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India and Australia Relations

GS Paper 2

 Syllabus: Bilateral Relations

 

Source: TH, PIB

Context: Australian Prime Minister’s visit to India for India-Australia Summit concluded recently

DimensionExample
Economic·         Bilateral trade (in 2022): over $31 billion (India’s exports: over $10 billion and imports at $17 billion)

·         Target: Both countries aim to boost bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2030

·         Agreement: Implementation of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) (2022) and early completion of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA)

o   ECTA slashed away duties on 96% of Indian exports and 85% of Australian exports.

Defence and security cooperation·         Regular military exercises:Malabar” exercises in August 2023 (India, Australia, Japan, and the US), India has been invited to join the Talisman Sabre exercises in 2023

·         Mutual Logistics Support Agreement (MLSA) (signed between both countries in 2022) to enhance military interoperability

·         The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue (2022)

·         Membership: Both are members of the Quad, Commonwealth, Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), and have participated in the East Asia Summits.

·         Indo-Pacific collaborations: Both Australia and India support a rules-based international order against China

Education and research collaboration·         Letter of Intent on Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement to foster the exchange of skills.

·         Mutual Recognition of Educational Qualifications (MREQ) (2023)

·         Deakin University and the University of Wollongong are planning to open foreign university campuses in India.

·         Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF)

People-to-people ties·         Indian Diaspora in Australia: Over 10 lakh people in Australia reported their ancestry as Indian origin.

·         Cultural exchanges: Annual Confluence Festival of India in Australia and the Oz Fest in India.

Shared Values·         Pluralistic, Westminster-style democracies

·         Commonwealth traditions

·         Strong, vibrant, secular, and multicultural democracies

·         Free press

·         An independent judicial system

·         English language

Climate change and energy·         Australia signed a Uranium supply deal with India (2014)

·         Letter of Intent on New and Renewable Energy for cooperation to reduce the cost of renewable energy technologies (signed in 2022)

·         India has given 10 million Australian dollars to Pacific Island Countries under the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

·         India-Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership

Strategic Indo-Pacific partnership·         Shared vision: Free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, based on respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and international law.

·         Multi-lateral engagements: G20, India-Pacific Infrastructure Partnership (IPIP), the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

·         Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) (between India, Australia and Japan)

Science and Technology CooperationMoU between ISRO and Australian Space Agency (ASA) (2020) for space cooperation.
HistoricalOfficial relations started with the consulate General of India first opened as a Trade Office in Sydney in 1941.

Issues in the relation:

India-Australia relations face several challenges, including the controversy over the Adani coal mine project, which caused tensions due to protests by activists. Visa restrictions for Indian students and professionals seeking to work in Australia have also been a concern. Additionally, attacks on the Indian diaspora and temples by Khalistan supporters have caused strains in the relationship.

Way forward:

The India-Australia relationship has grown stronger due to shared interests, values, and goals. Both countries want a free, inclusive, and rules-based Indo-Pacific region, and they aim to resolve any disagreements or conflicts through peaceful means.

Insta Links:

India-Australia Relations

 

Mains Links

Australia’s interests do not just align with India’s; they are inextricably entwined. Discuss. (150 words)

 

Prelims Links:

Q.1 Consider the following countries: (UPSC 2018)

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. China
  4. India
  5. Japan
  6. USA

Which of the above are among the ‘free-trade partners’ of ASEAN?

(a) 1, 2, 4 and 5
(b) 3, 4, 5 and 6
(c) 1, 3, 4 and 5
(d) 2, 3, 4 and 6

 

Ans: C