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Posted at: Nov 2, 2019, 7:18 AM; last updated: Nov 2, 2019, 10:40 AM (IST)

India, Germany all set for AI tie-up

Berlin’s offer in the defence sector short of New Delhi’s expectations

Sandeep Dikshit
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 1

India and Germany today set the stage for cutting-edge collaboration between the two countries, especially in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation of manufacturing to strengthen global competitiveness as production centres.

However, Germany’s offer in the defence area fell short of Indian expectations. A joint statement issued after a delegation-level meeting between visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel merely expressed sentiments in favour of co-development and co-production with India highlighting its proposed defence corridors in Tamil Nadu and UP and Germany the scope for cooperation in the naval sphere, especially submarines.

Perhaps, aware of this shortcoming, they decided to institutionalise the dialogue between Defence Ministers at least once every two years. They also decided on Foreign Office consultations headed by the respective Foreign Secretaries every year and “Track 1.5 Strategic Dialogue” to enable key stakeholders to engage annually.

There was no mention of Kashmir in the joint statement though there was a passage calling on all countries to work towards rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and financing channels and halting cross-border movement of terrorists. As radical indoctrination is a worry in both countries, India and Germany decided to schedule an early meeting of the Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism for greater sharing of information and intelligence on terror networks.

For India, Germany is the most important country among the 28 European Union nations in the sphere of trade and investment. It is India’s top trading partner in goods in the EU —$ 23 billion annually – and 800 German companies operate in India.

India has been pursuing a close partnership with EU countries as they are a powerhouse for the latest technologies and trends in artificial intelligence, space, alloys and metallurgy. In fact, before signing the pact on MoU on AI, a high-tech Indo-German partnership is already underway to co-develop advanced lightweight, high-strength aerospace composites.

In AI, the potential synergy areas have been identified for multi-disciplinary research and development are health, mobility, environment and agriculture. The leaders decided to intensify regular interaction and coordination towards collaboration on the next generation technologies as well as build partnership in developing IoT and AI solutions for societal benefits. They welcomed the initiative of Indian and German business to set up a “Digital Experts Group” of research Institutions and private enterprises to identify areas for mutual cooperation.

INTEGRATING MSMEs

  • The two resolved that major industries of both countries would endeavour to integrate SME/MSMEs of the other country into their supply chains
  • They also agreed to create linkages between the German Platform Industrie 4.0 and the upcoming CII Smart Manufacturing Platform
  • Both platforms aim to promote digital transformation of manufacturing order to strengthen competitiveness as a production location

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