Prime Minister Modi engaging world leaders like never before
In a very short span of time since assuming office as the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has not only shown statesmanship qualities but also that of a global leader, keen on engaging countries of strategic importance. He has been providing masterstroke after masterstroke in the realm of international affairs, bilateral relations and regrouping neighbours, with an exception here and there.
By inviting the US President Barack Obama as the guest of honour at the Republic Day 2015 and also the Russian President Vladimir Putin to address the joint session of the Parliament, Narendra Modi has done what no Prime Minister has done ever before – getting world leaders to take notice of the emergence of strong and resurgent India.
While President Obama’s presence at the Republic Day 2015 will be ceremonial, his visit will fast forward the US-India Strategic Partnership as also accelerate the Indo-US Nuclear Accord, writes Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd). The impending visit has already created a lot of excitement in diplomatic, strategic and business circles. The new chapter to Indo-US relations which will have wider implications not only in the Asia-Pacific region, but it will change the way the world looks at India. The rising expectations from India’s new leader to deliver in reforming drastically the way India deals with the investors at the ground level. Jim Walker, Vice President and Managing Director of Rockwell Collins (Asia Pacific) has rightly said that this is yet another step in the right direction to enhance trade between the two countries. “It is events such as this that can quickly result in time-bound actions on both sides to better facilitate trade.”
While we look forward to the US President’s visit, we also hope that it will galvanise bilateral defence ties in accordance with the mandate given to the High Technology Cooperation Group (HTCG).
As the Republic Day showcases India’s military might, Ranjeet Kumar writes that India will find a good opportunity to display some of the systems acquired from US like the Globemaster, Super Hercules, INS Jalaswa, etc during the Republic Day parade. Sensing huge opportunities in Indian defence market the US side has reaffirmed the need for co-development and co-production programmes, but the Indian side has expressed doubts in view of the restricted access to Indian entities to sensitive dual-use technologies. It is hoped that these irksome issues will be sorted out.
Similarly, the ties with Australia have been strengthened after Modi’s visit Down Under. Both countries decided to establish a Framework for Security Cooperation to reflect the deepening and expanding security and defence engagement and to intensify cooperation and consultation in areas of mutual interest.
In an exclusive interview Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R.K. Dhowan, outlined the roles and responsibilities of the Indian Navy and the ongoing modernisation efforts.
The new Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has made a good beginning by clearing the acquisition of 840 artillery guns—100 to be bought off-the-shelf and balance to be produced indigenously. This would start filling the three-decade-old critical void of the Indian Artillery, Lt General P.C. Katoch (Retd) has said in an analysis of the acquisitions planned.
These are certainly interesting times for the industry in general and defence in particular.
Jayant Baranwal Publisher & Editor-in-Chief