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Full Text: RBI's Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2016-17

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Following is the text of the Sixth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2016-17 and Resolution of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued here today:
 
On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to:
 
keep the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) unchanged at 6.25 per cent.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF remains unchanged at 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 6.75 per cent.
 
The decision of the MPC is consistent with a neutral stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving consumer price index (CPI) inflation at 5 per cent by Q4 of 2016-17 and the medium-term target of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth. The main considerations underlying the decision are set out in the statement below.
 
Assessment
 
2. Global growth is projected to pick up modestly in 2017, after slowing down in the year gone by. Advanced economies (AEs) are expected to build upon the slow gathering of momentum that started in the second half of 2016, led by the US and Japan. However, uncertainty surrounds the direction of US macroeconomic policies with potential global spillovers. Growth prospects for emerging market economies (EMEs) are also expected to improve moderately, with recessionary conditions ebbing in Russia and Brazil, and China stabilising on policy stimulus. Inflation is edging up on the back of rising energy prices and a mild firming up of demand. However, global trade remains subdued due to an increasing tendency towards protectionist policies and heightened political tensions. Furthermore, financial conditions are likely to tighten as central banks in AEs normalise exceptional accommodation in monetary policy.
 
3. International financial markets turned volatile from mid-January on concerns regarding the ‘Brexit’ roadmap and materialisation of expectations about economic policies of the new US administration. Within the rising profile of international commodity prices, crude oil prices firmed up with the OPEC’s agreement to curtail production. Prices of base metals have also increased on expectations of fiscal stimulus in the US, strong infrastructure spending in China, and supply reductions. Geopolitical concerns have also hardened commodity prices. More recently, the appetite for risk has returned in AEs, buoying equity markets and hardening bond yields as a response to the growing likelihood of further increases in the Federal Funds rate during the year. Coupled with expectations of fiscal expansion in the US, this has propelled the US dollar to a multi-year high.
 
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4. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) released its advance estimates for 2016-17 on January 6, placing India’s real GVA growth at 7.0 per cent for the year, down from 7.8 per cent (first revised estimates released on January 31) a year ago. Agriculture and allied activities posted a strong pick-up, benefiting from the normal south-west monsoon, robust expansion in rabi acreage (higher by 5.7 per cent over the preceding year) and favourable base effects as well as the continuing resilience of allied activities. In contrast, the industrial sector experienced a sharp deceleration, mainly due to a slowdown in manufacturing and in mining and quarrying. Service sector activity also lost pace, concentrated in trade, hotels, transport and communication services, and construction, cushioned to some extent by public administration and defence.
 
5. Industrial output measured by the index of industrial production (IIP) finally shrugged off the debilitating drag from insulated rubber cables from November and was also pushed up by a favourable base effect. In December, the output of core industries accelerated on a year-on-year as well as on a sequentially seasonally adjusted basis. The drivers of the upturn were steel production and petroleum refinery throughput, the former, inter alia, supported by import tariff safeguards and the latter buoyed by external demand. The acceleration in coal production and thermal electricity generation since November after three consecutive months of contraction augur well for the outlook for power. Reflecting these developments, the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) returned to expansion mode in January on the back of growth of new orders and output, and the future output index has risen strongly. On the other hand, the 76th round of the Reserve Bank’s industrial outlook survey suggests that financing conditions facing the manufacturing sector have worsened in Q3 of 2016-17 and are expected to remain tight in Q4. This is corroborated by the sharp slowdown in bank credit to industry and continuing sluggishness in the investment climate in some sectors.
 
6. High frequency indicators point to subdued activity in the services sector, particularly automobile sales across all segments, domestic air cargo, railway freight traffic, and cement production. Nevertheless, some areas stand out as bright spots, having weathered the transient effects of demonetisation – steel consumption; port traffic; international air freight; foreign tourist arrivals; tractor sales; and, cellular telephone subscribers. The services PMI for January 2017 remained in retrenchment, but the fall in output was the least in the current phase of three consecutive months of contraction.
 
7. Marking the fifth consecutive month of softening, retail inflation measured by the headline consumer price index (CPI) turned down sharper than expected in December and reached its lowest reading since November 2014. This outcome was driven by deflation in the prices of vegetables and pulses. Some moderation in the rate of increase in prices of protein-rich items – eggs, meat and fish – also aided the downturn in food inflation.
 
8. Excluding food and fuel, inflation has been unyielding at 4.9 per cent since September. While some part of this inertial behaviour is attributable to the turnaround in international crude prices since October – which fed into prices of petrol and diesel embedded in transport and communication – a broad-based stickiness is discernible in inflation, particularly in housing, health, education, personal care and effects (excluding gold and silver) as well as miscellaneous goods and services consumed by households.
 
9. The large overhang of liquidity consequent upon demonetisation weighed on money markets in December, but from mid-January rebalancing has been underway with expansion of currency in circulation and new bank notes being injected into the system at an accelerated pace. Throughout this period, the Reserve Bank’s market operations have been in liquidity absorption mode. With the abolition of the incremental cash reserve ratio from December 10, liquidity management operations have consisted of variable rate reverse repos under the LAF of tenors ranging from overnight to 91 days and auctions of cash management bills under the market stabilisation scheme (MSS) of tenors ranging from 14 to 63 days. The average daily net absorption under the LAF was Rs. 1.6 trillion in December, Rs. 2.0 trillion in January and Rs. 3.7 trillion in February (up to February 7) while under the MSS, it was Rs. 3.8 trillion, Rs. 5.0 trillion and Rs.  2.9 trillion, respectively. Money market rates remained aligned with the policy repo rate albeit with a soft bias, with the weighted average call money rate (WACR) averaging 18 basis points below the policy rate during December and January.
 
10. Turning to the external sector, export growth remained in the positive zone for the fourth month in succession in December. Imports other than petroleum oil and lubricants (POL) came out of the spike in November and moderated in December. In contrast, there was an increase of over 10 per cent in POL imports, in part reflecting the rise in international crude oil prices. Overall, the trade deficit shrank both sequentially and on a year-on-year basis, being lower for the period April-December by US$ 23.5 billion than its level a year ago. On the whole, the current account deficit is likely to remain muted and below 1 per cent of GDP in 2016-17. While the buoyancy in net foreign direct investment was sustained, there have been portfolio outflows beginning October on uncertainty relating to the direction of US macroeconomic policies and expectations of faster normalisation of US monetary policy in the year ahead. Foreign exchange reserves were at US$ 363.1 billion on February 3, 2017.
 
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Outlook
 
11. In the fifth bi-monthly statement of December, headline inflation was projected at 5 per cent in Q4 of 2016-17 with risks lower than before but still tilted to the upside. The decline in headline CPI inflation in November and December has been larger than expected, but almost exclusively on the back of deflation in vegetables and pulses. While the seasonal ebb in the prices of vegetables that usually occurs with the onset of winter as well as some demand compression may have contributed to this outcome, anecdotal evidence points to some distress sales of perishables having accentuated the decline in vegetable prices, with spillovers into January as well. Looking beyond, prices of pulses are likely to remain soft with comfortable supply conditions, while vegetable prices may potentially rebound as the effects of demonetisation wear off.
 
12. The Committee is of the view that the persistence of inflation excluding food and fuel could set a floor on further downward movements in headline inflation and trigger second-order effects. Nevertheless, headline CPI inflation in Q4 of 2016-17 is likely to be below 5 per cent. Favourable base effects and lagged effects of demand compression may mute headline inflation in Q1 of 2017-18. Thereafter, it is expected to pick up momentum, especially as growth picks up and the output gap narrows. Moreover, base effects will reverse and turn adverse during Q3 and Q4 of 2017-18. Accordingly, inflation is projected in the range of 4.0 to 4.5 per cent in the first half of the financial year and in the range of 4.5 to 5.0 per cent in the second half with risks evenly balanced around this projected path. In this context, it is important to note three significant upside risks that impart some uncertainty to the baseline inflation path – the hardening profile of international crude prices; volatility in the exchange rate on account of global financial market developments, which could impart upside pressures to domestic inflation; and the fuller effects of the house rent allowances under the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) award which have not been factored in the baseline inflation path. The focus of the Union budget on growth revival without compromising on fiscal prudence should bode well for limiting upside risks to inflation.
 
13. GVA growth for 2016-17 is projected at 6.9 per cent with risks evenly balanced around it. Growth is expected to recover sharply in 2017-18 on account of several factors. First, discretionary consumer demand held back by demonetisation is expected to bounce back beginning in the closing months of 2016-17. Second, economic activity in cash-intensive sectors such as retail trade, hotels and restaurants, and transportation, as well as in the unorganised sector, is expected to be rapidly restored. Third, demonetisation-induced ease in bank funding conditions has led to a sharp improvement in transmission of past policy rate reductions into marginal cost-based lending rates (MCLRs), and in turn, to lending rates for healthy borrowers, which should spur a pick-up in both consumption and investment demand. Fourth, the emphasis in the Union Budget for 2017-18 on stepping up capital expenditure, and boosting the rural economy and affordable housing should contribute to growth. Accordingly, GVA growth for 2017-18 is projected at 7.4 per cent, with risks evenly balanced.
 
14. The Committee remains committed to bringing headline inflation closer to 4.0 per cent on a durable basis and in a calibrated manner. This requires further significant decline in inflation expectations, especially since the services component of inflation that is sensitive to wage movements has been sticky. The committee decided to change the stance from accommodative to neutral while keeping the policy rate on hold to assess how the transitory effects of demonetisation on inflation and the output gap play out.
 
15. The Reserve Bank has conducted market liquidity operations consistent with the liquidity management framework put in place in April 2016, progressively moving the system level ex ante liquidity conditions to close to neutrality. This stance will continue. Surplus liquidity should decline with progressive remonetisation. Nonetheless, the currently abundant liquidity with banks is likely to persist into the early months of 2017-18. The Reserve Bank is committed to ensuring efficient and appropriate liquidity management with all the instruments at its command to ensure close alignment of the WACR with the policy rate, improved transmission of policy impulses to lending rates, and adequate flow of credit to productive sectors of the economy.
 
16. The Committee believes that the environment for timely transmission of policy rates to banks lending rates will be considerably improved if (i) the banking sector’s non-performing assets (NPAs) are resolved more quickly and efficiently; (ii) recapitalisation of the banking sector is hastened; and, (iii) the formula for adjustments in the interest rates on small savings schemes to changes in yields on government securities of corresponding maturity is fully implemented.
 
17. Six members voted in favour of the monetary policy decision. The minutes of the MPC’s meeting will be published by February 22, 2017.
 
18. The next meeting of the MPC is scheduled on April 5 and 6, 2017.
 
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India-Japan Joint Statement

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Following is the text of the Joint Statement issued by India and Japan during the visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan here today:
 
H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, is currently on an official visit to Japan at the invitation of H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan. Earlier today, the two Prime Ministers held wide-ranging consultations on 11 November 2016, in Tokyo, during which they undertook a comprehensive review of the Special Strategic and Global Partnership as outlined in the "India and Japan Vision 2025" set forth on 12 December 2015. They acknowledged the significant progress in bilateral relations over the past two years since Prime Minister Modi's visit to Japan in August-September 2014. 
 
Synergising the Partnership
 
The two Prime Ministers appreciated the deep civilisational links between the people of the two countries, including the common heritage of Buddhist thought, and underscored their shared commitment to democracy, openness, and the rule of law as key values to achieve peaceful co-existence. They welcomed the high degree of convergence in the political, economic and strategic interests of the two countries that provides an enduring basis for a long-term partnership.
 
The two Prime Ministers underscored the rising importance of the Indo-Pacific region as the key driver for the prosperity of the world. They stressed the core values of democracy, peace, the rule of law, tolerance, and respect for the environment in realising pluralistic and inclusive growth of the region. In this context, Prime Minister Abe appreciated Prime Minister Modi’s active engagement in the region under the "Act East Policy,” and briefed Prime Minister Modi on the "Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.” Prime Minister Modi appreciated Japan’s greater engagement in the region under this strategy. They recognised the potential for deeper bilateral cooperation and synergy between the said policy and strategy.
 
They further stressed that improving connectivity between Asia and Africa, through realising a free and open Indo-Pacific region, is vital to achieving prosperity of the entire region. They decided to seek synergy between India's "Act East" Policy and Japan's "Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure,” by closely coordinating, bilaterally and with other partners, for better regional integration and improved connectivity as well as industrial networks based on the principles of mutual consultation and trust.
 
Reviewing the deepening interdependence and complexity of the global agenda, the two Prime Ministers also decided to expand common space and their cooperation on global challenges such as climate change, countering terrorism and violent extremism, reform of the United Nations (UN) including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), as well as maintaining rules-based international order.
 
Keeping in mind the immense potential for combining Japan's capital, innovation and technologies with the rich human resources and economic opportunities available in India's high-growth economy, the two Prime Ministers underlined the need to intensify cooperation in high technology, space, clean energy and energy sector development, infrastructure and smart cities, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals, ICT, as well as education and skills development to strengthen and deepen their Special Strategic and Global Partnership. 
 
Building a Stronger Partnership for Safer and Stable World 
 
Stressing the role of India and Japan for stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, the two Prime Ministers reiterated the need to further consolidate their security and defence cooperation. They welcomed the entry into force of the two Defence Framework Agreements concerning the Transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology and concerning Security Measures for the Protection of Classified Military Information. They underscored the need to further expand defence engagement through greater two-way collaboration and technology cooperation, co-development and co-production, by expediting discussions for determining specific items including through the Joint Working Group on Defence Equipment and Technology Cooperation.
 
The two Prime Ministers appreciated the successful Annual Defence Ministerial Dialogue held in New Delhi, Japan's regular participation in the Malabar Exercise and the International Fleet Review off the coast of Vishakapatnam. They reaffirmed their desire to further deepen bilateral security and defence dialogues, through the "2+2” Dialogue, Defence Policy Dialogue, Military-to-Military Talks and Coast Guard-to-Coast Guard co-operation. They also welcomed that, with the inaugural air force staff talks held earlier this year, the two sides now have institutional wide ranging dialogue mechanism in place covering all three services. The two Prime Ministers shared their intention to expand dialogue and cooperation in the defence sector to cover exchange of observers in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) exercises, and exchange and training of personnel in other fields.
 
Prime Minister Modi conveyed his appreciation for Japan's readiness to provide its state of the art defence platforms such as US-2 amphibian aircraft. It symbolises the high degree of trust between the two countries and the distance that Japan and India have covered in advancing their bilateral defence exchanges. 
 
Partnership for Prosperity 
 
Prime Minister Modi briefed Prime Minister Abe about his Government’s efforts to accelerate economic development through innovative initiatives such as "Make in India," "Digital India," "Skill India," "Smart City," "Swachh Bharat” and "Start-Up India." Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan's firm support for these initiatives by sharing its advanced skills and technologies, through active mobilisation of Japanese public and private sector investments, including through ODA. The two Prime Ministers underscored that these initiatives provide significant opportunities for further collaboration between private sectors of India and Japan.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the steady progress made in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) Project, a flagship project between the two countries, through the discussion in the Joint Committee meetings held thrice in 2016.
The two Prime Ministers noted the target schedule of the MAHSR Project that the General Consultant will start its work in December 2016, that the construction work will commence by the end of 2018, and that the operation will start in 2023.
 
The two Prime Ministers also welcomed that a task force will be set up comprising representatives of both countries to develop a concrete roadmap for phased transfer of technology and "Make in India.” Both sides will explore further strengthening of partnership in high speed railways. The two Prime Ministers emphasised the critical importance of human resource development in high speed rail technology, operation and maintenance in a planned manner, including the commencement of preliminary work on establishment of HSR Institute and development of its training programme. The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of accelerating the MAHSR Project by holding the Ground Breaking Ceremony in 2017. The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction, the growing collaboration between India and Japan in the modernisation and expansion of conventional railway system in India.
 
The two Prime Ministers decided to cooperate on the human resource development in the manufacturing sector in India through "Manufacturing Skill Transfer Promotion Programme.” This programme will enhance the manufacturing base of India and contribute to "Make in India” and "Skill India,” through training 30,000 persons over next 10 years with Japanese style manufacturing skills and practices through the establishment of the Japan-India Institutes for Manufacturing (JIM) and the Japanese Endowed Courses (JEC) in engineering colleges designated by Japanese companies in India in cooperation between the public and private sectors. The first three JIMs under the Programme would start in summer 2017 in the States of Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the steady progress to realise 3.5 trillion yen of public and private financing to India in five years under the "Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership." They also welcomed the progress in the projects at the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) and the Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC). The two Prime Ministers also confirmed the importance of securing appropriate implementation of ODA projects.
 
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the significant contribution of Japan's ODA in the development and modernisation of infrastructure in India. In this regard, the two Prime Ministers welcomed progress in the ODA projects in urban transportation sector such as the Chennai and Ahmedabad Metro, the Mumbai Trans Harbor Link project, and the introduction of the Intelligence Transport System along the Eastern Peripheral Highway in Delhi. Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to support the upgrading of the ship-recycling yards of Alang, Bhavnagar District of Gujarat.
 
The two Prime Ministers expressed their strong commitment to work together to enhance connectivity, and welcomed the progress of the projects to enhance road connectivity in North Eastern India. They decided to build upon their cooperation in the field of smart cities to develop smart islands by initiating consultations to identify technologies, infrastructure, development strategies and management processes that would facilitate development of smart islands in an efficient and effective manner.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the provision of ODA loan to the irrigation project in Jharkhand, and the preparatory survey for forest resource management in Odisha and irrigation improvement in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
 
Prime Minister Modi appreciated Japan’s efforts to support the construction of a Convention Centre in Varanasi and recognised its symbolic importance as a sign of strengthening bilateral ties.
 
Prime Minister Abe commended Prime Minister Modi’s strong commitment to improve business environment in India, and welcomed reforms undertaken for liberalising investment policies, simplifying and rationalising taxation system through the passage of historic Goods and Services Tax Bill, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and other measures.
 
Prime Minister Abe appreciated the actions taken by Prime Minister Modi on improving the business environment in India and creating enabling environment for Japanese investments .Prime Minister Modi appreciated the initiatives by Prime Minister Abe towards establishment of Japan Industrial Townships (JITs). He expressed confidence that establishment of these townships will enhance technology infusion, innovation and best practices in manufacturing sector in India. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the progress related to JITs including the focused planning by selecting a few areas out of the twelve JITs for pilot implementation and special investment incentives. They also agreed to continue to engage in consultation and cooperation in development of JITs.
 
Prime Minister Abe also expressed appreciation for the facilitation provided by the "Japan Plus” for the Japanese companies in India and the coordination by the "Core Group” chaired by Cabinet Secretary for the facilitation of Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership. The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction that the bilateral Strategic Economic Dialogue, Financial Dialogue and meetings on Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) were held successfully this year and underlined the importance of these dialogues and their subcommittees to deepen bilateral cooperation. They also welcomed the entry into force of the Agreement on Social Security in October 2016, which would reduce costs of business and further facilitate human and economic exchanges between India and Japan.
 
The two Prime Ministers confirmed the importance of implementing the "Japan-India Make-in-India Special Finance Facility" of up to 1.5 trillion yen by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to promote direct investment of Japanese companies in India. They welcomed the Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) between the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport and Urban Development (JOIN) to explore funding for infrastructure projects in India. 
 
Working together for a cleaner and greener future 
 
The two Prime Ministers recognised that access to reliable, clean and affordable energy is critical for economic growth of both countries, and in this regard, they welcomed the Japan-India Energy Partnership Initiative laid by the Japan-India 8th Energy Dialogue held in January 2016. They further desired to strengthen bilateral energy cooperation as it will contribute not only to the energy development of both countries, but also to worldwide energy security, energy access and climate change issue. They also reaffirmed their intention to promote transparent and diversified Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) market including elimination of destination clause.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and reaffirmed their commitment to work together in developing the rules for successful implementation of the Agreement. They also shared the intention to hold as early as possible further consultations on the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM).
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Prime Minister Abe welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s efforts, particularly in the area of renewable energy, including the establishment of the International Solar Alliance.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of India for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy which reflects a new level of mutual confidence and strategic partnership in the cause of clean energy, economic development and a peaceful and secure world.
 
Welcoming the growing collaboration between their private and public sector entities in environmentally friendly energy efficient technologies, the two Prime Ministers underlined the importance of promoting further cooperation in such areas as clean coal technologies and popularisation of eco-friendly vehicles including hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles etc.
 
The two Prime Ministers expressed their intention to achieve an early conclusion of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009. 
 
Laying the Foundation of a Future-oriented Partnership 
 
The two Prime Ministers recognised the vast potential for deeper bilateral collaboration of science and technology to fundamentally transform societies. They also stressed the importance of enhancing space cooperation, and welcomed the signing of the MOU between JAXA and ISRO. They also appreciated extending cooperation in the area of marine, earth and atmospheric sciences, including through the Memorundum of Cooperation (MOC) between the Ministry of Earth Science and JAMSTEC. They noted the progress made in bilateral IT and IoT cooperation through the bilateral Joint Working Group on IT and Electronics, the Japan-India IoT Investment Initiative in cooperation with JETRO, and Joint Committee on Science and Technology.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the successful holding of the "Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2016” in New Delhi, following the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. They recognised the potential for cooperation in the area of disaster management and disaster risk reduction. They also acknowledged the importance of the World Tsunami Awareness Day to raise awareness, promote better understanding of risks and develop tools to address it.
 
The two Prime Ministers also welcomed progress of cooperation in the field of healthcare including antimicrobial resistance, stem cell research, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. They also noted the opportunities for collaboration between Indian and Japanese pharmaceutical companies in light of the target regarding the quantitative share of generic medicines in Japan. 
 
Investing in People for a Durable Partnership
 
The two Prime Ministers stressed the need to further strengthen the opportunities for tourism, youth exchange and educational collaboration, and decided to mark the year 2017 as a year of India-Japan friendly exchanges in the field of culture and tourism. They welcomed the MOC in the field of Cultural Exchange. They expressed their strong desire to promote tourism flows between the two countries and noted with satisfaction the inaugural meeting of India-Japan Tourism Council and look forward to the second meeting in Japan in 2017. They also welcomed the planned opening of the Japan National Tourism Organisation (JNTO) office in Delhi in FY 2016.
 
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Prime Minister Abe announced a relaxation of visa requirement for Indian students and expressed his intention to expand the number of visa application sites for Indian nationals to twenty. Prime Minister Abe thanked Prime Minister Modi for extending the Visa on Arrival facility as well as long-term ten-year visas to Japanese tourists and investors.
 
Prime Minister Abe briefed about Japan’s new initiative "Innovative Asia” to enhance exchange of skilled human resources in Asia. The two Prime Ministers hoped that this initiative would provide Indian students new avenues to avail of scholarship and internship opportunities and would further foster innovation.
 
The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the successful realisation of the first bilateral High-Level Policy Dialogue on Education, and stressed the need to further strengthen collaboration in education including through expanded university-to-university institutionalised links. The two Prime Ministers also underscored the importance of sharing the best practices regarding the education models, and initiatives such as SAKURA Science Plan (Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Programme in Science) under which young Indian students and researchers visit Japan.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the MOC on Sports between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan to promote sharing of experiences, skills, techniques, information and knowledge, with a special focus on Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. Prime Minister Abe welcomed that Prime Minister Modi offered to support Japan's efforts towards the successful organisation of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
 
The two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of increased interaction between all levels of the government, between parliament members, and between Prefectures and States. They welcomed the signing of the MOU between the State of Gujarat and Hyogo Prefecture on mutual cooperation. They also expressed satisfaction at the strengthened ties between the City of Kyoto and Varanasi, two ancient cities integral to their respective cultural heritage.
 
Prime Minister Modi welcomed the growing interest in Japan in celebrating the International Day of Yoga. Prime Minister Modi also encouraged the Japanese Yoga enthusiasts to avail of Indian scholarships for training in the most reputed yoga institutes in India.
 
The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of the empowerment of women and the need to strengthen cooperation in this area, including efforts through conferences such as the World Assembly for Women (WAW!).
 
Sharing the view that the future of Asia needs to build on the positive influence of traditions of non-violence, tolerance, and democracy in Asia, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the symposium on "Shared Values and Democracy in Asia" held in Tokyo in January 2016 and looked forward to the next conference in 2017. 
 
Working Jointly for Strengthening Rules-based International Order in the Indo-Pacific Region and Beyond
 
The two Prime Ministers stressed the potential that the collaboration of India and Japan have in realising prosperous Indo-Pacific region in the 21st century. They decided to draw on the strength of shared values, convergent interests and complementary skills and resources, to promote economic and social development, capacity building, connectivity and infrastructure development in the region. In this regard, Prime Minister Abe proposed a new initiative combining the human, financial and technological resources of the two countries to advance these objectives including through Japanese ODA projects. Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the importance of bilateral cooperation in this regard.
 
The two Prime Ministers underscored the importance of India-Japan dialogue to promote cooperation and collaboration in Africa, with the objective to synergise their efforts and explore specific joint projects including in the areas of training and capacity building, health, infrastructure and connectivity. In this regard, they also expressed their intention to work jointly and cooperatively with the international community to promote the development of industrial corridors and industrial network in Asia and Africa.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the prospects of cooperation between the two countries for promoting peace and prosperity in South Asia and neighboring region, such as Iran and Afghanistan, through both bilateral and trilateral cooperation, inter-alia, in the development of infrastructure and connectivity for Chabahar. They directed their officials to expeditiously work out details for such cooperation.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the holding of trilateral dialogue among Japan, India and the United States, and strengthened coordination and cooperation in such areas as HA/DR, regional connectivity as well as maritime security and safety. The two Prime Ministers also welcomed continued and deepened trilateral dialogue among Japan, India and Australia.
 
Welcoming the progress in strengthening the East Asia Summit (EAS) process as the premier leaders-led forum to discuss regional political, economic and security issues, the two Prime Ministers decided to work together towards making the Summit a more dynamic proactive process. They welcomed the convening of the EAS Ambassadors’ Meeting in Jakarta and the establishment of the EAS Unit within the ASEAN Secretariat. They stressed the importance of enhancing maritime cooperation and regional connectivity within the EAS framework.
 
The two Prime Ministers expressed their willingness to shaping and strengthening the evolving regional architecture through enhanced cooperation in ASEAN-led fora such as ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus, Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum and coordination of their actions to tackle global and regional challenges including maritime security, terrorism and violent extremism, and climate change.
 
They expressed their strong hope that these regional and trilateral dialogue mechanisms will be further developed and contribute to a balanced, open, inclusive, stable, transparent and rules-based economic, political and security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region.
 
The two Prime Ministers condemned terrorism in strongest terms in all its forms and manifestations in the spirit of "zero tolerance.” They noted with great concern the growing menace of terrorism and violent extremism and its universal reach. They expressed their condolences to the bereaved families of the victims of both countries in the recent terrorist attacks including in Dhaka and Uri. They called upon all countries to implement the UNSC Resolution 1267 and other relevant resolutions designating terrorist entities. They called upon all countries to work towards eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, in disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels, and stopping cross-border movement of terrorists. They underlined the need for all countries to effectively deal with trans-national terrorism emanating from their territory. They emphasised that the evolving character of terrorism called for stronger international partnership in countering terrorism and violent extremism, including through increased sharing of information and intelligence. The two Prime Ministers noted the ongoing bilateral dialogue on counter-terrorism and called for enhanced cooperation including through greater exchange of information and intelligence between the two sides. They also called for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of terrorist attacks including those of November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai and 2016 terrorist attack in Pathankot to justice.
 
The two Prime Ministers affirmed closer cooperation in safeguarding the global commons and domains such as maritime, space as well as cyber.
 
The two Prime Ministers reiterated their commitment to respecting freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce, based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). In this context, they urged all parties to resolve disputes through peaceful means without resorting to threat or use of force and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities, and avoid unilateral actions that raise tensions. As the leaders of the State Parties to the UNCLOS, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their view that all parties should show utmost respect to the UNCLOS, which establishes the international legal order of the seas and oceans. Regarding the South China Sea, the two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of resolving the disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law including the UNCLOS.
 
The two Prime Ministers condemned in the strongest terms North Korea's continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, including its uranium enrichment activities and strongly urged North Korea to refrain from any further provocation, to fully comply with its international obligations and commitments, including under relevant UNSC resolutions and to take actions towards the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their determination to cooperate against proliferation activities posing a threat to the region. They also urged North Korea to address at the earliest the abductions issue.
 
Prime Minister Abe briefed Prime Minister Modi on Japan’s efforts to further contribute to peace, stability and prosperity of the region including through initiatives such as "Proactive Contribution to Peace.” Prime Minister Modi acknowledged Japan’s positive contribution to regional and global stability and prosperity.
 
The two Prime Ministers called for expeditious reforms of the UN including the UNSC to make it more legitimate, effective and representative, taking into account the contemporary realities of the 21st century and reiterated their resolve to work closely with likeminded partners to realise this goal. They welcomed the creation of the "Group of Friends” on UNSC reform which would provide impetus to the ongoing Inter Governmental Negotiations including significant movement towards the launch of text-based negotiations. The two Prime Ministers reiterated their support for each other's candidature, based on the firmly shared recognition that India and Japan are legitimate candidates for permanent membership in an expanded UNSC.
 
Recognising India as the largest democracy and a fast growing large economy in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan firmly supports India’s membership in the APEC. The two Prime Ministers decided to work towards liberalisation and facilitation of trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. They reaffirmed to cooperate towards conclusion of modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement. The two Prime Ministers decided to work towards liberalisation and facilitation of trade, including through WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and through enhanced trade in goods and services, and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of enhancing communication and cooperation on excess capacity in steel industries including through the formation of the Global Forum on steel excess capacity as called for by the G20 leaders this year.
 
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). They called for an immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of Shannon Mandate. They also expressed their resolve towards strengthening international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
 
The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of effective national export control systems. Japan welcomed India's recent accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC) and its intensified engagement with the export control regimes. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member in the remaining three international export control regimes: Nuclear Suppliers Group, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, with the aim of strengthening the international non-proliferation efforts. 
 
Conclusion
 
Prime Minister Modi thanked the Government and people of Japan for their warm hospitality and extended a cordial invitation to Prime Minister Abe to visit India at a mutually convenient time for the next summit meeting. Prime Minister Abe accepted the invitation with appreciation.
 
NNN
 
           
 
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Text of Prime Minister Modi's address to the nation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation, in New Delhi, on November 8, 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation, in New Delhi, on November 8, 2016.
Following is the text of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation today:
 
My dear citizens,
 
I hope you ended the festive season of Diwali with joy and new hope. Today, I will be speaking to you about some critical issues and important decisions. Today I want to make a special request to all of you. You may recall the economic situation in May 2014 when you entrusted us with an onerous responsibility. In the context of BRICS, it was being said that the “I” in BRICS was shaky. Since then, we had two years of severe drought. Yet, in the last two and a half years with the support of 125 crore Indians, India has become the “bright spot” in the global economy. It is not just we who are saying this; it is being stated by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. 
 
In this effort for development, our motto has been ‘Sab Ka Saath Sab Ka Vikas’: We are with all citizens and for development of all citizens. This Government is dedicated to the poor. It will remain dedicated to them. In our fight against poverty, our main thrust has been to empower the poor, and make them active participants in the benefits of economic progress. 
 
The Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, the Jan Suraksha Yojana, the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana for small enterprises, the Stand-up India programme for Dalits, Adivasis and Women, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme for gas connections in the homes of the poor, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana to protect the income of farmers, the Soil Health Card Scheme to ensure the best possible yield from farmers’ fields, and the e-NAM National Market Place scheme to ensure farmers get the right price for their produce — these are  all reflections of this approach. 
 
In the past decades, the spectre of corruption and black money has grown. It has weakened the effort to remove poverty. On the one hand, we are now No. 1 in the rate of economic growth. But on the other hand, we were ranked close to one hundred in the global corruption perceptions ranking two years back. In spite of many steps taken, we have only been able to reach a ranking of seventy-six now. Of course, there is improvement. This shows the extent to which corruption and black money have spread their tentacles. 
 
The evil of corruption has been spread by certain sections of society for their selfish interest. They have ignored the poor and cornered benefits. Some people have misused their office for personal gain. On the other hand, honest people have fought against this evil. Crores of common men and women have lived lives of integrity. We hear about poor auto-rickshaw drivers returning gold ornaments left in the vehicles to their rightful owners. We hear about taxi drivers who take pains to locate the owners of cell phones left behind. We hear of vegetable vendors who return excess money given by customers. 
 
There comes a time in the history of a country’s development when a need is felt for a strong and decisive step. For years, this country has felt that corruption, black money and terrorism are festering sores, holding us back in the race towards development. 
 
Terrorism is a frightening threat. So many have lost their lives because of it. But have you ever thought about how these terrorists get their money? Enemies from across the border run their operations using fake currency notes. This has been going on for years. Many times, those using fake five hundred and thousand rupee notes have been caught and many such notes have been seized. 
 
Brothers and sisters, 
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On the one hand is the problem of terrorism; on the other is the challenge posed by corruption and black money. We began our battle against corruption by setting up an SIT headed by a retired Supreme Court judge, immediately upon taking office. Since then
 
a law was passed in 2015 for disclosure of foreign black money; 
agreements with many countries, including the USA, have been made to add provisions for sharing banking information; 
a strict law has come into force from August 2016 to curb benami transactions, which are used to deploy black money earned through corruption; 
a scheme was introduced for declaring black money after paying a stiff penalty; 
 
My dear countrymen, 
 
Through all these efforts, in the last two and a half years, we have brought into the open nearly 1 lakh 25 thousand crore rupees of black money belonging to the corrupt. Honest citizens want this fight against corruption, black money, benami property, terrorism and counterfeiting to continue. Which honest citizen would not be pained by reports of crores worth of currency notes stashed under the beds of government officers? Or by reports of cash found in gunny bags? 
 
The magnitude of cash in circulation is directly linked to the level of corruption. Inflation becomes worse through the deployment of cash earned in corrupt ways. The poor have to bear the brunt of this. It has a direct effect on the purchasing power of the poor and the middle class. You may yourself have experienced when buying land or a house, that apart from the amount paid by cheque, a large amount is demanded in cash. This creates problems for an honest person in buying property. The misuse of cash has led to artificial increase in the cost of goods and services like houses, land, higher education, health care and so on. 
 
High circulation of cash also strengthens the hawala trade which is directly connected to black money and illegal trade in weapons. Debate on the role of black money in elections has been going on for years. 
 
Brothers and sisters, 
 
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To break the grip of corruption and black money, we have decided that the five hundred rupee and thousand rupee currency notes presently in use will no longer be legal tender from midnight tonight, that is 8th November 2016. This means that these notes will not be acceptable for transactions from midnight onwards. The five hundred and thousand rupee notes hoarded by anti-national and anti-social elements will become just worthless pieces of paper. The rights and the interests of honest, hard-working people will be fully protected. Let me assure you that notes of one hundred, fifty, twenty, ten, five, two and one rupee and all coins will remain legal tender and will not be affected. 
 
This step will strengthen the hands of the common man in the fight against corruption, black money and fake currency. To minimise the difficulties of citizens in the coming days, several steps are being taken. 
 
1. Persons holding old notes of five hundred or one thousand rupees can deposit these notes in their bank or post office accounts from 10th November till close of banking hours on 30th December 2016 without any limit. 
2. Thus you will have 50 days to deposit your notes and there is no need for panic. 
3. Your money will remain yours. You need have no worry on this point. 
4. After depositing your money in your account, you can draw it when you need it. 
5. Keeping in mind the supply of new notes, in the first few days, there will be a limit of ten thousand rupees per day and twenty thousand rupees per week. This limit will be increased in the coming days. 
6. Apart from depositing your notes in your bank account, another facility will also be there. 
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7. For your immediate needs, you can go to any bank, head post office or sub post office, show your identity proof like Aadhaar card, voter card, ration card, passport, PAN card or other approved proofs, and exchange your old five hundred or thousand rupee notes for new notes. 
8. From 10th November till 24th November the limit for such exchange will be four thousand rupees. From 25th November till 30th December, the limit will be increased. 
9. There may be some who, for some reason, are not able to deposit their old five hundred or thousand rupee notes by 30th December 2016. 
10. They can go to specified offices of the Reserve Bank of India up to 31st March 2017 and deposit the notes after submitting a declaration form. 
11. On 9th November and in some places on 10th November also, ATMs will not work. In the first few days, there will be a limit of two thousand rupees per day per card. 
12. This will be raised to four thousand rupees later. 
13. Five hundred and thousand rupee notes will not be legal tender from midnight. However for humanitarian reasons, to reduce hardship to citizens, some special arrangements have been made for the first 72 hours, that is till midnight on 11th November. 
14. During this period, government hospitals will continue to accept five hundred and thousand rupee notes for payment. 
15. This is for the benefit of those families whose members may be unwell. 
16. Pharmacies in government hospitals will also accept these notes for buying medicines with doctors’ prescription. 
17. For 72 hours, till midnight on 11th November, railway ticket booking counters, ticket counters of government buses and airline ticket counters at airports will accept the old notes for purchase of tickets. This is for the benefit of those who may be travelling at this time. 
18. For 72 hours, five hundred and thousand rupee notes will be accepted also at
Petrol, diesel and CNG gas stations authorised by public sector oil companies
Consumer co-operative stores authorised by State or Central Government
Milk booths authorised by State governments
Crematoria and burial grounds. 
These outlets will have to keep proper records of stock and collections. 
 
19. Arrangements will be made at international airports for arriving and departing passengers who have five hundred or thousand rupee notes of not more than five thousand rupees, to exchange them for new notes or other legal tender. 
20. Foreign tourists will be able to exchange foreign currency or old notes of not more than Rs 5000 into legal tender. 
21. One more thing I would like to mention, I want to stress that in this entire exercise, there is no restriction of any kind on non-cash payments by cheques, demand drafts, debit or credit cards and electronic fund transfer. 
Brothers and sisters, 
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In spite of all these efforts there may be temporary hardships to be faced by honest citizens. Experience tells us that ordinary citizens are always ready to make sacrifices and face difficulties for the benefit of the nation. I see that spirit when a poor widow gives up her LPG subsidy, when a retired school teacher contributes his pension to the Swacch Bharat mission, when a poor Adivasi mother sells her goats to build a toilet, when a soldier contributes 57 thousand rupees to make his village clean. I have seen that the ordinary citizen has the determination to do anything, if it will lead to the country’s progress. 
 
So, in this fight against corruption, black money, fake notes and terrorism, in this movement for purifying our country, will our people not put up with difficulties for some days? I have full confidence that every citizen will stand up and participate in this ‘mahayagna’. My dear countrymen, after the festivity of Diwali, now join the nation and extend your hand in this Imandaari ka Utsav, this Pramanikta ka Parv, this celebration of integrity, this festival of credibility. 
 
I am sure that all political parties, all governments, social services organizations, the media and indeed all sections of the society will take part in this with enthusiasm and make it a success. 
 
My dear countrymen, 
 
Secrecy was essential for this action. It is only now, as I speak to you, that various agencies like banks, post offices, railways, hospitals and others are being informed. The Reserve Bank, banks and post offices have to make many arrangements at very short notice. Obviously, time will be needed. Therefore all banks will be closed to the public on 9th November. This may cause some hardship to you. I have full faith that banks and post offices will successfully carry out this great task of national importance. However, I appeal to all of you to help the banks and post offices to meet this challenge with poise and determination. 
 
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My dear citizens, 
 
From time to time, based on currency needs, the Reserve Bank with the approval of the Central Government brings out new notes of higher value. In 2014, the Reserve Bank sent a recommendation for issue of five thousand and ten thousand rupee notes. After careful consideration, this was not accepted. Now as part of this exercise, RBI’s recommendation to issue two thousand rupee notes has been accepted. New notes of five hundred rupees and two thousand rupees, with completely new design will be introduced. Based on past experience, the Reserve Bank will hereafter make arrangements to limit the share of high denomination notes in the total currency in circulation. 
 
In a country’s history, there come moments when every person feels he too should be part of that moment, that he too should make his contribution to the country’s progress. Such moments come but rarely. Now, we again have an opportunity where every citizen can join this mahayajna against the ills of corruption, black money and fake notes. The more help you give in this campaign, the more successful it will be. 
 
It has been a matter of concern for all of us that corruption and black money tend to be accepted as part of life. This type of thinking has afflicted our politics, our administration and our society like an infestation of termites. None of our public institutions is free from these termites. 
 
Time and again, I have seen that when the average citizen has to choose between accepting dishonesty and bearing inconvenience, they always choose to put up with inconvenience. They will not support dishonesty. 
 
Once again, let me invite you to make your contribution to this grand sacrifice for cleansing our country, just as you cleaned up your surroundings during Diwali. 
 
Let us ignore the temporary hardship.
Let us join this festival of integrity and credibility.
Let us enable coming generations to live their lives with dignity.
Let us fight corruption and black money.
Let us ensure that the nation’s wealth benefits the poor.
Let us enable law-abiding citizens to get their due share. 
 
I am confident in the 125 crore people of India and I am sure country will get success. 
 
Thank you very much. Thanks a lot. 
 
Namaskar. 
 
Bharat Mata Ki Jai. 
 
NNN
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India-UK Joint Statement

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Following is the text of the India-UK Joint Statement during the visit of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to India (India-UK Strategic Partnership looking forward to a renewed engagement: Vision for the decade ahead):
 
Prime Minister Theresa May visited India during 6-8 November 2016 at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This was her first bilateral visit outside Europe after taking over as the Prime Minister of the UK. The visit was designed to further strengthen the India–UK Strategic Partnership, guided by a shared vision for the future and supported by a concrete and comprehensive roadmap of bilateral and global engagement.
 
Prime Minister Modi welcomed Prime Minister May and discussed all aspects of India-UK relations. The two leaders recalled the strong bonds of friendship that exist between the two countries characterised by extensive political engagement, deep economic cooperation, and ever expanding scientific and technological collaboration. The two states enjoy vibrant people to people relations supported by the 1.5 million strong Indian diaspora in the UK and an increasing convergence on the way forward on key global challenges of the 21st century. Our shared history, our shared connections and our shared values make this a natural partnership. They form the foundation of a unique friendship.
 
The two Prime Ministers emphasized working together on a contemporary and forward-looking global partnership to promote peace, security and prosperity of the two countries and act as a force for good in the world.
 
During Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the UK last year, the two countries set out a bold vision for the UK-India Strategic Partnership. Both countries today commit to turn this vision into reality through closer, practical cooperation that delivers real benefits to both the countries. 
 
We are taking a shared stake in each other’s prosperity, generating jobs, developing skills, and enhancing the competitiveness of our two economies and opening up new markets for both of us. UK finance and expertise from its world leading services sectors will help deliver key Indian priorities like infrastructure development, future smart cities, sustainable energy, research and skills. Likewise, Indian investments and business capacities and niche competencies are making valuable contributions to the UK growth and economy. And we are determined to deepen our trade and investment relationship even further, reinforcing the dynamic and effective collaboration between our governments and business communities, and seizing the opportunities for closer cooperation as the UK leaves the EU. 
 
The UK was the first P5 advocate of India’s permanent membership of the UN Security Council, recognising the common values we hold and our shared vision of a stable, rules-based international system. We continue to build upon our 2015 Defence and International Security Partnership to deepen cooperation, including on countering terrorism, radicalisation, violent extremism and cyber security. We will jointly set out areas on defence and security which make clear our future ambitions to design, make, exercise, train and co-operate together. And we will continue to consult and co-ordinate across a range of global policy security challenges, in pursuit of our shared goal of a more secure world.
 
Stimulating growth, trade and business together
 
The two Prime Ministers noted the importance of the UK-India trade relationship and welcomed that business to business ties between India and the UK are flourishing.
 
They noted that India was the third largest investor in the UK and the second largest international job creator with Indian companies having created over 110,000 jobs in the UK. The UK is the largest G-20 investor in India. The two Prime Ministers expressed their pleasure at the level of bilateral financial cooperation and called for greater participation of the investment community from both sides in stimulating Indian and UK economic growth.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the large number of commercial deals finalised in connection with the visit across a range of sectors - ICT companies, critical engineering and healthcare products.
 
The two Prime Ministers noted the importance of Government and business working together. They welcomed the suggestions made by the India-UK CEO Forum which met in the margins of the visit. They agreed that the two Governments, together with the CEO Forum, would review how the Forum can better support an enhanced economic and commercial relationship, alongside Government dialogues.
 
They agreed they will make it a priority for both countries, when the UK leaves the European Union, to build the closest possible commercial and economic relationship. To this end, the newly established Joint Working Group, reporting to JETCO, will discuss the detail of our trading relationship, and help drive progress. 
 
Financing India’s infrastructure growth
 
The two Prime Ministers agreed to accelerate the deepening partnership between the UK and India in financing investment in Indian infrastructure. Prime Minister Modi highlighted to Prime Minister May the immense opportunities India’s national programmes including Make in India, Digital India, Skill India and Smart Cities provided for UK companies to invest and partner India’s growth story.
 
Over $1.1 billion (INR 7,500 crore or £900 million) of rupee-denominated bonds have been issued in London since July 2016 establishing London as the leading global centre for offshore rupee finance. The two Prime Ministers commended the pioneering and highly successful bond issuances by HDFC (INR 3,000 crore or £366 million) and NTPC (INR 2,000 crore or £244 million), which will pave the way for Indian corporates to raise significant quantities of finance in London. They noted the recent issuance in London by the Canadian province of British Columbia, the first foreign sub-national entity to issue rupee-denominated bonds. They welcomed the intention of National Highways Authority of India [NHAI] and Indian Railway Finance Corporation [IRFC] to issue rupee-denominated bonds in the next few months. They also looked forward to other Indian entities, including Energy Efficiency Services Limited and the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency preparing to issue green bonds including rupee-denominated bonds in London in the coming weeks. 
 
The two Prime Ministers also welcomed the agreement to create the FTSE-SBI India Bonds Index Series, which will support the development of India’s growing corporate bond market. This follows a successful collaboration between State Bank of India (SBI) and London Stock Exchange Group’s index business FTSE Russell. 
 
The two Prime Ministers were pleased with the progress being made to establish an India-UK Sub-Fund under the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The fund will seek to leverage private sector investment from the City of London to finance Indian infrastructure projects under the umbrella of the NIIF. It is hoped that this will initially raise around £500 million and has the potential to unlock much greater investment flows in the future.
 
Both governments will be prepared to make an anchor investment of up to £120 million each in the India-UK Sub-Fund subject to agreeing a structure that maximises investor interest.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed that the economic and financial agenda will be taken forward by Finance Ministers when they convene the Economic and Financial Dialogue in early 2017. They welcomed successful collaboration between the two financial services sectors through the industry-led India-UK Financial Partnership. The IUKFP will meet again alongside the Economic and Financial Dialogue.
 
The two Prime Ministers commended CDC Group, the UK’s Development Finance Institution, for its initiatives in India. They noted CDC’s expanding investment portfolio in India. India will continue to be a key focus of CDC’s investment strategy.
 
Smart Cities and Urban Development 
 
The two Prime Ministers recalled the three city partnerships agreed in London in November 2015 and noted progress. They agreed to build on these through a more strategic and ambitious urban partnership that brings together Governments, businesses, investors and urban experts to build smarter, more inclusive cities that drive shared prosperity, jobs and growth in India and the UK. Both sides would drive the partnership to raise investment, identify opportunities and accelerate progress. UK seed investment financing through mechanisms like CDC, NIIF, and UK Export Finance could leverage higher financing from financial markets - including through Rupee Bonds floated on the London Stock Exchange. As part of the partnership, the two Prime Ministers welcomed new technical assistance for the redevelopment of Varanasi City Railway Station under the Varanasi Smart City Development Plan.
 
Start-up India 
 
Prime Minister May announced that the UK is investing over £160m across 75 start-up enterprises which would create jobs and deliver critical services across several States in India. She announced an additional £20 million for a Start-Up India Venture Capital Fund. The Fund will support 30 enterprises and leverage additional £40m capital from other investors including UK venture capital funds.
 
Ease of Doing Business
 
Prime Minister May commended the progress made by India on Ease of Doing Business and the passing of the Goods and Services tax Bill in the Indian Parliament. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of an MoU between the UK and India on Ease of Doing Business, which will harness UK expertise to support India’s efforts to climb the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ratings.
 
Intellectual Property
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of an MOU on Intellectual Property, which will promote innovation, creativity and economic growth in both countries.
 
Energy and Climate Change
 
To drive forward the next phase of bilateral collaboration on the shared strategic priority of secure, affordable and sustainable energy, the two Prime Ministers noted an enhanced UK-India energy for growth partnership and welcomed the decision to hold the first India-UK Energy Summit in early 2017. 
 
They also welcomed a fourth phase of our joint UK-India Civil Nuclear Research Programme which will look at new technologies that contribute to enhancing nuclear safety, advanced materials for nuclear systems, waste management, and future civil nuclear energy systems. 
 
The two Prime Ministers underlined that addressing Climate Change was a shared objective. They welcomed the ratification of the Paris Agreement by a number of countries including India, leading to entry into force of the Agreement on 4 November 2016 and pledged to work together towards its implementation. 
 
Prime Minister May appreciated Indian leadership on the International Solar Alliance to harness solar energy for meeting energy demands globally and to address climate change concerns. She signalled the UK’s intention to join the Alliance and the UK will continue to engage in discussions as the Framework Agreement is finalised. The two leaders called upon prospective member countries to signal their support for the International Solar Alliance on the sidelines of COP 22 in Marrakesh on 15 November 2016.
 
A Global Partnership
 
The United Kingdom and India share a commitment to democratic values, international peace and security, and national and international prosperity. The two Prime Ministers reiterated the need for the rules-based international system to adapt and renew itself in light of the transformational changes that have taken place over the last 70 years. Prime Minister May reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to a reformed United Nations Security Council with India as a permanent member, as well as to an enhanced role for India within the United Nations system. The United Kingdom continues to actively support India’s membership of the Security Council given India’s increasing role as a leading power, and contributions to international peace and security. In this regard, the leaders directed their relevant officials to have close and regular consultations on all matters related to the United Nations, including UN terrorist designations. The two Prime Ministers underlined the priority they attach to international peace keeping, where India is the second largest troop contributor and the UK is the 6th largest budget contributor in the world.
 
They committed to co-ordinating ever more closely within the G20, and welcomed the positive role played by the Commonwealth in championing democracy and fundamental freedoms. India and the United Kingdom expressed their strong and shared interest in advancing nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The UK welcomed India’s joining of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) which would strengthen global non-proliferation objectives and continues to be a strong advocate of early Indian membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) as well as membership of other key Export Control Regimes.
 
Following the Statement of Intent on Partnership for Cooperation in Third Countries signed in November 2015, the two Prime Ministers agreed to continue to pursue this partnership with a specific focus on Africa. Both sides agreed to share their experiences and best practices in providing developmental cooperation. 
 
Fighting terrorism and responding to global security challenges
 
Prime Minister May strongly condemned the September terrorist attack on the Indian Army Brigade headquarters in Uri, and offered condolences to the victims and their families. The two leaders strongly affirmed that terrorism is a serious threat to humanity. They reiterated their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever – agreeing that there should be zero-tolerance on terrorism.
 
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India and the United Kingdom have both suffered the human cost of terrorism, and now work in partnership to tackle the threat terrorism and violent extremism poses. Our two countries understand the increasingly transnational challenge of terrorism which demands multilateral as well as bilateral cooperation. International cooperation to combat terrorism is at the core of successfully denying terrorists the space to radicalise, recruit and conduct attacks. The two leaders welcomed the ongoing bilateral counter terrorism cooperation and called for greater sharing of information between the two sides. Both countries agreed to collaborate with each other to reduce the threat from violent extremist use of the internet, including the sharing of best practices to reduce radicalisation and recruitment attempts online. 
 
The two Prime Ministers affirmed that the fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and bring to justice terrorists, terror organisations and networks, but should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues. There should be no glorification of terrorists or efforts to make a distinction between good and bad terrorists. They agreed that South Asia should be stable, prosperous and free from terror and called on all countries to work towards that goal.
 
Both Prime Ministers acknowledged that terrorism and violent extremism poses one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and in this regard, called for concerted global action without selectivity. The two leaders called for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation.
 
The leaders welcomed the recent UK-initiated joint statement on Preventing Violent Extremism launched at the Global Countering Terrorism Forum in New York. . The two leaders also called for strengthening the existing international counter terrorism legal framework including through the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. The two leaders reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot attack to justice.
 
Enhancing defence partnership
 
Building on the Defence and International Security Partnership (DISP) agreed in November 2015, the UK and India are committed to further strengthening their strategic partnership in defence.
 
The two Prime Ministers recognized the potential for cooperation in defence manufacturing between UK and Indian companies in the ‘Make in India’ framework and agreed to encourage and facilitate such cooperation. The UK will continue their engagement with the Indian MOD and Indian defence companies to simplify and expedite export controls and to support the transfer of technology to enable projects in areas of mutual interest.
 
The two Prime Ministers tasked the Defence Consultative Group (DCG) on 15-16 November 2016 to advance the bilateral defence cooperation agenda, including the UK's proposals for capability partnerships, through a range of activities including military to military cooperation, training, exchange of subject matter experts, research and technology linkages as well as defence manufacturing.
 
Noting that ongoing cooperation between HAL and BAE Systems in manufacturing Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers in India as an example of partnership in defence manufacturing, the Prime Ministers agreed to apply innovative approaches to jointly promote products and services into international markets. 
 
Cyber cooperation
 
The UK and India also remain committed to promoting a free, open, peaceful and secure cyberspace. The UK and India will work together to support the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. The UK fully supports PM Modi’s vision of a digital India. The growing India-UK cyber relationship is a success story of the Defence and International Security Partnership (DISP). The two Prime Ministers announced their desire to enter into a Framework for the UK-India Cyber Relationship. The Prime Ministers also noted with satisfaction progress made on cyber security, including regular cooperation to tackle the shared threat of cyber crime, and the signing of an MOU between respective Computer Security Incident Response Teams in March 2016.
 
Freedom of the Seas
 
The two sides underlined the importance of maintaining the legal order for the seas and oceans based on the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They reaffirmed their respect for and commitment to the freedom of navigation and overflight based on the universally recognised principles of international law, as reflected in the UNCLOS. They stated that all related territorial and jurisdictional disputes should be resolved by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force. They urged States to respect UNCLOS and refrain from activities which prejudice the peace, good order and security of the oceans.
 
International Affairs
 
The two Prime Ministers recognised the increasing role of India as a global player. In this context, they recognised the constructive contribution of India in building peace and stability in the South Asia region, including through its expansive development cooperation in Afghanistan. In this context, they expressed support for the efforts of Afghan security forces against the continuing threat of terrorism in Afghanistan and strongly endorsed their efforts to ensure Afghanistan’s security. Noting that a secure and stable Afghanistan would contribute to peace and prosperity of the region, they agreed that a political settlement in Afghanistan has to be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led and will succeed only if the Taliban insurgency abandons violence and abides by democratic norms. They also welcomed the pledges of support to Afghanistan by the UK, India and the international community at the Brussels Conference, and agreed to work together to help the Government of Afghanistan deliver its ambitious reform programme. The UK side extended its support to India for the Sixth Ministerial Meeting of the Heart of Asia Istanbul Process on Afghanistan in Amritsar on 4 December 2016.
 
Both nations agreed to continue their engagement with Maldives to strengthen its democratic institutions.
 
The Prime Ministers noted the progress made by Sri Lanka in line with UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 and agreed that more needed to be done. They committed to continue working closely with the Sri Lankan Government to achieve this.
 
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their support to the people and the Government of Iraq in their war against terrorism and welcomed the Iraqi-led operation to liberate Mosul and other cities from the control of terrorist organization ISIS. The two leaders emphasized the importance of national reconciliation and unity in Iraq and expressed belief that with international support, Iraq will be able to defeat terrorism and would successfully overcome the challenges it faces.
 
Extradition, Returns and Mobility
 
The two Prime Ministers affirmed their strong commitment to enhance cooperation under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. The two leaders agreed that fugitives and criminals should not be allowed to escape the law. They expressed their strong commitment to facilitate outstanding extradition requests from both sides. In this context, they directed that the officials dealing with extradition matters from both sides should meet at the earliest to develop better understanding of each countries’ legal processes and requirements; share best practices, and identify the causes of delays and expedite pending requests. They also agreed that regular interactions between the relevant India-UK authorities would be useful to resolve all outstanding cases expeditiously.
 
Prime Minister Modi welcomed Prime Minister May's announcement that the UK is to offer new services to improve business travel for Indian visitors to the UK. India will become the first visa country to be offered the Registered Traveller Scheme, offering business travellers expedited clearance at the UK border. The Indian Government will become the first government in the world to be invited to nominate business executives to the Great Club, a bespoke visa and immigration service. The two Prime Ministers welcomed these changes, which will mean that India will have one of the best UK visa services of any country in the world, with more application points than anywhere else and the only place where you can get a same day visa, reflecting the UK Government's commitment to continuing to attract inward investment and business from India. 
 
The two Prime Ministers acknowledged the valuable contributions of the 1.5 million strong Indian diaspora to British society and their role in furthering bilateral relations. They recognised that mobility can strengthen people-to-people relations between the two countries. To this end, both parties agreed that visa regimes need to be as simple and efficient as possible for students, businesses, professionals, diplomats and officials and other travellers, including facilitating short-term mobility of skilled personnel between the two countries. The two leaders noted that the UK remained a popular destination for Indian students and that these students add to deepening India-UK partnership across all sectors of bilateral engagement. Prime Minister May noted that there remained no cap on overall numbers of international students studying at recognised educational institutions in the UK, that Indian students would continue to be welcome and that the UK Home Secretary had recently announced her intention to consult on changes to the UK student visa regime. 
 
The two Prime Ministers agreed that ensuring simple and effective visa systems depended critically on cooperation to protect the integrity of border and immigration systems. This included ensuring the timely and efficient return of individuals to their country of origin, as required by their respective national laws. Both countries agreed to strengthen co-operation in this area by implementing an expedited process for verifying the nationality and issuing travel documents. The two Prime Ministers announced the launch of a senior UK-India dialogue on Home Affairs issues which will take place bi-annually and be chaired at Permanent Secretary/Secretary level. The Prime Ministers expect this dialogue to make progress on key issues of mutual concern, including opportunities to make the visa system simpler and more efficient, and steps to improve the integrity of border and immigration systems.
 
Celebrating Culture and Education and promoting skills
 
The two Prime Ministers noted that 2016 is the India-UK Year of Education, Research and Innovation and welcomed the further investment (£20m) in the UK-India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI) to 2021, creating 50 new partnerships in 2017.
 
Both Prime Ministers welcomed first 35 UK faculties visiting India under the Ministry of Human Resource Development funded GIAN programme and 198 new GREAT scholarships for Indian students to study at 40 UK universities. Both leaders welcomed the first batch of TCS sponsored UK interns, under the Generation UK-India programme. Both Prime Ministers look forward to the celebration of 2017 as the India-UK Year of Culture and support the activities and programmes being planned, for example an exhibition of Indian Science in the Science Museum in London, and highlighting 400 years of Shakespeare. Both Prime Ministers welcomed new teaching materials to the Indian SWAYAM MOOC platform, developed in partnership by UK and Indian Universities.
 
The UK is supporting the Skill India Mission through a Centre for Excellence for the automobile sector in Pune. Prime Minister May announced a new commitment of up to £12m to support India’s Skill India mission. Technology transfer from the UK will facilitate international training standards in up to 5 sectors including apprenticeships and certification.
 
Harnessing Science and Technology for a better future
 
The two Prime Ministers noted that the exponential growth in science and technology programmes in India provide immense possibilities for further expanding bilateral collaboration. India-UK joint funding now stands at over £200 million and its leveraged impact on the economies and societies is several times higher. They announced new research partnerships worth £80 million including a new Joint Strategic Group on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) with a joint investment of up to £13 million. The Prime Ministers recognised that Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) is a global challenge, and further recognized the commitments made at the G20 and UNGA earlier this year. Building upon the Thames-Ganga Partnership, the two Prime Ministers welcomed new initiatives on joint hydrological research programme and re-using waste water as well as innovative biotechnologies for cleaning and processing industrial waste, adding value to the Swachh Bharat programme.
 
Noting the growing partnership in the area of renewable energy and combating climate change, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the launch of India-UK Clean Energy R&D Centre with focus on solar energy storage and integration with joint investment of £10 million and a collaborative R&D programme on energy efficient building materials. Both these green initiatives would help to reduce carbon footprint and contribute to the Smart Cities programme.
 
Building on the recent successful collaborations in agriculture, the two sides announced projects to address post-harvest losses benefiting farmers. Building on the recent successful collaborations in healthcare, the two sides announced the launch of the second phase of joint research in women’s and children’s health in low-income settings.
 
The two leaders commended ongoing collaboration in biotechnology. The two sides looked forward to engaging on India’s efforts to develop a Bio-bank that will draw on UK Bio-Bank’s scientific expertise.
 
Conclusion
 
Prime Minister May thanked Prime Minister Modi for the warm hospitality extended to her and her delegation.
 
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Goa Declaration at 8th BRICS Summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Presidents Michel Temer of Brazil, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China and Jacob Zuma of South Africa in the BRICS Leaders’ family photograph at the BRICS Summit, in Goa on October 16, 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Presidents Michel Temer of Brazil, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Xi Jinping of China and Jacob Zuma of South Africa in the BRICS Leaders’ family photograph at the BRICS Summit, in Goa on October 16, 2016.
Following is the Goa Declaration issued by the Leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa at the end of the 8th BRICS Summit here today:
 
We, the Leaders of the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, met on 15-16 October 2016 in Goa, India, at the Eighth BRICS Summit, which was held under the theme "Building Responsive, Inclusive and Collective Solutions.”
 
Recalling all our previous declarations, we emphasise the importance of further strengthening BRICS solidarity and cooperation based on our common interests and key priorities to further strengthen our strategic partnership in the spirit ofopenness, solidarity,equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation. We agree that emerging challenges to global peace and security and to sustainable development require further enhancing of our collective efforts. 
 
We agree that BRICS countries represent an influential voice on the global stage through our tangible cooperation, which delivers direct benefits to our people. In this context, we note with satisfaction the operationalisation of the New Development Bank (NDB) and of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), which contributes greatly to the global economy and the strengthening of the international financial architecture. We welcome the report presented by NDB President on the work of the Bank during the first year of its operations. We are pleased to note the progress in operationalising the Africa Regional Centre (ARC) of the NDB and pledge our full support in this regard. We look forward to developing new BRICS initiatives in a wider range of areas in the years to come. 
 
We note with appreciation the approval of the first set of loans by the New Development Bank (NDB), particularly in the renewable energy projects in BRICS countries. We express satisfaction with NDB's issuance of the first set of green bonds in RMB. We are pleased to note that the operationalisation of BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangements (CRA) has strengthened the global financial safety net. 
 
In order to reach out and enrich our understanding and engagement with fellow developingand emerging economies, we will hold an OutreachSummit of BRICS Leaders with the Leaders of BIMSTEC member countries - Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation comprising of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The meeting will be an opportunity to renew our friendship with BIMSTEC countries as well as to jointly explore possibilities of expanding trade and commercial ties,and investment cooperation between BRICS and BIMSTEC countries,while advancing our common goals of peace, development, democracy and prosperity. 
 
We reiterate our common vision of ongoing profound shifts in the world as it transitions to a more just, democratic, and multi-polar international order based on the central role of the United Nations, and respect for international law. We reaffirm the need for strengthening coordination of efforts on global issues and practical cooperation in the spirit of solidarity, mutual understanding and trust. We underline the importance of collective efforts in solving international problems, and for peaceful settlement of disputes through political and diplomatic means, and in this regard, we reiterate our commitment to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. 
 
We note the global character of current security challenges and threats confronting the international community. We reiterate our view that international efforts to address these challenges, the establishment ofsustainable peace as well as the transition to a more just, equitable and democratic multi-polar international order requires a comprehensive, concerted and determined approach, based on spirit of solidarity, mutual trust and benefit, equity and cooperation, strong commitment to international law and the central role of the United Nations as the universal multilateral organisation entrusted with the mandate for maintaining international peace and security, advance global development and to promote and protect human rights. We underline the importance of further strengthening coordination of our efforts in this context. 
 
We reaffirm our commitment to contribute to safeguarding a fair and equitable international order based on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations including through consistent and universal respect and adherence to the principles and rules of international law in their inter-relation and integrity, compliance by all states with their international legal obligations.We express our commitment to resolutely reject the continued attempts to misrepresent the results of World War II. We recall further that development and security are closely interlinked, mutually reinforcing and key to attaining sustainable peace. 
 
We remain confident that resolving international problems require collective efforts for peaceful settlement of disputes through political and diplomatic means. Implementation of principles of good-faith, sovereign equality of States, non-intervention in the internal affairs of States and cooperation excludes imposition of unilateral coercive measures not based on international law. We condemn unilateral military interventions and economic sanctions in violation of international law and universally recognised norms of international relations. Bearing this in mind, we emphasise the unique importance of the indivisible nature of security, and that no State should strengthen its security at the expense of the security of others. 
 
We recall the 2005 World Summit Outcome document. We reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, and to increase the representation of the developing countriesso that it can adequately respond to global challenges. China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status and role of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN. 
 
We welcome the substantive measures undertaken by the UN membership to make the process of selecting and appointing the UN Secretary-General more transparent and inclusive. 
 
We expressour gratitude to UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon for his contributions to the United Nations in the past ten years. We congratulate Mr. AntónioGuterres, on his appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations andexpress oursupport and to work closely with him. 
 
Cognizant of BRICS countries’ significant contributions to UN Peacekeeping operations, and recognising the important role of UN Peacekeeping operations in safeguarding international peace and security, we realise the challenges faced by UN Peacekeeping and emphasise the need to further strengthen its role, capacity, effectiveness, accountability and efficiency, while adhering to the basic principles of peacekeeping. We emphasise that UN Peacekeeping operations should perform the duty of protection of civilians in strict accordance with their respective mandates and in respect of the primary responsibility of the host countries in this regard. 
 
We are deeply concerned about the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. We support all effortsfor finding ways to the settlement of the crises in accordance with international law and in conformity with the principles of independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the countries of the region. On Syria, we call upon all parties involved to work for a comprehensive and peaceful resolution of the conflict taking into account the legitimate aspirations of the people of Syria,through inclusive national dialogue and a Syrian-led political process based on Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 and in pursuance of the UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and 2268 for their full implementation.While continuing the relentless pursuit against terrorist groups so designated by the UN Security Councilincluding ISIL, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist organisations designated by the UN Security Council. 
 
We reiterate also the necessity to implement the two-state solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the relevant UNSC resolutions, the Madrid Principles and Arab Peace Initiative, and previous agreements between the two sides,through negotiations aimed at creating an independent, viable, territorially contiguous Palestinian State livingside-by-side in peace with Israel, withinsecure, mutually agreed and internationally recognised borders on the basis of 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as envisaged in the relevant UN Resolutions. 
 
We express deep concern at the persisting security challenges in Afghanistan and significant increase in terrorist activities in Afghanistan. We affirm support to the efforts of the Afghan Government to achieve Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national reconciliation and combat terrorism, and readiness for constructive cooperation in order to facilitate security in Afghanistan, promote its independent political and economic course, becoming free from terrorism and drug trafficking. The Leaders expressed the view that capable and effective Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) should be the key to the stabilisation of Afghanistan. In this regard, the Leaders emphasised the need for continued commitment of regional countries and wider international community, including the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, which as the ISAF’s heir has a key role in the ANSF capacity-building. The Leaders stressed the importance of multilateral region-led interaction on Afghan issues, primarily by those organisations, which consist of Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries and other regional states, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Collective Security Treaty Organization, and the Heart of Asia Conference. 
 
We welcome the African Union’s (AU) vision, aspirations, goals and priorities for Africa’s development enshrined in Agenda 2063, which is complementary with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We reaffirm our support for Africa’s implementation of its variousprogrammesin pursuit of its continental agenda for peace and socio economic development. We will continue to engage in joint endeavours to advance Africa's solidarity, unity and strength through support measures for regional integration and sustainable development.We further welcome recent elections that have been held in the continent and the peaceful manner in which they were conducted. 
 
We support the AU’s efforts to resolving conflictsthrough its peace and security architecture, in collaboration with the United Nations and the continent’s regional organisations, and to contribute towards lasting and sustainable peace and security in Africa. 
We welcome the decision of the African Union’s Assembly to operationalise its Peace Fund, in order to contribute to financing of its peace and security operations. We support efforts aimed at full operationalisation of the African Standby Force (ASF) and note the progress being made in this regard, including the contributions by the African Capacity for Immediate Responses to Crises (ACIRC). 
 
We express our concern that political and security instability continues to loom in a number of countriesthat is exacerbated by terrorism and extremism.We call upon the international community through the United Nations, African Union and regional and international partners to continue their support in addressing these challenges, including post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts. 
 
We welcome the adoption of landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals during the UN Summit on Sustainable Development on 25 September 2015 and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. We welcome the people-centred and holistic approach to sustainable development enshrined in the 2030 Agenda and its emphasis on equality, equity and quality-life to all. We welcome the reaffirmation of the guiding principles of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, including the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR). 
 
The 2030 Agenda, with its overarching focus on povertyeradication, lays an equal and balanced emphasis on the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. We call upon developed countries to honour their Official Development Assistancecommitments to achieve 0.7% of Gross National Income commitment for Official Development Assistance to developing countries. Those commitments play a crucial role in the implementation of the SDGs. We further welcome the establishment of a Technology Facilitation Mechanism within the UN with a mandate to facilitate technology for the implementation of the SDGs. 
 
We commit to lead by example in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development inline with national circumstances and development context respecting the national policy space. We welcome the G20 Action Plan on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentadopted during G20 Hangzhou Summit and commit to its implementation by taking bold transformative steps through both collective and individual concreteactions. 
 
We meet at a time when the global economic recovery is progressing, with improved resilience and emergence of new sources of growth.The growth, though is weaker than expected with downside risks to the global economy continuing to persist.This gets reflected in a variety of challenges including commodity price volatility, weak trade, high private and public indebtedness, inequality and lack of inclusiveness of economic growth. Meanwhile, the benefits from growth need to be sharedbroadly in an inclusive manner.Geopolitical conflicts, terrorism, refugee flows, illicit financial flows and the outcome of UK referendum have further added to the uncertainty in the global economy.
 
We reiterate our determination to use all policy tools – monetary, fiscal, and structural, individually and collectively, to achieve the goal of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth. Monetary policy will continue to support economic activity and ensure price stability, consistent with central bank’s mandates. Monetary policy alone, though, cannot lead to balanced and sustainablegrowth. We, in this regard, underscore the essential role of structural reforms.We emphasise that our fiscal policies are equally important to support our common growth objectives. We also take note that the spill-over effects ofcertain policy measures in some systemically important advanced economies can have adverse impact on growth prospects of emerging economies. 
 
We recognise that innovation is a key driver for mid and long term growth and sustainable development. We stress the importance of industrialisation and measures that promote industrial development as a core pillar of structural transformation. 
We highlight the need to use tax policy and public expenditure in a more growth-friendly way taking into account fiscal space available, that promotesinclusiveness, maintains resilience and ensuressustainability of debt as a share of GDP. 
 
We note the dynamic integration processes across the regions of the world, particularly in Asia, Africa and South America.We affirm our belief to promote growth in the context of regional integration on the basis of principles of equality, openness and inclusiveness. We further believe that this will promote economic expansion through enhanced trade,commercial and investmentlinkages. 
 
We highlight the importance of public and private investments in infrastructure, including connectivity,to ensure sustained long-term growth. We, in this regard, call for approaches to bridge the financing gap in infrastructure including through enhanced involvement of Multilateral Development Banks. 
 
We reaffirm our commitment to a strong, quota based and adequately resourced IMF. Borrowed resources by the IMF should be on a temporary basis. We remain strongly committed to support the coordinated effort by the emerging economies to ensure that the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas, including the new quota formula, will be finalised within the agreed timelines so as to ensure that the increased voice of the dynamic emerging and developing economies reflects their relative contributions to the world economy, while protecting the voices of least developed countries (LDCs), poor countries and regions. 
 
We welcome the inclusion of the RMB into the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) currency basket on 1October, 2016. 
 
We call for the advanced European economies to meet their commitment to cede two chairs on the Executive Board of the IMF. The reform of the IMF should strengthen the voice and representation of the poorest members of the IMF, including Sub-Saharan Africa. 
 
We share concerns regarding the challenges of sovereign debt restructurings, and note that timely and successful debt restructuring is key for ensuring access to international capital markets, and hence economic growth, for countries with high debt levels. We welcome the current discussions to improve the debt restructuring process,and on the revised collective action clauses (CACs). 
 
We reiterate our support for the multilateral trading system and the centrality of the WTO as the cornerstone of a rule based, open, transparent, non-discriminatory and inclusive multilateral trading system with development at the core ofits agenda. We note the increasing number ofbilateral, regional, and plurilateral trade agreements, and reiterate that these should be complementary to the multilateral trading system and encourage the parties thereon to align their work in consolidating the multilateral trading system under the WTO in accordance with the principles of transparency, inclusiveness, and compatibility with the WTO rules. 
 
We emphasise the importance of implementing the decisions taken at the Bali and Nairobi Ministerial Conferences. We stress the need to advance negotiations on the remaining Doha Development Agenda (DDA) issues as a matter of priority. We call on all WTO members to work together to ensure a strong development oriented outcome for MC11 and beyond. 
 
We appreciate the progress in the implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership and emphasise the importance of the BRICS Roadmap for Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation until 2020. We believe that close cooperation between the sectoral cooperation mechanisms, BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues, the BRICS Business Council, New Development Bank and the BRICS Interbank cooperation mechanism is crucial in strengthening the BRICS economic partnership. We welcome, in this context, the continued realisation of the major BRICS economic initiatives such as enhanced cooperation in e-commerce, "single window”, IPR cooperation, trade promotionand micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).We recognise non-tariff measures (NTMs),services sector, and standardisation and conformity assessments as possible areas of future cooperation.We note in this context the meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers in New Delhi on 13 October 2016 and welcome its substantive outcomes. 
 
In operationalising the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership, we encourage measures that support greater participation, value addition and upward mobility in Global Value Chains of our firms including through the preservation of policy space to promote industrial development. 
 
We welcome India's initiative to host the first BRICS Trade Fair in New Delhi. This is an important step towards the implementation of Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership. We believethis will further consolidate trade and commercial partnership among BRICS countries. We welcome the deliberations and outcome of the meeting of BRICS Trade Ministers held on 13October 2016 in New Delhi. 
 
We noted the Annual Report by the BRICS Business Council, including the various initiatives undertaken by its Working Groups. We further direct the Council to accelerate the development and realisation of joint projects which, on a mutually beneficial basis, contribute to the economic objectives of BRICS. 
 
We agreed that MSMEs provide major employment opportunities, at comparatively lower capital cost, and create self-employment opportunities in rural and underdeveloped areas. MSMEs thus help assure equitable wealth distribution nationally and globally. We commend organisation of BRICSsecond round-table on MSMEs by India with a focus on technical and business alliances in MSMEs Sector. We agree to work for greater integration of MSMEs in Regional and Global Value Chains. 
 
We commend China for the successful hosting of the 11th G20 Leaders’ Summit in Hangzhou and its focus on innovation, structural reform and development as drivers of medium and long term economic growth. We recognise the role of G20 as the premier forum for international and financial cooperation and emphasise the importance of the implementationof the outcomes of G20 Hangzhou Summit, that we believe will foster strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth and will contribute to improved global economic governance and enhance the role of developing countries. 
 
We stress the importance to foster an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy.We will enhance our consultations and coordinationon the G20 agenda, especially on issues of mutual interest to the BRICS countries, and promote issues of importance for the Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs). We will continue to work closely with all G20 membersto strengthen macroeconomic cooperation, promote innovation, as well as robust and sustainable trade and investment to propel global growth,improve global economic governance,enhance the role of developing countries,strengthen international financial architecture,support for industrialisation in Africa and least developed countries and enhance cooperation on energy access and efficiency. We stress the need for enhanced international cooperation to address illicit cross-border financial flows, tax evasion and trade mis-invoicing. 
 
The role of BRICS and its collaborative efforts in the field of economic and financial co-operation are yielding positive results. We emphasise the importance of our cooperation in order to help stabilise the global economy and to resume growth. 
 
We welcome experts exploring the possibility of setting up an independent BRICS Rating Agency based on market-oriented principles, in order to further strengthen the global governance architecture. 
 
We welcome the reports of BRICS Think Tanks Council and BRICS Academic Forum that have emerged as valuable platforms for our experts to exchange views. They have submitted their valuable suggestions with regard to promoting market research and analysis in BRICS and developing countries and exploring possibilities of carrying this process forward.We believe that BRICS institution-building is critical to our shared vision of transforming the global financial architecture to one based on the principles of fairness and equity. 
 
We emphasise the importance of enhancing intra-BRICS cooperation in the industrial sector, including through the BRICS Industry Ministers Meetings, in order to contribute to the accelerated and sustainable economic growth, the strengthening of comprehensive industrial ties, the promotion of innovation as well as job creation, and improvement of the quality of life of people in BRICS countries. 
 
We congratulate the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) for the 50th anniversary of its foundation and recall its unique mandate to promote and accelerate inclusive and sustainable industrial development and its contribution in promoting industrialisation in Africa. We note, in this context, the progress achieved so far in the establishment of the UNIDO-BRICS Technology Platform. 
 
We commend our Customs administrations on the establishment of the Customs Cooperation Committee of BRICS,and on exploring means of further enhancing collaboration in the future, including those aimed at creating legal basis for customs cooperation and facilitating procedures of customs control. We note the signing of the Regulations on Customs Cooperation Committee of the BRICS in line with the undertaking in the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership to strengthen interaction among Customs Administrations. 
 
We recall the Fortaleza Declaration wherein we recognised the potential for BRICS insurance and reinsurance markets to pool capacities and had directed our relevant authorities to explore avenues for cooperation in this regard. We would like this work to be expedited. 
 
We reaffirm our commitment towards a globally fair and modern tax systemand welcome the progress made on effective and widespread implementation of the internationally agreed standards. We support the implementation of the Base Erosion andProfit Shifting Project (BEPS) with due regard to the national realities of the countries.We encourage countries and International Organisations to assist developing economies in building their tax capacity. 
 
We note that aggressive tax planning and tax practices hurt equitable development and economic growth. Base Erosion and Profit Shiftingmust be effectively tackled. We affirm that profit should be taxed in the jurisdiction where the economic activity is performedand the value is created. We reaffirm our commitment to support international cooperation in this regard, including in the Common Reporting Standard for Automatic Exchange of Tax Information (AEOI). 
 
We note the ongoing discussions on international taxation matters. In this regard, we recall the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development including its emphasis on inclusive cooperation and dialogue among national tax authorities on international tax matters with increased participation of developing countries and reflecting adequate, equitable, geographical distribution, representing different tax systems. 
 
We support the strengthening of international cooperation against corruption, including through the BRICS Anti-Corruption Working Group, as well as on matters related to asset recovery and persons sought for corruption. We acknowledge that corruption includingillicit money and financial flows, and ill-gotten wealth stashed in foreign jurisdictions is a global challenge which mayimpact negatively on economic growth and sustainable development. We will strive to coordinate our approach in this regard and encourage a stronger global commitment to prevent and combat corruptionon the basis of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and other relevant international legal instruments. 
 
We recognise that nuclear energy will play a significant role for some of the BRICS countries in meeting their 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement commitments and for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions in the long term. In this regard, we underline the importance of predictability in accessing technology and finance for expansion of civil nuclear energy capacity which would contribute to the sustainable development of BRICS countries. 
 
We reiterate that outer space shall be free for peaceful exploration and use by all States on the basis of equality in accordance with international law.Reaffirming that outer space shall remain free from any kind of weapons or any use of force, we stress that negotiations for the conclusion of an international agreement or agreements to prevent an arms race in outer space are a priority task of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, and support the efforts to start substantive work, inter alia, based on the updated draft treaty on the prevention of the placement of weapons in outer space and of the threat or use of force against outer space objects submitted by China and Russian Federation.We also note an international initiative for a political obligation onthe no first placement of weapons in outer space. 
 
Priority should be accorded to ensuring the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, as well as ways and means of preserving outer space for future generations. We note that this is an important objective on the current agenda of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS). In this respect, we welcome the recentdecision by the UNCOPUOS Scientific and Technical Sub-Committee Working Group on Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities to conclude negotiations and achieve consensus on the full set of guidelines for the long term sustainability of outer space activities by 2018to coincide with the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE + 50). 
 
We strongly condemn the recent several attacks, against some BRICS countries, including that in India.We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed that there can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons. We agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating international terrorism both at the bilateral level and at international fora. 
 
To address the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, we support and emphasise the need for launching multilateral negotiations on an international convention for the suppression of acts of chemical and biological terrorism, including at the Conference on Disarmament.In this context, we welcome India’s offer to host a Conference in 2018 aimed at strengthening international resolve in facing the challenge of the WMD-Terrorism nexus. 
 
We call upon all nations to adopt a comprehensive approach in combating terrorism, which should include countering violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism, radicalisation, recruitment, movement of terrorists including Foreign Terrorist Fighters, blocking sources of financing terrorism, including through organised crime by means of money-laundering, drug trafficking, criminal activities, dismantling terrorist bases, and countering misuse of the Internet including social media by terror entities through misuse of the latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).Successfully combating terrorism requires a holistic approach. All counter-terrorism measures should uphold international law and respect human rights. 
 
We acknowledge the recent meeting of the BRICS High Representatives on National Securityand, in this context, welcome the setting up and the first meeting of the BRICS Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism on 14September 2016 in New Delhi. We believe it will further promote dialogue and understanding among BRICS nations on issues of counter terrorism, as well ascoordinate efforts to address the scourge of terrorism. 
 
We acknowledge that international terrorism, especially the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Daesh) and affiliated terrorist groups and individuals, constitute a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security. Stressing UN’s central role in coordinating multilateral approaches against terrorism, we urge all nations to undertake effective implementation of relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, and reaffirm our commitment on increasing the effectiveness of the UN counter terrorism framework.We call upon all nations to work together to expedite the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN General Assembly without any further delay. We recall the responsibility of all States to prevent terrorist actions from their territories. 
 
We reaffirm our commitment to the FATF International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation and call for swift, effective and universal implementation of FATF Consolidated Strategy on Combating Terrorist Financing, including effective implementation of its operational plan. We seek to intensify our cooperation in FATF and FATF-style regional bodies (FSRBs). 
 
We welcome the outcome document of the Special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem, held in New York from 19-21 April 2016. We call for strengthening of international and regional cooperation and coordination to counter the global threat caused by the illicit production and trafficking of drugs, especiallyopiates. We note with deep concern the increasing links between drug trafficking and terrorism, money laundering and organised crime. We commend the cooperation between BRICS drug control agencies and welcome the deliberations in second Anti-Drug Working Group Meeting held in New Delhi on 8 July 2016. 
 
We reaffirm that ICT expansion is a key enabler for sustainable development, for international peace and security and for human rights. We agree to strengthen joint efforts to enhance security in the use of ICTs, combating the use of ICTs for criminal and terrorist purposes and improving cooperation between our technical, law enforcement, R&D and innovation in the field of ICTs and capacity building institutions. We affirm our commitment to bridging digital and technological divides, in particular between developed and developing countries. We recognise that our approach must be multidimensional and inclusive and contains an evolving understanding of what constitutes access, emphasising the quality of that access. 
 
We reiterate that the use and development of ICTs through international and regional cooperation and on the basis of universally accepted norms and principles of international law, including the Charter of the UN; in particular political independence, territorial integrity and sovereign equality of States, the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, non-interference in internal affairs of other States as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to privacy; are of paramount importance in order to ensure a peaceful, secure and openand cooperative use of ICTs. 
The increasing misuse of ICTs for terrorist purposes poses a threat to international peace and security. We emphasise the need to enhance international cooperation against terrorist and criminal misuse of ICTs and reaffirm the general approach laid in the eThekwini, Fortaleza and Ufa declarations in this regard. We reaffirm the key role of the UN in addressing the issues related to the security in the use of ICTs. We will continue to work together for the adoption of the rules, norms and principles of responsible behaviour of Statesincludingthrough the process of UNGGE. We recognise that the states have the leading role to ensure stability and security in the use of ICTs. 
 
We advocate also for an open, non-fragmented and secure Internet, and reaffirm that the Internet is a global resource and that States should participate on an equal footing in its evolution and functioning,taking into account the need to involve relevant stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities. 
 
We recognise the importance of energy-saving and energy-efficiency for ensuring sustainable economic development and welcome the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed in this regard. 
 
We recognise the challenge of scaling-up power generation and its efficient distribution, as well as the need to scale up low carbon fuels and other clean energy solutions. We further recognise the level of investments needed in renewable energy in this regard. We therefore believe that international cooperation in this field be focused on access to clean energy technology and finance. We further note the significance of clean energy in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. We recognise that sustainable development, energy access, and energy security are critical to the shared prosperity and future of the planet. We acknowledge that clean and renewable energy needs to be affordable to all. 
We support a wider use of natural gas as an economically efficient and clean fuel to promote sustainable development as well as to reduce the greenhouse emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement on climate change. 
 
We note that BRICS countries face challenges of communicable diseases including HIV and Tuberculosis. We, in this regard, note the efforts made by BRICS Health Ministers to achieve the 90–90–90 HIV treatment target by 2020. We underline the imperative to advance cooperation and action on HIV and TB in the BRICS countries, including in the production of quality-assured drugs and diagnostics. 
 
We take note of United Nations High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS in June 2016 and forthcoming Global Conference on TB under WHO auspices in Moscow in 2017. 
Recognising global health challenges we emphasise the importance of cooperation among BRICS countries in promoting research and development of medicines and diagnostic tools to end epidemics and to facilitate access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines. 
 
We welcome the High Level meeting on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) during UNGA-71, which addresses the serious threat that AMR poses to public health, growth and global economic stability. We will seek to identify possibilities for cooperation among our health and/or regulatory authorities, with a view to share best practices and discuss challenges, as well as identifying potential areas for convergence. 
 
We reaffirm our commitment to promote a long-term and balanced demographic development and continue cooperation on population related matters in accordance with the Agenda for BRICS Cooperation on Population Matters for 2015-2020. 
 
We welcome the outcomes of the meetings of BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers held on 9 June 2016 in Geneva and on 27-28 September 2016 in New Delhi. We take note of the possibility of bilateral Social Security Agreements between BRICS countries, and of the commitment to take steps to establish a network of lead labour research and training institutes, so as to encourage capacity building, information exchange and sharing of best practices amongst BRICS countries. We recognise quality employment, including a Decent Work Agenda, sustaining social protection and enhancing rights at work, are core to inclusive and sustainable development. 
 
We welcome the outcomes of the fourth BRICS Education Ministers’ meeting held on 30 September 2016 in New Delhi, including the New Delhi Declaration on Education. We stress the importance of education and skills for economic development, and reaffirm the need for universal access to high-quality education. We are satisfied with the progress of the BRICS Network University (BRICSNU) as well as the BRICS University League (BRICSUL), which will commence their programmes in 2017. These two initiatives will facilitate higher education collaboration and partnerships across the BRICS countries. 
 
We appreciate the organisation of Young Diplomats’ Forum held on 3-6 September 2016 in Kolkata. We also welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between BRICS Diplomatic Academies to encourage exchange of knowledge and experiences. 
We welcome the outcomes of the fourth BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting held on 8 October 2016, wherein they adopted theJaipur Declaration and endorsed the updated Work Plan (2015-2018) aimed at strengthening cooperation in science, technology and innovation, especially leveraging young scientific talent for addressing societal challenges; creating a networking platform for BRICS young scientists; co-generating new knowledge and innovative products, services and processes; and addressing common global and regional socio-economic challenges utilising shared experiences and complementarities. 
 
We stress the importance of implementation of the BRICS Research and Innovation Initiative. We welcome the hosting of the first BRICS Young Scientists Conclave in India, instituting of BRICS Innovative Idea Prize for Young Scientists.We note the progress of the first Call for Proposals under the BRICS STI Framework Programme, in ten thematic areas, with funding commitment from the five BRICS STI Ministries and associated funding bodies. We welcome the establishment of the BRICS Working Group on Research Infrastructure, and Mega-Science to reinforce the BRICS Global Research Advanced Infrastructure Network (BRICS-GRAIN). 
 
We welcome the outcomes of the Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting, held on 23 September 2016, including the Joint Declaration. We emphasise the importance of ensuring food security, and addressingmalnutrition, eliminating hunger,inequality and poverty through increased agricultural production, productivity, sustainable management of natural resources and trade in agriculture among the BRICS countries. As the world's leading producers of agriculture products and home to large populations, we emphasise the importance of BRICS cooperation in agriculture.We recognize the importance of science-based agriculture and of deploying information and communication technology (ICT). 
 
To further intensify cooperation among BRICScountries in agricultural research policy, science and technology, innovation and capacity building, including technologies for small-holder farming in the BRICS countries, we welcome the signing of the MoU for Establishment of the BRICS Agricultural Research Platform. 
 
Considering the dependence of agriculture on water, we call upon the development of infrastructure for irrigation to assist farmers in building resilience during times of drought and welcome sharing of experiences and expertise in these areas. 
 
We affirm that the value of sharing expertise and experiences among BRICS countries with regard to usage of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in e-governance, financial inclusion, and targeted delivery of benefits, e-commerce, open government, digital content and services and bridging the digital divide. We support efforts aimed at capacity building for effective participation in e-commerce trade to ensure shared benefits. 
 
We welcome the forthcoming BRICS Telecommunication Ministerial Meeting that will further strengthen our cooperation, including on technology trends, standards developments, skill developments, and policy frameworks. 
 
We believe it is necessary to ensure joint efforts towards diversification of the world market of software and IT equipment. We call for developing and strengthening the ICT cooperation in the framework of the BRICS Working Group on ICT Cooperation. 
 
We welcome the outcomes of the meetings of BRICS Ministers responsible for Disaster Management held on 19-20 April 2016 in St. Petersburg and on 22 August 2016 in Udaipur. We also welcome the Udaipur Declaration adopted at the second meeting and applaud the formation of BRICS Joint Task Force on Disaster Risk Management. 
We extend our deepest condolences to the people of Haiti and the Caribbean on the tragic loss of lives following hurricane Matthew. We support the efforts of the UN and humanitarian partners in their response to this tragedy. 
 
We welcome the outcomes of the BRICS Ministerial Meeting on Environment held on 15-16 September 2016, in Goa, including the Goa Statement on Environment. We welcome the decision to share technical expertise in the areas of abatement and control of air and water pollution, efficient management of waste and sustainable management of bio-diversity. We recognise the importance of participation by BRICS countries in environmental cooperation initiatives, including developing a platform for sharing environmentally sound technologies. 
 
We welcome the outcome of the 17th Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), held in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a landmark advancement of the regulation of international trade in endangered species from 24 September - 4 October 2016. 
We welcome the adoption of the Paris Agreement anchored in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and its signing by a large number of countries on 22 April 2016. We emphasise that the comprehensive, balanced and ambitious nature of the Paris Agreement reaffirms the principles of UNFCCC includingthe principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances (CBDR & RC). 
We welcome the Paris Agreement and its imminent entry into force on 4 November 2016.We call on the developed countries to fulfil their responsibility towards providing the necessary financial resources, technology and capacity building assistance to support the developing countries with respect to both mitigation and adaptation for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. 
 
We reiterate the commitments to gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls as contained in the 2030 Agenda. We recognise that women play a vital roleas agents of developmentand acknowledge that their equal and inclusive participation and contribution is crucial to making progress across all Sustainable Development Goals and targets. We emphasise the importance of enhancing accountability for the implementation of these commitments. 
 
Cognizant of the potential and diversity of youth population in our countries, their needs and aspirations, we welcome the outcomes of the BRICS Youth Summit in Guwahati including, "Guwahati BRICS Youth Summit 2016 Call to Action” that recognise the importance of education, employment, entrepreneurship, and skills training for them to be socially and economically empowered. 
 
We welcome the BRICS Convention on Tourism, that was organised in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh on 1-2 September 2016 as an effective means to promote tourism cooperation among BRICS countries. 
 
As home to 43% of the world population and among the fastest urbanising societies, we recognise the multi-dimensional challenges and opportunities of urbanisation. We affirm our engagement in the process that will lead to adoption of a New Urban Agenda by the Conference of the United Nations on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III(Quito, 17-20 October, 2016).We welcome the BRICS Urbanisation Forum, BRICS Friendship Cities Conclave, held in Visakhapatnam on 14-16 September 2016, and in Mumbai on 14-16 April 2016, respectively, which contributed to fostering increased engagements between our cities and stakeholders. We call for enhanced cooperation with regard to strengthening urban governance, making our cities safe and inclusive, improving urban transport, financing of urban infrastructure and building sustainable cities. 
 
We note India’s initiative on the upcoming BRICS Local Bodies Conference to exchange expertise and best-practices, including in local budgeting. 
 
Noting the importance of orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, we welcome the outcomes of first BRICS Migration Ministers Meeting in Sochi, Russian Federation, on 8 October 2015. 
 
We recognise the important role of culture in sustainable development and in fostering mutual understanding and closer cooperation among our peoples. We encourage expansion of cultural exchanges between people of BRICS countries. In this context we commend the hosting of the first BRICS Film Festival in New Delhi on 2-6 September 2016. 
 
We welcome the forthcoming meeting of the Second BRICS Parliamentary Forum in Geneva on 23 October 2016under the theme of ‘BRICS Parliamentary Cooperation on the implementation of the SDGs’. 
 
We appreciate the deliberations of the BRICS Women Parliamentarians’ Forum in Jaipur on 20-21 August, 2016 and the adoption of Jaipur Declaration, centred on SDGs, that inter alia emphasises the commitment to strengthen parliamentary strategic partnerships on all the three dimensions of sustainable development,fostering gender equality and women empowerment. 
 
We note the deliberations on a BRICS Railways Research Network aimed at promoting research and development in this field to further growth in our economies in a cost effective and sustainable manner. 
 
We congratulate India on organising the first BRICS Under-17 Football Tournament in Goa on 5-15 October 2016. We,in this regard, note the initiative towards a BRICS Sports Council to foster exchanges among BRICS countries. 
 
Recognising the increasing trade, business and investment between BRICS countries and the important role of BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism, we welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the BRICS countries National Development Banks and the New Development Bank (NDB). We welcome the initiative of the Export-Import Bank of India of instituting Annual BRICS Economic Research Award to promote advanced research in economics of relevance to BRICS countries. 
We reiterate our commitment to strengthening our partnerships for common development. To this end, we endorse the Goa Action Plan. 
 
China, South Africa, Brazil and Russia appreciate India’s BRICS Chairpersonship and the good pace of BRICS cooperation agenda. 
 
We emphasise the importance of review and follow up of implementation of outcome documents and decisions of the BRICS Summits. We task our Sherpas to carry this process forward. 
 
China, South Africa, Brazil and Russia express their sincere gratitude to the Government and people of India for hosting the Eighth BRICS Summit in Goa. 
India, South Africa, Brazil and Russia convey their appreciation to China for its offer to host the Ninth BRICS Summit in 2017 and extend full support to that end.
                                                                                           
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British Prime Minister Theresa May to visit India from November 6-8

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British Prime Minister Theresa May will pay an official visit to India from November 6 to 8, accompanied by a business delegation, on what will be her first bilateral trip outside Europe.
 
Ms. May will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and review all aspects of India-United Kingdom Strategic Partnership, a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
The Joint Economic and Trade Committee meeting will be held on the sidelines of the visit, it said.
 
During the visit, Ms. May, alongside Mr. Modi, will inaugurate the India-UK Tech Summit in New Delhi jointly hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. 
 
The summit will be an opportunity for the two sides to strengthen business-to-business engagement in the areas of technology, entrepreneurship and innovation, design, IPRs and higher education. 
 
The two sides had agreed to hold the summit during Mr. Modi's  visit to the UK in November 2015, the release added.
 
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India-Russia Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Goa on October 15, 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Goa on October 15, 2016.
Following is the text of the Joint Statement issued by India and Russia -- Partnership for Global Peace and Stability -- during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Goa today:
 
 
President of the Russian Federation, H.E. Mr. Vladimir V. Putin and Prime Minister of the Republic of India, H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi met today in Goa, during an official visit of the Russian President to India for the 17th India-Russia Annual Summit. The Leaders reviewed the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia that is rooted in longstanding mutual trust, characterized by unmatched reciprocal support to each other's core interests and unique people-to-people affinities. They pledged to pursue new opportunities to take the economic ties to unprecedented heights, achieve sustainable development, promote peace and security at home and around the world, strengthen inclusive and transparent global governance, and provide global leadership on issues of shared interest. 
 
Acknowledging Russia's crucial contributions to India's industrial development and technological advancement and defence needs since the second half of the last century, Prime Minister Modi reiterated that Russia will remain India's major defence and strategic partner, and the enduring partnership between them is an anchor of peace and stability in a changing world order. President Putin reaffirmed Russia’s continued commitment to the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership with India and noted the commonality of positions of both the countries on such issues as war on terrorism. Indian Side expressed its appreciation for Russia’s unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attack on army base in Uri.
 
Follow-Up on the previous Summits
 
The Leaders welcomed the significant progress made in bilateral relations since 2014, pursuant to the roadmaps set out in the Joint Statements issued during President Putin's visit to India in December 2014 and Prime Minister Modi's visit to Russia in December 2015. They expressed satisfaction at continued bilateral exchanges including high-level visits, institutional exchanges and other contacts over the past year that had further strengthened the India-Russia strategic partnership.
 
Economic Cooperation
 
The Leaders recognized the need to constantly reinvent methodologies to realize the target set at the Annual Summit in December 2014, to increase annual bilateral trade and investment and committed to working towards the objective. They re-emphasized the need for continued facilitation by both governments based on regular consultations within the framework of institutional mechanisms as well as speedy implementation of decisions. Acknowledging that liberalization of the travel regime for the businessmen of both States, strengthening of new Transport Corridors, etc. are important steps in this direction, the Sides called for their timely and effective implementation.
 
The Sides welcomed the outcomes of the 22nd meeting of the Indian-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation held in New Delhi on 13 September 2016 and called for early finalization of new proposals identified during the IGC. Both Sides reiterated their commitment to further easing of business. They further noted the creation of bilateral investment fund by National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) of India with Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to facilitate high-technology investments in Russia and India. The Sides particularly welcomed the recent investment by India in the Russian oil sector and called on companies in both countries to finalize new and ambitious investment proposals in similar promising sectors such as pharmaceuticals, chemical industry, mining, machine building, implementation of infrastructure projects, cooperation in railway sector, fertilizer production, automobiles and aircraft construction as well as collaborative ventures in modernizing each other's industrial facilities. The Sides favourably assessed the ongoing cooperation between the railway organizations of the two countries and urged them to intensify it further.
 
They welcomed enhanced interactions between representatives of the business community of India and Russia including the CEOs level interaction particularly during large trade and business events in 2016 such as the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (June 16-18), attended by Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, International Industrial Exhibition INNOPROM (July 11-14), attended by Mrs. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Commerce and Industry, as well as Chief Ministers of the Indian states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and the Eastern Economic Forum (September 2-3). They called for continuation of such interactions and noted that India's participation as a partner country in INNOPROM-2016 highlighted the INNOPROM as one of the most representative among international events in the field of industry, scientific and technological innovations. Both Sides noted with satisfaction successful visit of the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov leading a business delegation to the states of Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and New Delhi from October 11-14, 2016 and noted huge potential for intensification of the Indian-Russian industrial collaboration. The Indian Side welcomed Russia's scheduled participation as partner country in International Engineering Sourcing Show 2017 in India underlining it would impart added momentum to bilateral economic links. Russia welcomed intentions of the Government of India to focus on the opportunities in the Far East of the Russian Federation, participate enthusiastically in the Eastern Economic Forum in 2017, organize a roundtable between the Governors of the Far East Regions of the Russian Federation and the Chief Ministers of different States of India, explore trade and investment opportunities in the agriculture, mining, shipping etc.
 
Both Sides welcomed initiatives to promote direct trade in diamonds between India and Russia and gave positive evaluation of the work of the Special Notified Zone (SNZ) at the Bharat Diamond Bourse, noting active support of this project from PJSC ALROSA, i.e. through holding regular rough diamond viewing. The Sides noted the latest increase in the number of Indian resident companies signing long-term rough diamonds supply contracts with PJSC ALROSA, and emphasized the importance of further development of mechanisms and terms of work in the SNZ with the aim of strengthening bilateral diamond trade.
 
Positively evaluating the initiatives like agreement of phytosanitary and veterinary authorities of both countries on mutual market access for agricultural and processed food products, including dairy products and bovine meat, the Sides agreed to continue ongoing consultations between their regulatory authorities and introduce measures to widen the range of such products for bilateral trade.
 
Both Sides welcomed progress in the implementation of Green Corridor project in accordance with the Protocol between the Central Board of Excise & Customs of India and the Federal Customs Service of Russia on Cooperation in Exchange of Pre-arrival information for Facilitation of Trade and Customs Control on Goods and Vehicles moved between the two countries. Since the signing of the Protocol on 6th April, 2015, the Customs administrations on both sides have resolved complex technical issues and have successfully given effect to a real-time pre-arrival exchange of information based on customs export declarations, paving the way to boost bilateral trade.
 
The Sides noted the progress in the work of the Joint Study Group to consider the feasibility of a free trade agreement between the Republic of India and the Eurasian Economic Union.
 
Taking into account the important role of banks in settlement of trade, the Sides expressed hope for the enhancement by commercial banks of the two countries of their partnership, including through the development of correspondent relations and increase in lending limits. The Sides welcomed the elevation of the Sub-Group on Banking and Financial Matters into the Working Group on Banking and Financial Matters and its broadened scope including additional issues of Indian-Russian cooperation in the insurance sphere.
 
Recognizing the vital role played by connectivity in increasing trade between the two countries, the Leaders welcomed the increased emphasis on implementation of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), which can play a key role in promoting economic integration in the region through reduction of time taken for the transit of goods. They also welcomed increased interaction between Indian and Russian customs authorities under the framework of INSTC.
 
India-Russia "Energy Bridge” 
 
Both Sides noted with satisfaction that robust civil nuclear cooperation, collaboration in hydrocarbon sphere, long term LNG sourcing interest, work on the hydrocarbon energy pipeline and cooperation in renewable energy sector constitute a promising "Energy Bridge” between the two countries. 
 
The Sides affirmed that their successful nuclear energy cooperation, which has already started generating electricity at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, is one of the most tangible and substantive aspects of their strategic partnership. The Sides reaffirm their intention to further expand cooperation under the "Strategic Vision to Strengthen Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India" signed on December 11, 2014. In this context they noted with satisfaction a series of positive developments marked in their civil nuclear cooperation this year, including attainment of full power capacity of Kudankulam Unit 1, integration with electricity grid of Kudankulam Unit 2, commencement of the site work for Kudankulam Units 3 and 4, and the progress in discussions on the General Framework Agreement and the Credit Protocol for Kudankulam Units 5 and 6 with a view to conclude these documents before the end of 2016. Following the dedication of Kudankulam Unit-1 by Prime Minister Modi and President Putin on August 10, 2016, both leaders jointly dedicated Unit 2 of the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant to "India-Russia Friendship and Cooperation” and witnessed the laying of foundation concrete for Kudankulam Units 3 and 4 through video-links at a ceremony in Goa. 
 
The Indian Side stated it is working towards early allocation of the second site for the construction of the Russian-designed NPP. Both Sides appreciated the progress being made in the implementation of the Programme of Action for Localization between Russia’s Rosatom and India’s Department of Atomic Energy with active engagement of Indian nuclear manufacturing industry for local manufacturing in India of equipment and components for upcoming and future Russian-designed nuclear power projects in the context of the serial construction in India of Russian-designed Units. They noted with satisfaction continued senior official level interactions between their atomic energy establishments, including under the framework of the three Joint Working Groups on Nuclear Fuel, Science and Technology and Nuclear Power, and the Central Working Group on Localization set up during the last two Summits. The Indian Side also congratulated the Russian Side for successfully hosting the ATOMEXPO in May 2016, which was attended by senior Indian officials and nuclear industry representatives from both public and private sectors of India.
 
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The Leaders of both countries highly appreciated the progress made by Indian and Russian oil companies since the last Summit with the Indian companies acquiring equity in "Tass-Yuryakh Neftegazodobycha” and "Vankorneft” making it the largest equity oil acquisition hitherto by India. With the aim of further strengthening oil and gas cooperation the Russian Side expressed its interest in attracting Indian oil companies to participate in joint projects in the offshore-Arctic fields of the Russian Federation. The two Sides supported a wider use of natural gas as an economically efficient and ecologically clean fuel to promote sustainable development as well as to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement on climate change.
 
Both Sides reaffirmed their continued commitment to work together towards development of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. In this context, they expressed readiness to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation in the field of solar energy under the MoU signed on 24 December, 2015 between the Russian Energy Agency of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Solar Energy Corporation of the Republic of India on building solar power-stations in India.
 
The Sides emphasized the need to provide assistance to the power sector companies of both countries in the development of cooperation in the sphere of modernization of existing power plants and construction of new power plants in India.
 
Cooperation among States of India and Regions of Russia
 
Given the immense potential for inter-regional cooperation which will bolster bilateral relationship, the Sides agreed to promote further strengthening and increasing the effectiveness of our bilateral inter-regional cooperation. Recalling the Joint Statement of December 11, 2014, the Sides welcomed the signing of the MoI between Maharashtra and Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug - Ugra and between Maharashtra and Sverdlovsk Region. They also encouraged their other regions and states to similarly enter into cooperative arrangements to mutual benefit. The Sides further committed themselves to mark the 50th anniversary of establishment of Sister-City relationship between Mumbai and Saint Petersburg, through yearlong celebrations in 2017.
 
Enhancing Science, Health, Technology and Education Links
 
The Leaders noted with satisfaction strengthening of bilateral scientific cooperation programme, in both basic and applied sciences, in such fields as Material Science, Information & Communication Technologies, Biotechnologies, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, etc. The Sides observed the positive dynamics in the development of scientific and technical ties between the states and regions of India and Russia. The Sides welcomed Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India and the FAS? of Russia on further development of bilateral interaction in scientific and technical sphere and in the field of innovations.
 
The Sides noted the expansion of cooperation in the field of education. The Russian Academia has been getting more and more actively involved in the programme of academic mobility launched by the Government of India and called the Global Initiative for Academics Network, the large number of applications from Russian professors being its proof. The Sides agreed to carry forward cooperation under this initiative. Educational cooperation between India and Russia received institutional support with the creation of the Network of Russian and Indian Universities (RIN) established under the Declaration signed in Moscow on May 8, 2015 by representatives of 9 Indian and 21 Russian institutions of higher education in the presence of the President of the Republic of India H.E. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee and Minister of Science and Technology of the Russian Federation Mr. Dmitry V.Livanov. The Sides noted the RIN’s intensive activity in promoting exchanges of students and faculty, development of curriculum, creation of joint laboratories, organization of scientific conferences and seminars as well as conducting joint scientific research and collaboration in commercialization of technologies developed in research institutions. The Sides called for sustained efforts for the expansion of the list of universities participating from both countries in the RIN. 
 
The Sides expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved in the MoU signed in December 2015 between Centre for Development of Advance Computing (CDAC), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) for cooperation in high performance computing (HPC). The Indian Side conveyed its interest in expanding this cooperation with the Russian Side in a number of activities in supercomputing beyond envisaged in the MoU.
 
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The Sides took note of the interaction in the field of mathematics and successful hosting of the 2nd Indian-Russian Joint Conference in Statistics and Probability in Saint Petersburg in May-June 2016, and pointed out the necessity to further enhance cooperation in this area. 
 
Recognizing the importance of the Arctic and given that Russia is a member of the Arctic Council and India is an observer since May 2013, the Sides agreed to facilitate scientific cooperation to study the challenges (like melting ice, climate change, marine life and biodiversity), facing the rapidly changing Arctic region. 
 
The Sides welcomed interaction between India and Russia in the field of modern phytogenetics, which serves as the most important source of knowledge and constructive solutions for the provision of food security, and success of the First International Scientific Symposium "Genetics and genomics of plants for food security” in Novosibirsk in August 2016, as well as underlined the necessity of further enhancement of cooperation in this field.
 
Welcoming the declaration of June 21 as International Day of Yoga and noting successful organization of Yoga events in the year 2016, the Sides agreed to cooperate for promoting health and fitness through traditional Indian forms of Yoga and Ayurveda. The Sides will explore possibility of mutual cooperation in formulation of curriculum for Ayurvedic studies and development of regulations for quality control of Ayurvedic practices and medicines in Russia.
 
Space Cooperation
 
The Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to pursue the immense potential to cooperate in outer space with a view to advance socially useful applications and scientific knowledge. They welcomed signing of a MoU for setting up and utilizing ground stations in each other's territories to enhance the usefulness of their respective navigation satellite constellations of GLONASS and NavIC. The Sides emphasized that the space agencies of India and Russia will engage more actively on space technology applications, launch vehicle, satellite navigation, space science and planetary exploration. The Sides also confirmed their commitment to elaborate within the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on Space a consolidated approach to the preparation of the set of guidelines for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and regulatory provisions on safety of space operations, as the most important component of the said document.
 
Defence Cooperation
 
Recognizing the contribution of military-technical cooperation in the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries, the Leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to continue their cooperation in this field. In this context, they commended the activities of the Indian-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation.
 
The Sides expressed satisfaction at joint Indian-Russian exercises INDRA involving ground forces in Russia’s Far East in 2016. They welcomed the visit of the Indian Minister of State for Defence in April 2016 and delegation of the National Defence College in May-June 2016 to Moscow. They underlined the need to expand training, joint exercises and institutionalized interactions between the Armed Forces of both countries.
 
The Sides noted with satisfaction achievements in the field of joint design, development and production of high-technology military equipment and in this context, positively evaluated the establishment of the Joint Venture for production of Ka-226T helicopters in India. 
 
Both Sides welcomed plans to hold Indo-Russian military industrial conference later in 2016 and create bilateral Science & Technology Committee. The Indo-Russian Military industrial Conference will address military equipment related issues including spares, repair and maintenance of Russian supplied equipment and co-production. Private players too would be invited to participate under Make in India initiative. The Bilateral Science & Technology Committee would focus on matters relating to R&D collaboration in such high-tech areas as IT, communication, cyber security, medical engineering, outer space cooperation, remote sensing, etc.
 
Security and Disaster Management
 
Recognizing the need for sustained and institutionalized interactions to foster greater security-related and disaster management cooperation, the Sides noted the successful visit of Russian Minister for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters Vladimir Puchkov to India in March 2016, during which they held the first meeting of the Joint Commission on cooperation in the field of prevention and elimination of emergencies and signing of the Joint Implementation Plan for the years 2016-2017. 
 
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Recalling the visit of Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev to India in September 2015, the Sides reaffirmed their intention to finalize an Agreement on Cooperation between the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and a Joint Action Plan between the Narcotics Control Bureau of the Republic of India and the Ministry of the Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, which would provide an enabling framework to further develop ongoing inter-ministerial interactions for exchange of best practices and expertise, conducting training courses in countering extremism and drug-trafficking.
 
Culture, Tourism and People-to-People Ties
 
The Sides reaffirmed their interest in the early signing of a Cultural Exchange Programme for the years 2016-2018 between the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and confirmed their interest in intensifying cultural cooperation, including between academic and research organizations of the two countries acting in the field of culture and arts. Noting the success of the Festival of Russian Culture in 2016, it was decided to have the Festival of Indian Culture in Russia in 2017. 
 
The Sides appreciated the agreement reached by the Joint Working Group on culture and tourism in New Delhi in September 2016 on developing direct contacts between state institutions of the two countries in the field of culture and tourism.
 
The Sides welcomed steps aimed at concluding the Agreement to implement the decision to facilitate visa free entry, stay and exit of crew of aircraft of the designated aircraft companies as well as other aircraft companies performing charter and special flights in the respective territories of their countries on reciprocal basis. 
 
The Sides agreed to work towards further simplification and liberalization of visa arrangements, and promote group tourist travel to enhance people-to-people contacts.
 
The Sides noted the importance of interaction on issues related to migration and agreed to work towards improving the legal framework of cooperation in that sphere, in particular on the issuance of work permits and temporary residency permits for Indian nationals working in Russia through continued dialogue on these issues. 
 
The two Sides expressed satisfaction with the pace of the implementation of the Treaty on Transfer of Sentenced Persons between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation which came into force in March 2015 and expressed hope that further results would be achieved in the coming times with the implementation of the bilateral Treaty on Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
 
The Sides expressed intention to exert efforts in order to strengthen cooperation in the consular sphere, including an exchange of experience in defending its citizens’ and juridical entities’ rights and interests in the territory of the state of residence, and to provide possible assistance to the consular missions of the state represented.
 
Recognizing the role of cinema in promoting understanding and good will at people-to-people level, the two Sides expressed satisfaction on organization of Indian Film Festival in Moscow and Russian Film Festival in Mumbai in 2016. They agreed to deepen and expand the scope of India-Russia cooperation in the field of cinema by supporting interaction between film organizations and exploring possibilities of concluding audio-video coproduction agreement between the two countries.
 
Realizing the immense potential for collaboration in tourism sector and with an aim to encourage closer cooperation between tourism agencies of the two countries, the Sides agreed to celebrate 2018 as 'Year of Tourism between India and Russia'. They encouraged further collaboration between Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of India and Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation in enhancing bilateral cooperation, including establishment of direct links and contacts between Indian and Russian tourist associations, organizations, enterprises and companies. 
 
70th Anniversary Celebrations of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations
 
The leaders called for grand celebrations in 2017 to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia. They asked the concerned ministries and agencies to organize celebrations depicting width and depth of multi-faceted relations that the countries have spanning diverse fields including political, defence, energy, trade, economy, finance, investment, culture, education, think-tanks, science and technology, sports, youth, tourism, people-to-people etc. They welcomed elaboration of an Action plan towards this goal. 
 
Global Order and World Peace
 
Recognizing the importance of cooperation between India and Russia for global peace and stability, both Sides reaffirmed their desire to work together to promote a multi-polar international system based on the central role of the United Nations and international law, common interests, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of countries.
 
India and Russia called for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council to make it more effective and representative of the contemporary geo-political realities. Russia reaffirmed its support for India's candidature for a permanent membership of a reformed and expanded UN Security Council. 
 
The Indian Side highly appreciated the role played by Russia in India's accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The Leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Obligations at the SCO Summit in Tashkent on 24 June 2016 and reaffirmed the intention of both countries to work together closely in order to enhance the SCO's efficiency and performance in various spheres.
 
The Leaders expressed satisfaction over the development of cooperation in the BRICS grouping and underlined the importance of further strengthening BRICS strategic partnership guided by principles of openness, solidarity, equality, mutual understanding, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation. They appreciated India’s BRICS Chairmanship and good pace of implementation and expansion of BRICS cooperation agenda. They noted the intensification and diversification of cooperation between BRICS countries and lauded the outcomes of the meetings of BRICS NSAs, Ministers of Agriculture; Disaster Management; Education; Finance; Labour & Employment; Science, Technology and Innovation; and Trade in 2016 and looked forward to positive outcomes of meetings of Ministers of Health and Telecommunications. The Leaders expressed satisfaction at the momentum generated by the BRICS Business Council Meetings in 2016. They welcomed the progress in the functioning of the New Development Bank and its decision to disburse the first set of loans for projects in the area of green and renewable energy. Russia applauded the focus on enhancing people-to-people contacts during India’s BRICS Chairmanship and organisation of events like BRICS Film Festival, BRICS Under-17 Football Tournament, BRICS Convention on Tourism, etc. and promised full support to India’s efforts in ensuring the continuity and further development of BRICS activities during its Chairmanship in 2016. The Sides also highly praised customs cooperation within BRICS, including efforts to establish its Customs Cooperation Committee and to create a legal basis for interaction and mutual assistance on customs matters.
 
The Leaders expressed satisfaction over the development of BRICS economic cooperation. They appreciated the progress in the implementation of the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership adopted at the Ufa Summit in July 2015. The Russian Side commended the Indian Side for continuity in the realization of the main initiatives launched under Russian Presidency in BRICS such as e-commerce, "single window”, intellectual property rights cooperation, trade promotion and micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) cooperation. The Sides also agreed to broaden cooperation through joint promotion of the Indian initiatives on eliminating non-tariff barriers in trade, increasing trade in services and structuring support and development of MSMEs in the BRICS format. The Russian side also appreciated the organisation of the 1st BRICS Trade Fair in New Delhi to further consolidate trade ties among BRICS countries. They also underlined the importance of the implementation of the BRICS Roadmap for Trade, Economic and Investment Cooperation until 2020 submitted by the Russian Side in 2015. It was agreed that close cooperation among the BRICS Contact Group on Economic and Trade Issues, the BRICS Business Council and the New Development Bank is crucial to enhance the BRICS economic partnership. 
 
Having stressed the importance of cooperation between Russia, India and China (RIC) the Leaders welcomed the outcomes of the RIC Ministerial Meeting in Moscow on 18 April, 2016 as a tangible contribution to deepening mutual trust and coordination on international and regional issues. Both Sides reaffirmed their desire to further strengthen interaction in the trilateral format in order to jointly counter new challenges and threats.
 
The Leaders expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and recognized the need for resolute action against the menace of terrorism and threats of illicit drug-production and drug-trafficking, including the elimination of terror sanctuaries, safe havens, and other forms of support to terrorists. Both Sides called for constructive international, regional and bilateral cooperation in order to help Afghanistan in addressing the domestic security situation, improving the capabilities of Afghan National Security Forces, strengthening counter-narcotics capabilities, ensuring socio-economic development, and enhancing connectivity. India and Russia reiterated their support for Afghan government's efforts towards the realization of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned national reconciliation process based upon the principles of international law.
 
The Leaders strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and emphasized the necessity of comprehensive international collaboration in order to ensure its eradication. India and Russia recognize the threat posed by terrorism, and believe that the full implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy without application of any double standards or selectivity will be instrumental in countering this challenge. They stressed the need to deny safe havens to terrorists and the importance of countering the spread of terrorist ideology as well as radicalization leading to terrorism, stopping recruitment, preventing travel of terrorists and foreign terrorist fighters, strengthening border management and having effective legal assistance and extradition arrangements. Furthermore, stressing the need to have a strong international legal regime built on the principle of ‘zero tolerance for direct or indirect support of terrorism’, both Sides called upon the international community to make sincere efforts towards the earliest conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT).
 
Both Sides recognized that the rapidly expanding role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has led to the development of certain security vulnerabilities which need to be addressed through the development of universally applicable rules for responsible behaviour of states which should ensure the safe and sustainable use of ICTs. The Leaders reaffirmed the need to deepen bilateral cooperation in this field and welcomed the conclusion of the Indian-Russian Inter-Governmental Agreement for Cooperation in this regard. 
 
Both Sides expressed concern over the continuing instability in South-Eastern Ukraine and supported a political and negotiated settlement of the issue through the complete implementation of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of Minsk Agreements of February 12, 2015. 
 
The two Sides are convinced that the conflict in Syria should be peacefully resolved through comprehensive and inclusive intra-Syrian dialogue based on the Geneva Communique of June 30, 2012, and relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Both Sides underlined the necessity of strengthening the cessation of hostilities, delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged areas, and the continuation of intra-Syrian dialogue under UN supervision. India recognized Russian Side's effort towards achieving a political and negotiated settlement of the situation in Syria. 
 
The Sides reaffirmed that they have a common interest in preventing the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and in strengthening the multilateral export control regimes. A responsible approach to disarmament and non-proliferation is demonstrated by India and Russia's constructive participation in relevant international fora such as the Conference on Disarmament, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, etc. Both Sides reiterated their desire to strengthen interaction and coordination of views on these issues. Russia welcomed India's accession to the Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation and the Missile Technology Control Regime. Russia is convinced that India's participation will strengthen the international export control regimes and in this regard welcomed India’s application for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), reiterating its strong support for India's early entry into the NSG. Russia also supported India’s interest in full membership in the Wasseanaar Arrangement. 
 
The Leaders stressed upon the need for preventing the weaponization of space. They noted the convergence of their interests in ensuring peaceful and sustainable uses of outer space and reaffirmed their commitment towards working together in relevant international fora such as the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and the UN General Assembly First Committee in New York to promote these common interests. The Sides also called for conclusion of a legally binding international agreement for the prevention of weaponization of outer space at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
 
The Sides reiterated their desire to further strengthen their consultations and coordination in various international organizations such as the Group of Twenty (G-20), East Asia Summits, Asia-Europe Meeting, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue. India and Russia expressed satisfaction over the outcomes of the G-20 Summit held in Hangzhou in September 2016 and highlighted the significance of joint efforts in the G-20 for encouraging global economic growth, ensuring a stable international financial system, improving global economic governance and accelerating structural reforms. Russia reiterated its support for India's application to join APEC and committed to work closely with India. The Sides reiterated their commitment to further jointly promote coordination and cooperation aimed at maintaining lasting peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region. They supported the development of an open, inclusive and transparent security and cooperation architecture in the region on the basis of universally recognized principles of international law. In this regard they confirmed their commitment towards continued discussion on regional security architecture in the Asia Pacific under the framework of the East Asia Summit. 
 
Bilateral Perspectives 
 
Acknowledging the unique nature of strategic partnership between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation, the Leaders agreed to diversify stakeholders and further strengthen the existing mechanisms of cooperation to propel India-Russia partnership to a level that meets the aspirations of their people.
 
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Full Text: RBI's Fourth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2016-17

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Following is the text of the Resolution of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued here today:
 
On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation at its meeting today, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to:
 
• reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 6.5 per cent to 6.25 per cent with immediate effect.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 6.75 per cent.
 
The decision of the MPC is consistent with an accommodative stance of monetary policy in consonance with the objective of achieving consumer price index (CPI) inflation at 5 per cent by Q4 of 2016-17 and the medium-term target of 4 per cent within a band of +/- 2 per cent, while supporting growth. The main considerations underlying the decision are set out in the statement below.
 
Assessment
 
2. Global growth has been slowing more than anticipated through 2016 so far, with weak investment and trade damping aggregate demand. Meanwhile, risks in the form of Brexit,
banking stress in Europe, rebalancing of debt-fuelled growth in China, rising protectionism
and diminishing confidence in monetary policy have slanted the outlook to the downside.
World trade volume has contracted sharper than expected in the first half of 2016, and the
outlook has worsened with the recent falling off of imports by advanced economies (AEs)
from emerging market economies (EMEs). Inflation remains subdued in AEs and has started to edge down in EMEs.
 
3. International financial markets were overwhelmed by the Brexit vote in Q2, with equity
markets losing valuations worldwide, currencies plunging and turning volatile, and investors
rushing for safe havens. Markets, however, recovered quickly and reclaimed lost ground in
Q3, with a return of risk appetite propelling capital flows back into EMEs. Nonetheless, an
uneasy calm prevails on uncertainty about the stance of monetary policy of systemic central
banks. Commodity prices have firmed up slightly, easing stress for commodity exporters and shaving off some of the terms of trade gains accruing to commodity importers. Crude prices rose to a recent peak in Q2 of 2016, mostly on supply disruption in various parts of the world, and again in late September as the OPEC announced intentions of cutting back on supply; but, the upturn has been curbed by higher inventories.
 
4. On the domestic front, the outlook for agricultural activity has brightened
considerably. The south west monsoon ended the season with a cumulative deficit of only 3
per cent below the long period average, with 85 per cent of the country’s geographical area
having received normal to excess precipitation. Kharif sowing has surpassed last year’s
acreage, barring cotton, sugarcane and jute and mesta. Accordingly, the first advance 
estimates of kharif foodgrains production for 2016-17 by the Ministry of Agriculture have
been placed at a record level, and higher than the target set for the year. The industrial
sector, by contrast, suffered a manufacturing-driven contraction in early fiscal year Q2, after
a sequential deceleration in gross value added in Q1. Even after trimming the statistical
effects of the lumpy and order-driven contraction of insulated rubber cables, industrial
production as measured by the index of industrial production (IIP) turned out to be slower
than a year ago. In August, steel production rose to a 37-month high and cement production
maintained momentum - auguring well for construction activity - even though the output of
core industries as a whole was weighed down by a decline in the production of coal, crude oil and natural gas and deceleration in refinery products and electricity generation. Nonetheless, business expectations polled in the Reserve Bank’s industrial outlook survey and by other agencies remain expansionary in Q2 and Q3. The strong public investment in roads, railways and inland waterways, the recent efforts to unclog cash flows in large projects under arbitration, and the boost to spending from the 7th Pay Commission’s award, should improve the industrial outlook. In the services sector, the acceleration in the pace of activity in Q1 appears to have been sustained. An increasing number of high frequency indicators are moving into positive territory, construction is boosted by policy initiatives, and public administration, defence and other services will be supported by the pay commission award.
 
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5. Retail inflation measured by the headline CPI had been elevated by a sharp pick-up
in the momentum of food inflation overwhelming favourable base effects during April-July. In
August, however, the momentum of food inflation turned negative and surprised
expectations; consequently, base effects in that month came into full play and pulled down
headline inflation to an intra-year low. Fuel inflation has moderated steadily through the year
so far. Inflation excluding food and fuel (including petrol and diesel embedded in
transportation) has been sticky around 5 per cent, mainly in respect to education, medical
and personal care services. Households reacted to the recent hardening of food inflation
adaptively and raised their inflation expectations in the September 2016 round of the
Reserve Bank’s inflation expectations survey of households. Input costs in the manufacturing sector, including staff costs, have firmed up slightly as evident in various surveys, but the presence of considerable slack has restrained their transmission into corporate pricing power.
 
6. Liquidity conditions have remained comfortable in Q3, with the Reserve Bank
absorbing liquidity on a net basis through variable rate reverse repo auctions of varying
tenors. Liquidity was injected through open market purchases of `200 billion in line with the
system’s requirements. As a result, the weighted average call money rate (WACR) remained tightly aligned with the policy repo rate and, in fact, traded with a soft bias. Interest rates on commercial paper (CPs) and certificates of deposit (CD) also eased.
 
7. In the external sector, merchandise exports contracted in the first two months of Q2.
Subdued domestic demand was, however, reflected in a faster contraction in imports.
Moreoever, the still soft crude prices pared off a fifth of the oil import bill and gold import
volume slumped to a fifth of its volume a year ago. Consequently, the merchandise trade
deficit narrowed by US$ 10 billion in April-August on a year-on-year basis. These
developments are likely to have contained the current account deficit in Q2 at its level in Q1,
although the decline in remittances and the flattening of software earnings warrants
monitoring. While the pace of foreign direct investment slowed compared to a year ago,
portfolio flows were stronger after the Brexit vote, galvanised by a search for returns in an
expanding universe of negative yields. The level of foreign exchange reserves rose to
US$ 372 billion by September 30, 2016 – an all-time high.
 
Outlook
 
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8. The Committee expects that the strong improvement in sowing, along with supply
management measures, will improve the food inflation outlook. It notes that the sharp drop in inflation reflects a downward shift in the momentum of food inflation – which holds the key to future inflation outcomes – rather than merely the statistical effects of a favourable base
effect. The Government has announced several measures to cool food inflation pressures,
especially with regard to pulses. These measures should help in moderating the momentum
of food inflation in the months ahead. This has opened up space for policy action, as
indicated in the third bi-monthly monetary policy statement. The easy liquidity conditions
engendered by the Reserve Bank’s operations should also enable the smooth transmission
of the policy action through various market segments. Furthermore, banks should find added impetus for better transmission by the recent downward adjustment in small savings rates.
 
The Committee took note of potential cost push pressures that may emerge, including the 7th pay commission award on house rent allowances, and the increase in minimum wages with possible spillovers through minimum support prices. The fuller play of these factors will need vigilance to prevent a generalised cost spiral from taking root. On balance, the Committee envisages a trajectory taking headline CPI inflation towards a central tendency of 5 per cent by March 2017, with risks tilted to the upside albeit lower than in the second and third bimonthly monetary policy statements of June and August respectively.
 
9. The momentum of growth is expected to quicken with a normal monsoon raising
agricultural growth and rural demand, as well as by the stimulus to the urban consumption
spending from the pay commission’s award. The accommodative stance of monetary policy and comfortable liquidity conditions should support a revival of credit to the productive sectors. The continuing sluggishness in world trade and smaller terms of trade gains than in the past point, however, to further slackening of external demand going forward. Accordingly, the projection of growth of real gross value added (GVA) for 2016-17 is retained at 7.6 per cent, with risks evenly balanced around it.
 
10. Six members voted in favour of the monetary policy decision. The minutes of the
MPC’s meeting will be published on October 18, 2016. The next meeting of the MPC is
scheduled on December 6 and 7, 2016 and its resolution will be announced on December 7,
 
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Union Council of Ministers

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the newly inducted Ministers after they were sworn in at a ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on July 5, 2016.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the newly inducted Ministers after they were sworn in at a ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on July 5, 2016.
Following is the Union Council of Ministers after the expansion and reshuffle carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today:
 
PRIME MINISTER
Narendra Modi: Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Atomic Energy Department of Space
All important policy issues, and all other portfolios not allocated to any Minister
 
CABINET MINISTERS
1.   Raj Nath Singh: Home Affairs
2.   Sushma Swaraj: External Affairs
3.   Arun Jaitley: Finance, Corporate Affairs
4.   M. Venkaiah Naidu: Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Information  & Broadcasting
5.   Nitin Jairam Gadkari: Road Transport and Highways, Shipping
6.   Manohar Parrikar: Defence
7.   Suresh Prabhu: Railways
8.   D.V. Sadananda Gowda: Statistics & Programme Implementation
9.   Uma Bharati: Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
10.  Najma A. Heptulla: Minority Affairs
11.  Ramvilas Paswan: Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
12.  Kalraj Mishra: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
13.  Maneka Sanjay Gandhi: Women and Child Development
14.  Ananth Kumar: Chemicals and Fertilizers, Parliamentary Affairs
15.  Ravi Shankar Prasad: Law & Justice, Electronics & Information Technology
16.  Jagat Prakash Nadda: Health & Family Welfare
17.  Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati: Civil Aviation
18.  Anant Geete: Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
19.  Harsimrat Kaur Badal: Food Processing Industries
20.  Narendra Singh Tomar: Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation
21.  Chaudhary Birender Singh: Steel
22.  Jual Oram: Tribal Affairs
23.  Radha Mohan Singh: Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
24.  Thaawar Chand Gehlot: Social Justice and Empowerment
25.  Smriti Zubin Irani: Textiles
26.  Harsh Vardhan: Science and Technology, Earth Sciences
27.  Prakash Javadekar: Human Resource Development
 
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MINISTERS OF STATE
1.   Rao Inderjit Singh: Planning (Independent Charge)
Urban Development, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation
2.   Bandaru Dattatreya: Labour and Employment (Independent Charge)
3.   Rajiv Pratap Rudy: Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (Independent Charge)
4.   Vijay Goel: Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge),
Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
5.   Shripad Yesso Naik: AAYUSH (Independent Charge)
6.   Dharmendra Pradhan: Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge)
7.   Piyush Goyal: Power (Independent Charge), Coal (Independent Charge), New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge), Mines (Independent Charge)
8.   Jitendra Singh: Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space
9.   Nirmala Sitharaman: Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge)
10.  Mahesh Sharma: Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge)
11.  Manoj Sinha: Communications (Independent Charge), 
Railways
12.  Anil Madhav Dave: Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge)
13.  V.K. Singh: External Affairs
14.  Santosh Kumar Gangwar: Finance
15.  Faggan Singh Kulaste: Health & Family Welfare
16.  Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi: Minority Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs
17.  S.S. Ahluwalia: Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Parliamentary Affairs
18.  Ramdas Athawale: Social Justice & Empowerment
19.  Ram Kripal Yadav: Rural Development
20.  Haribhai Parthbhai Chaudhary: Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
21.  Giriraj Singh: Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises
22.  Hansraj Gangaram Ahir: Home Affairs
23.  G.M. Siddeshwara: Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises
24.  Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi: Drinking Water & Sanitation
25.  Rajen Gohain: Railways
26.  Parshottam Rupala: Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Panchayati Raj
27.  M.J. Akbar: External Affairs 
28.  Upendra Kushwaha: Human Resources Development
29.  Radhakrishnan P., Road Transport & Highways, Shipping
30.  Kiren Rijiju: Home Affairs
31.  Krishan Pal: Social Justice & Empowerment
32.  Jasvantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor: Tribal Affairs
33.  Sanjeev Kumar Balyan: Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation
34.  Vishnu Deo Sai: Steel
35.  Sudarshan Bhagat: Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
36.  Y.S. Chowdary: Science and Technology, Earth Science
37.  Jayant Sinha: Civil Aviation
38.  Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore: Information & Broadcasting
39.  Babul Supriyo: Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation
40.  Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti: Food Processing Industries
41.  Vijay Sampla: Social Justice & Empowerment
42.  Arjun Ram Meghwal: Finance, Corporate Affairs
43.  Mahendra Nath Pandey: Human Resource Development
44.  Ajay Tamta: Textiles       
45.  Krishna Raj: Women & Child Development
46.  Mansukh L. Mandaviya: Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Chemicals & Fertilizers
47.  Anupriya Patel: Health & Family Welfare
48.  C.R. Chaudhary: Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
49.  P.P. Chaudhary: Law & Justice, Electronics & Information Technology
50.  Subhash Ramrao Bhamre: Defence
 
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India-Mexico Joint Statement

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Following is the text of the Joint Statement issued by India and Mexico in Mexico City on Wednesday during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Mexico:
 
1.At the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto, President of the United Mexican States, His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India paid a working visit to Mexico on 8th June 2016, with the objective to continue the dialogue held by the two leaders on the margins of the 70thregular session of the United Nations General Assembly on 28th September 2015.
 
2.The leaders recognized the opportunities to define the path of the India-Mexico Privileged Partnership for the 21st Century that allows the growth of bilateral relations in economic field, in science and technology and in the most important issues of the global agenda reflecting a broad convergence of long-term political, economic and strategic goals.
 
3.President Enrique Peña Nieto elaborated on the structural reforms undertaken in Mexico to promote economic growth and development. On his part, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi highlighted the initiatives undertaken by his Government for the economic growth and the improvement of standard of living of the people.
 
In this context, both leaders:
 
Political Dialogue
 
4.Instructed the Foreign Ministers of both countries to develop the roadmap of the Privileged Partnership suitable for the 21stCentury, in the framework of the Seventh Mexico-India Joint Commission Meeting to be held in Mexico in 2016.
 
5.Look forward to the results of the Sixth Meeting of the Joint Committee on Science and Technology, and the Fourth Meeting of the High Level Group on Trade, Investment and Cooperation, which will be held in Mexico during the second half of 2016.
 
6.The two countries will update the bases of cooperation according to a convergent and comprehensive plan, will evaluate the progress made in diverse fields and will set new objectives and themes to strengthen the agenda of bilateral relations.
 
7.Had a detailed exchange of views on the regional issues of mutual interest, including the political and economic developments in Latin America, the CELAC and the Pacific Alliance, as well as the current situation in the Asia-Pacific region.
 
Economic Partnership
 
8.Underscored the increasing importance of diversifying the economic exchanges to promote trade and investment to a level corresponding to their true potential.
 
9.Stressed the necessity of developing a greater connectivity between the two countries and encouraging cooperation in the infrastructure sector, among small and medium enterprises, in pharmaceutical products, in energy, in the automobile sector, in Information and Communication Technology, in agriculture, in food processing and in other related sectors.
 
10.Noted with satisfaction the growing interest for investment of the Indian companies in the energy sector - attracted by the structural reforms carried out in Mexico, as well as the opportunities for Mexican companies in the Indian market.
 
11.Agreed that cooperation is key to promote the investment and the use of solar energy. The two sides agreed to explore ways and means to boost the objectives of the International Solar Alliance.
 
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12.Stressed the importance of promoting increased exchanges between the peoples of the two countries for better understanding and strengthening of bilateral links in the areas of culture, education and tourism.
 
Bilateral Cooperation
 
13.Exchanged points of views and welcomed the opportunities offered by the convergence between the National Digital Strategy of Mexico and the Digital India Initiative, which share common objectives.
 
14.Welcomed collaboration in space science, earth observation, climate and environmental studies, and the efficient use of space-related resources available in India as well as in Mexico for remote sensing, advance warning for disaster prevention and launch of satellites between the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
 
15.Considering that both countries have huge diaspora communities abroad, the Leaders agreed on exchanging views, information and share best practices with respect to the participation of networks, organizations and individuals in their diasporas in the development of communities of their origin and their residence, as well as for the welfare and protection of their respective nationals in foreign countries.
 
Dialogue on Global Affairs
 
16.Pledged to continue promoting the shared goals of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation as solutions with multilateral perspective, as well as to continue promoting cooperation on international security issues.
 
17.Reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
 
18.Reaffirmed the importance to have an effectivemultilateral system, with the United Nations at its core, and agreed on the importance of continuing supporting the progress in the process of comprehensive reforms of the United Nations Security Council.
 
19.Noted productive and substantive cooperation in the context of their participation in G-20.
 
20.Welcomed with satisfaction the successful conclusion of the Climate Change Conference held in Paris in December 2015 and applauded the signing by both countries of the Paris Agreement on April 22, 2016. They committed to ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as possible, as well as to develop new and renewable sources of energy to meet the developmental challenges of their respective countries.
 
21.President Enrique Peña Nieto cordially invited the Indian Prime Minister to visit Mexico again on a State visit in the near future. Similarly, Prime Minister Modi invited President Peña Nieto to pay a State visit to India. They agreed that suitable dates would be worked out through diplomatic channels.
 
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India-US Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office at White House, in Washington DC, on June 7, 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office at White House, in Washington DC, on June 7, 2016.
The following is the text of the Joint Statement, titled "The United States and India: Enduring Global Partners in the 21st Century", issued by India and the United States during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit here today:
 
1) The Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi and the President of the United States of America Barack Obama met today in the White House during an official working visit of Prime Minister Modi to the United States.  Marking their third major bilateral summit, the leaders reviewed the deepening strategic partnership between the United States and India that is rooted in shared values of freedom, democracy, universal human rights, tolerance and pluralism, equal opportunities for all citizens, and rule of law. They pledged to pursue new opportunities to bolster economic growth and sustainable development, promote peace and security at home and around the world, strengthen inclusive, democratic governance and respect for universal human rights, and provide global leadership on issues of shared interest.  
 
2) The leaders welcomed the significant progress made in bilateral relations between India and the United States during their tenure, in accordance with the roadmaps set out in the Joint Statements issued during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the United States in September 2014 and President Obama’s visit to India in January 2015. The leaders affirmed the increasing convergence in their strategic perspectives and emphasized the need to remain closely invested in each other’s security and prosperity.  
 
Advancing U.S.-India Global Leadership on Climate and Clean Energy
 
3) The steps that the two Governments have taken in the last two years through the U.S.-India Contact Group, including by addressing the nuclear liability issue, inter alia, through India’s ratification of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, have laid a strong foundation for a long-term partnership between U.S. and Indian companies for building nuclear power plants in India. Culminating a decade of partnership on civil nuclear issues, the leaders welcomed the start of preparatory work on site in India for six AP 1000 reactors to be built by Westinghouse and noted the intention of India and the U.S. Export-Import Bank to work together toward a competitive financing package for the project. Once completed, the project would be among the largest of its kind, fulfilling the promise of the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement and demonstrating a shared commitment to meet India’s growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.  Both sides welcomed the announcement by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, and Westinghouse that engineering and site design work will begin immediately and the two sides will work toward finalizing the contractual arrangements by June 2017.  
 
4) The United States and India share common climate and clean energy interests and are close partners in the fight against climate change. Leadership from both countries helped galvanize global action to combat climate change and culminated in the historic Paris Agreement reached last December. Both countries are committed to working together and with others to promote full implementation of the Paris Agreement to address the urgent threats posed by climate change. India and the United States recognize the urgency of climate change and share the goal of enabling entry into force of the Paris Agreement as early as possible. The United States reaffirms its commitment to join the Agreement as soon as possible this year. India similarly has begun its processes to work toward this shared objective. The leaders reiterated their commitment to pursue low greenhouse gas emission development strategies in the pre-2020 period and to develop long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies. In addition, the two countries resolved to work to adopt an HFC amendment in 2016 with increased financial support from donor countries to the Multilateral Fund to help developing countries with implementation, and an ambitious phasedown schedule, under the Montreal Protocol pursuant to the Dubai Pathway. The leaders resolved to work together at the upcoming International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly to reach a successful outcome to address greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation. Further, the two countries will pursue under the leadership of the G20 strong outcomes to promote improved heavy-duty vehicle standards and efficiency in accordance with their national priorities and capabilities.  
 
5) The leaders welcomed the signing of an MOU to Enhance Cooperation on Energy Security, Clean Energy and Climate Change, and an MOU on Cooperation in Gas Hydrates.  
 
6) Reflecting Prime Minister Modi’s call to embrace wildlife conservation as a development imperative, the leaders welcomed the signing of an MOU to enhance cooperation on Wildlife Conservation and Combating Wildlife Trafficking.  
 
Clean Energy Finance
 
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7) The United States supports the Government of India’s ambitious national goals to install 175 GW of renewable power which includes 100 GW from solar power.   
 
8) The United States welcomes the launch of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), recognizes the critical role it can play in the development and deployment of solar power, and intends pursuing membership in the ISA. To this end, and to strengthen ISA together, the United States and India will jointly launch the third Initiative of the ISA which will focus on off-grid solar for energy access at the Founding Conference of ISA in September, 2016 in India. The United States also remains committed, with other developed countries, to the goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation and adaptation action.  
 
9) The United States is committed to bring to bear its technical capacity, resources and private sector, and is jointly launching with India new efforts, to spur greater investment in India’s renewable energy sector, including efforts that can serve as a model for other ISA Member Countries. In particular, the United States and India today are announcing: the creation of a $20 million U.S.-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative, equally supported by the United States and India, which is expected to mobilize up to $400 million to provide clean and renewable electricity to up to 1 million households by 2020; a commitment to establish the U.S.-India Clean Energy Hub as the coordinating mechanism to focus United States Government efforts that, in partnership with leading Indian financial institutions, will increase renewable energy investment in India; a $40 million U.S.- India Catalytic Solar Finance Program, equally supported by the United States and India, that, by providing needed liquidity to smaller-scale renewable energy investments, particularly in poorer, rural villages that are not connected to the grid, could mobilize up to $1 billion of projects; the expansion of handholding support to Indian utilities that are scaling up rooftop solar and continuation of successful cooperation with USAID on “Greening the Grid”. 
 
10) The United States and India also remain committed to the goals of Mission Innovation, which they jointly launched during COP-21 in Paris to double their respective clean energy research and development (R&D) investment in five years. Toward this end, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate on research and development, including through the announcement of an upcoming $30 million public-private research effort in smart grid and grid storage.   
 
Strengthening Global Nonproliferation
 
11)  The President thanked the Prime Minister for his substantive contribution to and active participation in 2016 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., and welcomed his offer to host a Summit on Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism in 2018.   The United States and India will work together to combat the threat of terrorists accessing and using chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological materials.  
 
12) Recalling their shared commitment to preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, the leaders looked forward to India’s imminent entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime. President Obama welcomed India’s application to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and re-affirmed that India is ready for membership. The United States called on NSG Participating Governments to support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG Plenary later this month.  The United States also re-affirmed its support for India’s early membership of the Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement.  
 
Securing the Domains: Land, Maritime, Air, Space, and Cyber
 
13) The leaders applauded the completion of a roadmap for cooperation under the 2015 U.S.-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, which will serve as a guide for collaboration in the years to come. They resolved that the United States and India should look to each other as priority partners in the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region.   
 
14) They welcomed the inaugural meeting of the Maritime Security Dialogue. Owing to mutual interest in maritime security and maritime domain awareness, the leaders welcomed the conclusion of a technical arrangement for sharing of maritime “White Shipping” information.  
 
15) The leaders affirmed their support for U.S.-India cooperation in promoting maritime security. They reiterated the importance they attach to ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight and exploitation of resources as per international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and settlement of territorial disputes by peaceful means.  
 
16) The leaders applauded the enhanced military to military cooperation between the two countries especially in joint exercises, training and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR). They expressed their desire to explore agreements which would facilitate further expansion of bilateral defense cooperation in practical ways. In this regard, they welcomed the finalization of the text of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA).
 
17) Noting that the U.S.-India defense relationship can be an anchor of stability, and given the increasingly strengthened cooperation in defense, the United States hereby recognizes India as a Major Defense Partner.  As such:
 
The United States will continue to work toward facilitating technology sharing with India to a level commensurate with that of its closest allies and partners. The leaders reached an understanding under which India would receive license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies in conjunction with steps that India has committed to take to advance its export control objectives.
In support of India’s Make In India initiative, and to support the development of robust defense industries and their integration into the global supply chain, the United States will continue to facilitate the export of goods and technologies, consistent with U.S. law, for projects, programs and joint ventures in support of official U.S.-India defense cooperation.   
18) The leaders also committed to enhance cooperation in support of the Government of India’s Make In India Initiative and expand the co-production and co-development of technologies under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).  They welcomed the establishment of new DTTI working groups to include agreed items covering  Naval Systems, Air Systems, and other Weapons Systems. The leaders announced the finalization of the text of an Information Exchange Annex under the Joint Working Group on Aircraft Carrier Technology Cooperation.  
 
19) President Obama thanked Prime Minister Modi for his government’s support for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) missions in India, including a recovery mission that resulted in the recent repatriation of remains of the United States Service Members missing since the Second World War. The leaders announced their commitment to future DPAA? missions.  
 
20) As space faring nations, India and the United States acknowledge that outer space should be an ever expanding frontier of human endeavour, and look forward to deepening their cooperation on earth observation, Mars exploration, space education and manned space flight. The leaders welcomed the progress toward establishment of an ISRO-NASA  Heliophysics Working Group as well as toward finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding for exchange of earth observation satellite data.  
 
21) The leaders emphasized that cyberspace enables economic growth and development, and reaffirmed their commitment to an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet, underpinned by the multistakeholder model of Internet governance.  They committed to deepen cooperation on cybersecurity and welcomed the understanding reached to finalize the Framework for the U.S.-India Cyber Relationship in the near term.  They committed to enhance cyber collaboration on critical infrastructure, cybercrime, and malicious cyber activity by state and non-state actors, capacity building, and cybersecurity research and development, and to continue discussions on all aspects of trade in technology and related services, including market access.  They have committed to continue dialogue and engagement in Internet governance fora, including in ICANN, IGF and other venues, and to support active participation by all stakeholders of the two countries in these fora. The leaders committed to promote stability in cyberspace based on the applicability of international law including the United Nations Charter, the promotion of voluntary norms of responsible state behavior during peacetime, and the development and implementation of practical confidence building measures between states.  
 
22) In this context, they affirmed their commitment to the voluntary norms that no country should conduct or knowingly support online activity that intentionally damages critical infrastructure or otherwise impairs the use of it to provide services to the public; that no country should conduct or knowingly support activity intended to prevent national computer security incident response teams from responding to cyber incidents, or use its own teams to enable online activity that is intended to do harm; that every country should cooperate, consistent with its domestic law and international obligations, with requests for assistance from other states in mitigating malicious cyber activity emanating from its territory; and that no country should conduct or knowingly support ICT-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to its companies or commercial sectors.  
 
Standing Together Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism
 
23) The leaders acknowledged the continued threat posed to human civilization by terrorism and condemn the recent terrorist incidents from Paris to Pathankot, from Brussels to Kabul. They resolved to redouble their efforts, bilaterally and with other like-minded countries, to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism anywhere in the world and the infrastructure that supports them.  
 
24) Building on the January 2015 U.S.-India Joint Statement commitment to make the U.S.-India partnership a defining counterterrorism relationship for the 21st Century, as well as the September 2015 U.S.-India Joint Declaration on Combatting Terrorism,  the leaders announced further steps to deepen collaboration against the full spectrum of terrorist threats.  
 
25) The leaders committed to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from extremist groups, such as Al-Qa’ida, Da’esh/ISIL, Jaish-e Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, D Company and their affiliates, including through deepened collaboration on UN terrorist designations. In this context, they directed their officials to identify specific new areas of collaboration at the next meeting of U.S.–India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group.  
 
26) Recognizing an important milestone in the U.S.-India counterterrorism partnership, the leaders applauded the finalization of an arrangement to facilitate the sharing of terrorist screening information. They also called for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terrorist attacks to justice.  
 
27) The leaders affirmed their support for a UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that advances and strengthens the framework for global cooperation and reinforces that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism.  
 
Bolstering Economic and Trade Ties
 
28) The leaders highlighted the strong and expanding economic relationship between the United States and India and committed to support sustainable, inclusive, and robust economic growth, and common efforts to stimulate consumer demand, job creation, skill development and innovation in their respective countries.  
 
29) In order to substantially increase bilateral trade, they pledged to explore new opportunities to break down barriers to the movement of goods and services, and support deeper integration into global supply chains, thereby creating jobs and generating prosperity in both economies. They look forward to the second annual Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in India later this year to identify concrete steps in this regard. They also commended the increased engagement on trade and investment issues under the Trade Policy Forum (TPF) and encouraged substantive results for the next TPF later this year. They welcomed the engagement of U.S. private sector companies in India’s Smart City program.  
 
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30) The leaders applauded the strong bonds of friendship between the 1.5 billion peoples of India and the United States that have provided a solid foundation for a flourishing bilateral partnership, noting that two-way travel for tourism, business, and education has seen unprecedented growth, including more than one million travelers from India to the United States in 2015, and similar number from the United States to India.The leaders resolved to facilitate greater movement of professionals, investors and business travelers, students, and exchange visitors between their countries to enhance people-to-people contact as well as their economic and technological partnership.  To this end, they welcomed the signing of an MOU for Development of an International Expedited Traveler Initiative (also known as the Global Entry Program) and resolved to complete within the next three months the procedures for India’s entry into the Global Entry Program. 
 
31) The leaders recognized the fruitful exchanges in August 2015 and June 2016 on the elements required in both countries to pursue a U.S.-India Totalization Agreement and resolved to continue discussions later this year.  
 
32) Recognizing the importance of fostering an enabling environment for innovation and empowering entrepreneurs, the United States welcomes India’s hosting of the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit.  
 
33) The leaders welcomed the enhanced engagement on intellectual property rights under the High Level Working Group on Intellectual Property and reaffirmed their commitment to use this dialogue to continue to make concrete progress on IPR issues by working to enhance bilateral cooperation among the drivers of innovation and creativity in both countries. 
 
34) The United States welcomes India’s interest in joining the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, as India is a dynamic part of the Asian economy.  
 
Expanding Cooperation: Science & Technology and Health
 
35) The leaders affirmed their nations’ mutual support in exploring the most fundamental principles of science as embodied in the arrangement reached to cooperate on building a Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in India in the near future and welcomed the formation of the India-U.S. Joint Oversight Group to facilitate agency coordination of funding and oversight of the project. 
 
36) The leaders look forward to India’s participation at the September 2016 Our Ocean Conference in Washington, D.C. as well as holding of the first India-U.S. Oceans Dialogue later this year, to strengthen cooperation in marine science, ocean energy, managing and protecting ocean biodiversity, marine pollution, and sustainable use of ocean resources.  
 
37) The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda and the timely implementation of its objectives.  The Prime Minister noted India's role on the Steering Group and its leadership in the areas of anti-microbial resistance and immunization. The President noted the United States’ commitment to support, undergo, and share a Joint External Evaluation in collaboration with the World Health Organization. 
 
38) The leaders recognized the global threat posed by multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and committed to continue collaboration in the area of tuberculosis and to share respective best practices.   
 
39) The leaders noted the growing threat of non-communicable diseases and the urgent need to address the risk factors by, inter alia, promoting healthy lifestyles, controlling sugar and salt intake, promoting physical activity especially among children and youth and strengthening efforts to curb tobacco use. The leaders also reiterated the importance of holistic approaches to health and wellness, and of promoting the potential benefits of holistic approaches by synergizing modern and traditional systems of medicine, including Yoga. 
 
40) The leaders strongly endorsed expansion of the Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program, which is fostering public-private research partnerships focused on the development and evaluation of vaccines to prevent tuberculosis, dengue, chikungunya and other globally important infectious diseases.  
 
Global Leadership
 
41) The leaders reaffirmed their resolve to continue working together as well as with the wider international community to augment the capacity of the United Nations to more effectively address the global development and security challenges. With the historic adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, and recognizing its universality, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implement this ambitious agenda domestically and internationally and work in a collaborative partnership for the effective achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.  
 
42) The leaders reaffirmed their support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member. Both sides committed to ensuring that the Security Council continues to play an effective role in maintaining international peace and security as envisioned in the UN Charter. The leaders are committed to continued engagement on Security Council reform in the UN Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform.  
 
43) The leaders welcomed the successful convening of the Leaders’ Summit on UN Peacekeeping and committed to deepening engagement on UN peacekeeping capacity-building efforts in third countries, through co-organizing the first UN Peacekeeping Course for African Partners in New Delhi later this year for participants from ten countries in Africa. The leaders also reiterated their support for ongoing reform efforts to strengthen UN peacekeeping operations.  
 
44) Building on their respective bilateral engagements with Africa, such as the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and India-Africa Forum Summit, the leaders reflected that the United States and India share a common interest in working with partners in Africa to promote prosperity and security across the continent.  The leaders welcomed trilateral cooperation with African partners, including in areas such as agriculture, health, energy, women's empowerment and sanitation under the Statement of Guiding Principles on Triangular Cooperation for Global Development. They looked forward to opportunities to deepen the U.S.-India global development cooperation in Africa, as well as in Asia and beyond.  
 
Building People-to-People Ties
 
45) Both sides committed to open additional consulates in each other’s country. India will be opening a new consulate in Seattle and the United States will open a new consulate at a mutually agreed location in India.  
 
46) The leaders announced that the United States and India will be Travel and Tourism Partner Countries for 2017, and committed to facilitate visas for each other’s nationals. 
 
47) Reflecting on the strong educational and cultural bonds between the two countries, the leaders welcomed the growing number of Indian students studying in the United States, which increased by 29 percent to nearly 133,000 students in 2014-2015, and looked forward to increased opportunities for American students to study in India. The leaders also appreciated their governments’ joint efforts through the Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship to develop a cohort of climate scientists to confront the shared challenge of global climate change.  
 
48) Recognizing its mutual goal of strengthening greater people-to-people ties, the leaders intend to renew efforts to intensify dialogue to address issues affecting the citizens of both countries that arise due to differences in the approaches of legal systems, including issues relating to cross-country marriage, divorce and child custody.  
 
49) Prime Minister Modi welcomed the United States repatriation of antiquities to India. The leaders also committed to redouble their efforts to combat the theft and trafficking of cultural objects.  
 
50) Prime Minister Modi thanked President Obama for his gracious invitation and warmth of hospitality.  He extended an invitation for President Obama to visit India at his convenience.  
 
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India-Qatar Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, at the delegation level talks, at Emiri Diwan, in Doha, Qatar on June 5, 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, at the delegation level talks, at Emiri Diwan, in Doha, Qatar on June 5, 2016.
Following is the text of the joint statement issued by India and Qatar during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Qatar in Doha today:
 
At the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, Hon'ble Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Shri Narendra Modi paid a two-day official visit to the State of Qatar from 4-5 June, 2016.
 
His Highness the Emir received Prime Minister Modi on 5 June at the Amiri Diwan and exchanged views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of common interest. The wide-ranging discussions were held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.
During the visit, Prime Minister Modi also met His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the State of Qatar.
 
During the official meetings, the two sides recalled the historical ties between India and Qatar and noted that the mutually beneficial and traditionally close interaction, which has existed between the peoples of the two countries over several generations, had stood the test of time.
 
The leaders of the two sides expressed satisfaction with the current state of bilateral relations underpinned by the regular exchange of high-level visits. They welcomed the conclusion of various agreements/MoUs during the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Qatar. They acknowledged that these agreements and those already existing would strengthen the framework for the consolidation of friendship and cooperation between India and Qatar.
 
Both leaders appreciated the well-functioning bilateral institutional mechanisms in the fields of trade and investment, energy, defence and manpower and emphasized that the sectoral Joint Working Groups should continue to meet regularly to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries. The two sides agreed to constitute an inter-ministerial High Level Joint Committee to regularly review all bilateral matters, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.
 
Recognizing the existing goodwill, the two leaders agreed to further broaden and deepen bilateral engagement in diverse fields of mutual interest. They agreed to further enhance high-level political exchanges, defence and security cooperation, trade and economic relations and people-to-people linkages. They stressed upon the need for building a strong partnership for the 21st century between the two countries in keeping with their responsibility for promoting peace, stability and security in the region and the world.
 
Acknowledging that the agreement on Defence Cooperation signed in November 2008 provided the required framework to strengthen bilateral defence ties, the two leaders agreed to provide further impetus to these relations, including through joint exercises and enhanced training of naval, air and land forces, as also in the area of coastal defence. The Qatari side evinced interest in the opportunities offered under the 'Make in India' initiative for joint production of defence equipment in India.
 
The Indian side appreciated Qatar's participation in the International Fleet Review and DEFEXPO in India in February and March 2016, respectively, and the increasing visits of Qatari delegations to India's Naval and Coast Guard establishments. The Qatari side thanked India for its high-level participation, along with an indigenously designed and built guided missile frigate of the Indian Navy during DIMDEX in March 2016, and the regular goodwill visits of the ships of Indian Navy and Coast Guard. The Qatari side expressed appreciation for India's offer to conduct special training programmes for the personnel of Qatar Armed Forces and Coast Guard in India and in Qatar.
 
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The two leaders agreed to enhance cooperation to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean regions, vital for the security and prosperity of both countries.
 
The two leaders expressed strong condemnation of the phenomenon of international terrorism, reiterating their firm resolve to cooperate together to root out this global menace which threatened all nations and societies. They noted that the spread of terrorist organisations at the global and regional level, and the significant rise in acts of terrorism directly undermined the international peace and security environment and endangered efforts to ensure sustainable growth and development.
 
Both leaders condemned all acts of violence, terrorism and extremism, which cannot be justified under any circumstances, regardless of their motivation, in all their forms and manifestations. They reaffirmed that terrorism could not and should not be associated with any religion, civilisation or ethnic group.
 
The two leaders highlighted the need to isolate the sponsors and supporters of terrorism and agreed that urgent action against all such entities, which support terrorism and use it as an instrument of policy, must be taken.
 
Both sides noted that addressing the menace of global terrorism should be based on a comprehensive approach which should include, but not limited to, countering violent extremism, combating radicalisation and recruitment, disrupting terrorist movements, stopping all sources for financing of terrorism, stopping flow of Foreign Terrorist Fighters, dismantling terrorist infrastructure, and countering terrorist propaganda through the internet.
 
The two sides discussed ways and means to further promote cooperation in cyber security, including prevention of use of cyber space for terrorism, radicalization and for disturbing social harmony. They welcomed exchanges and dialogue between religious scholars and intellectuals of both countries and the organization of conferences and seminars to promote values of peace, tolerance, inclusiveness and welfare, inherent in all religions.
 
Expressing appreciation of their ongoing bilateral cooperation in the area of security, the two leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, intelligence-sharing, developing best practices and technologies, capacity-building and to strengthen cooperation in law enforcement, anti-money laundering, drug-trafficking and other transnational crimes. The two sides further agreed to take action against illegal transfer of money. Both leaders welcomed the signing of an MOU on cooperation in exchange of intelligence related to money laundering, related crimes and terrorism financing.
 
Both leaders highlighted that countering terrorism required a strong collective action by the global community. They further agreed to strengthen their cooperation in combating terrorism within the relevant multilateral institutions.
 
The two sides described bilateral trade ties as an abiding link between the two countries. Taking note of the excellent trade engagement, with the two countries being among the top trading partners for each other, both sides agreed upon the need to further strengthen these ties, particularly through diversifying the trade basket. They agreed to encourage regular participation in each other’s trade fairs and exhibitions and to facilitate trade promotion measures. The two sides expressed satisfaction at the growing presence of Indian and Qatari companies in each other's market and agreed to further encourage such participation. To promote business to business and tourism linkages, they also agreed to put in place appropriate mechanism for expeditious grant of visas to businessmen and tourists of the two countries.
 
The Qatari side welcomed the participation of Indian companies in the infrastructure development projects in Qatar in preparation for the FIFA 2022 World Cup and the development plans under "Vision 2030 for Qatar”.
 
Prime Minister Modi highlighted the major initiatives taken by the Government of India for ‘Ease of Doing Business’ through simplification and rationalization of existing rules and relaxing of foreign direct investment caps in key areas, including interalia, railways, defence and insurance. Informing about the plans to create world class infrastructure in India through 100 smart cities; metro projects for 50 cities; modern waste management system for 500 cities; affordable healthcare within everyone's reach; sanitation for all by 2019; and a roof over every head by 2022, Prime Minister Modi invited Qatar to be a partner in India’s growth story.
 
Expressing his appreciation for Prime Minister Modi's vision to further accelerate India’s growth and development, His Highness the Emir expressed his confidence in India’s growth narrative. Noting their strong potential to provide Indian economy a positive thrust for growth, His Highness the Emir lauded the new initiatives of Prime Minister Modi including, "Start Up India", "Make in India", "Smart City”, and "Clean India” etc.
 
Recognizing the high growth rate and the existing potential of the Indian economy, the importance of partnering in India’s growth and acknowledging Qatar's significant investment capacity, the two sides discussed various avenues/instruments for Qatari investments in India, particularly in different asset classes and various infrastructure sectors as well as the disinvestments of Indian Public Sector Undertakings.
 
The two sides agreed to increase the level of participation in infrastructure projects in both countries. They further deliberated upon the importance of cooperation between Qatar Investment Authority and National Infrastructure and Investment Fund set up by the Government of India. The two leaders welcomed the signing of the framework agreement for participation of the Qatari institutional investors in the National Infrastructure and Investment Fund.
 
The two sides agreed for regular and timely exchange of information on available investment opportunities. Both sides also recognized the need for arranging regular meetings between Qatar Investment Authority and relevant Indian authorities and public and private sector companies.
 
The two sides expressed satisfaction at the growing bilateral trade in the energy sector, with Qatar being the largest supplier of LNG and LPG to India. The Indian side appreciated Qatar's contribution to India's energy security.
 
The two sides agreed to focus on enhancing cooperation in energy, covering the areas of training and human resources development and cooperation in research and development and through promotion of joint ventures in petrochemical complexes and cooperation in joint exploration in India and other countries.
 
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The Indian side highlighted the interest of its energy companies to pursue opportunities of mutual interest in Qatar, with Qatar Petroleum and other companies, in order to jointly explore new fields as well development of discovered oil and gas assets and exploit the existing resources of natural gas and crude oil in Qatar. The Indian side invited Qatar to invest in India’s exploration & production sector by bidding for the exploration blocks in India under the new "Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing” Policy and "Discovered Small Fields” Policy. The Indian side invited Qatar to participate in the second phase of the strategic reserves storage facility being created in India.
 
The two leaders deliberated upon the need for strengthening bilateral cooperation in the financial services sector, including banking, insurance and capital markets. They decided to expand cooperation between the financial institutions of the two countries like Securities and Exchange Board of India and the respective Central Banks.
 
Recognising that India offers world class medical treatment facilities at competitive cost, the two sides agreed to work towards enhancing cooperation in the health sector, including in the areas of health services, exchange of health personnel, health education and pharmaceuticals. Both leaders welcomed the signing of an MoU on bilateral Cooperation in the Field of Health between the Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the Republic of India.
 
The Qatari side appreciated the initiative taken by Prime Minister Modi leading to the formation of International Solar Alliance. They acknowledged the importance of this Alliance in advancing new solar technologies worldwide.
 
The two leaders emphasized that the overwhelming response to the International Day of Yoga was a reflection of the global community's desire to come together to seek a balanced, healthier and sustainable future for the world. Prime Minister Modi thanked Qatar for its support to the First International Day of Yoga on 21 June 2015, including through the issue of commemorative stamps by the Qatar Post to mark the occasion.
 
The two leaders noted the role cultural exchanges played in bringing the peoples of India and Qatar together. The two sides agreed to expand bilateral cultural and sports cooperation, including frequent exchange of cultural groups and sports teams, and by collaborating in the field of cinema. Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation to the Qatar Museums for its decision to celebrate Qatar-India Year of Culture in 2019. Both leaders welcomed the signing of the Agreement of Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Custom Matters; the MoU on Tourism Cooperation; and the First Executive Programme for the MoU in the field of Youth and Sports between the Government of the State of Qatar and the Government of the Republic of India.
 
The two leaders noted that people-to-people contacts were at the heart of India-Qatar relations and both sides would continue to nurture these relations. HH the Emir appreciated the role and contribution of the Indian community for the development and progress of the State of Qatar. The Qatari side briefed the Indian side on the reform in labour laws which would protect the interest of skilled and unskilled labour in Qatar. Prime Minister Modi conveyed sincere thanks to the Qatari leadership for hosting the Indian community and for ensuring their continued welfare and safety. Both leaders welcomed the signing of the MoU for Cooperation in Skill Development and Recognition of Qualifications.
 
The two leaders exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the security situation in West Asia, Middle East and South Asia. They also expressed grave concern regarding security situation in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen and reiterated the importance of peaceful resolution of these issues through dialogue and political negotiations.
 
In the context of the UN reforms, both leaders emphasized the importance of an effective multilateral system, centred on a UN reflective of contemporary realities, as a key factor in tackling global challenges. They stressed upon the urgent need to pursue UN reforms, including of the Security Council through an expansion in both categories of its membership, to make it more representative, credible and effective.
 
Prime Minister Modi expressed his sincere gratitude to His Highness the Emir for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality. He invited His Highness the Emir to pay an official visit to India at mutually convenient time, which was gladly accepted.
 
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India-Saudi Arabia Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, at the Royal Court, in Riyadh, on April 3, 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, at the Royal Court, in Riyadh, on April 3, 2016
The following is the text of the Joint Statement issued by India and Saudi Arabia on April 3 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Riyadh:
 
1.      At the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Hon'ble Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Shri Narendra Modi paid a two-day official visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 2-3 April 2016.
 
2.      The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques received Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 3 April at the Royal Court. The two leaders held discussions in the spirit of the strong friendship that binds the two countries and their peoples. During the visit, Prime Minister Modi also met with His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Premier & Minister of Interior and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Premier & Minister of Defence. Prime Minister Modi also received Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Health & Chairman of the Executive Board of Saudi Aramco.
 
3.      The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prime Minister Modi exchanged views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. The two leaders underlined the close and friendly bilateral ties, deep-rooted in shared history and sustained and nourished through growing economic partnership, multi-faceted cooperation and vibrant people to people contacts. The wide-ranging and constructive discussions were held in a cordial atmosphere and enabled better understanding and appreciation of each other’s concerns and perspectives, recognizing the close interlinkage of the stability and security of the Gulf region and the Indian subcontinent and the need for maintaining a secure and peaceful environment for the development of the countries of the region.
 
4.      Both leaders expressed appreciation for the successful transformation of bilateral relationship in political, economic, security, defence, manpower and people to people exchanges, in recent years, which have enriched bilateral ties. They expressed satisfaction at the regular exchange of high-level visits between the two countries, underlining that the Delhi Declaration (2006) and the Riyadh Declaration (2010) elevated the mutually beneficial bilateral relations to the level of 'Strategic Partnership'.
 
5.      Cognizant of their responsibility for promoting peace, stability and security in the region and the world, the two leaders emphasized the importance of further cementing bilateral strategic engagement, including in the areas of security and defence cooperation, to serve the common interests of the two countries and their peoples.
 
6.      Prime Minister Modi acknowledged that the MoU on Defence Cooperation signed during the visit of His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to India in February 2014 as the then Crown Prince, Deputy Premier and Defence Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was an important milestone in strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries. The two leaders agreed upon the need to intensify bilateral defence cooperation, through exchange of visits by military personnel and experts, conduct of joint military exercises, exchange of visits of ships and aircrafts and supply of arms and ammunition and their joint development. They also welcomed the decision for convening of the second meeting of Joint Committee on Defence Cooperation in Riyadh to follow up on the visit of Prime Minister Modi.
 
7.      The two leaders agreed to enhance cooperation to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean regions, vital for the security and prosperity of both countries. They further agreed to promote bilateral collaboration for humanitarian assistance and evacuation in natural disasters and conflict situations.
 
8.      The two leaders expressed strong condemnation of the phenomenon of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, irrespective of who the perpetrators were and of their motivations.
 
9.      Affirming that the menace of extremism and terrorism threatens all nations and societies, the two leaders rejected totally any attempt to link this universal phenomenon to any particular race, religion or culture. They called on all states to reject the use of terrorism against other countries; dismantle terrorism infrastructures where they happen to exist and to cut off any kind of support and financing to the terrorists operating and perpetrating terrorism from their territories against other states; and bring perpetrators of acts of terrorism to justice.
 
10.  The two leaders agreed to further strengthen cooperation in combating terrorism, both at the bilateral level and within the multilateral system of the UN. The two leaders called upon the international community to strengthen multilateral regimes to effectively address the challenges posed by terrorism. The two sides agreed to work together towards the adoption of India’s proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations. The Prime Minister lauded Kingdom’s efforts at fighting terrorism in all its aspects and its active participation in international efforts towards this end. The Indian side was briefed on the Kingdom’s initiative in bringing together Islamic Alliance against terrorism.
 
11.  Acknowledging and commending their strong bilateral security cooperation, the two leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, intelligence sharing and capacity-building and to strengthen cooperation in law enforcement, anti-money laundering, drug-trafficking and other transnational crimes. They welcomed the signing of an MOU on cooperation in exchange of intelligence related to money laundering, related crimes and terrorism financing. The two sides further agreed to take action against illegal transfer of money.
 
12.  Both leaders agreed to promote cooperation in cyber security, including prevention of use of cyber space for terrorism, radicalization and for disturbing social harmony. The two leaders directed their relevant agencies to coordinate efforts to counter radicalization and misuse of religion by groups and countries for inciting hatred, perpetrating and justifying terrorism for pursuing political aims. The two leaders welcomed exchanges and dialogue between religious scholars and intellectuals of both countries and the organization of conferences and seminars to promote values of peace, tolerance, inclusiveness and welfare, inherent in all religions.
 
13.  Reiterating the significance of regular bilateral interactions in reinforcing the momentum for bilateral cooperation, the leaders noted with satisfaction the increase in high-level exchanges between the two countries in recent years. They underlined the importance of regular exchange of visits, including at the levels of ministers and senior officials.
 
14.  Both leaders appreciated the well-functioning bilateral institutional mechanisms in the field of trade & investment, energy, defence and manpower. They noted that new and potential areas of cooperation identified during the meetings held under these mechanisms had a constructive effect on the expanding bilateral ties and further called for effective implementation of the decisions made under the framework of these mechanisms.
 
15.  The two leaders welcomed the positive outcomes of the 11th session of the Joint Commission Meeting held in New Delhi in May 2015 and its Review Meeting held in Riyadh in December 2015. The two leaders mandated the Saudi-India Joint Commission to continue follow up of the decisions taken at the highest levels for cementing the bilateral strategic partnership.
 
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16.  Acknowledging the on-going positive transformation of the economies of India and Saudi Arabia, the two leaders emphasized the importance of expanding trade and investment ties to drive the strategic engagement forward. They directed their Finance and Trade Ministers to work together to find ways and means to substantially increase the flow of bilateral investments and growth of trade ties.
 
17.  Acknowledging the steady increase in bilateral trade over the last few years, the two leaders expressed satisfaction at the USD 39 billion trade in 2014-15. Taking note of the excellent trade and economic engagement, with the two countries being among the top trading partners for each other, the two leaders agreed upon the need to further strengthen these ties, particularly through diversifying non-oil trade.
 
18.  Both leaders expressed satisfaction at the growing presence of Indian and Saudi companies in each other's market and agreed to further encourage trade promotion measures and participation in fairs and exhibitions. They welcomed the meeting of Saudi India Business Council in New Delhi in December 2015 and agreed that Council was a useful platform for furthering trade and economic cooperation.
 
19.  The two sides conveyed satisfaction at the holding of the 4th India GCC Industrial Forum at King Abdullah Economic City, Jeddah in November 2015. The Saudi side thanked India for active participation of a large number of Indian companies in the International Fairs and Exhibitions held in Riyadh and Jeddah.
 
20.  The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Bin Abdulaziz lauded the strong growth shown by Indian economy and expressed appreciation for Prime Minister Modi's remarkable vision for the future of the country. He commended Prime Minister Modi’s worthy initiatives of "Start Up India", "Make in India", "Smart City”, and "Clean India”, noting their strong potential to provide Indian economy a positive thrust for growth.
 
21.  The Indian side highlighted the key initiatives taken by the Government of India to improve the ease of doing business in the country and India's key efforts to simplify and rationalize existing rules and relax the foreign direct investment norms in key areas, including railways, defence and insurance. Inviting Saudi Arabia to be a partner in India's growth story, Prime Minister Modi encouraged Saudi Aramco, SABIC and other Saudi companies to invest in the infrastructure sector in India and to participate in projects creating mega industrial manufacturing corridors, smart cities as well as the Digital India and Start up India programmes.
 
22.  The Saudi side expressed its interest in investing in infrastructure development in India, especially in priority areas such as railways, roads, ports, and shipping. The Saudi side welcomed interest of Indian side in investing in the Kingdom, especially taking advantage of the competitive investment opportunities offered by the Saudi economic and Industrial cities.
 
23.  Both leaders also welcomed the signing of the framework agreement between the General Investment Authority in Saudi Arabia and Invest India aimed at facilitating investments by the private sectors in the two countries.
 
24.  Keeping in view the importance of energy security as a key pillar of the strategic partnership, the two leaders expressed satisfaction at their growing bilateral trade in the energy sector, acknowledging Saudi Arabia as the largest supplier of crude oil to India.
 
25.  The two leaders agreed to transform the buyer-seller relationship in the energy-sector to one of deeper partnership focusing on investment and joint ventures in petrochemical complexes, and cooperation in joint exploration in India, Saudi Arabia and in third countries. The two sides also agreed to focus on areas of training and human resources development and cooperation in research and development in the energy sector. In this regard, the two leaders expressed the need for regular meetings under the umbrella of India-Saudi Arabia Ministerial Energy Dialogue.
 
26.  The two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation between educational institutions, universities and higher research institutions of the two countries.
 
27.  Both leaders emphasized the importance of continued promotion of scientific and technological collaboration, including in the areas of renewable energy including solar, Information and Communication technology, space technology, sustainable development, arid agriculture, desert ecology, urban development, healthcare and bio-technology. The two sides further agreed to collaborate on areas of food security.
 
28.  The Saudi side appreciated the initiative taken by the Prime Minister of India leading to the formation of International Solar Alliance. They acknowledged the importance of this Alliance in advancing new solar technologies worldwide.
 
29.  Recognizing the vibrant people to people contacts that provided strong bonds between the two countries, the two leaders lauded the valuable role of the Indian community in Saudi Arabia and its contribution to the progress and development of both India and Saudi Arabia. They welcomed the signing of an agreement on labour cooperation for recruitment of General Category Workers. Both sides also welcomed the establishment of a Joint Working Group on Consular issues under the umbrella of the India-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission to discuss consular issues on a regular basis.
 
30.  Prime Minister Modi conveyed his sincere appreciation for the excellent arrangements made by the Saudi authorities for the comfort of the Haj and Umrah pilgrims from India.
 
31.  The two leaders noted that India and Saudi Arabia have shared civilizational ties over history that are enriched by the movement of goods, peoples and ideas. They believed that this common heritage can be drawn upon to strengthen their convergence on approaching contemporary challenges. A broad approach of humanism and tolerance and a conviction that faith should unite rather than divide can be a positive factor in international relations.
 
32.  The two leaders discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the security situation in West Asia, Middle East and South Asia, in the light of their common interest in the regional and global peace, security and stability. Referring to the earlier declarations with regard to the situations in Yemen and Syria, they called for the implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions (2216, 2254 and 2268). They also expressed grave concern regarding security situation in Libya and Iraq. In this regard, they reiterated the importance of peaceful resolution of these issues through dialogue and political negotiations.
 
33.  During their discussions on regional issues, the two sides emphasized the importance of the principle of good neighbourliness, non-interference in internal affairs, respect of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and resolution of dispute through peaceful means.
 
34.  The two sides expressed their hope for achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative and the resolutions of international legitimacy, in a way that guarantees the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the establishment of their independent, united and viable state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
 
35.  Both leaders emphasized the importance of an effective multilateral system, centred on a UN reflective of contemporary realities, as a key factor in tackling global challenges. They stressed upon the urgent need to pursue UN reforms, including of the Security Council through an expansion in both categories of its membership, to make it more representative, credible and effective.
 
36.  The leaders agreed that the visit of Prime Minister Modi to Saudi Arabia helped in further consolidating and deepening the strategic partnership framework and further development of excellent bilateral relations in all spheres, to serve the common interests of the two countries and their peoples.
 
37.  Prime Minister Modi expressed his sincere gratitude to His Majesty the King for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality. He invited His Majesty the King to pay an official visit to India at mutually convenient time, which was gladly accepted.
 
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India-Russia Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 16th Annual India-Russia Summit at the Kremlin in Moscow, on December 24, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the 16th Annual India-Russia Summit at the Kremlin in Moscow, on December 24, 2015.
The following is the text of the Joint Statement between India and Russia, "Shared Trust, New Horizons", issued here today during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Russia:
 
At the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin, the Prime Minister of the Republic of India H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi paid an official visit to the Russian Federation on 23-24 December 2015 for the bilateral Annual Summit. The two Leaders held extensive and substantive discussions to review progress in bilateral relations since the last Annual Summit and their meeting on the margins of the BRICS Summit in Ufa in July 2015. The interactions between the two Leaders were marked by deep warmth and mutual trust that characterize the special and privileged strategic partnership between Russia and India.
 
Reflecting their continued emphasis on further enhancing bilateral economic and commercial relations, President Putin and Prime Minister Modi jointly addressed CEOs of leading Russian and Indian companies. A number of important agreements in diverse fields of bilateral cooperation, including several commercial agreements between Russian and Indian companies, were signed during the visit. Prime Minister Modi also addressed a gathering of Friends of India including members of the Indian community in Russia.
 
The Leaders expressed satisfaction at continued bilateral exchanges including high-level visits, institutional exchanges and other contacts over the past year that had further strengthened the Russia-India strategic partnership. In particular, the participation of the President of India H.E. Mr. Pranab Mukherjee in the celebrations to mark the 70th Anniversary of Russia’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War exemplified the mutual solidarity, empathy and goodwill between the two countries. A contingent of the Indian Armed Forces also attended the commemoration. The Leaders welcomed continued parliamentary exchanges, especially the visit of the Speaker of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Mr. Sergey Naryshkin to India in February 2015 for the Russia-India Inter-Parliamentary Commission.
 
The Leaders noted the intensive and effective dialogue between their Ministries, Security Councils and other specialized agencies and specifically mentioned visits to India by Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Dmitry Rogozin (December 2015), Defense Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoigu (January 2015), Head of the Federal Customs Service Andrey Beliyaninov (April 2015), Interior Minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Kolokoltsev (September 2015) as well as visits to Russia by National Security Adviser of the Republic of India Ajit Doval (May 2015), Minister for External Affairs of the Republic of India Sushma Swaraj for the Inter Governmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation (October 2015) and Defence Minister of the Republic of India Manohar Parrikar for the Inter Governmental Commission on Military and Technical Cooperation (November 2015). They also noted with satisfaction bilateral Ministerial discussions on the margins of major international events, including those between the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India Nirmala Sitharaman on the margins of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (June 2015), the Minister of the Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters Vladimir Puchkov and the Home Minister of the Republic of India Rajnath Singh on the margins of the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan (March 2015), Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation Alexander Konovalov and Minister for Law and Justice of the Republic of India D.V.Sadananda Gowda on the sidelines of the Fifth Saint Petersburg International Legal Forum (May 2015), and Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Alexander Novak and Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas of the Republic of India Dharmendra Pradhan on the sidelines of the Sixth OPEC International Seminar in Vienna (June 2015). They further noted with satisfaction the participation of Minister for Science and Technology of the Republic of India, Minister of State for Home Affairs of the Republic of India, Minister of State for Agriculture of the Republic of India and the Chairman of the Standing Committee on External Affairs of the Lok Sabha of the Republic of India at various BRICS meetings organized by Russia as the Chair of BRICS to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in diverse fields. 
 
Trade and Investment Cooperation
 
The Sides reconfirmed their commitment to realize the target set at the last Annual Summit, to increase annual bilateral trade and investment and emphasized the need for continued facilitation by both the governments based on regular consultations within the framework of institutional mechanisms as well as speedy implementation of decisions and liberalization of relevant rules and regulations. In this context, the Sides welcomed the agreement reached on liberalization of the travel regime for the businessmen of both States and called for its effective implementation. They also instructed relevant agencies to continue the process of modernization of their bilateral investment agreement.
 
The Sides welcomed the outcomes of the twenty first meeting of the Russian-Indian Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation held in Moscow on October 20, 2015, as well as the decisions of various working groups of the Commission, particularly on trade and economic cooperation, modernization and industrial cooperation. They noted that the joint working group on priority investment projects, which held its third meeting in Moscow in October 2015, had identified several projects and called for early finalization of relevant proposals.
 
Both Sides reiterated their assessment that the "Make in India” initiative provides a new and durable framework for engagement by Russian corporate entities in the fast growing Indian economy as well as noted the efforts made by the Indian Government to improve ease of doing business. In this context the Sides also noted the efforts of the Russian Government in improving business climate in Russia. They welcomed the efforts by companies of both countries to cooperate in this framework in diverse sectors. In this context, the Sides emphasized the role of investment funds to facilitate high-technology investments in Russia and India.
 
The Sides welcomed recent announcement of several major bilateral investment proposals and called on companies in both countries to finalize new and ambitious investment proposals in promising sectors such as oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, chemical industry, mining, machine building, implementation of infrastructure projects, cooperation in railway sector, fertilizer production, automobiles and aircraft construction as well as collaborative ventures in modernizing each other's industrial facilities.
 
They welcomed enhanced interactions between representatives of the business community of Russia and India including the CEOs level interaction during the summit as well as during large trade and business events such as the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum and the Eastern Economic Forum. They called for continuation of such interactions and noted that India's participation as a partner country in the International Industrial Exhibition INNOPROM 2016 would emphasize the recognized authority of the event as one of the most representative among international events in the field of industry, scientific and technological innovations. Russia’s participation as partner country in India Engineering Sourcing Show 2017 could impart added momentum to bilateral economic relations.
 
The Sides welcomed the successful launch of the Joint Study Group to consider the feasibility of a free trade agreement between the Republic of India and the Member States of the Eurasian Economic Union and the first meeting of the Study Group in Moscow on 31 July 2015. The Sides supported early finalization of a draft Joint Study Group report.
 
The Sides attach great importance to exploring new multi-modal connectivity between their economies to facilitate the movement of bulk goods and commodities as well as trade between the two countries. In this context, they welcomed increased emphasis on implementation of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), and noted that several meetings including the Stakeholders Meeting, INSTC Council, Expert Level meetings and a meeting of customs agencies had been held over the past few months. They stressed that the INSTC can play a key role in promoting economic integration in the region stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Baltic Sea by creating new centers of growth as well as joint industrial and infrastructure facilities.
The Sides noted that Customs authorities of the two countries had created legal mechanisms for implementing the Green Corridor arrangement and plan to soon launch it in a test mode.
 
The Sides welcomed initiatives to promote direct trade in diamonds between Russia and India, including the increased number of Indian resident companies signing long-term rough diamonds supply contracts with PJSC ALROSA from 9 in 2014 to 12 in 2015. Both Sides also welcomed the creation of a Special Notified Zone (SNZ) at the Bharat Diamond Bourse and the start of diamond viewing by ALROSA Group on its premises. They agreed to further promote the development of SNZ and its rough diamond auctions mechanism.
 
The Sides welcomed the positive outcome of engagements between the phytosanitary and veterinary authorities of both the countries to finalize mutual market access for agricultural and processed food products, including dairy products, which were a new and promising area for development and diversification of bilateral trade. They agreed to continue ongoing consultations between their regulatory authorities and introduce measures to widen the range of such products for bilateral trade.
 
The Sides noted developing cooperation between Russian and Indian commercial banks and an existing scope for its further expansion. Taking into account the important role of banks in settlement of bilateral trade and investment contracts, the Sides express hope for the enhancement by commercial banks of the two countries of their partnership, including establishment of correspondent relations and increasing lending limits. The Sides welcomed the ongoing work, coordinated by the two central banks to promote the use of national currencies in mutual trade and called for continued concerted engagement by relevant regulatory institutions and commercial entities to further facilitate and enhance such trade settlements. 
 
Energy Cooperation
 
The Sides reaffirmed that their cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy is a cornerstone of the Russia-India strategic partnership. They reiterated their commitment to bilateral agreements on developing cooperation in nuclear energy, including the Strategic Vision for Strengthening Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy between the Russian Federation and the Republic of India signed in New Delhi on December 11, 2014. They noted with satisfaction continued senior official level interactions between their atomic energy establishments, including under the framework of the three new Joint Working Groups on Nuclear Fuel, Science and Technology and Nuclear Power set up during the last Summit. They appreciated the progress made in the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project and agreed to expedite the implementation of ongoing and upcoming projects at Kudankulam. The Sides welcomed progress in identifying the second site in India for additional six nuclear reactor units to be set up in cooperation with Russia. They agreed to actively work towards localization of manufacturing in India under the aegis of Make in India and in tandem with the serial construction of nuclear power plants. In this context, they welcomed the finalization of Programme of Action for localization between RosAtom of Russia and the Department of Atomic Energy of India.
 
The Sides welcomed the first meeting of the Joint Study Group for studying the possibility of hydrocarbon pipeline system connecting Russia and India held in Moscow on November 6, 2015 as part of the Programme on Enhanced Cooperation in the Oil and Gas sphere signed in New Delhi in December 2014.
 
The Sides noted the interest of JSC Zarubezhneft in cooperating with Indian partners in upstream oil and gas projects in Russia, India and third countries, including implementation of enhanced and improved oil recovery technologies and provision of oil field services for onshore and offshore Indian oilfields. The Sides supported intensification of activity under the Memorandum of Understanding signed by JSC Zarubezhneft and Oil India Limited in December 2014, aiming at signing and joint realization of particular contracts.
 
Both Sides acknowledge the significance of supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies from Russia to India. In this regard, the Sides expressed satisfaction at the development of cooperation between Gazprom Group and its Indian partners in LNG trade. The Russian Side welcomes the interest and involvement of Indian partners with regard to cooperation in joint projects stipulating the possibility of LNG supply to India from JSC NOVATEK project Arctic LNG on the resource base of the fields located on the Gydan Peninsula and partly in the Gulf of Ob.
 
The Sides welcomed the signing of Agreement between Rosneft and ONGC Videsh Limited for acquiring 15% stakes by OVL in Rosneft’s Vankorneft Oil fields and discussions for further stakes in future. They noted the continued interest of Indian companies in investing in the hydrocarbon sector in Russia, in particular discussions between Rosneft and Oil India limited on promising investment projects, and called for early finalization of new investment proposals. The Sides welcomed the Key Terms of Oil and Oil Products Supplies signed by Rosneft and Essar group in December 2014 as well as the Contract for oil supplies for the Vadinar refinery (India), which also provides stakes for Rosneft in the refinery, concluded between these businesses on the margins of the BRICS Summit in Ufa on 8 July 2015. Both sides noted with appreciation the offer made by Rosneft of scholarships to Indian students interested in pursuing courses in the field of Oil and Petroleum in Russia.
 
The Sides noted mutual interest in developing cooperation in joint implementation of electric power projects, including hydro, thermal and solar power plants, as well as supply of Russia's electric power equipment to India. The Sides welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Energy Agency and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) regarding the construction of solar power plants in the Republic of India. 
 
Cooperation in Education and Science and Technology
 
The Sides noted positive developments in scientific and technological cooperation. They emphasized the importance of full implementation of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of India on Scientific and Technological Cooperation of 30 June 1994, and the Comprehensive long term programme of cooperation in science, technology and innovations between Russia and India until 2020.
 
Welcoming the outcomes of the 8th session of the bilateral Working Group on Science and Technology held on 3 September 2015 in Moscow, the Sides expressed confidence that they would facilitate further development of ties in the scientific and technological cooperation. The Sides welcomed the decision to establish a Russian-Indian council for organizations to finance cooperation in science, technology and innovation.
 
The Sides noted with satisfaction joint research under the programmes of Russian Ministry of Education and Science and the Indian Department of Science and Technology and the Indian Department of Biotechnology as well as the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Indian Department of Science and Technology. The Sides welcomed the launching of new calls for scientific research projects in 2016. They also noted the signing of an Agreement in May 2015 between the Russian Science Foundation and the Department of Science and Technology of the Republic of India and the decisions made in September 2015 to provide grants for fundamental and exploratory research in natural and technical sciences. The agreement being finalized between the Federal Association of Scientific Organizations and Department of the Science and Technology of the Republic of India for joint collaborations in international research teams, will impart a further fillip to S&T collaboration.
 
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The Sides pointed out the necessity to further enhance cooperation under the auspices of Russian-Indian research centers and welcomed the Declaration on Association of Russian and Indian Universities signed in Moscow in May 2015, which would promote exchange of students and faculty, development of curriculum, creation of joint laboratories, organization of scientific conferences and seminars as well as conducting of joint scientific research and collaboration in commercialization of technologies developed in research institutions. As an important measure to boost the effectiveness of cooperation among Russian-Indian research centers, the Sides called for the creation of an Russian-Indian data base of scientific and educational institutions and joint projects proposed by those institutions, as well as the development and maintenance of a catalogue of initiatives through which the Russian-Indian cooperation in science and technology is implemented. The Sides nominated Tomsk State University and the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai as coordinators of these initiatives as a "Russia-India Resource Centre”.
 
The Sides welcomed the agreements between Moscow State University and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore along with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Pune to launch a Russia-Indian High Performance Computing Initiative, which would promote cooperation in Education Systems and Research Methodologies.
Considering Russia's status as a member of the Arctic Council (AC) and India's observer status at this organization since 2013, the Sides emphasized the importance of joint activities in the framework of the Arctic Council. They acknowledged the potential for the development of joint scientific research in the Arctic region, particularly the Russian Scientific Center on Spitsbergen (Svalbard) archipelago.
 
The Sides welcomed the decision to establish a joint working group on education and noted the immense potential for expanding student exchanges, cooperation in vocational training and training of engineers, teachers and other specialists. The Indian Side highlighted the programme of Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN) in this regard and encouraged faculty from various universities in Russia to avail of the opportunities available. Both sides welcomed progress towards the establishment of an Ayurveda Chair in the People Friendship University in Moscow. They further agreed to work towards early finalization of intergovernmental agreements on the recognition of educational and academic degrees.
 
The Sides welcomed the successful Round Table on Cooperation in development of e-Government Services and Information and Communication Technologies at the level of Deputy Minister/Secretary of relevant departments held in Moscow on 7 October 2015. Both sides discussed ways and mechanisms for strengthening cooperation in areas such as e-Governance, IT-ITeS trade promotion, joint development of software, High Performance Computing, Telecommunication and information security. The Sides will make efforts in order to reach a mutually acceptable settlement of the situation around the Russian-Indian joint venture Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd. 
 
Culture, Tourism and People to People contacts
 
The Sides called for early conclusion of a Cultural Exchange Programme for the years 2016–2018 between the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of India and confirmed their interest in intensifying cultural cooperation, including between academic and research organizations of the two countries acting in the field of culture and arts. Noting the success of the Festival of Indian Culture in Russia in 2015, it was decided to have the Festival of Russian Culture in India in 2016.
 
The two Sides noted ongoing interactions between mass media organizations of the two countries and affirmed the need for enhancing cooperation in the information sphere. In this context, they welcomed the MoU between VGTRK and Prasar Bharti for exchange of news and current affairs as well as other content. The two Sides also endorsed the increased interaction between the media companies of the two countries within the multilateral formats under the SCO and BRICS auspices.
 
The Sides appreciated the agreement reached by the Joint Working Group on culture and tourism in Moscow (August 2015) on developing direct contacts between state institutions of the two countries in tourism promotion.
 
Reaffirming the enormous goodwill and strong ties between the people of Russia and India, the Sides welcomed the finalized agreement to issue six-month multiple entry tourist visas, based on reciprocity, which would further enhance tourism and people-to-people contacts. The Sides noted that the introduction of e-Tourist visas by the Indian Side had further simplified visa procedures for Russian nationals, which was reflected in the fact that nearly 20000 Russian tourists had already availed of this facility. Russia and India agreed to work towards further simplification and liberalization of visa arrangements, and consider measures such as group visa-free travel, to increase tourist flows between them.
 
The Sides welcomed the signing of the Protocol for amendment of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and Government of the Republic of India of 3 December 2004 on mutual travel regime for holders of diplomatic and official passports and the Protocol for amendment of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of India of 21 December 2010 on simplification of requirements for mutual travels of certain categories of citizens of the two countries. The Sides will facilitate movement of crew of scheduled commercial airlines and charter flights of both Sides through appropriate use of General Declaration and issuance of long-term multiple entry gratis visas.
The Sides noted the importance of interaction on issues related to migration and agreed to work towards improving the legal framework of cooperation in the sphere of migration, work permits and temporary residency permit for Indian nationals working in Russia through continued dialogue on these issues.
 
The Sides welcomed the coming into force of the bilateral Treaty on Transfer of Sentenced Persons in March 2015 and agreed to further facilitate mutual assistance in criminal matters. The Indian Side welcomed the proposed visits of an expert level delegation and the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation to India next year at the invitation of his Indian counterpart on practical aspects of implementation of this Treaty as well as the Treaty on Mutual Assistance in civil and commercial matters signed in the year 2000.
 
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The Sides expressed support for further intensifying cooperation between the states and union territories of the Republic of India and the regions of the Russian Federation in the field of economy and culture. They noted the importance of establishing close contacts between the business representatives at the regional level. 
 
Space cooperation 
 
The Sides expressed mutual commitment to the further development of cooperation in the field of outer space exploration for mutual benefit in such fields as rocket and engine engineering, as well as development of spacecraft, including microsatellites, Earth remote sensing and space meteorology, satellite navigation and related technologies and services, as well as space science. In this regard they commended the MOU between the Indian Space Research Organization and the Federal Space Agency on expanding cooperation in the field of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes signed in June 2015. The MOU was memorable also as it was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the launch of the first Indian satellite using a Soviet carrier launch vehicle.
 
Both Sides welcomed the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding signed between OJSC "GLONASS”, Glonass Union and the Centre for Development of Advance Computing (C-DAC) for cooperation in commercial applications through integration of Russian and Indian satellite navigation systems. 
 
Defence and Military-Technical Cooperation
 
Both Sides reaffirmed that military-technical cooperation remains one of the key elements of the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between the two countries. In this context, they commended the outcomes of the fourteenth and fifteenth meetings of the Russian-Indian Inter-Governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation held in New Delhi in January 2015 and in Moscow in November 2015 respectively.
 
The Sides expressed satisfaction at joint Russian-Indian naval exercises in December 2015 in the Bay of Bengal, as well as INDRA-2015 joint exercises involving ground forces conducted in Rajasthan (India) in November 2015. They welcomed the visit of the Chief of the Army Staff of India to Russia in September 2015 during which useful discussions were held to expand training, joint exercises and institutionalized interactions between the Armed Forces of both countries.
 
The Sides took note of achievements in the field of joint design, development and production of high-technology military equipment. Both sides reaffirmed their intention to expand the scope of such cooperation and to avail of the opportunities provided by the Make in India initiative in the defence sector and directed the concerned agencies to finalize such projects between relevant entities and enterprises of the two countries at the earliest. 
 
Security and Disaster Management
 
The Sides emphasized the need for sustained and institutionalized interactions to foster greater security-related cooperation. They noted the successful visit of the Russian Interior Minister to India in September 2015, during which discussions on a new Agreement on Cooperation security matters were initiated. They called for early finalization of the Agreement which would provide an enabling framework to further develop ongoing interactions between their security establishments for exchange of best practices, training and expertise, especially in countering extremism and terrorism. In this context, the Sides welcomed recent intensification of operational level exchanges between the Federal Security Service of Russia and the National Security Guards of India.
 
The Sides agreed to strengthen linkages between their anti-narcotics agencies. They agreed to work towards early finalization of a Joint Action Plan between the Federal Service for Narcotics Control of Russia and Narcotics Control Bureau of India.
The two Sides reaffirmed their mutual support on disaster risk reduction, rescue and humanitarian relief, as reflected in their cooperation in evacuation of their citizens during the crisis in Yemen in April 2015. They agreed to finalize a Joint Action Plan between the Ministry of the Russian Federation for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters and the Ministry of Home Affairs of India to guide cooperation in this regard.
 
International and Regional Issues
 
Both Sides expressed concern at increasing instability and continuing conflict across the world, including in their shared neighbourhood. They underlined the need to work towards an equitable international order based on the principles of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs of States.
 
On the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, the Sides highlighted the Organisation’s key role in maintaining international peace and security, promoting sustainable economic and social development and protecting human rights. The Leaders of Russia and India emphasized the need to reform the UN Security Council and make it more representative of contemporary realities and to respond more effectively to emerging challenges and threats. Russia regards India as a deserving and strong candidate that can bring an independent and responsible approach within the UN Security Council and reaffirms its strong support to India’s candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed UNSC.
 
The Sides call for creation of a common space for international economic cooperation, building on market mechanisms and jointly developed rules based on the WTO principles that imply freedom of trade, investment and open competition. Both Sides stressed the need to preserve the integrity and balance of the multilateral trading system, based on universally recognized WTO rules and norms.
 
The Sides expressed their commitment to the progressive development of cooperation within BRICS and the strengthening of its global role. The Leaders commended the outcomes of the 7th BRICS summit in Ufa (July 8-9, 2015) and stressed the importance of the documents adopted: the Ufa Declaration, the Ufa Action Plan, and the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnership. The Sides agreed to ensure, throughout the upcoming Indian presidency, continuity in the implementation of the agreements reached, further coordination of activities in the international arena, and to strengthen the strategic partnership between BRICS countries. The Sides emphasized their mutual commitment to expand intra BRICS cooperation in various fields including industry. In this context, they noted, inter alia, the successful meetings of BRICS Ministers of Industry (October 20, 2015) and Energy Ministers (November 19-20, 2015) in Moscow and welcomed the relevant memoranda of understanding adopted during these meetings. They noted the strong role played by Russia and India in the New Development Bank which will give a new impetus to the financing of major development projects.
 
The Sides emphasized the intention to deepen their interaction aimed at strengthening the role and authority of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). They agreed to work together to increase the effectiveness of joint efforts in the SCO framework to counter threats and challenges to security, including those emanating from the territory of Afghanistan, and to enhance economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation in the region. The Sides welcomed the decision to commence the procedure for India’s membership of the SCO adopted at the Ufa meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO Member States on 10 July 2015. The Indian Side expressed its deep appreciation at the role played by Russia as Chair of the SCO in this regard. The Sides agreed to work together to finalize legal, financial and administrative aspects of India's accession to the Organization.
 
The Sides expressed satisfaction at the results of the Group of Twenty Summit held in Antalya on 15–16 November, 2015, and emphasized the importance of joint efforts aimed at increasing the role of the G-20 in stimulating global economic growth, ensuring the stability of international finance, improving global economic governance and accelerating structural reforms. The Sides called for measures to create of a more representative and legitimate international financial architecture.
 
The Sides agreed to work together to promote an open, inclusive and evolutionary regional architecture for security and stability in the Asia Pacific, emphasizing the peaceful settlement of disputes through dialogue, while respecting the diversity of political systems and development choices. They agreed to increase cooperation within the framework of the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus and contribute to strengthening the leading mechanisms of practical interaction on identifying ways and means to maintain peace and stability in the Asia Pacific.
 
The Sides expressed satisfaction at the significant progress and achievements of the East Asia Summit (EAS) over the past ten years, and concurred that the EAS should continue to be a Leaders-led forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia. They noted that the inclusion of maritime cooperation as a priority area for cooperation in the EAS merits further consideration. They also agreed to continue joint efforts aimed at developing Nalanda University as an international center of excellence.
 
They took note of the progress made in the development of the Eurasian Economic Union and negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and expressed their willingness to work towards strengthening regional and global economic integration, further economic cooperation and equitable economic development in the region.
 
Russia and India expressed their willingness to closely interact in other multilateral formats, such as the Asia-Europe Meeting, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue. Russia reiterated its support for India’s application to join APEC and committed to work closely with India on this issue.
 
The Sides reiterated the importance of interaction in the Russia-India-China (RIC) format, noting that this mechanism contributes to enhancing mutual trust and to extending coordination on international and regional issues. The Sides also stressed the role of the RIC countries' high representatives in charge of security issues in developing common approaches to countering challenges and threats to regional stability.
 
Strongly condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, the Sides noted that it is only possible to effectively fight this global menace through joint efforts of the entire world community without selectivity and double standards, in strict compliance with the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Russia and India are convinced that an important aspect of countering terrorism is its prevention, inter alia, through effective suppression of the spread of terrorist propaganda and extremist ideas. The Sides called for the elimination, once and for all, of all "safe havens" of terrorists. The Sides also called for the early completion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
 
Noting the growing challenges and threats in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), the Sides emphasized the need to develop bilateral cooperation in the field of ICTs. Reaffirming the key role of the UN in addressing the issues related to the security in the use of ICTs, they also agreed to work together for developing universal rules of responsible behaviour of the States in the use of ICTs to address threats to international peace and security. The Sides are particularly concerned with the use of ICTs in violation of the UN Charter as well as for criminal and terrorist purposes, and agreed to cooperate in addressing these issues.
The Sides agreed to hold regular consultations at the level of experts to enable exchange of views on mutual basis on all aspects of security in the use of ICTs which includes practical cooperation between relevant agencies. In this regard, they agreed to work towards concluding a Russian-Indian intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of international information security.
 
The Sides highlighted the importance of respecting the universally recognized principles of international law in the use of ICTs, in particular, the UN Charter, the principle of political independence, territorial integrity and sovereign equality of States, non-interference in internal affairs of other States and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including right to privacy.
 
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Stressing that the exploration and use of outer space should be for peaceful purposes, Russia and India reiterated that they were against the weaponization of outer space. In this connection they called for a speedy launch of negotiations to conclude a relevant legally binding international agreement at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. Noting the urgency of preventing the arms race in outer space and ensuring the safety of space operations and long-term sustainability of outer space activities, the Sides affirmed the need to discuss and interact on practical measures conducive to this end in the First Committee, the UN Disarmament Commission, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and at other relevant platforms.
 
Russia and India are united by common interests in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery systems and its falling into the hands of terrorists, as well as in strengthening multilateral export control regimes. In this context, Russia welcomes India's early accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime that would increase the effectiveness of this mechanism. Stressing once again that India should fully participate in the development of the norms of international export control regulation, Russia expressed its readiness to support India's aspiration for full membership in the Nuclear Suppliers' Group. Russia also supported India’s interest in full membership in the Wassenaar Arrangement.
 
The Sides emphasized that the approval of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear programme is an important milestone that strengthens international and regional security as well as restores normal economic and political interaction between Iran and the international community.
 
Both Sides expressed serious concern at developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups including Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the al Nusra Front and other similar groups are operating causing violence. Both sides share the view that presence of terrorist groups in much of Iraq and Syria directly threatens regional and global security. Both sides expressed their support to global efforts to fight terrorism and to enhancing international efforts to counter activities of terrorist groups including "foreign terrorist fighters" pursuant to the relevant UNSC resolutions.
Russia and India voiced their strong support to sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Syria. Both sides expressed a common understanding that the internal armed conflict in Syria cannot be solved by the use of force, but rather through political and diplomatic means – through a substantive intra-Syrian dialogue without preconditions or external interference and based on the Geneva Communiqué of June 30, 2012, the Joint Statement on the outcome of the multilateral talks on Syria in Vienna of October 30, 2015 and the Statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of November 14, 2015.
 
Both sides expressed their strong support for the people and the Government of Iraq in their efforts to overcome the existing crisis and to uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity. They emphasized the importance of national reconciliation and unity in Iraq by creation of an inclusive state system and strengthening of national democratic institutions through capacity building.
 
Russia and India welcome the progress achieved in the area of security, including the maintenance of the ceasefire regime in south-eastern Ukraine, as well as the signing of the agreement on the withdrawal of military equipment and artillery of the less than 100 millimeter calibre from the line of contact, which creates favourable conditions for moving forward the political settlement that has no alternative. Reconciliation of the sides is only possible through a direct inclusive dialogue, for which it is necessary to fully comply with all the provisions of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements adopted on 12 February 2015 by the Contact Group on Ukraine with support of the Leaders of Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine, and approved by the UN Security Council resolution 2202.
 
The Sides expressed concern about the aggravation of the security situation in Afghanistan, including along its borders. The Sides recognized that terrorism and extremism pose the main threat to security and stability of Afghanistan, the region and beyond. In this regard, they emphasized the need for joint and concerted efforts and cooperation among countries in the region to address the challenge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the dismantling of terrorist sanctuaries and safe havens and disrupting all financial and other support for terrorism.
 
The Sides supported further promotion of a national reconciliation process led and guided by the Afghans themselves in compliance with established international principles. Russia and India reaffirmed their willingness to continue to provide multi-vector assistance to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in the interest of maintaining stability and independence of Afghanistan, and assisting socio-economic development and connectivity of the country. The Sides agreed to continue their close consultation and cooperation on Afghanistan.
 
The continuing growth of drug production and drug smuggling from Afghanistan is of particular concern. In this context, the importance of cooperation within the frameworks of the SCO, BRICS and the Paris Pact Initiative to counter the spread of narcotic substances was emphasized. The Sides expressed mutual interest in coordinating Russian and Indian positions during the preparation for and the work of the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem in 2016.
 
Looking Ahead
 
The Sides reaffirmed the unique character of Russia-India relations, based on time-tested and deep mutual trust and friendship between the two nations. They noted with satisfaction the continued support among the people of both countries to further strengthen and expand the bilateral relationship. They emphasized the remarkable convergence in their foreign policy priorities and underlined the significance of their special and privileged strategic partnership for their respective countries both bilaterally and in addressing regional and global issues in the days ahead.
 
Moscow
December 24, 2015
 
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India-Japan Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on December 12, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on December 12, 2015.
The following is the text of the Joint Statement on India and Japan Vision 2025: Special Strategic and Global Partnership Working Together for Peace and Prosperity of the Indo-Pacific Region and the World issued here today during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India:
 
H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, is paying an official visit to India at the invitation of H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Indiafrom 11 to 13 December.
 
Expressing satisfaction at the direction of bilateral engagement, the two Prime Ministers resolved to transform the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership, a key relationship with the largest potential for growth, into a deep, broad-based and action-orientedpartnership, which reflects a broad convergence of their long-term political, economic and strategic goals. 
 
Vision for a Deep, Broad-based and Action-oriented Partnership
 
The peoples of India and Japan are guided by common cultural traditions including theheritage of Buddhism, and share commitment to the ideals of democracy, tolerance, pluralism and open society. India and Japan, two of the largest and oldest democracies in Asia having a high degree of congruence of political, economic and strategic interests, view each other as partners that have responsibility for and are capable of responding to global and regional challenges.
 
The two Prime Ministers reiterated their unwavering commitment to realise a peaceful, open, equitable, stable and rule-based order in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. India and Japan uphold the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity; peaceful settlement of disputes; democracy, human rights and the rule of law; open global trade regime; and freedom of navigation and overflight. They pledged to work for peace, security and development of the Indo-Pacific region toward 2025 underpinned by these principles.
 
The two Prime Ministers underlined the need for closer coordination and effective communication, bilaterally and with partners, to address existing and emerging challenges in spheres of security, stability and sustainable development. They underlined their determination to expand cooperation with other partners, to enhance connectivity in the Indo-Pacific region. India and Japan will work to strengthen regional economic and security forums and coordinate their actions to tackle global challenges including the reform of the United Nations, climate change as well as terrorism.
 
The two Prime Ministers view that imperatives of a stronger bilateral strategic partnership require deep and broad-based cooperation and concrete actions in defence, security, economicand cultural fields. Our future-oriented partnership raises our collaboration to a new level in areas of infrastructure, manufacturing and high technology, including advanced transportation systems, civil nuclear energy, solar power generation, space, biotechnology, rare earths and advanced materials.
 
Recognising the importance of people to people exchanges and cultural ties, the two Prime Ministers resolved to boost opportunities for study, tourism, youth exchanges and educational collaboration to deepen broad-based and diversified engagement between the two peoples.
 
With the view to realise the objectives of India and Japan Vision 2025, the two leaders decided to develop a comprehensive and concrete medium and long-term action plan.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the conclusion of the Agreement concerning the Transfer of the Defence Equipment and Technology and the Agreement concerning Security Measures forthe Protection of Classified Military Information, which further strengthens the foundation of deep strategic ties. Taking note of the Agreements, they reaffirmed their commitment to continue discussions to deepen the bilateral defence relationship including through two-way collaboration and technology cooperation, co-development and co-production. The two Prime Ministers expressed their intention to explore potential future projects on defence equipment and technology cooperation such as US-2 amphibian aircraft.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed Japan’s participation in the India-US Malabar Exercises on a regular basis, as it would help create stronger capabilities to deal with maritime challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, including through enhanced disaster response and mitigation capacity. They reaffirmed their desire to further develop dialogue and exchanges between the two countries in the security and defence fields, including through the full utilisation of ‘2+2 Dialogue’, Defence Policy Dialogue, Military-to-Military Talks and Coast Guard to Coast Guard cooperation. The two Prime Ministers appreciated the decision to begin Air Force-to-Air Force staff Talks.
 
Highlighting the need to leverage their excellent bilateral relations to promote trilateral dialogues and cooperation with major partners in the region, the two Prime Ministers welcomedthe holding of the Japan-India-U.S. Trilateral dialogue among the Foreign Ministers of the three countries in New York in September 2015. They noted with satisfaction the efforts of the three countries to seek closer cooperation in such areas as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, regional connectivity as well as maritime security. 
 
The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction on the inaugural Japan-India-Australia Trilateral dialogue. They were of the view that these dialogue mechanisms could contribute to regional efforts to evolve an open, inclusive, stable and transparent economic, political and security architecture in the Indo-Pacific region.
 
Seeking the synergy between India’s "Act East” policy and Japan’s "Partnership for Quality Infrastructure”, the two Prime Ministers decided to develop and strengthen reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructures that augment connectivity within India and between India and other countries in the region. The two Prime Ministers pledged to advance industrial networks and regional value chains with open, fair and transparent business environment in the region. Theyrecognised the importance of enhancing their cooperation and coordination bilaterally and with other stakeholders to realise this strategic initiative.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the agreement reached between the two Governments on the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of India for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, and confirmed that this Agreement will be signed after the technical details are finalised, including those related to the necessary internal procedures.
 
Investing in the Future
 
The two Prime Ministers noted that India’s railways modernisation and expansion plans open up commercial opportunities for Japanese companies in high speed rail, station re-development and rolling stock manufacturing. They welcomed the signing of memoranda on technological cooperation, and R&D collaboration in the railways sector.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation on introduction of Japan’s High Speed Railways (HSR) technologies (the Shinkansen system) to Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. Prime Minister Modi appreciated Japan’s consideration of providing highly concessional yen loan for the HSR on Mumbai-Ahmedabad route. Both sides will explore further strengthening of their partnership in high speed railways, which is a high technology area having potential to transform India’s transportation sector.
 
The two Prime Ministers stressed the need for further actions for investing in the future. Prime Minister Abe commended Prime Minister Modi’s strong initiatives such as "Make in India,” "Digital India,” "Skill India,” "Clean India” and "Smart City”. Prime Minister Abe also expressed his intention to support India’s efforts by sharing its advanced skills and technologies and through active mobilisation of Japanese public and private sector involvement, including Official Development Assistance (ODA).
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the steady progress to realise 3.5 trillion yen of public and private financing to India in five years under the "Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership” announced during the last annual summit meeting.
 
They also welcomed the progress in the flagship projects such as the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), and reaffirmed the determination to expedite the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) projects. The two Prime Ministers further concurred to take the Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) project to the next stage of concrete implementation including by utilising ODA loan schemes and other facility measures. Indian side expressed a hope to attract US $ 5.5 billion of investment and other support.
 
In this context, Prime Minister Modi welcomed the "Japan-India Make-in-India Special Finance Facility” up to 1.5 trillion Yen by Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), which aims to promote direct investment of Japanese companies and trade from Japan to India, to support their business activities with counterparts in India, including development of necessary infrastructure, and to help materialise Make-in-India policy of the Government of India. Prime Minister Abe expressed his expectation on further enhancement of reform measures including in the financial sector. The two Prime Ministers decided to deepen mutual cooperation regarding the Make-in-India policy.
 
The two Prime Ministers recognised the invaluable role played by Japan’s ODA in broadening, deepening and strengthening bilateral relations. Appreciating that India is one of the largest recipients of Japan’s ODA, Prime Minister Modi thanked the people of Japan for their contribution to the building of social and physical infrastructure in India that is key to the country’s development and modernisation. The two sides expressed their expectation that the total commitment of Japanese ODA yen loan to India in FY 2015 may reach around 400 billion yen, the highest ever provided to India, and concurred to accelerate their respective efforts with a view to achieving this goal.
 
- Prime Minister Modi welcomed the Japanese ODA loans of about 100 billion yen for the metro projects both in Chennai and Ahmedabad.
 
- Prime Minister Abe expressed Japan’s intention to provide ODA loans for the improvement of road network connectivity in northeastern states of India, the peripheral ring road surrounding Bengaluru, and the horticulture irrigation in Jharkhand.
 
- Prime Minister Modi welcomed ongoing surveys regarding Mumbai Trans Harbour Link and the modernisation of ship recycling yards in Gujarat, and an expected survey for Tuticorin Outer Harbour.
 
The two Prime Ministers also confirmed the importance of securing appropriate implementation of ODA projects.
Prime Minister Modi briefed Prime Minister Abe on his agenda of reforms to make India the investment destination with the most business-friendly environment, for which Prime Minister Abe expressed his appreciation. Prime Minister Modi reaffirmed his determination to improve the business environment in India.
 
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the intention to develop "Japan Industrial Townships (JITs),” with investment incentive for companies that would not be lower than under the prevailing policy framework such as Special Economic Zone (SEZ), and National Investment and Manufacturing Zone (NIMZ). Moreover, both sides will work toward evolving special packages for attracting Japanese investment in the Japanese Industrial Townships in India. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed to further deepen bilateral economic and financial cooperation.
 
The two Prime Ministers positively appraised the work of "Japan Plus” and expressed strong hope that investment-related assistance, guidance and support extended by Japan Plus will become even more effective and efficient through enhancing coordination with stakeholders. Prime Minister Abe appreciated creation of "Core Group” chaired by Cabinet Secretary to coordinate and closely monitor the process to ensure that investments from Japan as envisaged in India-Japan Investment Promotion Partnership are facilitated.
 
The two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of expansion in the two-way investment between Japan and India. The Japanese side expressed the intention of establishing a new mechanism, "Japan-India IoT Investment Initiative,” to promote investment in Internet of Things (IoT) related area from India to Japan.
 
The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of close collaboration in the electricity and energy sector through such measures as use of high-efficiency and environmentally friendly coal-fired power generation technology, and Clean Coal Technology (CCT) including Integrated Gasification Fuel Cell (IGFC) once developed, and renewable energy and promotion of energy efficiency. Prime Minister Abe lauded India’s effort to enhance contribution of renewables to its overall energy mix.
India and Japan, as two countries seeking to transform into knowledge-based societies, expressed satisfaction to the continuous strengthening of their institutionalised Science and Technology cooperation, of which 2015 marks the 30th anniversary year. They shared their intention to raise the level of their ambition through the establishment of joint research laboratories; enhanced exchanges between young scientists and those under "Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science”; the establishment of joint research centres in India in the field of ICT; stem cell research collaboration; and the joint fellowship Programme for young researchers.
 
The Indian side appreciated Japan’s support to Skill India Initiative through training at Industrial Training Institutions (ITIs), skills development for managers, curriculum development and the Skills Evaluation System Promotion Program. Both countries will further advance their cooperation by providing Indian trainees with opportunities to acquire industrial skills in Japan including under the Technical Intern Training Program.
 
Acknowledging the importance of cooperation in the education sector, they welcomed the institutionalised exchange of doctoral and post-doctoral research fellows, and encouraged movement of professors and faculty between India and Japan. The two Prime Ministers invited their universities and academic institutions to further expand cooperation. Prime Minister Abe expressed that in the next five years, 10,000 young Indian talents will be visiting Japan under such frameworks as students exchange, IT training and short term exchanges, and hoped that it will provide solid bonds for our future relations.
 
Recognising the importance of facilitating exchanges between people of the two countries, both leaders stressed the importance of further simplifying their visa procedures for nationals of each other.
 
The two leaders welcomed the priorities for action in the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, and noted the importance of measures to mitigate the risk of disaster arising from earthquake, cyclone and tsunami, including flood control and early warning systems. They recognized the need to advance bilateral cooperation and collaboration in disaster risk reduction. Prime Minister Modi appreciated Japan’s assistance to land slide prevention in the area of highway development.
 
The two Prime Ministers appreciated the growing cooperation in the field of women empowerment and healthcare. Prime Minister Abe briefed Prime Minister Modi on his efforts to create a "society where all women shine,” including by hosting "WAW!”. Prime Minister Modi expressed that the target regarding quantitative share of generic medicines in Japan would be an excellent opportunity for collaboration between Indian and Japanese pharmaceutical companies.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed enhanced partnership between Indian States and cities with Japanese prefectures and cities as these help bilateral relations grow deeper roots. Theyexpressed satisfaction at the strengthened ties between the City of Kyoto and Varanasi, two ancient and historic cities integral to their respective cultural heritage. Prime Minister Modi expressed his expectation that the two sides will explore to develop a convention centre in Varanasi.
 
Sharing the view that the future of Asia needs to build on the positive influence of traditions of non-violence and democracy in Asia, the two Prime Ministers welcomed the Samvad conference held in India in September and looked forward to Japan hosting the next conference in January 2016. 
 
Vision for Peace and Stability
 
Recognising that peace, stability and development in the Indo-Pacific region is indispensable to their national security and prosperity, they reaffirmed that close cooperation between Japan and India is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region. They welcomed the progress instrengthening the East Asia Summit to enhance dialogue on political and security issues, and reaffirmed their commitment to continue to work with all partners, especially with ASEAN which is at the core of EAS, to make EAS the premier leaders-led forum to discuss regional peace and security agenda.
 
Expressing their commitment to the principles of sovereign equality of all states as well as respect for their territorial integrity, they affirmed closer cooperation in safeguarding the global commons in maritime, space and cyber domains. They underscored the importance of international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and peaceful resolution of disputes without use or threat of use of force; freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded lawful commerce in international waters.
 
In view of critical importance of the sea lanes of communications in the South China Sea for regional energy security and trade and commerce which underpins continued peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific, the two Prime Ministers noting the developments in the South China Sea called upon all States to avoid unilateral actions that could lead to tensions in the region. They were of the view that full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and early conclusion of the negotiations to establish a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea by consensus will contribute to peace and stability of the region. They decided to hold regular close consultations on the issues related to maritime safety and security of sea lanes of communication.
 
Sharing their concerns about the growing threat and universal reach of extremism, the two Prime Ministers reiterated their strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations with ‘zero tolerance’ and reaffirmed their deep concern over the continued threat posed by terrorists and terrorist groups. They called upon all countries to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 and other relevant resolutions designating terrorist entities. They also called for eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, in disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels, and stopping cross-border movement of terrorists. They underlined the need for all countries to effectively deal with trans-national terrorism emanating from their territory. They emphasised that the evolving character of terrorism called for stronger international partnership in combating terrorism, including through increased sharing of information and intelligence. They affirmed the importance of bringing the perpetrators of terrorist attacks including those of November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai to justice.
 
The two Prime Ministers expressed concern over North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, including its uranium enrichment activities. They urged North Korea to fully comply with its international obligations, including under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and to take actions towards thedenuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. They also urged North Korea to address at the earliest the abductions issue.
 
Prime Minister Abe briefed Prime Minister Modi on Japan’s efforts, including the "Proactive Contribution to Peace” based on the principle of international cooperation and the "Legislation for Peace and Security,” to contribute even more to peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the international community. Prime Minister Modi welcomed and supported Japan’s efforts anddesire to enhance its contribution to global peace, stability and prosperity.
 
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their intention to work together for the early realisation of U.N. reforms, particularly the Security Council reform, to better reflect the realities of the international community in the 21st century. They welcomed the recent developments in the Inter-Governmental Negotiation (IGN) process, towards the launch of text-based negotiations, and reaffirmed their determination to redouble their efforts towards achieving concrete outcomes during the 70th Session of the U.N. General Assembly. The two Prime Ministers reiterated their support for each other's candidature, based on the firmly shared recognition that India and Japan are legitimate candidates for permanent membership in an expanded Security Council.
 
Recognising India as the largest democracy and a fast growing large economy in the Asia-Pacific region, the Japanese side conveyed its support to India’s membership of the APEC as a positive contribution to the economic integration in the region.
 
The two Prime Ministers, on the occasion of the 70th year since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, reaffirmed their shared commitment to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. 
 
They called for an immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally and effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT) on the basis of Shannon Mandate. In this context, Prime Minister Abe stressed the importance of early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which should lead to nuclear disarmament. They also supported the strengthening of international cooperation to address the challenges of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism.
 
The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of effective national export control systems. Japan welcomed India’s intensified engagement with export control regimes.
 
The two Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to work together for India to become a full member in the four international export control regimes: Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group, with the aim of strengthening the international non-proliferation efforts. 
 
Conclusion:
 
H.E. Mr Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan thanked the Government and the people of India for their warm hospitality and extended a cordial invitation to H.E. Mr Narendra Modi,Prime Minister of the Republic of India to visit Japan at a mutually convenient time for the next annual summit meeting. Prime Minister Modi accepted the invitation with appreciation. The dates of the visit will be decided through diplomatic channels.
 
New Delhi
12 December, 2015
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Joint Statement on Strategic Partnership between India and Singapore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore on November 24, 2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore on November 24, 2015
The following is the Joint Statement on Strategic Partnership between India and Singapore issued here today during Prime Minister Narenda Modi's two-day visit to Singapore:
 
At the invitation of His Excellency Mr Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, His Excellency Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, is paying an Official Visit to Singapore from 23 to 24 November 2015. The current visit is the second by Prime Minister Modi this year following his visit on 29 March 2015 to attend the State Funeral Service of the founding father and first Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew.
 
As part of his visit, Prime Minister Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome, called on President Tony Tan Keng Yam, met with Prime Minister Lee and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and was hosted to an Official Lunch by Prime Minister Lee. Both Prime Ministers held substantive discussions in areas of mutual interest, signed the Strategic Partnership, and witnessed the signing and exchange of nine bilateral documents, and the launch of commemorative stamps to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Prime Minister Modi delivered a Special Address at the Singapore-India Economic Convention, organised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and International Enterprise Singapore, and the 37th Singapore Lecture, organised by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. 
 
Strategic Partnership
 
The two Prime Ministers affirmed that India and Singapore enjoyed long traditions of friendship based on mutual trust and respect and a shared history. Against the backdrop of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between India and Singapore, the two Prime Ministers signed a Joint Declaration establishing a ‘Strategic Partnership’ between India and Singapore to elevate bilateral relations to a higher level.
 
Political, Defence and Security Cooperation
 
The two Prime Ministers decided to sustain the momentum of bilateral relations through regular high-level visits. They encouraged the continuation of regular exchanges under the agreed dialogue mechanisms between the Foreign Ministries and the Defence Ministries.
 
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of defence relations between India and Singapore in their Strategic Partnership. In this regard:
  • They welcomed the signing of the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement which will upgrade and strengthen bilateral defence relations.
  • They agreed to hold regular high-level meetings, including at the level of the Defence Ministers.
  • They endorsed the continuation of joint military exercises and training between their Armies, Air Forces and Navies.
  • They welcomed further collaboration in defence technology, and encouraged co-development and co-production between the defence industries of the two countries.
The two Prime Ministers decided to expand cooperation in maritime security. In this regard:
  • They welcomed the signing of the Technical Agreement on the Sharing of White-Shipping Information between the Indian Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy in July 2015 and they witnessed the signing of the documents for its operationalisation.
  • They endorsed regular exchanges between the two Coast Guards and looked forward to greater bilateral Coast Guard Cooperation.
The two Prime Ministers welcomed security cooperation and in this regard:
  • They noted the useful discussions between both sides at the India-Singapore National Security Roundtable meetings and affirmed its continuation on an annual basis.
  • They welcomed the revival of the Joint Working Group on Intelligence Cooperation on Combating Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crime in order to intensify cooperation on information and intelligence sharing on terror networks and work together to share experiences on dealing with the growing phenomenon of radicalisation.
  • They noted the ongoing interactions in cyber issues and agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in this area. The two Prime Ministers also agreed to establish appropriate mechanisms for regular bilateral consultations and exchange of real time information between the relevant agencies in India and Singapore. They witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the area of Cyber Security.
  • They witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors.
Economic and Financial Cooperation
 
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The two Prime Ministers recognised that bilateral business and commercial linkages constitute key drivers of the wide-ranging India-Singapore partnership. In this regard, Prime Minister Lee noted the policy measures and economic initiatives introduced by Prime Minister Modi and noted that specific initiatives launched by Prime Minister Modi such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Clean India’, ‘Affordable Housing for all by 2022’, ‘Namami Gange’ and ‘Smart Cities’ offered significant collaborative commercial opportunities for businesses and industries of both countries. 
 
The two Prime Ministers recalled the five focal areas of cooperation – the 5-S, identified in August 2014 by their respective Foreign Ministers and, in this regard, instructed their respective agencies to continue to work towards enhanced cooperation in these areas through specific programmes and projects. 
 
(i) Scaling up of Trade and Investment
  • The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the significance of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) signed in 2005, which remains the bedrock of economic partnership between the two countries. They desired an early conclusion of the Second Review of CECA.
  • They welcomed the setting up of a Joint Working Group (JWG) between the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry to address bilateral trade and investment issues.
  • Noting that two-way trade has more than doubled since 2005 to US$17 billion, they aspired to further double trade.
  • They encouraged investors and investment institutions of Singapore to increase their investments in India, with the aim of doubling investments.
  • They noted the efforts towards modernisation of the railways sector in India, and agreed to explore the feasibility of participation of Singapore companies and investors in the redevelopment of railway platforms in India They encouraged greater interaction between trade and investment bodies and organisations of the two countries to focus on priority areas.
  • They emphasised the importance of collaboration between the SMEs of the two countries.
  • Building on the extensive bilateral economic and trade linkages between the two countries, they agreed to explore possibilities to enhance financial cooperation to facilitate financing and investment to support economic growth and infrastructure building in India, and enhance financial resilience. To this end, they decided to establish a financial dialogue process between India and Singapore, as mutually agreed.
(ii) Speeding up air and maritime connectivity and coastal development
  • The two Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to enhance bilateral connectivity links in the aviation and maritime sectors. They agreed to expand existing and new commercially-viable air links between and beyond both countries. They agreed to enhance cooperation in capacity-building and share best practices by becoming "knowledge partners” in aviation and maritime sectors.
  • They welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Civil Aviation Sector which will open opportunities for collaboration in development of airports in India.
  • Both sides welcomed the India-Singapore Maritime Conference to be held in India in early 2016 with the participation of key players in the maritime sector, and looked forward to greater cooperation in this sector.
(iii) Smart City Development and Urban Rejuvenation
  • The two Prime Ministers agreed to enhance cooperation in the area of urban solutions and sustainable smart city development.
  • They welcomed Singapore’s contribution of the Master Plan for the new Capital City of Andhra Pradesh, Amaravati, and encouraged investors and investment institutions in Singapore to take advantage of the immense investment opportunities provided by the new Capital.
  • Prime Minister Modi encouraged Singapore to explore the possibility of developing urban centres under the Smart Cities initiative.
  • They welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Urban Planning and Governance under which urban administrators from India will undergo specialised training in Singapore.
(iv) Skills Development and Capacity-Building
  • The two Prime Ministers visited Singapore’s Institute of Technical Education and Prime Minister Modi noted with satisfaction Singapore’s contribution in upgrading selected Industrial Training Institute (ITI) centres in India, including in New Delhi and Rajasthan, which help serve as models for other skills centres in India.
  • Prime Minister Modi welcomed Singapore’s interest to consider establishing a Skill Centre in the North East through train-the-trainer and consultancy projects.
  • They welcomed the ongoing exchanges under the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Personnel Management and Public Administration and agreed to continue to work closely to deepen public service cooperation, including in capacity-building in areas such as e-governance, and sharing of best practices.
  • They welcomed the ongoing programmes for training and sharing best practices, including the training of civil servants from India and workshop on Mission Ganga Rejuvenation or Namami Gange Project.
(v) State Focus to Strengthen Business and Cultural Links
  • Recognizing the critical role of various States of India in expanding cooperation and exchanges between India and Singapore, the two Prime Ministers decided to accord high priority to promoting exchanges among them in the area of sustainable urban development, especially in infrastructure development, water and waste management.
  • They agreed to facilitate exchange visits by trade delegations, high-level participation at economic summits, exchange of best practices and capacity-building.
  • They welcomed the on-going training programmes in the area of ease of doing business to be conducted by institutions in Singapore for officials from India

Culture and People-to-People Exchanges 

The two Prime Ministers affirmed the importance of culture for the mutual understanding of their two nations. In this regard:
  • They noted the successful organisation of the Year of India in Singapore in 2014-2015 and the Festival of Singapore in India on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
  • They witnessed the launch of commemorative stamps by both countries to mark the historic milestone.
  • They noted with satisfaction the active exchange of cultural exhibitions, in particular The Peranakan World: Cross-Cultural Art from Singapore and the Malacca Straits exhibition held at the National Museum in New Delhi in February 2015 and the Treasures from Asia’s Oldest Museum: Buddhist Art from the Indian Museum, Kolkata exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore in June 2015.
  • They welcomed the signing of the 6th Executive Programme on Cooperation in the fields of the Arts, Heritage, Archives and Library for the years 2015-18 through which exchanges of artists, art groups, exhibitions, arts and heritage professionals, and sharing of archival knowledge will continue between the two nations.
  • Prime Minister Lee welcomed the extension of the loan agreement for artefacts between the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) as a special gesture of India.
  • Prime Minister Modi appreciated Singapore’s gesture of returning the statue of Uma Parameshwari.
  • They agreed to continue the promotion of interaction and cooperation between their higher education institutions, as well as encourage the exchange of students and academics. They appreciated the ongoing collaboration between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the National University of Singapore which is host to the ICCR Chair on Indian Studies.
Both sides also reaffirmed the potential for continued growth in people-to-people exchanges. In this regard:
  • The two Prime Ministers noted with appreciation the significant contribution of the Indian community to the socio-cultural and economic development of Singapore, and the rich historical links between the two nations. They welcomed the opening of the Indian Heritage Centre in Singapore which highlights these aspects.
  • Prime Minister Lee welcomed India’s decision to include Singapore in the Electronic Tourist Visa Scheme. They also agreed on the importance of regular dialogue on consular matters between the respective concerned authorities.
  • Both Prime Ministers welcomed greater air links between both countries which would further cement people-to-people exchanges.
Legal and Judicial Cooperation
  • The two Prime Ministers agreed to work towards enhancing effective legal and judicial cooperation in criminal, civil and commercial matters.
Parliamentary Cooperation
  • The two Prime Ministers highlighted the importance of bilateral parliamentary exchanges and agreed to reinvigorate reciprocal interaction and exchanges between parliamentary delegations.
Science & Technology, and Research and Innovation 
  • The two Prime Ministers referred to their shared interest in furthering cooperation in the areas of scientific research and development. In this regard:
  • They instructed their respective agencies to explore cooperation in areas of mutual interest such as joint workshops to serve as platforms for researchers to interact from both countries.
  • They noted the ongoing cooperation in science & technology and the joint R&D projects being implemented in focused areas of advanced energy materials and biomedical technologies, and welcomed further ways to explore bilateral engagements.
  • Prime Minister Lee noted the launch of Singapore’s first indigenous satellite, X-SAT by India in April 2011, and further launches by Singapore in India, and welcomed India’s continued support in this regard.
  • They noted that a workshop on Ayurveda, traditional Indian system of medicine, will be held in Singapore in the first half of 2016 as a part of India’s commemorative activities for the 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations
Multilateral and Regional Cooperation 
 
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Prime Minister Lee welcomed India’s growing engagement of Southeast and East Asia pursuant to its ‘Act East’ Policy, and Prime Minister Modi acknowledged Singapore’s early contributions in promoting engagement between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In this regard:
  • The two Prime Ministers agreed to continue to work closely together with other ASEAN Member States to strengthen ASEAN Centrality, enhance connectivity, and support the ASEAN Community-building process covering the three pillars of the ASEAN Community.
  • They agreed to support regional efforts to create stronger humanitarian and disaster relief capabilities, combat disease threats and boost regional trade, including through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
  • They expressed support for a modern, comprehensive and high quality RCEP as a concrete pathway for India to deepen its engagement with the region and play an important role in the regional architecture.
  • They underscored the importance of closer consultation and coordination between India and Singapore in regional fora, including the ASEAN-India, East Asia Summit (EAS) and ASEAN Regional Forum processes.
The two Prime Ministers noted the Asia-Pacific region’s continued vulnerability to natural disasters, and agreed there was significant scope for bilateral cooperation in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR). In this regard:
  • They welcomed the strengthened ties and partnership between their Armed Forces in disaster relief, including through India’s accreditation of an International Liaison Officer to the Changi Regional HADR Coordination Centre in Singapore in July 2015.
The two Prime Ministers affirmed the urgent need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, especially the expansion of the Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories, to make it more representative, legitimate, effective and responsive to the contemporary geo-political realities. In this regard:
  • Prime Minister Lee reaffirmed Singapore’s continuing support for India as a permanent member in a reformed United Nations Security Council.
  • Both leaders underscored the imperative of delivering concrete outcomes on this important subject on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations through the inter-governmental negotiation process.
The two Prime Ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, both regionally and globally. In this regard:
  • They also called for reinvigorating multilateral action on terrorism, including through the finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations at the earliest.
The two Prime Ministers also discussed their collaboration in other international fora.
  • They decided to support an open, rules-based multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
  • They reaffirmed that both countries seek to advance the safety, security and sustainable development of international civil aviation and shipping at the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).They reaffirmed their shared commitment to maritime security and freedom of navigation, and safety of sea lines of communication in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • They reaffirmed their commitment to building up the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA).
The Road Ahead
 
Interactions between the two Prime Ministers were warm, cordial and friendly. Prime Minister Modi expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality of Prime Minister Lee and the Government and people of Singapore. Prime Minister Lee accepted Prime Minister Modi's invitation to visit India. Dates for the visit will be finalized through diplomatic channels.
 
24 November 2015
Singapore
 
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Joint Statement on enhanced Malaysia-India Strategic Partnership

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Putrajaya, Malaysia on November 23, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Putrajaya, Malaysia on November 23, 2015.
The following is the text of the Joint Statement on enhanced Malaysia-India Strategic Partnership issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Kuala Lumpur today:
 
At the invitation of The Honourable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi undertook an Official Visit to Malaysia on 23 November 2015. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the ASEAN–India Summit and East Asia Summit on 21–22 November 2015. The two Prime Ministers held official talks in Putrajaya and jointly inaugurated the Torana Gate in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, a gift from India to Malaysia, as a symbol of India-Malaysia Friendship.
 
During the official talks, which was held in a warm and cordial atmosphere, the two Prime Ministers acknowledged that India-Malaysia relations have made impressive strides in recent years. The dialogue mechanisms at Ministerial and Official level, supported by a wide range of agreements have also provided a framework to harness the full potential of the Strategic Partnership, established between the two countries in October 2010.
 
Both leaders also conveyed their condolences to the families of all those on board Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370. In this context, the Prime Minister of Malaysia recalled with appreciation the ready assistance provided by India in the search operations through the deployment of six ships and seven aircraft, including at Subang airbase in Malaysia.
 
The two leaders welcomed the increasing two-way tourist movement and recalled the close cultural and religious affinity of the people of the two countries, including the presence of a large Indian community in Malaysia, which is a positive factor in fostering and developing current and future linkages to imbue greater dynamism to the friendly relations between Malaysia and India.
 
Recalling their stake in promoting multiculturalism, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to democracy, pluralism and development.
 
The two leaders acknowledged the contribution made by Malaysia and India in promoting growth, economic development and stability in the Asia–Pacific region, and recognized each other’s responsibility in the promotion of peace, development and security of the region, and beyond, based on a convergence of political and socio-economic interests and aspirations.
 
The two Prime Ministers, while expressing satisfaction with the progress of bilateral relations over the years, reaffirmed their determination to take the Strategic Partnership between the two countries to the next level by deepening existing areas and exploring new areas of cooperation. 
 
Both Prime Ministers then witnessed the signing of one Agreement on Cultural Exchange Programme for 2015-2020 and two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Project Delivery and Monitoring, and Cooperation on Cyber Security.
 
In an effort to further broaden and deepen the relationship between the two countries, both leaders agreed to proceed with efforts to develop the Strategic Partnership between the two countries as follows:
 
Political Consultation
 
To hold regular Summits, including on the margins of multilateral events;
 
To arrange the next meeting of the Joint Commission headed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, with the next meeting in New Delhi in the first half of 2016;
 
To arrange regular exchanges at the Cabinet level between the Ministers in charge of Trade & Industry, Transport, Public Works and Infrastructure, in line with the new developmental initiatives introduced by India, and the investment and trade opportunities opening up in each other’s country;
 
To hold regular Foreign Office Consultations between the Senior Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and the Ministry of External Affairs of India, to enable both countries to monitor the progress of bilateral cooperation, including on regional and strategic issues of mutual interest;
 
Reaffirmed their continued commitment to Parliamentary democracy and to promote further cooperation between the Parliaments of both countries, and underlined the importance of regular and enhanced exchange of visits between Parliamentarians from India and Malaysia; 
 
Economic, Trade and Financial Areas
 
Reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment cooperation, and to deepen and widen their economic engagement, which has emerged as an important fulcrum of the strategic partnership;
 
Underlined the importance of holding regular meeting of the Ministers of Trade and Industry of both countries;
 
To promote joint collaboration, especially in infrastructure and construction sectors, and to facilitate joint projects and collaboration between the private sectors of the two countries, in line with the new developmental and business initiatives undertaken by India, such as the Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities and Skill Development that offered significant investment opportunities for Malaysian businesses. The Prime Minister of India conveyed the steps being taken by the Government of India to provide a conducive environment for investors, and invited Malaysian investors to participate in economic activities for the mutual benefits of both countries;
 
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Recognising the need to energise the activities of the high-level India-Malaysia CEOs’ Forum, called upon the CEOs’ Forum to develop specific recommendations to enhance business links in priority areas. They further urged the CEOs’ Forum to meet bi-annually and in a timely manner to ensure meaningful follow-up and implementation of recommendations;
 
Welcomed further contributions of Malaysian and Indian-owned financial institutions in both jurisdictions, which reflects the growing economic and financial linkages between the two countries;
 
Commended the contribution of IRCON over the past two decades on railway cooperation in Malaysia, and welcomed IRCON’s significant interest to participate in railway project in the future;
 
Encouraged public and private sector companies from both countries to pro-actively look at large investment opportunities at each other’s country. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the significant interest shown by Malaysian companies to partake in the business opportunities provided by India and their aspiration to invest in infrastructure projects;
 
Welcomed the contribution of Indian investment in Malaysia, in particular India IT firms, especially those located in Cyberjaya, and agreed to continue to promote greater engagement of Indian IT companies in Malaysia;
 
Defence and Security
 
Agreed to enhance defence exchanges through regular dialogue at various levels, including between the Defence Ministers, senior defence officials, Chiefs of the Armed Services and through Service-to-Service Staff Talks;
 
Agreed to convene the next India-Malaysia Defence Cooperation Meeting at Defence Secretary/Secretary General level;
 
Welcomed the outcome of the joint exercises HARIMAU SHAKTI and to upgrade the exercises to company level, and subsequently to tri-services exercises;
 
Agreed to set up the SU-30 Forum for cooperation in training, maintenance, technical support and safety-related issues, building on the assistance by India for successful completion of the SU 30 MKM training programme by Indian pilots in Malaysia;
 
Further agreed to promote joint collaboration on projects of mutual interest in the defence sector including in the areas of defence equipment and industry, research, training and capacity building;
 
Agreed to institute annual talks between the Heads of the Indian Coast Guards and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency including during Head of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM).
 
Agreed to establish mechanism for sharing of information, including for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR) and white shipping;
 
Agreed to establish linkages between the Centre for UN Peacekeeping of India (CUNPK) and Malaysian Peacekeeping Centre (MPC);
 
Expressed strong condemnation for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and called upon all States to reject terrorism and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice. In this context, they welcomed the ongoing cooperation between the two countries on counter terrorism and agreed to further enhance cooperation in this direction;
 
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Agreed to continue sharing of information and best practices to address the challenges posed by terrorism, and other traditional and non-traditional threats;
 
Reaffirmed that the two countries share a mutual interest in cooperating for peace, prosperity and security of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond;
 
Agreed to discuss further with a view to conclude the signing of the MoU on Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners, which act as an important humanitarian gesture towards sentenced prisoners;
 
Tourism and Education
 
Acknowledged the success of the Festival of India in Malaysia 2015, supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Indian Ministry of Culture and the Indian High Commission, and held for the first time in all major cities and States of Malaysia;
 
Reaffirming their desire to promote greater opportunities for students to pursue their higher studies in each other’s’ country, agreed to conclude a MoU on mutual recognition of Universities and degrees between India and Malaysia at the earliest;
 
Welcomed the additional contribution by India of Indian Rupees 50 million to the Indian Scholarship Trust Fund, managed by the High Commission of India in Kuala Lumpur, which has been operating since 1954 for deserving Malaysian Indian students;
 
Welcomed the renaming of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur as "Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indian Cultural Centre”;
 
Human Resources
 
Welcomed the contribution of Indian workers to the Malaysian economy;
 
To further enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries in the field of labour through Joint Working Group Meeting, as well as exchanges of visits and information on latest policies, laws and regulations;
 
Health
 
Recognising the need to promote greater cooperation between the two countries in Ayurveda and other Indian systems of traditional medicine, Malaysia welcomed the deputation of an Ayurveda practitioner and two therapists from India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme. The two sides also welcomed the gift of a Shirodara Yantra machine from the Government of India to Malaysia;
 
Agreed to receive a Siddha practitioner from India to Malaysia under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme;
 
Science and Technology
 
Sustainable Energy development has been a key component towards achieving energy security in the future with both Malaysia and India having actively pursued to increase renewable energy sources so as to strengthen their energy security while increasing energy access. Noting that, both sides agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on New and Renewable Energy at the earliest that would serve as a good platform for both countries to exchange ideas and forge mutually beneficial collaboration;
 
Public Administration
 
Noted the excellent ongoing cooperation between the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, India and Public Service Department, Malaysia under the MoU on Cooperation in the field of Public Administration and Governance. Following the 3rd Joint Working Group Meeting held in Kuala Lumpur on 28–30 September 2015, both sides will work on implementing the decisions made in the Meeting for fostering cooperation in English language training, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), e-governance, training institute collaboration, retirement benefits management, taxation data and business intelligence, and project implementation and oversight;
 
Welcomed the proposal for both sides to establish cooperation in areas of performance management, project delivery and monitoring;
 
Welcomed the conclusion of the Bilateral Work Agreement between Malaysia and India that authorise spouses of diplomatic agents and members of the administrative and technical staff of diplomatic missions and spouses of consular officers at consular posts for employment in the respective receiving State on a reciprocal basis; 
 
Regional and International Cooperation
 
Reaffirming the importance of strategic engagement of India in regional initiatives to shape an open, transparent and inclusive regional order and ASEAN’s centrality in the evolving regional architecture, welcomed the enhanced relations between ASEAN and India, especially since the elevation of the partnership to a strategic status at the ASEAN–India Commemorative Summit in 2012 in New Delhi;
 
Welcomed the adoption by ASEAN and India of the new Plan of Action (2016-2020) to implement the ASEAN–India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity at the ASEAN–India Ministerial Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 5 August 2015;
 
Welcomed the successful holding of the 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits and commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the East Asia Summit in November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, and further welcomed the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the ASEAN Community and the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together;
 
Welcomed the signing of the ASEAN–India Trade in Services and Investment Agreements, and took note of the progress towards finalising the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership (RCEP) Agreement;
 
Stressed that the 70th anniversary of the United Nations is an occasion to urge for early reforms of the United Nations, including the reform of the UN Security Council. Malaysia took note of India’s aspiration for permanent membership of a reformed United Nations Security Council; and
 
Welcomed the post-2015 Development Agenda adopted by the United Nations with eradication of poverty by 2030 as its core objective.
 
The Prime Minister of India expressed his appreciation to the Prime Minister of Malaysia for the warm reception and hospitality extended to him and his delegation for the visit, and invited the Malaysian Prime Minister to undertake another visit to India at a mutually convenient date, which was accepted by the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
 
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India-UK Joint Statement

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The following is the text of the Joint Statement issued by India and the United Kingdom during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's three-day visit to London beginning today:
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister David Cameron met in London on 12-13 November. The two Prime Ministers celebrated the growing strength, breadth and depth of the relations between the two countries. They emphasised that this enduring connection between the UK and India plays a vital role in safeguarding and promoting the security and prosperity of both peoples. India’s economic development and rise as a global power affords opportunities to further deepen and extend this partnership to foster economic growth and inclusive development, update and strengthen the rules based international system, and counter global threats.
 
The two Prime Ministers endorsed a "Vision Statement” setting out the fundamental principles on which the UK-India partnership is built, and outlining a roadmap for deepening co-operation. They resolved to hold biennial PM-level summits to advance the partnership. They also resolved to agree on a new Defence and International Security Partnership which will intensify cooperation on defence and security, including cyber-security, counter-terrorism and maritime security.
 
Noting that addressing climate change and promoting secure, affordable and sustainable supplies of energy are shared strategic priorities for India and the UK, they agreed to endorse a Joint Statement on Energy and Climate Change. The two Prime Ministers also agreed to scale up bilateral cooperation to a global partnership for development through a "Statement of Intent on Partnership for Cooperation in Third Countries” which will facilitate working together to benefit third country partners by assisting them in addressing their development challenges in a wholly demand driven manner.
 
A Global Partnership
 
The two Prime Ministers noted that in an increasingly complex and interconnected world, deepening the already close partnership on global issues would be vital for safeguarding and promoting prosperity and security.
 
They agreed that this prosperity and security rests on an international system of rules, widely accepted and consistently applied. The international architecture built 70 years ago has played an invaluable role in securing the space for transformational development. Since the world has changed, this rules-based international system should adapt and renew itself. 
 
Prime Minister Cameron reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to a reformed United Nations Security Council with India as a Permanent Member, and to enhancing India’s voice in international financial institutions. Both Prime Ministers underscored the importance they attach to the G20. They agreed to remain engaged closely with each other and with other G20 members to realize the full potential of the G20 as the premier forum for international economic cooperation as well as for successful outcomes at the G20 Summits.
 
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The UK and India share interests in stability and prosperity across Asia and the Indian Ocean. Taking into account India’s geostrategic location and interests in the South Asian region, the two Prime Ministers resolved to deepen and extend existing bilateral consultation and cooperation in these areas through the establishment of an annual senior official South Asia dialogue covering security including terrorism, connectivity, and maritime issues.
 
The leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and directed their relevant officials to have close and regular consultations on UN terrorist designations. They reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai to justice.
 
The two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of a lasting and inclusive constitutional settlement in Nepal that will address the remaining areas of concern and promote political stability and economic growth. They hoped the National Reconstruction Authority begins to function as soon as possible to facilitate post earthquake reconstruction. They also hoped that, following the recent UN Human Rights Council Resolution, Sri Lanka will now be able to deliver lasting peace and prosperity for all its people and underlined their commitment to working with the Sri Lankan Government to achieve this. They emphasised the importance of a stable and inclusive democracy in the Maldives including an independent judiciary.
 
The two Prime Ministers emphasised their shared commitment and support for a stable, secure and successful future for a sovereign, democratic and united Afghanistan. They emphasised the importance of a sustainable and inclusive political order in Afghanistan which ensures that the gains of the past decade are consolidated and remain irreversible.
 
The two Prime Ministers stressed the need for inclusive political settlements in Syria and Iraq and committed to further support the victims in these brutal conflicts. They agreed to continue to hold regular annual senior officials dialogue on West Asia/Middle East, as a priority area for both countries.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the historic agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme, and noted the strong commitment of the international community to its swift and full implementation.
 
The two Prime Ministers agreed that the only way to de-escalate the crisis in eastern Ukraine was the full implementation of the Minsk measures by all parties to the agreement.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ and committed to supporting its implementation. They recognized that the new 2030 Agenda along with the Sustainable Development Goals has poverty eradication as its overarching focus.
 
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The two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction, the progress made at the 2015 India-UK Cyber Dialogue. They supported an open, inclusive, transparent, and multi-stakeholder system of internet governance and welcomed the ongoing review of the World Summit on the Information Society by the United Nations General Assembly. They planned to work together to promote cyber security, combat cyber crime, and advance voluntary norms of responsible state behaviour and the application of international law in cyberspace.
 
They agreed to improve cooperation between their technical, law enforcement, cyber R&D, cyber security standards & testing and capacity building institutions. They also agreed to promote public-private partnerships to support all aspects of cyber security. They welcomed the 2015 report of the UN Group of Governmental Experts on international cyber security and looked forward to seeking broader agreement on principles guiding state behaviour in cyberspace. They also expressed the need for both India and UK to participate and actively cooperate in these areas in the future.
 
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that the Commonwealth remains relevant, realises its potential, and brings strong values, development and prosperity to all its citizens.
 
The two Prime Ministers noted the importance of preserving the environment and sustaining diverse ecosystems, and recognised the rise of international criminal networks engaged in the illegal wildlife trade. They resolved to work together to combat the illegal wildlife trade and to improve protection for both captive and wild Asian elephants. India endorsed the London Declaration and Kasane Statement on Illegal Wildlife Trade.
 
Economic Development and Finance
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the strengthening economic outlook in both the UK and India but shared their concern that global growth is falling short of expectations and that the risks to the global outlook have increased. They agreed to continue working towards strong, sustainable and balanced growth, and agreed on the importance of structural reforms and pursuing credible fiscal policies in order to raise living standards.
 
They hailed the strength of the economic partnership between India and the UK: India already invests more in the UK than in the rest of the EU combined, and the UK is the largest G20 investor in India. They committed to further strengthening the economic relationship, including through deepening the bilateral trade and investment relationship, and agreed that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will drive this forward in their forthcoming Economic and Financial Dialogue.
 
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The UK and India remain committed to working together to substantially increase trade and investment opportunities. The two governments underlined the particular importance of the information technology and digital industries in both countries, and the contribution that they make towards strengthening trade ties between the UK and India as a key driver of growth and prosperity. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to work together to deepen and reinforce bilateral trade in goods and services in this area. Acknowledging the valuable contributions made by skilled workers to both countries’ economies, they agreed to facilitate the temporary movement of skilled personnel in accordance with applicable international commitments.
 
The two Prime Ministers agreed that the City of London should play an important role in channelling investment into infrastructure projects in India including in the railways sector, laying the foundation for a long-term strategic partnership that leverages the capital and expertise of the City of London to finance India’s continued rapid growth. In this context, they also welcomed the announcements by HDFC, Bharti Airtel, State Bank of India and Yes Bank to raise finance through the City of London which also opens up the opportunity for the Indian private sector to raise capital for their investment and growth.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed a long-term strategic partnership between India and the UK on the former’s flagship infrastructure investment initiative, the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), and announced the setting up of a India-UK partnership fund under the umbrella of the NIIF. The collaboration will help bring global investors through the City of London to help finance Indian infrastructure in a sustainable way, further supporting India’s rapid growth.
 
Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Cameron welcomed the ongoing collaboration by the India-UK Financial Partnership led by key industry figures on both sides. They look forward to considering the Partnership’s proposals for deepening the links between the two countries’ financial services. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the creation of a new Chevening Financial Services course, sponsored by Standard Chartered, aimed at mid-career professionals wanting to study in the UK. They also welcomed the initiative taken to launch the first-ever exchange programme between the economic services of our two countries to support economic policy making in both countries.
 
The two Prime Ministers agreed that India’s huge achievements in economic growth and inclusive development are not just important for India’s own ambitious goals and targets, but an inspiration to the world and critical to the achievement of global targets. They recognised that both India and the UK are thought leaders on development, and agreed to elevate the official-level development talks to a Biennial Ministerial dialogue on Development.
 
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The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of infrastructure for sustainable development and launched India’s first Low Income State Infrastructure Equity Partnership with co-investment from the UK Department of International Development and the State Bank of India. This aims to provide equity partnerships for small infrastructure development in sectors like water & sanitation, clean energy and urban infrastructure.
 
Prime Minister Modi noted the partnership of UK and India in efforts to improve the Ease of Doing Business. They announced a new Ease of Doing Business Partnership including several different strands of work which will provide impetus to greater investments.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the first meeting of the reconstituted India-UK CEOs Forum. This Forum will be tasked with advising the Prime Ministers about the trade and investment opportunities and challenges. Prime Minister Cameron welcomed a new fast track mechanism by DIPP for UK investments into and trade with India.
 
The two Prime Ministers acknowledged the need for technical cooperation between the offices of both the countries on Patents, Trademarks and Designs.
 
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the advances made by UK in rail project management and operations. The two Leaders welcomed the MoU on Technical Co-operation in the Rail sector and acknowledged the potential business opportunities for the rail industry. Both sides agreed to encourage their institutions to work together, develop options for infrastructure financing, share knowledge and expertise and to deepen research and development exchanges. Prime Minister Modi announced the Government of India’s intention to launch the first government-backed rupee bond in London.
 
The two leaders expressed their wish to promote innovation led growth in the automotive sector in India. They identified a need to collaborate and exchange technical knowledge in research and development, testing and administration of testing systems for vehicles. The UK and India are willing to share expertise in these fields to develop knowledge and experience. This will be achieved through an MoU to be signed between appropriate departments and agencies under the Government of India and UK.
 
Prime Minister Cameron and Prime Minister Modi recognised the importance of the multilateral, rules-based trading system, and agreed to work together to help ensure a successful outcome at the Nairobi World Trade Organization Ministerial in December, in conformity with the development mandate of the Doha Development Agenda.
 
The UK and India agree that corruption is one of the greatest enemies of progress in our time. Both sides will work together, bilaterally and in multilateral fora like UNCAC and G20, in order to strengthen the global response to corruption, including through improving cooperation among law enforcement agencies, strengthening procedures for the identification and return of stolen assets, and increasing transparency around the true (or "beneficial”) ownership and control of companies.
 
Both Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to finalization of an EU-India BTIA as soon as possible. The UK and India committed to work closely together towards this end.
 
Make in India
 
Prime Minister Cameron welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative. Prime Minister Modi noted that this model of collaboration was already deeply ingrained in UK investments and partnerships with India. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the initiatives taken by both sides to deepen defence technology and industry cooperation. 
 
Business
 
Prime Ministers Cameron and Modi noted the deep and fruitful business relationship between the UK and India and welcomed the £9.2 Billion of commercial deals between the UK and India announced during the visit and listed in the annex. The UK has accounted for 8.56% of total foreign direct investment in India during the last 15 years. Indian companies employ 110,000 people in the UK.
 
Prime Minister Cameron noted the opening of the Indian market to greater foreign direct investment in the insurance sector. In order to extend insurance cover to India’s large population, the Government has increased the FDI limit in insurance and pension sector to 49%. As a result, the UK’s insurance industry with joint ventures in India, have announced a number of agreements to increase their Foreign Direct Investment in the country. These agreements would amount to approximately £238 million of Foreign Direct Investment in the first instance subject to regulatory approvals. This will support the ongoing development of the Indian insurance and reinsurance sectors, which are key elements in promoting sustainable economic growth.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed HSBC’s "Skills for life” initiative in India, a £10 million programme to skill 75,000 disadvantaged young people and children over 5 years. 
 
Smart Cities and Urban Renewal
 
The two Prime Ministers announced three UK-India city partnerships with Indore, Pune and Amaravati to support India’s ambitious urban development goals through technical assistance, expertise sharing and business engagement.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the development of Technical Assistance partnership between the UK Department of International Development and the Indian Ministry of Urban Development for national and state-led support for the development of smart and sustainable cities that are drivers of inclusive growth and job creation.
 
The two Prime Ministers launched a new Thames/Ganga partnership for healthy river systems. This partnership will consist of a collaborative programme of research and innovation to enable the sustainable management of water resources in the Ganga basin and a policy expert exchange in 2016 supported by the UK Water Partnership. 
 
Education, Skills, Science and Research
 
Prime Minister Cameron offered to support Prime Minister Modi achieve his goal of preparing young Indians for the 21st Century. Under the new UK-India Skills pledge, 11 UK companies have committed to support skills development in India. Together, the UK government and UK businesses will establish new "Centres of Excellence” in key sectors, starting with a centre for Automotive and Advanced Engineering in Pune. The UK will also support the Indian Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to develop new models of skills training and entrepreneurship with a focus on digital delivery, women, the excluded and the disabled.
 
The two Prime Ministers announced that 2016 would be the UK-India year of Education, Research and Innovation. This will highlight the strengths of the bilateral relationship, drive further collaboration, including a range of digital technology enabled education and training initiatives, so that both countries create a new 21st century framework as partners in education, research and innovation partners, in the global context.
 
Both Prime Ministers agreed to initiate virtual partnerships at the school level to enable young people of either country to experience the school system of the other country and develop an understanding of the culture, traditions and social and family systems.
 
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The Prime Ministers announced that UK will be the partner country for the 2016 Technology Summit in Delhi. Committed to promote further joint research partnerships, the two Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction, the planned academic exchange which would enable access for Indian scientists to the Neutron Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxford University. They welcomed the establishment of a Newton-Bhabha fund for joint research, capacity building and translation, noting that joint investment in UK-India research has grown from less than £1 million in 2008 to over £200 million today. New substantial investments include multi-million-pound UK-India virtual centres in Clean Energy, Water Security and Agricultural Nitrogen. The two Prime Ministers also welcomed new joint research and innovation programmes on Childhood and Maternal Health and Nutrition, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Urbanization and Heritage, Sustainable Water Resources for Food, Energy and Ecosystem Services, Atmospheric Pollution and Human Health in an Indian Megacity, Aquaculture, and the joint UK-India observational campaign on the South Asian Monsoon.
 
They welcomed the announcement by Innovate UK, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Global Innovation and Technology Alliance (GITA), of the opening of a third round of collaborative industrial R&D, making up to £3.5 million available to support novel commercial solutions in the areas of clean-tech energy, affordable healthcare and ICT related to clean-tech energy and healthcare.
 
The two Prime Ministers recognized that climate change and its impact on agriculture was a serious challenge confronting the world; they welcomed establishing the joint India-UK collaboration in crop sciences which will bring together the best UK universities – Cambridge University, National Institute of Agricultural Botany, John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research and University of East Anglia to work through Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Government of UK and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India to address fundamental plant science underpinning yield enhancement, disease and drought resistance and translation of research into sustainable agriculture. They also welcomed establishing of a joint Indo-UK Plant Science Centre in India.
 
The two Leaders welcomed UK’s plans to send 100 academics to India over the next two academic years as part of the Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN); and the ambition for 25,000 UK students to come to India through the Generation UK-India programme by 2020, including 1000 UK interns with Tata Consultancy Services in India by 2020. The two Prime Ministers also welcomed the 3rd phase of the UK India Education and Research Initiative.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the commitment to achieving mutual recognition of UK and Indian qualifications. 
 
Health
 
The two Prime Ministers were also happy to announce the setting up of joint India-UK Vaccine Development collaboration between the Department of Biotechnology and Research Councils, UK. The Department of Biotechnology would also work with Research Councils to establish a strategic group which would explore the mechanisms to develop the evidence base which would address anti-microbial resistance at the genomic level of the host-pathogen interactions to accelerate the development of new drugs and diagnostics.
 
The two Prime Ministers underlined their joint determination to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR), noting that it poses a grave public health and economic threat to both countries. Both Prime Ministers recognised that a global response is required and supported a high level meeting on antimicrobial resistance at the 2016 UN General Assembly. India and the UK will also contribute their scientific expertise to a global summit to be held in London in 2016 as part of the AMR initiative of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and the Research Councils, Government of UK.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the cooperation in the health sector between the two countries and the on-going Memorandum of Understanding covering areas including Medical Education and Training, Universal Health Coverage, containment of Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), improving patient safety through quality, safe and efficacious drugs and the collaboration between NICE International, UK and the Department of Health Research in India on medical technology assessment.
 
The two Prime Ministers emphasised the potential increased investment and co-operation in health and related sectors. Prime Minister Cameron welcomed the decision of the Indian Government to set up a taskforce under the stewardship of the Department of Health and Family Welfare to facilitate such investment. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the agreement signed between King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Indo UK Healthcare Pvt Ltd to open King’s College Hospital, Chandigarh.
 
The two Prime Ministers noted the finalisation of a Memorandum of Understanding between Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India and a leading UK institute for Integrated Medicine to strengthen and develop cooperation in the field of research and education in this area. 
 
Culture
 
The two Prime Ministers announced that a UK-India Year of Culture will be organised in 2017 to celebrate our deep cultural ties and the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence.
 
The two Prime Ministers committed support to the digitization of the shared archival collections housed in the British Library and the National Archives of India.
 
Both Prime Ministers welcomed the posthumous reinstatement of Shyamji Krishna Varma to the bar, noting his key role in the Indian independence movement and the inspiration he has provided to subsequent generations.
 
The two Prime Ministers welcomed the intention of the Indian Ministry of Tourism and the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism to promote safe and sustainable tourism between the two countries. 
 
Crime
 
Prime Minister Cameron and Prime Minister Modi noted that in an increasingly complex and interconnected world, enhancing cooperation to target criminals across borders will be critical for guaranteeing the security and safety of both nations. They agreed to work together to disrupt the flow of New Psychoactive Substances that harm both countries and to open the door for further negotiations on criminal record exchange to ensure greater collaboration between law enforcement agencies in both India and the UK.
 
Prime Minister Cameron and Prime Minister Modi reiterated their determination to enhance cooperation in the area of Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, particularly where it is related to terrorism cases.
 
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of co-operation to tackle the trafficking of stolen artefacts/antiquities. 
 
Conclusion
 
Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Cameron for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation and invited Prime Minister Cameron to visit India in 2016. The two leaders affirmed their vision of a forward-looking partnership between the UK and India that would play an indispensable role in creating economic growth, jobs and security for the people of both countries. They reaffirmed their commitment to working together to build such an enhanced and transformative partnership for the betterment of their two countries and the world.
 
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India, Germany Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the 3rd India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on October 5, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the 3rd India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations, at Hyderabad House, in New Delhi on October 5, 2015.
The following is the text of the Joint Statement issued by India and Germany here today after the third India Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) here today:
 
At the third Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) held in New Delhi today, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and the German Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel agreed to steer the Strategic Partnership between India and Germany into a new phase by building on their growing convergence on foreign and security issues and on the complementarities between the two economies.
 
They welcomed the intensification of high-level engagement since the last IGC in 2013, with Prime Minister Modi's visits to Berlin and Hanover last April, and several Ministerial visits from both sides. They committed to maintaining the momentum of exchanges in the next two years. They noted that, fifteen years into the Strategic Partnership, Indo-German cooperation is founded on common democratic principles, marked by trust and mutual respect and geared towards building stability, prosperity and sustainable development through closer dialogue and cooperation in security, enhanced trade and investment, partnerships in manufacturing, skilling, clean energy, infrastructure, innovation and education. Looking ahead at the coming two years, India and Germany commit to an ambitious bilateral agenda to jointly pursue these goals.
 
Bolstering Security and Building a Stable Global Order
 
As strategic partners, India and Germany commit themselves to closer coordination, bilaterally and with partners, in the G20, the United Nations and other multilateral fora, to address existing and emerging challenges to international security, global economic stability and growth.
 
Both leaders underlined their strong support to upholding the sovereign equality of all States as well as respect for their territorial integrity. They reiterated their full support for ongoing efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
 
Both sides underlined the importance of freedom of navigation in international waters, the right of passage and other maritime rights in accordance with accepted principles of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. With regards to maritime sovereignty issues, they called upon all parties concerned to seek peaceful and cooperative solutions in accordance with international law and practice.
 
India and Germany emphasized their commitment to the reconstruction of a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. They underlined that the Heart of Asia process remains an important format for regional confidence building and regional political cooperation.
 
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As a strategic partner of ASEAN, India supports the steps taken by the EU and ASEAN towards building a strategic partnership. Germany and India commit to explore potential synergies and cooperation opportunities from their respective regional outreach efforts. India and Germany agree that regional cooperation, in particular with their respective neighbouring countries, contributes to regional stability and prosperity.
 
Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel shared their common concern about the growing threat and global reach of terrorism and extremism and underscored their readiness to build closer collaboration to counter these challenges. They condemned terrorist violence in all its forms and manifestations, whether in the Middle East or in any other part of the world. They called for a political solution in Syria to successfully fight terrorism and end the violence there. They emphasized the importance of national reconciliation and unity in Iraq through efforts to reach out to all segments of the Iraqi society and create an inclusive state system.
 
They agreed to develop further cooperation through regular meetings of the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism and welcomed the initiation of cooperation in disaster management. Both underlined the potential of extending cooperation to industrial aspects of civil safety and security.
 
They looked forward to the second round of bilateral Cyber Consultations being held in 2015 and agreed to hold such comprehensive consultations on an annual basis with a view to building effective cooperation through designated modalities.
 
Both leaders underlined their commitment to the protection of human rights and democratic values.
 
India and Germany agreed to strengthen their cooperation on migration issues, bilaterally and internationally. Bearing in mind that Germany will be co-chairing the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in 2017/18, they emphasized the role of international organizations and forums like the GFMD as facilitating actors in finding common answers to pressing migration issues.
 
In order to intensify the exchange of views on issues of common concern, both sides agreed to establish a new Policy Planning Dialogue between their Foreign Ministries. They also agreed to institute collaboration between the Foreign Service Institute of India and the Foreign Service Academy of Germany to facilitate more exchanges between young diplomats from both countries.
 
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Germany and India welcome the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action reached by the E3/EU+3 and Iran on 14 July 2015 in Vienna, which marks an important step towards resolving the nuclear issue with Iran.
 
India and Germany stressed their full commitment to IAEA’s Safeguards and Germany welcomed India’s ratification of an Additional Protocol to its Safeguards Agreement. Both sides agreed to hold regular consultations on disarmament and non-proliferation.
 
Germany welcomed India's intensified engagement with the various export control regimes - The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement. Both sides agreed to continue to work together for India's accession to the regimes as a full member and thereby strengthen global non-proliferation efforts. They also welcomed the ongoing bilateral engagement on export controls. Germany noted that India’s participation in initiatives such as the Hague Code of Conduct against Missile Proliferation will strengthen its effectiveness. India agreed to continue and enhance its engagement with the Code.
 
Both leaders reaffirmed the urgent need for comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council, especially its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories, to make it more representative, effective and responsive to the geo-political realities of the 21st century. Recalling the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit, the leaders committed themselves to an early reform of the Security Council. Both sides stressed the outcome of the meeting of the G4 in New York on September 26th and agreed to intensify efforts to realize concrete results in the 70th Anniversary year of the United Nations. They also reiterated their full support for each other's candidatures for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council.
 
Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel welcomed the historic adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and expressed their commitment to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. Both leaders expressed their full support to France for reaching an ambitious, comprehensive and equitable climate agreement at COP 21 in Paris later this year. They outlined their common vision and cooperative action in a separate Joint Statement on Cooperation in Climate Change and Energy Technology.
 
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Both leaders stressed the important role of the G20 in fostering strong, sustainable and balanced growth, private investments, trade and regulating financial markets. To this end, they looked forward to the next G20 meeting in Antalya in November this year, welcoming the continuation of the G20 agenda and implementation of existing decisions.
 
Working with Businesses Towards Inclusive and Skills-based Prosperity
 
Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel renewed their determination to expand bilateral trade and investment. Both sides noted the potential of open markets for deepening trade relations and for attracting investments. They agreed to work closely towards achieving substantive outcomes in the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya, in conformity with the development mandate of the Doha Round and to bring the Doha Round to a conclusion. They also underlined their strong commitment to the EU-India Broad Based Trade and Investment Agreement and committed to bring about a resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible.
 
Recognizing Germany's key competencies in high technology and India's growing needs, both leaders reaffirmed that technology intensive manufacturing can become a key pillar of their Strategic Partnership. Acknowledging the importance of other groups, such as the Indo German Energy Forum, they welcomed the efforts of the High Technology Partnership Group (HTPG) to identify specific opportunities for high technology collaboration, including in priority areas of manufacturing under the ‘Make in India’ programme, in particular defence manufacturing, through regular meetings.
 
They agreed that new policies, including the 'Make in India' initiative, have the potential to open up investment opportunities for German companies and that India's participation as Partner Country at the Hannover Messe has created a positive momentum for business. The German side welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to improve the ease of doing business in India and the Indian decision to set up a Fast Track System for German companies in the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, which would be fully operationalized by March, 2016. Both sides encouraged the private sector to take advantage of these initiatives to enhance trade and investment. They agreed to work towards scheduling the next meeting of the Indo-German Joint Commission in India in 2016 to identify new areas for practical business cooperation. They see the Indo German Manager Training Program as an important contribution to further development of bilateral relations especially for small and medium sized enterprises. Social protection and occupational safety issues will also remain on the agenda, bilaterally and in relevant multilateral fora.
 
They welcomed the closer cooperation in the area of vocational training and skills development by supporting policy reforms in the apprenticeship system including dual system pilot projects in selected industry clusters. They supported the idea of German assistance for curriculum development and VET training as well as in helping India establish a National Institute for Skill Development for Higher Learning. Both sides also welcomed ongoing joint efforts to foster skills training in the sector of energy efficient building technologies. They agreed to hold the next Joint Working Group meeting on VET cooperation in 2016 in India. The Prime Minister also commended German companies in India which incorporate skills development programmes in their business strategy and thereby contribute to the development of their own enterprises as well as to the human capital base of India. He encouraged others to follow their example.
 
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In the field of transport, both leaders believe that India's railway modernization and expansion plans open up commercial opportunities for German companies in high speed rail, station re-development, rolling stock manufacturing, logistics terminals and urged the private sector to explore early participation in this sector. Training managers, supervisors and instructors from Indian Railways is another potential area of collaboration. Both sides welcomed the intense cooperation underway in the automotive sector. They also agreed that the aviation industry offers new opportunities for investments. In pursuance of the emphasis on manufacturing and skill development by the Government of India, they encouraged their respective business enterprises to enter into arrangements for co-development and co-production of commercial aviation and defence equipment in India, including transfer of know-how and technologies.
 
Both sides took positive note of the resumption of negotiations for amending the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement including the Article on Exchange of Information to enhance the elimination of double taxation and to foster financial transparency.
 
Building Sustainable Livelihoods and a Clean Environment
 
The leaders agreed to enhance collaboration towards the common aim of developing climate-friendly, efficient and sustainable solutions for India's expanding energy needs. Prime Minister Modi expressed appreciation for Germany's assistance in developmental projects over the years, including the new German commitment of 1.490 billion Euro. The leaders expressed satisfaction at the successful implementation of the "Green Energy Corridors" Project, which has been expanded by 400 million Euro. Both sides agreed to improve access to clean energy in rural locations. In this context, India welcomed Germany's readiness to assist in meeting its renewable energy target under the umbrella of the Solar Partnership with 1 billion Euro over the next five years.
 
The leaders underlined the importance of the Indo-German Energy Forum (IGEF) in contributing to the further development of the Indian energy sector. They agreed to enhance its strategic dimension and private sector involvement and hold the next meeting of the Indo-German Energy Forum in Germany in 2016. India also welcomed Germany’s partnership once again at the upcoming RE-INVEST 2016.
 
They noted new opportunities for German companies in the urban development sector offered by India's initiative on 100 Smart Cities. Germany has provided 360 million Euros for sustainable urban development in 2015. The leaders welcomed the recent convening of the Joint Working Group on Sustainable Urban Development and noted that it could serve as a forum to help identify one or more cities for bilateral collaboration.
 
Prime Minister Modi welcomed Germany's intention to initially commit 120 million Euro for a project in the upper Ganga River Basin aiming at a comprehensive improvement of the environmental situation in selected cities in the Ganga river basin.
 
The leaders also welcomed the establishment and inaugural meetings of the two Working Groups for collaboration in Water Management and Waste Management / Circular Economy in August 2015 in Germany and the planned meeting schedule for 2016, including on the occasion of the key trade fair event, IFAT Munich.
 
Both sides highlighted the constructive role of the Bilateral Working Group on Agriculture, Food Processing and Consumer Protection. They agreed to focus future bilateral efforts on consumer protection, food safety and plant protection issues and welcomed the intended closer cooperation between the relevant authorities of both countries as well as the continuation of the bilateral project on seed development. The two leaders also appreciated the agreement on fostering training and skills enhancement in the agricultural sector and welcomed the engagement of the private sector in establishing Centers of Excellence in Agriculture. Both sides welcomed the activities under the ‘’One World – No Hunger” Initiative.
 
Driving Innovation and Education Together
 
Germany's engineering competencies and India's strengths in information technology create significant synergies for collaboration in innovation. Germany and India agreed to explore new collaboration under the‘Digital India’ initiative. Both sides aim at building business collaborations through innovation in the area of Industry 4.0 and the ‘Internet of Things’. Germany and India will strengthen their cooperation in facilitating research and commercialization of technologies in Indian heavy industries.
 
Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel welcomed the Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education to facilitate collaborative research and academic and institutional exchanges between Universities and Institutions of Higher Education. A new International Centre for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences in India will be expected to form a nucleus for ambitious research and act as a visible forum for exchanges among outstanding scholars from both countries. The German side welcomed the invitation to German scholars and scientists to participate in India's Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) programme. The leaders also proposed to explore further options of collaboration between the newly established IIT-Indore and TU-9.
 
Both leaders welcomed the growing number of Indian students studying in German Universities and agreed to initiate a dialogue between the relevant German government agencies and the Indian Embassy in Germany to discuss measures to facilitate and encourage this trend.
 
The leaders recalled the high level of collaboration in the field of science and technology as exemplified by India’s participation in mega-science facilities at DESY and FAIR in Germany. They reaffirmed their commitment to support mutually beneficial science and technology partnerships which will create new knowledge and innovative technologies for addressing societal challenges. They welcomed the decision to extend the tenure of the bilateral Indo-German Science & Technology Centre beyond 2017 and agreed to enhance the funding allocation to a maximum of 4 million Euro per year by each side.
 
Enhancing Mutual Understanding and Exchange
 
Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel welcomed the agreement on teaching of the German language as an additional foreign language in Kendriya Vidyalayas in conformity with the National Education Policy of India as well as the facilitation of teaching of modern Indian languages in German educational institutions.
 
Both leaders encouraged Indian States and German Laender as well as the municipalities to capitalize on the similarities in the federal structures of both countries and explore all opportunities for engagement on a local level, including through further sister-State and twinning-city arrangements, mutually agreed mechanisms and exchange of best practices in regular contacts.
 
Recognising the importance of facilitating exchanges between people of the two countries, and bearing in mind the exclusive competence of the EU in the field of short-stay visas, both sides agreed to initiate discussions on simplifying respective visa procedures and making them as easy and transparent as possible, especially for business persons, entrepreneurs and investors, professionals and students, journalists and members of non-governmental organisations, who contribute substantially to the development of bilateral ties.
 
Both countries agreed to further facilitate mutual assistance in criminal matters and underlined their commitment to resume and bring to a successful conclusion their negotiations on a treaty as soon as possible.
 
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The Prime Minister and Federal Chancellor shared the view that the Indo-German Consultative Group continues to provide valuable political and economic advice and should be reconvened at an early opportunity. They also noted the contribution being made by German political foundations in promoting people-to-people contacts.
 
Both leaders underscored the intention to cooperate closely as regards the protection of cultural goods and the fight against illicit trafficking in cultural property. The Indian side expressed deep appreciation for the gesture of goodwill from the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg in making possible the return of the statue of Durga-Mahishamardini to India.
 
Both leaders urged all concerned to explore greater contacts between parliamentarians, scholars and cultural personalities, as well as school children of both countries, to foster closer understanding and friendship. They underscored the mutual desire for closer cooperation in specific cultural and audiovisual fields, particularly between museums and libraries, and in the fields of cinema and television.
 
List of Signed Agreements
 
A – Governmental Agreements
 
Summary Record of the Negotiations on Development Cooperation between the Government of India and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.
 
Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy of the Republic of India on Indo-German Development Cooperation Regarding the Indo-German Solar Energy Partnership.
 
Joint Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of the Republic of India, on one Hand, and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Republic of Germany, on the other Hand, on Cooperation in the Field of Skill Development and Vocational Education and Training.
 
Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Republic of India and the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany on Security Cooperation.
 
Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Civil Aviation of the Republic of India and the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany on Aviation Security.
 
Joint Declaration of Intent between the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Republic of India and the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany on Cooperation in the Field of Disaster Management.
 
Joint Declaration between the Ministry of Science and Technology (Government of the Republic of India) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Government of the Federal Republic of Germany) on the extension of the tenure of the Indo-German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC).
 
Memorandum of Understanding between University Grants Commission (UGC), India and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Germany on Indo-German Partnerships in Higher Education (IGP).
 
Joint Declaration of Intent between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, (MoA&FW), Government of India, and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) of the Federal Republic of Germany on Plant Protection Products.
Joint Declaration of Intent on the further Development of the Cooperation in the Field of Railways between the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Railways of the Republic of India.
 
Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India, and Fraunhofer Society, Germany on cooperation in the field of manufacturing.
 
Joint Announcement on setting up a Fast-Track system for German companies in India.
 
Joint Declaration between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Government of the Republic of India on the continuation of the cooperation in the field of advanced training of corporate executives and junior executives from India.
Joint Declaration of Intent between the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Republic of India and the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany regarding the Promotion of German as a Foreign Language in India and the Promotion of Modern Indian Languages in Germany.
 
B – Agreements between other institutions
 
Joint Statement of Intent on Cooperation in Food Safety between the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
 
Joint Statement of Intent between the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) on Cooperation in Food Safety.
 
Memorandum of Understanding between the German Agribusiness Alliance and Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) on Cooperation in Agricultural Studies.
Letter of Intent between the Department of Science and Technology, Government of the Republic of India (DST), the Council for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings (Council), and the Foundation Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings (Foundation) on supporting participation of Indian young scientists in Natural Sciences for the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings
 
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RBI: Fourth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2015-16

File photo of RBI Governor Raghuram G. Rajan
File photo of RBI Governor Raghuram G. Rajan
The following is the text of the Fourth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2015-16 made by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram G. Rajan here today:
 
Part A: Monetary Policy
Monetary and Liquidity Measures
 
On the basis of an assessment of the current and evolving macroeconomic situation, it has been decided to:
 
reduce the policy repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 50 basis points from 7.25 per cent to 6.75 per cent with immediate effect;
 
keep the cash reserve ratio (CRR) of scheduled banks unchanged at 4.0 per cent of net demand and time liability (NDTL);
 
continue to provide liquidity under overnight repos at 0.25 per cent of bank-wise NDTL at the LAF repo rate and liquidity under 14-day term repos as well as longer term repos of up to 0.75 per cent of NDTL of the banking system through auctions; and
 
continue with daily variable rate repos and reverse repos to smooth liquidity.
 
Consequently, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 5.75 per cent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate to 7.75 per cent.
 
Assessment
 
2. Since the third bi-monthly statement of August 2015, global growth has moderated, especially in emerging market economies (EMEs), global trade has deteriorated further and downside risks to growth have increased. In the United States, industrial production slowed as capital spending in the energy sector was cut back and exports contracted, weighed down by the strength of the US dollar. Consumer spending stayed buoyant, however, amidst steadily improving labour market conditions. In the Euro area, a fragile recovery strengthened, supported by domestic consumption, less slack in the labour market and improving financial conditions engendered by ultra-accommodative monetary policy. Economic activity in Japan, however, is faltering under the weight of weak private consumption and exports, with both business and consumer confidence subdued. EMEs are caught in a vortex of slowing global trade volumes, depressed commodity prices, weakening currencies and capital outflows, which is accentuating country-specific domestic constraints. China’s intended rebalancing from investment towards consumption is being hit by the stock market meltdown, slower industrial production and weaker exports. The devaluation of the renminbi on August 11, while mild, has unsettled financial markets across the world. Brazil and Russia are grappling with recession and runaway inflation, while South Africa is facing tightening structural constraints which threaten to tip it into a downturn.
 
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3. Since the Chinese devaluation, equity prices, commodities and currencies have fallen sharply. Capital flight from EMEs into mature bond markets has pushed down developed market yields, and risk spreads across asset classes have widened. Although volatility ebbed in early September and capital flows returned cautiously to some EMEs, sentiment in financial markets remains fragile. The September 17 decision of the Federal Open Market Committee to stay on hold in response to global conditions and weak domestic inflation lifted financial markets briefly, but overall financial conditions are yet to stabilise.
 
4. In India, a tentative economic recovery is underway, but is still far from robust. In agriculture, sown area has expanded modestly from a year ago, reflecting the timely and robust onset of the monsoon in June, but the southwest monsoon is currently deficient by 14 per cent – with production-weighted rainfall deficiency at 20 per cent. Nevertheless, the first advance estimates indicate that food grain production is expected to be higher than last year, reflecting actions taken to contain the adverse effects of rain deficiency through timely advisories and regular monitoring of seed and fertiliser availability. Allied farm activities, which are more insulated from the monsoon, remain resilient and could partly offset the effects of adverse weather on crop production. Rural demand, however, remains subdued as reflected in still shrinking tractor and two-wheeler sales.
 
5. Manufacturing has exhibited uneven growth in April-July, with industrial activity slowing sequentially in July, although it has been in expansionary mode for the ninth month in succession. Industries such as apparel, furniture and motor vehicles have experienced acceleration. Furthermore, the resumption of growth in production of consumer durables in recent months, after a protracted period of contraction over the last two years, is indicative of some pick-up in consumption demand, primarily in urban areas. Since our last review, however, external demand conditions have turned weaker, suggesting a more persistent drag from lower exports and cheaper imports due to global overcapacity. This contributes to continuing domestic capacity under-utilisation, decelerating new orders and a rising ratio of finished goods inventories to sales.
 
6. As a result of still tepid aggregate demand, output price growth is weak, but input material costs have fallen further, leading to an increase in margins for most producers. Weak aggregate demand appears to have more than offset the effect of higher margins to hold back new investment intentions. The expansion in capital goods production, therefore, likely relates more to the revival of stalled projects than to a build-up of the green field pipeline. Survey-based business sentiment has been falling in recent quarters. The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) nevertheless remained in expansion territory in August, although it slowed from July due to weak domestic and export order books.
 
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7. In the services sector, construction activity is weakening as reflected in low demand for cement and the large inventory of unsold residential houses in some localities. Rising public expenditure on roads, ports and eventually railways could, however, provide some boost to construction going forward. Lead indicators relating to freight and passenger traffic are mixed. In August, the services PMI remained in expansion for the second consecutive month on improving new business, but business expectations remain subdued.
 
8. Headline consumer price index (CPI) inflation reached its lowest level in August since November 2014. The ebbing of inflation in the year so far is due to a combination of low month-on-month increases in prices and favourable base effects. Overall year-on-year food inflation dropped sharply, led by vegetables and sugar. Cereal inflation moderated steadily during April-August, but price pressures in respect of pulses and onions remained elevated.
 
9. CPI inflation excluding food and fuel eased in August for the second consecutive month, primarily due to the decline in petrol and diesel prices pulling down inflation in transportation. Fares other than for air transport have, however, remained inflexible downwards. Inflation in house rentals increased, but was more than offset by some moderation in the heterogeneous category of services, including education, personal care and effects, and health. Inflation expectations of households remained elevated in double digits likely in response to recent month-on-month increases in the prices of vegetables and pulses. Professional forecasters’ inflation expectations eased as credibility built around the January 2016 inflation target. Rural wage growth remains subdued and corporate staff costs decelerated.
 
10. Liquidity conditions eased considerably during August to mid-September. In addition to structural factors such as deposit mobilisation in excess of credit flow, lower currency demand and pick-up in spending by the government contributed to the surplus liquidity. In response, the Reserve Bank conducted variable rate reverse repos of overnight and longer tenors ranging from 2 to 20 days. As a result, the average net daily liquidity absorption by the Reserve Bank increased from Rs. 120 billion in July to Rs/ 261 billion in August and further to Rs. 544 billion in September (up to September 15). Money market rates generally remained below the repo rate. As quarterly tax collections went out of the system from mid-September, deficit conditions returned and the Reserve Bank engaged in average net injections of the order of Rs. 544 billion (September 16 to 27), keeping the call money rate close to the repo rate. Some forms of bank credit such as personal loans grew strongly as did non-bank financing flows through commercial paper, public equity issues and housing finance.
 
11. With the weakening of growth prospects in EMEs and world trade volume growth falling below world GDP growth, India’s merchandise exports continued to decline in the first two months of Q2. Imports values also declined, but the sharp fall in international crude oil and gold prices was offset by rising import volumes. Non-oil non-gold imports went back into contraction after recording a marginal pick-up in the previous quarter, although there were higher imports of fertilisers, electronics and pulses. With services exports moderating, the widening of the merchandise trade deficit could lead to a modest increase in the current account deficit (CAD) during Q2. Net capital inflows were buoyed by sustained foreign direct investment and accretion to non-resident deposits, and reduced by portfolio outflows, mainly from equity markets. Foreign exchange reserves rose by US $ 10.4 billion during the first half of 2015-16.
 
Policy Stance and Rationale
 
12. In the bi-monthly policy statement of August, the Reserve Bank indicated that further monetary policy accommodation will be conditioned by the abating of recent inflationary pressures, the full monsoon outturn, possible Federal Reserve actions and greater transmission of its front-loaded past actions. Since then, inflation has dropped to a nine-month low, as projected. Despite the monsoon deficiency and its uneven spatial and temporal distribution, food inflation pressures have been contained by resolute actions by the government to manage supply. The disinflation has been broad-based and inflation excluding food and fuel has also come off its recent peak in June. The Federal Reserve has postponed policy normalisation. Markets have transmitted the Reserve Bank’s past policy actions via commercial paper and corporate bonds, but banks have done so only to a limited extent. The median base lending rates of banks have fallen by only about 30 basis points despite extremely easy liquidity conditions. This is a fraction of the 75 basis points of the policy rate reduction during January-June, even after a passage of eight months since the first rate action by the Reserve Bank. Bank deposit rates have, however, been reduced significantly, suggesting that further transmission is possible.
 
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13. Looking forward, inflation is likely to go up from September for a few months as favourable base effects reverse. The outlook for food inflation could improve if the increase in sown area translates into higher production. Moderate increases in minimum support prices should keep cereal inflation muted, while subdued international food price inflation should continue to put downward pressure on the prices of sugar and edible oil, and food inflation more generally. It is important that pro-active supply-side management by the government be in place to head off any food price pressures should they materialise, especially in respect of onion and pulses. The pass-through of the recent depreciation of the rupee will have to be carefully monitored, although benign crude prices should have an offsetting effect. Taking all this into consideration, inflation is expected to reach 5.8 per cent in January 2016, a shade lower than the August projection.
 
14. The modest pick-up in the growth momentum in the first half of 2015-16 benefited from soft commodity prices, disinflation, comfortable liquidity conditions, some de-clogging of stalled projects, and higher capital expenditure by the central government. Underlying economic activity, however, remains weak on account of the sustained decline in exports, rainfall deficiency and weaker than expected momentum in industrial production and investment activity. With global growth and trade slower than initial expectations, a continuing lack of appetite for new investment in the private sector, the constraint imposed by stressed assets on bank lending and waning business confidence, output growth projected for 2015-16 is marked down slightly to 7.4 per cent from 7.6 per cent earlier. Concurrent indicators also suggest that the new GDP series shows higher growth than would the old series, which necessitates recalibrating old measures of potential output and the output gap to the new series.
 
15. Since our last review, the bulk of our conditions for further accommodation have been met. The January 2016 target of 6 per cent inflation is likely to be achieved. In the monetary policy statement of April 2015, the Reserve Bank said that it would strive to reach the mid-point of the inflation band by the end of fiscal 2017-18. Therefore, the focus should now shift to bringing inflation to around 5 per cent by the end of fiscal 2016-17. In this context, the weakening of global activity since our last review suggests that commodity prices will remain contained for a while. Still-low industrial capacity utilisation indicates more domestic demand is needed to substitute for weakening global demand in order that the domestic investment cycle picks up. The coming Pay Commission Report could add substantial fiscal stimulus to domestic demand, but the government has reaffirmed its desire to respect its fiscal targets and improve the quality of its spending. Under these circumstances, monetary policy has to be accommodative to the extent possible, given its inflation goals, while recognizing that continuing policy implementation, structural reforms and corporate actions leading to higher productivity will be the primary impetus for sustainable growth. Furthermore, investment is likely to respond more strongly if there is more certainty about the extent of monetary stimulus in the pipeline, even if transmission is slow. Therefore, the Reserve Bank has front-loaded policy action by a reduction in the policy rate by 50 basis points. Given our year-ahead projections of inflation, this ensures one year expected Treasury bill real interest rates of about 1.5-2.0 per cent, which are appropriate for this stage of the recovery.
 
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16. While the Reserve Bank’s stance will continue to be accommodative, the focus of monetary action for the near term will shift to working with the Government to ensure that impediments to banks passing on the bulk of the cumulative 125 basis points cut in the policy rate are removed. The Reserve Bank will continue to be vigilant for signs that monetary policy adjustments are needed to keep the economy on the target disinflationary path.
 
17. The fifth bi-monthly monetary policy statement will be announced on December 1, 2015.
 
Part B: Developmental and Regulatory Policies
 
18. This part of the Statement reviews the Reserve Bank’s measures to strengthen the monetary policy framework, make banking structure and practices more efficient, broaden and deepen financial markets, deal with stress in corporate and financial assets, and extend the reach of financial services to all.
 
I. Monetary Policy Framework
 
19. Discussions on monetary policy and its institutional and operating framework are set out in Part A of this Statement and the Monetary Policy Report issued along with this Statement.
 
II. Banking Structure
 
20. The Reserve Bank has put out for comment draft guidelines for banks on the computation of base rate, based on their marginal cost of funds. Guidelines will be issued by end-November 2015.
 
21. In March 2015, the Reserve Bank issued a Discussion Paper titled “Large Exposures Framework and Enhancing Credit Supply through Market Mechanism” for stakeholders’ comments. The Discussion Paper focused on the need to encourage alternative sources of funding to bank credit for the corporate sector to finance growth. This would also de-risk the balance sheets of banks. Specifically, the paper proposed ways to encourage large corporates with borrowings from the banking system above a cut-off level to tap the market for their working capital and term loan needs. Based on suggestions received from stakeholders, the Reserve Bank will issue a draft circular by end-December 2015.
 
22. As a part of its supervisory process, the Reserve Bank assesses compliance by banks with extant prudential norms on income recognition, asset classification and provisioning (IRACP). There have been divergences between banks and the supervisor as regards asset classification and provisioning. In order to bring in greater transparency, better discipline with respect to compliance with IRACP norms as well as to involve other stakeholders, the Reserve Bank will mandate disclosures in the notes to accounts to the financial statements of banks where such divergences exceed a specified threshold. Instructions in this regard are being issued separately.
23. The Union Budget for 2014-15 emphasised the urgent need for convergence of the current Indian accounting standards (IND AS) with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The Reserve Bank has recommended to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs a roadmap for the implementation of IND AS by banks and non-banking financial companies from 2018-19 onwards. The Reserve Bank constituted a Working Group (Chairman: Shri Sudarshan Sen) for its implementation. The Report of the Working Group will be placed on the Reserve Bank’s website by end-October 2015 for public comments.
 
24. At present, the minimum risk weight applicable on individual housing loans is 50 per cent. With a view to improving “affordability of low cost housing” for economically weaker sections and low income groups and giving a fillip to “Housing for All”, while being cognisant of prudential concerns, it is proposed to reduce the risk weights applicable to lower value but well collateralised individual housing loans. Detailed guidelines are being issued separately.
 
25. Banks are permitted to hold investments under the HTM category in excess of the limit of 25 per cent of their total investments, provided the excess comprises only SLR securities and the total SLR securities held under the HTM category are not more than 22 per cent of NDTL. The SLR has been reduced to 21.50 per cent of NDTL with effect from February 7, 2015. To align them, it has been decided to bring down the ceiling on SLR securities under HTM from 22 per cent to 21.50 per cent with effect from the fortnight beginning January 9, 2016. Thereafter, both the SLR and the HTM ceiling will be brought down by 0.25 per cent every quarter till March 31, 2017.
 
26. The Depositor Education and Awareness Fund Scheme, 2014 has been established by transfer of bank deposits and other credit balances that have remained unclaimed for more than 10 years. It envisages grant of financial assistance to applicants selected on the basis of proposals intended to promote depositors’ interests. In response to the press release issued on January 9, 2015, the Reserve Bank received 90 applications for financial assistance. The names of successful applicants will be announced by October 1, 2015. The window for inviting applications for availing financial assistance from the fund shall be re-opened.
 
27. The report of the High Powered Committee (HPC) on UCBs (Chairman: Shri R. Gandhi) to examine and recommend permissible business lines, appropriate size, conversion of UCBs into commercial banks and licensing of new UCBs was placed on the Reserve Bank’s website on August 20, 2015 for comments and suggestions. Based on the feedback received, the recommendations of the Committee will be considered for implementation during the second half of 2015-16.
 
28. Cyber security has assumed critical importance across the globe. With the widespread use of new technologies, inter-connectedness and dependency, newer risks, threats and vulnerabilities have emerged. The Reserve Bank is setting up an information technology (IT) subsidiary to assist in monitoring the preparedness of banks and identifying systemic vulnerabilities along with aiding the Reserve Bank in its own cyber initiatives.
 
29. The Reserve Bank will update all its master regulations, and streamline the required procedure for compliance with the regulations by January 1, 2016. All master regulations will be fully updated and placed online. The Reserve Bank will also work to improve clarity in regulatory communications.
 
III. Financial Markets
 
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30. With the objective of having a more predictable regime for investment by the foreign portfolio investors (FPI), the medium term framework (MTF) for FPI limits in debt securities, worked out in consultation with the government, is set out below.
 
(i) The limits for FPI investment in debt securities will henceforth be announced/ fixed in rupee terms.
(ii) The limits for FPI investment in the central government securities will be increased in phases to 5 per cent of the outstanding stock by March 2018. In aggregate terms, this is expected to open up room for additional investment of Rs. 1,200 billion in the limit for central government securities by March 2018 over and above the existing limit of Rs. 1,535 billion for all government securities (G-sec).
(iii) Additionally, there will be a separate limit for investment by FPIs in the State Development Loans (SDLs), to be increased in phases to reach 2 per cent of the outstanding stock by March 2018. This would amount to an additional limit of about Rs. 500 billion by March 2018.
(iv) The increase in limits will be announced every half year in March and September and released every quarter.
(v) The existing requirement of investments being made in G-sec (including SDLs) with a minimum residual maturity of three years will continue to apply.
(vi) Limits for the residual period of the current financial year would be increased in two tranches from October 12, 2015 and January 1, 2016. Each tranche would entail an increase in limits as under:
Rs. 130 billion for central government securities composed of ? 75 billion for long term investors and Rs. 55 billion for others
Rs. 35 billion for SDL open to all FPI investors.
A circular with details of the MTF is being issued separately.
 
31. In the first bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2015-16, announced on April 07, 2015, it was proposed to permit Indian corporates that are eligible to raise external commercial borrowings (ECB) to issue rupee bonds in overseas centres with an appropriate regulatory framework. Based on the comments received on the draft framework and in consultation with the Government, it has been decided to permit Indian corporates to issue rupee denominated bonds with a minimum maturity of five years at overseas locations within the ceiling of foreign investment permitted in corporate debt (US$ 51 billion at present). There shall be no restriction on the end use of funds except a small negative list. Detailed instructions are being issued separately.
 
32. The Reserve Bank has placed the draft framework on ECB on its website on September 23, 2015 for comments/ feedback. The revised framework suiting the current economic and business environment will replace the extant ECB policy.
 
33. Scheduled commercial banks and primary dealers (PDs) are currently permitted to execute the sale leg of short sale transactions in the over the counter (OTC) market in addition to the Negotiated Dealing System–Order Matching (NDS-OM) platform. Short sale in the OTC market is, however, not permitted between the primary member (PM) and its gilt account holder (GAH). The Clearing Corporation of India Ltd. (CClL) has introduced a facility in the reported segment of NDS-OM which captures details of transactions involving gilt accounts. Accordingly, it is proposed to permit short sale by a PM to its GAH and also to treat purchase by a PM from its GAH as a cover transaction. Guidelines in this regard will be issued by end-October 2015.
 
34. There has been significant improvement in market infrastructure in the inter-bank repo market in G-sec. This enables Reserve Bank to review restrictions placed on repo transactions, particularly relating to the participation of gilt account holders in the repo market, guided by the recommendations of the Working Group on Enhancing Liquidity in the Government Securities and Interest Rate Derivatives Markets (Chairman: Shri R. Gandhi). New guidelines in this regard will be issued by end- November 2015.
 
35. When Issued (WI) trading in G-sec was permitted in 2006 to facilitate the distribution process by stretching the actual distribution period for each issue and allowing the market more time to absorb large issues without disruption. In order to encourage trading in the WI market, it is proposed to:
 
(i) permit the scheduled commercial banks to take short positions in the WI market for both new and reissued securities, subject to limits and other conditions in place from time to time; and
(ii) permit regulated entities other than banks and primary dealers (PDs) to take long positions in the WI market.
Detailed guidelines in this regard will be issued by end-November 2015.
 
36. Guidelines on repo in corporate debt were issued in January 2010. In order to further develop the repo market, a broad framework for introduction of electronic dealing platform/s for repo in corporate bonds will be designed in consultation with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
 
37. While the currency futures market has grown, participation in this segment has been restricted to a few categories of entities. In order to diversify the participation profile in the currency futures market, stand-alone PDs will be permitted to deal in currency futures contracts traded on the recognised exchanges, subject to adherence to certain risk control measures and without diluting their existing obligations in the G-sec market. Guidelines in this regard will be issued by end-November 2015.
 
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38. At present, exchange traded currency derivatives include futures and options in four currency pairs viz., USD-INR, EUR-INR, GBP-INR and JPY-INR. With a view to enabling direct hedging of exposures in foreign currencies and to permit execution of cross-currency strategies by market participants, exchange traded currency futures and options will be introduced in three cross-currency pairs viz., EUR-USD, GBP-USD and USD-JPY. Necessary guidelines will be issued in consultation with SEBI by end-November 2015.
 
39. Establishing underlying exposure through verifiable documentary evidence has been a key regulatory requirement for accessing OTC forex markets. To provide more flexibility to market participants in managing their currency risk in the OTC market and for making hedging easier, it has been decided to increase the limit for resident entities for hedging their foreign exchange exposure in the OTC market from US$ 250,000 to US$ one million without the production of any underlying documents, subject to submission of a simple declaration. It is further proposed to comprehensively review the documentation related requirements in the OTC market. The possibility of participation by financially sophisticated investors up to certain limits in currency markets without underlying exposure will also be examined. Revised draft of the existing framework will be issued for public comments by end-December 2015.
 
IV. Currency Management
 
40. With growing financial inclusion, there are concerted efforts to enhance the use of technology and move towards a “less-cash” society. In order to promote electronic payments and use of cards for transactions, the Reserve Bank will put in the public domain a concept paper for proliferation of card acceptance infrastructure in the country, especially in the tier III to tier VI centres, by end-November 2015.
 
41. The Reserve Bank has issued Rs. 100, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 denomination banknotes in the Mahatma Gandhi Series–2005 with a new numbering pattern with ascending order of the size of the numbers from left to right. This is being introduced in a phased manner for all denominations of banknotes.
 
42. With a view to making identification of banknotes easier for visually challenged persons, the process for introduction of additional identification marks in banknotes in the form of angular bleed lines has been initiated and is being introduced in the denominations of Rs. 100, Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 as raised lines on both the left and right sides of the obverse of the banknote: 4 lines in Rs. 100, 5 lines in Rs. 500 and 6 lines in Rs.1000. Furthermore, the size of the existing identification mark in these denominations is also being increased by 50 per cent to facilitate better identification.

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India-UAE Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at their one-to-one meeting, in Abu Dhabi, UAE on August 17, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at their one-to-one meeting, in Abu Dhabi, UAE on August 17, 2015.
The following is the text of the joint statement issued by India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) here today during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to that country:
 
1. Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi visited the United Arab Emirates from 16-17 August 2015 at the invitation of His Highness Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed AI Nahyan.
 
2. The visit of an Indian Prime Minister to UAE after 34 years marks the beginning of a new and comprehensive strategic partnership between India and UAE in a world of multiple transitions and changing opportunities and challenges. .
 
3. In recent decades, UAE's economic progress has been one of the global success stories, transforming the nation into a regional leader and a thriving international centre that attracts people and business from across the world. India has emerged as one of the major world powers, contributing to the advancement of global peace and stability. India's rapid growth and modernization, along with its talented human resources and large markets, make it one of the anchors of the global economy. The dynamism of the two countries have translated into a rapidly expanding economic partnership, making India UAE's second largest trading partner; and UAE not only India's third largest trading partner, but also India's gateway to the region and beyond. .
 
4. India and UAE share centuries-old ties of commerce, culture and kinship. Today, the Indian community of over 2.5 million is a major part of UAE's vibrant society and its economic success. It also makes a significant economic contribution to India and constitutes an indelible human bond of friendship between the two nations. .
 
5. An extensive framework of agreements, including economic, defence, security, law enforcement, culture, consular and people-to-people contacts constitute solid bedrock for elevating bilateral cooperation across the full spectrum of our relationship.
 
6. Today, as India accelerates economic reforms and improves its investment and business environment, and UAE becomes an increasingly advanced and diversified economy, the two countries have the potential to build a transformative economic partnership, not only for sustained prosperity of their two countries, but to also advance progress in the region and help realise the vision of an Asian Century. .
 
7. Yet, their common vision of progress and prosperity faces challenges from many shared threats to peace, stability and security in the region. A shared endeavour to address these challenges, based on common ideals and convergent interests, is vital for the future of the two countries and their region.
 
8. UAE is at the heart of the Gulf and West Asia region and its major economic hub. India, with seven million citizens in the Gulf, also has major energy, trade and investment interests in the region. The two nations also share a commitment to openness, peaceful coexistence and social harmony that are based on their cultural traditions, spiritual values and shared heritage. UAE is a shining example of a multi-cultural society. India is a nation of unparalleled diversity, religious pluralism and a composite culture. .
 
9. The two nations reject extremism and any link between religion and terrorism. They condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries. They also deplore efforts by countries to give religious and sectarian colour to political issues and disputes, including in West and South Asia, and use terrorism to pursue their aims. .
 
10. Proximity, history, cultural affinity, strong links between people, natural synergies, shared aspirations and common challenges create boundless potential for a natural strategic partnership between India and UAE. Yet, in the past, relations between the two governments have not kept pace with the exponential growth in relations between their people or the promise of this partnership. However, the need for a close strategic partnership between UAE and India has never been stronger or more urgent, and its prospects more rewarding, than in these uncertain times. .
 
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11. Today, in Abu Dhabi, His Highness Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed AI Nahyan and Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi agreed to seize this historic moment of opportunity and shared responsibility to chart a new course in their partnership for the 21st century. The leaders agreed on the following: .
 
I. Elevate the India-UAE relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
 
II. Coordinate efforts to counter radicalization and misuse of religion by groups and countries for inciting hatred, perpetrating and justifying terrorism or pursuing political aims. The two sides will facilitate regular exchanges of religious scholars and intellectuals and organise conferences and seminars to promote the values of peace, tolerance, inclusiveness and welfare that is inherent in all religions.
 
III. Denounce and oppose terrorism in all forms and manifestations, wherever committed and by whomever, calling on all states to reject and abandon the use of terrorism against other countries, dismantle terrorism infrastructures where they exist, and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice.
 
IV. Enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, intelligence sharing and capacity building.
 
V. Work together for the adoption of India’s proposed Comprehensive convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations.
 
VI. Work together to control, regulate and share information on flow of funds that could have a bearing on radicalization activities and cooperate in interdicting illegal flows and take action against concerned individuals and organizations.
 
VII. Strengthen cooperation in law enforcement, anti-money laundering, drug trafficking, other trans-national crimes, extradition arrangements, as well as police training.
 
VIII. Promote cooperation in cyber security, including prevention on use of cyber for terrorism, radicalization and disturbing social harmony.
 
IX. Establish a dialogue between their National Security Advisors and National Security Councils. The National Security Advisors, together with other high level representatives for security from both nations, will meet every six months. The two sides will also establish points of contact between their security agencies to further improve operational cooperation.
 
X. Cooperate to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean region, which is vital for the security and prosperity of both countries.
 
XI. Promote collaboration and inter-operability for humanitarian assistance and evacuation in natural disasters and conflict situations.
 
XII. Strengthen defence relations, including through regular exercises and training of naval, air, land and Special Forces, and in coastal defence. India warmly welcomed UAE's decision to participate in International Fleet Review in India in February 2016.
 
XIII. Cooperate in manufacture of defence equipment in India.
 
XIV. Work together to promote peace, reconciliation, stability, inclusiveness and cooperation in the wider South Asia, Gulf and West Asia region.
 
XV. Support efforts for peaceful resolution of conflicts and promote adherence to the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the conduct of relations between nations and settlement of disputes.
 
XVI. Call on all nations to fully respect and sincerely implement their commitments to resolve disputes bilaterally and peacefully, without resorting to violence and terrorism.
 
XVII. Establish a Strategic Security Dialogue between the two governments.
 
XVIII. Recognising that India is emerging as the new frontier of investment opportunities, especially with the new initiatives by the Government to facilitate trade and investment, encourage the investment institutions of UAE to raise their investments in India, including through the establishment of UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund, with the aim of reaching a target of USD 75 billion to support investment in India's plans for rapid expansion of next generation infrastructure, especially in railways, ports, roads, airports and industrial corridors and parks.
 
XIX. Facilitate participation of Indian companies in infrastructure development in UAE.
 
XX. Promote strategic partnership in the energy sector, including through UAE's participation in India in the development of strategic petroleum reserves, upstream and downstream petroleum sectors, and collaboration in third countries.
 
XXI. Further promote trade between the two countries, and use their respective locations and infrastructure for expanding trade in the region and beyond; and, with the target of increasing trade by 60% in the next five years.
 
XXII. Tap India's expertise in Small and Medium Enterprises to create a vibrant industrial base in UAE, which could also be of benefit to Indian enterprises.
 
XXIII. Strengthen cooperation between UAE's increasingly sophisticated educational institutions and India's universities and higher research institutions. Promote scientific collaboration, including in the areas of renewable energy, sustainable development, arid agriculture, desert ecology, urban development and advanced healthcare.
 
XXIV. Promote cooperation in Space, including in joint development and launch of satellites, ground-based infrastructure and space application. Prime Minister Modi welcomed UAE's plan to set up the West Asia's first Space Research Centre at AI Ain and plans to launch a Mars Mission in 2021.
 
XXV. Cooperate in peaceful uses of nuclear energy including in areas like safety, health, agriculture and science and technology.
 
XXVI. The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is an occasion to press for early reforms of the United Nations, and that the Inter-Governmental Negotiations on the reforms of the UN Security Council should be concluded expeditiously. Prime Minister thanked UAE for its support for India's candidature for permanent membership of a reformed United Nations Security Council.
 
XXVII. The finalization of the post-2015 Development Agenda with elimination of poverty by 2030 as its core objective was a welcome development.
 
XXVIII. The International Conference on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015 should produce an effective agreement, which includes provision of means and technologies to developing countries to transition to clean energy.
 
XXIX. The overwhelming global response to the International Day of Yoga was a reflection of global community's ability to come together to seek a peaceful, more balanced, healthier and sustainable future for the world. Prime Minister thanked UAE for its strong support to the International Day of Yoga on June 21 this year.
 
XXX. India and UAE were shining examples of open and multicultural societies, which should work together to promote these values for a peaceful and inclusive global community. India and UAE will also enhance cultural and sports exchanges in each other's countries.
 
XXXI. People-to-people were at the heart of India-UAE relations and both governments will continue to nurture these relations and ensure the welfare of their citizens, especially the workers, in each other's country, as also work together to prevent human trafficking.
 
12. Prime Minister thanked His Highness the Crown Prince for his decision to allot land for construction of a temple in Abu Dhabi.
 
13. His Highness the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister resolved to maintain regular summits, high level ministerial dialogue and meetings of bilateral mechanisms to realize their vision of a strong comprehensive strategic partnership. They are confident that it would play a defining role in securing a future of sustained prosperity for their people and shaping the course of their region, and also contribute to a peaceful, stable, sustainable and prosperous Asia and the world.
 
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India-Turkmenistan Joint Statement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, at Oguzkhan Palace, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on July 11, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, at Oguzkhan Palace, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on July 11, 2015.
Following is the text of the joint statement issued by India and Turkmenistan today during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Ashgabat on July 10-11:
 
The Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Mr. Narendra Modi paid an official visit to Turkmenistan from 10-11 July, 2015 at the invitation of the President of Turkmenistan Mr.Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
 
During the visit, Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi held extensive discussions with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest. The two Leaders expressed satisfaction at the continued development of bilateral relations based on deep-rooted civilizational, historical and cultural linkages and a shared interest in international as well as regional peace and stability.
 
Political and Diplomatic engagement
 
The Leaders noted with satisfaction the increase in high-level exchanges between the two countries in recent years and reiterated the significance of regular bilateral interactions in reinforcing the momentum for cooperation between the two countries. The Leaders encouraged the continued enhancement of exchanges at all levels, including at the level of leaders, ministers, parliamentarians and senior officials bilaterally and on the sidelines of multilateral events.
 
The Leaders welcomed the successful conclusion of the 5th meeting of the Turkmen-India Intergovernmental Joint Commission on trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation, held in Ashgabat on April 8, 2015. They noted that the Commission had identified new and potential areas of cooperation and called for effective implementation of the decisions made at the meeting. They stressed the need to strengthen other institutional linkages and in this regard, directed their senior officials to hold regular dialogue on bilateral, regional and global issues through existing mechanisms such as Foreign Office Consultations, Consular Consultations, Joint Working Group on Energy as well as establishment of additional mechanisms on mutually agreed issues.
 
Defence and Security Cooperation
 
The Leaders noted that the nature and rapid spread of international terrorism in the recent years poses one of the most serious global threats today. The Leaders resolved to deepen ongoing cooperation in countering various security threats. They also agreed to step up efforts against cross-border threats such as terrorism, organized crime and illegal drug- trafficking.
 
The Leaders welcomed the signing of the Defence Cooperation Agreement during the visit, which would provide a framework for intensifying bilateral defence and security cooperation through exchanges of high and mid-level visits, training and dialogue between the Ministries of Defence of the two countries and other relevant organizations. It would also enable capacity building and technical cooperation, thus imparting a new momentum to the bilateral partnership in the defence sector.
 
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Economic Engagement
 
The Leaders acknowledged that despite a steady increase in bilateral trade over the last few years, the trade volumes between the two countries could potentially be increased manifold to the mutual benefit of both countries. Towards this end, the two Leaders agreed to actively work towards rapid enhancement in the levels of bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation.
 
The Leaders resolved to increase cooperation in various sectors and identified energy, petrochemicals, transport, communications, information and technology, textile industry, chemical and pharmaceutical industry, construction and agro-processing as potential areas for cooperation between the two countries. 
 
The Leaders further agreed to create favourable conditions and promote participation of private companies of both countries, including through joint ventures in various infrastructural and investment projects in the two countries.
 
The Leaders reaffirmed their readiness to hold, both in Turkmenistan and India, national exhibitions, business forums and other events involving the business communities of the two countries for facilitating business interactions and linkages between the two countries. 
 
Energy and Petrochemicals 
 
The Leaders noted that cooperation in energy sector, especially the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline project, forms a key pillar of economic engagement between the two countries. They recognised that implementation of the TAPI project would have a transformational impact on trade between the two countries and decided to take measures for early implementation of this important regional project. They welcomed establishment of ‘TAPI Ltd’ as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in November 2014 in Ashgabat and acknowledged that it was a milestone in implementation of this strategic project.
 
The Leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment towards timely implementation of this strategic project for the common benefit of peoples of the four countries and noted that the selection of the Consortium Leader for the project, to be finalized by 1 September 2015, would mark a crucial step in the early implementation of the project. 
 
The Leaders welcomed the enhanced bilateral cooperation in the field of chemicals and petrochemicals as well as the opening of "ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL)” representative office in Turkmenistan. The Leaders further welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Concern "Turkmenhimiya” and Indian PSU Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Limited to provide a framework for long-term sourcing of urea from Turkmenistan.
 
The Leaders also welcomed the Indian proposal to set up a urea production facility in Turkmenistan in collaboration with Turkmen entities and noted that such a proposal would expand the ambit of economic cooperation between the two countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed that India’s state companies in the oil and gas sectors possess diverse expertise in the field of training, designing, construction, exploration and production, and invited Turkmen Companies to engage in long-term cooperation with these Indian firms. President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov welcomed the offer and acknowledged that India’s technical expertise could be of value in assisting Turkmenistan’s efforts to further develop its hydrocarbon and petrochemical sector.
 
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Transport and Connectivity 
 
The Leaders reaffirmed their intention to work together in exploring alternative transport corridors for additional connectivity options between the two countries. The Leaders welcomed the first expert level meeting on connectivity between India and Turkmenistan in Delhi in June 2015 and agreed to continue the discussions and interactions under the framework of a JWG for exploring various connectivity options between India and Turkmenistan. The President of Turkmenistan welcomed India’s intention to join the Ashgabat Agreement.
 
The Leaders acknowledged the significance of Turkmenistan as a gateway to other Central Asian countries and the Caspian region and agreed to support each other’s initiatives in enhancing transport corridors and infrastructure to facilitate movement of goods. President of Turkmenistan appreciated Government of India's efforts in promoting International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) for transportation of goods between India and Central Asia, including Turkmenistan and beyond and conveyed that Turkmenistan would consider becoming party to the above-mentioned Corridor. Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi noted that the recently inaugurated Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan- Iran railway line could be a linked corridor of the INSTC to streamline movement of goods and commodities between India and Turkmenistan and beyond. 
 
The Leaders noted that the air connectivity between the two countries could to a certain extent overcome this natural barrier of the lack of direct surface connectivity between the two countries. In this context, they called for increasing frequency of flight operations between the two countries, including by offering fifth freedom rights for increased viability. The Leaders felt that the potential of direct flight connectivity between the two countries could be better utilized to encourage export of goods from India to Turkmenistan, and agreed to take necessary measures to encourage transportation of cargo through their airlines.
 
Capacity Building and Science and Technology 
 
The Leaders appreciated the role of Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme in capacity building and human resource development of Turkmen nationals and in creating a talented pool of professionals in Turkmenistan across various sectors to meet the developmental needs of the growing Turkmen economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed India's readiness to offer new training courses in sectors desired by Government of Turkmenistan. President of Turkmenistan welcomed this proposal.
 
The Leaders welcomed the successful up-gradation of the India Turkmenistan Industrial Training Centre in Ashgabat with Indian assistance to provide continued advanced training to Turkmen nationals.
 
The Leaders also welcomed the signing of the Programme of Cooperation in Science and Technology, which would provide added impetus for a framework for cooperation in this important area.
 
Cultural Cooperation 
 
The Leaders underlined that cultural exchanges have made an important and positive contribution to the development of comprehensive cooperation between the two countries and to deepening the bonds of friendship and mutual understanding between their peoples. The Leaders noted the recent successful Turkmen cultural festival in India in 2014 and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) 'Namaste Turkmenistan' festival in various parts of Turkmenistan this year and called for similar events to be held in future as well. 
 
The Leaders called for finalizing of the Programme of Cooperation on Culture between the two countries. The Leaders also acknowledged the contribution made by the scholarships offered by Indian Centre for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to Turkmen students in forging stronger bonds at a popular level. 
 
The Leaders acknowledged the commencement of a new chapter in their cultural ties through the inauguration of a Centre of Yoga and Traditional Medicine in Ashgabat. The Leaders underscored the universal value of Yoga and its positive and holistic perspective on health. The Leaders acknowledged that the traditional medicine centre would help combine traditional medical knowledge and practices of India and Turkmenistan, which would benefit the people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for his support in declaring June 21 as International Day of Yoga (IDY) at the United Nations and for the extensive celebrations of the first IDY in Ashgabat.
 
The Leaders welcomed unveiling of a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Ashgabat, further symbolizing the commitment of both sides to work together towards a peaceful world order.
 
The Leaders agreed to work for the successful conduct of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat in 2017, including within the Agreement in the field of Sports concluded during the visit.
 
International Cooperation
 
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The Leaders reiterated their commitment to strengthen regional as well as multilateral cooperation, including through enhanced interaction in the United Nations and other regional and international organizations of which they are members. They underscored the importance of enhancing the role of the United Nations and its institutions as a universal instrument in addressing global issues and safeguarding sustainable development.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the Government of Turkmenistan on the 20th anniversary of adoption of Permanent Neutrality at the United Nations and noted that this policy had contributed to peace, development and stability in Turkmenistan and the region at large. 
 
The Leaders acknowledged the urgent need for reform of the United Nations Security Council in the context of strengthening and expanding the role of the United Nations in addressing the pressing contemporary challenges.
 
The Sides will further strengthen cooperation in a multilateral format within the UN framework, maintain close interaction and coordination in order to create a favourable international environment for the development of the two countries.
 
Looking Ahead 
 
The Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to work closely on issues discussed and agreed during their official talks to ensure, through existing bilateral mechanisms and other means, concrete outcomes to forge a closer bilateral partnership in the days ahead.
 
The Leaders agreed that the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has helped consolidate and deepen the longstanding cordial relations between India and Turkmenistan, and in defining a framework for an enhanced mutually beneficial partnership between the countries.
 
Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi expressed his gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the Turkmen people for the warm welcome accorded to him. He invited the President of Turkmenistan to pay an official visit to the Republic of Indiaat a convenient time. The invitation was accepted with pleasure.
 
Ashgabat, 
July 11, 2015
 
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India-South Korea Joint Statement For Special Strategic Partnership

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Park Geun-hye, at their delegation level talks in Seoul, on May 18, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Park Geun-hye, at their delegation level talks in Seoul, on May 18, 2015.
Following is the text of the Joint Statement For Special Strategic Partnership issued by India and South Korea after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye in Seoul today:
 
1. H.E. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a State Visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) at the invitation of H.E. Mme. Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) on May 18-19, 2015. During the visit, Prime Minister Modi held a summit meeting with President Park. 
 
2. Prime Minister Modi and President Park held substantive discussions in areas of mutual interest. They welcomed the rapid expansion and diversification of bilateral ties in recent years. Both sides shared the view that President Park’s State Visit to India in January 2014 provided impetus to development of bilateral relations in a comprehensive manner. The two leaders agreed to upgrade the bilateral relationship to a ‘Special Strategic Partnership’. 
 
3. Recalling the historical and cultural bonds that connect the two peoples, the two sides noted that their shared commitment to values of democracy, open society and liberal international economic order has further strengthened the foundation of the ROK-India Special Strategic Partnership. The two leaders resolved to add new substance, speed and content in the partnership in a wide range of areas including foreign affairs, defense, trade and investment, science and technology, culture and people-to-people exchanges and regional cooperation to take the bilateral relations to a qualitatively higher level. 
 
Political and Security Relations
 
4. India sees the ROK as an indispensable partner in its "Act East" strategy, and the ROK and India recognize the value of the bilateral partnership and its contribution to bringing peace, stability and security in the Asia Pacific Region. President Park informed Prime Minister Modi about ROK’s Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative (NAPCI). Prime Minister welcomed ROK's desire to enhance cooperation and security among countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The two leaders agreed that the two sides should work together to find complementarities between NAPCI and Act East Policy to achieve shared goals. 
 
5. The two sides agreed to further intensify bilateral high-level exchanges. They shared the view that bilateral defence and security cooperation has large potential to grow. 
 
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6. Welcoming the visit of the Speaker of the Korean National Assembly to India in May 2015, the two sides hoped for increased exchange of India-Korea parliamentary delegations. They shared the view that the exchange of India-Korea parliamentary delegations will contribute towards greater interaction and understanding between the two Parliaments. 
 
7. To substantiate the Special Strategic Partnership the two sides agreed to the following: 
 
a. Establish annual Summit meetings, in either country, or on the margins of plurilateral events; 
 
b. Hold Joint Commissions led by the two Foreign Ministers annually; 
 
c. Facilitate greater parliamentary exchanges to strengthen democratic institutions in their respective regions; 
 
d. Strengthen the partnerships between Indian and Korean institutions of defense education, including the National Defence College of India and the National Defense University of Korea, by activating the dispatch of military officers for education; 
 
e. Further strengthen regular consultations between the National Security Council structures of the two countries on security, defence and cyber related issues; 
 
f. Establish a joint Vice Ministerial level defence and foreign affairs dialogue in the "2+2" Format; 
 
g. Encourage greater cooperation between their shipyards for defence needs; 
 
h. Pursue further deepening of defence cooperation through commencement of staff level talks between the two navies and regular exchanges of visits between the two armed forces; 
 
i. Seek the means of the cyber security cooperation to prepare against transnational cyber threats; 
 
j. Cooperate appropriately in the area of UN Peacekeeping; and
 
k. Hold a track 1.5 dialogue annually between Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security of ROK (IFANS) - Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA). 
 
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Trade and Investment
 
8. President Park welcomed India’s ‘Make in India’ initiative as it provides new avenues to enrich and add substance to the bilateral relations. Prime Minister Modi invited the ROK to become a privileged partner in ‘Make in India’ to which President Park conveyed her appreciation. Both leaders acknowledged that trade and investment between both countries have enormous potential for further development. They directed their respective officials to undertake in-depth consultations to leverage fully the potential of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of India and to make full use of the current discussion mechanisms under the CEPA, such as the Joint Committee, for that purpose. 
 
9. Recognizing the salience of trade and investment to the bilateral partnership, the leaders called upon the business community from India and Korea to leverage the enormous synergies between their economies for mutual prosperity. The leaders welcomed: 
 
a. Signing of the revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement; 
 
b. The Ministry of Strategy and Finance and the Export-Import Bank of Korea expressed their intention to provide US $10 billion for mutual cooperation in infrastructure, comprising Economic Development Cooperation Fund (US $ 1 billion) and export credits (US $ 9 billion) for priority sectors, including smart cities, railways, power generation and transmission, and other sectors to be agreed. The two governments and the EXIM Banks of the two countries will hold consultations to chalk out a roadmap in order to materialize the envisioned financial support for priority sectors; 
 
c. Commencement of negotiations to amend the India-Korea CEPA by June 2016 with a view to achieving qualitative and quantitative increase of trade through an agreed roadmap; 
 
d. Mutual cooperation to be explored for enabling cities with updated technologies including smart grids for building of smart cities, in view of their crucial influence on improving the quality of residential environments and achieving sustainable economic development; 
 
e. Cooperation in the steel sector by encouraging the steel industry of both countries to develop mutually beneficial projects; 
 
f. Interest of companies of the two countries in cooperation in the area of shipbuilding, including the construction of Indian vessels such as LNG carriers. The Indian government expressed its hope to discuss partnership with Korea with an aim to modernize the Indian shipbuilding industry. The governments of both countries decided to provide support for facilitating private sector discussion on ways to cooperate in this area. A Joint Working Group that includes the government and private sectors of the two countries will be established to facilitate cooperation in the shipbuilding sector; 
 
g. Cooperation for stable maritime transport, possible joint business projects in the area of shipping and logistics, and promotion of employment of both countries’ seafarers; 
 
h. Cooperation to expedite the necessary procedures for mutual export of fresh fruits and horticultural products; 
 
i. Progress made in establishment of the Korean Industrial Park in the State of Rajasthan. They agreed that the Industrial Park will help Korean small and medium enterprises to benefit from ‘Make in India’ initiative. They shared the same view that it is desirable to establish more offices of both countries’ respective trade agencies, including KOTRA, to facilitate trade, investment and industrial cooperation between the two countries; 
 
j. The first meeting of the Korea-India CEO Forum which will be held in Seoul on 19 May 2015. The CEO Forum will play a significant role to boost exchanges and dialogues between enterprises of the two countries, enhance mutual investment and further pragmatic bilateral business cooperation; and
 
k. The decision to set up an India-Korea Joint Working Group in the field of Electronics Hardware manufacturing to enhance co-operation and facilitate business collaboration through joint ventures and technology transfer on a commercial basis between Indian and Korean electronics manufacturing companies, and the creation of a business friendly environment in this field. 
 
10. Reaffirming the important role that friendly contact between the Indian and Korean people has played in building this partnership, the two leaders welcomed and encouraged the ongoing efforts, including through an aviation cooperation conference, by their respective civil aviation authorities to amend the bilateral Air Services Agreement with a view to enhancing flight connectivity and to covering more cities. 
 
Technology, Energy and Environment
 
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11. President Park lauded Prime Minister's Swacch Bharat Abhiyan as an effort to transform India. Recognizing that Saemaul Undong (SMU), Korea’s successful rural development initiative in the 1970s, can make a substantial contribution to accomplishing the vision of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, the two leaders agreed that both sides would promote cooperation to create synergies by combining development experiences of both sides. 
 
12. Recognizing the integral link between economic growth, preservation of environment and clean energy, India and Korea agreed to enhance exchanges between their respective Ministries and agencies. 
 
13. Lauding the Korean Green Economy initiative, India expressed willingness to work with Korea for mutually-beneficial partnerships in deploying innovative policies and technologies to improve urban water and air quality and to protect natural resources.
 
14. The two leaders expressed their appreciation on ongoing cooperation in science & technology and noted that joint R&D projects are being implemented in focused areas of Renewable Energy, Materials Science, Robotics & Engineering Sciences and Health Sciences. The leaders further emphasized that both sides should develop strong academia-industry connect programmes in areas such as Cleantech, Robotics & Automation and Electronics System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM), which can address economic and societal challenges of the two countries. 
 
15. Two sides agreed that cooperation in space sector has many possibilities. They welcomed the agreement between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) to pursue cooperation in the areas of lunar exploration, satellite navigation and space science and application as below: 
 
a. Deep space cross tracking and communication support for Korean and Indian deep space missions; 
 
b. Sharing of data of lunar surface and radiation data collected by Chandrayan–1; 
 
c. Collaboration in GAGAN-KASS interoperability and sharing experience in GAGAN (GPS Aided Geo Augmented Navigation system) and KASS (Korea Augmentation Satellite System); 
 
d. Technological cooperation in the field of space science and its application, satellite launch, and other areas they agree; and
 
e. Holding working-level talks regularly between ISRO and KARI to strengthen the substantive way of cooperation in the areas mentioned above. 
 
Culture, Education and People-to-People Exchanges
 
16. In view of the long history of cultural contact between the Indian and Korean people, President Park welcomed Prime Minister Modi's decision to send a full Festival of India in Korea in autumn of 2015. India also welcomed an opportunity to host a Festival of Korea in India in 2016. In this context, the two leaders also welcomed efforts to strengthen their historic connection by enhancing linkages of Korean people with Ayodhya, and agreed to upgrade the monument for Queen Suriratna /Hur Hwang-ok in Ayodhya as a joint project between the two sides. President Park expressed deep appreciation of Korean people for the gift of holy Bodhi tree sapling. 
 
17. The President and the Prime Minister called for an intensification of youth delegations to encourage greater understanding and interaction between the future leaders of the two countries. Indian side expressed interest in enhancing cooperation among educational institutes of the two sides, including among relevant technological institutes and in language teaching. 
 
18. Both leaders agreed to encourage establishment of twin city and twin province/state relationships to deepen and broaden people-to-people exchanges. 
 
19. Korea invited India to participate in the exhibition titled “Masterpieces of Early Buddhist Sculpture, 100 BCE-700CE” which will commemorate National Museum of Korea’s 10th anniversary of reconstruction and opening to the public. India welcomed the invitation and agreed to actively cooperate for the exhibition. The two leaders hoped to promote mutual understanding and appreciation between the two countries, and to broaden cultural relations of the two countries. In addition, they agreed to further explore cooperation on preservation, restoration, and joint research in the field of cultural heritage of both countries. 
 
20. India invited Korea to participate in the two day seminar on “Shared Heritage as New Variable in the Indo-Korean Relations: Historicizing the Legend of Princess from Ayodhya and its Legacy” being organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in collaboration with India International Center in New Delhi. Korea welcomed the invitation. 
 
Regional and Multilateral Cooperation
 
21. The two leaders underlined the paramount importance of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula. In this regard, they expressed concern over the development of DPRK’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which is in violation of its international obligations and commitments. They urged the DPRK to fully comply with all of its international obligations, including under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and to fulfil its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks. Prime Minister Modi expressed support for President Park's efforts to build trust in the Korean peninsula and to lay the groundwork for peaceful reunification of the Korean peninsula. 
 
22. Recognizing the increasing and evolving threat posed to world peace and stability from international terrorism, the two leaders reiterated their commitment to the eradication of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and called on international community to work closely to address this challenge. They called for an early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. They recognized the need to eliminate terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupt terrorist networks and their financing, and stop cross-border movement of terrorists, including by implementing the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, as well as enhancing countering violent extremism efforts. They called on all States to work sincerely to achieve these objectives. 
 
23. President Park highlighted her Eurasia Initiative and the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Initiative (NAPCI), and agreed to explore ways to work with India's Act East and Connect Central Asia policies for the common prosperity of the region. Prime Minister Modi also expressed his willingness to explore ways to work with the NAPCI and the Eurasia Initiative for the peace and stability of the region and beyond. 
 
24. India and the ROK underlined their shared interest in strengthening global non-proliferation objectives. The ROK took note of India’s wish to join the international export control regimes and agreed that India’s entry will have a positive influence on strengthening the global non-proliferation regimes. The ROK expressed its support for India’s early membership of the four multilateral export control regimes, namely, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement, based upon consensus within each regime. 
 
25. Recognizing the need for comprehensive UN reforms including Security Council expansion to make the body more representative, accountable and effective, both sides agreed to work towards UNSC reforms to reflect contemporary realities and include major developing countries. 
 
26. Prime Minister Modi thanked President Park and the Government and People of the ROK for the warmth of their hospitality. The two leaders agreed that this Summit meeting had qualitatively raised the partnership to the next level. Prime Minister Modi invited President Park to visit India again soon to ensure that the high momentum of this partnership is sustained. President Park accepted the invitation with pleasure. 
 
27. During the visit following Agreements and MOUs were signed in the presence of the two leaders: 
 
a. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Korea for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income; 
 
b. Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the Republic of Korea on Cooperation in Audio-Visual Co-production; 
 
c. MOU for Cooperation between the National Security Council Secretariat of the Republic of India and the Office of National Security of the Republic of Korea ; 
 
d. MOU between the Ministry of Power of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea concerning Cooperation in the field of Electric Power Development and New Energy Industries; 
 
e. MOU between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family of the Republic of Korea on Cooperation in Youth Matters; 
 
f. Framework of Cooperation in the Field of Road Transport and Highways between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of the Republic of Korea; and
 
g. MOU between the Ministry of Shipping of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea on Cooperation in the Fields of Maritime Transport and Logistics. 
 
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India-China Joint Statement on Climate Change

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Following is the text of the Joint Statement on Climate Change issued by India and China today during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China:
 
1. The Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Two Sides’) recognize that climate change and its adverse effects are the common concern of mankind and one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century, which needs to be addressed through international cooperation in the context of sustainable development. 
 
2. The Two Sides recall the Agreement on Cooperation on Addressing Climate Change between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People’s Republic of China signed in 2009 and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation on Green Technologies signed in 2010. They decide to further promote bilateral partnership on climate change and enhance the role of this partnership in their overall strategic cooperation partnership through the implementation of this Joint Statement and the MoU as well as the Agreement. 
 
3. The Two Sides emphasize that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol are the most appropriate framework for international cooperation for addressing climate change. They reaffirm the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and call for the leadership of developed countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing finance, technology and capacity building support to developing countries. 
 
4. The Two Sides will work together, and with other Parties, to advance the multilateral negotiations to achieve a comprehensive, balanced, equitable and effective agreement under the UNFCCC in 2015, with a view to ensuring the full, effective and sustained implementation of the UNFCCC. In this context, the Two Sides express their full support for the success of the UN Climate Conference to be held in Paris, France (Paris Conference) this year. 
 
5. The Two Sides reaffirm that the 2015 agreement shall be in full accordance with the principles, provisions and structure of the UNFCCC, in particular the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, reflecting different historical responsibilities, development stages and national circumstances between developed and developing countries. The 2015 agreement shall address mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building and transparency of action and support in a comprehensive and balanced manner. 
 
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6. The Two Sides stress the equal importance and urgency of implementing the outcomes of the Bali Road Map in order to increase the pre-2020 ambition and build mutual trust amongst countries. The Two Sides urged the developed countries to raise their pre-2020 emission reduction targets and honour their commitment to provide 100bn US dollars per year by 2020 to developing countries. 
 
7. As the two biggest developing countries, China and India are undertaking ambitious actions domestically on combating climate change through plans, policies and measures on mitigation and adaptation despite the enormous scale of their challenges in terms of social and economic development and poverty eradication.,. 
 
8. China and India are fully engaged in their domestic preparations for their respective intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) in the context of the 2015 agreement and will communicate their INDCs as early as possible and well before the Paris Conference. 
 
9. The Two Sides believe that their bilateral partnership on climate change is mutually beneficial and contributes to the global efforts to address Climate Change. In this regard, the Two Sides decide to enhance high-level bilateral dialogue on domestic climate policies and multilateral negotiations and to further strengthen practical bilateral cooperation, including in areas of clean energy technologies, energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable transportation including electronic vehicles, low-carbon urbanization and adaptation. 
 
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India-China Joint Statement

 
Modi at joint media interaction with Li Keqiang
Following is the text of the Joint Statement issued by India and China in Beijing today during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to China:
 
1. H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, is currently paying an official visit to China at the invitation of H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Prime Minister Modi called on H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China and held talks with H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council. He also met with H.E. Mr. Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China. Prime Minister Modi expressed his deep appreciation for the special gestures extended by President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang during the visit and thanked the Chinese people for the warm welcome accorded to him. 
 
2. Leaders of the two countries reviewed the progress of bilateral relations. The two sides shared the view that President Xi’s visit to India in September 2014 was a significant milestone in the development of bilateral relations. The leaders noted that there is a historic imperative for India and China to enrich their bilateral relations, with the agreement on building closer developmental partnership reached during President Xi’s visit to India as a core component. 
 
3. The leaders agreed that simultaneous re-emergence of India and China as two major powers in the region and the world offers a momentous opportunity for realisation of the Asian Century. They noted that India-China bilateral relations are poised to play a defining role in the 21st Century in Asia and indeed, globally. The leaders agreed that the process of the two countries pursuing their respective national developmental goals and security interests must unfold in a mutually supportive manner with both sides showing mutual respect and sensitivity to each other’s concerns, interests and aspirations. This constructive model of relationship between the two largest developing countries, the biggest emerging economies and two major poles in the global architecture provides a new basis for pursuing state-to-state relations to strengthen the international system. 
 
Strengthening Political Dialogue and Strategic Communication 
 
4. Recognizing the expanding bilateral relationship, the growing international role of India and China and the imperative of forging strategic trust, the leaders agreed to enhance communication through frequent exchanges at the leadership level and by fully utilising the existing dialogue mechanisms. 
 
5. The two sides agreed to regular visits at the level of Heads of State/ Government. Full use will be made of the opportunities provided by the presence of their leaders at various multilateral fora to hold consultations on bilateral relations and issues of regional and global importance. 
 
6. Noting the increasingly important role played by Indian States and Chinese Provinces in advancing the bilateral relationship, the two sides agreed to establish a State/Provincial Leaders’ Forum. The first meeting of the Forum was held in Beijing on 15 May 2015, with the participation of Prime Minister Modi and Premier Li. 
 
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7. Acknowledging the contribution of high-level exchanges organised under the aegis of the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in fostering cooperation and understanding, the two sides agreed to institutionalise and expand the exchange mechanism. 
 
8. In order to facilitate and promote greater cultural, tourism, economic and people-to-people engagement between the two countries, an additional Consulate General shall be established in each other's country. India shall open a new Consulate General in Chengdu, while China shall open a new Consulate General in Chennai. 
 
9. The two sides believed that enhanced military ties are conducive to building mutual trust and confidence. The Indian side welcomed visit of a Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of China to India this year, and the Chinese side invited Indian Defence Minister and other military leaders to visit China this year. The fifth joint counter-terrorism training between the two armies will be held in China in 2015. The two sides will exchange visits of naval ships and hold PASSEX and SAR exercises. 
 
10. The two sides acknowledged the positive role of the Agreements and Protocols that have been signed so far in maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas. Committed to enhance border defence cooperation, the two sides will carry out annual visits and exchanges between the two Military Headquarters and neighbouring military commands, endeavour to operationalize the hotline between the two Military Headquarters, expand the exchanges between the border commanders, and establish border personnel meeting points at all sectors of the India-China border areas. 
 
11. The two sides affirmed that an early settlement of the boundary question serves the basic interests of the two countries and should be pursued as a strategic objective by the two governments. Bearing in mind the overall bilateral relations and the long-term interests of the two peoples, the two sides are determined to actively seek a political settlement of the boundary question. They made a positive assessment of the important progress made through the mechanism of the Special Representatives, and reaffirmed the commitment to abide by the three-stage process for the settlement of the boundary question, and continuously push forward negotiation on the framework for a boundary settlement based on the outcomes and common understanding achieved so far, in an effort to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution as early as possible. 
 
12. The two sides will resolve outstanding differences, including the boundary question, in a proactive manner. Those differences should not be allowed to come in the way of continued development of bilateral relations. Peace and tranquillity on the India-China border was recognized as an important guarantor for the development and continued growth of bilateral relations. Pending a final resolution of the boundary question, the two sides commit to implementing the existing agreements and continue to make efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas. 
 
Next Steps in Closer Developmental Partnership 
 
13. The two sides resolved to work together to further strengthen their closer developmental partnership as it would provide impetus to economic growth and prosperity of the two countries as well as of their respective regions and the world at large. 
 
14. Taking note of the increase in two-way trade and investment flows in the past few years, the two sides acknowledged its positive contribution to strengthening their overall bilateral relationship and to supporting each other’s growth and development processes. In this regard, it was agreed that both sides will take necessary measures to remove impediments to bilateral trade and investment, facilitate greater market access to each other’s economies, and support local governments of the two countries to strengthen trade and investment exchanges, with a view to optimally exploiting the present and potential complementarities in identified sectors in the Five Year Trade and Economic Development Plan signed in September 2014, including Indian pharmaceuticals, Indian IT services, tourism, textiles and agro-products. 
 
15. The two sides resolved to take joint measures to alleviate the skewed bilateral trade so as to realize its sustainability. Such measures will include cooperation on pharmaceutical supervision including registration, speedier phytosanitary negotiations on agro-products for two-way trade, stronger links between Indian IT companies and Chinese enterprises, and increasing services trade in tourism, films, healthcare, IT and logistics. Both sides will make full use of the India-China Joint Economic Group to work on this. The leaders welcomed the decision to expedite discussion and endeavour to favourably address, in the spirit of mutual cooperation and reciprocity, the issues pertaining to tariff reduction in respect of relevant Indian products under the framework of Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement. 
 
16. The two leaders agreed that the Strategic Economic Dialogue is an important mechanism to explore new areas of bilateral economic cooperation. The next meeting of the Strategic Economic Dialogue, co-chaired by Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog of India and Chairman of NDRC of China, will be held in India during the second half of 2015. 
 
17. The leaders noted with appreciation the positive momentum in investment projects as Chinese companies respond to the invitation to ‘Make in India’ and Indian companies expand their presence in China. 
 
18. The two leaders noted with satisfaction the steps taken and the progress achieved in the Railway sector cooperation including the projects on speed raising on the existing Chennai-Bengaluru-Mysore line, the proposed feasibility studies for the Delhi-Nagpur section of high speed rail link, the station redevelopment planning for Bhubaneswar & Baiyappanahalli, heavy haul transportation training and setting up of a railway university. They welcomed the Action Plan outlining the next steps in the partnership in this key infrastructure sector. 
 
19. The leaders welcomed the signing of the MoU to institute a dialogue mechanism between the NITI Aayog of India and the Development Research Centre of the State Council of China. 
 
20. The two sides expressed their readiness to enhance cooperation between the financial regulators and enterprises of the two countries in support of the building of the Closer Developmental Partnership. 
 
Culture and People-to-people Exchanges 
 
21. Prime Minister Modi and Premier Li attended the Yoga-Taichi demonstration event in Beijing on 15 May 2015. The two sides also agreed to work together to successfully organize events related to the International Yoga Day on 21 June 2015. The leaders welcomed collaboration between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Yunnan National University. 
 
22. The leaders noted that enhanced exchanges among education institutions of the two sides will play a positive role in socio-economic development of the two sides. They welcomed the signing of the expanded Educational Exchange Programme. 
 
23. The two sides expressed satisfaction with the progress achieved in the India-China Cultural Exchange Initiative. The two sides will have the annual exchange of 200 youths from each side in the second half of this year. 
 
24. The agreements on establishing a provincial partnership between Karnataka and Sichuan and sister-city relationships between Aurangabad - Dunhuang, Chennai – Chongqing and Hyderabad – Qingdao were welcomed. 
 
25. With a view to foster closer dialogue and mutual understanding, the two sides decided to establish a ‘India-China Think Tanks Forum’, which will meet annually, alternately in India and China. They also agreed to institutionalize the ‘High Level Media Forum’ and tasked the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the State Council Information Office of China to convene it on an annual basis, alternately in India and China. The leaders welcomed the establishment of the Center for Gandhian and Indian Studies at Fudan University, Shanghai. 
 
New Avenues for Cooperation 
 
26. The leaders welcomed continuous enrichment of India-China Closer Developmental Partnership with its expansion into newer areas of cooperation. The leaders welcomed initiation and expansion of cooperation in the following fields and mandated the relevant agencies to implement the projects in a purposeful manner: 
 
i. Enhanced cooperation in vocational training and skill development, including through the signing of the Action Plan on the establishment of Mahatma Gandhi National Institute for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship at Gandhinagar/Ahmedabad in Gujarat; 
 
ii. Initiating cooperation in development of smart cities with identification of GIFT City in India and Shenzhen in China as pilot smart cities for joint demonstration projects; 
 
iii. In peaceful uses of outer space and the peaceful use of nuclear energy; 
 
iv. In the sphere of public health, medical education and traditional medicine; 
 
v. Welcomed the establishment of the Space Cooperation Mechanism between space authorities of India and China and the signing of the 2015-2020 Space Cooperation Outline between the Indian Space Research Organization of the Republic of India and China National Space Administration of the People’s Republic of China. The two sides agreed to reinforce the cooperation in the field of Satellite Remote Sensing, Space-Based meteorology, Space Science, Lunar and Deep Space Exploration, Satellite Navigation, Space Components, Piggy-back Launching Services, and Education and Training. 
 
vi. Noting the recent visit of the Minister of Justice of China to India, the two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation between the law enforcing agencies of the two sides including on measures to enhance welfare of nationals of either side in the prisons of the other side. The two sides welcomed start of discussions on an agreement for transfer of sentenced persons. 
 
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Trans-border Cooperation 
 
27. The Indian side expressed appreciation to China for providing flood-season hydrological data and the assistance in emergency management. The two sides will further strengthen cooperation through the Expert-Level Mechanism on the provision of flood-season hydrological data and emergency management, and exchange views on other issues of mutual interest. 
 
28. The two sides recognized that enhancing border areas cooperation through border trade, pilgrimage by people of the two countries and other exchanges can effectively promote mutual trust, and agreed to further broaden this cooperation so as to transform the border into a bridge of cooperation and exchanges. The two sides agreed to hold negotiation on augmenting the list of traded commodities, and expand border trade at Nathu La, Qiangla/Lipu-Lekh Pass and Shipki La. 
 
29. The Indian side appreciated the support and cooperation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the local government of Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China to Indian pilgrims for the Kailash Manasarover Yatra (Gang Renpoche and Mapam Yun Tso Pilgrimage). To further promote religious exchange between the two countries and provide facilitation for Indian pilgrims, the Chinese side would launch the route for the Yatra through Nathu La Pass in 2015. 
 
Shaping the Regional and Global Agenda 
 
30. As two major powers in the emerging world order, engagement between India and China transcends the bilateral dimension and has a significant bearing on regional, multilateral and global issues. Both Sides agreed to not only step up their consultations on developments affecting international peace, security and development but also coordinate their positions and work together to shape the regional and global agenda and outcomes. They agreed to further strengthen coordination and cooperation in multilateral forums including RIC, BRICS and G20, promote the interests of developing countries and the building of a better world. India will support China in hosting the G20 summit in 2016. 
 
31. The leaders welcomed the decision to launch a bilateral consultative mechanism on WTO-related issues as a positive step for enhancing coordination in the context of global trade talks. 
 
32. Both sides reiterated their strong condemnation of and resolute opposition to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and committed themselves to cooperate on counter-terrorism. They agreed that there is no justification for terrorism and urged all countries and entities to work sincerely to disrupt terrorist networks and their financing, and stop cross-border movement of terrorists, in accordance with the relevant principles and purposes of the UN Charter and international laws. They called for early conclusion of negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. 
 
33. The two sides support a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including recognizing the imperative of increased participation of developing countries in UN’s affairs and governance structures, so as to bring more effectiveness to the UN. China attaches great importance to India’s status in international affairs as a large developing country, and understands and supports India’s aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations including in the Security Council. 
 
34. The two sides are ready to continue cooperation under the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China welcomed India's application for full membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. 
 
35. The two sides agreed to work together with relevant parties to accelerate the preparation for establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to promote regional infrastructure and economic development. 
 
36. The two sides welcomed the progress made in promoting cooperation under the framework of the BCIM (Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar) Economic Corridor. Both sides recalled the second meeting of the Joint Study Group of BCIM Economic Corridor, and agreed to continue their respective efforts to implement understandings reached at the meeting. 
 
37. The two sides agreed to broaden cooperation in SAARC. 
 
38. Both sides recognized that APEC has a significant role in advancing regional economic integration and in promoting regional economic growth and prosperity, and welcomes the success of the Beijing APEC meeting. China acknowledged India’s important role in driving the global economic growth, supported the openness of APEC, and welcomed India’s desire to strengthen its link with APEC. 
 
39. The two sides welcomed the India-China Dialogue on Arms Control and Non-Proliferation held in Beijing on April 17, 2015. Noting the commonalities in their approach to global arms control and non-proliferation, they agreed to continue their engagement bilaterally and in multilateral fora on arms control and non-proliferation. The Chinese side took note of India’s aspirations to become a member of the NSG, in a bid to strengthen international non-proliferation efforts. 
 
40. The two sides shared the view that the issue of climate change is of vital importance for the sake of today’s world and future generations. They underscored the importance of working together and with other countries to conclude an ambitious, comprehensive, universal, balanced and equitable climate agreement at the forthcoming CoP 21 to UNFCCC to be held in Paris later this year that will also encourage genuine technology transfer, collaboration for adaptation and mitigation and financial support in meeting this common global challenge. The two sides issued Joint Statement on Climate Change between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People’s Republic of China during the visit. 
 
41. Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Premier Li Keqiang to visit India at a mutually convenient time. Premier Li accepted the invitation with pleasure. 
 
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