Nirmala Sitharaman Current Affairs - 2019
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India is going to host inaugural 2+2 Dialogue with United States in September 2018 in New Delhi. In the inaugural meeting, Minister of External Affairs (MEA) Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will host US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis.
The inaugural meeting will cover broad range of bilateral, regional and global issues of shared interest, with a view to strengthening strategic and security ties between the two countries. Both nations will discuss strengthening of strategic, security and defence cooperation as both nations have committed to jointly address challenges in Indo-Pacific region and beyond. The dialogue is seen as vehicle to elevate strategic relationship between the two countries.
Note: The inaugural 2+2 dialogue was scheduled to be held in July 2018, but was postponed at last moment by US citing “unavoidable reasons”. It was third time that 2+2 dialogue was postponed in the last six months.
2+2 Dialogue between India and US was agreed during visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to US in June, 2017. It is similar to India-Japan 2+2 dialogue format between foreign and defence secretaries and ministers of the two countries. It replaces earlier India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.
The dialogue s aimed enhancing strategic coordination between both countries and maintaining peace and stability in Indo-Pacific region. It puts strategic, defence and security relationship between two countries at forefront and centre stage.
It insulates India-US strategic relationship from feuds over trade issues and deep divide on economic integration policies as trade and commercial issues that collided with strategic relationship between both countries’ discussed in Strategic and Commercial Dialogue earlier.
The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman approved proposal foe procurement of equipment for Defence Forces worth Rs. 5500 crore. These proposals were approved in line with Government’s goal of indigenisation and self-reliance in field of Defence Procurements. DAC is Defence Ministry’s highest decision-making body on capital procurement of Indian Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force).
12 High Power Radars: They will be procured for Indian Air Force under ‘Buy (Indian) IDDM’ category. These technologically superior radars will provide long range medium and high altitude cover with capability to detect and track high speed targets following parabolic trajectories. These radars have capability to scan 360 degree without mechanical rotation of Antenna. They operate on 24×7 and require minimal maintenance. Their procurement will enhance overall efficacy of Air Defence network in the country.
Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs): They will be procured for Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs) for Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and Indian Army from Indian Shipyard. These vessels offer great advantage over conventional boats and crafts as they have ability to travel at very high speeds over shallow water, sand banks, mud flats and swamps which are non-navigable by boats and small crafts due to draught restrictions and uncharted depths. These craft offer capability enhancement for Services. They will prove useful for amphibious and riverine operations, especially where there is requirement to move men and material from one island to another island, across riverine terrain, creeks etc.