Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Trilateral Malabar naval exercise
Mains level: Not much
- India and the US will explore the possibility of expanding the annual trilateral Malabar naval exercise
- The matter will be discussed when US Defence Secretary James Mattis meets Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday.
- The new US administration is keen to induct new members as part of the exercise
- Two sides will discuss the possibility of inducting new members in the exercise, and Australia and Singapore are likely contenders.
Malabar naval exercises
- The Malabar naval exercises have evolved from a Indo-US naval exercise into a strong display of geopolitical force joining the Indo-Pacific’s three most powerful democracies.
- After Japan joined as a permanent participant in 2015, the exercise has received attention — in the face of an assertive Chinese military deployment in Indo-Pacific region.
- Earlier this year, Australian defence minister reaffirmed that Canberra was “very interested” in a quadrilateral engagement with India, the US and Japan.
- Despite Canberra’s keenness, India has declined Australia’s request to join Malabar 2017.