Second India-US 2+2 Dialogue

  • The second two-plus-two dialogue between India and the US took place on 18th December, 2019, in Washington during which the two countries made a comprehensive review of cross-cutting foreign policy and defence and security issues in bilateral ties.

Important Agreements

Industrial Security Annex (ISA)

  • The ISA to the India-U.S. General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) will provide a framework for exchange and protection of classified military information between the U.S. and Indian defence industries.
  • It will enable greater industry-to-industry collaboration for co-production and co-development in the defence sector, in line with the GOI’s objective of promoting Make in India in the defence sector.
  • It will open the door for U.S. defence companies to partner with the Indian private sector for several multi-billion dollar deals in the pipeline, especially the deal for fighter jets.

Finalisation of Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI)

  • DTTI will harmonise the two side’s processes for identification, development and execution of projects under the DTTI.
  • This will enable expedited decision making and help to establish a standing mechanism for dialogue and exchanges between the U.S. and Indian defence companies and their governments on defense technology and industrial cooperation.

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

  • The United States has announced its commitment to being the founding member of the CDRI whose headquarters will be located in India.

Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA)

  • The two sides also took stock of the steps being taken to operationalise the foundational agreement COMCASA
  • COMCASA allows India to procure transfer specialised equipment for encrypted communications for US origin military platforms like the C-17, C-130 and P-8Is.
  • It will allow both sides to operate on the same communication systems, enabling an “interoperable” environment for militaries.

Tiger Triumph Exercise

  • Both the parties decided to hold the India-U.S. joint tri-services and amphibious exercise ‘Tiger Triumph’ on an annual basis.
  • The maiden exercise was held in November 2019 as a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) to develop synergies between the tri-services of both countries in conducting HADR operations.

Science & Technology Agreement

  • Both the countries concluded the S&T agreement, which replaced the 2005 Agreement.
  • As part of the S&T Agreement both sides have agreed on a common framework on Intellectual Property Rights, consistent with national IPR policy.

Space Situational Awareness

  • Both sides have agreed to cooperate for exchange of information in Space Situational Awareness, including space debris and space traffic management.
  • The U.S. has established expertise in this field and possesses considerable SSA data, which will be of significant value in ensuring navigational safety of Indian space assets.

Water MoU

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India’s Ministry of Jal Shakti and the U.S. Geological Survey to promote technical cooperation in water resources management and water technology.
  • Both sides will be cooperating in the area of management of river basins, flood management and forecasting, water management, water quality, waste-water recycling and capacity building in testing and instrumentation.

Young Innovators Internship Programme (YIIP)

  • YIIP between India and the U.S. will create short-term internship opportunities in the U.S. for Indian students at post-secondary level or recent graduates, in key areas of scientific and economic endeavour.
  • It will provide networking opportunities for young entrepreneurs besides helping develop entrepreneurial skills.

Parliamentary Exchange

  • Both Governments hope to strengthen bilateral Parliamentary exchanges through facilitation of reciprocal visits by Parliamentarians from both countries.

Judicial Cooperation

  • Both the countries seek to expand their satisfactory and mutually beneficial cooperation in the area of counterterrorism jurisprudence to new areas of criminal jurisprudence including money laundering, drug trafficking etc.

Peacekeeping for Indo-Pacific Region

  • Both have agreed to deepen their bilateral cooperation in areas of defence, counter-terrorism and trade, and to work with like-minded countries for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
  • This will help to counter the China which is flexing its muscle both in the South China Sea and  East China Sea.

Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)

  • Both countries agreed to continue discussions on BECA.
  • Once finalized, it will enable exchange of geo-spatial information between the two countries, enhancing the operational efficiency of the U.S. platforms currently being operated by India.

2+2 Dialogue

  • India and the United States of America established a 2+2 Ministerial dialogue in June 2017, in Washington DC, USA.
  • The first 2+2 dialogue was held in New Delhi in September, 2018.
  • It is the highest-level institutional mechanism between the two countries and provides for a review of the security, defence and strategic partnership between India and the United States.

Purpose

  • The India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue is an effort to generate sustainable economic growth, create jobs, improve business and investment climate, enhance livelihoods, and sustain the rules-based global order.

Significance

  • It has given has given a new height to bilateral defence partnership. The two sides are now engaging in a tri-service military exercise, enhancing coordination on the Indo-Pacific and even facilitating private sector collaboration in defence.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, December, 2019