Friday, December 31, 2010

PM pledges to clean up governing processes in 2011-Jan 1, 2011,

PM pledges to clean up governing processes in 2011

TNN, Jan 1, 2011, 12.18am IST


NEW DELHI: With a welter of scams and price rise haunting the UPA 2, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a New Year eve message has promised his government will "redouble" efforts to deal with inflation and cleaning governing processes.

Instead of a more routine wish-you-well message, the PM has chosen to address the crisis of credibility facing UPA 2 after the Commonwealth Games, 2G and Adarsh society scandals broke out in the last few months.

"We will redouble our efforts to deal effectively and credibly with the challenges of inflation, cleansing our governing processes, national security and making our delivery system work for the aam admi," Singh has said in a three-paragraph message, which begins by pointing to the need to take stock of the year gone by and the challenges ahead.

He has said that on the New Year eve, he would like to "assure all our citizens that my government and I will work with renewed resolve for the welfare of our people". The PM said he would pay attention to national security and making the delivery system work for the common man.

The PM's effort seem to be to indicate that he is aware of an erosion of public trust while also making it clear that he does not lack the political will to address the malaise of corruption charges dogging the government.

To this end, he has also made an oblique reference to the stand-off in Parliament with the Opposition and said it is time to make a "new beginning to the year" and to dispel the air of despondency and cynicism. "We need to believe in the resilience of our democracy and its capacities to deal with infirmities and shortcomings through course correction," the statement added.

Hum Saath-Saath Hain(1999)

Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United
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Hum Saath-Saath Hain



Directed by Sooraj R. Barjatya
Produced by Ajit Kumar Barjatya
Kamal Kumar Barjatya
Rajkumar Barjatya
Written by Sooraj R. Barjatya
Starring Salman Khan
Karisma Kapoor
Saif Ali Khan
Sonali Bendre
Neelam Kothari
Mohnish Behl
Music by Raam laxman
Cinematography Rajan Kinagi
Editing by Mukhtar Ahmed
Distributed by Rajshri Productions
Release date(s) 5 November,1999
Running time 178 mins
Country India
Language Hindi

Hum Saath-Saath Hain: We Stand United is a 1999 Indian film written and directed by Sooraj R. Barjatya. The film was distributed by the home production of Sooraj Barjatya, Rajshri Productions. The film stars Salman Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Neelam Kothari, Mohnish Behl and Tabu. The story centers on a family headed by Ramkishen (Alok Nath), his wife Mamta (Reema Lagoo), and their three sons, played by the leading actors.

* 1 Synopsis
* 2 Cast
* 3 Music
* 4 External links

[edit] Synopsis
This article's tone or style may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. Specific concerns may be found on the talk page. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions. (June 2010)

The first half of the movie is pure family fun and full of love. The eldest son, Vivek (Mohnish Behl), meets Sadhna (Tabu). Sadhna is immediately attracted to him. She meets him first at his parents' anniversary party. She is immediately taken by the love he has for his parents, despite Mamta (Reema Lagoo) not being his biological mother. Sadhna's father goes to visit Ramkishen (Alok Nath), explaining that he took Sadhna to the party so she could meet Vivek and asks for Sandhna's marriage proposal. Ramkishen is overjoyed, being as the family was worrying about Vivek's marital life. Vivek, though, is not looking forward to this union.

Vivek lost the use of his hand to save his younger brother's lives many years ago and thinks his hand would be too much of a burden on Sadhna. But Sadhna sticks by her decision. Vivek is touched by her dedication to him, so the two are married.

Prem (Salman Khan) and Preeti (Sonali Bendre) have had a crush on each other since they were little kids, but they have never ever spoken of their love. Although it is quite obvious, neither are exactly sure of the other's feelings. It doesn't really matter because they are to have an arranged marriage. Their engagement is finalised after a comedy scene in which Vinod (Saif Ali Khan) and Sapna (Karishma Kapoor) pretend to be Prem and Preeti, acting like they like each other.

Vinod and Sapna are the youngest couple and are very fun-loving and flirty with each other. The three brothers have a sister, Sangeeta (Neelam Kothari), who is married and has a daughter. She lives with her husband's brother and family.

The twist to the story comes when Sangeeta's brother-in-law throws his brother out of the house without any share in the property and this leads three of Mamta's snobby friends and Sapna's father to persuade Mamta to separate her sons to prevent a similar situation where Vivek might throw out Prem and Vinod. They convince Mamta that if the three brothers live in the same house with their wives and future kids, then fights and complications will occur. This leads to a tangled web of problems and sadness. Sadhna becomes pregnant in the midst of all the trouble. Vivek and Sadhna move to Rampur to finish their factory. Sangeeta's brother-in-law has loss in his business and other family problems, and he realizes his mistake. He accepts Sangeeta and her husband back. Sangeeta explains to her mother how Vivek had helped her during this crisis. Mamta's brother explains to her that she's not being fair to Vivek and she doesn't have trust in the values she gave her sons. Mamta realizes her fault and calls Vivek and Sadhna back. Sadhna's baby is born. At the end, Prem and Vinod get married to Preeti and Sapna respectively.
[edit] Cast

A mandate for Nitish Hope Kumar

A mandate for Nitish Hope Kumar

Now, naughtiness apart, do we read a message of socio-economic change on Bihar’s walls? And if so, can politics be immune from it? This was a state with widespread starvation and utter misery, and where a large majority had nothing left to buy anything beyond basic clothing to cover their bodies. Somebody is now trying to sell comfort, good looks, even sex appeal of branded underwear here? Does that mean something has changed? Never underestimate the ability of the Indian FMCG marketeer to sniff out a new emerging market or consumer need. Which is exactly what the underwear boys have done in Bihar. If a state of eight crore people is being lifted from utter poverty to at least a level at which many can aspire to a better quality of life than mere survival, you would expect tens of millions to invest in basic comfort — like decent knit underclothing.

Socio-economic change inevitably finds political expression, and if it reflects in the results this Wednesday you could say that it was the first time in the history of democracy when branded underwear predicted an election better and earlier than any psephologists.

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada - A 2 November 1999 article in The Tribune reported the arrest of five members of the "kachha banian" gang.

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada - Logo


India: Protection available to an individual or community targeted by the group named Kacha Banian (Kucha Banyan) or Underwear-Undershirt Wearing Group or Shorts-Underwear Wearing Group; the measures, if any, the State is taking to counter the activities of this group

India: Protection available to an individual or community targeted by the group named Kacha Banian (Kucha Banyan) or Underwear-Undershirt Wearing Group or Shorts-Underwear Wearing Group; the measures, if any, the State is taking to counter the activities of this group

A 2 November 1999 article in The Tribune reported the arrest of five members of the "kachha banian" gang. The police reported that all five "belonged to a jhuggi cluster of Nazafgarh in Dehli" (ibid). During interrogation, gang members reportedly admitted to killing four people and to being responsible for a number of lootings in Neemka, Mirzapur, Shahpur Khurd, Chandwali, Sotai, and Bamnikhera villages in Ballabhgarh subdivision, Haryana State (ibid). In another instance, police in Rohtak Zone, Haryana State issued a press statement claiming the arrest of "a majority of the dreaded [kachha banian] gang" (The Tribune 29 Nov. 1999). As well, a 5 April 2000 article reported the arrest of four members of the "kachha banian" gang who were thought to be responsible for at least 20 murders and a large number of gang robberies in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh (The Tribune). In a case involving the murder of two people and the injury of two others in a house robbery in Faridabad District, Haryana State the police reportedly responded immediately and had set up a special team, with police officers sent to Uttar Pradesh and Karnal in order to locate gang members (The Tribune 6 June 2000).

A Hindustan Times article reported on allegations made by Bihari labourers injured in an attack by Kachha Banian members that the police were not pursuing their attackers, but were instead harassing the workers (6 Aug. 1999; The Tribune 6 Aug. 1999).

Several articles reported that villagers in Faridabad District, Haryana State had been so terrified by Kachha Banian activities that they had beaten to death people suspected of being members of the gang (ibid 2 Nov. 1999; ibid 19 Oct. 1999; ibid 10 Oct. 1999). As well, residents of Kariaki village, Haryana State were reported to have blocked off the Delhi-Mathura national highway for more than six hours in reaction to recent attacks by gang members (The Tribune 5 Oct. 1999).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


The Hindustan Times [New Delhi, in English]. 6 August 2000. "Armed Robbers Attack 7 Bihari Labourers, Flee with Rs 14,000." [Accessed 10 August 2001]

The Tribune [Chandigarh, in English]. 6 August 2000. "7 Labourers Hurt in Assault." [Accessed 9 August 2001]

_____. 6 June 2000. "Marauders Kill 2, Injure Four." [Accessed 3 August 2001]

_____. 5 April 2000. "Criminal Gang Busted."
_____. 29 November 1999. "'Kachha Banian' Gangsters Held." [Accessed 9 August 2001]

_____. 2 November 1999. "5 Gangsters Arrested." [Accessed 3 August 2001]

_____. 19 October 1999. "Terror Reigns in Faridabad Villages." [Accessed 9 August 2001]

_____. 10 October 1999. "Youth Lynched on Mistaken Identity." [Accessed 9 August 2001]

_____. 5 October 1999. "Temple Attacked, Sadhu 3 Other Killed." [Accessed 3 August 2001]

Additional Sources Consulted

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Telangana: Srikrishna Committee's report expected todayDecember 30, 2010

Telangana: Srikrishna Committee's report expected today

NDTV Correspondent, Updated: December 30, 2010 09:27 IST


New Delhi: The five-member Justice Srikrishna Committee, which went into the demand for Telangana state, is expected to submit its report to Home Minister P Chidambaram today, a day before the term of the committee expires.

The issue of whether a separate state of Telangana should be sanctioned has been a divisive and emotive debate in Andhra Pradesh. Over the last year, there have been massive and violent protests by supporters and opponents of a Telangana state.

On Tuesday, the Srikrishna Committee, which has prepared the report by visiting all 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh, said it hopes it has found "a permanent solution" but stressed that it is upto the government and political parties to decide what happens next. The committee of five members was set up in February last year and is headed by former Supreme Court judge, BN Srikrishna. The panel's job was to interview different political parties and sections of society on a Telangana state. The committee says it has tried to deliver "highest satisfaction of the largest number." (Read: Telangana report to give 'several options')

Ahead of the report's submission, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday reviewed the political and security situation in the state with his senior cabinet colleagues. The meeting deliberated on various scenarios expected after the submission of the report by the committee.

The possibility of violence breaking out in either case was also discussed at the meeting which was attended by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister AK Antony, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Law Minister M Veerappa Moily besides senior government officials.

The Centre has already sent security forces to help maintain law and order in Andhra Pradesh. The state government, meanwhile, under pressure from its own MPs, has dropped 1600 cases filed against student protestors who demonstrated either in favour of or against separate statehood.

On Wednesday, representatives of 14 universities from the non-Telangana regions, warned that "the consequences will be bitter" if the Srikrishna Committee does recommend bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. The United Andhra Pradesh Students' Joint Action Committee (JAC) also asked elected representatives from non-Telangana regions to resign if the Centre sanctions a Telangana state. (Read: College students start threats)

Students at Osmania University have the opposite view. Their campus served as Ground Zero earlier this year for those campaigning for a new state.

Last December, Home Minister P Chidambaram said a Telangana state would be sanctioned. However, political parties from Andhra Pradesh, under severe pressure from those members who were not from Telangana, quickly withdrew their support for the bifurcation of the state. The Centre was then forced to withdraw its decision and announce that the Srikrishna Committee would be assigned to collect political opinions. (With PTI inputs)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Stone pelters gang busted in Kashmir-Dec 28, 2010,

Stone pelters gang busted in Kashmir

TNN, Dec 28, 2010, 03.05am IST


SRINAGAR: The J&K police on Monday claimed to have busted a gang of alleged stone pelters, who fomented trouble in north Kashmir "with a perfect liaison (between) some government employees, separatists and militants in Sopore" this summer.

Police said the nexus was discovered after the arrest of an alleged stone pelter, Firdous Ahmad Sheikh, from Sopore recently. The cops said they arrested several stone pelters based on Sheikh's revelations. "The stone pelters were also planning a fidayeen attack."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

I&B ministry mulling amendments to Prasar Bharti Act-December 22, 2010

I&B ministry mulling amendments to Prasar Bharti Act

Press Trust Of India

New Delhi, December 22, 2010

First Published: 20:13 IST(22/12/2010)
Last Updated: 20:14 IST(22/12/2010)

(Prasar Bharati (Hindi: प्रसार भारती; literally Broadcasting Corporation of India) is India's largest public broadcaster. It is an autonomous body set up by an Act of Parliament and comprises Doordarshan television network and All India Radio which were earlier media units of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

Prasar Bharati was established on November 23, 1997 following a demand that the government owned broadcasters in India should be given autonomy like those in many other countries. The Parliament of India passed an Act to grant this autonomy in 1990, but it was not enacted until September 15, 1997)..FOR MY REFERENCE...VIBHA TAILANG)

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is mulling amendments to the Prasar Bharti Act to make it "conducive" for better functioning of the public broadcaster without tampering with the spirit of the autonomy of the legislation. "We do not want to tamper with the Act," Information and
Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters here today, a day after CEO B S Lalli was suspended setting in motion the process of his removal.

She, however, added that through amendments, "we would like to make the act as healthy and as conducive to a public broadcaster as possible."

The minister was answering a question on whether the government is thinking of amending the Prasar Bharti law in the wake of a lengthy process involved in taking action against the CEO.

The I&B ministry sent Lalli the suspension letter today after it received the Presidential communique approving the action.

President Pratibha Patil had yesterday ordered the suspension of Lalli, who is in the eye of a storm facing allegations of irregularities in the country's largest public broadcaster.

Soni said that the Group of Ministers on Prasar Bharti, headed by Home Minister P Chidambaram, would be presented with the proposed amendments.

The Information and Broadcasting Secretary was given three to four months to look at some amendments and he would be formulating his report shortly, she said.

Sources in the ministry said that the amendments would also look at the employee problems of the public broadcaster like payment of salaries and promotions.

A proposal might be put forward before the GoM of the I and B Ministry taking over the payment of salaries and dues and splitting into half with the public broadcaster the other costs recurred.

The sources said that nobody has been appointed to replace Lalli as he has not been removed but only suspended pending inquiry.

The Presidential action clearing suspension came after the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) forwarded to Patil the letter by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry recommending the suspension of 63-year-old Lalli, a 1971-batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre.

According to the Prasar Bharati Act, the Chairman or a Member of PB can only be removed by an order of the President on the ground of misbehaviour after the Supreme Court holds an inquiry following a reference to it.

DiCaprio makes it big-has topped Forbes magazine list of the highest grossing actors of 2010, thanks to hits like Inception and Shutter Island23/12/10

Celeb Watch

DiCaprio makes it big

Press Trust Of India
December 23, 2010
First Published: 16:47 IST(23/12/2010)
Last Updated: 01:01 IST(24/12/2010)

Leonardo DiCaprio has topped Forbes magazine list of the highest grossing actors of 2010, thanks to hits like Inception and Shutter Island. The actor starred in movies which made $1.1 billion at the global box office and DiCaprio took home $75 million (Rs. 338 crores
approx) for his work on Inception alone, said

Leonardo di Caprio"The actor chooses very adult movies. DiCaprio is on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s best-paid actors,” said the magazine.

Tying for second place with Johnny Depp, is newcomer Mia Wasikowska, who acted in Alice in Wonderland, which raked in $1.03 billion at the box office. Robert Downey Jr ranks fourth and British actor Daniel Radcliffe stands fifth, thanks to his role as young wizard Harry Potter.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

2G scam: Sibal blames NDA, says Rs 1.43 lakh crore lost in '99-Dec 21, 2010

2G scam: Sibal blames NDA, says Rs 1.43 lakh crore lost in '99

PTI, Dec 21, 2010, 08.59pm IST

NEW DELHI: Telecom minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday claimed that the government "actually" lost Rs 1.43 lakh crore in revenue in 1999 because of the then BJP-led NDA regime shifting to revenue share system from fixed licence fee for telecom operations.

"The actual loss to the exchequer was Rs 1.43 lakh crore in 1999 when the then government gave up auction and shifted to revenue share and also increased the duration of licence to 20 years from 10 years," Sibal said.

His comment comes at a time when the government auditor CAG has quantified a "presumptive" revenue loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore due to non-auction of 2G spectrum in 2008 by former telecom minister A Raja -- an issue that has rocked the nation.

Speaking on the spectrum availability and allocation policy, Sibal asserted that no discrimination will be allowed. "Spectrum is a limited resource and we must ensure that enough spectrum is made available to accommodate everybody's demand.

"You have enough spectrum... We can make it available and once there is spectrum the question is how to allocate it," he told NDTV while emphasising that "right from 2001 to 2009 nobody has paid for spectrum."

Every operator has paid one-time entry fee of Rs 1,658 crore. Low entry fee was the main reason for such a high growth in the telecom sector in the last few years.

In 2001, teledensity was just three per cent, in 2007 it was 18.22 per cent and in 2009 it touched 61 per cent, he said adding that this means 720 million cellphone users are there and this happened mainly due to low tariff.

Asked whether there was any wrongdoing in the implementation of policy, Sibal said: "Show-cause notices have been sent and this shows that some wrongdoing was there."

He, however, declined to comment on the issue but said three separate issues are being looked into -- policy formation, policy implementation and criminal culpability.

As far as policy is concerned, the telecom ministry has already initiated action, while the CBI is probing the criminal culpability, if any.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Onion prices to remain high for two-three weeks: Pawar-2010-12-21

Onion prices to remain high for two-three weeks: Pawar

2010-12-21 20:50:00


New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) As onion prices sky rocket to Rs.70-80 per kilo, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Tuesday said the situation may continue for the next two to three weeks while Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee termed it as 'unfortunate', blaming a demand-supply gap.

'Because of heavy rains, crops have been destroyed. In such a situation, it may take two to three weeks for the situation to get normal,' Pawar told reporters here.

'The ban on export may make the situation better in some days,' he said.

The export of onions has been banned till Jan 15. The National Agriculture Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) announced that it is taking sufficient steps to control the situation.

'The prices are already coming down. It seems like it was some freak phenomena,' NAFED Managing Director Sanjeev Chopra said.

'We have suspended exports till January 15. If the situation becomes better we may revise it. The NOC (no objection certificate) for the exports already approved has been raised to $1,200,' Chopra said.

'The NAFED will sell onions at stalls across Delhi,' Chopra added.

Finance Minister Mukherjee blamed the supply-demand gap for the situation.

'It is very unfortunate that onion prices have risen very high... Now there is a mismatch between supply from mandi to the consumer point. Those bottlenecks have to be removed and I will talk to concerned ministries,' Mukherjee told reporters.

'I hope appropriate steps will be taken. Exports have already been banned,' he said.

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had Monday said that hoarding was responsible for the price rise.

'The price rise is because of hoarding, there is enough stock in the country,' Sharma had said.

Commenting on hoarding, Pawar said that state governments have been asked to act on it.

The issue has been taken up by the opposition, which blames the government's faulty economic policies for the situation.

'It is because of the wrong economic policies and bad governance of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance),' BJP president Nitin Gadkari told television channels.

Communist Party of India's (CPI) D. Raja said here the government was helpless against market forces.

'Government pleads helplessness against market forces. One minister is saying it is bad weather, other says it is hoarding. If it is hoarding, they must act against it and tell the nation,' Raja said.


Russia asks Pakistan to push 26/11 probe, backs India for UNSC, NSG -India and Russia ink 30 pacts-2010-12-21


Russia asks Pakistan to push 26/11 probe, backs India for UNSC, NSG

2010-12-21 19:10:00

New Delhi, Dec 21 (IANS) Underlining their 'privileged strategic partnership,' India and Russia Tuesday inked a raft of agreements worth billions of dollars, including a contract for jointly building a fifth generation fighter jet, and resolved to expand their counter-terror cooperation. Russia also asked Pakistan to bring the 26/11 perpetrators to justice.

Setting a target of doubling bilateral trade to $20 billion by 2015, the two sides agreed to focus on upgrading the economic content of their relationship, which has not kept pace with the level of their strategic partnership, as Indian and Russian companies signed a clutch of deals worth several billions of dollars.

In a boost to India's counter-terror efforts, Russia called for the elimination of 'safe havens for terrorism and violent extremism that are present in Afghanistan and Pakistan' and agreed to expand consultations on the volatile Afghan situation.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who began his two day-visit to India Tuesday morning, reiterated his country's support for India's bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. India was a 'strong and deserving candidate', he noted.

'Russia wants to India to have a permanent seat in the UN Security Council if the decision to expand the organ is taken,' Medvedev said a joint press interaction with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after their delegation-level talks that lasted two hours.

Russia also backed New Delhi's full membership in elite nuclear groupings like the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) as the two sides discussed setting up 'additional nuclear reactors' in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

Cooperation in space also saw an upswing as the two sides signed a pact on giving India access to high precision signals from Glonass, the Russian rival to the American GPS that could help in effective integration of India's military land, air and sea assets.

The Manmohan Singh-Medvedev talks covered a host of issues, including the expansion of civil nuclear cooperation, the intensification of bilateral economic ties, global terrorism and the international financial crisis.

Eleven agreements were signed in the presence of Manmohan Singh and Medvedev. Eighteen pacts were signed on the margins of the third summit between the two leaders that led to a an all-encompassing joint statement entitled 'Celebrating a Decade of the India-Russian Federation Strategic Partnership and Looking Ahead.'

A memorandum of understanding between India's department of atomic energy and Russia's state atomic energy corporation Rosatom for broader scientific and technical cooperation and a pact on cooperation in the oil and gas sector were among the pacts signed to signal the growing energy partnership between the two sides.

Ending speculation, the two sides signed a preliminary design contract (PDC) for building a fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), a deal that kicks off a set of arrangements that could potentially mean $30 billion of business. The contract envisages joint design and development of the aircraft with the involvement of HAL on the Indian side and Sukhoi Design Bureau and Rosoboronexport on the Russian side.

The 30-tonne aircraft is expected to have very advanced avionics, stealth to increase survivability and enhanced lethality, according to Indian Air Force (IAF) officers. It will have the capability to launch air-to-air, air-to-surface and air-to-ship missiles.

Medvedev's trip to India tops visits by leaders of the US, Britain, France and China in the last few months, making this year unique in Indian diplomacy when the leaders of all five permanent members of the UN Security Council visited the country.

Seeking to put innovation and business at the centre of the partnership that has remained mostly defence-centric in the past, Medvedev underlined 'a new and qualitative change in the relationship' and pointed out that 'a modernization cooperation was shaping up between the two countries.'

Expanding counter-terror cooperation figured prominently in the talks.

'The two sides agreed that all terrorist networks must be defeated. They called upon Pakistan to expeditiously to bring all the perpetrators, authors and accomplices of the Nov 2008 Mumbai attacks to justice,' the joint statement said.

At the joint press interaction, Medvedev stressed that 'no civilised state can hide terrorists,' but did not mention Pakistan by name.

'Terrorists are criminals. They, of course, should be punished. Those who hide terrorists conceal their crimes. No modern civilised state can hide terrorists as law abiding citizens. They are subject to punishment,' Medvedev said. He was replying to a question by IANS on militant safe havens of terror across the Indian border and how India and Russia were copperating to tackle terrorism.

'Our cooperation is productive and open. We are interested in strengthening that cooperation,' Medvedev said, adding thar bilateral extraditon treaties are needed so that terrorists wanted in one country can he handed over.

'India and Russia are both victims of terrorists, as such there is a natural synergy of interests in working together to deal with this menace. We should cooperate in information sharing and intelligence sharing and devise effective counter-terrorism strategies,' Manmohan Singh said.

Seeking to ramp their economic ties, Russia sought India's assistance in bolstering its pharmaceuticals and IT sectors and signed pacts in these areas.

An agreement on visa simplification was also signed that could ease the travel of citizens of the two countries and promote bilateral business ties.

Taking their nuclear cooperation further, the two sides discussed setting up 'additional nuclear reactors' in Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu. 'This reflects our mutual desire for strong cooperation in the field of defence and (civil) nuclear energy,' Manmohan Singh said.

Atomstroyexport, a subsidiary of the state-owned nuclear company Rosatom, is building two 1,000 MW reactors in Kudankulam in collaboration with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), and is in negotiations to build two more reactors of 1000 MW each.


All About: National,New Delhi

Monday, December 20, 2010


Leadership Without Legitimacy: Will the Indian Media Get Its Act Together?-December 19, 2010 02:21 AM

Leadership Without Legitimacy: Will the Indian Media Get Its Act Together?

December 19, 2010 02:21 AM

After remaining wilfully silent on India's biggest corruption story of the year (Hear the Radia tapes here), the immediate reaction of some sections of the Indian media was to divert attention to Brand India and corporate privacy concerns. We are now witness to another diversion -- the case for corporate lobbying (never mind that corporate lobbying has just robbed the country of hundreds of millions of dollars).

Let's take for example a single routine event like last week's conference on corporate sustainability addressed by Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. Since the event was held in the wake of the Radia tapes leak the Minister was quizzed on legal regulation of the corporate sector by attending journalists. What follows is a quick and, unfortunately, dirty analysis of the reports that were published in the English media

Of the fourteen randomly surveyed reports, not a single Indian publication mentioned the real context of the questions viz. the corruption issue unearthed by the Radia tapes. The only publication to report this context was non-Indian, the South Asia Mail. While the others remained silent, six of the Indian publications chose to cite a misleading context instead, viz. privacy concerns, not the issues of corruption that the tapes revealed. These publications include Times Now, Economic Times, Indian Express, Express Buzz, Deccan Chronicle and Business Standard.

Two of the corporate-owned and managed publications chose to include references by Deepak Parekh and Lalit Bhasin, leveraging these apparently "authoritative sources" in favor of the underlying argument against privacy violations. No references were cited on the corruption issue. These publications were Indian Express and Economic Times.

Most of the publications captured the cautious statements of the Minister who balanced issues of privacy with those of corruption. These were represented in headlines that spoke of 'regulations', 'curbs' and 'limits' to corporate lobbying. However, two publications spun headlines that were in dissonance with all others and even with their own news content. These were Indian Express and Times Now that headlined 'CorpMin gives thumbs up to lobbying, PR' and 'Khursheed for legalizing lobbying'. The only publication to underscore the obligations of corporate India was Hindu which headlined 'Stress on Ethical Business.'

With all due regard to Indian circumspection, how does one justify a failure to report -- to say nothing of actively misleading readers -- on the real context of questions posed to the Minister? And with all due respect to Eastern mysticism and the eternal subjectivity of human experience, how exactly does one explain such variance in the headlines?! Was the Minister speaking in two tongues such that twelve reporters understood a case for regulating corporate lobbying and two saw a strong justification for it instead? Should the reader blandly apprehend the report content devoid of context, be tantalizingly diverted by the headlines, or perhaps conclude that maybe, just maybe, the journalist, sub-editor and editor are beholden to the news corporation and not to journalistic ethics?

Despite the enormity of the corruption issue in the Radia tapes leakage and the role played by the country's top journalists in facilitating it, the Indian media shows little accountability to the public and there are still no apologies forthcoming. On the other hand, at a recent forum by India's press corps, the President of the Editor's Guild continued to support those journalists who manufactured convenient stories and brokered deals for corporate interests.

There can be no greater disgrace than the fact that the entire dissemination of the biggest corruption story of the year was managed by citizens and nonresident Indians through the Internet. If the Indian media wishes to remain relevant in the Internet age, it will have to fight for change -- a working code of ethics, new leaders, better role models for a new generation of journalists, and if possible, a little humility now and then.

India loses Rs 24,000cr annually due to lack of toilets, hygiene: World Bank-Dec 21, 2010-

India loses Rs 24,000cr annually due to lack of toilets, hygiene: World Bank

TNN, Dec 21, 2010, 12.03am IST

NEW DELHI: The Indian economy loses nearly $54 billion (around Rs 24,000 crore) annually due to lack of toilets and poor hygiene, a World Bank study said on Monday.

In a study 'Economic Impact of Inadequate Sanitation in India', conducted by its South Asia Water and Sanitation unit, the multilateral body said premature deaths, treatment for the sick and loss of productivity and revenue from tourism were the main factors behind the significant economic loss.

"For decades, we have been aware of the significant impacts of inadequate sanitation in India," Christopher Juan Costain, the World Bank's head for South Asia's water and sanitation programme, told reporters. The cost of treatment for diseases due to poor hygiene was estimated at $38.5 billion (over Rs 17,000 crore).

"The report quantifies the economic losses to India, and shows that children and poor households bear the brunt of poor sanitation."

The Planning Commission had earlier estimated that although 49% of the country's urban population has access to sanitary excreta disposal facility, only 28% have sewerage system (partial without treatment facility in many cases) and 21% only low cost sanitary latrine facility. About 60% of the generated solid waste is collected and disposed of, of which only 50% sanitarily.

World Bank officials estimate there are 4.5 lakh deaths out of 57.5 crore cases of diarrhoea every year and a large segment of the country's 1.20 crore population defecates in the open.

Costain said the Indian economy loses $260 million (over Rs 1,000 crore) in tourism revenues due to poor sanitation as tourists are reluctant to come to India due to lack of sanitation facilities. "We all hear about people worrying over Delhi Belly, but tourists are reluctant to come here due to health concerns like this and this is losing India money," Constain said.

India – Russia relations-its history and details in brief

India – Russia relations

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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the 2008 G8 Summit in Hokkaido.India-Russian relations has been refers to the bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Russian Federation. During the Cold War, India and the Soviet Union enjoyed a strong strategic, military, economic and diplomatic relationship. After the collapse of the USSR, India improved its relations with the West but it continued its close relations with Russia. India is the second largest market for the Russian arms industry. In 2004, more than 70% of the Indian Military's hardware came from Russia, making Russia the chief supplier of arms.[1] India has an embassy in Moscow and 2 Consulates-General (in Saint Petersburg and Vladivostok). Russia has an embassy in New Delhi and 4 Consulates-General (in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai). Since 2000 and the visit of df in India there have been an Indo-Russian Strategic Partnership.

Contents [hide]
1 Country comparison
2 Soviet Union and India
3 Soviet active measures in India
4 Russia and India
4.1 Military relations
4.2 Economic relations
4.3 Cooperation in the Energy sector
4.4 Space Cooperation
4.5 Science and Technology
4.6 North-South Transport Corridor
4.7 Cooperation in the sphere of Culture
4.8 Terrorism
5 Nuclear Deals
6 See also
7 External links
8 References

[edit] Country comparison
India Russian Federation
Population 1,190,340,000 142,008,838
Area 3,287,240 km2 (1,269,210 sq mi) 17,075,400 km² (6,592,800 sq mi)
Population Density 356/km² (922/sq mi) 8.3/km² (21.5/sq mi)
Capital New Delhi Moscow
Largest City Mumbai – 13,922,125 (21,347,412 Metro) Moscow (14,837,510)
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional republic Federal semi-presidential republic
Official languages Hindi and English, 21 other constitutionally recognized languages Russian (de facto)
GDP (nominal) $1.367 trillion ($1,124 per capita) $1.229 trillion ($8,693 per capita)
GDP (PPP) $3.526 trillion ($3,176 per capita) $2.687 trillion ($18,945 per capita)
Foreign exchange reserves 300,210 (millions of USD) 501,100 (millions of USD)
Military expenditures $32.7 billion (FY 2009-10)[2] $39.6 billion (FY 2009–10)[3]

[edit] Soviet Union and India
A cordial relationship with India that began in the 1950s represented the most successful of the Soviet attempts to foster closer relations with Third World countries. The relationship began with a visit by Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to the Soviet Union in June 1955 and Khrushchev's return trip to India in the fall of 1955. While in India, Khrushchev announced that the Soviet Union supported Indian sovereignty over the disputed territory of the Kashmir region and over Portuguese coastal enclaves.

The Soviet relationship with India rankled the Chinese and contributed to Sino-Soviet enmity during the Khrushchev period. The Soviet Union declared its neutrality during the 1959 border dispute and the Indo-China war of 1962, although the Chinese strongly objected. The Soviet Union gave India substantial economic and military assistance during the Khrushchev period, and by 1960 India had received more Soviet assistance than China had. This disparity became another point of contention in Sino-Soviet relations. In 1962 the Soviet Union agreed to transfer technology to coproduce the MiG-21 jet fighter in India, which the Soviet Union had earlier denied to China.

In 1965 the Soviet Union served successfully as peace broker between India and Pakistan after an Indian-Pakistani border war. The Soviet chairman of the Council of Ministers, Alexei Kosygin, met with representatives of India and Pakistan and helped them negotiate an end to the military conflict over Kashmir.

In 1971 the former East Pakistan region initiated an effort to secede from its political union with West Pakistan. India supported the secession and, as a guarantee against possible Chinese entrance into the conflict on the side of West Pakistan, signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation with the Soviet Union in August 1971. In December, India entered the conflict and ensured the victory of the secessionists and the establishment of the new state of Bangladesh.

Relations between the Soviet Union and India did not suffer much during the rightist Janata Party's coalition government in the late 1970s, although India did move to establish better economic and military relations with Western countries. To counter these efforts by India to diversify its relations, the Soviet Union proffered additional weaponry and economic assistance.

During the 1980s, despite the 1984 assassination by Sikh extremists of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the mainstay of cordial Indian-Soviet relations, India maintained a close relationship with the Soviet Union. Indicating the high priority of relations with the Soviet Union in Indian foreign policy, the new Indian prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi, visited the Soviet Union on his first state visit abroad in May 1985 and signed two long-term economic agreements with the Soviet Union. In turn, Gorbachev's first visit to a Third World state was his meeting with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in New Delhi in late 1986. Gorbachev unsuccessfully urged Gandhi to help the Soviet Union set up an Asian collective security system. Gorbachev's advocacy of this proposal, which had also been made by Brezhnev, was an indication of continuing Soviet interest in using close relations with India as a means of containing China. With the improvement of Sino-Soviet relations in the late 1980s, containing China had less of a priority, but close relations with India remained important as an example of Gorbachev's new Third World policy.

[edit] Soviet active measures in India
See also: Active measures and Russian influence operations
Defectors and smuggled documents have revealed how the KGB manipulated Indian society.

Active Measures (Russian: Активные мероприятия) were a form of political warfare conducted by the Soviet security services (Cheka, OGPU, NKVD, KGB) to influence the course of world events, "in addition to collecting intelligence and producing politically correct assessment of it".[4] Active measures ranged "from media manipulations to special actions involving various degree of violence". They were used both abroad and domestically. They included disinformation, propaganda, counterfeiting official documents, assassinations, and political repression, such as penetration of churches, and persecution of political dissidents.[4] Active measures included the establishment and support of international front organizations (e.g. the World Peace Council); foreign communist, socialist and opposition parties; wars of national liberation in the Third World; and underground, revolutionary, insurgency, criminal, and terrorist groups.[4] The intelligence agencies of Eastern Bloc and other communist states also contributed in the past to the program, providing operatives and intelligence for assassinations and other types of covert operations.[4]

Some insight was given by The Mitrokhin archive, which was smuggled to the West in 1992. It reveals that the number of newspapers directly on KGB payroll reached ten by 1973, while numerous other newspapers in India spread stories prepared by the KGB's disinformation experts. KGB also had a press agency under its control. During 1972 the KGB counted that it had planted 3,789 articles in Indian newspapers. In 1975 the number had increased to 5510. The KGB found that there was no shortage of Indian journalists and politicians willing to take money.[5][6]

Yuri Bezmenov, who worked in KGB disinformation operations in India, wrote on the Soviet manipulation of Indian society:[7]

Is that the Indians are stupid, ignorant people, that they allow the Soviet to deceive them on this manner? On the contrary - for the most part, they are innocent victims of one of the world's most sophisticated games - Ideological Subversion. They have been psychologically manipulated through media, politics, etc. into believing that the Soviets are their friends who are protecting them from "Western imperialists".
Vladimir Bukovsky smuggled some files about the KGB's payments to the Communist Party of India, the Indian Congress Party, and the political elite. For example, one KGB report about Rajiv Gandhi discusses financial favors:[8][9]

To: The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR
The KGB is currently conducting contacts with Rajiv Gandhi, the son of the Prime Minister of India. (according to the Central Committee's approval over the KGB note num. 1413-A/OB from 14.07.80.) Rajiv Gandhi is truly thankful for the financial support to his family, which comes owing to the commercial deals of the company controlled by him with the Soviet state foreign trade companies. In a confiding talks Gandhi noted that most of the financial means coming through this channel are used to support the Rajiv Gandhi's Party.
The head of the Committee V. Chebrikov (12.02.83)
[edit] Russia and India
Relations with India have always been and I am sure will be one of the most important foreign policy priorities of our country. Our mutual ties of friendship are filled with sympathy, and trust, and openness. And we must say frankly that they were never overshadowed by disagreements or conflict. This understanding - this is indeed the common heritage of our peoples. It is valued and cherished in our country, in Russia, and in India. And we are rightfully proud of so close, so close relations between our countries.

– Dmitry Medvedev, about relations with India[10]

We are confident that India lives in the hearts of every Russian. In the same way, I can assure you that Russia also lives in our souls as a Homeland, as people who share our emotions, our feelings of mutual respect and constant friendship. Long live our friendship!

– Pratibha Patil, about relations with Russia[10]

[edit] Military relations

The Prime Minister of India, in collaboration with External Affairs Ministry, handles key foreign policy decisions. Shown here is the current Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh with the former President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.Defence relations between India and the Russian Federation have a historical perspective. Russia has been an important supplier of defence goods for several decades. Today, the cooperation is not limited to a buyer-seller relationship but includes joint research and development, training, service to service contacts, including joint exercises. The last joint naval exercises took place in April 2007 in the Sea of Japan and joint airborne exercises were held in September 2007 in Russia.

There is an Inter-Governmental commission on military-technical cooperation co-chaired by the two Defence Ministers. The Seventh session of this Inter-Governmental Commission was held in October 2007 in Moscow. During the visit, an Agreement on joint development and production of prospective multi role fighters was signed between the two countries.

India–Russia original co-operation agreement was signed in December 1988. It has seen the trade of a multitude of defence equipment to India and also the emergence of that country as a development partner as opposed to purely a buyer. Two programmes that evidence this approach are the projects to form Indian-Russian joint ventures to develop and produce the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA).

Deba R Mohanty, a senior fellow in security studies at the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation, told Jane's on 13 October that the original co-operation agreement has laid a "very solid foundation" for India to develop further as a development partner.

He added: "The mutual benefits are clear: India can acquire modern platforms and technologies while Russia gains access to India's growing defence market."[11]

India and Russia have several major joint military programs such as those mentioned below:

BrahMos cruise missile program
INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier program
5th generation fighter jet program
Sukhoi Su-30MKI program (230+ to be built by Hindustan Aeronautics)
Ilyushin/HAL Tactical Transport Aircraft
Additionally, India has purchased/leased several military hardware from Russia:

T-90S Bhishma program. (1000+ to be built in India)
Akula-II nuclear submarine (2 to be leased with an option to buy them when the lease expires)
Tu-22M3 bombers (4 ordered)
US$900 million upgrade of MiG-29
Mil Mi-17 (80 ordered)
Ilyushin Il-76 Candid (6 ordered to fit Israeli Phalcon radar)
Russia's MiG-35 is competing in the Indian MRCA Competition and is considered to be the front-runner for the winning bid, given India's already, largely Russian-built air force. The Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan is currently jointly operated by India and Russia.

[edit] Economic relations

Indian and Russian diplomats holding talks at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.Bilateral trade turnover is modest and stood at US $ 3 bn in 2006-07, out of which Indian Exports to Russia were valued at US $ 908 mn. Main Indian exports to Russia are pharmaceuticals; tea, coffee & spices; apparel & clothing; edible preparations; and engineering goods. Main Indian imports from Russia are iron and steel; fertilizers; non-ferrous metals; paper products; coal, coke & briquettes; cereals; and rubber. Indo-Russian trade is expected to reach US$10 billion by 2010.

The India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IRIGC) has had 13 sessions so far and is co-chaired by the External Affairs Minister from the Indian side and a Deputy Prime Minister from the Russian side. There are six Joint Working Groups [WG] under the IRIGC, namely, WG on Trade and Economy [trade and financial matters], WG on Energy [oil and gas, thermal and hydel power, non-conventional energy], WG on Metallurgy and Mining [steel, non-ferrous metal, coal], WG on Science & Technology; WG on Communication and Information Technology; and WG on Culture and Tourism. The 13th of the IRIGC was held in Moscow on 12 October 2007.

The two countries have set-up India-Russia Forum on Trade and Investment at the level of the two Commerce Ministers to promote trade, investment and economic cooperation. The first Forum was held in New Delhi on 12–13 February 2007 which was attended by the Minister of Commerce and Industry and the Russian Minister of Economic Development and Trade, apart from a large number of business representatives from both sides. The Minister of Commerce & Industry, Shri Kamal Nath participated in the 11th Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum on 9–10 June 2007.

In February 2006, India and Russia also set-up a Joint Study Group to examine ways to increase trade to US $ 10 bn by 2010 and to study feasibility of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). The Group finalized its report after its fourth meeting in Moscow in July 2007. It has been agreed that a Joint Task Force would monitor the implementation of the recommendation made in the Joint Stdy Group Report, including considering CECA.

The second BRIC summit was held in Brasilia in April, 2010.

[edit] Cooperation in the Energy sector

Patil with President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in India on 5 December 2008.Energy sector is an important area in Indo-Russian bilateral relations. In 2001, ONGC-Videsh Limited acquired 20% stake in the Sakhalin-I oil and gas project in the Russian Federation, and has invested about US $ 1.7 billion in the project. The Russian company Gazprom and Gas Authority of India Ltd. have collaborated in joint development of a block in the Bay of Bengal. Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project with two units of 1000 MW each is a good example of Indo-Russian nuclear energy cooperation. Both sides have expressed interest in expanding cooperation in the energy sector.

In December 2008, Russia and India signed an agreement to build civilian nuclear reactors in India during a visit by the Russian president to New Delhi.[12]

[edit] Space Cooperation
Space is another key sector of cooperation between the two countries. During President Vladimir Putin's visit to India in December 2004, two space-related bilateral agreements were signed viz. Inter-Governmental umbrella Agreement on cooperation in the outer space for peaceful purposes and the Inter Space Agency Agreement on cooperation in the Russian satellite navigation system "GLONASS". Subsequently a number of follow-up agreements on GLONASS have been signed. In November 2007, the two countries have signed an agreement on joint lunar exploration. These space cooperation programmes are under implementation.

[edit] Science and Technology
The ongoing cooperation in the field of science & technology, under the Integrated Long-Term Programme of cooperation (ILTP) is the largest cooperation programme in this sphere for both India and Russia. ILTP is coordinated by the Department of Science and Technology from the Indian side and by the Russian Academy of Sciences and Russian Ministry of Industry & Science and Technology from the Russian side. Development of SARAS Duet aircraft, semiconductor products, super computers, poly-vaccines, laser science and technology, seismology, high-purity materials, software & IT and Ayurveda have been some of the priority areas of co-operation under the ILTP. Under this programme, eight joint Indo- Russian centers have been established to focus on joint research and development work. Two other Joint Centres on Non-ferrous Metals and Accelerators and Lasers are being set up in India. A Joint Technology Centre based in Moscow to bring cutting edge technologies to the market is also under processing. An ILTP Joint Council met in Moscow on 11–12 October 2007 to review cooperation and give it further direction. In August 2007, an MoU was signed between Department of Science and Technology and Russian Foundation of Basic Research, Moscow to pursue scientific cooperation.

[edit] North-South Transport Corridor
For more details on this topic, see North-South Transport Corridor.
The "North-South" Transport Corridor Agreement [INSTC] has been ratified by all the three original signatory states, viz. India, Iran and Russia, and has come into force since 16 May, 2002. This route is expected to reduce the cost of movement of goods between India and Russia and beyond. The 3rd Coordination Council Meeting of the INSTC was held in October 2005 in New Delhi and the 4th meeting was held in Aktau, Kazakhstan in October 2007 to discuss further streamlining the operation of the corridor.[13]

[edit] Cooperation in the sphere of Culture
India–Russia relations in the field of culture are historical. Five Chairs relating to Indology have been established in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan and Vladivostok. Days of Russian Culture were held in India in November 2003, in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai. "Days of Indian Culture" in Russia were organized from September- October 2005 in Russia. 130th birth anniversary of Nikolai Roerich and 100th birth anniversary of Svyatoslav Roerich were celebrated in India in October 2004. Chief Minister of National Capital Territory of Delhi led a delegation for participating in the event "Days of Delhi in Moscow" from 28 May-1 June 2006. The "Year of Russia in India" was held in 2008. It was followed by the "Year of India in Russia" in 2009. There is a Hindi Department, in the University of Moscow.

[edit] Terrorism
On international terrorism, India and Russia agree that there is no justification for terrorism, and this must be fought against, without compromise and wherever it exists. Russia has supported the Indian draft at the UN on Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism [CCIT]. The two sides signed a MoU on cooperation in combating terrorism in December 2002. A Joint Working Group on Combating International Terrorism meets from time to time and its fourth meeting was held in Delhi on 24 October 2006.

[edit] Nuclear Deals
On 7 November 2009, India Signed a new nuclear deal with Russia apart from the deals that were agreed upon by the two countries earlier.[14]

[edit] See also
Foreign relations of India
Foreign relations of Russia
[edit] External links

Medvedev gives interview to Indian newspaper-High technology, energy and space exploration - these are the three spheres of cooperation, Dec 20, 2010

Medvedev gives interview to Indian newspaper

Tags: Russian-Indian relations, Commentary, Medvedev\'s interview to The Times of India, Politics

Podolskaya Nadezhda Dec 20, 2010 14:31 Moscow Time

Download Dmitry Medvedev. Photo: EPA

High technology, energy and space exploration - these are the three spheres of cooperation, which, according to President Dmitry Medvedev, have recently become the focus of attention for Moscow and New Delhi. The Russian leader gave an interview for The Times of India newspaper ahead of his visit that country and here are the main highlights of that conversation.

Economic, scientific and cultural interaction can be effectively developed in a stable atmosphere only. Therefore, present-day Russia and India are, above all, concerned with security in the southeastern regions of the Eurasian continent. In this respect, Afghanistan is considered to be the main source of instability, while terrorism and drug trafficking are presenting the two principal threats. Both Moscow and New Delhi possess all necessary tools to counter these threats, Dmitry Medvedev told journalists:

“Settlement in Afghanistan is high on the agenda of the India-Russia Joint Working Group on Combating International Terrorism and the Joint Coordination Group of Security Councils of the two countries. These bodies regularly exchange information on Afghanistan and discuss issues such as combating terrorist threats, illicit drug trafficking and money laundering. Anti-terrorist cooperation with New Delhi is advancing at international forums as well. We appreciate India’s support for Russia’s draft of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, which entered into force in July 2007.”

As for the economy, New Delhi’s attention should be turned to some of the projects being developed in the four-party format, between Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan. This format is an element of cooperation within the SCO, where India has observer status so far. One such project is the Central Asia-South Asia 1000 (CASA-1000) project that provides for the construction of electricity transmission lines from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to President Medvedev, India and other Russian SCO partners can join in on the development of this network. Furthermore, is also Moscow considering its possible participation in building a gas pipeline connecting Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (the TAPI project). The head of state is sure that “Russian companies operating in pipeline construction have the necessary expertise, logistical resources and highly skilled personnel to build this pipeline.” Moscow and New Delhi are also closely cooperating in the area of nuclear energy. Russia is involved in the construction of additional nuclear power plant units at the Kudankulam site and has plans for building new facilities on the Indian territory.

High-tech achievements of the two countries’ scientists are spreading to the area of space exploration as well. Among other things, cooperation on this issue includes plans to jointly launch the Chandrayaan-2 artificial lunar satellite. Recently, the sides have agreed to add an Indian mini moon rover to the spacecraft which is set to be launched in 2013, Dmitry Medvedev pointed out. Moreover, apart from the joint use of the Russia-designed GLONASS satellite navigation system, the parties intend to launch production of ground support equipment and set up a joint venture to that effect.

In terms of the sides’ military and technical contacts, some media expect an agreement on the joint development of fifth-generation fighter aircraft to be signed during President Medvedev’s visit to India. New Delhi is said to be prepared to invest an estimated $25 billion dollars in the project. At the same time, Western producers of arms and military equipment are also interested in cooperating with India. Dmitry Medvedev looks upon this “with serenity and pragmatism”, as he put it, saying that Russia is ready for the competition. “The main point is that competition for contracts should be fair and in line with the rules,’ the president emphasized. As for military cooperation between Moscow and New Delhi, it is “transparent and aimed at ensuring India’s defense capability without challenging the existing military and strategic balance in the South Asia region,” the Russian leader said in conclusion.

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Environment Medvedev Joins Parade to India as Leaders Chase Nuclear Power, Arms Deals--21/12/10

Environment Medvedev Joins Parade to India as Leaders Chase Nuclear Power, Arms Deals

President Dmitry Medvedev will seek arms and nuclear-power contracts during an Indian visit this week that follows trips by U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Medvedev’s two-day trip comes after Sarkozy spent four days in India earlier this month and Obama visited in November to promote trade. He will arrive with an $11 billion tender for 126 warplanes and as much as $100 billion in nuclear-power contracts up for grabs. Wen led a delegation that signed $16 billion of deals during a trip that ended Dec. 17.

India, Russia’s top arms customer, has tripled its defense budget over the last decade as it looks beyond a traditional military rivalry with Pakistan to counter China’s rising power. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has spearheaded Russia’s efforts to fend off competition from the U.S. and Europe.

“Russia has always been a major player in India, but now it faces increasing competition in areas it traditionally dominated such as the arms trade as India tries to diversify its suppliers further to get the best price and quality,” Konstantin Makiyenko, deputy head of the Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies in Moscow, said in a Dec. 17 phone interview.

India accounts for about 35 percent to 40 percent of Russia’s annual $8.6 billion of arms deliveries abroad, Makiyenko said.

Fighter Jet Competition

OAO RSK MiG is bidding against Dassault Systemes SA, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp, for the fighter-jets contracts. Indian plans to expand the country’s atomic capacity 10-fold by 2020 may net deals for Rosatom Corp., Areva SA, Alstom SA, or Westinghouse Electric Co.

Obama and Sarkozy during their visits backed India’s campaign for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. Wen stopped short of those endorsements, saying in a joint statement with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that China “understands and supports India’s aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations, including in the Security Council.”

Medvedev may also be supportive, said Fyodor Lukyanov, an analyst at the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy in Moscow, adding that Russia is “very cautious” about changes to the Security Council, looking to safeguard its role.

Russia, the U.S., France, China and the U.K. are the council’s permanent members at present. They hold veto power over any measure.

Putin’s Deals

Putin in March closed more than $10 billion in agreements with India, including the delivery of India’s second aircraft carrier in 2012 and 29 MiG-29 fighters. The two countries signed a “road map” on nuclear energy that may net Russian companies a role in building as many as 16 reactors.

Medvedev’s delegation will include Mikhail Pogosyan, Moscow-based MiG’s chief executive officer, Sergei Kiriyenko, the CEO of Moscow-based Rosatom, Sergei Prikhodko, the president’s foreign policy aide, told reporters in Moscow on Dec. 17. Sergei Chemezov, head of Moscow-based Russian Technologies Corp., a holding that includes Rosoboronexport, the state arms exporter, will also accompany Medvedev.

Nuclear energy will be discussed “in detail” during the trip and the two countries will sign a cooperation agreement to open the door for future deals, Prikhodko said.

‘Entrench Ourselves’

“We want to entrench ourselves in the market and we’re seeing serious movement forward,” he said. The joint production of a transport aircraft and a fifth-generation fighter jet will also be on the agenda, Prikhodko said. The new fighters are designed to offer better radar-evading stealth capability and an improvement in maneuverability and speed.

Russia successfully tested a prototype of its fifth- generation PAK FA stealth fighter in January, one year behind schedule and 13 years after the first flight of its U.S. rival, Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor.

“The fifth-generation fighter deal will be the most important issue,” and could be worth as much as $30 billion over the life of the agreement, because India may seek to deploy as many as 300 of the jets, Makiyenko said.

The contract for drawing up the design of the Indian modification of the jet will cost $295 million and may be signed during Medvedev’s visit to India, RIA Novosti reported Dec. 16, citing Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. Chairman Ashok Nayak. He said Indian engineers will work in Russia over the next 18 months, the Russian news service said.

Fighter Jet Components

“The Indian fighters will most likely have a large amount of French, Israeli and British components,” Makiyenko said.

Dassault is based in Velizy Villacoublay, France; Boeing in Chicago and Lockheed Martin in Bethesda, Maryland. Areva is based in Paris and Alstom in Levallois-Perret, France; Monroeville, Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse Electric Co. is a unit of Toshiba Corp. of Tokyo.

India’s nuclear expansion may cost as much as $100 billion, the Indian official said.

“I think this is the” minimum, Kiriyenko said on Dec. 14, when asked about the spending figure. “Judging by their plans that’s the least they’ll spend. It’s realistic. And our share will be significant.”

Kiriyenko said no concrete nuclear contracts are likely to be signed during Medvedev’s visit as companies negotiate the details of the deals, he said.

Competition is increasing on India’s nuclear market, said Brahma Chellaney, an analyst at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi.

“India is going from being non-aligned to being multi- aligned, so Russia is only one partner,” he said. “India now has strategic partnerships with all the major powers except China. This was unthinkable 10 years ago.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at; Andrew MacAskill in New Delhi at; Lyubov Pronina in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Willy Morris at

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to pay official visit to India-20.12.2010,

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to pay official visit to India

20.12.2010, 07.34



MOSCOW, December 20 (Itar-Tass) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will go on an official visit to India on Monday. For two days the president will visit New Delhi, Agra and Mumbai, where he will not only hold several negotiations, but will also visit the Taj Mahal mausoleum, which is one of the Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Bollywood film industry.

This will be Medvedev’s second official visit to India after the first one in December 2008. Annual mutual visits of the leaders of the countries turned into a tradition in Russian-Indian relations. The major negotiations are scheduled for Tuesday, when the Russian leader will meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Foreign Minister Somanahalli Krishna, President Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Mohammad Ansari, President of the Indian National Congress Party Sonia Gandhi and the opposition leader in the lower house of Indian parliament Sushma Swaraj. On the same day the countries are to sign several agreements, the leaders of the countries will give a press conference and will meet with Russian and Indian business quarters.

On Tuesday morning the Russian president will go to Agra, where he will visit a famous mausoleum Taj Mahal. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan has built the white domed marble Taj Mahal in Agra in memory of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal in the 17th century. Five million tourists visit the Taj Mahal mausoleum annually.

Then Medvedev will go to the Indian megapolis Mumbai. The Russian president will be received at the Indian Technological Institute and the Bollywood film industry. A world-wide known Indian film industry has brought about in Mumbai at the beginning of the 20th century and now turned in the Bollywood dream film industry.

“For the last ten years Russian-Indian relations were brought to an absolutely new level that can be described as privileged strategic partnership, and this formula will be fixed in a joint statement that is to be issued at the summit,” Russian presidential aide Prikhodko said. This level of relation “envisages close coordination, which is based on long-standing traditions of friendship, between the countries of their foreign political approaches on a broad range of international and regional problems, large-scale trade and economic cooperation, including the modernization and the introduction of high technologies, broader military-technical cooperation and intensive cultural ties and human contracts,” he noted.

“Russia and India traditionally attach major importance to bilateral cultural exchanges,” the Russian presidential aide said. He emphasized that during Medvedev’s forthcoming visit the countries “are to sign an agreement on the Festival of Indian Culture in Russia in 2011 and the Festival of Russian Culture in India in 2012.”

Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Education and Science Andrei Fursenko, Central Elections Commission Chairman Vladimir Churov, Rostechnologii chief Sergei Chemezov, Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko, director of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Mikhail Dmitriyev and chief of the Federal Migration Service Konstantin Romodanovsky will accompany the Russian president. The Russian delegation also includes RusHydro CEO Yevgeny Dod, RUSAL CEO Oleg Deripaska, AFK Sistema CEO Vladimir Yevtushenkov, Rosoboronexport chief Anatoly Isaykin, Sukhoi Company Director General Mikhail Pogosyan, RUSNANO chief Anatoly Chubais, KAMAZ Director General Sergei Kogonin, RENOVA Group Board Chairman Viktor Vekselberg and other officials.

Russia talks tough with Pak, says get rid of terror camps-December 18, 2010 -

Russia talks tough with Pak, says get rid of terror camps

Press Trust Of India / New Delhi December 18, 2010, 0:58 IST

In a stern message, Russia today asked Pakistan to do away with terror camps on its soil, which were responsible for spreading a “horrible cancer” of international terrorism from the “Moscow Metro to Mumbai to London”.

“We do want Pakistan to solve its internal problems. We do not want any danger or threat emanating from Pakistan or neighbouring regions of Pakistan. We are against those 40 training camps... from where this horrible cancer of international terrorism is spreading on our earth,” Russian Ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin said.

“That is from where its tentacles reach Moscow metro, Mumbai, London metro and other terrorist acts which we have learned about in the last few years. This must be done away with. We hope Pakistan will do so,” he added.

He was asked about the terrorism in the region and if the issue would be discussed in next week’s visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

However, he refused to comment on ties between China and Pakistan and their civil nuclear cooperation, saying the issue of bilateral ties was a sovereign right of any country.

He also mentioned that there were “well-engineered” mechanisms, including bilateral and multi-lateral consultations, to deal with such issues.

He also said Russia wants India’s relation with Pakistan to improve, as it was in everyone’s interest and in the interest of the region.

“We have been supporting your dialogue. We showed full solidarity with India’s anger at the terrible terrorist acts in Mumbai,” he said.

Russia economic modernization to create new jobs-Deal deluge kicks off Sunday, 19 Dec 2010 - Mr Medvedev

Russia economic modernization to create new jobs - Mr Medvedev

Sunday, 19 Dec 2010

RIA Novosti citing Mr Dmitry Medvedev President of Russia as saying that Economic modernization in Russia should create more jobs.

He said that "It is generally assumed that any modernization reduces the number of jobs. In our conditions that would be absolutely wrong. Our task is to create new, more modern jobs."

Mr Dmitry said modernization should also aim to raise wages, improve the quality of life and enhance social standards. He said that individuals' real incomes in 2010 will increase by 5% while the number of unemployed will fall by 2 million.

He also said the government had no plans of introducing a longer work week in Russia regardless of the wishes of some of our employers.

Mr Medvedev admitted that Russia could not do without immigrant labor but it must not hurt Russian employees. In order to avoid any harm to the Russian workforce, Mr Medvedev said migrant workers should work in their own niche and their own cluster which Russians do not usually occupy.

He also warned that foreign labor must not be used illegally as slave labor

Russia Medvedev wants secret services to be more techno-savvy-20/12/2010

Russia Medvedev wants secret services to be more techno-savvy

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

15:01 20/12/2010© RIA Novosti. Mikhail Klimentiev

WikiLeaks to release secret Russia, China logs - paper

No secret arrangements between Russia, U.S. over arms cuts - Lavrov

Russia, EU may exchange secret information to combat terrorism

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has urged the country's secret services to make more use of modern technology.

The equipment used by Russia's law enforcement agencies "should meet modern-day demands," Medvedev said on Monday, as Russia celebrates the state's secret police day.

The president said there were many "complex threats" in the modern world posed by quickly developing modern technology and communications.

"Of special importance will be measures to ensure security ahead of and during large-scale international events, such as the APEC summit in Vladivostok in 2012... and the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014," he added.

MOSCOW, December 20 (RIA Novosti

Russia may back India's UN ambitions news- 20 December 2010

Russia may back India's UN ambitions news

20 December 2010

As Russian president Dmitry Medvedev today becomes the fourth 'big-power' leader to visit India this year, the focus is firmly on deal-making – particularly in the areas of nuclear energy and defence.

But in a larger sense, the range of agreements to be signed during the visit will indicate the wide areas of cooperation and convergence of views between New Delhi and Moscow.

India and Russia are wrapping up final negotiations for signing of at least 15 agreements, including the spheres of defence, nuclear energy, space, to science and technology, hydrocarbons and even electoral reforms, during Medvedev's visit.

Medvedev will hold bilateral talks on Tuesday with prime minister Manmohan Singh at Hyderabad House in New Delhi.

Medvedev may also be supportive of India's claim for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. But Fyodor Lukyanov, an analyst at the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy in Moscow, said that Russia is ''very cautious'' about changes to the Security Council, looking to safeguard its role.

Officials said New Delhi and Moscow have completed a decade of strategic partnership, an agreement for which was signed in 2000, and to carry forward the momentum, a new ''very serious and focussed'' joint document is being prepared

View article on single page

BusinessIndia ready to participate in Russia's privatization program-19/12/2010

BusinessIndia ready to participate in Russia's privatization program

17:02 19/12/2010

Privatization may bring Russia $10 bln a year for five years
Russia expects $2.7 bln from privatization auctions in 2010
Russia to go ahead with privatization in 2010 — deputy PM
India to hold talks with Gazprom on Sakhalin-3 project - Indian minister
Russia and India fix T-50 fighter design contract cost at $295 mln

Indian companies are ready to take part in the Russian privatization program for 2011-2013, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said on Sunday.

The issue of India's participation in the program is expected to be discussed during the visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to India on December 21-22 and at the Russian-Indian Forum on Trade and Investment on Monday.

"Indian businesses show great interest in the privatization program which could be evaluated at $32 billion," Prakash told journalists.

"The governments of two countries are already working under the cooperation program in the sphere of hydrocarbons. Russia and India have mutual goals as India is interested in stable supplies of oil and gas and Russia in having a guaranteed buyer," he said.

The Russian government approved in December a privatization plan for 2011-2013, including the top ten state-owned assets, which could bring an extra 1 trillion rubles ($32 billion) to state coffers.

The list of high-profile privatizations includes the sale of state-owned stakes in oil major Rosneft (25% minus one share), RusHydro hydropower generator (7.97% minus one share), the Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System (4.11% minus one share), the country's largest shipping company Sovcomflot (50% minus one share), top bank Sberbank (7.58% minus one share), VTB bank (35.5% minus one share), the United Grain Company (100% by 2012), Rosagroleasing agricultural leasing company (50% minus one share from 2013) and the country's rail monopoly Russian Railways (25% minus one share).

The plan also offers to sell large stakes in leading apatite concentrate producer Apatit, Prosveshchenye publishers, S7 Airlines, Arkhangelsk Trawler Fleet fishing company, the largest off-road vehicle producer UAZ, the Murmansk Marine Fishing Port, Vostochny Port and Diamond World company.

Grooms aplenty, 'bride' India should pick right match: Russia-Dec 17, 2010 -

Grooms aplenty, 'bride' India should pick right match: Russia

PTI, Dec 17, 2010, 06.36pm IST

NEW DELHI: Russia sees India as a bright and beautiful "bride", surrounded by many grooms but wants New Delhi to pick the "right match".

"India now seems to be a beautiful, radiant bride. There are so many bridegrooms always around, proposing their kind and.....well, India is Russia's sister, we want a very good match for her. But we are very much against if that bridegroom could deceive one day," Russian ambassador to India Alexander Kadakin told reporters here on Friday.

He was apparently referring to various world leaders visiting India for having partnership with New Delhi.

Asked about how he sees India-US ties, he said his country was not "jealous" of improving relations between the two. He said Russia was also in the process of expanding its relations with the US.

Rusi topi, red or not-Vodka cocktails: The Indo-Russian relationship 21 Dec, 2010,

21 Dec, 2010, 07.30AM IST,ET Bureau

Rusi topi, red or not

With Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's current visit, leaders of all the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have visited India in the last six months. The point is not to bask in such recognition of India's growing strategic importance in a world where economic clout is far more widely distributed than military and political might.

Rather, the challenge is to keep level-headed focus, amidst all the ardent wooing by the world's A-listers, on India's own self-interest. This lies in building strong relationships with every key player, not becoming a willing pawn in someone else's chess game, and building India's own capabilities.

The US took the initiative to remove India's nuclear untouchability, opening the way for ending a long regime of technology denial, in the hope of India emerging as a counterweight to China in the region. This is good for India, but does not shackle us in any eternal ties of gratitude. New friendships are meant to enlarge the circle of engagement, not to cut out old ones.

India has had a special relationship with Russia during and after the Soviet period, with special focus on strategic ties. While commercial considerations are now important, as is evident in the pricing of defence equipment, they do not supplant strategic ones. India and Russia have common interests in Afghanistan, in Iran and in battling Islamist terror without generalising it into a clash of civilisations.

India has to show more imagination and intelligence in taking the relationship forward, beyond the obvious and extant areas of collaboration in defence production and energy. Participation in new ventures in Skolkovo, the Russian answer to Silicon Valley, is one, possibly with special focus on cyber security. Enhancing collaboration in space is another.

Truly pathbreaking would be marrying India's flair for entrepreneurship with Russian capability in, say, aircraft design and engines, to produce commercial aircraft, demand for which is growing fast in emerging markets. People-to-people exchanges in sports, culture and education - India can offer respectable management education - is another area for expansion, among the many that deserve to be explored.

With Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's current visit, leaders of all the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have visited India in the last six months. The point is not to bask in such recognition of India's growing strategic importance in a world where economic clout is far more widely distributed than military and political might.

Rather, the challenge is to keep level-headed focus, amidst all the ardent wooing by the world's A-listers, on India's own self-interest. This lies in building strong relationships with every key player, not becoming a willing pawn in someone else's chess game, and building India's own capabilities.

The US took the initiative to remove India's nuclear untouchability, opening the way for ending a long regime of technology denial, in the hope of India emerging as a counterweight to China in the region. This is good for India, but does not shackle us in any eternal ties of gratitude. New friendships are meant to enlarge the circle of engagement, not to cut out old ones.

India has had a special relationship with Russia during and after the Soviet period, with special focus on strategic ties. While commercial considerations are now important, as is evident in the pricing of defence equipment, they do not supplant strategic ones. India and Russia have common interests in Afghanistan, in Iran and in battling Islamist terror without generalising it into a clash of civilisations.

India has to show more imagination and intelligence in taking the relationship forward, beyond the obvious and extant areas of collaboration in defence production and energy. Participation in new ventures in Skolkovo, the Russian answer to Silicon Valley, is one, possibly with special focus on cyber security. Enhancing collaboration in space is another.

Truly pathbreaking would be marrying India's flair for entrepreneurship with Russian capability in, say, aircraft design and engines, to produce commercial aircraft, demand for which is growing fast in emerging markets. People-to-people exchanges in sports, culture and education - India can offer respectable management education - is another area for expansion, among the many that deserve to be explored.

So much in common, nothing to divide us: Ambassador Kadakin -21/12/10


So much in common, nothing to divide us:Indo-Russia ties to get 'privileged' status Ambassador Kadakin

Anirban Bhaumik

Come 2011 and Alexander M Kadakin will complete 40 years of his tryst with India.

It was in 1971 when he landed in New Delhi for the first time to join the Embassy of the erstwhile United Soviet Socialist Republic in India as a probationer. He went on to work at different capacities at the Embassy of USSR, which turned into Russian Embassy after 1991. He was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to India from 1999 to 2004 and returned to the same position in October 2009. In an interview with Anirban Bhaumik of Deccan Herald, Ambassador Kadakin, who speaks Hindi and Urdu as fluently as he does Russian and English, shares his views on Moscow-Delhi relations ahead of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to India.

As someone who has seen USSR-India and then Russia-India ties from a very close quarter for four decades, can you please share with us your views on the relation and its future course, particularly ahead of President Medvedev’s visit to New Delhi?

This presidential visit marks the 10th anniversary of the Declaration of Strategic Partnership, which in case of our relations, is more than just a nicely put diplomatic formula. It represents a sound and meaningful characteristic of our countries’ past, present and, I am convinced, future ties. The present summit emphasises the outstanding feature of our relations, an exceptional intensity of political contacts between our nations. As you are aware, Indian leaders, including President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Russia last year. Other Indian dignitaries are also regular guests in my country for high level negotiations as well as various international conferences, such as St Petersburg Economic Forum. The year 2010 has demonstrated even greater frequency of our bilateral ties with the visits of Chief of State Election Commission V Churov, Minister of Industry and Trade V Khristenko, Defense Minister A Serdykov, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Vice-Premier Sergey Sobyanin and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as well as Joint Inter-Governmental Commission meetings last autumn. President Medvedev’s summit with Prime Minister Singh will become a worthy finale of this distinctly great political year.

What are the expectations from President Medvedev’s visit?

There are so many “firsts” in our relations with India. We were the first to establish diplomatic relations with India, even before the county’s formal independence from the foreign rule in 1947. We were the first to play a pioneering role in industrialising Indian economy in the1950-60s with construction of such diverse projects starting from the Bhilai steel plant in 1959 all the way to the antibiotics plant in Rishikesh in 1967. We were the first in opening outer space for Indian satellite in 1975 and an Indian citizen, Rakesh Sharma, in 1984. We were the first to bring our bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership in 2000. Today we are also prepared to take groundbreaking steps to forward our political and economic cooperation to an even higher plateau. Currently, Russia is the only state that offers India razor-edge military hardware and joint production of state-of-the-art weapon systems. This vivid example upholds Russia’s truly unique attitude to its sister – India. We expect that the upcoming visit will also initiate another breakthrough in our technical partnership with new agreements in space exploration, joint development and production of the fifth generation jet fighter, nuclear energy, nanotechnology, pharmacology and others being on the table.

How different is India’s strategic partnership with Russia from the ones it has with other countries?

Special relationship has existed between Russia and India for many decades from the dawn of India’s independence. Today this special relation has reached another landmark that we defined as “strategic partnership”. I have to be very frank with you: we already got used to this term coined 10 years ago. Now it is widely spread in diplomatic milieu. In fact, it has almost become a cliché in our day-to-day lexicon. But the historic legacy along with truly remarkable perspectives serves as the distinguished feature of our old friendship disregarding the global political climate. Our relations do reflect this attitude with common threats shared by both Russia and India whether it is our fight against terrorism, or struggle for multi-polarity in international relations and institutions.
However, the uniting role of the common threat can reflect our relations only partly. The true essence of our alliance’s strategic character remains in the fact that we have so much in common and there is nothing to divide us. Take the vision of regional politics in South Asia or industrialisation, UN politics or conflict resolution. Moreover, our uninterrupted mutually beneficial collaboration was not driven solely by common enemies or threats, but was targeted at creative work, which was never clouded by even an allusion of misunderstanding throughout these many decades. I always prefer to speak of our cooperation as a rare and even unique case of privileged strategic partnership, a partnership for peace and mutual development.

Bilateral trade between Russia and India is still much below the potential. Why? What are the initiatives the two countries contemplating to boost bilateral trade?

We do acknowledge that the potential of our economic ties is much higher than its present level. However, I cannot but emphasise the rapid growth of our bilateral trade, lately. It has increased almost 10 times during the last decade reaching US $ 9.5-10 billion. Russia traditionally sells industrial and technical equipment, which constitutes more than half of my country’s exports to India. Pharmaceutical cooperation, based on firm historic background, plays an important role in our trade, making up one third of India’s export to Russia. The upcoming summit is aimed at increasing our cooperation in pharmaceutical and bio-tech beyond the existing scale. These traditional forms of economic interaction constitute a solid basis, which we use to expand our bilateral trade. However, we have launched a number of new projects in the Skolkovo innovation centre, automobile industry, inter-bank collaboration, etc. The upcoming introduction of GLONASS navigation system in India symbolises the flagship of Russian-Indian innovative cooperation. India will be producing the on-ground equipment, required for smooth and more effective functioning of space technologies that will allow us to ensure logistics security and prevent natural disasters. Indian companies actively participate in the Sakhalin-1 project. Indian ONGC is one of the largest share holders of this enterprise, as well as other projects in Siberia. Recently, Russian Sibur and Indian Reliance Industries Limited agreed to establish joint ventures in butyl rubber production based on Russian technologies. These shining examples of our partnership give us an optimistic occasion, not only to reaffirm US $ 20 billion as a turnover goal for 2015, but even be serious about crossing that figure.

Immaturity of Russian financial and banking sectors as well as an outdated perception of Indian entrepreneurs about the investment opportunities in my country has weakened our business cooperation. However, recently we have witnessed a significant improvement in this field. The largest Russian steel manufacturer, Severstal, and Indian NMDC of late agreed to construct a joint venture in Karnataka, considered as a truly unique project with an unprecedented cost of more than US $ 2 billion, with 50 per cent initially invested by the Russian company. We also have to make an explicit signal to smaller businesses that have already started exploring vast economic potentials of each others’ markets. I believe the upcoming presidential visit can give a clear signal to the business people both in Russia and India to shed outdated and groundless prejudices and get more actively involved in giving a boost to trade relations for their own and both countries’ benefit.

How does Russia view India’s aspiration for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council?

For decades, Moscow has emphasised India’s positive role in international affairs, its vast economic and human potential as a legitimate reason for it get a permanent seat in the UNSC. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov recently stressed that the UNSC would be benefited with India as a Permanent Member.

How do you see the future of India-Russia nuclear cooperation? Do you think India’s nuclear liability regime is a hurdle? Are you disappointed as the Haripur project in West Bengal is getting delayed?

Since the late 1980s, much earlier than any other country, we have taken decisive steps to support civil nuclear energy project in India, with the signing of the Rajiv Gandhi – Michael Gorbachev agreement. Russia’s Atomstroyexport is building two 1000 MW power units at the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, with the first one to start production this month or in January. The proposals for the construction of the third and fourth power units are being discussed and we have every reason to expect a positive outcome. In the long run, we have reached understanding on the Road Map for expanding our cooperation in this field. Indian side has positively responded to our proposal for the serial construction of new nuclear power units so that in the next 15-20 years their number will reach 14-16, taking into account Kudankulam and new sites in other parts of India. It is very premature to say now how the Indian nuclear liability regime will influence our energy cooperation. We expect that the Indian side will work out some modalities on how the new law can be implemented. We are determined to help the Indian Government increase overall nuclear power generation capacity to 20 GW in 2020. According to the Road Map signed last March, India will allocate other sites for the proposed Russian nuclear reactors. Haripur in West Bengal is just one option. There could be others as well. What is more, the Russian Atomic agency is now expecting to get a green light from our Indian friends that will open the way for an agreement on the third construction site for yet another nuclear power plant.

How do you see the future of Russia-India defence relationship?

Military cooperation traditionally has played a crucial role in our ties. We are happy to share with India our latest achievements in defence technology. India acquired license to assemble the internationally acclaimed Sukhoi 30 MKI fighters, whose number in the Indian Air Force will reach 280. We hope that this tradition will continue with the Russian MIG Corporation being among the front-runners for supply of 126 new multi-purpose fighters to the IAF. Russia and India demonstrate great interests towards close cooperation in joint projects such as building the fifth-generation jet fighter or the multi-functional transport aircraft. The BrahMos missile embraces all forms of our multifaceted cooperation starting from draft designing and development to manufacturing and product marketing of cruise missiles, which are second to none in the world. We are jointly working on the project to mount new modifications of the technically outstanding BrahMos missiles on fighter aircraft and submarines. These projects as well as over a dozen agreements that are to be signed during President Medvedev’s visit guarantee a breakthrough progress in future Russian-Indian relations.

While the relations between Russia and India continue to be robust, there is a feeling that it is mostly state-driven and there is need to stress more on people-to-people contact to build the bridge between the new India and new Russia?

Having worked in India for several decades, I should stress a very special feature of our relations – mutually affectionate attitude among common people of our two countries. Recently, during the International Film Festival in Moscow, popularly acclaimed directors and actors like Randhir and Rajiv Kapoor were fascinated when thousands of ordinary Muscovites were applauding, when they heard the names of Indian masterpieces as Awara and Shri Char Sou Bis. Raj Kapoor’s and other both classical and contemporary Indian films, with no exaggeration, are very dear to a Russian heart. Be it in a remote Siberian township or big city like Moscow, ask anyone person on the street about India and I guarantee that you will hear “…Sar pe lal topi Rusi, prir bhi dil he Hindustani”. Nowadays, we even have a special channel called India TV with extremely high ratings among the Russian audience. Similarly, after working in India for so many years, I am not anymore suddenly caught surprised when our diplomats are greeted in Russian language all over India. This is where the deep sympathy for the cultures of our two ancient lands stems from.

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