India and the United States (US) on 8 June 2016 signed/finalized eight agreements/ Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) in various fields including exchange of Terrorist Screening Information, cooperation on Energy Security, Clean Energy and Climate Change among others.
The agreements were inked after meet of Prime Minster Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama in the White House. Modi was on a two day visit to the United States from 6 June to 8 June 2016.
The inked MoUs/Agreements include
• Arrangement for the exchange of Terrorist Screening Information: As per this Arrangement, the two countries shall provide each other access to terrorism screening information through the designated contact points, subject to domestic laws and regulations. The Arrangement would enhance the counter terrorism cooperation between India and the US. It was inked between the Multi-Agency Centre/Intelligence Bureau of India and the Terrorist Screening Center of the US.
• MoU to enhance cooperation on Energy Security, Clean Energy and Climate Change: The objective of the MoU is to enhance cooperation between India and the US on energy security, clean energy and climate change through increased bilateral engagement and further joint initiatives for promoting sustainable growth.
• MoU to enhance co-operation on Wildlife Conservation, management and Combating Wildlife Trafficking: It seeks cooperation between the two countries in areas such as
a) Wildlife Forensics and Conservation Genetics
b) Natural World Heritage Conservation and Nature Interpretation
c) Conservation Awareness
• MoU for the Development of an International Expedited Traveler Initiative (the Global Entry Programme): The Global Entry is a US Customs and Border Protection programme, which allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. After joint scrutiny and clearance by both countries, the approved Indian travelers will be extended the facility of expedited entry into the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports.
This MoU was inked between Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and US Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security of the United States.
• Technical Arrangement concerning Unclassified Maritime Information Sharing: The arrangement would allow sharing of unclassified information on White Shipping between India and the US as permitted by respective national laws, regulations and policies, and provides a framework for mutually beneficial maritime information. It was inked between the Indian Navy and the United States Navy.
• MoU for Cooperation in Gas Hydrates: The MOU aims to increase the understanding of the geologic occurrence, distribution, and production of natural gas hydrates along the continental margin of India and in the US.
It was inked between the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Department of Energy of the United States.
• Information Exchange Annex (IEA) to the Master Information Exchange Agreement concerning Aircraft Carrier Technologies: IEA is aimed to enhance data and information sharing specific to aircraft carriers technology between India and the US.
It was finalised between the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Defense of the United States.
• Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement: The agreement is aimed at facilitating mutual logistic support between India and the US for authorized port visits, joint exercises, joint training and HA-DR (humanitarian assistance and disaster relief).
It was finalised between the Ministry of Defence, Government of India and the Department of Defense of the United States.
Apart from signing of the MoUs/agreements, the two leaders, Modi and Obama also issued a joint statement in which US recognised India as a major defence partner. Under this, US will allow India to buy more advanced and sensitive technologies. This move will also complement India’s entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). MTCR is an exclusive club that restricts trade in sensitive defence technologies.
The US also declared that it will be its “strong objective to have India voted as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), another export control regime, later in June 2016.
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When: 8 June 2016