Posts Tagged ‘neeraj kumar singal’

Indian Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur is in Paris Monday and Tuesday to help speed negotiations on the Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) program, an Indian Defence Ministry source said.

NEW DELHI — Indian Defence Secretary Radha Krishna Mathur is in Paris Monday and Tuesday to help speed negotiations on the Medium Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) program, an Indian Defence Ministry source said. A senior official of state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is accompanying Mathur, the official said.

In December, Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and visiting French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian agreed to fast-track the MMRCA negotiations for the purchase of 126 Dassault Aviation Rafale fighters for US $12 billion. That figure, originally estimated in 2007, is now put at about $20 billion, the MoD source added.

The contract negotiations are on track, the official said, but refused to specify when a deal could be finalized.

“Negotiations can be stretched in big ticket deals like the MMRCA deal,” the official added.

Talks with Dassault began in 2012 after Rafale was down-selected as the preferred aircraft over the Eurofighter Typhoon. Issues relating to the cost of the 108 Rafales to be license-produced by HAL and French guarantees on the delivery schedule have delayed final agreement.

Under terms of purchase, the first 18 aircraft will come in fly-away condition while the remaining 108 will be manufactured under a technology transfer process. Out of the 108 aircraft to be license-produced in India, 74 would be single-seat and 34 twin-seat aircraft.

Even as HAL is finalizing the cost of the Indian-made Rafales, HAL is insisting that Dassault guarantee the delivery schedule because hundreds of spares and subsystems will be supplied by the French.

French officials have said they can assist HAL in the delivery schedule and help lower the cost of the Indian-made Rafales, but cannot give guarantees.

An Indian Air Force official said the MMRCA negotiations would have been finalized long ago if the Indian producer had been a private sector company rather than a state-owned entity.

Source : Defence News
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With new emphasis to kick-start manufacturing of military hardware in India, the Defence Ministry is modifying internal rules to allow private companies exporting their wares to friendly nations.

With new emphasis to kick-start manufacturing of military hardware in India, the Defence Ministry is modifying internal rules to allow private companies exporting their wares to friendly nations.

“We would be deregulating certain aspects of export conditions. There are too many bottlenecks,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said here last week.

Since he took over as the defence minister two months ago, Parrikar cleared defence projects worth Rs 75,000 crore, out of which projects worth Rs 65,000 crore involve manufacturing in India.

The involvement of the micro, small and medium (MSME) industries sector, too, is being reviewed. Parrikar said his ministry would move an approach note in January, seeking to streamline the processes required to increase participation of the private sector.

The minister met industry captains at a one-on-one interaction in Goa last week, listening to their problems and priorities. Those who attended the meeting include Baba Kalyani of Bharat Forge, Larsen and Toubro, Tata Advanced Systems, Godrej and Boyce, Ashok Leyland, Punj Lloyd, Alpha Design Technologies, Zen Technologies, Data Patterns, Dempo and Pipavav Shipyard.

In the meeting, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the industry representatives suggested no programmes be tendered under the “make” procedure of the Defence Ministry until there was clarity on its final form.

Ever since the “make” provision was introduced in the defence procurement procedure in 2008, there is no major project under this category, which involves developing design capability and intellectual property in the country.

The industry leaders pointed out the Defence Ministry’s “make” procedure was different from the prime minister’s “Make in India” initiative, which is about boosting manufacturing.

In June, the defence manufacturing sector was opened up for the private sector, as the need to obtain industrial licence to produce a large number of components and sub-systems required in military hardware was done away with.

The relaxation was extended to heavy engineering techniques like “casting” and “forging”, which can enable private firms to caste the hull of submarines and forge the barrels of artillery guns in future.

However, manufacturing of tanks and armoured vehicles, aircraft, warships and a large number of arms and ammunition for the Army, Air Force and Navy will remain a “no go area”.

Parrikar said under the “make” category, the government would first identify the products and then fund 80 per cent of the development costs.

“We are now considering 100 per cent of the development cost, provided there is 20 per cent contribution from the MSME sector. The plan is to create a supply chain to take indigenisation up to 70 per cent,” Parrikar added.

Source : Defence News
India-Israel ties, which have been improving steadily in last few years, is now out in the open under the Modi government, according to Israel’s new Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon.

India-Israel ties, which have been improving steadily in last few years, is now out in the open under the Modi government, according to Israel’s new Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon.

Both countries have now more visibility in relations and tiesare more talked about in open under the current the BJP-ledgovernment compared to the last decade, he said, adding that while bilateral relations have been productive in the past decade and growing across sectors, there is more visibility in partnership and it is more talked about in the open in the recent months.

Carmon pointed out that when Prime Ministers of the two countries met on sidelines of UN summit last September, it was the first time that PMs of two countries were meeting in last 10 years.

It may be recalled that the last Prime Minister level contact was established when Ariel Sharon visited India in 2003 with A B Vajpayee as PM. In fact he has been the only Israeli PM to have visited India so far. No Indian PM has ever made a trip to Israel.

Visits by senior ministers to each other’s country since last May also contributed to the visibility in ties. The Israeli envoy pointed out that Home Minister Rajnath Singh recently had a productive visit to Israel. More senior ministers from two countries will travel soon to each other countries.

“Our agriculture minister is travelling to Vibrant Gujarat where Israel will be represented in a major way. Our NSA was here to meet cross section of people in October. Nevertheless, we need to realize these are important steps but there is still much work that can be done in many fields,” Carmon noted. Israel along with UAE and Bahrain will make country presentations at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit during January 11-13.

Sources said that during the past 10 years, mostly junior level ministers from India visited Israel except visits by erstwhile Foreign Minister SM Krishna and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar.

Source : Defence News
Modernisation of the armed forces got a whopping Rs.1.23 lakh crore (Rs.1.23 trillion/$19 billion) boost in the year just ending, but worrisome gaps – the failure to close a deal to replace a combat jet inducted in the 1960s and a crippling shortage of “fighting-rank” officers – remain.

Modernisation of the armed forces got a whopping Rs.1.23 lakh crore (Rs.1.23 trillion/$19 billion) boost in the year just ending, but worrisome gaps – the failure to close a deal to replace a combat jet inducted in the 1960s and a crippling shortage of “fighting-rank” officers – remain.

That the funding came in the first six months of the new BJP-led government was indicative of its determination to overcome almost a decade of sloth caused by A.K. Antony’s bid to keep his image “clean” while he was defence minister (till May).

The funds were cleared by five meetings of the Defence Acquisiton Council – four chaired by Arun Jaitley when he held additional charge of the ministry and one by Manohar Parrikar. The monies will go towards the purchase of six stealth submarines (Rs.50,000 crore), “Spike” Israeli anti-tank guided missiles (Rs.3,200 crore), two midget submarines (Rs.2,017 crore), 12 Dornier maritime reconnaissance aircraft (Rs.1,850 crore), 363 BMP-II infantry combat vehicles (Rs.1,800 crore), ship-borne Russian Uran missiles (Rs.1,436 crore), 1,768 railway wagons (Rs.740 crore) and 1,761 vehicle-mounted radio relay containers (Rs.660) crore, among others.

Much of this, for instance the submarines and the Dorniers, will be made within the country and will majorly take forward Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.

Other positives during the year included raising the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defence sector from 25 percent to 49 percent, the indigenous nuclear powered submarine INS Arihant heading out for sea trials, and beginning of series production of the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft.

Once INS Arihant is commissioned about two years from now, it would complete India’s nuclear triad of strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

India has for long been working on a missile defence shield and this would get a further boost with the construction, under wraps at Visakhapatnam, of a stealth vessel armed with an Aegis type system that employs powerful computer and radar technology to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets.

A defence ministry source said this vessel would patrol the seas between Mumbai and Jamnagar to protect both India’s commercial capital and the country’s largest oil refinery.

As for the combat jet, it was in 2012 that the Indian Air Force (IAF) zeroed in on French aviation major Dasault’s Rafale after a six-aircraft competition for a $20 billion deal for 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) to replace its Soviet-era MiG-21 jets that have been crashing with maddening regularity.

The tender itself was floated in 2007 and the six aircraft shortlisted in 2010, but there has been concrete action only in the last two years due to protracted price negotiations and differences in calculating life-cycle costs and factoring in the cost of transferring technology.

One fallout has been the alarming reduction in the IAF squadrons (16+2 aircraft each) to 25 from its sanctioned strength of 39.

“It’s not just a case of depleting squadrons. The Rafale dates from the mid-1980s and even assuming the deal is clinched this year, by the time the last of the jets are inducted, the technology will be more than 40 years old,” an officer involved in the selection process told IANS, declining to be identified on the ground he was not authorised to speak to the media.

While the initial lot of 18 aircraft (one squadron) will come in fly-away condition, the remaining will be progressively manufactured in the country by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. The number could eventually go up to 200 as there is a provision for a 50 percent hike as a follow-on order.

On the officer front, the Indian Army, which is authorised 48,000, is short of 7,764 lieutenant colonels, majors, captains and lieutenants, considered the “fighting rank” officers. The Indian Navy is short of 1,499 lieutenant commanders, lieutenants and sub-lieutenants against its authorised strength of 9,000, and the IAF short of 357 wing commanders, squadron leaders, flight lieutenants and flying officers against its authorised strength of 12,000 officers.

The first quarter of the year saw a nasty hiccup with Admiral D.K. Joshi putting in his papers as the Indian Navy chief after a series of mishaps, including the sinking of a submarine in Mumbai harbour after an explosion and a fire aboard another.

As the year progressed, the chill in the India-Russia defence ties became more pronounced, with New Delhi clearly stating, ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s visit earlier this month, that it could not indefinitely wait for a fifth-generation stealth fighter, an understanding on which was reached during Antony’s visit to Moscow in 2007.

Russia’s decision to deepen its military ties was another matter of concern but not entirely unexpected. After all, the US has overtaken Russia as India’s principal source of armaments and other military hardware – in the last three years, this country made purchases worth Rs.32,615 crore from the US, against Rs.25,364 crore from Russia.

“This has been caused by the changing global paradigm and the trend will continue with both India and the US saying they want to put the past behind them and move ahead. Also, don’t forget that ‘Make in India’ has a better chance of moving forward with the US than with Russia,” the defence ministry source told IANS.

Source : Defence News

NEW DELHI: The Modi government is cranking up clearances for long-pending projects considered critical to plug gaps in India’s operational military capabilities. If the first two meetings of the defence acquisitions council (DAC) cleared proposals worth Rs 40,000 crore, the third one on Saturday gave the nod to projects totalling around Rs 80,000 crore. 

The DAC, chaired by Arun Jaitley on Saturday, gave the green signal to long-term projects like the Rs 50,000 crore project to build six new stealth submarines with foreign collaboration in India as well as deals for anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), “midget submarines” for special covert operations, Dornier aircraft, Russian Uran missiles for warships and the like. 

Significantly, it rejected the American “Javelin” ATGM offer despite the hard-sell by US defence secretary Chuck Hagel during his visit to India in August. Instead, it approved the purchase of the Israeli “Spike” tank-killing missiles, which had already been extensively trial-evaluated by the Indian Army last year. The likelihood of all this happening was first reported by TOI in its Thursday edition.

“National security is of paramount concern for the government. All hurdles and bottlenecks in the procurement process should be addressed expeditiously so that the pace of acquisitions is not stymied,” said Jaitley. 

The speed of clearances contrasted starkly with the feet-dragging under UPA on filling critical needs of armed forces. 

Take the project for the six new-generation submarines, which are to be armed with both land-attack missile capabilities and air-independent propulsion for greater underwater endurance. Grappling with just 13 ageing diesel-electric submarines, the Navy has been crying hoarse for this project to get underway ever since it gained “acceptance of necessity” way back in November 2007. 

But with the UPA government forming committee after committee to review the plan, which earlier included importing two of the six submarines to save time, even the global tender for the mammoth project could not be issued for the last seven years. It will take seven to eight years for the first of these submarines to roll out once the contract is inked. 

The DAC has now decided that a committee will identify within six to eight weeks the public and private Indian shipyards that have the potential to indigenously build the six submarines in line with Modi’s “Make in India” policy. The RFP (request for proposal) will then be issued to the “compliant” shipyards, which in turn will tie up with a foreign collaborator, to submit their bids. 

Incidentally, defence PSU Mazagon Docks is already building the French Scorpene submarines, while the private sector L&T shipyard is helping in the construction of the country’s nuclear-powered submarines. Both, therefore, stand a better chance than the others in bagging the big project. 

The project for the third-generation ATGMs, with fire-and-forget capabilities, will also be a major one. The DAC on Saturday cleared an initial off-the-shelf purchase of 321 Israeli Spike launchers and 8,356 missiles for Rs 3,200 crore. 

This is to be followed by transfer of technology to defence PSU Bharat Dynamics for large-scale indigenous manufacture since the Indian Army wants to equip all its 382 infantry battalions and 44 mechanised infantry units with these tank-killers. The Army is currently saddled with just second-generation ATGMs, and that too with a crippling 50% shortage in launchers and missiles. In all, the ATGM project would cost around Rs 20,000 crore. 

Another significant clearance was for the acquisition of two midget submarines or “chariots” for Rs 2,017 crore. These “underwater special purpose crafts” will be used for covert operations to land elite naval marine commandos or “Marcos” on enemy shores or installations.

Source : TOI

Indian defence scientists have developed a cruise missile – the Nirbhay – which was successfully test-fired today from Chandipur in Odisha. Its first test on March 12 last year had failed, with the missile being terminated after launch as it deviated from its flight trajectory.
1. It is a sub-sonic cruise missile. It blasts off like a rocket, but then unlike a missile, it turns into an aircraft. Unlike other ballistic missiles like the Agni, Nirbhay has wings and pronounced tail fins.

2. In early flight after launch, the rocket motor falls off and the small wings get deployed. 

3. At this point a gas turbine engine kicks in and it becomes like a full aircraft.

4. The Nirbhay is very maneuverable and can fly at tree-top level making it difficult to detect on radar.

5. Once near the target, it can even hover, striking at will from any direction. 

6. It can strike targets more than 700 km away carrying nuclear warheads, giving India the capability to strike deep into enemy territory.

7. It gives India the capacity to launch different kinds of payloads at different ranges from various platforms at a very low cost. It can be launched from a mobile launcher. 

8. The missile has a fire-and-forget system that cannot be jammed.

9. It is India’s answer to America’s Tomahawk and Pakistan’s Babur missile. The US had deployed cruise missiles very effectively during the Gulf War. 

10. India has made ballistic missile and tactical missiles of different capacity, but is yet to master the making of a cruise missile.

Source : Defence News
The Defence Ministry has issued a fresh tender for buying 20 Hawk trainer aircraft for around Rs 2,000 crore after the original file related to the procurement went missing leading to delays in the acquisition process.

A fresh Request for Proposal (RFP) has been issued to the state-owned HAL for procuring 20 additional Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft for Air Force’s Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT), Defence Ministry sources said here.The original file related to the tender had gone missing and the process had to be restarted by the Government, they said.

The defence ministry has taken a serious view of the lapses on part of the officials handling the file and an inquiry has been ordered, officials said.

Disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against officials who are found responsible for the lapses, they said.

India has, so far, placed orders for 123 Hawks with the British BAE Systems in two phases. The first order for 66 aircraft was placed by India in 2004, of which more than 40 have already arrived. The second order for 57 aircraft was placed in June last year.

Source : Defence News
It has been 82 years since the formation of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the guardians of the sky have been a source of pride for the entire nation. Today, October 8th, is the day when the original ‘men and women in blue’ celebrate their Air Force Day.

“On Air Force Day, I salute our air force personnel. They are our pride and their bravery, commitment and dedication continues to inspire,” PM Modi said in an official statement today.The Indian Air Force has come a long way post independence. From relying primarily on imports from countries like USSR (now Russia), Britain, France, Israel and United States, they are now looking to imbibe more indigenous products. The Air Force is in the process of replacing its controversial fleet of MiGs with Light Combat Aircraft, HAL-Tejas, a multi-role light fighter being developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

However, many a challenge still persists for the 175,000 person (approx) strong establishment.

Stagnant defence deals and negligence of the Ministry of Defense has forced the IAF to use equipment which is decades old. The IAF has reportedly lost nearly 116 aircraft to crashes outside of combat out of which 81 crashes occurred in the past two decades.

This year alone a MiG 21 crashed in May in Jammu, A Jaguar fighter crashed near Rajasthan in January, an advanced 307 IAF chopper went down in UP and another chopper crash killed three officers this very month.

The notorious record of the IAF’s MiG-21s has lead to it being referred as a “flying coffin” and a ”widow maker”. The Soviet-era fleet still remains functional despite its obsolete condition.

The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament had called for discontinuation of the aircraft in March, 2002 following the aftermath of the horrific MiG 21 crash in 2002. The government, however, is still in the process of phasing them out.

The IAF also faces the challenges of upgrading their base stations and training their personnel accordingly.

Defence deals over the years have been marred with charges of corruption, inaction and negligence. Many lament, that due to this the IAF has fallen prey to stagnant work ethics.

The Air Force also ends up being tested by political and economic constrains. In the 2013 Indian Helicopter Bribery case the Government of India canceled a Rs 3,000 crore deal following charges of bribery against many officials. Allegations surfaced stating that a whopping sum of Rs 360 crore was paid as bribe, which would constitute more than 10% of the whole deal.

The Government in a bid to upgrade its ageing fleet of MiG 21, MiG 27 and jaguar combat planes initiated an aggressive defence program called Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) competition with the aim to procure 126 multi-role combat aircraft. The $20 billion deal went to the French Rafle fighter jet in 2012 as it was declared the lowest bidder.

The deal however has still not been inked on account of escalation in costs. The Cost Negotiation Committee has proceeded with the deal at a snail’s pace even after the Air Chief Marshal, Arup Raha, stressed on the dire need to move quickly.

Air Chief Marshal Fali H Major (retd) told Business Standard, “This process has been delayed unduly in case of the MMRCA, and this in turn has affected the operational readiness & preparedness of the IAF adversely. If the process was handled well and diligently, we would have had the first Rafale arriving in India by 2014! And now, even if the contract is signed by the end of 2014, the first aircraft will arrive only by 2017.” 

Equipment shortage is another bane. The IAF is supposed to allot a ratio of 20 planes for 42 squadrons but the real figure falls short of the required mark, thus resulting in a declining fleet.

“The quantum of Defense budget allocated to the Armed Forces, in my opinion, is not the real cause for the delay in modernisation of our Armed Forces – it is the tardy and slow procurement process which is the real cause. Costs to the Nation are always kept in mind while modernising, and a cost-effective approach by the Armed Forces to build the required military capability and hone their combat edge is the only way ahead,” the ex- Chief of the Air Staff said. 

Even though India’s defence budget today has increased to Rs 2.29 trillion, utilizing the funds in an appropriate and swift manner is the need of the hour.

Source : Defence News

Police To Buy Three Gadgets For Rs. 1.5Cr Each To Identify Precise Locations
The next time you lose a cellphone, chances of reclaiming it are higher.
Delhi Police has finally given the nod to its much-awaited project for buying devices equipped to trace mobile phones. Around 40 mobile phones go missing here every day on average, police data suggests.

The devices, termed Geolocators, will cost Rs 1.5 crore each—the department will reportedly procure three.

One each will go to the special cell and the crime branch, while the third may be allotted to the local police for specific cases.

TOI had first reported in September last year that cops were planning to procure devices which could help them find mobile phones. Sources confirmed that a global tender was floated last week to procure these machines. The gizmo will not only help cops trace loststolen or snatched phones but will also help in narrowing down on the suspects making ransom calls from a remote area. It will also help in tracking terrorists and criminals on the run, police said.

Geolocators, which use advanced GPS and “frequency locator” technology from Europe, come with an assembly unit and a handheld device. The latter is equipped with a smartphone and can be used to reach to the place where the target phone is located. The units can be mounted on a vehicle or packed in a haversack.

A source said the device would generate a “mobileterminating call or an SMS” to the phone from any given number—cops would even be able to speak to the target and engage or distract him—and then it will establish contact with the phone’s IMEI or IMSI’s frequency. A trained cop will go through the area with the handheld device to track down the target. The GPS-enabled unit will take him even to the room where the crimi nals or terrorists could be operating from or hiding and a cover team will follow to thwart them.

Till now, cops have been using the information furnished by the service provider, which directs them to a vague tower location (such as ITO or Pragati Maidan) which have hundreds of active numbers. Cops get to the tower ID and track the target or the phone using manual intelligence. This device—the handheld part of the unit acts as a guide—can take you up to 10 metres close to the target. It will, however, only be able to track GSM phones with 2G or 3G technology and can be upgraded to 4G as well.

Geolocators are an essential part of any police investigation unit in the West and are crucial in cases of homicides, kidnapping for ransom and robbery. The instrument is perceived to be a great help to the force.

 

Source: Defence News

In this India-U.S. Policy Memo, W.P.S. Sidhu writes that the India-U.S. relationship has progressed significantly over the last 25 years. He outlines areas ripe for deeper cooperation, as well as issues that have the potential to derail ties.

There was a time when India-U.S. relations were summed up in platitudes like “world’s largest democracies,” while seasoned pundits lamented that they were in fact “estranged democracies” that had very little in common. Today, with nearly 30 separate dialogues, the India-U.S. agenda involves issues ranging from the TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) to the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and a spate of acronyms in between.

For New Delhi, the principal driver behind the transformation of its relations with Washington lies in the Indian ambition to become the world’s third-largest economy by 2025 and, consequently, also emerge as one of the key global political and security actors. This fundamental objective requires two external conditions: first, at the very least, ensuring a no-war environment, particularly in India’s immediate neighborhood; and second, the ability to shape global rules in terms of existing and emerging norms and institutions that have a direct impact on India’s ambitious development goal and economic well-being—particularly multilateral norms and institutions related to climate, cyber, energy, food, outer space, trade, and water (rivers and oceans) policy.

New Delhi grudgingly recognized that a partnership with the United States was indispensable to attain these twin external conditions. Consequently, it was essential to cooperate not only at the bilateral level but also critical to reach common understanding (if not agreement) in various multilateral and plurilateral fora.

Such bilateral and multilateral interactions have the potential to take India-U.S. relations forward but also to stymie them. Thus, it is crucial to manage the ever widening and deepening India-U.S. relationship carefully if it is to make progress and contribute to India’s primary objectives.

At present three areas are particularly ripe for cooperation and should be prioritized by New Delhi and Washington: clean energy, defense, and infrastructure and investment.

Clean energy: In the lead-up to his election, Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pledged to “give a thrust to renewable sources of energy,” and the Modi government’s first budget included significant investments for research and development of solar, wind, clean coal, and other renewable energy sources. The joint statement of the fifth strategic dialogue strengthens institutional structures to enhance cooperation in this area. Now India and the United States need to operationalize these mechanisms for additional cooperation.

Defense: In an effort to bolster domestic arms production and create jobs, the Modi government has raised the limit on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the defense sector from 26 percent to 49 percent. U.S. officials applauded the adjustment and the Indian government and American corporations have said they would like to move forward on a host of sales, and co-development and co-production projects. The parties should capitalize on this moment of mutual agreement.

Infrastructure and investment: Prime Minister Modi’s budget allocated massive sums for urban renewal, transportation, and sanitation projects, and eased restrictions on FDI for construction. The establishment of two collaborative infrastructure efforts launched during a recent visit by top U.S. officials suggests this is another area ripe for movement.

While traction in each of the areas above can help to re-energize India-U.S. ties in the near term, a handful of other issues have the potential to derail them:

Free trade: India’s blocking of the World Trade Organization (WTO) trade facilitation agreement (TFA)—while the fifth strategic dialogue was ongoing—disappointed U.S. officials. India’s justification of its actions, on the grounds that it did not get assurances on food subsidies and stockpiling programs, was grudgingly acknowledged by the U.S. However, diplomats on both sides should find a compromise solution to ensure that the WTO fracas does not derail the revived dialogue.

Intellectual property rights: Western pharmaceutical companies have been at loggerheads with India for years over patent laws and regulations on generic drug production, and India is one of just 10 countries currently on the U.S. Trade Representative’s intellectual property rights watch list. With the Indian government and electorate focused on growth and development, discussion of any measures that could significantly hinder Indian industry and deprive access to cheap medication could backfire.

Regional geopolitics: India is anxious about the upcoming U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, suspicious of the American approach vis-à-vis a rising China, and disdainful of U.S. coziness with Pakistan. With hard national interests and a slew of historical grievances at stake, differences of opinion here will be immensely challenging to reconcile.

Diplomatic decorum: The bungled arrest of an Indian consular officer in New York in December 2013 and the lasting—if presently downplayed—effects of the denial of a U.S. visa to then-Chief Minister Modi over his alleged involvement in the 2002 Gujarat riots highlighted a considerable lack of understanding and coordination between the two sides. Rebuilding trust and comfort will take time and dexterity.

Finally, the two parties would do well to seek an early resolution of a couple of other vexing issues, which have the potential either to provide a fillip to or to wreck bilateral relations. If, however, an early resolution is not possible, then both sides should shelve the issues until the new Indian government has had the opportunity to flesh out its policies more clearly.

Civil nuclear deal: The landmark India-U.S. civil nuclear deal lies dormant, due to a dispute over India’s Nuclear Liability Act and the United States backsliding on key elements of the nuclear agreement. Prime Minister Modi has expressed a desire to implement outstanding bilateral nuclear agreements, and American officials have registered hopes that progress will be possible. Still, if large gaps remain, then it might be more sensible to put off trying to find solutions to a later date.

FDI in retail: While India has taken steps to open up various sectors of its economy to FDI—defense, insurance, e-commerce—the multi-brand retail sector remains largely insulated due to sourcing requirements. Reports suggest the BJP-led government is considering a number of adjustments to its retail FDI policies; until their approach is ironed out, it is best to hold off on any related discussions.

Prime Minister Modi’s election provides a unique opportunity to re-energize relations between India and the United States. The parties should recommit themselves to a dialogue of candor and mutual respect, and focus on those areas ripe for progress in order to build much-needed confidence. Only then can India-U.S. ties become what President Obama has called “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”

Source : Brookings