|The MoUs concluded during the visit covered health and energy sectors, adding to the vast existing panoply of framework agreements already in place. The decision on purchase by India of over 3 billion worth of state-of-the-art defence equipment including Apache and Romeo MH-60 helicopters comes in the wake of earlier purchases worth 18 billion between 2008 and 2019. These will definitely enhance India's combat capabilities given that these platforms are the most sophisticated in the world, acquired at a time when vigorous parallel efforts are being made in India to promote jointness in military affairs through the newly created post of Chief of Defence Staff.|
|The India-US defence partnership is likely to benefit from the Strategic Trade Authorisation-1 (STA-1) status accorded to defence exports to India but, more fundamentally, by the Industrial Security Annex (ISA) signed in December 2019 during the 2+2 Dialogue.|
|At the press briefing after the talks, Modi said the India-US relationship was one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century. Another key takeaway is the burgeoning energy partnership, which will improve India's natural gas distribution network. India is already buying large volumes of oil and natural gas from the US, which is expected to rise to nearly 10 billion in value in 2019-2020.|
|Bugbears in India-US relations are fewer today. There is far greater appreciation of India's concerns on cross-border terrorism even as the US is once again looking at Pakistan through the prism of its interests in Afghanistan. Too much is being made, though, of the proposed US deal with the Taliban for a pull-out. There is no clarity about the modalities concerning withdrawal, and, going by differences this week over "reduction in violence", there is every chance of the deal going awry.|
|There were unmistakable tongue-in-cheek references to China by Trump during the visit, without directly naming it. In his address at Motera, Trump contrasted India's democratic ways with "a nation that seeks power through coercion, intimidation, and aggression". In referring to 5G during the joint press briefing, he emphasised "the need for this emerging technology to be a tool for freedom, progress and prosperity, not to do anything where it could be conceived as the conduct of suppression and censorship." This was expected, given the growing debate around the world on the relative superiority of the liberal democratic order versus "authoritarian state capitalism."|
|All in all, it was a "very special visit, unforgettable and extraordinary" and "very very wonderful" as Trump described it. Here were two of the world's most charismatic leaders with an unparalleled mass appeal, together so soon, only a few months after a hugely successful "Howdy Modi" show in Houston. Their style questions Adlai Stevenson's generalisation of diplomacy as a mixture of protocol, alcohol and geritol. With both men given to public display of affection shorn of stiff protocol, and both brimming with youthful energy, India-US relations are set to deepen further to mutual advantage.|
A) Few bugbears
B) Appreciation for Indias fight against terrorism
C) Both (a) and (b)
D) Cosmetic value only
Correct Answer: C
Solution :(c) Bugbears in India-US relations are fewer today. There is far greater appreciation of India's concerns on cross-border terrorism even as the US is once again looking at Pakistan through the prism of its interests in Afghanistan.
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