Category: India – US

The US’ Paranoia Irks Indian Government

Article first published as US Paranoia Irks Indian Government on Blogcritics.

Ever since the war on terrorism was announced by the US under the presidency of George W Bush, its people have become sceptical of Muslims and everyone who looks like a Muslim. People have been subjected to inappropriate checking methods particularly at airports. Indian people were harassed several times at airports and on board. Even Indian officials are not spared from embarrassingMeera shankar checking from the American airport officials.

Last year, India’s Ex-President A P J Abdul Kalam was frisked by the staff of Continental Airlines before he boarded a flight to the US even at an Indian airport. When India expressed its protest, Continental Airlines apologised for searching Mr Kalam.

Sari is the traditional dress of the Indian women, which covers major part of the body except hands and face. On December 4, one of the Indian ambassadors Meera Shankar was picked out of a security line and frisked openly in front of passengers at Jackson-Evers international airport. She came there to deliver an address in a university of Mississippi with an invitation from the university authorities. The officials of the university accompanied Mrs Meera Shankar to the airport. In addition, airport security officer was escorting her. They informed the airport staff that she was the ambassador, yet she was not spared.

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Remarkable progress in Indo-US defence ties: official

Yahoo | Indian Express | Tue, Oct 5 2010 | 12:01 PM

India and the US have made "remarkable" progress in their defence ties over the last five years, boosted by the civil nuclear agreement, and are now exploring to extend their cooperation to a broader region, an official has said. Senior defence officials term it a relationship that is only five years old, but say there is tremendous scope for cooperation in the future.

Indo-US nuclear deal India and the US have had some level of defence-to-defence ties for many years, but it really started in earnest in 2005, said a senior defence official. The Indo-US civilian nuclear deal, the framework for which was laid in 2005, provided a new momentum to the bilateral relationship. "I think if you look from that point to where we are today in 2010, I think you see remarkable breadth and depth to that relationship across a wide range of issues," the official said.

The military of the two countries, which until early this decade were suspicious of each other’s activities, now have been conducting a series of bilateral exercise every year. "Given that it has only been for five years, I think that is quite remarkable. To me the foundation of that relationship is our incredible amount of shared interests. "It is from this base of shared interests and common objectives that I think, we are really able to have a solid foundation for defence relationship and also to be able to move it forward," the official said requesting anonymity.

He said officials on both side agree that the last five years have also opened many an avenue for future cooperation, an aspect that is "incredibly valuable" about this relationship. "We are now looking to where we can work together not just for our own good bilaterally but beyond the US and India into the

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Strategic Alliance between India and the US Begins to Materialize

Article first published as Strategic Alliance between India and the US Begins to Materialize on Blogcritics.

India is preparing a gift pack to felicitate the US President Mr. Barack Obama, who is visiting India in November of this year. The strategic alliance agreement reached between India and the US, back in 2005, begins to materialize during president’s visit to India. The Indian government is working to finalize the defense deal worth $5.8 billion (approximately Rs. 2.75 lakh crore) that was signed in July 2009. Another deal of buying 126 fighter jets will also be signed during the visit, defense officials revealed.

Obama visits India For the prosperity of the US

Mr. Obama’s visit to India was announced by himself in the first week of June when Indian External Affairs minister S M Krishna met the President in the US. “When it comes to the sphere of our work, building a future of greater prosperity, opportunity and security for our people, there is no doubt; I have to go India,” Obama said in June in a press meet attended jointly with S M Krishna. The US officials said Mr Obama’s visit to India would be from November 7 to 10.

Therefore, for the prosperity of the US people (read, for helping the US to come out of the financial crisis) the Presidents of the US tour the world to sell their defense goods. They visit India on one side and Pakistan on the other side and sell their arms enabling India and Pakistan to protect themselves from their neighbors. Sometimes, they settle defense contracts with both countries in the same tour and of course on deferent legs.

Big Visit

According to news, President Obama did not want his visit to remain merely a symbolic, and wanted to imprint his own signature through the visit. As the nuclear agreement was signed in the era of his Republican predecessor, President Obama wanted at least two big deals that could

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India to finalize defense contracts during Obama’s visit

The US President Barak Obama is visiting India from November 7 to 10. He is bringing with him a large mass of business people, leaders of big companies to sign contracts with Indian counterparts.

obama-india-secret-deal The US had reached an agreement with India making both countries partners of a ‘strategic alliance,’ back in 2005. It had concluded ‘civil nuclear agreement’ with India as a part of strategic alliance agreement. The nuclear agreement was approved by the parliament at the end of UPA-1 government’s tenure, after losing the support to their govt., from left parties.

After the approval of the civil nuclear agreement, another bill namely ‘nuclear damage liability’ bill has been approved in this month by the parliament. The approved nuclear liability bill effectively limits the liability to be paid for the damage to the maximum of $500 million. This amount is also bound to be paid the Indian government only. The suppliers of the nuclear material and equipment are not directly liable to pay the damage costs. There are several other conditions to make them liable.

Indian Parliament is supposed to approve the bill before arrival of the US President. That is why the Congress government has gone overboard and sought support from the opposition parties, the BJP and others. The opposition parties were up on their heels to offer support to the passage bill, because to enable themselves to receive a share of the cake of the commission attached to the buying of nuclear equipment.

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Lok Sabha approves nuclear bill

Reuters | Aug 25, 2010 | 8:14pm IST

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday approved of a landmark bill to open up the country’s $150 billion nuclear power market, after the government agreed to tougher provisions that an industry group said would hamper the sector’s growth. The bill is needed for the entry of firms such as U.S.-based General Electric and Westinghouse Electric, a subsidiary of Japan’s Toshiba Corp, who are reluctant to step in without clarity on accident compensation. The bill was initially opposed by the opposition BJP as inadequate in terms of accident compensation and too soft on private firms. But the party came around after the Congress party-led coalition agreed to several amendments. The BJP’s support was key in enacting the legislation as the ruling coalition has only a narrow majority in the lower house and does not control the upper house.

The see-saw negotiations are emblematic of India’s fractured polity, and highlight the challenges ahead for the government, which is involved in tortuous negotiations on other key financial reform proposals with opposition and allies. The passage of the bill is a personal victory for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose 2008 deal with the United States ended India’s long isolation in the global nuclear market, and will bind the two nations in closer economic and strategic ties. The opening up of the sector will facilitate also the building of nuclear plants and boost generating capacity in a country where power deficits have dragged on economic activity. Singh, who as finance minister in 1991 opened up the closed economy and is credited for the current levels of rapid economic growth, said his latest initiative would be judged in a similar light by history. “It is with this very motivation that our government has tried to complete towards the ending of the regime of nuclear apartheid,” a confident Singh told parliament during the debate as he rejected claims the bill suited U.S. interests. “To say that we have in anyway compromised with India’s national interest would be a travesty of facts.” Continue reading

Exploit potential of shale gas: US to India and China

Yahoo News | PTI | Aug 25, 2010 | 08:31 AM

US has offered to India and China its full expertise and technical knowhow to exploit the full potential of shale gas to reduce dependence on foreign oil and move towards its goal of energy independence. As such the Obama Administration has proposed do a resource assessment of certain shale basins in India by the US Geological Survey, and provide workshops to train Indian geophysicists on how to do their own resource assessments. “What we have offered to India is to bring our best knowledge about how you make that estimate, how you make that resource evaluation, and to bring our scientists to them to talk about that,” US Coordinator for International Energy Affairs David Goldwyn said. “We are waiting for India”s reaction and were hopeful that theyll do it. “I think you can”t tell until you drill, but the shale presence is there,” Goldwyn told reporters on the sidelines of the Global Shale Gas Initiative Conference. Representatives from 17 countries including India and China are participating in the two-day international conference hosted by the US State Department as part of its aim to help countries around the world to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

The US shale gas phenomenon has transformed global energy markets, he said, adding that because the United States has the technology to develop efficiently large quantities of gas from shale, global prices of liquefied natural gas have decreased. “Gas has become cheaper. Gas is now competitive with coal on a BTU basis, which means that countries that might use coal can now not make an economic choice, but on a competitive basis choose gas for their next level of power generation,” Goldwyn said. India has a licensing round probably in September, he said, adding the pace of development will probably come with whether there”s success in these first basins, whether there”s an assessment of what they have.

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BJP raises fresh objection to nuclear bill

Reuters | Aug 23, 2010 | 10:58am IST

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s main opposition party, has reneged on a promise to support a bill that seeks to open up the country’s nuclear power market, saying current provisions make it difficult to get compensation in case of accidents. The BJP had agreed to support the bill, crucial for the entry of companies like U.S.-based General Electric and Westinghouse Electric, after the Congress Party-led coalition government agreed to hike compensation caps and extend liability to suppliers. The BJP is now objecting to a provision that makes suppliers liable for compensation only if wilful intent to cause damage is proved.

“They have inserted “intent”. That is the problem,” S.S. Ahluwalia, the BJP’s deputy leader in the upper house of parliament, told Reuters. “It is difficult to establish “wilful”, for compensation cases. This (provision) is not adequate,” said Ahluwalia, who was also on the parliament committee which vetted the government’s version of the bill. While the ruling coalition in theory has a majority, it needs the support of the BJP, which has the powers to stall the bill through the upper house of parliament.

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