Tag: Australia-India

Australia to return Indian artifacts during PM’s India visit in Jan. 2020

Photos: Press Office of the Australian PM

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 27 November: The Australian Government will return three culturally significant artifacts during the Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s visit to India in January 2020.

The artifacts, which were held by the National Gallery of Australia (Gallery), were purchased in good faith, but extensive research undertaken by the Gallery has led to its decision to voluntarily return these artifacts to India, says a media release from the Australian Prime Minister’s office.

The artifacts being returned are:

· Pair of door guardians (dvarapala) 15th Century, Tamil Nadu, India – (two works); and

· The serpent king (Nagaraja) 6th to 8th Century, Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh, India.

Criminal law proceedings are currently underway in India and the United States against former New York art dealer Mr. Subhash Kapoor, from whom these artifacts were purchased. The Australian Government does not have any role in these proceedings, says the media release.

Scott Morrison to visit India in January 2020

Photo: theinterpretor, Lowy Institute

By Neeraj Nanda

MELBOURNE, 4 October: Australia’s Prime Minister Mr. Scott Morrison will visit India in January 2010. The PM disclosed this in his speech at the Lowy lecture, “In our interest ‘at the Sydney Town Hall on 3 October 2019. He will deliver the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue during his India visit.

“The visit will be accompanied by a business delegation that I have invited Ashok Jacob, Chair of the Australia-India Council Board, to lead. This will bring Government and business together to pursue our India Economic Strategy that has captured the attention of our Indian partners and must now be realized.
My visit will be another step in cementing India in the top tier of Australia’s partnerships,” he said.

The Australian Prime Minister touched many subjects in his address including national security, social cohesion, economy, international engagement, trade, ASEAN, alliance with the US and China among others.

Full text of the address: https://www.pm.gov.au/media/speech-lowy-lecture-our-interest

Australia-India to deepen defence ties

The Australian Minister of Defence, Mr. Kevin Andrews meeting the Indian Defence Minister, Mr. Manohar Parrikar, in New Delhi on September 02, 2015.Photo: PIB, New Delhi.

By SAT News Desk

Melbourne & New Delhi, 3 September: Australia and India have decided to deepen defence ties between the two countries. The Australian Minister of Defence Mr. Kevin Andrews four day visit to India from 31 August to 3 September saw talks between Indian Defence Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar followed by delegation level bilateral talks to discuss shared strategic interests. The two countries also announced India-Australia Naval exercise next month.
After the talks the two sides issued the following joint statement:

“The Ministers acknowledged the positive progress made during the past year in bilateral defence cooperation, and underscored their ongoing interest in fostering and maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. The Ministers also discussed the centenary of the First World War and recalled the contribution made by the Indian and ANZAC forces during the Gallipoli campaign.

The Ministers affirmed their desire to continue to broaden and deepen the bilateral defence relationship based on shared strategic interests and to implement the action plan outlined in the Framework for Security Cooperation agreed to by the Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Tony Abbott on 18 November 2014.

Given both nations’ interest in the Indian Ocean and its vital importance to regional and global trade, the Ministers acknowledged the importance of freedom of maritime navigation and agreed that maritime security should remain a key component of the bilateral defence relationship. Australia and India will also continue to cooperate through joint work as part of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus construct. The Ministers also agreed to continue enhancing relationship between Indian and Australian navies, through bilateral ship visits, exchanges as also through Indian Ocean Naval Symposium and such other fora.

The first Navy-to-Navy Bilateral Maritime Exercise will be held later this month. The exercise will involve multiple ship visits and maritime assets from both the countries. The exercise will foster greater interoperability and cooperation between both nations and further contribute to maritime security.

Both the Ministers noted that since the last Defence Ministers’ Meeting, India and Australia have held Defence Policy Talks, and bilateral Army, Navy and Air Force Staff Talks. To further bolster this good progress, it was agreed that the Ministerial level meeting may continue to be held regularly while the Army to Army talks would now be held on annual basis.

The Ministers agreed that specific initiatives for enhanced cooperation will include the following activities:

The Defence Science and Technology Organizations and the Defence Research and Development Organization would continue to explore opportunities to identify areas for cooperation, initially through an exchange of letters followed by the respective organization heads meeting later in 2015.

The commencement of a partnership between our respective peacekeeping centres. This will start with closer engagement to enhance knowledge sharing and mutual capacity building.

Increased Air Force cooperation on aviation safety and air worthiness, including subject matter experts’ exchanges, to progress mutual understanding and improve capability.

Royal Australian Navy participation in the Indian Navy International Fleet Review in February 2016. The continuation of the Bilateral Maritime Exercise on a biennial basis.

The establishment of a Joint Working Group on Defence Research and Material Cooperation.

Closer Air Force engagement, including Indian attendance at the Royal Australian Air Force exercise PITCH BLACK.

The creation of a closer Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) relationship, commencing with a regular subject matter expert exchange.

The Ministers agreed that implementing these initiatives would further strengthen the already robust defence relationship between Australia and India and that their long-term objective is to develop a significant defence and security relationship. This will be important as we respond to shared challenges and work together to ensure a secure and stable region.

Minister Andrews thanked Minister Parrikar for the hospitality he received during his visit to India and said he is looking forward to hosting the next Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Australia.”

The day before, Mr. Kevin Andrews had called on the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. He also visited the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate and paid homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath there. Later he was accorded inter-Services Guard of Honour in the lawns of South Block. He also attended a round-table meeting at Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

- SAT News Service.

Julia Bishop begins India visit


By SAT News Desk

Melbourne, 13 April: Australia Foreign Minister Julia Bishop has begun her three days (12-15 April) visit to India. Julia is likely to discuss the conclusion of administrative arrangements for the export of Uranium sales to India under the 2014 Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. Talks with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley are likely to touch the possible Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.

In a media release the Australian Foreign Minister says, “I will deliver the inaugural Indo-Pacific Oration at the Observer Research Foundation and present at St Stephen’s College in Delhi on the benefits from the roll out of the New Colombo Plan to India this year.”

“In Chennai I will officially open the office of the Australian Consulate-General and meet the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, O Panneerselvam. I will also meet senior business leaders to help build Australia’s economic links with southern India, an economically dynamic region of around 300 million people”, she says.
The new Framework for Security Cooperation, which was agreed last November, will also be discussed with Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

“Australia and India are committed to working together on a range of security issues, including counter-terrorism, maritime security, countering transnational crime and cyber policy,” says the media release.

- SAT News Service.

Indo-Oz ties improving but ‘brittle’, says Australia India Institute

By our correspondent

Melbourne: The recent Report of the Australia India Institute’s “ Perceptions Taskforce Beyond the Lost Decade’ has made recommendations to the Australian Government to take steps to build trust and improve perceptions of each other (Australia & India) in the fields of education, diplomacy, media and security are called for. The independent taskforce was constituted by John McCarthy, AO, Sanjaya Baru, Gopalaswami Parthasarathy, Maxine McKew, Ashok Malik and Christopher Kremmer.
In his introduction to the report Amitabh Mattoo, AII Director says: “This report, Beyond the Lost Decade, discusses the key issues arising from this process and presents them from Indian and Australian viewpoints. It draws conclusions and proposes recommendations for action that the Taskforce members believe will create more robust Australia-India ties. The problems of the past reflected our different histories and social and political realities. But our interests are converging and people-to-people ties and economic and security cooperation will grow. At times provocative, but always insightful, this report is a must-read, not just for policy-makers, but anyone with a stake in closer relations between Australia and its Asian neighbours, especially India.”
The report analysis relations between India and Australia covering all fields and feels that while they are improving but are ‘brittle’.
The rec ommendations include:
• Doubling the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s public diplomacy budget to A$10 million per annum; The overseas television broadcaster Australia Network to retain close links with DFAT but funding and editorial responsibility should rest with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
• A new Indo-Pacific or Australasia Division within India’s Ministry of External Affairs as part of an expedited restructure of the ministry.
• Extending post-study work rights to international students enrolled in courses at TAFE institutes and other reputable vocational training establishments, the sector in which most Indian students have traditionally enrolled.
• Training Australian school teachers in the Hindi language in anticipation of it being added to the Australian Curriculum before the end of this decade.
• As an act of goodwill, extending to December 2013 the visas of Indian students caught up in changes to regulations following the student crisis of 2009; and tasking the Australian Institute of Criminology to undertake more 10research into racism and crime, including the events that affected Indian students in 2009-10.
• An Australian education rating system for States that provide education services to international students which can downgrade states that fail to provide proper security and education standards for international students.
• Invitations to representatives of Indian Army regiments that fought at Gallipoli to participate in Australian commemoration ceremonies to mark the 100th anniversary of the campaign in 2015.
• An Australia-India senior editors’ dialogue, and the Press Trust of India to consider posting a permanent correspondent in Australia.
• Permanent naval attaché positions to be established in both capitals.
• Regular institutionalised Prime Ministerial visits between New Delhi and Canberra and a young political leaders program between India and Australia.
• Visas on arrival for some Australian travellers to India as currently permitted to citizens of New Zealand.
• A one-stop shop online portal serving all aspects of trade, diplomatic, educational, people-to-people and cultural relations between Australia and India.
The full report can be accessed at – http://www.aii.unimelb.edu.au/wpcontent/uploads/2012/07/Beyond-the-Lost-Decadeweb.pdf