Despite stiffening of ties between India and Russia, there is still sc...

  Jul 16, 2017

Despite stiffening of ties between India and Russia, there is still scope for collaboration and cooperation. What are the emerging areas where the two countries can work together to regain the sheen of relationship?

Despite a deep political and diplomatic partnership for decades, the Indo-Russian relationship is beginning to show early signs of stiffening.
Ties between the two countries are overwhelmingly dependent on the sale and, in recent years, joint production of weapons systems.
The only other area of cooperation that has reflected the “special and privileged” nature of the relationship is nuclear energy.
Beyond this, the trade and investment relationship is virtually non-existent. Even in natural gas and oil, where flourishing trade should have existed given Russia’s abundant supply and India’s growing demand, very little exists beyond a few notable Indian investments in Russian oil and gas companies and fields. The deals signed last year, if they come to fruition, could however boost mutual investments in this sector.

Way forward: collaboration in new and emerging technologies
One way to shake up this fast atrophying relationship is for India and Russia to direct their attention towards collaboration in new and emerging technologies. Both India and Russia have made significant advancements in sunrise sectors, and offer unique advantages for each other. There are four broad areas where the two countries can join forces.

Quantum computing
First is the field of quantum computing. Quantum computing, which uses subatomic particles for computing instead of standard binary bits, is poised to be the next great technological leap.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics
Second, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics present a unique opportunity for joint action.
Cyber security
The third avenue wherein both nations can work together is cyber security.
Information Technology (IT) and software
The final arena of partnership is traditional information technology (IT) and software, including and especially Big Data.
 The Indo-Russian relationship is one of the few long-standing successes of Indian diplomacy. Given the increasingly volatile nature of global politics, it becomes imperative that this relationship does not become moribund. With limited economic interdependency and recent efforts to work jointly in areas that have traditionally formed the bedrock of bilateral relations, both nations must pay greater attention to those emerging technologies that have the potential to push the relationship firmly into the future.