India-Germany Video-conferenceApprox Read Time: 5 min
In News: India-Germany Video-conference
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently held a video-conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Highlights of the video-conference:
- The two leaders discussed key issues of mutual importance, including the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral ties, regional and global issues, particularly India-EU relations.
- PM Modi appreciated the role of Chancellor Merkel in providing stable and strong leadership at the European and global stage, and thanked her for guiding the growth of the India-Germany Strategic Partnership.
- He also welcomed Germany’s decision to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), and expressed his desire to further strengthen cooperation with Germany under the platform of Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).
- He shared the progress on vaccine development in India and assured Chancellor Merkel of India’s commitment to use its capacities for the benefit of the world.
- Noting that this year marks the 70th anniversary of setting up bilateral relations between India and Germany and 20th anniversary of the Strategic Partnership, the two leaders agreed to hold the sixth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) at an early date in 2021.
Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI):
- The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) is an international coalition of countries, United Nations (UN) agencies, multilateral development banks, the private sector, and academic institutions that aims to promote disaster-resilient infrastructure.
- It was launched by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit.
- It aims to achieve substantial changes in member countries’ policy frameworks and future infrastructure investments, along with a major decrease in the economic losses suffered due to disasters.
- As of March 2020, the CDRI comprises 15 member countries and three knowledge and development partners.
- The three knowledge and development partners are: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank.
International Solar Alliance (ISA):
- The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of 121 countries initiated by India.
- The alliance is a treaty-based inter-governmental organization. After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states world-wide.
- The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient consumption of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
- India was amongst the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with Germany after the Second World War. Today, Germany is amongst India’s most important partners both bilaterally and in the global context.
- India and Germany have a ‘Strategic Partnership’ since 2001, which has been further strengthened with the launch of Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) in 2011 at the level of Heads of Governments.
- India is amongst a select group of countries with which Germany has such a dialogue mechanism.
- There is an Indo-German Parliamentary Friendship Group, in German Bundestag (lower house of German Parliament) since 1971.
- The India-Germany Defence Cooperation Agreement(2006) provides the framework for bilateral defence cooperation.
- To further enhance the defence industry and defence cooperation between Germany and India, an Arrangement on Implementation of the Agreement of 2006 concerning Bilateral Defence Cooperation was signed in 2019.
Economic & Commercial Relations –
- Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe and India ranked 24th in Germany’s global trade during 2019.
- India’s exports were Euro 9.38 billion and imports were Euro 11.93 billion.
- Germany is the 7th largest foreign direct investor in India since 2000. Germany’s total FDI in India from 2000 until March 2020 amounted to US$ 12.19 billion.
- A fast-track system for German companies has been operating in Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) since 2016.
- India and Germany have also set up a fast-track system in 2019 for Indian companies in Germany.
- To facilitate the entry of German Mittelstand (medium sized companies) in India, the Embassy of India, Berlin runs the Make in India Mittelstand (MIIM) Programme since 2015.
Cooperation in Science & Technology:
- Indo-German Science & Technology cooperation started with the signing of the Intergovernmental S&T Cooperation Agreement in 1971 and 1974.
- There are more than 150 joint S&T research projects and 70 direct partnerships between Universities of both countries.
- India’s scientific establishments have close partnerships with German R&D institutions, including the Max Planck Society, Fraunhofer Laboratories and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
- India and Germany have a long tradition of academic and cultural exchange. Max Mueller was the first scholar of Indo-European languages to translate and publish the Upanishads and the Rigveda.
- German interest in the Indian philosophy and languages resulted in the setting up of the first Chair of Indology at the University of Bonn in 1818.
- There has been growing interest in Germany in Indian dance, music and literature, as well as motion picture and TV industry.
Indians in Germany:
- In 2018, there were about 1.7 lakh Indians and people of Indian origin in Germany.
- The Indian diaspora mainly comprises of professionals, technocrats, businessmen/traders and nurses and there are a number of Indian associations in Germany.
- In 2018, more than 17,000 Indian students were pursuing various courses in Germany.