Monday, December 28, 2015

[Editorial # 26] New energy in old friendship : The Hindu

[Following editorial has been published in The Hindu on 26th December 2015. Read through it and try to answer the questions that follow. Please do not copy and paste answers. The objective of this exercise is to get you in the groove of answer -writing. Try to write in your own words. Don't hesitate to write in a bulleted-format, if you are uncomfortable in writing in paragraph form.]
“Should old acquaintance be forgot”, asks the famous song Auld Lang Syne, traditionally sung at the year’s end. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia last week, much in the manner of the song, was as much about reassuring a “strong and reliable friend of India”, as he referred to Russia, as it was about chalking out new avenues for future cooperation in defence, energy and space. These avenues are well- charted, with the annual summit between both countries giving a consistent direction on all bilateral agreements, but relations have flagged in the past few years. This year the summit itself had to be put off several times for one reason or another, and it was finally held on Christmas-eve, which was the last possible window before Russia shuts down for holidays. In contrast, India’s relationship with the other world power, the United States, has seen a dramatic year, particularly in military engagement. From U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi as chief guest at the Republic Day parade, when India and the U.S. signed their first military agreement outside South Asia as a maritime cooperation agreement, firming up of more military exercises and joint development of defence equipment, visits by top U.S. generals, and the first-ever visit by the Indian Defence Minister to an American military base — all have given the impression that India is abandoning its traditionally neutral strategic space.
While Prime Minister Modi’s visit may not have resulted in overturning that impression entirely, it has served as a major boost to the outlook on India-Russia ties in the future. First, a series of defence acquisitions announced in the works will put Russia back on top of military suppliers to India, a spot taken by the U.S. and Israel for more than five years. Second, the deal for 200 Ka-226T Kamov helicopters will become the first big Make in India project, which has tended to be only a slogan thus far. Third, by investing time in the CEO summit that included several Indian players in the energy and defence sector, Mr. Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin have shown a desire to involve the private sector in areas that only saw government-to-government deals. This move is the most significant: despite the close friendship the two have fostered, the immense goodwill the people of the two countries share and the major dependence the Indian military has on Russian hardware, bilateral trade ties have always been poor, and even today languish below $10 billion. Russian and Indian industry’s interest and investment will give what the leaders referred to as the old friendship’s “new energy”. An energy that will also bolster India’s plans for new ties with Central Asia, and more recently, in the trips Mr. Modi made straight after his Moscow visit, with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
1. Which part of the globe is Russia situated? Can you locate Russia on a world political map? Which all countries and water bodies share a border/coast with Russia?
2. Why is Russia being called “strong and reliable friend of India”? What has been the history of India-Russia ties?
3. What do you understand by terms like 
  • cooperation in defence, energy and space
  • annual summit
  • bilateral agreements
  • government-to-government deals
4. What is the significance of inviting heads of states as chief guests at the Republic Day Parade? Who is being invited for the same at the Republic Day parade in 2016?
5. What are the recent events which show that India-US military ties are improving?
6. How is PM's visit to Russia going to improve India-Russia ties?
7. Do you think India-Russia ties were deteriorating because of India's increasing closeness to US?
8. How can a strong strategic relation with Russia could secure India's interests?
9. Had there been no cooperation from erstwhile USSR, India could not have progressed in the fields of defence, energy and space research? Do you agree? Justify.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. 4.
      1. It is a symbol of friendly relations between both the countries.
      2. soft diplomacy

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. 1. Russia is located on the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, on the Asian Continent. Russia shares its border with 14 countries that includes Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. Russia is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean in the north.



    A Rajya Sabha TV debate... do watch

  6. Bilateral agreement: an agreement between two parties in which both are bound by their set rules.

    1. Bhaskar... these agreements are usually done between two countries of the world. Find out a few examples

  7. Annual summit: a meeting or conference where heads of state gather to have negottion on common goals or specific issues...

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. 1- Russia is the largest country in the world located in North Eurasia.
    Land boundary: Norway, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania,Poland in North West
    Georgia, azarbaizan in the south west. China, magnolia, and Kazakhstan in south whereas north Korea in south east
    Maritime boundary: Japan in berring sea and sea of okhatok
    The country has arctic ocean in North.. And black Sea n caspian sea in north west and south west respectively.

    1. Russia also shares maritime boundary with US. Bering Sea is between Alaska & Russia and not Japan.

    2. Yeah true..thanks for correction

  10. cooperation in defence:
    this may involve training of personnel, purchasing of defence equipment, combine production of DEFENCE goods , transfer of spare parts, etc where there will be mutual agreement for improvement in defence sector between both countries.
    cooperation in energy:
    This may involve transfer of technology, Funding of projets, transfer of managerial plans(copying of smart cities), which increases the quantitiy and quality of energy supply as a result of such agreemnts.
    ENERGY- nuclear(Japan), oil(Saudi), gas(tajak), hydro(nepal)
    SPACE: Sening of payloads, satellities from other countries
    recently singapore had sent its satellites from indian PSLV
    In all these there will be mutual benefit for both the parties.

  11. 5. both sides agreed for transfer of gas turbine engine technology transfer to india
    Under INDO-US defence technology and trade initiative (3rd meet) it was agreed on
    1. Raven mini UAVs Unmanned Air vehicles
    2."roll on -roll offf" mission modules for C-130J aircraft
    3. Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources
    4. Next Generation Protective Ensemble for soldiers
    US companies shown interest on setting up of manufacturing of fighter jet

  12. PM visit to Russia :
    1. $10bn trade between both countries
    2.Russia will become the top military supplier to india
    3.200Ka-226T Kamov helicopters will be manufactured in india on joint cooperation which will be the PM's Make in india's first major deal.

  13. 8.
    1. UN permanent seat
    2. to contain china
    3.russia to be the largest defence supplier
    4.nuclear reactors to india
    5.p2p, cultural ties

  14. Somebody help me understand angel investors, crowd funding??

  15. Angel Investors are like independent entities (individuals) who are willing to take risks by investing their (usually) personally earned income in expectation of future returns in any project. For example, if you have cash balance of 1 Cr and you are willing to put a part of your money in a new company in return of equities (shares) in that company then you would be an angel investor to that company.

  16. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, today often performed via internet-mediated registries, but the concept can also be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit events, and other methods.