India and Germany: Migration and Mobility Partnership

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    India and Germany signed an agreement on a ‘Comprehensive Migration and Mobility Partnership’ to facilitate mobility and employment opportunities between India and Germany.

    Major Highlights of the agreement  

    • It has specific provisions to facilitate mobility and employment opportunities for fostering the exchange of skills and talents. 
      • These include Academic Evaluation Center in New Delhi, 18 months extended residence permits to students, 3,000 job seeker visas annually, liberalised short stay multiple entry visas, and streamlined readmission procedures. 
    • It aims to create a network of agreements with prospective labour market destination countries with the twin objectives of creating a favourable visa regime for Indians towards accessing the labour market of these countries,

    Significance 

    • It ensures an active people-to-people exchange including among students, academia, and the professional workforce. 
    • It also ensures that Indian students can now get joint degrees and dual degrees. this will be ensured with collaboration between Indian and German universities at the university level.
    • It also ensures a joint and collaborated effort in tackling future pandemics. 
    • It will also facilitate German business owners to travel to India and invest here.
      • This, in turn, will also create more employment opportunities for the country’s skilled labourers. 

    India-Germany Relations

    • Diplomatic ties: Germany is one of India’s most important partners in Europe owing to the strength of bilateral relations, as also Germany’s key role in the EU.
      • India was among the first countries to establish diplomatic ties with the Federal Republic of Germany after the Second World War. 
      • In 2021, India and Germany marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations
    •  Economic and developmental partnership: India and Germany share a robust economic and developmental partnership. Besides the economic interest, both countries have a shared interest in upholding democratic values, the rules-based international order, and multilateralism as well as the reform of multilateral institutions.
    • Parliamentary Exchanges:  On the German side, the Indo-German Parliamentary Friendship Group, which was established in the Bundestag in 1971, has contributed to the strengthening of links between the two Parliaments. 
    • Multilateral Cooperation:  Germany and India support each other on UNSC expansion within the framework of the G-4.
      • Germany joined the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) in February 2020 and participated in the first Governing Council meeting in March 2020.
    • Other Engagements: The year 2022 has seen intense high-level engagement, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi made two visits to Germany — for the India-Germany Inter-Governmental Consultations with Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin and the G-7 outreach summit in Bavaria. 
      • The leaders also met at the G-20 summit in Bali. In 2023, Mr. Scholz is expected to be in Delhi, in the spring, and again in September for the G-20 summit in India.
    • Security Cooperation: The MoU on Security Cooperation signed at the 3rd IGC held in Delhi in 2015 defines collaboration in this field. There are dialogue mechanisms on various aspects of security, including Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism; Cyber Consultations; Joint Steering Group on Disaster Management in Berlin .
    • Defence Cooperation: Bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement signed in September 2006 and the Agreement on Mutual Protection of Classified Information signed in October 2007, provide the framework for bilateral defence ties.
    • Economic & Commercial Relations: Germany is India’s largest trading partner in Europe. It has consistently been among India’s top ten global partners and was the seventh-largest trading partner in FY 2020-21 (12th during FY 2021-22 up to December 2021). 
    • Science & Technology: Bilateral Science and Technology cooperation is implemented under an Inter-Governmental Agreement on ‘Cooperation in Scientific Research and Technological Development’ signed in May 1974
    • Culture: The Indo-German cultural relations have a long tradition that was derived through the systematic and academic study of Indian literature, especially Vedas and Upanishads, and also a translation of famous works from Sanskrit to the German language.

    Challenges 

    • The substance of the relationship will be tested in continuing differences over the war in Ukraine. 
      • India’s abstention in the UN votes and the continuation of its relationship with Russia have raised quite a few hackles in Germany.
    • the lack of understanding of each other’s strategic cultures and domestic politics. 

    Conclusion and Way Ahead 

    •  It will be necessary for India to work more closely with Germany to bring all western partners on board with Prime Minister Narendra  Modi’s plans to forge “global unity”, without letting the deep divisions with Russia derail consensus on important tasks such as fighting climate change, inequality, poverty and the digital divide.
    • In times of shifting geopolitical alliances and realignments, India and Germany can emerge as important players in shaping the new world order.

    Mains Practise Question 

    [Q] Do you agree that India-Germany relations have yet to achieve their full potential? Give reasons in support of your answer.