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Independent but not alone (INDIA-UK)

  • 14 August, 2020

  • 10 Min Read

Independent but not alone

Context:

  • The article authored by Ben Wallace, the United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Defence discusses the historic as well as contemporary defence relations between India and the United Kingdom.

Background:

  • India played a big role in the Second World War. Indian soldiers were involved in British operations in Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean as well as the Pacific region.
  • Indians formed the largest all-volunteer force in the world, with over 2.5 million fighting in Europe, North Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong and, Burma.
  • India also provided material resources for the war effort in the form of coal, iron ore and steel.
  • Indian non-combatants secured the supply lines for the British war efforts.

Present ties:

  • India and the U.K. Armed Forces exercise together biannually.
  • The joint army Ajeya Warrior biennial exercises have been held since 2005 at battalion-level strength.
  • The joint navy Konkan annual exercises being held since 2004, include destroyers/frigates in ship-to-ship passage exercises.
  • The joint air Indradhanush exercises, run since 2006 and include modern combat aircraft.
  • There is Defence and International Security Partnership in the form of collaboration in jet engine technology and cyber technology.
  • Seven Royal Navy vessels operate in the Western Indian Ocean.
  • The Atmanirbhar Bharat vision of India can be supplemented by the Global Britain vision to ensure collaboration in the area of defence modernization and maritime technology.
  • Contemporary shared challenges include the current COVID-19 pandemic, piracy, extremism and sub-conventional warfare.

Way forward:

  • Given the shared values and commitments to justice, stability and free markets, there is immense potential for India-U.K. partnership to grow.

Source: TH

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