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Why in News?
- Recently, the second edition of the India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue took place in Washington D.C., U.S.A.
About 2+2 ministerial dialogue
- The 2+2 dialogue is an official meeting between foreign & defense ministers of India & the U.S.A.
- This mechanism was conceptualized in 2017 to enhance the Indo-US engagement on multiple issues ranging from defense, trade, policies that affect both countries' relations, role in the Indo-pacific region & terrorism, etc.
The inaugural '2+2' Indo-US dialogue was held in New Delhi in September 2018.
Importance of 2+2 mechanism
- It is the highest-level institutional mechanism between the two countries and provides for a review of the security, defense, and strategic partnership between India and the United States.
A crucial advantage emanating from this format is that the strategic matters of vital importance which fall under the domain of both the external affairs as well as defense ministries, are comprehensively covered and any issue of jurisdiction and follow up is taken care of.
Given the recent challenges in relations between two nations – emanating from Trump on trade and the US Congress on Kashmir – the delineation of strategic ties is set to be the biggest takeaway from this high-level engagement.
It moves away from the erstwhile approach of depending upon the personal chemistry between political leaders.
Key Outcomes of the dialogue
- The signing of the Industrial Security Annex (ISA)- which will facilitate the exchange of classified military information between Indian and the U.S. defense industries.
It would enable US arms manufacturers to transfer sensitive technologies to entities beyond the Indian public sector, to even corresponding partners in the private sector.
It will not only allow the sharing of information during crisis through secure defense-related channels but also helps in the Make in India program in key items through collaboration between private companies of both sides.
It will go a long way in actualizing the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) which would move the relationship from a traditional “buyer-seller” dynamic to one of co-production and co-development.
Finalization of Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) Standard Operating Procedure (SOP): This will harmonize the two side’s processes for identification, development, and execution of projects under the DTTI.
The proposed Industry-to-Industry Framework under DTTI will establish a standing mechanism for dialogue and exchanges between the U.S. and Indian defense companies and their governments on defense technology and industrial cooperation.
Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI): United States has announced its commitment to be the founding member of the CDRI whose headquarters will be located in India.
U.S. participation in CDRI is a significant development since the U.S. has considerable expertise in the area.
Cooperation in Space- Both sides have agreed to cooperate for the exchange of information in Space Situational Awareness (SSA), including space debris and space traffic management.
Space Situational Awareness (SSA) refers to keeping track of objects in orbit and predicting where they will be at any given time.
Other key outcomes -
- The signing of the Water Agreement- to promote technical cooperation in water resources management and water technology.
Signing of Science and Technology (S&T) Agreement- It updates and replaces the 2005 Agreement and provides a framework for collaboration between the two countries.
The Young Innovators Internship Programme (YIIP)- it will create short-term internship opportunities in the U.S. for Indian students at the post-secondary level or recent graduates.
Other 2+2 dialogues of India:
- With Australia- Defense Secretary and Foreign Secretary
- With Japan- Foreign and Defence Ministerial dialogue
- Japan is the second country with which India has such a dialogue format.
- India and Australia also have the 2+2 at the official level.
- With this, India has a 2+2 mechanism with all the Quad countries.
Recently India and Japan held the meeting of India-Japan Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue (2+2), in New Delhi.
- The 2+2 ministerial dialogue is seen as an upgrade of the meeting between foreign and defense secretaries of the two countries, the first round of which took place in 2010.
The ministerial-level meeting was held after the decision during the 13th India-Japan Annual Summit held in Japan in October 2018 to institute a Foreign and Defence Ministerial Dialogue for further deepening bilateral security and defense cooperation.
2+2 meeting aimed to give further momentum to their special strategic partnership, particularly in the maritime domain.
The two sides exchanged views on the situation in the Indo-Pacific region and resolved to work for achieving shared objectives of peace, prosperity, and progress in the region.