There’s always a palpable curiosity surrounding a state visit by an eminent global leader. The same was being felt when German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited India for a short but meaningful tour.
India and Germany have long been close partners in divergent spheres of education, IT, Pharmaceuticals, Defence and other areas. The two happen to enjoy a lasting relationship that stands on the cusp of steady progression in the times to come.
But it appears that there was a special substance to the state visit by the German Chancellor to India. During her brief and meaningful visit, which lasted no more than 2 days, it is reported, the two countries signed several important pacts that touch varied corners of economic and diplomatic associations.
Some key joint pacts are concerned with dynamic areas such as space, civil aviation, maritime technology, medicine, as well as education.
Apart from both countries convening on the fact that cross border terrorism must be brought to a halt, there was special impetus paid by the German chancellor toward the one critical aspect that concerns most developing countries today, in this part of the 21st century.
Addressing a business meeting on the last day of her visit, Angela Merkel exalted the Indo-German partnership by several notches by putting forth a commitment that highlights a critical aspect India has been working passionately toward- Green Urban Mobility.
At a time where much of the thrust from India, whether from the perspective of giant corporate’, mega establishments, research institutions, and think tanks (to quote some of the bodies) have been toward maintaining environmental sustainability, it is but critical to step up the ante of green urban mobility.
Not a day goes by especially toward the northern region of the country, when the growing menace of environmental pollution doesn’t heat up national debates or conjure worrying headlines.
And that’s precisely where Germany has intended to bolster its association with India.
Displaying keen observation whilst her two-day visit, the German Chancellor highlighted the need of the hour and perhaps what might be called the key catalyst of bringing the two countries closer- a partnership on the mantle on green urban mobility.
But this wasn’t before she exclaimed, “whoever has looked at pollution in Delhi yesterday would find very good arguments to replacing diesel buses with electric buses.”
Germany has committed no fewer than 1 billion euros (that’s precisely $1.12 billion) over the course of the next five years on green urban mobility projects.
But that said, let’s delve into some details of the key aspects that the German Chancellor has committed to work toward:
Merkel also declared that Germany will give Euros 200 million for the introduction of electric buses in Tamil Nadu. “We will also earmark Euros 200 million to reform the bus sector in Tamil Nadu. Whoever has looked at pollution in Delhi yesterday would find very good arguments to replacing diesel buses with electric buses,” she added.
That said, the key takeaway from Ms. Merkel’s brief but productive visit to India, it must be said, is in the form of the 17 agreements that the two nations have signed, which also include spheres like Yoga and Ayurveda. Furthermore, the two countries have also geared up to work closely toward tackling the issues of terrorism and extremism, with Ms. Merkel lamenting the spread of cross-border terrorism, a threat that constantly stares India in the eye.