Rajnath Singh Heads to Russia Next Month to Push Make in India

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New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be leading a high-level official and business delegation to Russia next month to boost cooperation in military and military-technical fields, which is the main pillar of their bilateral Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.

The visit is the first by him to Russia for the India-Russia Defence Industry Cooperation Meeting from November five and six and the delegation will include Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and other senior officers.

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The meeting is a follow up to what the leaders had agreed to during the recently concluded 20th India-Russia Annual Summit.

During the meeting, both sides are expected to urge the private sector defence companies on both sides to form joint ventures and to manufacture spare parts, components, aggregates and other products for the maintenance of Russian origin Arms. And to also manufacture defence platforms under Make in India initiative through transfer of technology.

Since the 2011-2020 Long-Term Program for Military and Technical Cooperation is coming to an end next year, during the meeting the defence minister and his Russian counterpart will discuss ways of speeding up the new long-term plan of interaction in this area.

Leaders of both the countries Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed to prepare a framework for cooperation on reciprocal logistics support.

Delegations from both sides have been meeting to talk about having an institutional arrangement for reciprocal provision of logistic support and services for the Armed Forces. And next week the two sides will try to close this agreement.

India and Russia are also getting ready for the second edition of the Joint Tri-Services Exercises INDRA-2019 to be carried out in India when the armed forces will get to learn from the Russian experience in Syria.

Since the exercise is going to be on a large scale and the theme will be anti-terrorism operations, the modalities will be discussed by both sides in the presence of the defence minister.

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