Connectivity Current Affairs

India, Iran ink 9 agreements

India and Iran have signed nine agreements, including one on connectivity related to strategic Chabahar port and on double taxation avoidance.  These agreements were signed after bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The bilateral talks focused to boost cooperation in key areas of security, trade and energy. This was Hassan Rouhani’s first official state visit to India after he was elected Iran’s President in 2013. He had started his three-day visit from Hyderabad as the city has a long history of cultural and religious ties with Iran.

Signed Agreements are

Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on Income. It will avoid burden of double taxation between two countries in order to promote flow of investment and services.

MoU on Exemption from Visa requirement for holders of Diplomatic Passports. It will waive requirement of visa for travel of diplomatic passport holders in each country.

Exchange of Instrument of Ratification of Extradition Treaty. It brings into effect the Extradition Treaty signed between India and Iran in 2008.

Lease Contract for Shahid Beheshti Port- Phase 1 of Chabahar during Interim Period. It was signed between Port and Maritime Organization (PMO), Iran and India Ports Global Limited (IPGL).  Leasing is for 18 months to take over operation of existing port facilities.

MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine. It seeks to develop and strengthen cooperation in traditional systems of medicine including regulation of teaching, practice, drugs and drugless therapies.

MoU on establishment of an Expert Group on Trade Remedy Measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest. It aims to establish a framework of cooperation in area of Trade Remedial Measures viz. anti-dumping and counterveiling duty.

MoU on Cooperation in the field of Agriculture and Allied Sectors. It includes joint activities, programmes, exchange of information and personnel, cooperation in field of agricultural crops, agricultural extension, horticulture, machinery, postharvest technology, plant quarantine measures, credit and cooperation, soil conservation, seed technology, livestock improvement, dairy development.

MoU on Cooperation in field of Health and Medicine. It seeks to establish comprehensive inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation between two sides.

MoU on Postal Cooperation. It includes exchange of experience, knowledge and technology in e-commerce and logistics services; cooperation on philately, feasibility studies on using air and surface transit capacities of both countries.


ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit issues Delhi Declaration

The ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit was held in New Delhi to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of sectoral dialogue between two sides under the theme of “Shared Values, Common Destiny”.

It issued joint statement titled Delhi Declaration after the plenary session focusing on counter-terrorism, identity security, military cooperation, and bilateral financial support.

India and 10 ASEAN countries for first time mentioned cross-border movement of terrorists and made commitment to counter the challenge through close cooperation as part of the declaration.

Key Highlights of Delhi Declaration

Strengthening relations: Called for strengthening and deepening ASEAN-India Strategic Partnership for mutual benefit, across the whole spectrum of political-security, economic, socio-cultural and development cooperation.

Terrorism: Deepen cooperation in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, violent extremism and radicalisation through information sharing, law enforcement cooperation and capacity building under existing ASEAN-led mechanism.

Cyber-security: Strengthen cooperation on cyber-security capacity building and policy coordination, including through supporting the implementation of ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy.

Transnational crimes: It called for strengthening cooperation to combat other transnational crimes, including people smuggling, trafficking in persons, illicit drug trafficking, cybercrime, and piracy and armed robbery against ships.

Political and Security Cooperation: Reaffirm importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime safety and security, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region.

It calls for other lawful uses of seas and to promote peaceful resolutions of disputes, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Economic Ties: Both sides reaffirmed to work to further strengthen ASEAN-India economic relations, including through full utilisation and effective implementation of ASEAN-India Free Trade Area. They also called for swift conclusion to comprehensive and mutually beneficial Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2018 to further trade ties. They also look forward to establish ASEAN-India Trade and Investment Centre.

Physical and digital connectivity: Reaffirmed their commitment to enhance physical and digital connectivity in line with Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and ASEAN ICT Masterplan (AIM) 2020 by availing $1-billion line of credit (LoC) announced by India. They will also work towards encouraging early completion of India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway Project and extend it to Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam.

Conservation and sustainable use of marine resources in Indian and Pacific Oceans and address threats to these resources including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, loss of coastal ecosystems and the adverse impacts of pollution, , marine debris and ocean acidification.

Maritime cooperation: It emphasised need to promote maritime transport cooperation and encourage potential private sector participation in development of seaports, maritime logistics network and maritime services in order to create greater efficient linkages and continue discussions on these priority areas.

MSMEs: It calls for promotion of stable and sustainable growth for MSMEs, including through technology transfer, as well as enhancing capacity building, technical assistance, access to innovation and opportunities to integrate into global and regional value chains were agreed upon.

Peaceful exploitation of outer space: India and ASEAN countries will continue to collaborate in peaceful exploitation of outer space, through implementation of the ASEAN-India Space Cooperation Programme. It will include launching of satellites, sustainable exploitation of ground, sea, atmospheric and digital resources for equitable development of region.


ASEAN is regional intergovernmental organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian countries which promotes Pan-Asianism and intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration amongst its members and other Asian countries.

It consists of 10-member countries- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. It was established on August 8, 1967 through ASEAN declaration (also known as Bangkok Declaration). Its secretariat is located in Jakartaa, Indonesia.