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Thursday, 8 March 2012


June 2011 BILATERAL issues
  • Foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited India on 26-27 June 2011. During his visit, Sheikh Abdullah and his Indian counterpart SM Krishna signed a bilateral MOU on periodic political consultations between the two foreign offices on bilateral issues as well as exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. Both nations agreed to work together to enhance the profile of India-UAE investment relations, especially in the infrastructure sector. They also agreed that the joint commission on Economic Cooperation Meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2011.Al Nahyan reiterated UAE’s full support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. It is important to note that during 2009-10, India was UAE’s largest trading partner with bilateral trade of US$ 43 billion. 
  • India and Slovenia signed three agreements on 14 June 2011. The agreement was also intended to boost the economic relations between Slovenia and India. Slovenia looked forward to strong political and business ties with India. The agreement is an outcome of theSlovenian Prime Minister, Borut Pahor’s four-day visit to India. The agreement included- 
    • An agreement on cooperation in the field of education, science and technology and research.
    • Mutual promotion and protection of investments
    • MoU between Bureau of Indian Standards and Slovenian Institute for Standards. The Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) was signed by India’s Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherji and the Slovenian Economy Minister, Ms. Darja Radiae. 
  • Swiss parliament gave approval for amending its tax treaties with other countries, including India. This makes easier access for India, to collect information about the illegal funds held by the Indian nationals in Swiss private banks. The beneficiaries from the new amendments include India, Germany, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, and Poland. These countries are secured with easy legal assistance and information. Indian Finance Ministry and Swiss Federal Council signed a protocol to amend the double taxation agreement in the area of taxes on income on 30 August 2010. 
  • India and Japan on 6 June 2011 signed seven agreements in New Delhi under which Japan will provide soft loans worth 8632 crore rupees for a number of projects including the Bangalore Metro Rail. The loans are to be given under the Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).The agreements cover many sectors, including energy, power, financial services, urban transport, road safety and forestry.It should be noted that India is the highest recipient of ODA from Japan at present. 
  • India on 3 June 2011 extended duty-free market access to Afghanistan as part of its economic package for LDCs (Least Developed Countries). Under this scheme, the import of most products from the neighbouring nation will be allowed at zero duty.India’s duty-free tariff preference (DFTP) scheme was launched by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2008. The scheme provides preferential duty access on products including 92.5 percent of global LDC exports.Some of the products of interest for LDCs which are covered include cotton, aluminium ore, cashewnut, cane sugar, readymade garments, fish fillets and non-industrial diamonds.
  • India on 31 May 2011 notified the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with the Government of Mozambique for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.The DTAA provides for effective exchange of information and assistance in collection of taxes between tax authorities of the two countries. It will also provide tax stability to the residents of India and Mozambique and facilitate mutual economic cooperation as well as stimulate the flow of investment, service and technology between India and Mozambique.
  • India and Uzbekistan signed a total of 34 agreements during the visit of Islam AbduganievichKarimov(President of Uzbekistan) to India on 17-18 May 2011. The major agreements between India and Uzbekistan are as following:
  • Memorandum of Understanding between ONGC Videsh Limited and Uzbekneftegaz on Cooperation in Hydrocarbon Sector.
  • Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in Oil and Gas sector between Uzbekneftegaz and ESSAR group.
  • Agreement of establishment of Joint Business Council between the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan. India and Uzbekistan also issued a joint statement on strategic partnership during this visit. The strategic partnership between India and Uzbekistan would include active cooperation in a wide spectrum of areas such as political, economic, counter-terrorism, education, health, human resource development, science and technology, tourism and culture.

July 2011 BILATERAL issues
  • The President of India Pratibha Devisingh Patil visited South Korea on 24-27 July 2011 as a part of her two-nation tour, which also includes Mongolia. The state visit of the Indian President was aimed at accelerating India’s cooperation with South Korea. During this visit, India and Korea signed the following agreements: 
    1. Agreement between India and Korea for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
    2. MoU signed between the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Ministry of Culture, sports and tourism of Korea on Media exchanges.
    3. Administrative Arrangement for Social Security arrangement. 
  • India and Mongolia signed three agreements, which includes defence cooperation, media exchanges and cooperation between their planning commissions during the visit of Indian President Prtibha Patil to Mongolia. India also announced that it would extend a 20 million US dollars line of credit for setting up an India - Mongolia Joint Information Technology, Education and Outsourcing Centre in Ulaanbaatar. Besides, India will also upgrade and modernize the Rajiv Gandhi Art and Production School and the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technology.This is the first Indian Presidential visit after a gap of 23 years; the last was by President R. Venkataraman. Mongolia is a land locked central Asian country. It is also described as land of the blue skies. 
  • The Government of India signed an Agreement and Protocol for Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (DTAA) with Government of Lithuania in New Delhi. Lithuania is the first Baltic country with which DTAA has been signed by India. The Agreement further incorporates provisions for effective exchange of information between tax authorities of the two countries in line with latest international standard, including exchange of banking information and supplying of information without recourse to domestic interest. 
  • India and Britain on 26 July 2011 confirmed trade deals worth billions of poundsafter the talks concluded between Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in London. The talks were a part of the Economic and Financial dialogue between the two countries. The commercial ties are growing between UK and India. Around 3000 British firms were either investing in or planning to invest in India. 
  • The Second annual meeting of the India-US strategic dialogue was held in New Delhi on 19 July 2011 to strengthen the India-US global strategic partnership. The dialogue was held during the official visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India. The two nations issued a joint statement at the end of the dialogue. The main features of the statement are as following—
    • India, the United States, and Japan plan to commence a trilateral dialogue at senior official level.
    • The two sides reaffirmed their commitment for consultation, coordination, and cooperation on Afghanistan, and to work jointly in Afghanistan in capacity building, agriculture, and women’s empowerment, expanding on work already underway. Both sides agreed to Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and inclusive reconciliation.
    • The United States looks forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.
    • India-USA reiterated their commitment to further strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation, including through intelligence sharing, information exchange, operational cooperation, and access to advanced counter-terrorism technology and equipment.
    • The two governments signed a Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) on July 18. 
  • The Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) between India and the USAwas signed by Nasim Zaidi, Secretary, Civil Aviation and J Randolph Babbitt, Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in New Delhi. BASA will facilitate reciprocal airworthiness certification of civil aeronautical products imported/exported between the two signatory authorities. BASA would encourage indigenous aircraft and aeronautical products industry and the US acceptance of Indian products will help their global acceptance. It would lessen the economic burden imposed on the aviation industry and operators by redundant technical inspections, evaluations and testing. The USA has signed BASA with 24 countries. 
  • India and the United States agreed to step up Science and Technology coordination in New Delhi. The areas where the coordination will be intensified include energy, agriculture, healthcare, nutrition and monsoon forecasting. This was agreed upon during a meeting between Assistant to the US President for Science & Technology John P. Holdren and Minister of State for Planning, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Ashwani Kumar. The meeting was held in the context of the ongoing Indo-US Strategic Dialogue. The Meeting stressed upon the need to work towards making agriculture resilient and for further research on forecasting various hazards like cyclones. 
  • Marking a major milestone in the cooperation between India and Kyrgyzstan, the Kyrghyz President Ms Roza Otunbaeva and the Defence Minister Shri AK Antony on 5 july inaugurated the Kyrghyz-Indian Mountain Biomedical Research Centre (KIMBMRC) at the Kyrghyz capital, Bishkek. The Centre will carry out research on the mechanism of short term and long term high altitude adaptation. The scientists will focus on molecular biology approaches to identify markers for screening of people for high altitude resistance and susceptibility to high altitude sickness and development of mountain maladies. The benefits of these studies will apply to a large population across the globe, as more and more people travel to the mountains every year. India’s contribution to the project is Rs 6 Crores. 
  • The India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which will come into effect on 1 July 2011, is India’s fourth bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, after Singapore, South Korea and Japan. The CECA envisages liberalization of trade in goods, trade in services, investments and other areas of economic cooperation. Trade between India and Malaysia has reached US$ 10 billion in 2010-11, an increase of 26% from the previous year. It is expected that the implementation of this agreement will boost bilateral trade to US$15 billion by 2015.
  • The Union government of India has entered into an agreement with University of Melbourne to address the problem of mental health in the country and the treatment gap on it. A MoU was signed in Delhi between the Health and Family Welfare Ministry and University of Melbourne to this effect. The collaboration will lead to the development of community mental health models in India that can be scaled up to increase access to effective care for people with mental illness. The University of Melbourne is a public university located in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 1853, it is the second oldest university in Australia and the oldest in Victoria.
  • Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on 27 August 2011 laid the foundation stone for a Rs. 172-crore integrated check-post (ICP) at the India-Bangladesh international border to boost bilateral ties. Also present on the occasion was Bangladeshi Home Minister, Shahra Khatun and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.The ICP project, which is part of the government of India's initiative for better border management is to put in place systems which address both security concerns, as well as facilitate cross-border trade and commerce.13 other ICPs are to be set up on the borders between India and Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Myanmar as part of a plan with an initial outlay of Rs. 635 crore during the 11th Five Year Plan. Out of the 13 ICPs, seven will be set up on the India-Bangladesh border. 
  • The Government of India signed an Agreement for Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (DTAA) with Government of Georgia. M.C.Joshi, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) on behalf of the Government of India and Zurab Katchkatchishvili, Ambassador of Georgia to India on behalf of the Government of Georgia, signed the Agreement. The DTAA provides that business profits will be taxable in the source state if the activities of an enterprise constitute a Permanent Establishment (PE) in the source state. 

  • India- Japan CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) enters into forceon 1 August 2011. This is India’s third Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (after Singapore and South Korea) and India’s first with a developed country. It covers more than 90% of trade, a vast gamut of services, investment, IPR, customs and other trade-related issues. Tariffs will be brought to zero in 10 years on 66.32% of tariff lines to give sufficient time to industry to adjust to the trade liberalization. Under the India-Japan CEPA, India will be benefited by Japanese investments, technology and excellent management practices that come with it. Japan can take advantage of India‘s huge and growing market and resources, especially its human resources. The current bilateral trade between India and Japan is a little over 12.6 billion US dollars and it is expected that it will touch 25 billion US dollars by 2014.
  • India-Japan global partnership summit 2011 was held in Tokyo, Japan on 5-7 September 2011. To mark 10 years of the announcement of India-Japan Global Partnership Agreement, the India Center Foundation organized this summit. Apart from socio- cultural exchanges, this summit provided a platform for face-to-face discussion among the top business leaders, policy makers, opinion leaders and academicians from both nations. India Center Foundation is a non-partisan and not-for-profit organization working as a catalyst in nation building processes of India through its various socio-economic initiatives. India Japan Global Partnership is one of such initiatives.
  • India signed DTAA (Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) with Estonia on 19 September 2011 and forged a pact to work with it in the field of information, communications and technology (ICT). The DTAA and the pact on ICT was signed during the visit of communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal to Estonia. Kapil signed the DTAA with Estonian Minister of Finance Jurgen Ligi. India will also set up a Chair on Cyber Security in Tallinn University and a Chair on Indian languages, history and literature in another of Estonia’s universities.
  • The government-run Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) setup its first overseas campus in Kampala, Uganda to assist students of African nations understand the nuances of globalisation and capacity-building in the continent. The new institute, named India-Africa Institute of Foreign Trade (IAIFT), is being set up as a part of the Indian government's initiative to help develop a higher education system in African countries in specialised fields.During the India-Africa Forum Summit in 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced that India would help establish 19 educational institutions in Africa. IIFT is one of them and the African Union wanted it to be set up in Kampala.
  • India and China held their first Strategic Economic Dialogue in Beijing on 26 September 2011. India and China agreed to deepen bilateral investment cooperation, further open up markets to each other and improve the investment environment. India and China also agreed to strengthen cooperation on energy efficiency and conservation, as well as on environmental protection. In order to promote sustainable development, the two sides agreed to cooperate in the renewable energy sector. The two sides agreed to host the next SED in 2012 in India. Strategic Economic Dialogue will increase mutual understanding and trust between India and China. Through this dialogue, both nations could share their experience to achieve economic development. Although the bilateral trade crossed 61 billion US dollars in 2011, India was left with deficit of over 40.9 billion US dollars due to accelerated exports from China.
India and Bangladesh on 6 September 2011 signed a historic protocol on land boundary agreement following the talks between Prime Minister Mahmohan Singh and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka. During the visit of Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh, India and Bangladesh signed the following agreements:
  1. Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development
  2. Protocol to the Agreement concerning the demarcation of the Land Boundary between India and Bangladesh and related matters
  3. MOU between India and Bangladesh to facilitate Overland Transit Traffic between Bangladesh and Nepal
  4. Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Renewable Energy
  5. Memorandum of Understanding on Conservation of the Sunderban
  6. Protocol on Conservation of the Royal Bengal Tiger of the Sunderban
  7. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Fisheries
  8. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between Doordarshan and Bangladesh Television
  9. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between Jawaharlal Nehru University and Dhaka University
  10. Agreement of Cooperation between National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFT), India and BGMEA Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT), Bangladesh.
The Government of the Republic of India signed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Uruguay for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital on 8th September, 2011. The Agreement was signed in New Delhi by MC Joshi, Chairman, Central Board of Direct Taxes on behalf of the Government of India and by Cesar Ferrer, Ambassador of Uruguay to India, on behalf of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay.

  • President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, HEU Thein Sein visited Indiafrom 12 to 15 October 2011. This was the first State visit of any political head from Myanmar to India following the swearing in of a new government in Myanmar in March 2011. During this visit, India and Myanmar agreed to step up cooperation in oil and natural gas with discussions touching on new gas pipelines. India also offered an additional 500 million US dollars line of credit. India agreed to resolve border issues and step up energy and trade links. In security, India and Myanmar agreed to increase the effectiveness of coordinated operations on either side of the border through better intelligence sharing. India also agreed to increase training slots for Myanmar students and establish more I.T. training centres. India and Myanmar discussed the Moreh-Mae Sot road that would connect India and Thailand via Myanmar. This will open a direct road link between India and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). This direct road link will also accelerate the plans of ASEAN for the Mekong-Ganga corridor. India welcomed Myanmar's progress towards an open and democratic framework.
  • India and Vietnam signed six agreements on 12 October 2011 during the visit of Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang to India. The agreements are as follows:
    • India and Vietnam signed an extradition treaty
    • Oil exploration agreement in South China Sea
    • Friendship pact to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the diplomatic relations in 2012
    • Agreement in the field of agriculture and fisheries
    • Cooperation in sports and tourism
    • Agreement on Cultural Exchanges India and Vietnam also decided to launch a biennial Security Dialogue between their home ministries.
The two nations also decided to increase the trade target to 7 billion US dollars by 2015 from the present mark of 2.7 billion US dollars. 
  • India and South Africa on 11 October 2011 signed a pact to facilitate exchange of Knowledge and experience in the field of election management and administration in New Delhi. It was signed by the Chief Election Commissioner of India, SY Quraishi and the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of South Africa, Brigalia Bam. The MoU also paves the way for promotion and implementation of educational research and training programmes. The Election Commission of India has so far signed eleven MoUs with Election Management Bodies across the world including Brazil, Russia Indonesia, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • Kamal Nath Minister of Urban Development, Government of India and Gregory Clark, Minister of State for Decentralization and Cities agreed to work towards a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and UK on 14 October 2011 at London. The MoU would aim at enhancing cooperation and deepen the engagement between India and UK in the areas of capacity building, land economics, heritage management, sustainable master planning, transport planning etc. Another area of cooperation would be the sharing of knowledge in the formulation of Public Private Partnership Models. Kamal Nath was in London on 14 October 2011 to participate in the UK India Business Forum organised by the UKIBC, UK Trade & Investment and Indian Chamber of Commerce.
  • India and United States agreed to explore new models for educational institutions to takeknowledge partnership to a higher level. This will also help in further deepening the bilateral strategic cooperation. In a Joint Statement issued at the end of the India-US Higher Education Summit in Washington, the goals of the partnership were outlined. Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, during discussions in the summit, made it clear that India is keen to strengthen teacher exchange programmes to promote development of human resources. India intends to sponsor initially up to 1500 faculty and junior scholars to leading universities and research institutes in the United States.
  • A 14-day long India-Bangladesh joint military exercise started on 9 October 2011 at Jalalabad Cantonment in Sylhet division, some 240 km northeast of capital Dhaka. The military exercise between the two nations was codenamed Op Sampriti. Under the joint military exercise, counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations will be practiced as per the UN mandate. India fielded around 40 troops of its elite 21-Para (Special Forces) battalion for the exercise while the Bangladesh Army deployed one of its Para Commando battalions. Around 40 to 50 troops took part in the exercise. 
  • Afghan president Hamid Karzai was on a two-day visit in India on 4 October and 5 October 2011. The visit meant for both the countries to consolidate their strategic partnership and discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest. On 4 October 2011 India signed three agreements with Afghanistan for both the countries greater strategic partnership. The agreements were singed between Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai and India’s Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh. The Three arguments that were signed during the visit were:

    1. Agreement on Strategic Partnership between India and Afghanistan 
    2. MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Development of Hydrocarbons 
    3. MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Mineral Resources Development.
  • India and Iran on 5 October 2011 agreed to set up a mechanism for payment of crude oil and ensure bilateral trade. Both sides agreed that the mechanism would cover the payment to Indian exporters and some other areas. The two countries have decided to continue their dialogue on the issue. Earlier, Iran had threatened to stop crude oil supplies to India if a mechanism to pay for imports is not found quickly. India has to pay Iran 9 billion dollars, which is now seven months in arrears. The problem over payment to Iran happened after the Reserve Bank of India on 23 December 2010 scrapped the Asian Clearing Union (ACU). As an alternative to Asian Clearing Union, India tried to make payments through countries like the UAE, Turkey and Russia. However, these nations had objections to routing big amount of 13 billion dollars that India pays for Iranian oil annually. They wanted to route small payment up to 6-7 million dollars. Iran is second only to Saudi Arabia as an oil supplier to India, while India is Iran's second-biggest crude buyer after China, accounting for about 20 per cent of its exports.
  • The IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa) gifted a sports centre to the Palestinian Authority in November 2011. Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed, Ambassador Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade Pinto of Brazil and South Africa's Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Marius Fransman attended the inauguration ceremony in Ramallah, Palestine for the occasion.India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Multipurpose Sports Center was constructed in Ramallah with the funding of IBSA Forum. It is the first IBSA project in the entire Middle East.
  • The Prime Minister attended the 9th ASEAN-India and East Asia Summits at Bali in Indonesia. He also held bilateral talks with US President Barack Obama, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. Manmohan Singh also met Prime Minister of Cambodia, Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard and President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the sidelines of the Summits. The biggest gathering of Asian countries in Bali, Indonesia sought domination of economic agenda of interest to their region. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that Asian countries have stake in early resolution of euro zone crisis and should send a message of solidarity to Europe. In the second leg of his tour, the Prime Minister visited Singapore, where he held bilateral meeting with Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong. Lee supported India's permanent membership in the UN Security Council. 
  • India and the United Arab Emirates on 23 November 2011 signed two key agreements. The first agreement will allow each other's convicted prisoners to serve the rest of their jail terms in their native country. It is likely to benefit 1000 Indians imprisoned in different UAE jails for various crimes. The second agreement is related to security cooperation. The agreement seeks to increase cooperation on several issues like organized crime, combating terrorism and drug trafficking. India and UAE already have an extradition treaty. 
  • Chinese Ambassador, Zhang Yan to India on 17 November 2011 handed over the cheque of 1 million US dollars for construction of a library in Nalanda International University (NIU) to highlight the Chinese art and architecture. The fund will be used for the construction of a library, which will help in strengthening the relations between India and China. China fulfilled the commitment made by Premier Wen Jiabao during his Nalanda visit on 21 January 2011. Exchange of culture through Nalanda International University is a major project for China.
  • A new defence pact was signed between the USA and Australia. This agreement updated a 60-year-old security alliance between the USA and Australia. The pact will allow up to 250 US marines to be stationed in Darwin in northern Australia in the first phase that will begin in 2012. There will be a rotation every six months, which will bring more than 2,500 marines stationed in Australia by 2014. The two nations also agreed to enhance air force cooperation and visits by US carriers to northern Australia. 
  • Switzerland has started sharing banking and tax-related information with India,more than a year after the two countries signed a revised bilateral treaty that is likely to help in tackling black money. 
  • Pakistan on 2 November 2011 decided to grant India most-favoured-nation(MFN) trade status. The Pakistani cabinet voted unanimously to grant most-favored-nation status to India, which in effect gives Indian businesses lower tariffs and fewer trade barriers. It will allow Pakistan to start removing formidable barriers to sales of Indian goods. India had granted Pakistan most favoured nation (MFN) status in 1996. However, Pakistan had shown reluctance to reciprocate until the dispute over Kashmir was resolved.
  • Bangladesh and Russia on 2 November 2011 signed a deal to build a nuclear power plant at Rooppur in Pabna district. It would be Bangladesh’s first nuclear plant. Russia will provide technical support for setting up two generators each capable of producing 1000 megawatts of electricity. Russia will also supply fund and fuel rods for safe storage. The new safety features will also be implemented in the plant.

  • The Prime Minister of India visited Russia on 15-17 December 2011 to participate into theIndo-Russian annual summit. India and Russia signed five major agreements during this summit, which includes licensed production of an additional 42 Sukhoi combat planes and to manage fly ash residue at thermal plants in Siberia. India and Russia also signed an educational exchange programme to share experiences in the field of pedagogy. India and Russia decided to commemorate the 65th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Russia in 2012. 
  • India and Australia on 16 December 2011 signed an agreement to amend DTAA(Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement) with the objective of ensuring more effective exchange of financial information between the two countries. DTAA was signed between India and Australia in 1991. The revised tax agreement will facilitate the exchange of information on banking related information and taxation policies. The revised agreement also has a provision that India and Australia can assist each other in the collection of revenue claims.
  • The 194-member countries attended the UN COP17 Climate Summit held in Durban in South Africa. On behalf of India Union Minister for Environment Jayanti Natarajan attended the summit.
  • India and Russia signed agreement in Moscow for cooperation in the area of warplanes.
  • The first fully modified aircraft, EMB-145I for the indigenously developed Indian Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AEW&C) undertook its maiden flight from Sao Jose dos Campos in Brazil on 6 December 2011. The modified Embraer aircraft undertook its maiden flight with about 1000 Mission System Components provided by the Centre for Airborne Systems (CABS) of the Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO). The indigenous system, AEW&C estimated to cost around Rs 1800 crore would detect, identify and classify threats present in the surveillance area and act as a command and control centre to support air operations, according to DRDO officials. The systems for the EMB-145I aircraft is currently being developed by Bangalore-based Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS), a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) facility. India and Brazil had signed a deal in 2008, under which Embraer was to supply the aircraft. The fully integrated AEW&C system would be flight tested in 2012. 
  • Australia's ruling Labor Party voted with 206 votes to 185 to lift the ban on exporting uranium to India. Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard proposed to lift the decade old ban on India for supply of uranium. Australia is holding 40 percent of world's uranium stocks.

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