The mining industry in India is one of the major economic activities that contribute significantly to the economy of the country. The first Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on “Coal and Mines” between India and Australia was held through video conference as a precursor to the upcoming India-Australia Energy Dialogue slated for October 13, 2021.
Vinod Kumar Tiwari, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Coal, from India, and Paul Trotman, Head of Resources Division from Australia, co-chaired the meeting. In his introductory remarks, Vinod Kumar Tiwari gave an overview of India’s coal industry and outlined the emerging future scenario. He emphasised the need of including key areas for future partnerships in the coal and mining industries in both nations.
How is it going to impact India?
Coal is India’s prime source of energy for power generation, steel-making, powering of locomotives, and production of cement, fertilizer and domestic fuel. So, the discussions were focused on Indian coal resources in the present and future scenarios, critical and strategic minerals-demand and supply scenarios & engagements with Australian counterparts, India-Australia collaboration on clean coal technology, surface coal gasification, coal bed methane, sharing of technology deployed for fire quenching, Coal Based Hydrogen, Carbon Capture Utilization, and storage, and India-Australia collaboration on clean coal technology, surface coal gasification, coal bed methane, sharing of technology deployed for fire quenching (CCUS).
Business to business collaboration on coal technology, knowledge transfer, talent development and training, and challenges connected to the import of coking coal from Australia were all discussed.
Ahead of Quad, PM Modi meets Australian PM Scott Morrison
Showcasing the special bond between both nations, PM Narendra Modi and Scott Morrison met in the US ahead of the QUAD leaders summit. Both leaders discussed regional & global developments as well as ongoing bilateral cooperation in areas related to Covid-19, trade, defence, clean energy & more.
Australian PM Scott Morrison took to Twitter after the meeting and said- ‘’ Great to meet with my good friend and a great friend of Australia, Indian PM @narendramodi, during my visit to the US.”
India & Australia Relations
Both nations established diplomatic relations in the pre-Independence period when the Consulate General of India was opened as a Trade Office in Sydney in 1941.
The education partnership is important driving engagement, collaboration and building a bridge between both communities. Australia has a ministerial lead policy forum, the Australia India Education Council (AIEC), that provides a platform for ministerial engagement on policy and operational issues across education.
Defence Engagement Australia and India
Australia and India have maintained a solid defence partnership based on a long history of collaboration, including common experience in the trenches of the First World War in Gallipoli and along the Western Front. This is underpinned by the 2006 Memorandum on Defence Cooperation and the 2009 Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation
Following the agreement in 2014 of a bilateral Framework for Security Cooperation, the defence partnership has evolved to include a variety of platforms for strategic communication, as well as frequent interactions between the respective services through senior visits, staff talks, and training exchanges.
The defence relationship between both the counties now spans in almost every major military function, including strategic dialogues, coordination, and information sharing; military exercises involving ground, air, and maritime forces; exchanges and training; and defence scientific and technological cooperation.