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India-Armenia partnership

  • Published
    15th Apr, 2023

As informed by the Armenian envoy in India, amid expanding defence cooperation, Armenia to soon have a Defence Attache at its embassy also in the country.

India-Armenia relations:

  • Background:
    • After the breakup of the USSR, India recognized Armenia on December 26, 1991.
    • The Protocol on establishment of Diplomatic relations between India and Armenia was signed on 31 August 1992.
    • India opened its Embassy in 2 Yerevan on 01 March 1999.
  • Historical ties:
    • Indian settlements in Armenia existed as early as 149 BC. Thomas Cana is said to be the first Armenian to have landed on the Malabar cost in 780 AD.
    • Long before the Dutch and the English appeared in India, a few Armenian traders had come to Agra during the Mughal Empire.
    • Emperor Akbar, highly appreciative of the commercial talents and integrity of the Armenians, granted them numerous privileges and considerable religious freedom as also an opportunity to serve in his empire in various capacities.
    • The Armenian colony in India increased in size, wealth and importance throughout the 17th century.
    • During British government, they also entered Indian trade in varying relationships to the East India Company.
    • The Armenians made some contributions in the areas of artisanship including gun-making and printing.
  • Cultural ties:
    • Indian classical singer Gohar Jaan, the first to be recorded on gramophone in 1902 was of Armenian origin.
  • People-to-people ties:
    • The Armenian language journal "Azdarar" published in Madras (Chennai) in 1794 was the first ever Armenian journal published anywhere in the world.
    • After India's independence, many Armenians migrated to Australia, USA and other places. The vestigial Armenian community in India is now mainly settled in Calcutta with sprinkling in Mumbai, Delhi, Agra and Chennai.
  • Defence ties:
    • Armenia recently signed a major defence deal with India for procurement of Pinaka multi-rocket launch systems and their ammunition, among others, in a deal worth around ?2,500 crore.
    • At present neither country has a dedicated DA in the other country.
  • Developmental cooperation:
    • Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme.

 ITEC programme is an on-going programme under which every year on average 35 slots are earmarked for Armenia for short and medium term courses which are extremely popular amongst Government and Public Sector officials.

  • Bilateral agreements:
    • India and Armenia signed a Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation on 14 December 1995 in New Delhi.
    • In addition, there are over 30 Agreements/MoUs covering diverse areas of possible cooperation such as trade & commerce, culture, tourism, education, defense, science & technology, information technology, double tax avoidance, academic cooperation between institutes and Think Tanks.
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