Source: The Hindu
Manifest pedagogy: Questions in IR on European region is not country specific. The article has been written keeping in mind that it would help students with some fodder material to include in answers even if a general question on Europe is asked
In news: Recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India.
Placing it in syllabus: India-Germany bilateral relations
Static dimensions: Brief history of India-Germany relations
- Agreements signed during visit
- Importance of agreements
Content: Brief history of India-Germany relations
- After the Second World War, India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany.
- Today relations are based on the May 2000 Agenda for the Indo-German Partnership in the 21st Century, which has since been updated by further joint declarations.
- Indo-German intergovernmental consultations, where the two countries’ Cabinets have held joint sessions every two years since 2011, alternately in Germany and India (most recently in May 2017 in Berlin).
- Both nations are working along with Japan and Brazil in the Group of Four (G4) to reform the United Nations and the Security Council.
- Germany is India’s sixth most important trading partner worldwide.
- India was ranked 26th in Germany’s global trade during 2017.
- Bilateral trade increased to US$ 21.98 bn (2017-18), a growth of 17.15%.
- Germany’s continuing trade surplus of around 2.9 billion euros (January to October 2018) is due to the strong Indian demand for German capital goods (machinery, electrical engineering products, metal goods, chemical products, motor vehicles and vehicle parts).
- Indian exports to Germany focus on the textile sector, followed by chemical products, electrical engineering products, metal and leather goods and foodstuffs.
- In December 2018, German foreign direct investment (FDI) totalled $11.4 billion.
The principal bilateral economic agreements include:
- agreement on social security of 2011, in force since 5 April 2018
- double taxation agreement, which came into force on 19 December 1996
- trade agreement of 31 March 1955
- agreements on cooperation in scientific research and technological development dating from 1971 and 1974.
Education and culture:
- There are six branches of the Goethe-Institut in India which are called Max Mueller Bhavans after the founder of Indian studies, Max Mueller (1823-1900).
- The institutes carry out language and programme work.
- Under Partners for the Future initiative (PASCH), 48 Indian schools at which German is taught as a foreign language are currently receiving support from the Goethe-Institut and the Central Agency for Schools Abroad.
- At the intergovernmental consultations in October 2015, a joint declaration of intent was signed to promote the teaching of German as a foreign language in India and instruction in modern Indian languages in Germany.
- Some States and Cities of India and Germany have entered into twinning arrangements.
- Karnataka and Bavaria have Sister States arrangement since 2007.
- Mumbai and Stuttgart are sister cities since 1968.
- In January 2015, Maharashtra and Baden-Wurttemberg signed an MoU to establish a Sister State relationship.
- India-Germany Defence Cooperation Agreement (2006) provides a framework for bilateral defence cooperation.
- The defence dialogue mechanisms include High Defence Committee meetings at the level of Defence Secretaries.
- German companies export defence related equipment and machinery parts to our Ministry of Defence.
Science & Technology:
- Inter-governmental Agreement on “Cooperation in Scientific Research and Technological Development” was signed on May 1974.
- India’s scientific establishments have close partnerships with premier German R&D institutions, including the Max Planck Society, Fraunhofer Institutions and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
- Through an agreement signed in 2010 the bilateral Indo- German Science and Technology Centre (IGSTC) was established as a flagship initiative of Government of India (DST) and Government of Germany (BMBF) to promote research partnership of industrial relevance.
- IGSTC started operating from Gurgaon in 2011.
- India has invested in major science projects in Germany such as the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) at Darmstadt and the Deutsche Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) for experiments in advanced materials and particle physics.
- Personnel Exchange Programme (PEP) launched in 1998 has enabled focused interaction through exchange of about 600 scientists/ research students from each side.
Agreements signed during visit:
- German Chancellor pledged to invest 1 billion euros over the next five years on environmentally-friendly urban mobility in India.
- Germany would also put in 200 million euros to reform the bus sector in Tamil Nadu.
- Both countries inked over 20 agreements, including in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), agriculture, healthcare and resolved to jointly combat terrorism.
- The two countries have also agreed to explore cooperation in new areas like e-mobility, fuel cell technology, smart cities, inland waterways, coastal management, cleaning of rivers and climate change.
- Both countries agreed to deepen efforts to resume stalled negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union (EU). ((Launched in June 2007, the negotiations for the proposed pact have witnessed many hurdles with both sides having major differences on key issues like intellectual property rights, duty cut in automobile and spirits, and liberal visa regime)).
- Both sides agreed to intensify efforts for an early conclusion of an investment protection agreement between the EU, the EU member states and India.
- Both sides signed Joint Declaration of Intent (DoI) for cooperation in the field of skills development and vocational education.
- It was signed between Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany.
- The second DoI was signed for Dual VET initiative marking Sustainable Growth of Skills with Siemens Limited, India.
Importance of the agreements;
- The expertise of a technological and economic powerhouse like Germany would be useful in the path of building a ‘New India’ by 2022.
- Merkel’s visit coincided with one of the worst spells of air pollution in Delhi/NCR. This has emphasised on the need to replace diesel-run public transport with electric vehicles and promote green urban mobility.
- The cooperation between the two countries is very much needed to bring reforms in the UN.
- It is of great importance to build an efficient pool of skilled human resources for creating sustainable livelihoods and opportunities for the youth in India.
- The intended cooperation agreements will give special emphasis to enhance the quality of trainees and subsequently help them to find employment in innovative, sustainable sectors and technologies such as renewable energy, e-mobility and energy-efficiency.