India - Russia Development Partnership UPSC IAS Target

India - Russia Development Partnership UPSC

13 Apr 2020

Category : International Relations

Topic: India - Russia Development Partnership UPSC

Political Relations between India and Russia

Annual Summit The Annual Summit meeting b/w the Prime Minister of India and the President of the Russian Federation is the highest institutionalized dialogue mechanism in the strategic partnership between Russia & India. So far 19 Annual Summit meetings have taken place alternatively in Russia and India. Both countries signed documents related to cooperation in defence, space, science and technology, information security, shipbuilding, railways, trade & investment, hydrocarbons, and foreign policy.

President Putin and Prime Minister Modi also adopted a Joint Statement "Partnership for Global Peace and Stability” and a “Roadmap of Events” to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations b/w Russia and India in the year 2017.
Intergovernmental Commissions There is regular high-level interaction b/w both the countries.
Two Inter- Governmental Commissions:
  • One on Trade, Scientific, Economic, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC),
  • Another on Military Technical Cooperation (IRIGC- MTC) co-chaired by Indian and Russian Defence Ministers, meet annually.

Russia-India on Economic front

In December 2014, the leaders of the two countries set a goal of US $ 30 billion bilateral trade by 2025. As per the Russian Federal Customs Service data, bilateral trade during 2016 amounted to US$ 7.71 billion (a decline of 1.5 % over 2015), with Indian exports amounting to US$ 2.39 billion and imports from Russia amounting to US$ 5.32 billion. Russia and India are finding various ways for increasing bilateral trade.

A few important steps that could provide a key boost to bilateral trade such as-

  • Implementation of the International NorthSouth Transport Corridor
  • Operationalization of the „Green Corridor‟ project b/w the two countries which has already reached an advanced stage
  • The signing of an FTA b/w Indian and the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU). In December 2016, Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) approved the decision to begin negotiations between the EaEU and India for signing an FTA.

Indian investments in Russia are expected to be about US$ 13 billion which include:
  • Sakhalin I
  • Imperial Energy Tomsk
  • Commercial Indo bank
  • Volzhsky Abrasive Works Volgograd
  • Vankorneft and Taas-Yuryakh Tass fields
Russian investments in India total about US$ 16 billion, including
  • ESSAR Group, Kamaz Vectra in Hosur
  • Shyam Sistema Telecom Ltd, Sberbank and VTB

The Inter-Governmental Commission on Scientific, Economic, Trade, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) is the apex G2G forum to assess economic cooperation. It assesses sectoral cooperation under working groups on trade and economic cooperation, priority investments, industrial cooperation, outstanding issues, energy & energy efficiency, science and technology, sub-groups on banking & financial matters, and conservation of tigers & leopards. The India - Russia Forum on Trade and Investment co-chaired by the Russian Minister for Economic Development and, the Commerce and Industry Minister of India and India-Russia CEOs. Council is the two main mechanisms to promote direct bilateral business-to-business contacts between India and Russia.

Mechanisms

  • India-Russia Chamber of Commerce (with focus on SMEs)
  • India-Russia Business Council (partnership between FICCI of India and CCI of Russia)
  • India–Russia Business Dialogue (partnership between CII of India and Russia’s Business Council for Cooperation with India)
  • India-Russia Trade, Investment and Technology Promotion Council (partnership between CII of India and RUIE of Russia)

To promote smoother and greater movement of businessmen, the two countries signed a protocol on 24 December 2015 to simplify visa procedures for businessmen.

Cooperation on Gas, Oil, and other Hydrocarbons

Hydrocarbons are an active region to explore cooperation b/w the two countries. Indian companies made significant investment in Russia’s Gas & Oil sector, which included acquisition of 29.9% in Taas-Yuryakh and 23.9% stake in Vankorneft by an Indian Consortium of:
  • Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL)
  • Bharat Petro Resources Limited (BPRL)
  • Indian Oil Corporation Limited (OIL)
And the acquisition of 11% and 15% stake by ONGC Videsh Limited in Vankorneft from Rosneft Oil Company of Russia. Russia has offered Indian oil companies a stake in the second phase of Yamal LNG, the biggest project to generate liquefied natural gas in the Arctic. The Russian firm holds a 50.1% stake in the project.

Likewise other accords in the area of Education and Training b/w ONGC Videsh Ltd and Rosneft Oil Company and Programme of Cooperation (PoC) in the Field of Oil and Gas for the period 2017-18; and the Purchase and Sale accord between an Essar and a Rosneft-led consortium for acquisition of 98% stake in Essar Oil Limited. Both sides are working towards the realization of an “Energy Bridge” b/w both the countries, which is based on
  • LNG sourcing
  • Robust civil nuclear cooperation
  • Corporation in the Oil and Gas sector
  • Engagement in renewable energy sources

Nuclear Energy cooperation between Russia and India

Russia is a key partner for India in the area of peaceful use of nuclear energy. It supposes India as a country with advanced nuclear technology with an impeccable non-proliferation record. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is being constructed in India with Russian cooperation. KKNPP (Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant) Units 1 and 2 have already become operational. An accord on the localization of manufacturing of nuclear equipment in India was also completed during the Annual Summit on 24 December 2015.

India Russia space cooperation

  • On 15 October 2016, Roscosmos and ISRO signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to establish ground measurement gathering stations for NAVIC and GLONASS in India and Russia.
  • Russia-India cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of outer space dates back to about four decades. 2015 marked the 40th anniversary of the launch of India‟s first satellite “Aryabhatt” on a Russian launch vehicle “Soyuz”
  • An harmony was signed b/w GLONASS and C-DAC for cooperation in technologies based on satellite navigation.
  • In 2007, Russia and India signed a framework agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, including satellite launches, remote sensing, GLONASS navigation system and other societal applications of outer space.
  • In June 2015, the space agency signed an MoU on increase of cooperation in the field of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.

Science & Technology

The Working Group on Science and Technology functioning under IRIGCTEC, the Integrated Long Term Programme (ILTP) and the Basic Science Cooperation Programme are the three main institutional mechanisms for bilateral Science and Technology cooperation, while the Science Academies of the two countries promote inter-academy exchanges. ILTP supported joint R& D projects and setting thematic centers in Russia and India that resulted in the production of joint publications and many new products, facilities, research centers, and processes, besides developing scientific contacts.
New Programmes of Cooperation in the field of Innovation, Science, Biotechnology and Technology completed in October 2013 have become active mechanisms for cooperation. In December 2014, Russian Foundation of Basic Research and Indian Council of Medical Research entered into an MoU for cooperation in health research.

Cultural Cooperation b/w India and Russia

There is a long tradition of Indian studies in Russia. Jawaharlal Nehru Cultural Centre at the Embassy of India, Moscow (JNCC) maintains close cooperation with leading Russian institutions, such as the Institute of Philosophy (Moscow); Institute of Oriental Studies (Moscow); Russian State University for Humanities (Moscow), and other institutions.
There is a Mahatma Gandhi Chair on Indian Philosophy in the Institute of Philosophy, Moscow. Many Russian Institutions, like leading schools and universities, regularly teach Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Urdu, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Pali are taught in Russian Institutions. There is much interest among Russian people in Indian music, dance, yoga, and Ayurveda. JNCC conducts classes in dance, music, yoga, and Hindi for about 500 students every month.
There are regular cultural initiatives to encourage people-to-people contacts b/w Russia and India. The President of India inaugurated the Year of Indian Culture “Namaste Russia” in Moscow on 10 May 2015.

Indian Community

Indian Community in the Russian Federation is expected at around 30,000. In addition, around 1,500 Afghan nationals of Indian origin live in Russia. About 500 Indian businessmen live in Russia out of which about 200 work in Moscow. It is anticipated that around 300 registered Indian companies operate in Russia. The majority of Indian companies in Russia are involved in trading. Some entities also represent Indian pharmaceuticals, banks, engineering and hydrocarbon, and other companies. Hindustani Samaj is the oldest Indian organization in Russia running since 1957. Other Indian organizations in Moscow are the Indian Business Alliance, Overseas Bihar Association, DISHA (Indian-Russian Friendship Society), Textile Bhartiya Sanskritik Samaj, and Ramakrishna Society Vedanta Centre, and other social groups active in Russia.