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Canada and India agree on nuclear cooperation deal November 20, 2012

Posted by nishankmotwani in : Future Directions International, Guest authors, India , comments closed

Liam McHugh

Ottawa and New Delhi have completed negotiations, commenced in 2010, to ratify a nuclear agreement. This may ultimately result in Canadian firms exporting uranium and nuclear infrastructure to the energy-poor South Asian state.


Canada has followed Australia and concluded a civil nuclear deal with India, which has been in development since 2010. The latest uranium agreement is indicative of India’s strategic energy policy, emphasising nuclear power to moderate energy shortfalls. The challenge for New Delhi now will be to complement well-executed diplomacy, with supportive domestic legislation.


Back to the future? Australia’s re-newed relationship with India October 26, 2012

Posted by nishankmotwani in : By contributor, India, Weigold, Auriol , comments closed

Auriol Weigold

Returning to former Australian Prime Minister John Howard’s policy on uranium exports – to sell to India despite its standing outside the NPT as it still does, emphasises the years lost in negotiating and developing the required agreements and safe-guards, a process yet to commence following Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s brief visit to India in mid-October.

BHP Billiton's Olympic Dam site which contains the largest deposit of uranium on the planet

Uranium sales to India were taken off the bilateral table when Prime Minister Kevin Rudd dropped what has been aptly described as ‘a bomb’ over uranium exports to India, setting the Australia-India relationship back – and further back, following the attacks on Indian students in Australia. (more…)

Australia’s view of modern India ‘outdated’ April 23, 2012

Posted by southasiamasala in : Guest authors, India , comments closed

Richard Iles, Griffith University

Indian life becomes a sluggish stream, living in the past, moving slowly through the accumulation of dead centuries—Pandit Nehru, The discovery of India (1946).

Australia needs to better understand Indian business thinking. Outdated and narrow images of India abound. However, in the world of economic thought and business practice India is dynamic, hard-edged and likely to be the source of renewed economic thought.

However, Australian business and social views of India are sluggish, not having deepened for several decades. This neglect represents decay in real terms. India has developed rapidly over the past two decades, with many other developed countries strongly investing in their relationship with India during this time.

Department of Business Management, University of Calcutta

Australian research activity focused on India, as surveyed by the Australia–India Institute (University of Melbourne), has declined steadily over several decades. The knowledge base from which the Australian business community, students and the wider community can draw to assist their investment in India has withered.


India-Australia: skepticism beyond the economics March 17, 2011

Posted by southasiamasala in : Guest authors, India , comments closed

Guest author: Nabeel A. Mancheri, Postdoctoral Associate, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore

This article was first posted in East Asia Forum on 16 February 2011.

Recent developments in India-Australia relations indicate that both countries are now rigorously advancing their international partnership. There has been increased engagement between the two, with a greatly expanded diplomatic presence. There are many developments on all fronts — economic, political and strategic — yet deep engagement between the two countries remains elusive for a number of reasons.

Economic relations between Australia and India have improved in recent years. India is now Australia’s third-largest export market and its fifth-largest trading partner. Australia is India’s sixth largest trading partner. In 2009-10, India’s exports to Australia stood at just US$1.38 billion, while imports amounted to a whopping US$12.4 billion, translating into an Indian trade deficit of about US$11 billion with Australia. At the same time Australia’s and India’s relative importance to each other has grown. The share of Australia in India’s imports is 3.5 per cent and Australia exported about 8.1 per cent of its total exports to India and imported around 0.9 per cent of its total imports from India.


Pankaj Oswal and India-Australia business March 15, 2011

Posted by southasiamasala in : India, Stoddart, Brian , comments closed

Brian Stoddart

When Pankaj Oswal arrived in Perth early in the new millennium, along with wife Radhika, the pair was immediately the focus of speculation, curiosity, envy and suspicion in about equal measure.  They were young, obvious, ambitious and daring – he was aiming to create a $1 billion ammonia fertiliser factory on the Burrup Peninsular in the northwest next to Western Australia’s massive natural gas reserves.  The gas would provide the considerable energy needed to create the product.  Oswal swept aside the problem that his site just happened to be home to one of the world’s prime rock art concentrations, while Radhika moved towards creating a worldwide vegetarian restaurant chain.  Together, they became famous for their parties and the general lifestyle of the rich and famous.

It was not all straightforward, though.  There were immediate questions about how a twenty something had the $300 million that allowed him to leverage the huge loans needed to get his enterprise going.  Diligent journalists in both Australia and India lit on the information that he was the grandson of one of the great Ludhiana textile magnates but, even more significantly, the son of Abhey Oswal who had moved from textiles to fertilisers.  Suspicious minds thought the son’s stash might just have emanated from the father’s labyrinthine commercial deals from which some investors emerged much the poorer financially.  Pankaj Oswal, however, consistently denied that source, instead usually citing rich investors/friends. (more…)

The CWG after-party October 20, 2010

Posted by southasiamasala in : India, Stoddart, Brian , comments closed

Brian Stoddart

Predictably, the actual athletic events in Delhi went off quite well, and better so in some cases. Australia won the medal count and, even allowing for its home advantage, India itself did exceptionally well in disciplines like wrestling, shooting and archery. Even in hockey, where the lead-up was especially troubled, India reached the men’s final only to be thrashed by Australia. England made up the trio of top performers, perhaps providing comfort for them in the rundown to the 2012 Olympics with Scotland having something to think about in its approach to the 2014 Commonwealth event. Very few athletes were done for doping, a few were done for being dopey, the closing ceremony was a triumph, the pinnacle of a couple of weeks where things went from bad to better.

The aftermath is still grim, however. The BJP and an array of minority groups are pressing for a quick investigation of CWG-related corruption allegations. Mani Shankar Aiyar, the former Congress Minister for Sport and a trenchant CWG critic, is adamant that the event was too expensive by a factor of several, and that the publicity that preceded the event has damaged India’s reputation deeply. He may well be right: allegations of fraud and malpractice are still emerging, various anti-corruption and tax agencies are pursuing a myriad of inquiries and there is general agreement that despite whatever success was eventually achieved, the cost was much too high in a country with more pressing social concerns.