India, Russia sign agreements on cooperation in diverse areas

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, December 21, 2010

India and Russia today signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation in the field of elections that provides for, among other things, exchange of knowledge and experience between them in this key area.

The memorandum was signed by Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi and Mr Vladimir Yevgenyvich Churov, the Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Russia in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev here.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) follows a long tradition of bilateral exchanges and cooperation between the two Electoral Commissions, an official press release said.

It said the MoU would cover exchange of knowledge and information in the field of organizational and technical development of electoral process, support in exchanging information, materials, expertise and organizing training of personnel, facilitating relationships with other electoral authorities and organizations, production and distribution of materials pertaining to electoral systems, voting technology, voters’ education and awareness and increasing the participation of women, minorities and invalids in the electoral process.

There are provisions for identifying and evaluating priority areas of cooperation in organizational and technical field of activities and recommending and preparing instruments designed to identify activities, programmes and projects to be executed.

The two sides also signed several other agreements today, including one on cooperation in the field of emergency mangement. It provides for exchange of information and expertise and capacity building in the fields of disaster forecasting and disaster management.

Another MoU signed between the two sides envisages establishment of simplified procedures for expeditious issuance of visas to citizens holding non-diplomatic/ non-official passports travelling to and transiting through each other’s countries for purposes of business, tourism, conferences and seminars.

The two countries signed a Joint Work Document for establishing of the Indian - Russian Scientific and Technological Centre between the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia.

The release said the document would guide innovation-led research and development cooperation in the field of science and technology during the period 2011-20.

Another agreement lays down the legal and administrative framework for the establishment of Joint R&D Centers in New Delhi and Mosow that will pioneer commercialisation of joint research outcomes.

The two countries signed an MoU on combating irregular migration between India and Russia.

An MoU between Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation, Rosatom, and India's Department of Atomic Energy envisages joint research and development in reactor technology and related fields for peaceful uses of atomic energy by nuclear research institutes on both sides.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (IT) and Russia's Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications signed an MoU that provides for enhanced cooperation in the area of IT and IT-enabled services.

Similarly, an MoU between the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers signed an MoU with the Russian Ministry of Trade and Industry for enhanced cooperation in the area of pharmaceuticals and bio-pharmaceuticals, inter alia through establishment of joint venures, joint research and exchange of know-how.

The public sector ONGC Videsh Limited signed a framework agreement with Sistema of Russia that provides for cooperation between the two companies for undertaking joint ventures in the hydrocarbons sector.