The Washington Post & The Hindustan Times – 2015-04-22 00:31:59
Is the India Nuclear Agreement Really the ‘Breakthrough’ Obama Promised?
Annie Gowen and Steven Mufson / The Washington Post
NEW DELHI (February 4, 2015) — President Obama stood alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India’s capital just days ago and announced a “breakthrough understanding” that the two countries hoped would pave the way for US firms to sell nuclear reactors to India.
But analysts and experts familiar with the negotiations say that the legal issues remain so complex that private US companies may continue to shy away from new deals in India, despite the developing country’s fast-growing and dire power needs.
So far, the details of the agreement have been sketchy at best, although the Indian government was expected to release more details Thursday. On Wednesday, however, officials in India cited three key elements of the agreement:
the establishment of an insurance pool to cover nuclear operators and suppliers for up to $250 million in damages;
a nonbinding legal memorandum asserting that Indian liability law is consistent with international norms; and
a new system of reporting on the status of nuclear fuel and other materials supplied by the United States.
“We’ve been characterizing it as a breakthrough or breakthrough understanding,” a senior US administration official said Tuesday. But, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “it is not a signed piece of paper, but a process that led us to a better understanding of how we might move forward.”
The talks around Obama’s visit were designed to remove some stubborn obstacles to the sale of US nuclear reactors and fuel to India, sales that were cut off after India exploded a nuclear device in 1974 and tested nuclear weapons in 1998.
In the waning days of the presidency of George W. Bush, amid warming relations, the United States finalized a landmark civilian nuclear agreement with India. The deal was intended to open an era of cooperation between the countries after years of sanctions and to create thousands of jobs for American workers.
But the new cooperation failed to materialize. In 2010, the Indian Parliament passed a strict liability law that angered many in Washington and effectively stalled efforts by companies such as Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to sell materials or partner to build nuclear power plants in India.
Aides say Modi and Obama — who met in Washington in October and again at the Group of 20 Summit in Australia in November — wanted to move beyond the gridlock. Negotiators met formally in New Delhi, Vienna and London in the following months and were frantically trying to forge a deal even as Obama landed in the Indian capital Jan. 25.
The talks focused on two key issues. The first was whether victims of a catastrophe could sue in Indian courts and win unlimited sums, as permitted under India’s 2010 legislation. The other main concern involved coming up with a way of keeping track of US nuclear fuel sold to India to make sure it is not put to military use.
On the liability front, Indian officials said that they will create an insurance pool to cover $250 million in damages in the event of a major accident and that the government will cover $200 million more. The country also plans to align itself with the Vienna Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage, a global pact that places liability on operators of nuclear plants.
Analysts say the real test will be whether the two US-Japanese companies sign commercial contracts with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India.
India and US Announce Nuclear
‘Breakthrough’ after Modi-Obama Talks
The Hindustan Times
NEW DELHI (Jan 26, 2015) — India and the United States reached an agreement on Sunday to break a deadlock that has been stalling the implementation of a landmark civilian nuclear deal between the world’s two largest democracies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India was moving towards commercial cooperation on civil nuclear trade with the United States, six years after the two sides signed the deal.
“I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial cooperation, consistent with our laws (and) international legal obligations,” Modi said at a joint news conference on the first day of a visit by US President Barack Obama to India to establish an enduring strategic partnership.
Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh later confirmed that agreement has been reached. “We have broken the logjam of the past few years. We have reached an agreement. The deal is done,” Singh said after extended discussions between Obama and Modi lasting more than three hours.
Foreign ministry officials said the agreement narrowed differences over the liability of suppliers to India in the event of a nuclear accident and US demands on tracking the whereabouts of material supplied to the country, one of the major irritants in bilateral ties.
A joint statement said the two leaders “welcomed the understandings reached on the issues of civil nuclear liability and administrative arrangements for civil nuclear cooperation” and looked forward to US-built reactors contributing to India’s energy security “at the earliest”. [Read full text of the statement, courtesy: MEA website]
India and the United States signed the civilian nuclear deal in 2008, but differences remained over an Indian nuclear liability law that makes equipment suppliers ultimately responsible for an accident. Countries like France and the US have asked India to follow global norms under which the primary liability lies with the operator.
“Today we achieved a breakthrough understanding on two issues that were holding up our ability to advance our civil nuclear cooperation and we are committed to moving towards full implementation,” said Obama at the news conference.
“This is an important step that shows how we can work together to elevate our relationship.”
Since all the nuclear power plants in the country are run by the government-owned Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), following international norms will mean the government would have to pay heavy damages in case of an accident.
New Delhi had ruled out changes in its 2010 liability legislation that has choked off American investment, but offered to set up an insurance pool to indemnify companies that build reactors in the country against liability in case of a nuclear accident, as a way around the law.
Under the plan readied by state-run reinsurer GIC Re, insurance would be bought by the companies contracted to build the nuclear reactors who would then recoup the cost by charging more for their services. Alternatively, the NPCIL would take out insurance on behalf of these companies.
It is understood that the deadlock over the nuclear deal was done away with after one-on-one talks between the Modi and Obama over tea.
Both leaders held extensive discussions on enhancing cooperation in crucial areas of defence, trade and commerce and climate change after lunch at Hyderabad House.
After the official discussions followed by lunch, Modi and Obama went for a short stroll in the manicured gardens of there.
A Joint Press Meet: Key Outcomes
After a busy day, Modi and Obama appeared before the press in the afternoon. Obama started his address with a ‘namaskar’ and stressed trade as well as clean energy. Modi, on his part, termed the ties between the two nations a “natural global partnership”. The Indian PM also talked about exploring cooperation in advance defence technologies. Here’s the highlights of who said what:
It is a great pleasure and privilege to welcome back President Obama and the First Lady to India.
The promise and potential of this relationship has never been in doubt. This is a natural global partnership
In the past four months, we have got a sense of purpose to move it (civil nuclear deal) forward.
The civil nuclear agreement was the centerpiece of our transformed relationship.
Decided to take up growing defense cooperation to a new level.
Will explore cooperation in advance defence technologies.
I have asked President Obama to lead in making renewable energy more accessible and affordable to the world.
Terrorism remains a principal global threat. We agreed that we need a comprehensive global strategy to combat it.
We will resume our dialogue on bilateral investment treaties.
Namaste, thank you PM Modi for those very generous words.
Trade between the two countries have increased by some 60%.
All members of Congress and business members from the US believe strong relationship with India is vital for America’s success.
Happy that we have agreed to promote clean energy and support climate change.
We have agreed to deepen our defence and security cooperation.
Thanked PM for his continued efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapon.
Here are the top developments of the day:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Obama at Palam airport with a handshake and a warm hug, setting the tone for the US president’s visit. He was accompanied by US ambassador Richard Verma.
Obama went to ITC Maurya, the hotel where he is staying, straight from the airport. Obama reached Rashtrapati Bhavan around noon for a ceremonial welcome.
At Rashtrapati Bhavan, Obama was received by President Pranab Mukherjee, who dressed in a black bandgala suit and Modi, who had changed into a light striped black bandgala suit from his morning attire of light cream-coloured kurta pyjama with beige Nehru jacket paired with a red shawl.
Obama received a ceremonial welcome at the President’s House. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley were among the dignitaries present on the occasion.
“It’s a great honour to be back in India,” Obama said after the ceremonial welcome where he received a Guard of Honour. “Grateful for the extraordinary hospitalityâ€¦” he added, in the forecourt of the presidential palace where he was escorted by Wing Commander Puja Thakur.
Obama was introduced to Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Manohar Parrikar, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung.
From the President’s House, Obama reached Rajghat and paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi in a wreath-laying ceremony. He planted a sapling of Peepal tree, also called the Bodhi tree or the wisdom tree.
In the visitors’ book, Obama wrote, “What Dr Martin Luther King Jr said then remains true today — ‘the spirit of Gandhi is very much alive in India today. And it remains a great gift to the world. May we always live in this spirit — of love and peace — among all people and nations’.”
Obama met PM Modi for a working lunch at Hyderabad House. The lunch was followed by a ‘walk and talk’ between the two leaders after which they and officials from both sides will hold meetings.
Modi and the US President discussed a range of issues including defense and counter-terrorism at Hyderabad House, but officials said efforts to combat climate change will figure prominently in the talks.
Obama and Modi walked and talked at the lush lawns of Hyderabad House. Modi played a perfect host even and poured Obama a cup of tea. The two leaders enjoyed the beverage under a bright afternoon sun.
They addressed the media later in the afternoon.
Highlighting the importance of the visit, foreign ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said earlier in the day, “This is a momentous visit. It is high both in terms of symbolism and substance.” He added there was a “reflection of change” in the India-US ties, and the two countries were working to “re-energise this relation”.
Obama is the first serving US president to return to India for a second time, underscoring the growing importance of what he has called one of the “defining partnerships of the 21st century”. Obama will also be the first US president to be present at Republic Day parade as a chief guest.
New Delhi has turned into a virtual fortress for the high-profile visit, with heightened security measures including an extended no-fly zone, to protect the world’s most powerful leader. While on-the-ground security has been beefed up with extra police patrols and checks at Delhi Metro stations, snipers have been deployed at more than 70 high-rise buildings around central Delhi.
On the second day, after attending the colourful Republic Day Parade, Obama will meet the CEOs of some of the top Indian companies with PM Modi. Some agreements between India and American companies are expected to be announced after the meeting in presence of two leaders.
The US delegation, which includes US trade representative Michael Froman, will bring up trade, specifically what Washington sees as impediments posed by Indian rules and practices. India too will bring up its priorities.
On Tuesday, Obama will join PM Modi on a special edition of the latter’s radio programme where listeners have been asked to pre-submit questions by Sunday to the leaders on the program me “Mann Ki Baat”.
”Shared Effort; Progress for All”
Joint Statement During the Visit of
President of USA to India
(January 25, 2015) — The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama, is visiting India from 25-27 January 2015. The President of India and the Prime Minister of India welcomed the US President as the Chief Guest at India’s 66th Republic Day celebrations, the first US President to grace this historic event.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama assessed the extensive bilateral strategic and global partnership between their two countries and pledged to continue to enhance cooperation across the spectrum of human endeavor to better their citizens’ lives and that of the global community.
Noting that the multifaceted partnership between the United States and India is rooted in shared values of democracy and strong economic and people-to-people ties, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi elevated the bilateral relationship through their endorsement of a new India-US Delhi Declaration of Friendship, which builds on their 30 September Vision Statement by articulating tangible principles to guide ongoing efforts to advance mutual prosperity, a clean and healthy environment, greater economic cooperation, regional peace, security and stability for the larger benefit of humankind.
Recognizing the important role that both countries play in promoting peace, prosperity, stability and security in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, and noting that India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and the United States’ rebalance to Asia provide opportunities for India, the United States, and other Asia-Pacific countries to work closely to strengthen regional ties, the Leaders announced a Joint Strategic Vision to guide their engagement in the region.
The Prime Minister and the President acknowledged and expressed satisfaction at the qualitative reinvigoration of strategic ties and the intensity of substantive interactions since the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington in September 2014. They appreciated the focused action and accomplishments by both sides on the decisions taken during the Summit in September and in this regard, they welcomed:
The 30 September 2014 signing of an implementing agreement between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to conduct the joint NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission.
The convening of the Defence Policy Group and its subgroups on 28-29 October 2014 to pursue stronger and expanded bilateral defence cooperation. India’s ongoing facilitation of US Department of Defense humanitarian missions in India, including a mission in October and November 2014, to recover the remains of fallen US soldiers who served in World War II.
The signing of the India-US Statement of Guiding Principles on Triangular Cooperation for Global Development on 3 November 2014, in furtherance of bilateral efforts to advance sustainable development in cooperation with partner countries around the world.
The breakthrough between India and the United States on issues relating to the implementation of the Bali Ministerial Decisions regarding public stockholding for food security purposes, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, and post Bali work.
Convening of the US-India Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation in New Delhi on 17 November 2014 to review, exchange views, and advance cooperation in diverse areas of science and technology and foster engagement in techno-entrepreneurship and innovation partnership for mutual benefit.
Convening of the India-US Higher Education Dialogue in New Delhi on 17 November 2014 to further bilateral cooperation in this field, strengthen partnerships between Indian and US universities and community colleges, improve student and scholar mobility, and promote faculty collaboration.
The signing of the MoU on 18 November 2014 between Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. and the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which would make available up to $1 billion in financing to facilitate expanded cooperation and enhance US private sector investment in Indian clean energy projects.
Successful hosting of the bilateral India-US Technology Summit on 18-19 November 2014 with the US as a partner country for the first time.
Convening of the High Technology Cooperation Group on 20-21 November 2014 to shape a cooperative agenda on high technology goods, including export control-related trade in homeland security technologies, high technology manufacturing equipment including machine tools, defence trade, and fostering collaboration in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and health-related information technology.
Convening of the Smart Cities Conclave on 22 November 2014 organised by the US-India Business Council in cooperation with the Ministry of Urban Development and the Mayors and Commissioners of Ajmer (Rajasthan), Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh) and Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and the decision by the Government of India to constitute a high-level committee for each of the three Smart Cities comprising different departments of the Central Government, the state governments, local governments, and representatives of the US industry.
Signing of three MoUs between the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan and the US Trade and Development Agency on 25 January 2015 to develop Vishakhapatnam, Allahabad, and Ajmer as Smart Cities with the participation of US industry, in furtherance of the commitment made by the Leaders in September 2014.
The convening of the Trade Policy Forum at the Ministerial level on 24-25 November 2014, in which India and the United States agreed to work towards resolving commercial impediments in both markets, to help realize the potential of bilateral trade in goods and services, and to promote investment and manufacturing.
Convening of the India-US Political Military Dialogue on 4 December 2014 to exchange perspectives on bilateral strategic and regional issues.
Convening the sixth round of the India-US-Japan trilateral discussions on 20 December 2014 to deepen regional engagement and to discuss ways to implement projects on the ground.
The launch of the Infrastructure Collaboration Platform in New Delhi on 13 January 2015 to promote enhanced market access and financing to increase US industry participation in the growth and development of sectors that support Indian infrastructure.
The 12-15 January 2015 expert exchange on Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) strategies and technologies and completion of a Joint Statement of Intent and a work plan for a programme of bilateral C-IED cooperation.
The signing of a framework on and inauguration of the India-US Investment Initiative in Washington on 12-15 January 2015 to jointly cooperate on facilitating capital market development conducive to financing investment; creating an environment that encourages investment in various sectors in India; and working to overcome any obstacles to such investment.
The convening of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Working Group in Washington on 14-15 January 2015 and the 23 January signing of the Joint Declaration of Intent to advance implementation of the Digital India programme and further bilateral commercial ICT cooperation.
Launching of a Knowledge Partnership in defence studies expressing a shared desire to pursue collaborative activities between the United States and Indian National Defence Universities.
Signing of the Statement of Cooperation for Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information between the Reserve Bank of India and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve System, and Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC).
Convening of Indian and US CEOs who are committed to deepening bilateral economic ties by identifying current impediments to trade and investment and working with the two government to find solutions; and identifying emerging sectors where public-private partnership can unlock new collaborations between our two peoples.
The 13 January 2015 signing of the MoU between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Urban Development to enable USAID to share expertise, best practices, innovation and technologies in support of India’s efforts to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in urban areas.
India’s recent introduction of visa-on-arrival for US citizens and the convening of the first technical discussions to advance India’s membership in the United States’ Global Entry Program, initiatives aimed at easing travel between India and the United States to further strengthen people-to-people ties. Cooperation on scientific research collaboration on the Indian Monsoon Rainfall currently underway aboard the US research vessel JOIDES Resolution in the Bay of Bengal.
The conclusion of the first of two project annexes between the Indian Department of Atomic Energyâ€“Department of Science and Technology and the US Department of Energy, which will enable discovery science cooperation in particle accelerator and high energy physics.
The 22 January signing of the MoU between the US Department of Treasury and India’s Ministry of Finance to enhance cooperation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.The Completion of an MoU between the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research, All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, and the U.S National Institute of Health and National Cancer Institute.
The 23 January signing of the Joint Declaration of Intent between USAID and the Ministry of Human Resource Development for technical support to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), starting with IIT Gandhinagar, to strengthen research and entrepreneurship capabilities.
The recent finalization of the 2015 Framework for the US-India Defense Relationship, which will guide and expand the bilateral defence and strategic partnership over the next ten years.
The 22 January signing of the India-US Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) Agreement to facilitate cooperation in defence research and development.
Continuing bilateral engagement on the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI), including the 22 January 2015 agreement in principle to pursue co-production and co-development of four pathfinder projects, form a working group to explore aircraft carrier technology sharing and design, and explore possible cooperation on development of jet engine technology.
Prime Minister Modi and President Obama jointly appreciated the significant efforts undertaken by both sides in recent months to re-energize the strategic partnership, and affirmed expanding the substantive underpinnings of our diversified bilateral strategic partnership including through expanded strategic consultations, stronger defence, security, and economic cooperation.
President Obama also reiterated his support for Prime Minister Modi’s vision to transform India, and recognized that India’s focus on its development priorities presented substantial opportunities for forging stronger India-US economic ties and greater people-to-people contacts.
Reaffirming that India’s rise is also in the interest of the United States, regional and global stability, and global economic growth, President Obama reiterated the United States’ readiness to partner with India in this transformation. The two leaders pledged to translate their commitment of “Chalein Saath Saath”: “Forward Together We Go” of September into action through “Sanjha Prayaas; Sab Ka Vikaas”: “Shared Effort; Progress For All”.
Prime Minister Modi and President Obama expressed confidence that continued bilateral collaboration will increase opportunities for investment, improve bilateral trade and investment ties and lead to the creation of jobs and prosperity in both economies.
In this regard, the Leaders agreed to continue to strengthen their broad-based partnership for development through stronger trade, technology, manufacturing, and investment linkages between the two countries and triangular cooperation with partner countries, and that continued efforts to maintain labor standards as per domestic law and agreed international norms will make these linkages more durable.
The two sides also committed to continuing to cooperate on the finalization of the Post-Bali Work Programme in the spirit of the Doha mandate.
The President and the Prime Minister affirmed their shared commitment to facilitating increased bilateral investment flows and fostering an open and predictable climate for investment. To this end, the Leaders instructed their officials to assess the prospects for moving forward with high-standard bilateral investment treaty discussions given their respective approaches.
The President and the Prime Minister also welcomed the fifth annual US-India Economic and Financial Partnership Dialogue in February, in which the countries will deepen their dialogue on macroeconomic policy, financial sector regulation and development, infrastructure investment, tax policy, and efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
The two sides agreed to hold a discussion on the elements required in both countries to pursue an India-US Totalisation Agreement. President Obama commended Prime Minister Modi’s “Jan Dhan” scheme to prioritize financial inclusion for India’s poor. The Leaders noted India’s intent to join the Better Than Cash Alliance.
The Leaders committed to explore areas of collaboration in skill development ranging from establishing quality assurance systems for skilling certification standards, setting up of skill development centres, nurturing and promoting social entrepreneurship and strengthening the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
President Obama and Prime Minister Modi agreed to collaborate in the implementation of India’s ambitious Digital India programme and expand commercial cooperation, including by encouraging investment engagement in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
In recognition of the importance of their ongoing commercial discussions, the two sides agreed to hold public-private discussions in early 2015 under the aegis of the India-US Commercial Dialogue for a period of two years, until March 2016, on mutually agreed areas of cooperation.
Recognizing the progress made in constructive engagement on Intellectual Property under the last round of the India-US Trade Policy Forum held in November, 2014, the Leaders also looked forward to enhancing engagement on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in 2015 under the High Level Working Group on Intellectual Property, to the mutual benefit of both the countries.
Acknowledging the potential for technological cooperation in the rail sector in augmenting and optimizing India’s rail infrastructure, the Leaders agreed to facilitate US Trade and Development Agency and Indian Railways technical cooperation that will assist Indian Railways’ efforts to modify its leasing and public-private partnership frameworks to attract private sector funding.
The Leaders recognized the robust public-private US-India civil aviation partnership and agreed to continue working together to identify emerging technologies and build a larger commercial engagement agenda through key events such as the 2015 US-India Aviation Summit and demonstration of advanced US technologies.
Reaffirming their commitment to safety and security of civil aviation, the United States and India will continue consultations between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the India Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ensure international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), with the aim of restoring Category I status at the earliest possible time.
Noting the importance of ongoing cooperation in higher education, the President and Prime Minister welcomed ongoing efforts to extend a knowledge partnership for supporting the Indian Institute of Technology at Gandhinagar through USAID. President Obama and Prime Minister Modi also pledged to collaborate through India’s Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN), to facilitate short-term teaching and research programs by up to 1000 visiting US academics in Indian universities.
The Leaders emphasized the importance of strengthening international financial institutions, including the International Monetary Fund. The President also affirmed his commitment to enhancing India’s voice and vote in international Financial Institutions and ensuring that resources are made available and used creatively through multilateral development banks for infrastructure financing.
Prime Minister Modi appreciated the efforts of the US Treasury for cooperating with the Ministry of Finance on the Task Force on Resolution Corporation set up in pursuance of the recommendations of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission.
High Technology, Space and Health Cooperation
Prime Minister Modi and President Obama reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that partnerships in science, technology and innovation are a crucial component of the overall bilateral engagement in the 21st century.
They also reaffirmed their support for the role that science, technology and innovation partnerships can play in addressing pressing challenges in areas such as food, water, energy, climate, and health and developing innovative solutions that are affordable, accessible and adaptable, meet the needs of the people of the two countries and benefit the global community.
To this end, the Leaders agreed to continue to develop cooperative efforts in many areas of science, technology, and innovation, including studying the impacts of water, air pollution, sanitation and hygiene on human health and well-being.
The Leaders also agreed to continue US-India collaboration in hydrology and water studies and monsoon modelling and noted the need to expeditiously work towards launching an Indo-US Climate Fellowship to facilitate human capacity building. The Prime Minister and the President also reaffirmed the importance of ongoing efforts to strengthen women’s participation in science, technology, engineering, and math through networking and mentoring programs.
The President and the Prime Minister welcome efforts, under the bilateral High Technology Cooperation Group, to seek timely resolution of the challenges to trade in High Technology goods, including the US licensing requirements for trade in certain dual use items.
The Leaders reaffirmed the importance of providing transparent and predictable policy environments for fostering innovation. Both countries reiterated their interest in sharing information and best practices on IPR issues, and reaffirmed their commitment to stakeholders’ consultations on policy matters concerning intellectual property protection.
President Obama and Prime Minister Modi agreed to further promote cooperative and commercial relations between India and the United States in the field of space. The leaders noted the on-going interactions between their space agencies, including towards realizing a dual frequency radar imaging satellite for Earth Sciences, and exploring possibilities for cooperation in studying Mars.
The Leaders took note of ongoing US-India space cooperation, including the first face-to-face meeting of the ISRO-NASA Mars Working Group from 29-31 January 2015 in Bangalore, in which the two sides will consider opportunities for enhanced cooperation in Mars exploration, including potential coordinated observations and analysis between ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission and NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN mission (MAVEN). The Prime Minister and the President also welcomed continued progress toward enhanced space cooperation via the US-India Civil Space Joint Working Group, which will meet later this year in India.
Under the umbrella of an implementing agreement between the US Department of Energy and the Department of Atomic Energy of India, the Leaders welcomed expanded collaboration in basic physics research, and accelerator research and development.
The Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) and announced specific actions at home and abroad to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including a CDC-Ministry of Health Ebola and GHSA preparedness training, expansion of the India Epidemic Intelligence Service, and development of a roadmap to achieve the objectives of the GHSA within three years.
The Leaders also committed to multi-sectoral actions countering the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and cooperation in training of health workers in preparedness for infectious disease threats. The Leaders agreed to focus science and technology partnerships on countering antibiotic resistant bacteria and promoting the availability, efficacy and quality of therapeutics.
The Leaders welcomed further progress in promoting bilateral cooperation on cancer research, prevention, control, and management and agreed to continue to strengthen the engagement between the CDC and India’s National Centre for Disease Control.
The President and Prime Minister also welcomed the upcoming completion of an Environmental Health, Occupational Health and Injury Prevention and Control MoU between the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Indian Council for Medical Research to further collaborative efforts to improve the health and welfare of both countries’ citizens.
The Prime Minister and the President also agreed to expand the India-US Health Initiative into a Healthcare Dialogue with relevant stakeholders to further strengthen bilateral collaboration in health sectors including through capacity building initiatives and by exploring new areas, including affordable healthcare, cost saving mechanisms, distribution barriers, patent quality, health services information technology, and complementary and traditional medicine.
The President and the Prime Minister pledged to encourage dialogue between the US Department of Health and Human Services and its Indian counterparts on traditional medicine. The Leaders also pledged to strengthen collaboration, dialogue, and cooperation between the regulatory authorities of the two countries to ensure safety, efficacy, and quality of pharmaceuticals, including generic medicines.
The Leaders also agreed to accelerate joint leadership of the global Call to Action to end preventable deaths among mothers and children through a third meeting of the 24 participating countries in India in June 2015. As host, India will showcase the power of new partnerships, innovations and systems to more effectively deliver life-saving interventions.
They also lauded the highly successful collaboration on a locally produced vaccine against rotavirus which will save the lives of an estimated 80,000 children each year in India alone, and pledged to strengthen the cooperation in health research and capacity building through a new phase of the India-US Vaccine Action Programme.
Defence and Homeland Security Cooperation
Prime Minister Modi and President Obama welcomed the efforts made by both sides to expand bilateral defence cooperation in areas of mutual interest and reaffirmed their commitment to continue to work towards deepening the bilateral defence relationship.
The Leaders acknowledged bilateral military ties as the foundation of the defense relationship and encouraged their respective militaries to pursue additional opportunities for engagement through exercises, military personnel exchanges, and defense dialogues.
The Leaders also acknowledged the need for the two-way defence engagement to include technology cooperation and collaboration, co-production and co-development. To this end, the President and the Prime Minister emphasized the ongoing importance of the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) in developing new areas of technology cooperation in the defence sector including through co-development and co-production and the Prime Minister welcomed the US Defense Department’s establishment of a dedicated rapid reaction team focused exclusively on advancing DTTI. The Leaders expressed confidence that continued DTTI collaboration will yield additional joint projects in the near future.
The President also welcomed the Prime Minister’s initiatives to liberalize the Foreign Direct Investment Policy regime in the defence sector and the Leaders agreed to cooperate on India’s efforts to establish a defence industrial base in India, including through initiatives like ‘Make in India.’
Prime Minister Modi and President Obama expressed satisfaction over the efforts made by both countries to deepen cooperation in the field of maritime security, as reflected in the 2015 Framework for the US-India Defense Relationship. To this end, they agreed that the navies of both sides would continue discussions to identify specific areas for expanding maritime cooperation. They also reiterated their commitment to upgrading their bilateral naval exercise MALABAR.
The two sides also noted the growing cooperation between their law enforcement agencies, particularly in the areas of extradition and mutual legal assistance, to counter transnational criminal threats such as terrorism, narcotics, trafficking, financial and economic fraud, cybercrime, and transnational organized crime and pledged to enhance such cooperation further.
The President and the Prime Minister also noted the serious risks to national and economic security from malicious cyber activity and agreed to cooperate on enhancing operational sharing of cyber threat information, examining how international law applies in cyberspace, and working together to build agreement on norms of responsible state behavior.
The Leaders committed to undertake efforts to make the US-India partnership a defining counterterrorism relationship for the 21st Century by deepening collaboration to combat the full spectrum of terrorist threats and keep their respective homelands and citizens safe from attacks.
The Leaders 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 transnational terrorism including by groups like Al Qaida and the ISIL, and called for eliminating terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing, and stopping cross-border movement of terrorists.
The Leaders reaffirmed the need for joint and concerted efforts to disrupt entities such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, D Company and the Haqqani Network, and agreed to continue ongoing efforts through the Homeland Security Dialogue as well as the next round of the US-India Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism in late 2015 to develop actionable elements of bilateral engagement.
The two sides noted the recent US sanctions against three D Company affiliates. The President and the Prime Minister further agreed to continue to work toward an agreement to share information on known and suspected terrorists. They also agreed to enter discussions to deepen collaboration on UN terrorist designations, and reiterated their call for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai to justice.
The President and the Prime Minister also noted the positive cooperative engagement between the Indian and the US authorities with a view to working together to counter the threat of IEDs and to develop counterterrorism best practices.
Energy and Climate Change
Noting that the Contact Group set up in September 2014 to advance implementation of bilateral civil nuclear cooperation has met three times in December and January, the Leaders welcomed the understandings reached on the issues of civil nuclear liability and administrative arrangements for civil nuclear cooperation, and looked forward to US-built nuclear reactors contributing to India’s energy security at the earliest.
Clean Energy Goal and Cooperation
President Obama and Prime Minister Modi emphasized the critical importance of expanding clean energy research, development, manufacturing and deployment, which increases energy access and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The leaders announced actions to advance India’s transition to low carbon economy.
India intends to increase the share of use of renewable in electricity generation consistent with its intended goal to increase India’s solar target to 100 gigawatts by 2022. The United States intends to support India’s goal by enhancing cooperation on clean energy and climate change, to include:
i. Expanding Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research (PACE-R): A renewed commitment to PACE-R, including extending funding for three existing research tracks of solar energy, building energy efficiency, and biofuels for an additional five years and launching a new track on smart grid and grid storage.
ii. Expanding Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Deployment (PACE-D): Both the countries intended to expand our current Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Deployment (PACE-D) through increased bilateral engagements and further joint initiatives to expand cooperation in support of India’s ambitious targets in renewable energy.
iii. Accelerating Clean Energy Finance: Prime Minister Modi emphasized India’s ongoing efforts to create a market environment that will promote trade and investment in this sector. President Obama welcomed India’s ambitious solar energy goals and encouraged India to continue its efforts to increase trade and private investment in this sector.
President Obama conveyed the potential availability of US Government official financing in this area, consistent with its policies, to support private sector involvement for those entities in contributing to India’s clean energy requirements.
iv. Launching Air Quality Cooperation: Implementing EPA’s AIR Now-International Program and megacities partnerships, focused on disseminating information to help the urban dwellers to reduce their exposure to harmful levels of air pollution, and enable urban policy planners to implement corrective strategies for improving Ambient Air Quality in the cities keeping in view health and climate change co-benefits of these strategies.
v. Initiating Climate Resilience Tool Development: Jointly undertaking a partnership on climate resilience that will work to downscale international climate models for the Indian sub-continent to much higher resolution than currently available, assess climate risks at the sub-national level, work with local technical institutes on capacity building, and engage local decision-makers in the process of addressing climate information needs and informing planning and climate resilient sustainable development, including for India’s State Action Plans.
vi. Demonstrating Clean Energy and Climate Initiatives on the Ground: Additional pilot programs and other collaborative projects in the areas of space cooling, super-efficient appliances, renewable energy storage, and smart grids.
vii. Concluding MOU on Energy Security, Clean Energy and Climate Change: Both countries concluded negotiations on a five year MOU to carry this work forward, to be signed as early as possible at a mutually agreed upon date.
The United States of America and the Republic of India recognize that global climate change is a profound threat to humanity and to the imperatives of sustainable development, growth and the eradication of poverty.
President Obama and Prime Minister Modi share a deep concern regarding the climate challenge and understand that meeting it will require concerted action by their countries and the international community.
They stressed the importance of enhancing their bilateral cooperation on adaptation measures, as well as joint research and development and technology innovation, adoption and diffusion for clean energy and efficiency solutions that will help achieve the goals of transitioning to a climate resilient and low carbon economy. They also stressed the importance of working together and with other countries to conclude an ambitious climate agreement in Paris in 2015.
To this end, they plan to cooperate closely over the next year to achieve a successful agreement in Paris. The President and Prime Minister reaffirmed their prior understanding from September 2014 concerning the phase down of HFCs and agreed to cooperate on making concrete progress in the Montreal Protocol this year.
Global Issues and Regional Consultations
The Leaders agreed to expand their efforts to assist other developing countries and address global development challenges for the benefit of the wider region and the world and they lauded ongoing triangular assistance, which may involve US-India collaboration to address development challenges in third countries in areas including health, energy, food security, disaster management, and women’s empowerment. The two sides noted that this collaboration, which is active with Afghanistan, East and West Africa, may be expanded to additional third countries.
Further underscoring the importance of implementing infrastructure projects to enhance connectivity and enable freer flow of commerce and energy in the region, the Leaders agreed to develop additional areas in which both sides could work together, including on India’s initiatives to enhance its connectivity with the South and South East Asian region.
The President and the Prime Minister also stressed the importance of the economic and transport connectivity between Central and South Asia and the need to promote a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan as part of a secure, stable, and prosperous region.
Reaffirming the importance of their strategic partnerships with Afghanistan, the Leaders asserted the importance of a sustainable, inclusive, sovereign, and democratic political order in Afghanistan and they agreed to convene further high-level consultations on Afghanistan in the near future.
The President and the Prime Minister also welcomed the role of the leaders- led East Asia Summit (EAS) process in promoting open, balanced and inclusive security architecture in the region. Noting the discussions in the sixth round of the India-US-Japan Trilateral Dialogue, the President and the Prime Minister underlined the importance of the cooperation between the three countries through identification of projects of common interest and their early implementation, and they decided to explore holding the dialogue among their Foreign Ministers.
The President and Prime Minister pledged to strengthen their efforts to forge a partnership to lead global efforts for non-proliferation of WMDs, to reduce the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs, and to promote universal, verifiable and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament. They supported negotiations on a fissile material cut-off Treaty on the basis of the Shannon Mandate in the Conference on Disarmament.
As active participants in the Nuclear Security Summit process, the United States and India welcomed progress towards reducing the risk of terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons or related materials, and noted their shared commitment to improving nuclear security nationally and globally. The Prime Minister welcomed the hosting of the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit by the United States.
President Obama and Prime Minister Modi also welcomed the recent convening of the first bilateral nuclear security best practices exchange, under the auspices of the Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership, as an example of their cooperation on nuclear security.
In a further effort to strengthen global nonproliferation and export control regimes, the President and the Prime Minister committed to continue to work towards India’s phased entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement, and the Australia Group.
The President reaffirmed the United States’ position that India meets MTCR requirements and is ready for NSG membership and that it supports India’s early application and eventual membership in all four regimes.
The Leaders expressed concern over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, including its uranium enrichment activity. They urged the DPRK to take concrete steps toward denuclearization, as well as to comply fully with its international obligations, including relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, and to fulfill its commitments under the 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party talks.
The Leaders welcomed recent progress and noted the criticality of Iran taking steps to verifiably assure the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear programme, and agreed that this is an historic opportunity for Iran to resolve outstanding concerns related to its nuclear programme.
Highlighting the United States’ and India’s shared democratic values and recognizing the important role of women in their societies, the Leaders looked forward to reconvening the Women Empowerment Dialogue as early as possible and reasserted their zero tolerance for violence against women. The Leaders also looked forward to the reconvening of the Global Issues Forum.
The President and the Prime Minister also reaffirmed their commitment to consult closely on global crises, including in Iraq and Syria. The Leaders agreed to exchange information on individuals returning from these conflict zones and to continue to cooperate in protecting and responding to the needs of civilians caught up in these conflicts.
President Obama reaffirmed his support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member, and both leaders committed to ensuring that the Security Council continues to play an effective role in maintaining international peace and security as envisioned in the United Nations Charter. They also committed to accelerate their peacekeeping capacity-building efforts in third countries.
Both sides also acknowledged that the Internet was a central element of the information society and a powerful enabler of global economic and social progress. Both sides also noted that the growth of the Internet in the coming decade would be from developing countries, of which India would be a significant contributor, especially in the context of its “Digital India” programme.
The Leaders recognized that a digital divide persists between and within countries in terms of the availability, affordability and use of information and communications technologies, and they stressed the need to continue to bridge that divide, to ensure that the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications technologies for development, are available to all people, including the poorest of the poor.
President Obama thanked Prime Minister Modi and the people of India for the extraordinary hospitality extended to him on his second presidential visit to India, and he congratulated the nation on the celebration of its 66th Republic Day. The Leaders reflected proudly on recent achievements and looked forward to continuing to work together to build a US-India partnership that is transformative for their two peoples and for the world.
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