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Remembering Mera Naam JOKER!

Remembering Mera Naam JOKER!

Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time- Two Hundred forty Three

Palash Biswas

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Jeena Yahan Marna Yahan - Mera Naam Joker
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jaane kaha gaye woh din
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Kehta Hai Joker Saara Jamana - Mera Naam Joker High Quality
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Mera Juta Hai Japani

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Mera Naam Joker

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Mera Naam Joker

Film poster
Directed by Raj Kapoor
Produced by Raj Kapoor
Written by K. A. Abbas
Starring Raj Kapoor
Simi Garewal
Manoj Kumar
Rishi Kapoor
Dara Singh
Kseniya Ryabinkina
Rajendra Kumar
Music by Shankar Jaikishan
Cinematography Radhu Karmakar
Editing by Raj Kapoor
Distributed by R. K. Films
Release date(s) 1970
Running time 255 mins
Country  India
Language Hindi / English / Russian

Mera Naam Joker (Hindi: मेरा नाम जोकर, Urdu: میرا نام جوکر, translation: My Name is Joker) is a 1970 Hindi film directed by Raj Kapoor. The screenplay was written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. This film was the debut of Rishi Kapoor. Mera Naam Joker is a film about a clown who must make his audience laugh at the cost of his own sorrows. The film is reportedly inspired by Raj Kapoor's own life and the clown an allegory for his own life as an actor.[citation needed]



[edit] Plot

Mera Naam Joker is the story of Raju, whose father was a considered the best circus clown ever. Ever since Raju's father died in a trapeze accident during his performance, Raju's mother had always been repulsed by the circus. As luck would have it, Raju had a natural affinity towards the circus world. The film traces Raju's journey from his childhood to the day of his last performance.

Mera Naam Joker is divided into 3 chapters. The first chapter is about the adolescent Raju where he is infatuated with his teacher Mary (Simi Garewal). Here is where Raju comes to the realisation that he was born to make the world laugh, even through his own troubles.

After his first heartbreak, story moves on to the adult Raju who is working with Gemini Circus as a clown. The circus is owned by Mahendra Singh (Dharmendra). Here he meets Marina (Kseniya Ryabinkina), a Russian trapeze artist and despite the language barrier he manages to fall in love with her, and dreams of a married life with her. But Raju faces heartbreak once again when the circus ends and Marina returns to Russia. It is in this chapter that Raju's mother dies just before Raju's performance, and he has to go up on stage regardless.

In the final chapter, Raju meets Meena (Padmini), a woman who has ambitions of becoming a famous actress. By this point, Raju is a derelict and earns some money through manual labour. Meena befriends him and manages to win his heart only to dump him in the end due to her lust for success.

[edit] Themes

Raju always carries a clown doll which belonged to his father. Every time he fell in love, he gifted his beloved doll, only to see it come back to him. The doll is used as a metaphor for Raju's simplistic heart where there is room for everyone.

[edit] Reaction

Six years in the making, with Raj Kapoor investing much of his own personal fortune, Mera Naam Joker flopped at the box office.[1] In later years, however, the film has garnered critical praise.[citation needed]

[edit] Running times

Many different cuts of the film are known to exist. Both the IMDb and the movie's censor certificate list the film's length as being 6989.50 metres (255 minutes). According to the Chicago Reader, the original running time was 5 hours [2]. The international DVD release from Yash Raj Films Home Entertainment runs for 233 minutes (224 with the disc's PAL speed-up), while the Indian DVD by Shemaroo Entertainment is heavily cut at 184 minutes.

[edit] Cast

[edit] Awards

[edit] Trivia

The school shown at which Rishi Kapoor's character studies is St Paul's School, Darjeeling[citation needed].

Raj Kapoor spent so much of his own fortune that on flopping the film at the box office,Raj came close to be totally bankrupt, so much so that he was said to be thinking of auctioning the famed RK studios in order to pay off the debts.

The film is said to have started shooting in 1963 and finished in 1970.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Raj Kapoor in [1]
  2. ^ Chicago Reader [2]

[edit] External links

Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation

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Indo-Soviet Union relations
India   Soviet Union
Map indicating location of India and USSR
     India      Soviet Union

The Indo–Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation was a treaty signed between India the Soviet Union in August 1971 that specified mutual strategic cooperation. The treaty was a significant deviation from India's previous position of Non-alignment in the Cold War[1] and in the prelude to the Bangladesh war, it was a key development in a situation of increasing Sino-American ties and American pressure.[2][3] The treaty was later adopted to the Indo-Bangladesh Treaty of Friendship and cooperation in 1972.[4]



[edit] Indo-Soviet relations

[edit] Early relations

India's relation to the Soviet Union initially after the former's independence was ambivalent, guided by Nehru's decision to remain non-aligned, and his government's active part in the Commonwealth of Nations. However, in February 1954, the U.S. administration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced the decision to provide arms to Pakistan, followed a month later by Pakistan joining the SEATO and subsequently the CENTO. These agreements assured Pakistan the supply of sophisticated military hardware and economic aid.[4]

The developing situation alarmed New Delhi, which had uncomfortable relations with Pakistan. Since Pakistan also bordered the Soviet Union, it also provided Moscow with the necessity as well as the opportunity to develop its relations with New Delhi. India's status as a leader of the Non-aligned Movement would also allow the USSR to bolster Soviet policy in the Third World. India and the USSR therefore pursued similar policies based on common security threat born out of the US interests in Pakistan. It was in this context that India and Soviet Union exchanged military Attaches.[4] Although Indo-Soviet cooperation had begun, the investment of soviet-military aid to India only begun in the context of deteriorating Sino-Soviet and Sino-Indian relations. Following the 1962 Sino-Indian war, the Sino-Pakistani axis was also an impetus for growing cooperation between India and the Soviet Union.[4]

[edit] Late 1960s

[edit] Post-cold war ties

[edit] References

  1. ^ Hanhimaki 2004, p. 165
  2. ^ Cashman & Robinson 2007, p. 236
  3. ^ Rao 1973, p. 793
  4. ^ a b c d Shah, SAA. "Russo-India Military-technical Cooperation". Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  • Cashman, G & L.C Robinson (2007), An Introduction to the Causes of War: Patterns of Interstate Conflict from World War I to Iraq, Rowman & Littlefield, ISBN 0742555100.
  • Rao, RVR Chandrashekhar (1973), Indo-Soviet Economic Relations: Asian Survey, Vol. 13, No. 8. (Aug., 1973), pp. 793-801, University of California Press.
  • Hanhimaki, Jussi M. (2004), The Flawed Architect: Henry Kissinger and American Foreign Policy, Oxford University Press US, ISBN 0195172213.

FACTBOX - Predicted impacts from rising global temperatures

Mon, Dec 7 06:36 PM

Steam and other emissions are seen coming from funnels at a chemical manufacturing facility in... Enlarge Photo Steam and other emissions are seen coming from funnels at a chemical manufacturing facility in...

REUTERS - The head of the U.N. climate panel painted a stark picture of the future unless nations agree tough emissions curbs to control global warming.

Following are some of the key points from Rajendra Pachauri's speech on Monday to delegates from nearly 200 countries gathered in Copenhagen for Dec 7-18 talks aimed at sealing the outlines of a climate pact.

Pachauri, drawing on the work of the panel's 2007 Fourth Assessment report, said climate change, without steps to curb the rapid growth of planet-warming carbon emissions and deforestation, would in all likelihood threaten the livelihoods of billions of people.

He told delegates the world faced:

-- More heat waves and heavy rainfall events;

-- Increase in tropical cyclone intensity;

-- Possible disappearance of Arctic sea ice by the latter part of the 21st century;

-- Decrease in water resources in semi-arid areas, such as the Mediterranean Basin, western United States, southern Africa and north-eastern Brazil;

-- Possible elimination of the Greenland ice sheet and a resulting contribution to sea level rise of about 7 metres;

-- Approximately 20 to 30 percent of species at increased risk of extinction if increases in global average warming exceed 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius;

-- Greater stress on water resources from population growth and economic and land use change, including urbanisation;

-- Significant future increase in heavy rainfall in many regions as well as some in which the mean rainfall is likely to drop. Greater flood risk threatens infrastructure and water quality;

-- Likelihood that 20 percent of the world population, or more than two billion people, will live in areas where river flood potential could increase by the 2080s;

-- Increasing threat to low-lying island nations and coastal cities and deltas from rising seas. Seas are already rising because of melting glaciers and icesheets as well as expansion of the oceans as they warm;

-- Even keeping global average temperatures to within 2 degrees C would likely lead to sea level rise of between 0.4 and 1.4 metres because of thermal expansion of the oceans;

-- In Africa, by 2020, between 75 and 250 million people are projected to be exposed to water stress due to climate change and in some African countries, agricultural yields could be cut by half.

-- To limit the average global rise in temperatures to between 2 and 2.4 deg C, the cost of curbing emissions by 2030 would not exceed 3 percent of global GDP, the climate panel says.

-- Global emissions need to peak by 2015 to ensure that the temperature rise stays within 2 to 2.4 deg C.

(Editing by Dominic Evans)

  1. Raj Kapoor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Ranbirraj "Raj" Kapoor (Hindi: राज कपूर, Urdu: راج کپُور Rāj Kapūr, 14 December 1924 - 2 June 1988), also known as the show-man, was a legendary ... - Cached - Similar -
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Russia and India Monday cemented their ties with an expanded civil nuclear deal and three military pacts as they voiced concern over escalating terrorism.The Indian Air Force's frontline fighter jets Sukhoi Su-30 MKI, which were grounded nearly a week ago after a crash, resumed flying Monday, an official said.In the second accident involving a Sukhoi-30MKI, an aircraft crashed southwest of Pokharan in Rajasthan at 5.30 p.m. Nov 30. In April this year, a Sukhoi had crashed in Rajasthan due to the failure of its sophisticated fly-by-wire system. The pilot, Wing Commander S.V. Munje, and the co-pilot, Wing Commander P.S. Narah, had managed to bail out in time but the latter was killed after being apparently hit by the falling debris of the aircraft. The reason behind the crash is yet to be ascertained.The Su-30 was inducted in 1996 and the IAF fleet currently has 98 such aircraft. This number will rise to 230 by 2015.

India's ties with other countries will "never be at the cost of time tested relationship with Russia", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Monday.

India is Tagged with US War Economy and Indo US Nuke deal Operationalised  killed the Anti Imperialist Resistance led by the Communists in India with Sensex shining India emerging as a Super Power nuclear Hindu Rashtra indulged in US Promoted Free Market Democracy and war against Terror , Insurgency. Indo Russia Nuke Deal in US shadow reminds us Nehruvian Indira foreign Relations, Economics and Diplomacy! Communists supported Nehru and Indira just because they had been closer to Moscow. CPI supported EMERGENCY as it could not go against the wishes of MOSCOW.This Phenomenon may be best understood if we see things with the eyes of Greatest showman ion Indian Cinema, Raj kapoor. Indian Leaders have proved themselves bunch of Jokers, Nothing else. Indian Polity may not SURVIVE without COLONISATION as we inherit Enslavement in our Genes. I may sound very rough and Global Hindutva may dismiss the Idea as it is rooted in Zionism. India, Russia after Soviet demise and United states of America are ruled by Hegemonies Zionist. and it is the Common link which creates the Nuclear Dealing Ink!

Meanwhile, The UN climate summit, on whose decisions the future of the planet Earth and the well-being of succeeding generations depends in many ways, opened in the Danish capital Monday with a call by a leading expert that there will be hundreds of millions of climate refugees unless the 192 nations get over their differences and act urgently.
 Russia and India Monday cemented their ties with an expanded civil nuclear deal and three military pacts as they voiced concern over escalating terrorism.It is reminiscent of Indo Soviet Friendship, Cold war, Non Aligned Movement and of course, Soviet Model of Development in India, the Nehru Gandhi Age. It is reminiscent of Seventies, thundering SPRING, JP Movement, Emergency and finally our Teen Age youth time. It is also reminiscent of Mera Naam Joker!The umbrella agreement for expanding civil nuclear cooperation will give New Delhi the right to reprocess spent fuel, taking the pact 'far beyond the 123 agreement' inked with the US.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who ends a three-day visit to Moscow Tuesday, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev echoed similar sentiments after holding bilateral talks on a range of issues.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Monday to ink the expanded civil nuclear deal and three defence pacts.

Mera Naam Joker ,( translation: My Name is Joker) is a 1970 Hindi film directed by Raj Kapoor. The screenplay was written by Khwaja Ahmad Abbas. This film was the debut of Rishi Kapoor. Mera Naam Joker is a film about a clown who must make his audience laugh at the cost of his own sorrows. The film is reportedly inspired by Raj Kapoor's own life and the clown an allegory for his own life as an actor.

We saw the film in capital hall in Nainital during Emergency. It was a different experience. We were thrilled with Shyam Benegal Films. We had also seen Calcutta 71 and Interview by Mrinal Sen. We had seen war and Peace as well as Dr.Zhivago while Angry Young man Amitabh Bachhan was reigning and we had just came over BOBBY Hangover and could analyse Andhi as well as Nishant! Me, GIRDA and Kapilesh Bhoj shared the SCREEN Experience. In those days, we were living in Mohan Nivas, Mallital at Tarachand Triapthi`s residence. Tripath was then posted somewhere in Almora and we had access to his Library. But he used to visit Naintal time to time and would prescribe latest study list every time. We were reading Das Capital, Psychoanalysis, Dostoevsky,Sartre and Camus, Kafka and victor Hugo with Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. We were studying Political theories and philosophies. This engaged us in endless discussions. Me and Kapilesh would walk up down Mal Road in any December night amidst Snow fall. We were involved in Street Plays and enacting Badal Sarkar as well as Breskht!We spent our times with Gypsies and Anarchists, Naxals. We used to take GANJA, Bhang, charas and LSD. We also dared Night Hunting besides dare devil Trekking!

MERA NAAM Joker, Janjeer, Deewar, AANDHI, Ankur would ignite us! aAnd we were always in flames! We opposed the Soviet socialist Imperialism as well. We were involved in Total Revolution and Disillusioned with that we turned Naxal. We were social Activists as well as Environment Activist. We had been STUDIOUS, Anarchist NIHILIST and Committed communist! It was the time of Indo soviet Friendship after BANGLADESH was liberated!We were engaged to know the TRUTH of SINO Indo Border Clash in 1962.

Raj Kapoor Showcased the time rather in Melodrama, not so cinematically. It was loud. it was rough. It was Glamorous and we could identify with Chintu in love with the teacher, SIMI Grewal as we were also in ROMANCE with some ladies who were our teachers and did care for us!

Making the opening remarks after meeting President Dmitry Medvedev, Manmohan Singh said: "Our relations with third countries will never be at the cost of time tested relationship with Russia."

He stressed that Indo-Russian relations have the potential to make an impact on key regional and global issues like economic revival, terrorism and climate change.

Medvedev said that the bilateral relationship had grown stronger and had positive impact on trade, which increased 8 percent this year.

He said it will go up further. "We are doing a good job."

Manmohan Singh met Medvedev Monday to ink the expanded civil nuclear deal and three defence pacts.

The umbrella agreement for expanding civil nuclear cooperation will give New Delhi the right to reprocess spent fuel, taking the pact "far beyond the 123 agreement" inked with the US, official sources said Sunday.

Under the new pact, Russia has ensured fuel supply guarantee even in the event of India conducting a nuclear test, whereas the 123 agreement with the United States clearly specifies that all kinds of nuclear cooperation will be terminated in case India goes ahead with a nuclear test.

There is, however, a clause which says the reasons and circumstances will be viewed before the termination and compensation will be paid.

The new nuclear pact between India and Russia also promises enrichment and reprocessing rights and access to high end technology (light weight reactors).

Before the Moscow visit, the Prime Minister had said that Washington had assured him that the issue of reprocessing fuel under a safeguarded plant would be sorted out soon, but delegation-level discussion are still trying to forge a consensus on the issue.

Russian Officials are viewing the new nuclear arrangement as a breakthrough.

Another factor that gives an additional edge to the Indo-Russian civil nuclear pact is the issue of liability insurance. In the case of the United States, private companies like Westinghouse and GE are asking India to comply, whereas in the case of Russia's state-run nuclear power corporation Rosatom, there is no request for liability or insurance cover.  

'Our views are similar on global issues and our cooperation can extend to cooperation at international level,' Manmohan Singh told reporters in the Kremlin.

'We will be sharing intelligence and information gathering,' he added, after the two countries signed the nuclear deal and the defence accords as well as two memorandums of understandings, one on culture.

Medvedev expressed concern over the 'grave challenge of terrorism'.

The Russian leader said: 'There is a common threat that India and Russia face. We should consolidate our anti-terror base. We will provide concrete help in anti-terror activities.'

He added: 'The situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan underlines the importance of this... Terrorism is the biggest evil of current and last century.'

Manmohan Singh met Medvedev earlier in the day to ink the agreements.

The umbrella agreement for expanding civil nuclear cooperation will give New Delhi the right to reprocess spent fuel, taking the pact 'far beyond the 123 agreement' inked with the US, official sources said Sunday.

UN climate summit

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chief Rajendra Pachauri said the time for debate was over and the Dec 7-18 conference must "lead to action".

Over 15,000 government delegates, NGOs and media gathered at the Bella Centre in the Danish capital for a crucial two-week meet to deal with what has been called "the defining crisis of our age" by UN chief Ban Ki-moon. However, a treaty that can tackle the climate change that is already affecting the world is as far as ever.

Industrialised and major developing countries have submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) draft treaties that are almost at two ends of the spectrum on the crucial issue - who should reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), by when and by how much.

The so-called BASIC grouping of countries - Brazil, India, South Africa and China - has proposed what essentially amounts to industrialised countries cutting their GHG emissions 40-45 percent by 2020. Without any mention of this, the proposal by host Denmark - echoed by many developed countries - is that emerging economies commit to a date by which their GHG emissions will peak.

The so-called "peaking year" approach is "completely unacceptable" to India, a member of the government delegation said immediately after the inauguration ceremony of the summit of 192 nations. A stage for confrontation and hard bargaining has been set.

At the ceremony, Pachauri - also head of New Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) - reminded delegates that according to science, "global GHG emissions must peak by 2015 and then decline if temperature rise is to be kept within two degrees Celsius as endorsed by the G8 leaders" a few months back. That move was endorsed by the G20, including India.

The time for debate is over, Pachauri warned. "This conference must lead to action."

Indian nuclear program was first in South Asia: Pakistani expert

India was the first country in the South Asia to have a nuclear program and it didn't go nuclear in response to Chinese quest for atomic weapons but preceded it, a Pakistani expert on nuclear affairs has said.

Naeem Salik, author of 'The Genesis of South Asian Nuclear Deterrence - Pakistan's Perspective', said that Indian scientist Homi Bhabha conceptualised the nuclear program for the country beginning in 1940s and later also developed it, much before Beijing's entry into the field.

The Nation quoted Salik, as saying that India became the first country in Asia to carry out chain reaction.

He described how India got heavy water and reprocessing plants in 1960s. And by 1965, intelligence estimates concluded India could go nuclear in a few years, which it did by exploding its first test in 1974.

The retired brigadier, who has been closely associated with Pakistan' Strategic Plans Division, recalled that the Indian nuclear explosions in May 1998 at Pokhran forced Pakistan to test its own devices, leading to nuclearization of South Asia.

No compromise on India's interest at Copenhagen: Govt

Government on Monday said it will not compromise India's interest at the Copenhagen climate change summit, but a dissatisfied opposition walked out in the Rajya Sabha.

"There is no dilution in our stand...There is simply no compromise on India's national interest," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said during Zero Hour.

However, almost the entire opposition led by BJP staged a walkout stating that it was dissatisfied over the reply by the minister, who is leaving for the summit on Thursday. Ramesh described the walkout as 'pre-planned'.

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley said that by announcing unilateral emission intensity cut by 20-25 per cent by 2020, India was following a 'bad strategy'.

He said the government was 'totally altering' its stand that India would not accept any legally binding cuts and would strictly follow the per capita cut principle.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, who would be part of the Parliamentary delegation for the summit, accused the government of coming under the US pressure.

He said even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's participation was under pressure from Washington which was evident from the White House statement.

However, Ramesh rejected the charge, saying, "This was not done under any foreign pressure."

About 193 countries are participating in the summit that began today to reach an accord to cut global emissions.

Opposition expresses dissatisfaction, walks out of Rajya Sabha over climate change debate

Refusing to accept Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh's defence of the Government's moves on emission cuts, the opposition walked out of the Rajya Sabha, saying there was no clarity on the issue.

Ramesh attempted to assuage opposition fears that the country's interests would be harmed.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley accused the government of unilaterally changing India's stand on climate change.

Ramesh had earlier said India would reject legally binding targets of any kind and would demand greater cuts from the West. He also assured the House that this was a unilateral decision and in India's interest.

India would not accept any draft that suggested, "India's emissions should be so much by whatever year," he added.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, will attend the Copenhagen summit on climate change after India announced that it would consider an emission cut of 20 to 25 percent by 2020, but would not be coerced into accepting unilateral cuts decided by developed countries.

Intense negotiations in commitments on emission cuts will be discussed in the two-week long summit that begins today. It will be a strong test for India to balance the economic growth with climate change concerns.

Earlier last week, Jairam Ramesh had said that India would never accept a legally binding emission reduction agreement. India would not change its stand on International pressure, he had added.

The United Nations is aiming for a comprehensive political agreement at climate talks in the Danish capital.

The troubled talks have run out of time to settle a legally binding deal after rancorous arguments between rich and poor nations about who should cut emissions, by how much and who should pay.

New Delhi has so far refused to accept international legally binding emission reduction targets, though it is prepared to discuss and make public periodically the status of its domestic climate action.

Rahul Gandhi to kick off 'Mission UP 2012' today

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi will kick off his "Mission UP 2012" in Bahraich today.

Youth Congress president Ashok Tanwar has said Gandhi would address 600 youth who have been shortlisted in the district.

During his two-day visit, he will visit to the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and meet potential candidates for organisational elections of the Youth Congress in the state.

According to a Youth Congress press release, Rahul will visit six districts, including Aligarh, Etah, Lakhimpur, Bahraich, Sitapur and Hardoi.

He will attend a weavers' conference at Aliganj in Etah district besides a meeting with OBC delegates in Sitapur.

On Tuesday, he will participate in a convention of the Pradesh Congress Committee representatives before leaving for Ambedkar Nagar where he will attend a Scheduled Castes convention.

In Kanpur, Rahul will attend meetings of organised labourers and young industrialists besides reviewing the membership campaign of Youth Congress.

Besides attending other programmes, he will attend the young women's convention at Avadh School, Gomtinagar.

Telangana remains paralysed, TRS chief continues fast

Normal life remained paralysed Monday in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh for the second successive day as Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao's fast-unto-death entered the ninth day.

Barring use of force by police and paramilitary forces at Osmania University in which some students and journalists were injured and protesters pelting stones on a train, injuring ten security personnel were injured, the second day of the 48-hour shutdown called by TRS demanding a separate state of Telangana passed off peacefully.

Life came to a standstill in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana as buses of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) remained off the roads while road and rail blockades by the protesters affected vehicular and train traffic.

All educational institutions, shops, business establishments, cinema theatres and petrol pumps remained closed in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana.

Widespread protests, rallies, and sit-ins by the protesters marked the shutdown. Students, lawyers, government employees and workers of Singareni Collieries joined the protest.

The movement of trains was hit as hundreds of protesters squatted on the tracks in Karimnagar and Warangal districts. The New Delhi-bound AP Express and Rajdhani Express were among the dozen trains stopped by the protesters in the two districts.

Ten personnel of Railway Protection Force were injured when protesters pelted stone on the Kerala Express near Uppal railway station in Karimnagar.

Police and paramilitary forces used force to quell student protests at Osmania University. Some journalists were also injured.

Rapid Action Force (RAF) and police personnel baton-charged students on the campus to foil their plans to take out a rally to the state assembly.

Armed security personnel who entered the campus in the morning chased students to a neighbouring area and attacked them. A police officer said the students were pelting stones.

Student leaders who were on a hunger strike also received the blows, as did some journalists covering the protests.

About 15 students and five journalists were injured in the police action, triggering angry reaction from Telangana sympathisers.

Following a strong protest by journalists, the government ordered an inquiry and transferred Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Stephen Ravindra.

The State Human Right Commission has also initiated a probe.

TRS members tried to stall the proceedings of state assembly, which began its winter session Monday, demanding that it pass a resolution for carving out a separate Telangana. The house was adjourned after paying tributes to former chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who died in a helicopter crash Sep 2.

The ruling Congress party agreed to discuss Telangana issue but rejected the TRS demand for passing a resolution.

In Delhi, Congress party spokesman Manish Tiwari said the party was not against a separate Telangana and it was trying to evolve a consensus on the issue. He advised TRS chief to adopt a reasonable approach and not to precipitate matters.

State Congress chief D. Srinivas left for New Delhi to apprise party president Sonia Gandhi of the situation arising out of the hunger strike by Chandrasekhara Rao.

Congress legislators from Telangana region also met here to discuss their strategy in view of the ongoing movement.

Meanwhile, KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, continued his fast unto death at the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) here.

Doctors at NIMS said KCR was stable but had become very weak as he has not been taking food for the past nine days.

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah personally went to NIMS Sunday night to persuade the TRS chief to end the fast but the latter made it clear that he would not call it off unless a decision was taken on carving out a separate Telangana.

Rosaiah, who was accompanied by Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) president Ajit Singh and state health minister D. Nagender, told KCR that the central government was seized of the Telangana issue but the TRS chief demanded that the state assembly pass a resolution.

KCR was arrested Nov 29 by the police near Karimnagar town when he was heading to Siddipet town in Medak district for launching a fast unto death. He was taken to Khammam town, where a court sent him to jail for 14 days.

Liberhan report used for character assassination: BJP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday slammed the Liberhan Commission report on the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya, saying the report is a 'political document for character assassination'.

Participating in the debate on the report in the Lok Sabha, BJP president Rajnath Singh alleged that the commission made political comments in the report by calling former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and party leaders L.K. Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi as 'pseudo moderates'.

'Atalji, Advaniji and Joshiji were called pseudo moderates. This (the report) is a political document for character assassination. Commissions can not make any political comments. It is deplorable,' said Rajnath Singh in his speech, which was disrupted occasionally by MPs from the treasury benches.

He said the demolition of the mosque on Dec 6, 1992, was 'public anger and it was not an event which could be controlled'.

'It was a spontaneous action committed by the people,' said the BJP president.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram had to intervene following disruption in the house when Rajnath referred to historic documents, written by 17th and 18th century Muslim clerics, and books written by Western historians to establish that Babri Masjid was built in 1528 by demolishing Ram temple in Ayodhya.

'We are not here to discuss the title suit. That is subjudice,' said Chidambaram.

Speaker Meira Kumar upheld the home minister's observation saying 'if the matter is subjudice, it could not be discussed'.

Justifying Kalyan Singh, who was then the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Rajnath Singh said: 'On Dec 1, 1992, Kalyan Singh had expressed his inability to take action against the 'karsevaks' (volunteers) to the then central government headed by Narasimha Rao.'

'There are factual errors in Liberhan Commission report,' the BJP president said referring to various chapters in the report, adding: 'It is a bundle of factual errors.'

Initiating the discussion, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Gurudas Dasgupta said both the central and state governments did not do their constitutional job in Ayodhya.

'The report appears to be not comprehensible and in a way partial,' he said.

He said the demolition of the mosque was meticulously organised.

'The political leadership of the movement -- Vajpayee, Advani and Joshi -- were all aware of the target,' he said.

Dasgupta's remark that those who were responsible for the killing of Mahatma Gandhi were behind the Babri Masjid's demolition and Gujarat riots created an uproar in the house.

Congress MP Jagadambika Pal said the people of the country have rejected the BJP.

'Let the (CBI) Central Bureau of Investigation take action against those guilty,' he said.

Rahul Gandhi to kick off 'Mission UP 2012' today

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi will kick off his "Mission UP 2012" in Bahraich today.

Youth Congress president Ashok Tanwar has said Gandhi would address 600 youth who have been shortlisted in the district.

During his two-day visit, he will visit to the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and meet potential candidates for organisational elections of the Youth Congress in the state.

According to a Youth Congress press release, Rahul will visit six districts, including Aligarh, Etah, Lakhimpur, Bahraich, Sitapur and Hardoi.

He will attend a weavers' conference at Aliganj in Etah district besides a meeting with OBC delegates in Sitapur.

On Tuesday, he will participate in a convention of the Pradesh Congress Committee representatives before leaving for Ambedkar Nagar where he will attend a Scheduled Castes convention.

In Kanpur, Rahul will attend meetings of organised labourers and young industrialists besides reviewing the membership campaign of Youth Congress.

Besides attending other programmes, he will attend the young women's convention at Avadh School, Gomtinagar

Mamata endorses Pranab''s statement on Cong-TC alliance

 Unfazed by the accusations by a section of the Congress leadership in Bengal of dictating terms in the alliance, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today endorsed Pranab Mukherjee''s statement that the tie-up was a political necessity. Baneerjee said there was no alternative to the alliance between her party and the Congress for unseating the Left Front from power and they would jointly fight the 2011 Assembly election.

Welcoming Bengal Congress president Pranab Mukherjee''s statement at the end of a two-day conclave of the state unit yesterday at Krishnanagar, she told reporters before leaving for Bangalore, "Our primary objective is to free Bengal of Left Front misrule." "We will drive the CPI-M out from power by forging the alliance for the Assembly polls," she said.

At yesterday''s conclave, prominet Congress leaders like Adhir Chowdhury and Deepa Dasmunshi had drawn Pranab Mukherjee''s attention to the ''highhanded attitude'' of the Trinamool Congress. Chowdhury, an MP, had demanded early ''area demarcation'' for share of seats in the 2011 Assembly election which Mukherjee had rejected, saying it was too early and tactical hard bargaining would serve the purpose.

Dikshit wants more powers to be alloted to Delhi govt

 Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today renewed her demand for transferring control of the MCD, DDA and some aspects of policing to the city government to ensure better governance. Dikshit said although the Centre had given certain powers to the city Government over the MCD it still was "not enough" to overcome the problem of multiplicity of authorities.

The Chief Minister said some aspects of policing including traffic management should be handed over to the city government to bring in "efficiency" in managing the ever increasing traffic problem. Dikshit was reacting to comments by former Lt Governor Vijay Kapoor that the city Government should demand full statehood for Delhi.

Earlier, addressing the concluding session of a three-day orientation programme for Delhi MLAs, Kapoor said the city deserved to get full statehood which will help the government in providing better facilities to the people. Asked about Kapoor''s comment, Dikshit said she always felt Delhi should get the status of a special state.

Babri demolition meticulously planned: Left
The demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque in December 1992 was "meticulous planned" and it could have been prevented, CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta said in the Parliament on Monday.

Initiating a debate in the Lok Sabha on the M S Liberhan commission's report on the incident, he said that he is 'ashamed' to say that the demolition was a result of a meticulous planning Why the disaster could not be prevented? Why the criminals could not be held in jail? Why did the political system fail, he said.

BJP corners Govt in Parliament over Telangana issue

With passions flying high over Telangana, BJP today sought to corner Government in Parliament over the issue of the separate state, demanding a bill in the current session itself for carving it out of Andhra Pradesh. Deputy leader of BJP in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu in the Rajya Sabha raised the issue in Zero Hour saying the Government should bring a bill in right earnest.

"Andhra Pradesh is on a boil. You don't want a solution. What is the stand of Congress and UPA on Telangana? You said you wanted a consensus. I don''t think anybody is opposing now," Naidu said accusing the ruling party of acting in a manner which is giving rise to tensions.

BJP members Prakash Javadekar, Rudra Narayan Pany and others also stormed into the well of the Upper House over the issue. Swaraj told Speaker Meira Kumar that one of the members K Chandrasekhar Rao is on a fast-unto-death to press the issue, the agitation over which is intensifying each passing day.

The refrain of Naidu and Swaraj was that since their party is favouring formation of separate Telangana and Congress too has been speaking in support of it for some time, the Constitution Amendment bill could be passed easily. In the Rajya Sabha, S S Ahluwalia (BJP) demanded a statement from the Home Minister on Telangana issue.

Minister Ambika Soni assured the House that she would apprise the Home Minister and the Prime Minister about the matter.

ABB bags Rs.506-cr order from Bangalore Metro

 Leading power and automation technology group ABB Monday said it has won an order worth Rs.506 crore from Bangalore Metro Rail Corp to provide power solutions for the city's proposed metro network.

"ABB will design, supply, install and commission four substations that receive and distribute electricity," said the company in a statement.

Bangalore's population has grown at a rapid pace in the last decade owing to a flourishing IT industry resulting in the city's infrastructure coming under tremendous pressure.

The urban population is expected to rise to more than 8.5 million by 2011 from the current 7 million or so.

The games companies play to 'console' consumers

Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo slash console prices, bundle free games too.

Circa November 2007: An elated 21-year-old Arun Kanekar became a hero to his friends after he brought home the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) for a whopping Rs 39,990. He had waited for long to graduate from his PS2 and had finally landed himself an 80GB PS3.

Cut to the present. Kanekar cannot conceal his disappointment after Sony announced that the new PS3 Slim will be available for a mere Rs 19,990 and that, too, with 120GB space. He laments: "It is so well-designed and has much more space than mine."

Mind you, Kanekar is not the only one to be dismayed. He is just one of the millions who failed to anticipate the giant strides companies have made in the Indian gaming console market. Of course, if you take into account the changes this segment has seen in recent times, you will realise that the big boys -- Sony and Microsoft, along with Nintendo -- have not had their way entirely. True, they have managed to catch the fancy of the Indian gamer, but not on their own terms. Read on to understand what cards Indian gamers were dealt with in 2009.

Down it goes

When it comes to pricing of consoles, Indian gamers have never had it so good. Be it Sony's Playstation, Microsoft's Xbox or Nintendo's Wii, prices have steadily declined in the last 12 months. Arun S Ravi, an avid gamer who has represented India at the World Cyber Games, says: "There are many options available for Indian consumers who always seek value-for-money in every purchase."

Value-for-money is a term that has never been associated with the gaming industry. But gamers' preferences have changed along with the growth in the Indian market. Even the Microsoft Xbox, which used to have a couple of variants, is now focusing on building volumes with its entry-level Xbox Arcade.

The Arcade is priced at Rs 16,990 and is a slim version of the good old Xbox 360 that was launched at Rs 19,990.

Older generation consoles have shed prices too. The price of PS3's predecessor, the Sony Playstation 2, has declined to Rs 5,990.

"At this price, the Sony PS2 is still one of the best consoles to get started with," feels Farhan Azam, a game tester with a leading game developer.

In the last couple of months, even Nintendo has entered the price war, slashing its Wii console's price to Rs 9,600.

As far as options and pricing go, gamers have never had it so good.

"Gone are the days when you had to fork out Rs 20,000 to upgrade from a PS2," says Ravi. Predictably, handheld gaming devices have seen a steady deterioration in their retail prices. Sony reduced the price of its Playstation Portable by Rs 1,000 to about Rs 9,000 and others, like Nintendo's Game Boy, are priced from Rs 6,000 onwards.

"I wasn't expecting a price cut, but it is a welcome surprise," says 19-year-old Kyle Crasto, who is all set to bring home a gaming console this Christmas.

Bundles of joy

In addition to slashing prices, gaming companies have decided to throw in a few freebies too. The objective may be to tackle piracy, which is the biggest obstacle in the gaming industry's growth path. But bundling free games with consoles has gone down extremely well with gamers.

For example, if you purchase a PS3 Slim, you get to walk away with two free game titles -- GranTurismo5 Prologue and Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. The Xbox Arcade has five free games, including the likes of Uno and Pac-man (championship edition).

On every Nintendo Wii's purchase, you get a nunchuk-controller (for action games) and the Wii sports software. Nintendo hopes the change will entice more consumers to try the Wii gaming experience, along with the release of new titles like the much-anticipated "Wii Fit Plus".

Normally, these game titles are priced between Rs 999-Rs 1,299. So, the user ends up saving about Rs 3,000 with every console. "It's a nice incentive for users. We have seen sales go up," says a Sony dealer in Gurgaon.

Titles galore

If you are one of those who believe that kids will be better off if they had something more than just war and action games on their consoles, then Sony has a solution for you. It offers Hanuman, as well as Desi Adda, where gamers can play games in Hindi, Tamil and Punjabi. These games have been developed by Indian game developers and, priced at just Rs 499, are being targeted at first-time and casual gamers.

In addition to this, Sony has entered the infotainment genre with two titles focusing on quizzes based on subjects like History, Mathematics, Arts and Entertainment, among others. These are targeted at students from standards V to X. Students from medical and engineering backgrounds can pick up Sony's latest Medical & Engineering Joint Entrance Quiz title for Rs 499 and get an interactive quiz-based game to help them crack their examinations.

As far as other titles are concerned, there has been no significant change in pricing. All new titles are available from Rs 1,299 onwards, even Rs 2,999. Gamers like Kanekar believe this is one area where gaming companies could work on to make gaming more accessible.

"Let's face it -- not many people would be willing to pay upwards of Rs 1,000 for all games," he concludes. The way things are going, price cuts in gaming titles might just be the next thing to accelerate growth in 2010. At least that will be some solace for Kanekar.

Business Standard

Windfall for Mittal; tycoon to make 1 bn pound on carbon credits

London/ Delhi: Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi N Mittal will get a 1 billion pound windfall from a European scheme to curb global warming under the "carbon credits" given to it.

His company ArcelorMittal, the world's leading steel empire, where he is the chairman and chief executive, will make the gain on "carbon credits" given to it under the European emissions trading scheme (ETS).

The scheme grants companies permits to emit CO2 up to a specified "cap". Beyond that they must buy extra permits.

An investigation has revealed that ArcelorMittal has been given far more carbon permits than it needs. It has the largest allocation of any organisation in Europe.

The company will have gained assets worth around 1 billion pounds by 2012, The Sunday Times reported.

The disclosure comes on the eve of the Copenhagen climate conference, whose main aim is to extend schemes such as the ETS into a global system for trading carbon.

Anna Pearson, an expert on the ETS who carried out the analysis said: "Between 2008 and 2012 ArcelorMittal stands to gain assets worth 1 billion pounds at today's prices for scant effort.

Corus may get the Tata tag next year

New Delhi: The Tatas are planning a new-look for their first prestigious acquisition Corus Steel next year, a move that coincides with the company emerging from the financial burdens and the global downturn.

The rebranding exercise for the Anglo-Dutch steel maker is underway and the process will start by the middle of 2010.

"I can confirm that it has always been Corus' intention to adopt the Tata Steel brand as its visual identity," a Corus spokesperson said.

"In fact, the transition began more than a year ago when Tata Steel Europe became the legal name for Corus, and our international operations already bear the Tata Steel brand. A gradual transition for the rest of Corus could start by the middle of 2010...," the spokesperson said, adding however, a final decision is awaited.

Tata Steel had acquired Corus in 2007 for over $12 billion and rechristened it as Tata Steel Europe last year.

Queries regarding the likely cost on this major exercise evinced no response from the company but the move, sources say, is likely to entail huge expenditure as the European arm is still widely known as Corus and therefore would require a massive exercise to change the names of offices, stationary, vehicles and locations.

However, the Tata Group, sources added, sees no financial constraints for the exercise.

Corus, which was formed following merger of British Steel and the Netherlands' Koninklijke Hoogovens in 1999, is now the second largest steel producer in Europe with an annual revenue of around 12 billion pound.

Corus contributes to a hefty 70 per cent of the 28 million tonne crude steel production of the Tata Steel Group. The company has 40,000 employees.

Business Standard




  • A protester is detained by policemen during clashes in central Athens December 6, 2009. Greek police fired teargas at hundreds of stone-throwing youths on Monday, in the second day of violent protests to mark the one-year anniversary of the police killing of a teenager. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis
    Greek police clash with youths for second dayReuters - 07:21 PM

    Greek police fired teargas at hundreds of stone-throwing youths on Monday, in the second day of violent protests to mark the one-year anniversary of the police killing of a teenager.

  • People walk on the street with a huge globe in the background in Copenhagen December 6, 2009. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski
    Ethiopian athletes fear climate change threatReuters - 07:10 PM

    A full moon dimly lights an Ethiopian hillside as almost 300 teenage athletes shiver in the 6 a.m. chill, some springing into the air to keep warm while others show off elastic stretching positions.

  • Organisers struggle as world gathers for climate summitIANS - 06:21 PM

    Copenhagen, Dec 7 (IANS) The sheer weight of numbers -- 15,000 delegates from 192 governments, NGOs and media -- threatened to overwhelm the organisers as the UN climate summit opened here Monday.

  • Climate conference opens in CopenhagenIE - 06:14 PM

    The largest and most important UN climate change conference in history opened Monday, with diplomats from 192 nations warned that this could be the best, last chance for a deal to protect the world from calamitous global warming.

  • Pachauri takes on climate change scepticsIANS - 06:12 PM

    Copenhagen, Dec 7 (IANS) The recent leak by climate sceptics of a partial exchange of e-mails between scientists in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has become serious enough for IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri to take on the issue at the inauguration of the UN summit here Monday.




National News

Maharashtra assembly session starts Tuesday

IANS - 08:35 PM

Nagpur, Dec 7 (IANS) The Maharashtra assembly's winter session starts here Tuesday.
However, there is uncertainty over the duration of the session - normally a fortnight long - in view of the Dec 18 elections to the state Legislative Council from 12 local self-government constituencies.


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  • 198 test positive for swine flu in DelhiPTI - 08:25 PM

    New Delhi, Dec 7 (PTI) As many as 198 swine flu cases were reported in the city today raising the number of patients infected by the disease so far to 6,171.

  • Political parties should embrace democracy, says RahulIANS - 08:25 PM

    Aligarh, Dec 7 (IANS) Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Monday lamented the lack of internal democracy in political parties, saying party organisations needed to be democratised.

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    Guwahati, Dec 7 (PTI) An abandoned suitcase found near Indian Oil Corporation's (IOC) Guwahati Refinery here led to tension today with people fearing there was a bomb inside, police said.

  • Maoists kill CPI-M activist, torch another's houseIANS - 08:24 PM

    Kolkata, Dec 7 (IANS) Suspected Maoists shot dead a Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activist in West Bengal's troubled West Midnapore district Monday, police said.


  • BJP urges TRS chief to end fastIANS - 08:24 PM

    New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday appealed to Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrashekhar Rao to end his indefinite fast for a separate Telangana state and accused the Congress of dealing the situation in an 'immature and irresponsible manner'.

  • Telangana remains paralysed, TRS chief continues fastIANS - 07:56 PM

    Hyderabad, Dec 7 (IANS) Normal life remained paralysed Monday in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh for the second successive day as Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao's fast-unto-death entered the ninth day.

  • Parliament approves creation of 15 more central universitiesIANS - 07:42 PM

    New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) Parliament Monday approved the creation of 15 more central universities with the Rajya Sabha unanimously approving the measure and the government saying the new institutions would set 'benchmarks of excellence'.

  • Liberhan report used for character assassination: BJPIANS - 06:59 PM

    New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday slammed the Liberhan Commission report on the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya, saying the report is a 'political document for character assassination'.

  • Babri demolition meticulously planned: LeftHT - 06:55 PM

    The demolition of the Babri Masjid mosque in December 1992 was ?meticulous planned? and it could have been prevented, CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta said in the Parliament on Monday.


  • Feeding a needHT - 12:05 PM

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  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth arrives for the opening ceremony at Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at Port of Spain in Trinidad November 27, 2009. Queen Elizabeth has written to newspaper and magazine editors over the issue of paparazzi photographers intruding on the royal family's privacy, Buckingham Palace said. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Files
    Britain's queen writes to editors over paparazziReuters - Sun, Dec 6

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth has written to newspaper and magazine editors over the issue of paparazzi photographers intruding on the royal family's privacy, Buckingham Palace said on Sunday.

  • Festive bazaarHT - Sat, Dec 5

    It?s that time of year already. A steaming cup of mulled wine, a generous slice of apple strudel and a whole lot of Christmas goodies await visitors to the German Christmas Market at German House on Nyaya Marg this weekend (December 5 and 6).

  • Tiger Woods of the U.S. pauses on the practice green during a practice day for the 2009 PGA Championship golf tournament at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, August 12, 2009. REUTERS/Andy King/Files
    Tiger Woods admits 'transgressions,' apologizesReuters - Thu, Dec 3

    Golfer Tiger Woods, engulfed in speculation over his private life after a car accident in the middle of the night, apologized on Wednesday for "transgressions" in a statement that apparently addressed allegations he had extra-marital relationships.

  • Tiger Woods of the U.S. listens to a question at a news conference ahead of this weeks' Australian Masters golf tournament in Melbourne November 10, 2009. REUTERS/Mick Tsikas/Files
    I've let my family down, says Tiger WoodsReuters - Wed, Dec 2

    Tiger Woods admitted he had let his family down on Wednesday when he spoke candidly for the first time about last week's car crash and the subsequent speculation about his private life.


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Foreign relations of India

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The Republic of India is the world's most-populous electoral democracy and has one of the fastest economic growth rates in the world (8.9 percent GDP increase in 2007, the second-fastest major economy in the world after China).[1] With the world's third largest armed forces,[2] and fourth largest economy by purchasing power parity, it is considered to be a global power,[3][4] a regional power[5][6] and a middle power.[7][8][9][10] It is India's growing international influence that increasingly gives it a more prominent voice in global affairs.[11][12][13][14]

India has a long history of collaboration with several countries and is considered a leader of the developing world.[15][16] India was one of the founding members of several international organizations, most notably the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Asian Development Bank and the G20 industrial nations. India has also played an important and influential role in other international organizations like East Asia Summit,[17] World Trade Organization,[18] IMF,[19] G8+5[20] and IBSA Dialogue Forum.[21] Regional organizations India is a part of include SAARC and BIMSTEC. India has taken part in several UN peacekeeping missions and in 2007, it was the second-largest troop contributor to the United Nations.[22] India is currently seeking a permanent seat in the UNSC, along with the G4 nations.[23]



[edit] History

Even before independence, the Government of British India maintained semi-autonomous diplomatic relations. It had colonies (such as the Aden Settlement), sent and received full diplomatic missions [24], and was a founder member of both the League of Nations[25] and the United Nations[26]. After India gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, it soon joined the Commonwealth of Nations and strongly supported independence movements in other colonies, like the Indonesian National Revolution.[27] The partition and various territorial disputes, particularly that over Kashmir, would strain its relations with Pakistan for years to come. During the Cold War, India adopted a foreign policy of not aligning itself with any major power bloc. However, India developed close ties with the Soviet Union and received extensive military support from it.

The end of the Cold War significantly affected India's foreign policy, as it did for much of the world. The country now seeks to strengthen its diplomatic and economic ties with the United States,[28] the People's Republic of China,[29] the European Union,[30] Japan,[31] Israel,[32] Mexico,[33] and Brazil.[34] India has also forged close ties with the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations,[35] the African Union,[36] the Arab League[37] and Iran.[38]

Though India continues to have a military relationship with Russia,[39] Israel has emerged as India's second largest military partner[36] while India has built a strong strategic partnership with the United States.[28][40] The Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement, signed and implemented in 2008, highlighted the growing sophistication of the Indo-American relations.[41]

[edit] Policy

Countries which have formal diplomatic relations with India.

India's foreign policy has always regarded the concept of neighborhood as one of widening concentric circles, around a central axis of historical and cultural commonalties.[42]

The guiding principles of India's Foreign Policy have been founded on Panchsheel, pragmatism and pursuit of national interest. In a period of rapid and continuing change, foreign policy must be capable of responding optimally to new challenges and opportunities. It has to be an integral part of the larger effort of building the nation's capabilities through economic development, strengthening social fabric and well-being of the people and protecting India's sovereignty and territorial integrity. India's foreign policy is a forward-looking engagement with the rest of the world, based on a rigorous, realistic and contemporary assessment of the bilateral, regional and global geo-political and economic milieu.

As many as 20 million people of Indian origin live and work abroad and constitute an important link with the mother country. An important role of India's foreign policy has been to ensure their welfare and well being within the framework of the laws of the country where they live.[43]

[edit] Role of the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister of India, in collaboration with External Affairs Ministry, handles key foreign policy decisions. Shown here is the current Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh with the Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru set the pattern for the formation of Indian foreign policy: a strong personal role for the prime minister but a weak institutional structure. Nehru served concurrently as prime minister and minister of external affairs; he made all major foreign policy decisions himself after consulting with his advisers and then entrusted the conduct of international affairs to senior members of the Indian Foreign Service. His successors continued to exercise considerable control over India's international dealings, although they generally appointed separate ministers of external affairs.[44][45][46]

India's second prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri (1964-66), expanded the Office of Prime Minister (sometimes called the Prime Minister's Secretariat) and enlarged its powers. By the 1970s, the Office of the Prime Minister had become the de facto coordinator and supraministry of the Indian government. The enhanced role of the office strengthened the prime minister's control over foreign policy making at the expense of the Ministry of External Affairs. Advisers in the office provided channels of information and policy recommendations in addition to those offered by the Ministry of External Affairs. A subordinate part of the office—the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW)--functioned in ways that significantly expanded the information available to the prime minister and his advisers. The RAW gathered intelligence, provided intelligence analysis to the Office of the Prime Minister, and conducted covert operations abroad.

The prime minister's control and reliance on personal advisers in the Office of the Prime Minister was particularly strong under the tenures of Indira Gandhi (1966-77 and 1980-84) and her son, Rajiv (1984-89), who succeeded her, and weaker during the periods of coalition governments. Observers find it difficult to determine whether the locus of decision-making authority on any particular issue lies with the Ministry of External Affairs, the Council of Ministers, the Office of the Prime Minister, or the prime minister himself.[47]

The Prime Minister is however free to appoint advisers and special committees to examine various foreign policy options and areas of interest.[48] In a recent instance, Manmohan Singh appointed K. Subrahmanyam in 2005 to head a special government task force to study 'Global Strategic Developments' over the next decade.[49] The Task Force submitted its conclusions to the Prime Minister in 2006.[50][51] The report has not yet been released in the public domain.

The South Block

[edit] Ministry of External Affairs

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is the foreign ministry of India. It is the Indian government agency responsible for the foreign relations of India. The Minister of External Affairs holds cabinet rank as a member of the Council of Ministers.

The current minister is S M Krishna. The Ministry has two Ministers of State, author and former UN Under-Secretary General Shashi Tharoor and Praneet Kaur. Indian Foreign Secretary is the head of Indian Foreign Service (IFS) [52]

[edit] Overview

India has often represented the interests of developing countries at various international platforms. Shown here are BRIC leaders in 2008: Manmohan Singh, Dmitry Medvedev, Hu Jintao and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

India's relations with the world have evolved since the British Raj (1757–1947), when the British Empire monopolized external and defense relations. When India gained independence in 1947, few Indians had experience in making or conducting foreign policy. However, the country's oldest political party, the Indian National Congress, had established a small foreign department in 1925 to make overseas contacts and to publicize its freedom struggle. From the late 1920s on, Jawaharlal Nehru, who had a long-standing interest in world affairs among independence leaders, formulated the Congress stance on international issues. As a member of the interim government in 1946, Nehru articulated India's approach to the world.[53]

During Nehru's tenure as the first Prime Minister of India (1947-64), he achieved a domestic consensus on the definition of Indian national interests and foreign policy goals — building a unified and integrated nation-state based on secular, democratic principles; defending Indian territory and protecting its security interests; guaranteeing India's independence internationally through nonalignment; and promoting national economic development unencumbered by over-reliance on any country or group of countries. These objectives were closely related to the determinants of India's foreign relations: the historical legacy of South Asia; India's geopolitical position and security requirements; and India's economic needs as a large developing nation. From 1947 until the late 1980s, India's foreign policy goals enabled it to achieve some successes in carving out an independent international role. Regionally, India was the predominant power because of its size, its population (the world's second-largest after China), and its growing military strength. However, relations with its neighbors, Pakistan in particular, were often tense and fraught with conflict. In addition, globally India's nonaligned stance was not a viable substitute for the political and economic role it wished to play.[54]

India's international influence varied over the years after independence. Indian prestige and moral authority were high in the 1950s and facilitated the acquisition of developmental assistance from both East and West. Although the prestige stemmed from India's nonaligned stance, the nation was unable to prevent Cold War politics from becoming intertwined with interstate relations in South Asia. In the 1960s and 1970s, India's international position among developed and developing countries faded in the course of wars with China and Pakistan, disputes with other countries in South Asia, and India's attempt to balance Pakistan's support from the United States and China by signing the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in August 1971. Although India obtained substantial Soviet military and economic aid, which helped to strengthen the nation, India's influence was undercut regionally and internationally by the perception that its friendship with the Soviet Union prevented a more forthright condemnation of the Soviet presence in Afghanistan. In the late 1980s, India improved relations with the United States, other developed countries, and China while continuing close ties with the Soviet Union. Relations with its South Asian neighbors, especially Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, occupied much of the energies of the Ministry of External Affairs.[55]

In the 1990s, India's economic problems and the demise of the bipolar world political system forced India to reassess its foreign policy and adjust its foreign relations. Previous policies proved inadequate to cope with the serious domestic and international problems facing India. The end of the Cold War gutted the core meaning of nonalignment and left Indian foreign policy without significant direction. The hard, pragmatic considerations of the early 1990s were still viewed within the nonaligned framework of the past, but the disintegration of the Soviet Union removed much of India's international leverage, for which relations with Russia and the other post-Soviet states could not compensate. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, India improved its relations with the United States, Canada, France, Japan and Germany. In 1992, India established formal diplomatic relations with Israel and this relationship is growing in BJP government and progressive.[56]

Mexico's former President Vicente Fox with Indian PM Manmohan Singh. India has developed close ties with other developing countries in recent years.

In the mid-1990s, India attracted the world attention towards the alleged Pakistan-backed terrorism in Kashmir. The Kargil War resulted in a major diplomatic victory for India. The United States and European Union recognized the fact that Pakistani military had illegally infiltrated into Indian territory and pressurized Pakistan to withdraw from Kargil. Several anti-India militant groups based in Pakistan were labeled as terrorist groups by the United States and European Union.

In 1998, India tested nuclear weapons for the second time (see Pokhran-II) which resulted in several U.S., Japanese and European sanctions on India. India's then defense minister, George Fernandes, said that India's nuclear program was necessary as it provided a deterrence to potential Chinese nuclear threat. Most of the sanctions imposed on India were removed by 2001.[57]

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Indian intelligence agencies provided the U.S. with significant information on Al-Qaeda and related groups' activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan. India's extensive contribution to the War on Terrorism, coupled with a surge in its economy, has helped India's diplomatic relations with several countries. Over the past three years, India has held numerous joint military exercises with U.S. and European nations that have resulted in a strengthened U.S.-India and E.U.-India bilateral relationship. India's bilateral trade with Europe and U.S. has more than doubled in the last five years.[58]

India has been pushing for reforms in the UN and WTO with mixed results. India's candidature for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council is currently backed by several countries including France, Russia,[59] the United Kingdom,[60] Germany, Japan, Brazil[61] Australia,[62] African Union nations[63] and recently China.[64] In 2004, the United States signed a nuclear co-operation agreement with India even though the latter is not a part of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The US argued that India's strong nuclear non-proliferation record made it an exception, however this has not persuaded other Nuclear Suppliers Group members to sign similar deals with India.

[edit] Growing assertiveness

Indian Diplomatic Personnel

In the Summer of 2007, an article in Washington Quarterly, suggested the question of where or not China can be a responsible stakeholder could also be asked of India. It said that international stakeholders help to defend or create an international system. In this it said India is already setting norms as it breaks out of non alignment and steps up to the global stage. Prophetically, the article suggested that India's growing wealth would enable it to take up "additional burdens with capabilities it is already beginning to develop."[65]

Along these lines, in late 2008, the Indian navy sent two ships into the Gulf of Aden to protect international shipping, particularly Indian vessels, from increasing piracy off Somalia. On November 11, one of the vessels, the INS Tabar, was called into action to fight off a pirate attack on an Indian and a Saudi-registered vessel. In response to prompt action and successes there were calls in India to step up to the plate, much like the calls following the Indian embassy bombing in Kabul. All India Port and Dock Workers' Federation president, S R Kulkarni, suggested India take the lead ask the UN to deploy warships off the Somalia waters plagued by incessant cases of ship hijacks by pirates. He followed this call saying, "Indian warships, their officers and crew have demonstrated exemplary work by foiling hijack bid near Somalia."[66] This was said to mark a significant step for India, which was determined to translate the said growing economic strength into global military and political clout. Ashok Mehta, a retired Indian army general, said "India now has the demonstrable capacity to project force beyond its border." He added that this was the first time commandos had been used so far from Indian shores. This follows a programme to expand the navy from having traditional coast guard duties to one of the world's largest sea forces. Indian naval chief, Adm. Sureesh Mehta, vowed that the navy would ensure "a secure and peaceful environment in the Indian Ocean region and further India's political, economic, diplomatic and military objectives." To this end, India was seeking to acquire the biggest visible symbols of naval power—aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.[67] In a more high-profile follow-up that got global media attention.

In a more high-profile and controversial follow-up just over a week later, that had also got more global media attention, the INS Tabar, equipped with the guided missiles, attacked what it thought was a "mothership" of pirates, while also forcing the abandonment of another, after coming under fire.[68] The attack continued for three-four hours. Indian naval spokesman, Commander Nirad Sinha, said that the "INS Tabar encountered a pirate vessel south west of Oman with two speedboats in tow. This vessel was similar in description to the 'mother vessel' mentioned in various piracy bulletins. INS Tabar closed in on the vessel and asked her to stop for investigation. Pirates were seen roaming on the upper deck of the vessel with guns and rocket propelled grenade launchers. The vessel continued threatening calls and subsequently fired upon INS Tabar."[69][70][71] It later turned out the sunken ship was a Thai-owned fishing vessel with 16 sailors on board. One sailor was confirmed to have survived, while another died; fourteen of the sailors' fate was not known.[72][73][74] Since November 2 - 19, the Indian naval operations in the area had successfully escorted approximately 35 ships, including a number of non-Indian flagged vessels, safely during their transit through pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden. The spokesperson signalled the need for greater multilateral coordinations when he said that "the navies of several countries...have sent their ships to protect their own shipping...We try to coordinate patrols with the other countries but it is done at an informal level."[75]

In response to the attack it was reported that India was considering a further force augmentation to for anti-piracy operations. Even at the time of the incident the Navy was in the process of deploying a maritime reconnaissance aircraft in order to respond to merchant vessels under pirate attack more quickly. The matter was reported to be high on the agenda of defence dialogues between India and France that began just days later.[76] Following international praise and U.N. sanction authorising India to go in "hot pursuit" of pirates vessels, India decided to bring the INS Mysore as it was a larger ship and better able to deal with a "growing menace." An Indian naval source said that "The UN approval which allows Indian warships to enter Somali waters has been conveyed to us recently, [and] We can now enter the Somali territorial waters under certain circumstances. It would be only to check piracy." This in turn follows Indian calls for greater cooperation in this fight against piracy.[77]

India reached out to Pakistan as well when the country gave stern warning that it was ready to go by all means necessary to protect itself. The first step came in in an assessment that India may share the latest developments in its investigations into the February 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings as Pakistan was expected to reiterate that India share with them the progress in the investigation.[78] As Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari promised a "no first use" policy on its nuclear weapons India was set to review progress on the composite dialogue process during the Pakistani foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi visit on Wednesday.[79] At the same time, as legislative assembly election were running in Jammu and Kashmir. The elections has triggered a war of words between India and Pakistan. The Indian ministry of external affairs has strongly objected to comments made by the Pakistan foreign ministry, questioning the credibility of the ongoing democratic process in Jammu and Kashmir and Indian External Affairs spokesperson commented on Pakistan's reaction to the election that it was "most unfortunate that Pakistan has commented on an internal matter of India. We strongly object to these remarks." The Ministry added that Pakistan ought to behave in a responsible manner as "It is in Pakistan's own interest to play a responsible role in the region. Comments such as these hardly suggest that it is prepared to do so."[80] This came at the time when Pakistan's Indus Water Commissioner Jamaat Ali Shah said India could make Pakistan a barren land by 2014 by blocking water through construction of dams in violation of the Indus Water Treaty. He said that India had, and continued to, construct dams at various rivers in violation of the Treaty. He said that the Treaty allowed India to generate electricity on the flow of the river but it also said that water to Pakistan cannot be stopped. He commented in regards to India having already stopped water earlier in the year.[81]

[edit] Strategic Partners

     India      Key strategic, military & economic partners      Major economic partners with strategic cooperation      Other economic partners      Countries which have territorial disputes

India's growing economy, strategic location, friendly foreign policy and large and vibrant diaspora has won it more allies than enemies.[82] India has friendly relations with several countries in the developing world. Though India is not a part of any major military alliance, it has close strategic and military relationship with most of the major powers.

Countries considered India's closest partners include the Russian Federation,[83] Israel,[84] Afghanistan,[85] Nepal,[86] and Bhutan.[87] Russia is the largest supplier of military equipment to India, followed by Israel and France.[88] According to some analysts, Israel is set to overtake Russia as India's largest military and strategic partner.[89] The two countries also collaborate extensively in the sphere of counter-terrorism and space technology.[90] India enjoys strong military relations with several other countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States,[91] Japan,[92] and Italy.[93] In addition, India operates an airbase in Tajikistan[94] and signed a landmark defense accord with Qatar in 2008.[95]

India has also forged relationships with developing countries, especially South Africa, Brazil,[96] and Mexico.[97] These countries often represent the interests of the developing countries through economic forums such as the G8+5, IBSA and WTO. India was seen as one of the standard bearers of the developing world and claimed to speak for a collection of more than 30 other developing nations at the Doha Development Round.[98][99] India's "Look East" Policy has helped it develop greater economic and strategic partnership with Southeast Asian countries, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. India also enjoys friendly relations with the Persian Gulf countries and most members of the African Union.

[edit] Bilateral and regional relations

[edit] Neighbours

[edit] Afghanistan

Bilateral relations between India and Afghanistan have been traditionally strong and friendly. While India was the only South Asian country to recognize the Soviet-backed Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in the 1980s, its relations were diminished during the Afghan civil wars and the rule of the Islamist Taliban in the 1990s.[100] India aided the overthrow of the Taliban and became the largest regional provider of humanitarian and reconstruction aid.[85][101]

The new democratically-elected Afghan government strengthened its ties with India in wake of persisting tensions and problems with Pakistan, which was suspected of continuing to shelter and support the Taliban.[85][101] India pursues a policy of close cooperation in order to bolster its standing as a regional power and contain its rival Pakistan, which it maintains is supporting Islamic militants in Kashmir and other parts of India.[85] India is the largest regional investor in Afghanistan, having committed more than US$2.2 billion for reconstruction purposes.[102]

[edit] Bangladesh

Both states are part of the Indian subcontinent and have had a long common cultural, economic and political history. India played a crucial part in Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan. The people of the two countries are indistinguishable to most outsiders. The cultures of the two countries are similar; in particular India's West Bengal and Tripura states and Bangladesh are all Bengali speaking regions. India gave large amounts of aid to Bangladesh. In recent years India provides co-operation and assistance during annual natural calamities. India is a supplier of staple foods such as rice and live animals which helps keep their prices affordable for the masses of Bangladesh. Most of differences are of sharing water resources between the two countries. Also Bangladesh has been accused of providing shelter to militants.

[edit] Bhutan

Bhutan Temple in Buddha Gaya, Bihar

Historically, ties with India have been close. Both countries signed a Friendship treaty in 1949, where India would assist Bhutan in foreign relations. On February 8, 2007, the Indo-Bhutan Friendship Treaty was substantially revised under the Bhutanese King, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. Whereas in the Treaty of 1949 Article 2 read as "The Government of India undertakes to exercise no interference in the internal administration of Bhutan. On its part the Government of Bhutan agrees to be guided by the advice of the Government of India in regard to its external relations."

In the revised treaty it now reads as, "In keeping with the abiding ties of close friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and India, the Government of the Kingdom of Bhutan and the Government of the Republic of India shall cooperate closely with each other on issues relating to their national interests. Neither government shall allow the use of its territory for activities harmful to the national security and interest of the other." The revised treaty also includes in it the preamble "Reaffirming their respect for each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity", an element that was absent in the earlier version. The Indo-Bhutan Friendship Treaty of 2007 strengthens Bhutan's status as an independent and sovereign nation.

Tata Power, is building a hydro-electric dam. This dam, will greatly develop the Bhutanese economy, by providing employment, and by selling electricity, to India, to fulfill India's burgeoning energy needs. Due to this dam, Bhutan, grew at 20+%, the second highest growth rate in the world.

[edit] Burma

India was one of the leading supporters of Burmese independence and established diplomatic relations after Burma's independence from Great Britain in 1948. For many years, Indo-Burmese relations were strong due to cultural links, flourishing commerce, common interests in regional affairs and the presence of a significant Indian community in Burma.[103] India provided considerable support when Burma struggled with regional insurgencies. However, the overthrow of the democratic government by the Military of Burma led to strains in ties. Along with much of the world, India condemned the suppression of democracy and Burma ordered the expulsion of the Burmese Indian community, increasing its own isolation from the world.[103][104] Only China maintained close links with Burma while India supported the pro-democracy movement.[103][105][106]

However, due to geo-political concerns, India revived its relations and recognised the new name of Myanmar in 1993 overcoming strains over drug trafficking, the suppression of democracy and the rule of the military junta in Burma. Burma is situated to the south of the states of Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh in Northeast India. and the proximity of the People's Republic of China gives strategic importance to Indo-Burmese relations. The Indo-Burmese border stretches over 1,600 miles and some insurgents in North-east India seek refuge in Myanmar. Consequently, India has been keen on increasing military cooperation with Myanmar in its counter-insurgency activities. In 2001, the Indian Army completed the construction of a major road along its border with Myanmar. India has also been building major roads, highways, ports and pipelines within Myanmar in an attempt to increase its strategic influence in the region and also to counter China's growing strides in the Indochina peninsula. Indian companies have also sought active participation in oil and natural gas exploration in Myanmar.In February 2007, India announced a plan to develop the Sittwe port, which would enable ocean access from Indian Northeastern states like Mizoram, via the Kaladan River.

India is a major customer of Myanmarese oil and gas. In 2007, Indian exports to Myanmar totaled US$185 million, while its imports from Myanmar were valued at around US$810 million, comprising mostly of oil and gas.[107] India has granted US$100 million credit to fund highway infrastructure projects in Myanmar, while US$ 57 million has been offered to upgrade Myanmarese railways. A further US$27 million in grants has been pledged for road and rail projects.[108] India is one of the few countries that has provided military assistance to the Myanmarese junta.[109] However, there has been increasing pressure on India to cut some of its military supplies to Myanmar.[110] Relations between the two remain close which was evident in the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis, when India was one of the few countries whose relief and rescue aid proposals were accepted by Myanmar's ruling junta.[111]

[edit] Maldives

India enjoys a considerable influence over Maldives' foreign policy and provides extensive security co-operation especially after Operation Cactus in 1988 during which India repelled Tamil mercenaries who invaded the country. As founder member in 1985 of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SAARC, which brings together Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the country plays a very active role in SAARC. The Maldives has taken the lead in calling for a South Asian Free Trade Agreement, the formulation of a Social Charter, the initiation of informal political consultations in SAARC forums, the lobbying for greater action on environmental issues, the proposal of numerous human rights measures such as the regional convention on child rights and for setting up a SAARC Human Rights Resource Centre. The Maldives is also an advocate of greater international profile for SAARC such as through formulating common positions at the UN. But the Maldives claims the Indian-administered territory of Minicoy as part of its country, that is inhabited by Muslims.

India is starting the process to bring the island country into India's security grid. The move comes after the moderate Islamic nation approached New Delhi earlier this year over fears that one of its island resorts could be taken over by terrorists given its lack of military assets and surveillance capabilities.[112] India is also signing an agreement later this year which includes following things.

• India will permanently base two helicopters in the country to enhance its surveillance capabilities and ability to respond swiftly to threats. One helicopter from the Coast Guard is likely to be handed over during Antony's visit while another from the Navy will be cleared for transfer shortly.

• Maldives has coastal radars on only two of its 26 atolls. India will help set up radars on all 26 for seamless coverage of approaching vessels and aircraft.

• The coastal radar chain in Maldives will be networked with the Indian coastal radar system. India has already undertaken a project to install radars along its entire coastline. The radar chains of the two countries will be interlinked and a central control room in India's Coastal Command will get a seamless radar picture.

• The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will carry out regular Dornier sorties over the island nation to look out for suspicious movements or vessels. The Southern Naval Command will overlook the inclusion of Maldives into the Indian security grid.

• Military teams from Maldives will visit the tri-services Andaman Nicobar Command (ANC) to observe how India manages security and surveillance of the critical island chain.

[edit] Nepal

Relations between India and Nepal are close yet fraught with difficulties stemming from geography, economics, the problems inherent in big power-small power relations, and common ethnic and linguistic identities that overlap the two countries' borders. In 1950 New Delhi and Kathmandu initiated their intertwined relationship with the Treaty of Peace and Friendship and accompanying letters that defined security relations between the two countries, and an agreement governing both bilateral trade and trade transiting Indian soil. The 1950 treaty and letters stated that "neither government shall tolerate any threat to the security of the other by a foreign aggressor" and obligated both sides "to inform each other of any serious friction or misunderstanding with any neighboring state likely to cause any breach in the friendly relations subsisting between the two governments." These accords cemented a "special relationship" between India and Nepal that granted Nepal preferential economic treatment and provided Nepalese in India the same economic and educational opportunities as Indian citizens.

[edit] Pakistan

Despite historical and cultural links, relations between India and Pakistan have been plagued by years of mistrust and suspicion ever since the partition of India in 1947. The principal source of contention between India and its western neighbour has been the Kashmir conflict. After an invasion by Pashtun tribesmen and Pakistani paramilitary forces, the Hindu Maharaja of the Dogra Kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, and its Muslim Prime Minister, Sheikh Abdullah, signed an Instrument of Accession with New Delhi making the state an integral part of the Union of India. The First Kashmir War started after the Indian Army entered Srinagar, the capital of the state, to secure the area from the invading forces. The war ended in December 1948 with the Line of Control dividing the erstwhile princely state into territories administered by Pakistan (northern and western areas) and India (southern, central and northeastern areas). Pakistan contested the legality of the Instrument of Accession since the Dogra Kingdom has signed a standstill agreement with it. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 started following the failure of Pakistan's Operation Gibraltar, which was designed to infiltrate forces into Jammu and Kashmir to precipitate an insurgency against rule by India. The five-week war caused thousands of casualties on both sides. It ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated ceasefire and the subsequent issuance of the Tashkent Declaration.

Lt. Gen A. A. K. Niazi of Pakistan signs the instrument of surrender on December 16, surrendering his forces to Lt. Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora of Indian army.

India and Pakistan went to war again in 1971, however this time the conflict was over East Pakistan rather than Kashmir. Due to the large-scale atrocities committed by the Pakistan army, millions of Bengali refugees poured over into India. India, along with Mukti Bahini, defeated Pakistan and the Pakistani forces surrendered on the eastern front. The war resulted in the creation of Bangladesh.

In 1998, India carried out the Pokhran-II nuclear tests which was followed by Pakistan's Chagai-I tests. Following the Lahore Declaration in February 1999, relations briefly improved. However, few months later, Kashmiri insurgents and Pakistani paramilitary forces, backed by Pakistani Army, infiltrated in large numbers into the Kargil district of Indian Kashmir. This initiated the Kargil conflict after India moved in thousands of troops to successfully flush out the infiltrators. Though the conflict did not result in a full-scale war between India and Pakistan, relations between the two reached all-time low which worsened even further following Pakistan's alleged involvement in the hijacking of the Indian Airlines IC814 plane in December 1999. Attempts to normalize relations, such as the Agra summit held in July 2001, failed. Following the attack on the Indian Parliament in December 2001, which was blamed on Pakistan, a country which had condemned the attack.[113] There was a military standoff between the two countries which lasted for nearly a year raising fears of a nuclear conflict. However, a peace process, initiated in 2003, led to improved relations in the following years.

Since the initiation of peace process, several confidence-building-measures (CBMs) between India and Pakistan have taken shape. The Samjhauta Express and Delhi–Lahore Bus service are one of these successful measures which have played a crucial role in expanding people to people contact between the two countries.[114] The initiation of Srinagar–Muzaffarabad Bus service in 2005 and opening of a historic trade route across the Line of Control in 2008 further reflects increasing eagerness among the two sides to improve relations. Though bilateral trade between India and Pakistan was a modest US$1.7 billion in March 2007, it is expected to cross US$10 billion by 2010.[115]

The recent terror attacks in Mumbai, however, have seriously undermined the relations between the two countries. India is alleging Pakistan of harboring militants on their soil, while Pakistan vehemently denies such claims. The Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, President Asif Zardari, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and the Pakistani consulate in India have been at the fore-front of these denials. Relations are currently hampered since India has sent a list of 40 alleged fugitive in various terror strikes to Pakistan, expecting the handover of the said 40 people to the Indian Government. Pakistan, on the other hand, has openly declared to be having no intentions whatsoever of doing the above said extradition.

[edit] Sri Lanka

Bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and India have been generally friendly, but were controversially affected by the on-going Sri Lankan civil war and by the failure of Indian intervention during the Sri Lankan civil war. India is the only neighbor of Sri Lanka, separated by the Palk Strait; both nations occupy a strategic position in South Asia and have sought to build a common security umbrella in the Indian Ocean.[116]

India-Sri Lanka relations have undergone a qualitative and quantitative transformation in the recent past. Political relations are close, trade and investments have increased dramatically, infrastructural linkages are constantly being augmented, defence collaboration has increased and there is a general, broad-based improvement across all sectors of bilateral cooperation. India was the first country to respond to Sri Lanka's request for assistance after the tsunami in December 2004. In July 2006, India evacuated 430 Sri Lankan nationals from Lebanon, first to Cyprus by Indian Navy ships and then to Delhi & Colombo by special Air India flights.

There exists a broad consensus within the Sri Lankan polity on the primacy of India in Sri Lanka's external relations matrix. Both the major political parties in Sri Lanka, viz., the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the United Nationalist Party have contributed to the rapid development of bilateral relations in the last ten years. Sri Lanka has supported India's candidature to the permanent membership of the UN Security Council.[117]

[edit] Asia–Pacific

[edit] Australia

The strongest ties between these two states is the commonwealth connection. Cricketing and Bollywood ties also help foster relations as in the frequent travel for games, and, more importantly, the presence of Australian cricketers in India for commercial gain. This was further enhanced with the IPL, and, to a lesser degree, the ICL. Bollywood has also improved ties as with John Howard's visit to Mumbai to increase tourism to Australia.[118] Furthermore, there is a going strategic connection to forming an "Asian NATO" with India, Japan, the US and Australia.[119] The bilateral agreements have worked out for all but the Indo-Australian angle, though this has been hurt by India's refusal to sign the NPT and Australia's consequent refusal to provide India with uranium until the latter do so. The Australian and Indian militaries have already worked well together. Of late the relations between the two countries were jolted, with attacks on Indian Community students in Melbourne, Australia. Indian Government lodged strong protests with the Australian Government. Australian Prime Minister Mr. Kevin Rudd said that "Australia valued its education system and International Students are valued more here in Australia." Mr. Rudd though said that his Govt. has ordered a thorough probe into the attacks and also condemned it in strongest possible terms no significant break through has been achieved.[120][121]

[edit] China

A Chinese container ship unloads cargo at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in India. Bilateral trade between the two countries is expected to surpass US$60 billion by 2010 making China the single largest trading partner of India.[122]

Despite lingering suspicions remaining from the 1962 Sino-Indian War and continuing boundary disputes over Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, Sino-Indian relations have improved gradually since 1988. Both countries have sought to reduce tensions along the frontier, expand trade and cultural ties, and normalize relations.

A series of high-level visits between the two nations have helped improve relations. In December 1996, PRC President Jiang Zemin visited India during a tour of South Asia. While in New Delhi, he signed with the Indian Prime Minister a series of confidence-building measures for the disputed borders. Sino-Indian relations suffered a brief setback in May 1998 when the Indian Defence minister justified the country's nuclear tests by citing potential threats from the PRC. However, in June 1999, during the Kargil crisis, then-External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh visited Beijing and stated that India did not consider China a threat. By 2001, relations between India and the PRC were on the mend, and the two sides handled the move from Tibet to India of the 17th Karmapa in January 2000 with delicacy and tact. In 2003, India formally recognized Tibet as a part of China, and China recognized Sikkim as a formal part of India in 2004.

Since 2004, the economic rise of both China and India has also helped forge closer relations between the two. Sino-Indian trade reached US$36 billion in 2007, making China the single largest trading partner of India.[123] The increasing economic reliance between India and China has also bought the two nations closer politically, with both India and China eager to resolve their boundary dispute.[124] They have also collaborated on several issues ranging from WTO's Doha round in 2008[125] to regional free trade agreement.[126] Similar to Indo-US nuclear deal, India and China have also agreed to cooperate in the field of civilian nuclear energy.[127] However, China's economic interests have clashed with those of India. Both the countries are the largest Asian investors in Africa[128] and have competed for control over its large natural resources.[129]

[edit] Fiji

Fijis relationship with the Republic of India is often seen by observers against the backdrop of the sometimes tense relations between its indigenous people and the 44 percent of the population who are of Indian descent. India has used its influence in international forums such as the Commonwealth of Nations and United Nations on behalf of ethnic Indians in Fiji, lobbying for sanctions against Fiji in the wake of the 1987 coups and the 2000 coup, both of which removed governments, one dominated and one led, by Indo-Fijians.

[edit] Japan

Two Japanese Naval warships took part in Malabar 2007 off India's western coast, one of the few such multilateral exercises Japan has ever taken part in symbolizing close military cooperation between India and Japan.

India-Japan relations have always been strong. India has culturally influenced Japan through Buddhism. During the Indian Independence Movement, the Japanese Imperial Army helped Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose's Indian National Army. Relations have remained warm since India's independence. Japanese companies, like Sony, Toyota, and Honda, have manufacturing facilities in India, and with the growth of the Indian economy, India is a big market for Japanese firms. The most prominent Japanese company to have a big investment in India is automobiles giant Suzuki which is in partnership with Indian automobiles company Maruti Suzuki, the largest car manufacturer in India. In December 2006, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Japan culminated in the signing of the "Joint Statement Towards Japan-India Strategic and Global Partnership". Japan has funded some major infrastructure projects in India, most notably the Delhi Metro subway system. Indian applicants were welcomed in 2006 to the JET Program, starting with just one slot available in 2006 and 41 in 2007. Also, in the year 2007, the Japanese Self Defence Forces took part in a naval exercise in the Indian Ocean, known as Malabar 2007, which also involved the naval forces of India, Australia, Singapore and the United States.

In October 2008, Japan signed an agreement with India under which it would grant the latter a low-interest loan worth US$4.5 billion to construct a railway project between Delhi and Mumbai. This is the single largest overseas project being financed by Japan and reflects growing economic partnership between the two.[130] India is also one of three countries with whom Japan has security pact, the other being Australia and the United States.[131]

[edit] Laos

In recent years, India has endeavoured to build relations, with this small Southeast Asian nation. They have strong military relations, and India shall be building an Airforce Academy in Laos.[132]

[edit] Indonesia

In 1950, the first President of Indonesia - Sukarno called upon the peoples of Indonesia and India to "intensify the cordial relations" that had existed between the two countries "for more than 1000 years" before they had been "disrupted" by colonial powers.[133] Fifteen years later in Djakarta, government-inspired mobs were shouting: "Down with India, the servant of imperialists" and "Crush India, our enemy. "[134] Yet in the spring of 1966, the foreign ministers of both countries began speaking again of an era of friendly relations. India had supported Indonesian independence and Nehru had raised the Indonesian question in the United Nations Security Council. Today, India has an embassy in Jakarta [135] and Indonesia operates an embassy in Delhi.[136]

[edit] Malaysia

India has a high commission in Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia has a high commission in New Delhi. Both countries are full members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Asian Union. India and Malaysia are also connected by various cultural and historical ties that date back to antiquity. The two countries are on excellently friendly terms with each other seeing as Malaysia is home to a strong concentration of Indian immigrants.

[edit] Singapore

Singapore Navy frigate RSS Formidable (68) steams alongside the Indian Navy frigate INS Brahmaputra (F 31) in the Bay of Bengal. Singapore is one of India's strongest allies in South East Asia.

India and Singapore share long-standing cultural, commercial and strategic relations, with Singapore being a part of the "Greater India" cultural and commercial region. More than 300,000 people of Indian origin live in Singapore. Following its independence in 1965, Singapore was concerned with China-backed communist threats as well as domination from Malaysia and Indonesia and sought a close strategic relationship with India, which it saw as a counter-balance to Chinese influence and a partner in achieving regional security.[137] Singapore had always been an important strategic trading post, giving India trade access to Maritime Southeast Asia and the Far East. Although the rival positions of both nations over the Vietnam War and the Cold War caused consternation between India and Singapore, their relationship expanded significantly in the 1990s;[137] Singapore was one of the first to respond to India's "Look East" Policy of expanding its economic, cultural and strategic ties in Southeast Asia to strengthen its standing as a regional power.[137] Singapore, and especially, the Singaporean Foreign Minister, George Yeo, have taken an interest, in re-establishing the ancient Indian university, Nalanda University.

Singapore is the 8th largest source of investment in India and the largest amongst ASEAN member nations.[137][138] It is also India's 9th biggest trading partner as of 2005-06.[137] Its cumulative investment in India totals USD 3 billion as of 2006 and is expected to rise to US 5 billion by 2010 and US 10 billion by 2015.[137][139][140] India's economic liberalisation and its "Look East" policy have led to a major expansion in bilateral trade, which grew from USD 2.2 billion in 2001 to US 9-10 billion in 2006 - a 400% growth in span of five years - and to USD 50 billion by 2010.[137][139][140] Singapore accounts for 38% of India's trade with ASEAN member nations and 3.4% of its total foreign trade.[137] India's main exports to Singapore in 2005 included petroleum, gemstones, jewellery, machinery and its imports from Singapore included electronic goods, organic chemicals and metals. More than half of Singapore's exports to India are basically "re-exports" - items that had been imported from India.[137][138]

[edit] South Korea

Tata Daewoo, a subsidiary of India's Tata Motors, is the second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in South Korea. India and South Korea have made large direct foreign investments in each other.

The cordial relationship between the two countries extends back to 48AD, when Queen Suro, or Princess Heo, travelled from the kingdom of Ayodhya to Korea.[141] According to the Samguk Yusa, the princess had a dream about a heavenly king who was awaiting heaven's anointed ride. After Princess Heo had the dream, she asked her parents, the king and queen, for permission to set out and seek the man, which the king and queen urged with the belief that god orchestrated the whole fate.[142] Upon approval, she set out on a boat, carrying gold, silver, a tea plant, and a stone which calmed the waters.[141] Archeologists discovered a stone with two fish kissing each other, a symbol of the Gaya kingdom that is unique to the Mishra royal family in Ayodhya, India. This royal link provides further evidence that there was an active commercial engagements between India and Korea since the queen's arrival to Korea.[141] Current descendants live in the city of Kimhae as well as abroad in America's state of New Jersey and Kentucky. Many of them became prominent and well-known around the world like President Kim Dae Jung, Prime Minister Jong Pil Kim.

The relations between the countries have been relatively limited, although much progress arose during the three decades. Since the formal establishment of the diplomatic ties between two countries in 1973, several trade agreements have been reached. Trade between the two nations has increased exponentially, exemplified by the $530 million during the fiscal year of 1992–1993, and the $10 billion during 2006–2007.[143] During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, South Korean businesses sought to increase access to the global markets, and began trade investments with India.[143] The last two presidential visits from South Korea to India were in 1996 and 2006,[144] and the embassy works between the two countries are seen as needing improvements.[145] Recently, there have been acknowledgements in the Korean public and political spheres that expanding relations with India should be a major economical and political priority for South Korea. Much of the economic investments of South Korea have been drained into China;[146] however, South Korea is currently the fifth largest source of investment in India.[147] To the Times of India, President Roh voiced his opinion that cooperation between India's software and Korea's IT industries would bring very efficient and successful outcomes.[144] The two countries agreed to shift their focus to the revision of the visa policies between the two countries, expansion of trade, and establishment of free trade agreement to encourage further investment between the two countries. Korean companies such as LG and Samsung have established manufacturing and service facilities in India, and several Korean construction companies won grants for a portion of the many infrastructural building plans in India, such as the "National Highway Development Project".[147] Tata Motor's purchase of Daewoo Commercial Vehicles at the cost of $102 million highlights the India's investments in Korea, which consist mostly of subcontracting.[147]

Chinese Expedition Army(now Republic of China Army) boarding planes for India.

[edit] Taiwan

The bilateral relations between India and Taiwan (officially Republic of China) have improved since the 1990s despite both nations not maintaining official diplomatic relations,[106][147] India recognizes only the People's Republic of China and not the Republic of China's contention of being the legitimate government of territorial China - a conflict that emerged after the Chinese Civil War (1945-49). However, India's economic & Commercial links as well as people-to-people contacts with Taiwan have expanded in recent years.[147]

[edit] Thailand

India's Look East policy, saw India grow relations with ASEAN countries including Thailand, and Thailand's Look West policy, also saw it grow its relations with India. Both countries are members of BIMSTEC. Indian Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi, P.V. Narasimha Rao, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and Manmohan Singh, have visited Thailand as have, Chatichai Choonhavan, Thaksin Shinawatra, and Surayud Chulanont, visited India. In 2003, a Free trade agreement was signed between the two countries. India, is the 13th largest investor in Thailand. The spheres of trade are in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, nylon, tyre cord, real estate, rayon fibres, paper grade pulps, steel wires, and rods. However, IT Services, and manufacturing, are the main spheres. Through Buddhism, India, has culturally influenced Thailand. The Indian epics, Mahabharata, and Ramayana, are popular and are widely taught in schools as part of the curriculum in Thailand. The example can also be seen in temples around Thailand, where the story of Ramayana and renowned Indian folk stories are depicted on the temple wall. Thailand, has become a big tourist destination for Indians.

[edit] Vietnam

India supported Vietnam's independence from France, opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and supported unification of Vietnam. India established official diplomatic relations in 1972 and maintained friendly relations, especially in wake of Vietnam's hostile relations with the People's Republic of China, which had become India's strategic rival.[148]

India granted the "Most Favoured Nation" status to Vietnam in 1975[148] and both nations signed a bilateral trade agreement in 1978 and the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) on March 8, 1997.[149] In 2007, a fresh joint declaration was issued during the state visit of the Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung.[150] Bilateral trade has increased rapidly since the liberalisation of the economies of both Vietnam and India.[148] India is the 13th-largest exporter to Vietnam, with exports have grown steadily from USD 11.5 million in 1985-86 to USD 395.68 million by 2003.[149] Vietnam's exports to India rose to USD 180 million, including agricultural products, handicrafts, textiles, electronics and other goods.[151] Between 2001 and 2006, the volume of bilateral trade expanded at 20-30% per annum to reach USD 1 billion by 2006.[152][153] Continuing the rapid pace of growth, bilateral trade is expected to rise to USD 2 billion by 2008, 2 years ahead of the official target.[153][154] India and Vietnam have also expanded cooperation in information technology, education and collaboration of the respective national space programmes.[150] Direct air links and lax visa regulations have been established to bolster tourism.[155]

India and Vietnam are members of the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, created to develop to enhance close ties between India and nations of Southeast Asia. Vietnam has supported India's bid to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).[156] In the 2003 joint declaration, India and Vietnam envisaged creating an "Arc of Advantage and Prosperity" in Southeast Asia;[150] to this end, Vietnam has backed a more important relationship and role between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its negotiation of an Indo-ASEAN free trade agreement.[148][150] India and Vietnam have also built strategic partnerships, including extensive cooperation on developing nuclear power, enhancing regional security and fighting terrorism, transnational crime and drug trafficking.[106][150][151]

[edit] Americas

After the end of the Cold War, India strengthened its relations with several nations in the Americas, particularly United States, Brazil, Canada and Mexico.

India's commonalities with developing nations in Latin America, especially Brazil and Mexico have continued to grow. India and Brazil continue to work together on the reform of Security Council through the G4 nations while have also increased strategic and economic cooperation through the IBSA Dialogue Forum. The process of finalizing Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with MERCOSUR (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay) is on the itinerary and negotiations are being held with Chile.[157] Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was the guest of honour at the 2004 Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi.

Dr.Lais Suarez receiving Golden Natraja Award from Ambassador Nigam Prakash.

[edit] Argentina

[edit] Brazil

The President of India, Pratibha Patil with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in April 2008. India and Brazil enjoy strong bilateral relations which is clearly reflected in various international forums such as IBSA.[158]

Brazil and India are large continental sized countries with social diversity, democratic governments, a multiethnic society, and a large population base. Both possess advanced technologies. The two countries share similar perceptions on issues of interest to developing countries and have cooperated in the multilateral level on issues such as international trade and development, environment, reform of the UN and the UNSC expansion.

There is enormous interest in Brazil on India's culture, religion, performing arts and philosophy. Mohandas Gandhi is highly regarded in the country and the government has sought to teach his philosophy of non-violence to the police to improve its track record. A statue of Mahatma Gandhi is located in a prominent square in Rio de Janeiro. A group called the Filhos de Gandhi (Sons of Gandhi) participates regularly in the carnival in Salvador. Private Brazilian organizations occasionally invite Indian cultural troupes.

In recent years, relations between Brazil and India have grown considerably and co-operation between the two countries has been extended to such diverse areas as science and technology, pharmaceuticals and space. The two-way trade in 2007 nearly tripled to US$ 3.12 billion from US$ 1.2 billion in 2004. India attaches tremendous importance to its relationship with this Latin American giant and hopes to see the areas of co-operation expand in the coming years.

Both countries want the participation of developing countries in the UNSC permanent membership since the underlying philosophy for both of them are: UNSC should be more democratic, legitimate and representative - the G4 is a novel grouping for this realization. Brazil and India are deeply committed to IBSA (South-South cooperation) initiatives and attach utmost importance to this trilateral cooperation between the three large, multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-religious developing countries, which are bound by the common principle of pluralism and democracy.

Flag Commander of Western Fleet of Indian Navy while briefing a press conference on a joint Indo-Canadian naval exercise.

[edit] Canada

Indo-Canadian relations, are the longstanding bilateral relations between India and Canada, which are built upon a "mutual commitment to democracy", "pluralism", and "people-to-people links," according to the government of Canada. In 2004, bilateral trade between India and Canada was at about C$2.45 billion. However, the botched handling of the Air India investigation and the case in general suffered a setback to Indo-Canadian relations. India's Smiling Buddha nuclear test led to connections between the two countries being frozen, with allegations that India broke the terms of the Colombo Plan. Although Jean Chrétien and Roméo LeBlanc both visited India in the late 1990s, relations were again halted after the Pokhran-II tests.

[edit] Colombia

Both countries established diplomatic ties on January 19, 1959. Since then the relationship between the two countries has been gradually increasing with more frequent diplomatic visits to promote political, commercial cultural and academic exchanges. Colombia is currently the commercial point of entry into Latin America for Indian companies.[159]

[edit] Mexico

Mexico is a very important and major economic partner of India. Mexico and India, both have embassies in the other country. Octavio Paz worked as a diplomat in India. His book In Light of India is an analysis of Indian history and culture.[160]

See also Hinduism in Mexico

[edit] Paraguay

India and Paraguay established diplomatic relations on September 13, 1961.[citation needed] India is represented in Paraguay through its embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina and an honorary consulate in Asuncion. Since 2005, Paraguay has had an embassy in New Delhi.[citation needed]

[edit] United States of America

Historically, relations between India and the United States were somewhat cold following Indian independence, as India took a leading position in the Non-Aligned Movement, and attempted to pursue even-handed economic and military relations with the Soviet Union, although US provided support to India in 1962 during its war with China. For most of the Cold War, the USA tended to have warmer relations with Pakistan, primarily as a way to contain Soviet-friendly India and to use Pakistan to back the Afghan Mujahideen against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. An Indo-Soviet twenty year friendship treaty, signed in 1971, also positioned India against the USA.

[edit] Cold War era

India played a key role in establishing the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. Though India pursued close relations with both USA and USSR, it decided not to join any major power bloc and refrained from joining military alliances. India, however began establishing close military relationship with the Soviet Union.

After the Sino-Indian War and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, India made considerable changes to its foreign policy. It developed a close relationship with the Soviet Union and started receiving massive military equipment and financial assistance from the USSR. This had an adverse effect on the Indo-USA relationship. The United States saw Pakistan as a counter-weight to pro-Soviet India and started giving the former military assistance. This created an atmosphere of suspicion between India and USA. The USA-India relationship suffered a considerable setback during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan when India openly supported the Soviet Union.

President of United States Of America Richard Nixon and Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi in 1971. They had a deep personal antipathy that colored bilateral relations.

Relations between India and the United States came to an all-time low during the early 1970s. Despite reports of atrocities in East Pakistan, and being told, most notably in the Blood telegram, of genocidal activities being perpetrated by Pakistani forces, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and U.S. President Richard Nixon did nothing to discourage then Pakistani President Yahya Khan and the Pakistan Army. Kissinger was particularly concerned about Soviet expansion into South Asia as a result of a treaty of friendship that had recently been signed between India and the Soviet Union, and sought to demonstrate to the People's Republic of China the value of a tacit alliance with the United States.[161] During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, Indian Armed Forces, along with the Mukti Bahini, succeeded in liberating East Pakistan which soon declared independence. Richard Nixon, then USA President, feared that an Indian invasion of West Pakistan would mean total Soviet domination of the region, and that it would seriously undermine the global position of the United States and the regional position of America's new tacit ally, China. In order to demonstrate to China the bona fides of the United States as an ally, and in direct violation of the USA Congress-imposed sanctions on Pakistan, Nixon sent military supplies to Pakistan, routing them through Jordan and Iran,[162] while also encouraging China to increase its arms supplies to Pakistan.

When Pakistan's defeat in the eastern sector seemed certain, Nixon sent the USS Enterprise to the Bay of Bengal, a move deemed by the Indians as a nuclear threat. The Enterprise arrived on station on December 11, 1971. On 6 December and 13 December, the Soviet Navy dispatched two groups of ships, armed with nuclear missiles, from Vladivostok; they trailed U.S. Task Force 74 into the Indian Ocean from 18 December 1971 until 7 January 1972. The Soviets also sent a nuclear submarine to ward off the threat posed by USS Enterprise in the Indian Ocean.[163]

Though American efforts had no effect in turning the tide of the war, the incident involving USS Enterprise is viewed as the trigger for India's subsequent nuclear program.[164] American policy towards the end of the war was dictated primarily by a need to restrict the escalation of war on the western sector to prevent the 'dismemberment' of West Pakistan.[165] Years after the war, many American writers criticized the White House policies during the war as being badly flawed and ill-serving the interests of the United States.[166] India carried out nuclear tests a few years later resulting in sanctions being imposed by United States, further drifting the two countries apart. In recent years, Kissinger came under fire for comments made during the Indo-Pakistan War in which he described Indians as "bastards."[167] Kissinger has since expressed his regret over the comments.[168]

Post Cold War Era Since the end of the Cold War, India-USA relations have improved dramatically. This has largely been fostered by the fact that the USA and India are both democracies and have a large and growing trade relationship. During the Gulf War, the economy of India went through an extremely difficult phase. The Government of India liberalized the Indian economy. After the break up of the Soviet Union, India started looking for new allies and tried improving diplomatic relations with the members of the NATO particularly the United States, Canada, France and Germany. In 1992, India established formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

In the mid-1990s, India tried to attract world attention towards the Pakistan backed terrorism in Kashmir. The Kargil War resulted in a major diplomatic victory for India. The United States and European Union recognized the fact that Pakistani military had illegally infiltrated into Indian territory and pressured Pakistan to withdraw from Kargil. Several anti-India terrorist groups based in Pakistan were labeled as terrorist groups by the United States and European Union.

[edit] Pokhran tests

In 1998, India tested nuclear weapons which resulted in several U.S., Japanese and European sanctions on India. India's then defence minister, George Fernandes, said that India's nuclear program was necessary as it provided a deterrence to some potential nuclear threat. Most of the sanctions imposed on India were removed by 2001. India has categorically stated that it will never use weapons first but will defend if attacked. In fact Pakistan is the first country that India informs if any nuclear tests are on the agenda.

The economic sanctions imposed by the United States in response to India's nuclear tests in May 1998 appeared, at least initially, to seriously damage Indo-American relations. President Bill Clinton imposed wide-ranging sanctions pursuant to the 1994 Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Act. U.S. sanctions on Indian entities involved in the nuclear industry and opposition to international financial institution loans for non-humanitarian assistance projects in India. The United States encouraged India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) immediately and without condition. The U.S. also called for restraint in missile and nuclear testing and deployment by both India and Pakistan. The non-proliferation dialogue initiated after the 1998 nuclear tests has bridged many of the gaps in understanding between the countries.

[edit] Post-September 11 attacks
Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after signing the Section 123 Agreement on October 10, 2008. Due to shared principles, interests and concerns, relations between India and the United States have warmed in recent years.

After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Indian intelligence agencies provided the U.S. with significant information on Al-Qaeda and related groups' activities in Pakistan and Afghanistan. India's extensive contribution to the War on Terrorism has helped India's diplomatic relations with several countries. Over the past few years, India has held numerous joint military exercises with U.S. and European nations that have resulted in a strengthened U.S.-India and E.U.-India bilateral relationship. India's bilateral trade with Europe and U.S. has more than doubled in the last five years.

However, India has not signed the CTBT, or the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, claiming the discriminatory nature of the treaty that allows the five declared nuclear countries of the world to keep their nuclear arsenal and develop it using computer simulation testing. Prior to its nuclear testing, India had pressed for a comprehensive destruction of nuclear weapons by all countries of the world in a time-bound frame. This was not acceptable to the USA and other countries. Presently, India has declared its policy of "no-first use of nuclear weapons" and the maintenance of a "credible nuclear deterrence". The USA, under President George W. Bush has also lifted most of its sanctions on India and has resumed military co-operation. Relations with USA have considerably improved in the recent years, with the two countries taking part in joint naval exercises off the coast of India and joint air exercises both in India as well as in the United States.[169][170][171]

India has been pushing for reforms in the UN and WTO with mixed results. India's candidature for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council is currently backed by several countries including United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, African Union nations and recently People's Republic of China. In 2005, the United States signed a nuclear co-operation agreement with India even though the latter is not a part of the NPT. The US argued that India's strong nuclear non-proliferation record made it an exception and persuaded other NSG members to sign similar deals with India.

On March 2, 2006 India and the USA signed the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Pact on co-operation in civilian nuclear field. This was signed during the four days state visit of USA President George Bush in India. On its part, India would separate its civilian and military nuclear programs, and the civilian programs would be brought under the safeguards of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The United States would sell India the reactor technologies and the nuclear fuel for setting up and upgrading its civilian nuclear program. The U.S. Congress needs to ratify this pact since U.S. federal law prohibits the trading of nuclear technologies and materials outside the framework of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

[edit] Indo-USA Strategic Partnership
U.S. President Barack Obama with Indian PM Manmohan Singh at the 2009 G8 Summit in London.

Indo-USA relations got strategic content way back in early sixties. The rise of China worried the policymakers in Washington. Chinese annexation of Tibet, its role in Korean war and other such acts convinced Washington about the expansionist designs of the Chinese. As the relations between India and China deteriorated during late fifties, the Americans found a golden opportunity to take advantage of this situation to promote India as a counterweight to China.[172] But any unidimensional alliance is bound to be short-lived and this alliance was no exception to this general rule. As China ceased to be a headache for the American policymakers by the late sixties, this unidimensional alliance disappeared into thin air.

The end of the Cold War necessitated as well as facilitated the infusion of strategic content to Indo-USA relations–this time multidimensional. In the post Cold War era, the strategic objectives of India and the USA converges on a number of issues and not just one–as well as the case earlier. These issues include, inter alia, containment of terrorism, promotion of democracy, counter proliferation, freedom of navigation in the Indian Ocean, Asian balance of power, etc.[40]

One of the very interesting feature of Indo-USA relations of recent times is the changes on the terms of engagement between the two countries on the issue of nuclear proliferation. While earlier, in the USA strategic thinking on nuclear proliferation, India figured mainly because of American concern about latter's nuclear and missile programmes, in the twenty-first century, however, American strategic thinking on the issue of nuclear proliferation has undergone radical reorientation. Now, the Americans are increasingly realising the futility of insisting on a rollback of India's nuclear programme. They, rather, want to leverage India's growing power and influence in favour of their broader nonproliferation and counter proliferation objectives.[173]

As promotion of democracy around the world is one of the most important foreign policy objective of the USA, India - as the largest democracy of the world-can hardly be ignored by the USA. This is the reason, cooperation in promotion of democracy in the world has become one of the most important facets of Indo-USA relations in recent times. India is a founding member of the 'Community of Democracies' – a prominent endeavour of the USA on promotion of democracy. However, India rejected the suggestion of the USA about setting up a Centre for Asian Democracy.[174]

Agriculture is another important area of cooperation between India and the USA in present times. Considering the fact that both the nations at present have a vast pool of human resources adept at knowledge economy, it is only natural that the most optimal course such partnership can aim at is harnessing these human resources by concentrating on development and dissemination of agricultural knowledge through research, education and training etc. An initiative to forge such a partnership is the 'India-USA Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture' (KIA).[175]

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was the guest of honor at the first state dinner, which took place on November 24 2009, of the administration of US President Barack Obama.

[edit] Europe

[edit] European Union

G20 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington, D.C.

India was one of the first countries to develop relations with the Union, signing bilateral agreements in 1973, when the United Kingdom joined. The most recent cooperation agreement was signed in 1994 and an action plan was signed in 2005. As of April 2007 the Commission is pursuing a free trade agreement with India.[176]

The Union is India's largest trading partner, accounting for 20% of Indian trade. However, India accounts for only 1.8% of the EU's trade and attracts only 0.3% of European Foreign Direct Investment, although still provides India's largest source. During 2005 EU-India trade grew by 20.3%.[177]

There was controversy in 2006 when the Indian Mittal Steel Company sought to take-over the Luxembourg based steel company, Arcelor. The approach met with opposition from France and Luxembourg but was passed by the Commission who stated that were judging it on competition grounds only.[178]

The European Union (EU) and India agreed on September 29, 2008 at the EU-India summit in Marseille, France's largest commercial port, to expand their cooperation in the fields of nuclear energy and environmental protection and deepen their strategic partnership. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the EU's rotating president, said at a joint press conference at the summit that "EU welcomes India, as a large country, to engage in developing nuclear energy, adding that this clean energy will be helpful for the world to deal with the global climate change." Sarkozy also said the EU and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan pledged to accelerate talks on a free trade deal and expected to finish the deal by 2009. The Indian prime minister was also cautiously optimistic about cooperation on nuclear energy. "Tomorrow we have a bilateral summit with France. This matter will come up and I hope some good results will emerge out of that meeting," Singh said when asked about the issue. Singh said that he was "very satisfied" with the results of the summit. He added that EU and India have "common values" and the two economies are complementary to each other. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, also speaking at Monday's press conference, expounded the joint action plan on adjustments of EU's strategic partnership with India, saying the two sides will strengthen cooperation on world peace and safety, sustainable development, cooperation in science and technology and cultural exchanges.

Reviewing the two sides' efforts in developing the bilateral strategic partnership, the joint action plan reckoned that in politics, dialogue and cooperation have enhanced through regular summits and exchanges of visits and that in economy, mutual investments have increased dramatically in recent years, dialogue in macro economic policies and financial services has established and cooperation in energy, science and technology and environment has been launched. Under the joint action plan, EU and Indian would enhance consultation and dialogue on human rights within the UN framework, strengthen cooperation in world peacekeeping mission, fight against terror and non-proliferation of arms, promote cooperation and exchange in developing civil nuclear energy and strike a free trade deal as soon as possible. France, which relies heavily on nuclear power and is a major exporter of nuclear technology, is expected to sign a deal that would allow it to provide nuclear fuel to India.

Trade between India and the 27-nation EU has more than doubled from 25.6 billion euros ($36.7 billion) in 2000 to 55.6 billion euros last year, with further expansion to be seen. "We have agreed to achieve an annual bilateral trade turnover of 100 billion euros within the next five years," Singh told reporters. A joint statement issued at the end of the summit said the EU and India would work to reach an agreement on climate change by the end of 2009.[179]

[edit] United Kingdom

Since 1947, India's relations with the United Kingdom have been through bilateral, as well as through the Commonwealth of Nations framework. Although the Sterling Area no longer exists and the Commonwealth is much more an informal forum, India and the UK still have many enduring links. This is in part due to the significant number of people of Indian origin living in the UK. The large South Asian population in the UK results in steady travel and communication between the two countries. The British Raj allowed for both cultures to imbibe tremendously from the other. The English language and cricket are perhaps the two most evident British exports, whilst in the UK Indian music and food are fixtures in daily life.[180] It is also notable that there are many words of Indian origin now common to the language. The United Kingdom's favourite food is reported to be Indian Cuisine, although no official study reports this.[180]

Economically the relationship between Britain and India is also strong. India is the second largest investor in Britain after the US.[181][182] Britain is also one of the largest investors in India.[183] Recently, many British jobs have been moving to the call centres in India.

The Queen's visits to India have been enormously successful along with those by other members of the Royal Family. Britain has also supported India's rise to prominence on the international stage, including advocating a permanent seat on the Security Council.[184][dead link] The UK recently gave India a £825 million aid package to help India develop its health and education systems.[185][186]

[edit] France

The Indian Air Force has the second largest fleet of France's Mirage 2000H after Armée de l'Air.

France and India established diplomatic relationships soon after India achieved independence in 1947. India's strong diplomatic ties with France resulted in the peaceful cession of Pondicherry to India on November 1, 1954 without any military opposition from France.

France and Russia were the only countries that did not condemn India's decision to go nuclear in 1998.[187] In 2003, France became the largest supplier of nuclear fuel and technology to India and remains a large military and economic trade partner. India's permanent member aspirations in the UN Security Council have found very strong support from former French President Chirac and more recently by the current French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The recent decision by the Indian government to purchase French Scorpène class submarines worth 3 billion USD and 43 Airbus aircraft for Air India worth 2.5 billion USD has further cemented the strategic, military and economic co-operation between India and France.

Nicolas Sarkozy visited India in January 2008 and was the Chief Guest of the Republic Day parade in New Delhi. France, was the first country, to sign a nuclear energy co-operation agreement, with India, during Prime Minister Singh's visit, following the waiver by the Nuclear Suppliers Group. During the Bastille Day celebrations on July 14, 2009, a detachment of 400 Indian troops marched along with the French troops as well as the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was the guest of honour.[188]

[edit] Italy

Despite racial and religious disconnections, India and Italy have enjoyed overall pleasurable and strong relations throughout history. Italy and India are also close economic partners and is home to a large population of Indian immigrants. The chief of India's leading political party, The Indian National Congress, Sonia Gandhi, arguably the most powerful Indian woman, is of Italian descent.

Unfortunately at diplomatic level the relations seem not to be always good, an example is the terrible visa situation between the two countries for the past few years, visas of any kind (tourist, business, employment and others) are issued for very short term and after a lot of hurdles for both Indian and Italian nationals. This situation has reduced noticeably the possibility of tourism and business development between the two countries. It is not officially known the reason for the current diplomatic situation. India has an embassy in Rome, a general consulate in Milan. Italy has an embassy in New Delhi, 2 general consulates (in Mumbai and Calcutta).

There are around 100,000 people of Indian Origin living in Italy, meanwhile there are only around 300 Italian citizens residing in India mostly working on behalf of Italian industrial groups.

[edit] Germany

Arrival of the first Indian student to Dresden, East Germany, in 1951

During the Cold War India maintained diplomatic relations with West Germany and East Germany. Since the Fall of the Berlin wall, and the reunification of Germany, relations have further improved. The German ambassador to India, Bernd Mutzelburg, once said that India and Germany, are not just 'natural partners', but important countries in a globalised world. Germany is India's largest trade partner in Europe. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel visited India recently, as did the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visit Germany. Both countries have been working towards gaining permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council. As both countries are strong liberal democracies, they have similar objectives. UN reforms, fighting terrorism and climate change, and promotion of science, education, technology, and human rights, are some areas of shared interests, and collaboration between these two countries. Culturally too, Indian and German writers and philosophers, have influenced each other.[189] Recently, Germany has invested in developing education and skills amongst rural Indians. Also of note, during World War 2 an Indian division known as the Tiger Legion was attached to the German Wermacht.

[edit] Turkey

Due to controversial issues such as Turkey's close relationship with Pakistan and India's strong relations with Greece and Armenia, relations between the two countries have often been blistered at certain times, but better at others. India and Turkey's relationship alters from unsureness to collaboration when the two nations work together to combat terrorism in Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. India and Turkey are also connected by history, seeing as they've known each other since the days of the Ottoman Empire, and seeing as India was one of the countries to send aid to Turkey following its war of independence. The Indian real estate firm GMR, has invested in and is working towards the modernization of Istanbul's Sabiha Gökçen International Airport.

[edit] Other European countries

Country  ↓ Formal Relations Began  ↓ Notes  ↓
See Foreign relations of Belarus
 Bulgaria 1954 See Bulgaria–India relations
See Foreign relations of Croatia
See Foreign relations of Cyprus
See Foreign relations of Denmark
 Estonia 1991-09-09 See Estonia–India relations

India's first recognition of Estonia came on 22 September 1921 when the former had just acquired membership in the League of Nations. India re-recognised Estonia on September 9, 1991 and diplomatic relations were established on December 2 of the same year in Helsinki. Neither country has a resident ambassador. Estonia is represented in India by 2 honorary consulates (in Mumbai and New Delhi). India is represented in Estonia through its embassy in Helsinki (Finland) and through an honorary consulate in Tallinn.

See Foreign relations of Finland
See Foreign relations of Georgia
See Foreign relations of Greece
 Holy See
See Foreign relations of the Holy See
See Iceland–India relations

Iceland and India established diplomatic relations in 1972. The Embassy of Iceland in London was accredited to India and the Embassy of India in Oslo, Norway, was accredited to Iceland. However, it was only after 2003 that the two countries have began close diplomatic and economic relationships.[192] In 2003, President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson visited India on diplomatic mission. This was the first visit by an Icelandic President to India. During the visit, Iceland pledged support to New Delhi's candidature for a permanent seat in the United Nation Security Council thus becoming the first Nordic country to do so. This was followed by an official visit of President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam to Iceland in May 2005.[193] Following this a new embassy of Iceland was opened in New Delhi on 26 February 2006.[192] Soon, a Indian Navy team visited Iceland on friendly mission.[194] Gunnar Pálsson is the ambassador of Iceland to India. The Embassy's area of accreditation, apart from India includes Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius and Nepal.[195] India appointed S. Swaminathan as the first resident ambassador to Iceland in March 2008.[196]

See India – Ireland relations

Indo-Irish relations picked up steam during the freedom struggles of the respective countries against a common imperial empire in the United Kingdom. Political relations between the two states have largely been based on socio-cultural ties, although political and economic ties have also helped build relations. Indo-Irish relations were greatly strengthened by the such luminaries as the likes of Pandit Nehru, Éamon de Valera, Rabindranath Tagore, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, and, above all, Annie Besant. Politically relations have not been cold nor warm. Mutual benefit has led to economic ties that are fruitful for both states.[citation needed] Visits by government leaders have kept relations cordial at regular intervals.

See India–Malta relations

Malta opened a High Commission in New Delhi in 2007. Malta also has an honourary consulate in Bombay. India is represented in Malta through its embassy in Tripoli, Libya and an honorary consulate in Valletta.

See India–Poland relations

Historically, relations have generally been close and friendly, characterized by understanding and cooperation on international front.[197]

See India–Russia relations

During the Cold War, India and the Soviet Union enjoyed a strong strategic, military, economic and diplomatic relationship. After the collapse of the USSR, India improved its relations with the West but it continued its close relations with Russia. India is the second largest market for Russian arms industry. In 2004, more than 70% on Indian Military's hardware came from Russia, making Russia the chief supplier of arms.[200] India has an embassy in Moscow and 2 Consulates-General (in Saint Petersburg and Vladivostok). Russia has an embassy in New Delhi and 3 Consulates-General (in Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai). Since 2000 and the visit of Vladimir Putin in India there have been an Indo-Russian Strategic Partnership.

See India–Ukraine relations

Diplomatic relations between India and Ukraine were established in January 1992. Indian Embassy in Kiev was opened in May 1992 and Ukraine opened its Mission in New Delhi in February 1993. The Consulate General of India in Odessa functioned from 1962 till its closure in March 1999.

[edit] Middle East

[edit] Arab states of the Persian Gulf

India and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf enjoy strong cultural and economic ties. This is reflected in the fact that more than 50% of the oil consumed by India comes from the Persian Gulf countries[204] and Indian nationals form the largest expatriate community in the Arabian peninsula.[205] The annual remittance by Indian expatriates in the region amounted to US$20 billion in 2007.[206] India is one of the largest trading partners of the CCASG with non-oil trade between India and Dubai alone amounting to US$19 billion in 2007.[207] The Persian Gulf countries have also played an important role in addressing India's energy security concerns, with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait regularly increasing their oil supply to India to meet the country's rising energy demand. In 2005, Kuwait increased its oil exports to India by 10% increasing the net oil trade between the two to US$4.5 billion.[208] In 2008, Qatar decided to invest US$5 billion in India's energy sector.[209]

India has maritime security arrangement in place with Oman and Qatar.[210] In 2008, a landmark defense pact was signed, under which India committed its military assets to protect "Qatar from external threats".[211] There has been progress in a proposed deep-sea gas pipeline from Qatar, via Oman, to India.[212]

[edit] Bahrain

India is a close ally of Bahrain, the Kingdom along with its GCC partners are (according to Indian officials) among the most prominent backers of India's bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council,[213] and Bahraini officials have urged India to play a greater role in international affairs. For instance, over concerns about Iran's nuclear programme Bahrain's Crown Prince appealed to India to play an active role in resolving the crisis.[214]

Ties between India and Bahrain go back generations, with many of Bahrain's most prominent figures having close connections: poet and constitutionalist Ebrahim Al-Arrayedh grew up in Bombay, while 17th century Bahraini theologians Sheikh Salih Al-Karzakani and Sheikh Ja`far bin Kamal al-Din were influential figures in the Kingdom of Golkonda[215] and the development of Shia thought in the sub-continent.

Bahraini politicians have sought to enhance these long standing ties, with Parliamentary Speaker Khalifa Al Dhahrani in 2007 leading a delegation of parliamentarians and business leaders to meet Indian President Pratibha Patil, opposition leader L K Advani, and take part in training and media interviews.[216] Politically, it is easier for Bahrain's politicians to seek training and advice from India than it is from the United States or other western alternative.

In December 2007, the Bahrain India Society was launched in Manama to promote ties between the two countries. Headed by the former Minister of Labour Abdulnabi Al Shoala, the Society seeks to take advantage of the development in civil society to actively work to strengthen ties between the two countries, not only business links, but according to the body's opening statement in politics, social affairs, science and culture. India's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs E Ahmed and his Bahraini counterpart Dr Nazar Al Baharna attended the launch.[217]

[edit] Egypt

Modern Egypt-India relations go back to the contacts between Saad Zaghloul and Mohandas Gandhi on the common goals of their respective movements of independence.[218] In 1955, Egypt under Gamal Abdul Nasser and India under Jawaharlal Nehru became the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. During the 1956 War, Nehru stood supporting Egypt to the point of threatening to withdraw his country from the British Commonwealth. In 1967, following the Arab-Israeli war, India supported Egypt and the Arabs. In 1977, New Delhi described the visit of President Anwar al-Sadat to Jerusalem as a "brave" move and considered the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel a primary step on the path of a just settlement of the Middle East problem. Major Egyptian exports to India include raw cotton, raw and manufactured fertilizers, oil and oil products, organic and non-organic chemicals, leather and iron products. Major imports into Egypt from India are cotton yarn, sesame, coffee, herbs, tobacco, lentils, pharmaceutical products and transport equipment. The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum is also currently negotiating the establishment of a natural gas-operated fertilizer plant with another Indian company. In 2004 the Gas Authority of India Limited, bought 15% of Egypt Nat Gas distribution and marketing company. In 2008 Egyptian investment in India was worth some 750 million dollars, according to the Egyptian ambassador.[219]

[edit] Iran

Seen here is Rabindranath Tagore as a guest of Iran's parliament in the 1930s.

After the Iranian Revolution of 1979, Iran withdrew from CENTO and dissociated itself from US-friendly countries, including Pakistan, which automatically entailed improved relationship with the Republic of India.

Currently, the two countries have friendly relations in many areas. There are significant trade ties, particularly in crude oil imports into India and diesel exports to Iran. Iran frequently objected to Pakistan's attempts to draft anti-India resolutions at international organizations such as the OIC. India welcomed Iran's inclusion as an observer state in the SAARC regional organization. Lucknow continues to be a major centre of Shiite culture and Persian study in the subcontinent.

In the 1990s, India and Iran both supported the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against the Taliban regime. They continue to collaborate in supporting the broad-based anti-Taliban government led by Hamid Karzai and backed by the United States.

[edit] Iraq

Iraq was one of the few countries in the Middle East with which India established diplomatic relations at the embassy level immediately after its independence in 1947.[220] Both nations signed the "Treaty of Perpetual Peace and Friendship" in 1952 and an agreement of cooperation on cultural affairs in 1954.[220] India was amongst the first to recognize the Baath Party-led government, and Iraq remained neutral during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. However, Iraq sided alongside other Persian Gulf states in supporting Pakistan against India during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which saw the creation of Bangladesh.[220] The eight-year long Iran–Iraq War caused a steep decline in trade and commerce between the two nations.[220]

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, India remained neutral but permitted refueling for U.S. airplanes.[220] It opposed U.N. sanctions on Iraq, but the period of war and Iraq's isolation further diminished India's commercial and diplomatic ties.[220] From 1999 onwards, Iraq and India began to work towards a stronger relationship. Iraq had supported India's right to conduct nuclear tests following its tests of five nuclear weapons on May 11 and May 13, 1998.[220] In 2000, the then-Vice President of Iraq Taha Yassin Ramadan visited India, and on August 6, 2002 President Saddam Hussein conveyed Iraq's "unwavering support" to India over the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan.[220][221] India and Iraq established joint ministerial committees and trade delegations to promote extensive bilateral cooperation.[147][222] Although initially disrupted during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, diplomatic and commercial ties between India and the new democratic government of Iraq have since been normalized.[222]

[edit] Israel

Beni-Israel Family at Bombay.

The creation of Israel at the end of World War II was a complex issue. India, along with Iran and Yugoslavia had recommended a single state with Arab and Jewish majority provinces with an aim to prevent partition of historic Palestine and prevent any conflict that might follow based on its own experience during partition.[223] However, the final UN resolution decided to partition historic Palestine into Arab and Jewish states based on religious and ethnic majority which India opposed in the final vote as it did not agree with concept of partition on the basis of religion.[224]

However, due to the security threat from a US aided Pakistan and its nuclear program in the 80s, Israel and India started a clandestine relationship that involved cooperation between their respective intelligence agencies.[225] Israel shared India's concerns about the growing danger posed by Pakistan and nuclear proliferation to Iran and other Arab states.[226] After the end of the Cold War, formal relations with Israel started improving significantly.[84][227]

Since the establishment of full diplomatic relations with Israel in 1992, India has improved its relation with the Jewish State. India is regarded as Israel's strongest ally in Asia, and Israel is India's second largest arms supplier. Both countries share common strategic interests to combat Pakistan based Terrorism and Nuclear proliferation concerns.

India has entertained Israeli Prime Minister in a visit in 2003,[228] and Israel has entertained Indian dignitaries such as Finance Minister Jaswant Singh in diplomatic visits. India and Israel collaborate extensively in scientific and technological endeavors. Israel's Minister for Science and Technology has expressed interest in collaborating with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) towards utilizing satellites for better management of land and other resources. Israel has also expressed interest in participating in ISRO's Chandrayaan Mission involving an unmanned mission to the moon.[229] On January 21, 2008 India successfully launched an Israeli spy satellite into orbit from Sriharikota space station in southern India.[230]

Israel and India share intelligence on terrorist groups. They have developed close defense and security ties since establishing diplomatic relations in 1992. Israel is India's second-biggest arms supplier, after Russia. India has bought more than $5 billion worth of Israeli equipment since 2002. In addition, Israel is training Indian military units and discussing an arrangement to give Indian commandos instruction in counter-terrorist tactics and urban warfare.[231] In December 2008, Israel and India signed a memorandum to set up an Indo-Israel Legal Colloquium to facilitate discussions and exchange programs between judges and jurists of the two countries.[232]

[edit] Lebanon

India has a peacekeeping force as part of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). One infantry battalion is deployed in Lebanon and about 900 personnel are stationed in the Eastern part of South Lebanon.[233] The force also provided non-patrol aid to citizens.[234]

[edit] Oman

[edit] Saudi Arabia

Bilateral relations between India and the Saudi Arabia have strengthened considerably owing to cooperation in regional affairs and trade. Saudi Arabia is the one of largest suppliers of oil to India, who is one of the top 7 trading partners and the 5th biggest investor in Saudi Arabia.[235]

India and Saudi Arabia are actively cooperating in the field of science and technology. CSIR and the Saudi Arabian Standards Organisation (SASO) have an ongoing programme of technical cooperation (POC) since June 1993. Under this programme, Indian experts in different scientific areas, particularly in the field of measurement and calibration, are deputed to Saudi Arabia on regular basis. Similarly, several Saudi experts and have undergone advanced training in India. National Physical Laboratory has provided expertise and technology for two important SASO projects related to calibration and teleclock system. CSIR and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) signed a MoU for bilateral cooperation in 1997 and have an ongoing programme of cooperation, particularly in the field of space science, remote sensing and installation of Internet. Recently a three-member delegation from CSIR, NPL and CFTRI visited SASO during January 2004 and both sides agreed to renew the POC.[236]

[edit] Russia and Central Asia

Manmohan Singh with the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the 34th G8 Summit.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) had major repercussions for Indian foreign policy. Substantial trade with the former Soviet Union plummeted after the Soviet collapse and has yet to recover. Longstanding military supply relationships were similarly disrupted due to questions over financing, although Russia continues to be India's largest supplier of military systems and spare parts.

The relationship with USSR was tested (and proven) during the 1971 war with Pakistan, which led to the subsequent liberation of Bangladesh. Soon after the victory of the Indian Armed Forces, one of the foreign delegates to visit India was Admiral S.G. Gorshkov, Chief of the Soviet Navy. During his visit to Mumbai (Bombay) he came on board INS Vikrant. During a conversation with Vice Admiral Swaraj Prakash, Gorshkov asked the Vice Admiral, "Were you worried about a battle against the American carrier?" He answered himself: "Well, you had no reason to be worried, as I had a Soviet nuclear submarine trailing the American task force all the way into the Indian Ocean." [237]

[edit] Russian Federation

India's ties with the Russian Federation are time-tested and based on continuity, trust and mutual understanding. There is national consensus in both the countries on the need to preserve and strengthen India-Russia relations and further consolidate the strategic partnership between the two countries. A Declaration on Strategic Partnership was signed between former Russian President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in October 2000.

Joint Indo-Russian BrahMos nuclear cruise missile, has a top speed of Mach 2.8, making it the world's fastest supersonic cruise missile.

Russia and India have decided not to renew the 1971 Indo-Soviet Peace and Friendship Treaty and have sought to follow what both describe as a more pragmatic, less ideological relationship. Russian President Yeltsin's visit to India in January 1993 helped cement this new relationship. Ties have grown stronger with President Vladimir Putin's 2004 visit. The pace of high-level visits has since increased, as has discussion of major defence purchases. Russia, is working for the development of the Kudankulam nuclear plant, that will be capable of producing 1000 MW of electricity. Gazprom, is working for the development of oil and natural gas, in the Bay of Bengal. India and Russia, have collaborated extensively, on space technology. Other areas of collaboration include software, ayurveda, etc. India and Russia, have set a determination in increasing trade to $10 billion. Counter-terrorism techniques are also in place between Russia and India. In 2007 President Vladimir Putin was guest of honour at Republic Day celebration on 26 January 2007. The year 2008, has been declared by both countries as the Russia-India Friendship Year. Bollywood films are quite popular in Russia. The Indian public-sector oil company ONGC bought Imperial Energy in 2008. In December 2008, during President Medvedev's visit, to New Delhi, India and Russia, signed a nuclear energy co-operation agreement.

[edit] Armenia

The first contacts between both civilizations date back from 2,500 years ago, during the 5th century BC. In modern times, India recognized Armenia on December 26, 1991.

[edit] Kazakhstan

India, is working towards developing strong relations with this resource rich Central Asian country. The Indian oil company, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, has got oil exploration and petroleum development grants in Kazakhstan. The two countries are collaborating in petrochemicals, information technology, and space technology. Kazakhstan has offered India five blocks for oil and gas exploration. India and Kazakhstan, are to set up joint projects in construction, minerals and metallurgy. India also signed four other pacts, including an extradition treaty, in the presence of President Prathibha Patil and her Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev. Kazakhastan will provide uranium and related products under the MoU between Nuclear Power Corp. of India and KazatomProm. These MoU also opens possibilities of joint exploration of uranium in Kazakhstan, which has the worlds' second largest reserves, and India building atomic power plants in the Central Asian country.

[edit] Mongolia

The relations between India and Mongolia are still at a nascent stage and Indo-Mongolian cooperation is limited to diplomatic visits, provision of soft loans and financial aid and the collaborations in the IT sector. India established diplomatic relations in December 1955. India was the first country outside the Soviet block to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia. Since then, there have been treaties of mutual friendship and cooperation between the two countries in 1973, 1994, 2001 and 2004.

[edit] Tajikistan

Diplomatic relations were established India and Tajikistan following Tajikistan's independence from the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union, which had been friendly with India. Tajikistan occupies a strategically important position in Central Asia, bordering Afghanistan, the People's Republic of China and separated by a small strip of Afghan territory from Pakistan. India's role in fighting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda and its strategic rivalry with both China and Pakistan have made its ties with Tajikistan important to its strategic and security policies. Despite their common efforts, bilateral trade has been comparatively low, valued at USD 12.09 million in 2005; India's exports to Tajikistan were valued at USD 6.2 million and its imports at USD 5.89 million. India's military presence and activities have been significant, beginning with India's extensive support to the anti-Taliban Afghan Northern Alliance (ANA). India began renovating the Farkhor Air Base and stationed aircraft of the Indian Air Force there. The Farkhor Air Base became fully operational in 2006, and 12 MiG-29 bombers and trainer aircraft are planned to be stationed there. India is only the fourth nation after the U.S., Russia and Germany to have a military base in Central Asia.

[edit] Uzbekistan

The countries have some culture in common especially because of deep Turkic and Persian influences in the two countries. India has an embassy in Tashkent. Uzbekistan has an embassy in New Delhi.

[edit] Africa

Indian PM Manmohan Singh with Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and South African President Thabo Mbeki.

India has had good relationships with most sub-Saharan African nations for most of its history. In the Prime Minister's visit to Mauritius in 1997, the two countries secured a deal to a new Credit Agreement of INR 10.50 crore (3 millions USD) to finance import by Mauritius of capital goods, consultancy services and consumer durable from India. The government of India secured a rice and medicine agreement with the people of Seychelles. India continued to build upon its historically close relations with Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Visits from political ministers from Ethiopia provided opportunities for strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the fields of education and technical training, water resources management and development of small industries. This has allowed India to gain benefits from nations that are generally forgotten by other Western Nations. The South African President, Thabo Mbeki has called for a strategic relationship between India and South Africa to avoid imposition by Western Nations. India continued to build upon its close and friendly relations with Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Minister of Foreign Affairs arranged for the sending of Special Envoys to each of these countries during 1996-97 as a reaffirmation of India's assurance to strengthening cooperation with these countries in a spirit of South-South partnership. These relations have created a position of strength with African nations that other nations may not possess.[238]

[edit] Côte d'Ivoire

The bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire have considerably expanded in recent years as India seeks to develop an extensive commercial and strategic partnership in the West African region . The Indian diplomatic mission in Abidjan was opened in 1979. Côte d'Ivoire opened its resident mission in New Delhi in September 2004.[239] Both nations are currently fostering efforts to increase trade, investments and economic cooperation.[240]

[edit] Liberia

The bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Liberia have expanded on growing bilateral trade and strategic cooperation. India is represented in Liberia through its embassy in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and an active honorary consulate in Monrovia since 1984. Liberia was represented in India through its resident mission in New Delhi which subsequently closed due to budgetary constraints.[241]

[edit] Nigeria

India has close relations with this oil rich West African country. Twenty percent of India's crude oil needs are met, by Nigeria. 40000 barrels per day of oil, is the amount of oil, that India receives from Nigeria. Trade, between these two countries stands at $875 million in 2005-2006. Indian companies have also invested in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, iron ore, steel, information technology, and communications, amongst other things. Both India and Nigeria, are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, G-77, and the Non Aligned Movement. The Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo was the guest of honour, at the Republic Day parade, in 1999, and the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, visited Nigeria in 2007, and addressed the Nigerian Parliament.

[edit] South Africa

A meeting of G5 leaders in Berlin, Germany. From left to right: Manmohan Singh of India, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, Felipe Calderón of Mexico, Hu Jintao of China and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

India and South Africa, have always had strong relations. There is a large group of South Africans of Indian descent. Mahatma Gandhi, spent many years in South Africa, during which time, he fought for the rights of the ethnic Indians. Nelson Mandela was inspired by Gandhi. After India's independence, India was strongly against apartheid, and refused diplomatic relations while apartheid was conducted.

The two countries, now have close economic, political, and sports relations. Trade between the two countries grew from $3 million in 1992-1993 to $4 billion in 2005-2006, and aim to reach trade of $12 billion by 2010. One third of India's imports from South Africa is gold bullion. Diamonds, that are mined from South Africa, are polished in India. Nelson Mandela was awarded the Gandhi Peace Prize. The two countries are also members of the IBSA Dialogue Forum, with Brazil. India hopes to get large amounts of uranium, from resource rich South Africa, for India's growing civilian nuclear energy sector.

[edit] Sudan

Indo-Sudanese relations have always been characterized as longstanding, close, and friendly, even since the early development stages of their countries. The two nations established diplomatic relations shortly after India became known as one of the first Asian countries to recognize the newly independent African country. India and Sudan also share geographic and historical similarities, as well as economic interests. Both countries are former British colonies, and remotely border Saudi Arabia by means of a body of water. India and Sudan continue to have cordial relations, despite issues such as India's close relationship with Israel, India's solidarity with Egypt over border issues with Sudan, and Sudan's intimate bonds with Pakistan and Bangladesh. India is also a contributor of a hefty UN peacekeeping force in Darfur.

[edit] International Organizations

India participates in the following international organisations:[242]

ADB-Asian Development Bank, AfDB-African Development Bank (nonregional members), ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIMSTEC-Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multisectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation , BIS-Bank for International Settlements, Commonwealth of Nations, CERN-European Organization for Nuclear Research (observer), CP-Colombo Plan, EAS, FAO-Food and Agriculture Organization, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA-International Atomic Energy Agency, IBRD-International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), ICAO-International Civil Aviation Organization, ICC-International Chamber of Commerce, ICRM-International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, IDA-International Development Association, IFAD-International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFC-International Finance Corporation, IFRCS-International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, IHO-International Hydrographic Organization, ILO-International Labor Organization, IMF-International Monetary Fund, IMO-International Maritime Organization, IMSO-International Mobile Satellite Organization, Interpol-International Criminal Police Organization, IOC-International Olympic Committee, IOM-International Organization for Migration (observer), IPU-Inter-parliamentary Union, ISO-International Organization for Standardization, ITSO-International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, ITU-International Telecommunication Union, ITUC-International Trade Union Confederation (the successor to ICFTU (International Confederation of Free Trade Unions) and the WCL (World Confederation of Labor)), LAS-League of Arab States (observer), MIGA-Multilateral Investment Geographic Agency, MONUC-United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, NAM-Nonaligned Movement, OAS-Organization of American States (observer), OPCW-Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, PCA-Permanent Court of Arbitration, PIF-Pacific Islands Forum (partner), SAARC-South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, SACEP-South Asia Co-opeative Environment Programme, SCO-Shanghai Cooperation Organization (observer), UN-United Nations, UNCTAD-United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNDOF-United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, UNESCO-United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, UNHCR-United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNIDO-United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIFIL-United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, UNMEE-United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, UNMIS, UNOCI-United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire, UNWTO-World Tourism Organization, UPU-Universal Postal Union, WCL-World Confederation of Labor, WCO-World Customs Organization, WFTU-World Federation of Trade Unions, WHO-World Health Organization, WIPO-World Intellectual Property Organization, WMO-World Meteorological Organization, WTO-World Trade Organization

[edit] Non-Aligned Movement

Nonalignment had its origins in India's colonial experience and the nonviolent Indian independence struggle led by the Congress, which left India determined to be the master of its fate in an international system dominated politically by Cold War alliances and economically by Western capitalism. The principles of nonalignment, as articulated by Nehru and his successors, were preservation of India's freedom of action internationally through refusal to align India with any bloc or alliance, particularly those led by the United States or the Soviet Union; nonviolence and international cooperation as a means of settling international disputes. Nonalignment was a consistent feature of Indian foreign policy by the late 1940s and enjoyed strong, almost unquestioning support among the Indian elite.

The term "Non-Alignment" itself was coined by Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his speech in 1954 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

[edit] United Nations

K. R. Narayanan with the U. N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan

As a founder member of the United Nations, India has been a firm supporter of the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations, and has made significant contributions to the furtherance and implementation of these noble aims, and to the evolution and functioning of its various specialized programmes. It stood at the forefront during the UN's tumultuous years of struggle against colonialism and apartheid, its struggle towards global disarmament and the ending of the arms race, and towards the creation of a more equitable international economic order. At the very first session of the UN, India had raised its voice against colonialism and apartheid, two issues which have been among the most significant of the UN's successes in the last half century. India exulted in the UN's triumph, and saw in the UN's victory, a vindication of the policy relentlessly pursued by it from its initial days at the world forum. India has been a participant in all its peace-keeping operations including those in Korea, Egypt and Congo in earlier years and in Somalia, Angola and Rwanda in recent years. India has also played an active role in the deliberations of the United Nations on the creation of a more equitable international economic order. It has been an active member of the Group of 77, and later the core group of the G-15 nations. Other issues, such as environmentally sustainable development and the promotion and protection of human rights, have also been an important focus of India's foreign policy in international forums. See more

[edit] World Trade Organization

Described by WTO chief Pascal Lamy as one of the organization's "big brothers",[243] India was instrumental in bringing down the Doha round of talks in 2008.[244] It has played an important role of representing as many as 100 developing nations during WTO summits.[245]

[edit] SAARC

Certain aspects of India's relations within the subcontinent are conducted through the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Its members are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Established in 1985, SAARC encourages cooperation in agriculture, rural development, science and technology, culture, health, population control, narcotics control and anti-terrorism.

SAARC has intentionally stressed these "core issues" and avoided more divisive political issues, although political dialogue is often conducted on the margins of SAARC meetings. In 1993, India and its SAARC partners signed an agreement to gradually lower tariffs within the region. Forward movement in SAARC has come to a standstill because of the tension between India and Pakistan, and the SAARC Summit originally scheduled for, but not held in, November 1999 has not been rescheduled. The Fourteenth SAARC Summit was held during 3 - 4 April 2007 in New Delhi.

[edit] International disputes

India's territorial disputes with neighboring Pakistan and People's Republic of China have played a crucial role in its foreign policy. India is also involved in minor territorial disputes with neighboring Bangladesh, Nepal and Maldives. India currently maintains two manned stations in Antarctica but has made some unofficial territorial claims, this is yet to be clarified.

India is involved in the following international disputes:

[edit] Bangladesh

[edit] Nepal

  • Kalapani village of India is claimed by Nepal and Nawalparasi district of Nepal is claimed by India.

The dispute between India and Nepal involves about 75 km² of area in Kalapani, where China, India, and Nepal meet. Indian forces occupied the area in 1962 after China and India fought their border war. Three villages are located in the disputed zone: Kuti [Kuthi, 30°19'N, 80°46'E], Gunji, and Knabe. India and Nepal disagree about how to interpret the 1816 Sugauli treaty between the British East India Company and Nepal, which delimited the boundary along the Maha Kali River (Sarda River in India). The dispute intensified in 1997 as the Nepali parliament considered a treaty on hydro-electric development of the river. India and Nepal differ as to which stream constitutes the source of the river. Nepal regards the Limpiyadhura as the source; India claims the Lipu Lekh. Nepal has reportedly tabled an 1856 map from the British India Office to support its position. The countries have held several meetings about the dispute and discussed jointly surveying to resolve the issue.[246] Although the Indo-Nepali dispute appears to be minor, it was aggravated in 1962 by tensions between China and India. Because the disputed area lies near the Sino-Indian frontier, it gains strategic value.[247]

[edit] Anglo Indian Ocean Territories

  • Dispute over the British Indian Ocean Territories and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands with the former colonial powers. India regards these islands as part of its Lakshadweep Indosphere strategy as part of its oceanic vicinity of its sovereignty and a threat to its integrity of its emerging geo-political might, and does not recognise the crown's rule over these "Indian" islands.

[edit] Maldives

[edit] Pakistan

Indus and tributaries
  • The unresolved Kashmir dispute and the status of Kashmir with Pakistan, involving the Siachen Glacier, India claims the disputed territory from Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
  • Boundary issues of the Ferozepur and Pathankot with the Government of Pakistan.
  • Dispute over Kori Creek and the maritime boundary regarding the Rann of Kachchh area of India.
  • Water-sharing problems with Pakistan over the Indus River (Wular Barrage). (Indus Water Treaty)

[edit] People's Republic of China

  • India claims Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract, as part of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • China claims most of Arunachal Pradesh, a contested disputed territory of north-east India by not recognising the McMahon Line. The McMahon Line however, had originally stretched farther southward into Indian territory than India's current territorial claims north of the line. The boundary claim itself is therefore still in dispute as it could give more territorial advantage to either nation. In a sense, the line might not serve as an advantage to India's claim, as a more southward boundary could give China more territorial claim.

Two regions are claimed by both India and China. Aksai Chin is in the disputed territory of Kashmir, at the junction of India, Tibet and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. India claims the 38,000-square-kilometre territory, currently administered by China. Arunachal Pradesh is a state of India in the country's northeast, bordering on Bhutan, Myanmar and China. Though it is under Indian administration, China calls the 90,000-square-kilometre area as South Tibet. Also the boundary between the North Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal with China's Tibet is not properly demarcated with some portions under de-facto administration of India.[248]

[edit] Look East Policy

In the post cold war era, a significant aspect of India's foreign policy is the Look East Policy.During the cold war, India's relations with its South East Asian neighbours was not very strong. After the end of the cold war, the government of India particularly realised the importance of redressing this imbalance in India's foreign policy. Consequently, the Narsimha Rao government in the early nineties of the last century unveiled the look east policy.Initially it focused on renewing political and economic contacts with the countries of East and South-East Asia.

At present,under the Look East Policy, the Government of India is giving special emphasis on the economic development of backward north eastern region of India taking advantage of huge market of ASEAN as well as of the energy resources available in some of the member countries of ASEAN like Myanmar.[249] Look-east policy was launched in 1992 just after the end of the cold war, following the collapse of the Soviet Union. After the start of liberalization, it was a very strategic policy decision taken by the government in the foreign policy. To quote Prime Minister Manmohan Singh "it was also a strategic shift in India's vision of the world and India's place in the evolving global economy".

The policy was given an initial thrust with the then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao visiting China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore and India becoming a important dialogue partner with ASEAN in 1992. Since the beginning of this century, India has given a big push to this policy by becoming a summit level partner of ASEAN (2002) and getting involved in some regional initiatives such as the BIMSTEC and the Ganga Mekong Cooperation and now becoming a member of the East Asia Summit (EAS) in December, 2005.[250]

[edit] India – ASEAN

India's interaction with ASEAN in the cold war era was very limited. India declined to get associated with ASEAN in the 1960s when full membership was offered even before the grouping was formed.[250]

It is only with the formulation of the Look-East policy in the last decade (1992), India had started giving this region due importance in the foreign policy. India became a sectoral dialogue partner with ASEAN in 1992, a full dialogue partner in 1995, a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1996, and a summit level partner (on par with China, Japan and Korea) in 2002.

The first India-ASEAN Business Summit was held at New Delhi in October 2002. The then Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee addressed this meet and since then this business summit has become an annual feature before the India-ASEAN Summits, as a forum for networking and exchange of business experiences between policy makers and business leaders from ASEAN and India.

Four India-ASEAN Summits, first in 2002 at Phnom Penh (Cambodia), second in 2003 at Bali (Indonesia), third in 2004 at Vientiane (Laos) and the fourth in 2005 at Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), have taken place till date.

The following agreements have been entered into with ASEAN:

  • Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (for establishing a FTA in a time frame of 10 years) was concluded in Bali in 2003.
  • An ASEAN-India Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism has been adopted.
  • India has acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in 2003, on which ASEAN was formed initially (in 1967).
  • Agreement on "India-ASEAN Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity" was signed at the 3rd ASEAN-India Summit in Nov 2004.
  • Setting up of Entrepreneurship Development Centres in ASEAN member states – Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam. (The one in Laos is already functional)

The following proposals were announced by the Prime Minister at the 4th ASEAN-India Summit:

  • Setting up centres for English Language Training (ELT) in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
  • Setting up a tele-medicine and tele-education network for Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.
  • Organising special training courses for diplomats from ASEAN countries.
  • Organising an India-ASEAN Technology Summit in 2006.
  • Organising education fairs and road shows in ASEAN countries.
  • Conducting an India-ASEAN IT Ministerial and Industry Forum in 2006.

The ASEAN region has an abundance of natural resources and significant technological skills. These provide a natural base for the integration between ASEAN and India in both trade and investment. The present level of bilateral trade with ASEAN of nearly US $ 18 billion is reportedly increasing by about 25 % per year. India hopes to reach the level of US $ 30 billion by 2007. India is also improving its relations with the help of other policy decisions like offers of lines of credit, better connectivity through air (open skies policy), rail and road links.[250]

[edit] See also

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