India-Australia Current Affairs

First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee held in New Delhi

The First Meeting of India-Australia Joint Steering Committee (JSC) was held in New Delhi. The delegations for the meeting was led by TVSN Prasad, Additional Secretary, Union Ministry of Home Affairs andStephen Bouwhuis, First Assistant Secretary, International and Auscheck Division, Criminal Justice Group, Attorney-General’s Department.

Key Facts

During JSC meeting both countries discussed scope for cooperation in counter-terrorism and checking extremism and radicalization besides steps to check illegal financial transactions and counterfeiting and cybercrimes.

They also discussed issues related to human trafficking and people smuggling, combating illegal drug trafficking and sharing information between law enforcement agencies were also discussed. They also agreed to pursue further agenda for cooperation in specific areas with meetings of operational Joint Working Groups (JWGs) involving concerned agencies.

Background

The first JSC meeting was follow-up to Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime signed between both countries during visit of Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to India in April 2017.

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Indian Warships reach Australia to take part in Bilateral Maritime Exercise AUSINDEX-17

Indian warships have reached Australia’s port city of Freemantle to take part in a week-long naval exercise off the Western Australian coast.

Salient Highlights

Exercise Australia-India (AUSINDEX) was first conducted off the East Coast of India in September 2015. AUSINDEX-17 will be the second overall bilateral drill between Indian Navy and Royal Australian Navy.

AUSINDEX bilateral exercise aims to enhance interoperability and professional interaction between two navies.

Politically, the joint exercise assumes significance as India is yet to take a final decision to accommodate Australia’s request to participate in the Indian-led Malabar naval exercise this year. Malabar naval exercise involves the navies of India, Japan, and the United States.

Indian warships INS Kamorta, the INS Shivalik (first stealth warship built in India), and oiler INS Jyoti, will take part in the exercise.

Australian warships which will take part in the exercise includes missile frigate HMAS Newcastle; diesel-electric submarine HMAS Waller; special operations unit, Clearance Diving Team Four; and P3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft of the Royal Australian Air Force.

The exercise will be held between June 17 and 19.

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