law

  1. Context: U.S. senate may pass National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) that will make defence trade with India easy
  2. After the President’s sign, the amendments will enable defence trade between the U.S. and India on automatic route for a range of equipment
  3. Aim: It will provide the authorisation of any proposed sale or export of defence services or technical data to India
  4. Also it will help to trade with U.S. in a similar manner like U.S.’s closest partner

India is an untapped economy: Nikki Haley

  1. Context: Nikki Haley is betting big on India as she is aggressively wooing companies and talent from the South Asian nation to set up businesses in the United States of America
  2. South Carolina has attracted six Indian-based companies to set up their business
  3. These include engineering services firm, business process outsourcing services organisation and warehousing and storage company
  4. Nikki Haley: The first female governor of South Carolina and currently the youngest governor in the United States

Why not to use ‘Oriental’ or ‘n’ words?

  1. The word ‘Oriental’ has derogatory connotations
  2. It has acquired the abusive tone that the ‘n’ word has
  3. The word evokes unpleasant memories for the people of Asian origin, particularly those from East Asia, in America
  4. Why? Due to its Eurocentric nature and its association with the period of colonialism and racial segregation

Asian-Americans in US not to be called ‘oriental’

  1. Context: The word ‘Oriental’ to describe the people of Asian origin will no longer be used in U.S statute books
  2. President Barack Obama signed a law that removed the word from two places it existed in the country’s laws
  3. The amendments signed by the President also discontinue the use of the ‘n’ word
  4. Laws: The words existed in the law that established the Department of Energy, and in the Local Public Works Capital Development and Investment Act, both made in the 1970s

India rejects findings of U.S. religious panel

  1. Context: India on U.S. religion panel report
  2. Report: India is on a negative trajectory in terms of religious freedom
  3. India: Report does not have proper understanding of Indian society
  4. Also, cannot accept the interference of a foreign entity like the USCIRF
  5. USCIRF: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Modi invited to address joint session of U.S. Congress

  1. Context: PM will address the US congress
  2. When? At a joint meeting of congress when he visits to US in June
  3. US Speaker: Friendship between both the countries is a pillar of stability in important regions of world
  4. Legacy: Modi will be 5th PM of India who address a joint meeting of US congress

India, U.S. to conclude pact on aircraft carrier cooperation


 

  1. India & US are close to finalising- (i) Information Exchange Agreement (IEA) on aircraft carrier technologies & (ii) Cooperation on air wing operations for carrier Vikrant under construction at Kochi
  2. IEA: Will formalise the exact technology that the U.S. will share and at what classification level, design side, operations
  3. Terms of Reference have already been signed during meeting of India-U.S. Joint Working Group (JWG) on carrier technology cooperation

No military alliance with U.S.

  1. Govt: There is no dilution of India’s position and no military alliance with the proposed Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) with the U.S.
  2. Why? The comments came after the government was accused of joining the U.S. ‘military bloc’ by agreeing to the use of each other’s military bases
  3. Criticism: LSA, first proposed by the U.S. in 2004, was considered ‘intrusive, and akin to an alliance’ and hence had been rejected by the UPA government
  4. Govt argument: Projection of LEMOA as a sovereignty issue was a misrepresentation
  5. How? Indian and U.S. military troops would access each other’s facilities more for technical than political reasons
  6. In particular, the need for the LSA was felt during humanitarian rescue efforts such as Operation Raahat

Militaries of U.S., India to share their facilities

  1. News: India and the U.S. have agreed “in principle” on a logistics support agreement
  2. Objective: It would make easier for militaries of both countries to share each other’s facilities
  3. Agreement: The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement
  4. Impact: It could have far-reaching implications for India’s military postur

U.S. keen on building fighter jets in India, says official

  1. News: The ambitious Defence Technology and Trade Initiative between India and the US has made significant progress in the last 2 years
  2. The two countries are in the process of identifying joint development project and at least 17 projects are shortlisted
  3. US is also keen to build fighter jets in India

India in talks with U.S. to buy Predator drones

  1. Context: India is in talks with the United States to purchase 40 Predator surveillance drones
  2. It is a possible first step towards acquiring the armed version of the aircraft
  3. Why? Equipping the military with more unmanned technologies to gather intelligence
  4. Also to boost firepower along the vast land borders with Pakistan and China
  5. Also to have a closer eye on the Indian Ocean

Learn about HSPD-6

  1. Basics: It is an agreement for exchange of terrorist screening information between the Terrorist Screening Centre (TSC) of the US and foreign country’s security agency
  2. The TSC has the database of 11,000 terror suspects
  3. Objective: To protect the people, property, and territory of the US against acts of terrorism
  4. Impact: Recently, few people were arrested in Canada and Australia with the help of HSPD-6, as both countries are signatories to it

India opts not to join global terror database

  1. Context: The Homeland Security Presidential Directive was to be discussed at a bilateral homeland security meet to be held in June 2016
  2. News: The govt has decided not to join a US maintained global terror database
  3. Reason: The Research and Analysis Wing and the Intelligence Bureau were concerned over sharing information as it is maintained by the US
  4. Purpose: Americans would have unhindered access to the database of terror suspects in India, which includes their biometric details

US hikes ADD on Indian shrimps

  1. Context: The US government has raised the anti-dumping duty on import of frozen shrimps from India
  2. It may have an impact on the exports from country as USA is the largest market for Indian shrimps
  3. Also, lot of Indian exporters will switch to other markets which are erratic

What is Anti-Dumping Duty (ADD)?

  1. What? It is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value
  2. When? Comes into play when a foreign company is selling an item significantly below the price at which it is being produced
  3. Why? The logic behind anti-dumping duties is to save domestic jobs
  4. Criticism: This leads to higher prices for domestic consumers and reduces the competitiveness of domestic companies producing similar goods

Talking to India on religious freedom, says U.S

  1. Context: India denied visas to members of the US Commission of International Religious Freedom(USCIRF) for the 7th year in a row
  2. News: United States has expressed its disappointment over India’s move
  3. Reason: India sees no locus standi of USCIRF on the issue, as religious freedom is enshrined in the Indian Constitution
  4. India has also questioned the role of foreign entities to comment on the state of Indian citizens’ constitutionally protected rights

US delegation denied Visa for India

  1. Context: India has denied visas for a delegation from the US government agency
  2. Delegation: From the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)
  3. Task: Monitoring international religious freedom
  4. US: Disappointed; India should have confidence to allow US delegation
  5. US law allows for imposition of sanctions on countries the commission terms “of particular concern”
  6. But the USCIRF’s recommendations are not binding and these are not automatically imposed

U.S. push for joint patrols in Indo-Pacific region

  1. Context: Countries are coming together to maintain freedom of the seas for all nations, especially after South China Sea dispute
  2. News: US is pushing India towards joint naval patrols and multilateral groupings in the Indo-Pacific region
  3. US want to convert the increasingly complex naval exercises between the two countries into coordinated patrols
  4. Future: The American and Indian Navy vessels can steam together throughout Indo-Asia-Pacific waters ensuring freedom of the seas for all nations

Sale of F-16 jets to Pakistan should not be of concern to India: Pentagon

  1. Context: The Obama Administration’s decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan should not be a cause of concern for India, Pentagon said
  2. Relevance: As the regional security situation was taken into account at the time of sale
  3. Background: This is a capability that will help Pakistan in its counterterrorism effort and that’s in the national security interests of the United States
  4. India’s concern: India disagreed with the US’ rationale that such arms transfers help Pakistan in combating terrorism
  5. India Believes: US military aid to Pakistan goes into anti-India activities
  6. Features of F—16 aircraft: Facilitate operations in all—weather, non—daylight environments
  7. Provide a self— defence/area suppression capability, and enhance Pakistan’s ability to conduct counter—insurgency and counter terrorism operations

India disappointed over US decision to sell F16s to Pak

  1. Context: The Obama administration notified the U.S. Congress of its decision to sell eight F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan
  2. The News: India expressed disappointment over decision to sell eight F16 fighter jets to Pakistan, saying it disagrees that such arms’ transfers will help combat terrorism
  3. Objective: This proposed sale contributes to US foreign policy objectives and national security goals by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner in South Asia
  4. Estimated cost: $ 699.4 million, according to the Defence Security Cooperation Agency — a wing of the Pentagon

Learn about WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement(GPA)?

  1. This is a plurilateral agreement within the framework of the WTO, meaning that not all WTO members are parties to the Agreement
  2. The fundamental aim of the GPA is to mutually open government procurement markets among its parties
  3. GPA consists of 17 parties covering 45 WTO members (counting the European Union and its 28 member states, all of which are covered by the Agreement, as one party)

India flags API issue to U.S. govt.

The U.S. decision has major implications on generic drugs, affordability of medicines and on efficient sourcing

  1. India has sought clarity from the U.S. government which gave rise to apprehensions that medicines procured by America
  2. That should be only from companies making even the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) either locally or in certain designated nations such as EU members
  3. India and China account for about 80 per cent of the U.S.’s requirement of API (drug raw materials)
  4. The U.S. TAA applies America’s international trade agreements and the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
  5. Medicines need to be made in the U.S., or in certain ‘designated countries,’ as per U.S. trade rules
  6. India and China are not in this list of ‘designated countries’. India is not a signatory to the GPA and does not have a free trade pact with the U.S.

Indian engineers, scientists in U.S. nearing one million

  1. Indian-origin scientists and engineers in the U.S. grew 85% between 2003 and 2013.
  2. There are 950,000 scientists and engineers of Indian origin in 2013, which suggest that India’s rise far outstrips that of the Philippines and China.
  3. This rapid rise in the number of expatriate Indian technologists comes in the decade when India has launched a plethora of schemes to attract highly-qualified scientists back to India.
  4. According to UN, Indians make up the largest diaspora in the world, with 16 million of them scattered across the world.

What is Logistic Support Agreement (LSA)?

  1. The genesis of the LSA can be found in Strategic Partnership document signed by US and India in March 2006 during the visit of the US President George W. Bush to New Delhi.
  2. The document stated that the US and India will soon sign an agreement to facilitate mutual logistic support during combined training, exercises and disaster relief operations.
  3. The agreement includes maritime, counter-terrorism, defence trade and efforts for the speedy conclusion of the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty.
  4. The LSA would require both countries to provide their bases, fuel and other kinds of logistics support to each others’ fighter jets and naval warships.

The LSA would be particularly beneficial at the time of disaster relief operations like the one India undertook in the wake of the Asian Tsunami in 2004.

India and U.S. inch closer to deal on logistics support

On the other two agreements the CISMOA and BECA, however, India has deeper concerns as it involves giving the U.S. access to India’s encrypted systems.

  1. Three major military pacts which could elevate Indo-U.S. relations to a new strategic level are being pursued afresh under the PM Modi regime.
  2. Both sides are one step short of reaching an understanding on the Logistic Support Agreement (LSA), which gives U.S. forces access to Indian bases for logistics support and vice versa.
  3. Government embarking on joint development and production projects for high technology weapons under the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
  4. The three “foundational agreements” guide U.S. high technology sales to other countries.

In addition to the LSA, includes –

  • Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA)
  • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA).

India, US to raise defence tech ties

India and the U.S. have identified 17 new areas for potential cooperation under Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).

  1. DTTI, a flagship scheme launched in 2012, aims to enhance bilateral strategic partnership, particularly in high technology.
  2. Some private companies expressed interest in manufacturing fighter aircraft in India.
  3. The progress made by two joint working groups – one on aircraft carrier technology cooperation and other on jet engine technology.
  4. The change in policy is expected to allow U.S. companies working with their Indian counterparts to submit transfer requests for technology.


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