Current General Studies Magazine (September 2014)
General Studies - II (International Relations Based Article)
India- Australia Relations
Joint Statement on the State Visit of Prime Minister of Australia to India
1. The Prime Minister of Australia Mr Tony Abbott paid a State Visit to India
from 4-5 September, 2014 at the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
2. Prime Minister Abbott was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati
Bhavan on 5 September, 2014. He laid a wreath at the memorial to Mahatma Gandhi
at Rajghat and also laid a wreath at India Gate.
3. Prime Minister Modi held talks with Prime Minister Abbott
on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues. Prime Minister Abbott called on
President Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari and
received External Affairs Minister Smt Sushma Swaraj. Prime Minister Abbott also
visited Mumbai where he called on Governor Shri C. Vidyasagar Rao. He met with
Indian business leaders in Mumbai and Delhi. Four Agreements/Memoranda of
Understanding were concluded and significant initiatives launched during the
4. The Prime Ministers welcomed the rapid growth in bilateral relations in
recent years, anchored in shared values, expanding economic engagement,
converging strategic interests and a growing shared agenda in regional and
5. The Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to strengthening the
bilateral Strategic Partnership and taking it to a new level of mutual trust.
6. The Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the bilateral
Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement as a concrete symbol of the bilateral
partnership. They noted the Agreement would enable the sale of Australian
uranium to support India’s growing energy needs and directed the negotiators to
conclude the Administrative Arrangements at an early date.
7. The Prime Ministers underlined the priority they attached
to building the economic partnership, which was a pillar of the relationship.
They recommitted both countries to expand trade further for mutual benefit and
as a long term and sustainable boost to economic growth in both countries. They
agreed there was significant scope to boost investment and collaboration in both
directions in infrastructure, resources, agriculture, manufacturing, health,
education and other sectors to increase efficiencies, introduce new technologies
and develop innovation and skills.
8. Prime Minister Abbott welcomed growing Indian investment
in Australia and underlined Australia’s commitment to providing a stable
investment environment and streamlined approvals process. Prime Minister Modi
too welcomed Australian investments in a range of infrastructure, resources,
technology and other projects in India.
9. The Prime Ministers welcomed the progress towards a
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) would support a significant
expansion of two-way trade and investment. They renewed the commitment of both
countries for an early conclusion of an equitable, balanced, comprehensive and
high quality agreement.
10. The Prime Ministers noted the expanding bilateral dialogue on economic
policy, including in areas such as taxation, competition, financial sector
regulation and infrastructure.
11. The Prime Ministers welcomed the delegation of senior
Australian business leaders who had accompanied Prime Minister Abbott on his
visit. They agreed that economic engagement and business partnerships should be
strengthened through a revitalised CEO Forum and encouraged regular exchange of
business and trade missions and the convening of an India-Australia Business
Summit in Delhi in early 2015.
Defence and Security Cooperation
12. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their desire for a
peaceful, prosperous and stable Asia-Pacific region, underpinned by cooperative
mechanisms. They emphasised their interest in building closer cooperation in the
13. The Prime Ministers committed to strengthening the
defence and security partnership. They welcomed growing cooperation in defence,
counter-terrorism, cyber policy, transnational crime, disarmament and
non-proliferation, humanitarian assistance, disaster management and
peacekeeping. They called for deepening the framework of defence and security
cooperation to guide the bilateral engagement in these and other priority areas.
14. The Prime Ministers welcomed preparations for the
inaugural bilateral maritime exercise to be held in 2015 and initiatives under
way to further strengthen defence cooperation, including closer engagement and
cooperation in defence science and industry. They also explored joint
participation in events commemorating World War I. On behalf of the Prime
Ministers of Australia and New Zealand, Prime Minister Abbott extended an
invitation to Prime Minister Modi to attend the commemoration of the 100 year
anniversary of Gallipoli in 2015.
15. The Prime Ministers, noting that both Australians and
Indians have been victims of terrorism, commended the work of the Joint Working
Group on Counter-Terrorism, including discussions on cyber security and the
growing collaboration against the threat posed by terrorist groups. They noted
the ongoing cooperation in combating illegal migration.
16. The Prime Ministers, noting the importance of the maritime dimension,
welcomed discussions on maritime security in the ongoing disarmament and
non-proliferation dialogue held at the level of officials.
Cooperation in Energy, Science, Water, Education and Skills
17. The Prime Ministers agreed to deepen the cooperation
between both countries on energy security through a Ministerial-level dialogue.
They agreed to develop a strategic partnership on energy and resources based on
long-term, sustainable and reliable supply of Australian resources based on
India’s energy needs. They agreed that cooperation on energy - extending to
coal, LNG, renewables and uranium-and on resources such as iron ore, copper and
gold were key elements of the relationship and committed to intensifying these
18. The Prime Ministers welcomed the success of the
Australia-India Strategic Research Fund, which has provided a high impact
knowledge partnership through science and technology cooperation, and announced
an extension of the Fund for a further period of four years on the basis of
matching commitments and reciprocity with an increasing focus on
commercialisation of research outcomes.
19. The Prime Ministers welcomed increasing collaboration on
the challenge of managing scarce water resources and river basin management and
announced an extension of the MoU on water cooperation. Prime Minister Modi
welcomed Australia’s offer to support India’s Ganga rejuvenation efforts.
20. The Prime Ministers agreed to expand high quality
knowledge partnerships in education, skills and research that support mutual
efforts towards greater economic and social progress. They noted its vital role
and contribution to India’s national goals for innovation, productivity and
21. The Prime Ministers welcomed the collaborations between
Universities and called for efforts to enlarge the scope for joint research,
joint Ph. D. programmes and joint degrees and commended the work of the
Australia-India Education Council (AIEC) in advancing education, training and
research partnerships. Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation for the
continuing efforts of Australian authorities to ensure the welfare and security
of Indian students studying in Australia.
22. The Prime Ministers welcomed the increasing collaboration
to develop a quality skills training framework in India. Prime Minister Abbott
underlined Australia’s commitment to supporting the up-skilling of India’s
workforce, including through Australia’s world class vocational education and
training (VET) capabilities. The Prime Ministers welcomed partnerships between
India’s Sector Skills Councils and Australia’s Industry Skills Councils in key
23. The Prime Ministers welcomed the Australian Government’s
New Colombo Plan initiative, under which young Australian students would study
in institutions in India, thereby furthering youth and academic exchanges and
Regional and international cooperation
24. The Prime Ministers discussed the importance of
consolidating the G20 as the premier forum for international economic
cooperation. Prime Minister Abbott briefed Prime Minister Modi on Australia’s
priorities as host of the G20 in 2014 and underlined Australia’s interest in
working closely with India to lift ambition and ensure the G20 delivers economic
growth, jobs and a resilient global economy. Prime Minister Modi appreciated
Australia’s chairmanship and underlined India’s commitment to the G20’s
successful contribution to ensuring strong, sustainable and balanced growth of
the global economy.
25. The Prime Ministers recognised the importance of the East
Asia Summit (EAS) as the pre-eminent regional forum for addressing strategic,
political and economic issues. They welcomed increased bilateral collaboration
in the EAS, with India and Australia co-chairing the Taskforce on Access to
Quality Medicines under the Asia Pacific Leaders Malaria Alliance.
26. The Prime Ministers acknowledged ongoing cooperation in
other regional bodies such as the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Asia Europe
Meeting. Prime Minister Abbott reiterated Australia’s support for India’s
membership of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC).
27. The Prime Ministers highlighted the concrete steps
towards more effective practical cooperation in the Indian Ocean Regional
Association (IORA) and noted that India and Australia would work closely to
further strengthen the organisation in the six priority areas of maritime
security and piracy, fisheries management; disaster risk reduction; tourism and
cultural exchanges, academic and S&T cooperation, and trade and investment
facilitation. Both countries look forward to taking this collaboration to a
higher level at the next Council of Ministers meeting in Perth in October 2014.
28. The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of reform
of the UN, including the Security Council, to better reflect contemporary
realities. Prime Minister Modi welcomed Australia’s continuing support for India
as a permanent member in a reformed United Nations Security Council.
People to People and cultural Links
29. The Prime Ministers highlighted the importance of bilateral parliamentary
exchanges and agreed to reinvigorate reciprocal visits by parliamentary
30. Underlining the importance of greater connectivity to
support growing commercial and cultural ties, including in the education and
tourism sectors, the Prime Ministers welcomed the commencement of direct Air
India flights to Australia. Noting the growing numbers of tourists travelling in
both directions, they welcomed the decision to commence negotiations on a
Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism.
31. The Prime Ministers noted progress in negotiations on the
Social Security Agreement and called for early conclusion. Noting the importance
of promoting exchanges, particularly among the youth, they also called for
discussions on a Work and Holiday Visa Agreement.
32. The Prime Ministers recognised that rapidly growing
people-to-people links underpin our developing partnership and will enable both
countries to build even stronger relations into the future. They noted with
appreciation that the Indian community is contributing significantly to the
economic and social life of Australia, with India now the largest source of
skilled migrants to Australia.
33. The Prime Ministers noted that arts, culture and sports
can be powerful forces for bringing people together and called for closer and
more intensified exchanges in the fields of culture and creative arts, including
visiting exhibitions and professional training and exchanges. They welcomed the
establishment of ICCR Chairs of Indian Studies in five Universities in Australia
to promote academic and student exchanges and Australia’s support in the
establishment of a Nalanda University Chair in Environmental Studies. They also
welcomed the signing of an MoU on Sports Cooperation that would facilitate
greater exchanges, including on sports training.
34. The Prime Ministers welcomed progress on negotiations for an Agreement on
Transfer of Sentenced Persons and looked forward to its early conclusion.
35. The following bilateral memoranda of understanding were signed in the
presence of the two Prime Ministers:
- Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
- MOU on cooperation in Sport
- Renewal of MOU on cooperation in the field of Water Resources Management
- MoU on Cooperation in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
36. Prime Minister Mr Tony Abbott renewed his invitation to
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to visit Australia. Prime Minister Modi
accepted the invitation to undertake a bilateral visit to Australia at the time
of the G20 Summit in November 2014. Both sides agreed that the visit of Prime
Minister Modi to Australia will lead to strengthening of the cooperative
relations between the two countries, and will provide further impetus for the
future development of the strategic partnership.
1Q. Discuss the bilateral relations between India and Australia in the
context of Modi Government. (200 words) 10