India-Mongolia Relations

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    In Context

    • The 11th meeting of the India-Mongolia Joint Working Group was held recently.

    About

    • Both sides reviewed the progress on various bilateral defence cooperation initiatives and identified means to further enhance the existing areas of cooperation and articulated steps in this direction. 
    • During the meeting, both sides expressed satisfaction with the ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries despite the limitations imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    India-Mongolia Relations

    • Historical: 
      • India and Mongolia have interacted through Buddhism throughout history. Some Indian & Mongolian historians have conjectured the migration of some tribes from the Kangra kingdom to Mongolian territory 10000 years ago.
      • The steps were taken by the Govt of India to facilitate the visa and travel of Buddhist monks from Mongolia within India.
    • International Cooperation:
      • Mongolia has been traditionally supporting India in the United Nations and various other international forums. It has supported us for the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for 2011-2012.
      • India established diplomatic relations with Mongolia in 1955. The Indian Resident Mission in Ulaanbaatar was opened in 1971.
    • Cultural Cooperation:
      • Mongolia voted in favour of India’s proposal to put Yoga’s inscription into the list of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. 
      • The India-Mongolian Agreement on Cultural Cooperation, signed in 1961, has governed the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between the two countries.
      • India also voted for registering Mongolian legacy on “Mongolian Traditional Custom to Worship Mountain and Ovoo” in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. 
    • Defence Cooperation:
      • There is an India-Mongolia Joint Working Group for Defence cooperation which meets annually.
      • The Joint India-Mongolia exercise ‘Nomadic Elephant’ is held annually.
      • Indian Armed Forces Observers regularly participate in the Annual multilateral peacekeeping exercise ‘Khan Quest’ in Mongolia
    • Energy Cooperation:
      • A Working Group for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy has been set up between the respective agencies of the two countries i.e. the Department of Atomic Energy and the Nuclear Energy Agency of Mongolia. 
      • An agreement for cooperation in the field of geology and mineral resources was signed in September 1996.
    • Commercial and Economic Relations:
      • In 1996, an Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between India and Mongolia was signed. 
        • The Agreement provides for Most-Favored-Nation (MFN) status to each other in respect of customs, duties and all other taxes on imports and exports. 
      • In 2022, an India-built oil refinery at the cost of more than USD 1 billion and with a capacity of 1.5 million metric tonnes was opened near Sainshand in the southern Dornogovi province of Mongolia.
        • This refinery will take care of 75 % of Mongolia’s oil refining needs
    • Indian Diaspora:
      • The Indian community in Mongolia is small and most Indians are either employed in the organized sector or are self-employed such as operating Indian restaurants which are popular with the Mongols and foreigners in Mongolia. 

    Mongolia: Key Facts

    • Capital: Ulaanbaatar
    • Political Boundaries: It is a landlocked country in East Asia.
      • North: Russia
      • South: China

    • History:
      • Mongolia was a satellite state of the Soviet Union which had aided its independence from China.
      • It led to a multi-party system, a new constitution in 1992, and a transition to a market economy.
    • Political: 
      • It is a semi-presidential representative democratic republic with a directly elected President.
    • Geographical Features: 
      • The whole of Mongolia is considered to be part of the Mongolian Plateau.
      • The highest point: 
        • The Khüiten Peak in the Tavan bogd massif 
      • The basin of the Uvs Lake, shared with Tuva Republic in Russia, is a natural World Heritage Site.
        • Uvs Lake:
          • Uvs Lake is a highly saline lake in an endorheic basin 
          • It is the largest lake in Mongolia by surface area. 
      • It has the Gobi Desert to the south and cold, mountainous regions to the north and west. 
        • Gobi Desert:
          • The Gobi Desert is a vast, arid region in northern China and southern Mongolia. 
          • It’s known for its dunes, mountains and rare animals such as snow leopards and Bactrian camels. 
    • Climate: Mongolia is known as the “Land of the Eternal Blue Sky” or “Country of Blue Sky” because it has over 250 sunny days a year.

    Source: PIB