India and Sri Lanka on 16 February 2015 signed bilateral agreements on civil nuclear cooperation, cultural cooperation and cooperation in the field of Agriculture. Besides, an agreement was also signed for Sri Lanka's participation in the Nalanda University Project.
India and Sri Lanka also agreed to expand defence and strategic cooperation, including a trilateral format with the Maldives.
The agreement was signed during Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena four-day visit to India.
Agreement on Civil Nuclear Cooperation
• This agreement will facilitate the transfer and exchange of knowledge, expertise and resources in peaceful use of Nuclear energy between both nations.
• India will assist Sri Lanka in developing its civil nuclear energy infrastructure including training of personnel in peaceful use of nuclear energy, use of radioisotopes, nuclear safety, radiation safety and nuclear security.
• It will also facilitate cooperation in radioactive waste management and nuclear and radiological disaster mitigation and environmental protection.
• This is the first such agreement signed by Sri Lanka.
• The agreement on Cultural cooperation was signed between both the nations for the years 2015-18. It seeks to enhance cooperation in different fields like arts, visuals arts, cultural documentation, archaeology, handicrafts, etc.
• A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on establishment of Nalanda University. It will enable Sri Lanka to participate in India’s Nalanda University project.
• Another MoU was signed between both the nations on cooperation in the field of Agriculture. It will facilitate bilateral cooperation in Agro Processing, Agricultural extension, horticulture, agricultural machinery, training in farm mechanization, livestock diseases, etc.
The agreement on civil nuclear cooperation between India and Sri Lanka may prove to be a game changer in the South Asia region and is a sign of a closer strategic partnership between Sri Lanka’s government led by Srisena and India.
Also, Srisena making his first official visit to India after becoming the President signifies the importance which the new government in Sri Lanka attaches to India as a regional ally following years of uneasy relations with India.
Further, this is a good sign for stronger and healthy ties between the two countries, especially given India's growing fear of China's proximity to Sri Lanka, which is perceived as a security threat for India.
Who: India and Sri Lanka
Where: New Delhi
When: 16 February 2015