Prime Min­is­ter Modi en­gag­ing world lead­ers like never be­fore

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK -

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.

Happy read­ing!

Jayant Baranwal Pub­lisher & Ed­i­tor-in-Chief

SP’S MAI

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