India-US Homeland Security Dialogue

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    In News

    • Top officials of India, US meet for home security dialogue

    Key Points

    • The meeting was held recently in virtual mode.
    • It was co-chaired by the Home Secretary, Government of India, and Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy and Plans, Department of Homeland Security, Government of USA.

    Minutes of the Meeting

    • Purpose:
      • During the meeting, both sides reviewed the ongoing cooperation.
    • Sub Groups:
      • There are six sub-groups formed under the Indo-US homeland security dialogue which cover the areas of:
        • Illicit finance, financial fraud and counterfeiting.
        • Cyber information.
        • Megacity policing and sharing of information among federal, state and local partners.
        • Global supply chain, transportation, port, border and maritime security.
        • Capacity building.
        • Technology upgradation.
    • Conclusion of the meeting:
      • The meeting concluded with both sides expressing satisfaction with the ongoing partnership and agreeing to deepen bilateral engagement and collaboration in all areas of mutual concern.

    U.S.-India Homeland Security Dialogue

    • India and the U.S. have agreed to re-establish the U.S.- India Homeland Security Dialogue, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced in March 2021, following a discussion between India’s Ambassador to the United States and Secretary of Homeland Security.
    • The first Homeland Security Dialogue between both countries was held in 2011. 
    • The second dialogue was held in 2021.

    India- US Relations

    • Defence and Security: 
      • India has signed all 4 foundational agreements with the USA including.
      • General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA)
      • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) 
      • Communications, Compatibility and Security Arrangement (COMCASA)
      • Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo- Spatial Cooperation (BECA)
      • A ‘2+2’ foreign and defence ministers dialogue has been started.
      • Malabar Exercise and QUAD
    • Economy:
      • Indian Petronet, an LNG company, will invest in American gas company Tellurian.
      • India is buying defence equipment worth $3-billion, including American helicopters (MH-60 Romeo helicopters) this year itself.
      • India has a trade surplus with the USA.
    • Energy Security:
      • A bilateral Strategic Energy Partnership was launched in April 2018.
      • Under this India has started importing crude and LNG from the US.
      • Now, the US is India’s sixth-largest source of crude oil imports and hydrocarbons.
    • Renewable Energy:
      • A commercial agreement for Westinghouse to build six nuclear reactors in Andhra Pradesh.
    • Geostrategic:
      • China’s hegemony in the South China Sea as well as the Belt and Road Initiative is creating trouble for both India and USA.
    • Anti Terror Cooperation:
      • Designation of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist under UN Security Council Resolution 1267 after Pulwama Attack needed support from the US.
      • Further placing Pakistan in the FATF grey list is also a mutual decision.
    • Pivot to Asia Policy of USA:
      • The US under its Pivot to Asia policy views India as an ideal balancer to check the aggressive rise of China.
      • Therefore, the US has formulated the concept of Indo-Pacific to counter China in the South China Sea and the Indian ocean.
      • The US has designated India as an integral part of the Indo-pacific narrative by the conception of Quad.
      • Points of Divergence

    Challenges

    • Trade Deal: 
      • The USA is worried about the trade deficit it has with India.
      • Further, India’s benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) scheme were terminated by Trump in 2019.
      • The GSP provides preferential, duty-free access for over $6 billion worth of products exported from developing countries to the US.
    • Different cases/ disagreements at WTO:
      • India’s domestic component clause was a bone of contention.
      • Similarly there is lack of consensus over the IPR regime and evergreening of patents.
      • Peace Clause and Public Procurement Policy
    • Digital Data:
      • The US, Japan, etc support Free Flow of Data with Trust whereas India has raised red flags on it.
    • Agriculture:
      • The US has long demanded greater access to American agriculture and dairy products. 
      • For India, protecting its domestic agriculture and dairy interests was a major reason to walk out of the RCEP agreement.
    • US-Pakistan Equation: 
      • The US has often shown a soft corner for Pakistan due to dynamic equations in Afghanistan. 
    • CAATSA:
      • The USA, although has given special waivers, still time to time threatens to impose CAATSA on India over trade with Iran and Russia.
      • Both are very strategic for countering China and Pakistan.

    Conclusion

    • Defence cooperation has been a critical element of Indo-US friendship as this has both strategic and economic shared interests, based on the democratic ideology of both countries. 

    Source: IE