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India Announces Additional Contribution of ‘$ 5 million’ to ASEAN-India S & T Fund

India announced an additional contribution of USD 5 million to the ASEAN-India science and technology fund to enhance cooperation in sectors of public health, renewable energy and smart agriculture.

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Visit of VP Jagdeep Dhankhar:

The announcement came during the three-day visit of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar to Cambodia for ASEAN-India and East Asia summits. He addressed the ASEAN-India summit.  Vice President Dhankhar highlighted the global concerns on food and energy security, and emphasised the role of the East Asia Summit (EAS) mechanism in promoting free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific with freedom of navigation and overflight.

About ASEAN-India Science & Technology Collaboration:

ASEAN-India Science & Technology Collaboration formally started in 1996 with the establishment of the ASEAN India S&T working group (AIWGST).

Initially, the collaborative S&T projects and activities between India and ASEAN were supported through ASEAN India Fund (AIF) but in 2008, a dedicated ASEAN India S&T Development Fund (AISTDF) with an equivalent amount of USD 1 million was established jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and Department of Science and Technology (DST) to support R&D (Research and Development ) projects and associated project development activities.

The AISTDF was enhanced to an equivalent amount of USD 5 million through an announcement by the Prime Minister of India on the sidelines of the ASEAN-India Summit in Malaysia in November 2015.

About ASEAN:

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the Founding Fathers of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. 

10 member countries of ASEAN: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.

8th August is observed as ASEAN Day.

ASEAN Secretariat is situated in Jakarta, Indonesia.

ASEAN-India Relations:

  • India-ASEAN relations can be traced to historical and cultural relations. Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam spread from India to the region and the imprint of this shared cultural heritage is also seen in art forms and architecture.
  • Despite this after independence India did not have good relations with ASEAN because ,ASEAN was under the US camp during the Cold War period ( Ideological differences). After the end of Cold War ,India – ASEAN relations have evolved from just economic  ties to strategic  heights owing to common threats and aspirations.

A Timeline:


  • India became ASEAN’s sectoral dialogue partner


  • India became full dialogue partner of  ASEAN


  • India became a member of ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) ,a  key forum for security dialogue in Asia which provides a setting in which members can discuss current regional security issues and develop cooperative measures to enhance peace and security in the region.


  • India and ASEAN begin to hold annual summit level meetings.


  • India- ASEAN Free trade Agreement in Goods was concluded.


  • India – ASEAN Strategic Partnership was concluded


  • India – ASEAN Free Trade Agreement  in Services and Investment was concluded. This was aimed to facilitate movement of manpower and investments between India and ASEAN.


    • India ASEAN celebrated 25 years of their relationship by holding a commemorative Summit. Leaders of all ten ASEAN countries were invited as Chief Guests for the Republic Day parade on January 26,2018.

In this recent visit of VP, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India vowed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership and enhance cooperation against terrorism.

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