India-EU Current Affairs

Union Cabinet gives nod to India-EU agreement on S&T cooperation

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the renewed Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation with European Union (EU) for another period of 5 years.

Decision in this regard was taken by Union Cabinet Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. The agreement will be retrospectively effective from 17 May 2015 until 2020.

Key facts

  • The agreement will reaffirm India-EU’s shared commitment to research and innovation as drivers of social and economic development.
  • The Agreement’s purpose is to strengthen the co-operation in R&D activities in science & technology fields of common interest between the research institutions of the EU Member States and India.
  • The cooperation activities include supporting joint R&D projects, sharing of advanced research facilities, exchange of scientists and experts joint seminars.
  • It will also include symposia and workshops, sharing of relevant information on science, technology and innovation policy, program and R&D projects.

The Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation was initially signed in November, 2001 was in force till May 2015.

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Outcomes of 13th India-EU Summit

The 13th edition of India-European Union Summit was held on in Brussels, capital of Belgium.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented Indian side in the summit. While the European Union (EU) was represented by President of the European Council, Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

The 13th summit laid out concrete priority actions for the strategic bilateral partnership in areas like trade and investment, climate, energy, water and migration in the next five years.

Key Outcomes

  • EU-India Agenda for Action 2020: Both sides endorsed the agenda to concrete the road-map for the EU-India Strategic Partnership for the next five years.
  • EU-India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA): Both sides agreed to further the negotiations on early conclusion of the BTIA.
  • Terrorism: Both sides adopted a Joint Declaration on Counter-terrorism to step up cooperation to counter radicalisation and violent extremism.
  • It will also allow jointly countering the flow of sources of terrorist financing, Foreign Terrorist Fighters and arms supply.
  • Loan assistance to Lucknow Metro: The European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to lend loan of 450 million Euros for the construction of the first metro line in Lucknow.
  • G20 Skills Strategy: Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to implement the G20 Skills Strategy and also expressed their intention to organise a high level skills seminar.
  • India-EU Water Partnership: The Joint Declaration was adopted in this regard to enhance cooperation on environment issues, including on the ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Clean India’ flagship programmes.
  • India-EU Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement: Both sides agreed to extend this agreement until 2020 to boost innovation and research in India and Europe.
  • Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility: Both sides agreed to establish this agenda in order to enhance involvement of citizens’ in the strategic partnership.
  • Arbitration procedure on the Italian Marines: Both sides expressed their confidence in solving the marine case currently underway in the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Note: The EU-India strategic partnership was launched in 2004. The last summit i.e. 12th edition was held in 2012 in New Delhi.

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