Saturday, October 1, 2011


Historical Perspective
India and Mongolia have interacted through the medium of Buddhism over a period of 2700 years. This process of cultural and spiritual interaction has enriched the two civilizations through a process of give and take. Following the emergence of Mongolia as a modern nation state in the 20th century, the two countries have continued to build relations based on shared historical and cultural legacy.

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations
Diplomatic relations between India and Mongolia were established on 24 December 1955. India was the first country outside the Soviet block to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia. India’s role in securing UN membership for Mongolia is acknowledged by the Mongolian people. Mongolia also expresses its appreciation for India’s support for its admission to the Non-aligned Movement (NAM) as a full member in 1991. Mongolia marked 55th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in December 2010.

Exchange of Important Visits
Visits from India to Mongolia:
· President R.Venkataraman in July 1988.
· Vice-Presidents Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (1957); Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma (April 1992); Shri KR Narayanan (September 1996); Shri Krishan Kant (August 1999).

· Lok Sabha Speakers Dr. G.S. Dhillon (July 1974); Dr. Balram Jhakhar (October 1985); Shri Shivraj Patil (July 1995); Shri P.A.Sangma (October 1997) and Shri GMC Balayogi (July 2001). Smt. Meira Kumar (June 27-30,2010)

· Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha Smt. Najma Heptulla in July 1999.

· Ministers: EAM Shri Y.B. Chavan (July 1976); Commerce Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee (September 1994); Agriculture Minister Dr. Balram Jhakar (April 1994); Smt. Sonia Gandhi (July 1995); Minister for IT and Communication Shri. Pramod Mahajan (September 2001); H.R.D.Minister Shri. Murli Manohar Joshi (July 2002); Dr. Sanjay Paswan, MOS for Communications and IT (October 2002); Shri Vinod Khanna, MOS for External Affairs (September 2003), Shri E.A. Ahamed, MOS for External Affairs (June 2005), Shri M.M. Pallam Raju, MOS for Defence (May 2006); Smt. Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs in June 2009, and Shri E. Ahmed, Minister of State for External Affairs in May 2011.

· Lt. Governor of Delhi in December 2001.
· Chief Minister of Delhi Mrs. Sheila Dikshit in July 2006.

Visits from Mongolia to India:
· Chairman of the Presidium U. Tsendenbal in 1959; and Mr. Bathmunkh in March 1989; President P. Ochirbaat in February 1994; President N.Bagabandi in January 2001; President Ts. Elbegdorj in September 2009;

Parliament; and Mr. D. Demberel in December 2010.

· Chairman of the State Great Hural Mr. N. Bagabandi in 1996; and Mr. R.Gonchigdorj in November 1998; Mr. S. Tumur-Ochir visited India on 22-26 January 2003 on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the Indian 

· Prime Ministers Mr. Tsendenbal in 1973 (He had visited in 1959 as Chairman of the Presidium); Prime Minister N. Enkhbayar paid a state visit from Jan. 14-19, 2004;

· Ministers : Foreign Ministers Dugersuren (February 1978); Trade and Industry Minister Tsogt (February 1996); Justice Minister J. Amarsanaa (April 1998); Minister for Agriculture and Industry Mr. Sodnomtseren; (January 2000); Minister for Enlightenment A. Battur (March-April 2000); Minister for Infrastructure B. Jigjid (February-March 2002); Minister for Education, Culture and Science A. Tsanjid (March 2002), Defence Minister J.Gurragchaa (November 11-18, 2003); and Defence Minister Ts. Sharavdorj (December 5-10, 2005); Foreign Minister Ts. Munh-Orgil (December 22-27,2005); Defence Minister L. Bold visited India from Feb. 11-15,2009; Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Y. Otgonbayar in January 2010; · Deputy Speaker of State Great Hural J. Byambadorj led a Mongolian Parliamentary delegation on 7-9 May 2002;

· Chief of the Mongolian Armed Forces in February 2010. Brig. Gen. T. Dashdeleg, Commander, Air and Air Defence Forces of Mongolia visited Aero India 2011 in February 2011.

· Mayor of Ulaanbaatar Mr. Enkhbold led a five-member delegation to India, on 23- 27 May 2002.

Joint Declaration of 1973 and Treaty of Friendly Relations and Co-operation of 1994 
An India-Mongolian Joint Declaration was issued following the visit of Premier Yu. Tsendenbal in February 1973. The Declaration includes general principles to guide bilateral relations. In February 1994, a Treaty of Friendly Relations and Co-operation was signed during the visit of President Ochirbat to India. It provides, inter alia, for:

(a) Developing equal and mutually beneficial co-operation in various spheres including political, economic, trade, science and technology, health,agriculture, ecology, culture, education, communications and tourism.

(b) Development of links between the two Parliaments, Governments and NGOs on both sides;

(c) Co-operation, bilateral and multilateral, in combating international crimes including terrorism;

(d) Closely co-operating within the framework of the UN, NAM and other international organizations, with a view to furthering the cause of peace and international security, globally and in Asia.

Visit of Mongolian President Bagabandi (January 2001)
Mongolian President Natsagiin Bagabandi paid a state visit to India on 1-5 January 2001. During the visit, a Joint Declaration was issued outlining the future direction of bilateral relations. Six Agreements were also signed during the visit. These were in the areas of: Extradition, Defence co-operation, Co-operation in Information Technology, Investment Promotion and Protection, Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Mutual Legal Assistance concerning Civil and Commercial Matters. The India-Mongolia Joint Declaration of January 2001 inter alia states:

(a) Mongolia would fully support India's endeavour to become a permanent member as the expansion of the UN Security Council takes place;

(b) Mongolian side reaffirmed its support for Indian efforts to normalize relations with Pakistan on the basis of the Simla Agreement;

(c) Both the countries recognize the serious threat posed to nation states and international peace and security by terrorist groups;

(d) Both the countries condemn terrorism in all its forms and also condemn the States that aid, abet and directly support cross border and international terrorism;

(e) Both India and Mongolia reiterated their resolve to work for strengthening international consensus and legal regimes against terrorism;

(f) The visit of Mongolian President provided an important road map for further development of bilateral relations in the 21st century;

Visit of Mongolian PM N. Enkhbayar to India (January 2004)
Then Mongolian Prime Minister N. Enkhbayar paid a State visit to India from January 14-20, 2004. During the visit, a Joint Statement was issued. It was agreed to elevate the relationship to a ‘new level of partnership’. Three agreements were signed in the fields of Animal Health & Dairy; Space Science, Technology & Applications; and Biotechnology. Both sides also formalized the ratification of the Extradition Treaty and the Treaty on Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters. The Government of India agreed to the following:

(a) A soft loan of USD Ten Million to the Government of Mongolia for procurement of items from India and for India linked projects in Mongolia.

(b) A pilot project for electrification of a Mongolian village using solar energy.

(c) Increase of ITEC slots to 50 and ICCR scholarships to 30.

(d) Additional facilities for the Atal Behari Vajpayee Centre for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology, Ulaanbaatar and establishment of IT community centers in the provinces.

(e) Assistance to develop the existing India-Mongolia Friendship Farm into a Model Farm.

Both sides agreed to hold regular consultations at the functional level between their National Security Councils on issues of mutual concern. The two sides also agreed to activate the JointCommittee on Cooperation at Secretary/Deputy Foreign Minister level and to set up a functional sub-committee at the level of Joint Secretary/Director. Mongolia reiterated its support to India’s candidature for the permanent membership of UNSC. Both sides strongly condemned the menace of international terrorism and expressed full support for UNSC Resolution 1373.

Considering the ancient and historic ties between India and Mongolia, the Government of India agreed to waive the payment for the plot of land allotted to Mongolia at Bodh Gaya for construction of a Mongolian monastery. PM Enkhbayar laid the foundation stone of the monastery on January 18, 2004. India and Mongolia also agreed to digitization of precious Buddhist manuscripts in Mongolia.

Visit of Mongolian President Ts. Elbedorj to India from September 13-16, 2009
Mongolian President Ts. Elbegdorj, accompanied by a high level delegation, paid state visitto India from September 13-16, 2009 at the invitation of President of India, Pratibha Devisingh Patil. During the visit he met Indian Prime Minister and Foreign Ministers besides other Indian high dignitaries. Mongolia and India issued a joint declaration on Comprehensive Partnership on September 14, 2009. In addition the two countries also signed an intergovernmental Agreement on “Stabilization Loan” of USD 25 million, a Cooperation Agreement in Health and Medical Sector, a Cultural Exchange Programme for 2009-2012, a MoU on Statistical Cooperation and a MoU on the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy. President Elbegdorj and his delegation also visited Agra, Bodh Gaya and Mumbai. President addressed the second meeting of the “India-Mongolia Business Forum” on September 16, 2009 at Mumbai co-hosted by CII, ASSOCHAM and FICCI. ITEC slots have been increased from 75-120 per annum.

Bilateral Economic and Trade Relations:
During the visit of then Minister for Commerce Shri Pranab Mukherjee, in 1994 two MOUs pertaining to the establishment of a Joint Trade Sub-Committee and Co-operation between the Planning Commission of India and the National Development Board of Mongolia were signed. The Commerce Minister offered Indian assistance for conducting a survey of geological mines by the GSI and assist Mongolia in training specialists in the mining sector. As a follow up to this an agreement for co-operation in the field of geology and mineral resources was signed in September 1996. However not much has taken place in this area, primarily because of privatization process in Mongolia.

On 16th September 1996 during the visit of the then Vice President, Shri K.R. Narayanan to Mongolia, an Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between India and Mongolia was signed. The Agreement provides for MFN status to each other in respect of customs duties and all other taxes on imports and exports.

During the visit of President Bagabandi in January 2001, both sides signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. Mongolia is keen to develop industrial co-operation with India in textiles, cement, cashmere, leather, IT, pharmaceuticals and other small-scale industries. However, considering the size of the market, the response from Indian companies has not been encouraging. The main items of exports to Mongolia include medicines, mining machinery and auto parts, etc. Imports from Mongolia include raw wool. Bilateral trade has not developed much due to the problems of trans-shipment through Chinese ports, high freight rates and delayed delivery schedule. India-Mongolia bilateral trade figures for the last five calendar years are as follows:

(Value in Million USD)
Imports/Exports                            2006          2007          2008          2009          2010
India’s Exports to Mongolia          2.46           8.45           19.0*         11.7           16.9
India’s Imports from Mongolia      1.48           1.55           1.0             01.0           00.6
Total Bilateral Trade                    3.94           10.00         20.00*       12.7           17.5
(*During 2008, GOI’s humanitarian assistance of 5000 tons of rice and 5000 tons of sugar worth some 6 million dollars is included in this figure. Part of the Indian Products also enter into Mongolia through third country exports).

Bilateral Cooperation under ITEC:
During President Elbegdorj’s visit to India, 120 slots per annum were earmarked to Mongolia under ITEC (Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation). Mongolian side has utilized these ITEC slots to train Mongolian citizens in 11 disciplines including English language course, Hotel Management, Small scale Business, Computer Hardware/ Software, Management Development Programme, Oil and Gas Measurement, Floor Milling Technology, Textile Research, Standardization, Mass Communication and Applied Manpower. 

Allotment and utilization of these ITEC slots over the years is as follows:
Year                          Allotted                Utilised
2005-06                        50                        47
2006-07                        50                        51
2007-08                        60                        55
2008-09                        75                        70
2009-10                        120                      110
2010-2011                    120                      121
In addition to above, under Colombo Plan 20 slots were allotted in 2009-10 and same number of slots have been allotted in 2010-11. So far 4 slots have been utilized in 2010-11.

Rajiv Gandhi School for Arts and production (RGSAP)
The proposal for setting up a Vocational Training Centre in Mongolia was signed during the visit of then Vice President Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma to Mongolia in 1992. The proposal envisaged training facilities in the following nine fields:
(i) Auto Mechanic
(ii) Radio and TV Repairing
(iii) Plumbing
(iv) Electrician
(v) Machine Shop
(vi) Computer Programming
(vii) Carpentry (dropped)
(viii) Gem Stone Cutting /polishing
(ix) Handicrafts - Ceramic art. (Changed to printing)

The Centre has in all 26 faculties of which 8 have been set up with GOI assistance. The Centre was named after the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in November 1995 and was formally inaugurated by then Vice-President K.R.Narayanan in September 1996. This centre provides most relevant skills for the job market in Mongolia. We are in the process of upgrading these facilities. 

Atal Behari Vajpayee Centre for Excellence in Information & Communication Technology:
During the visit of Minister for Information Technology Shri Pramod Mahajan to Mongolia in September 2001 an agreement was signed between India and Mongolia under which it was agreed to grant US$ One Million to Mongolia for the establishment of Atal Bihari Centre of Excellence (ABVCE) in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and to establish five Community Information Centres (CICs) in five provinces. A team of NIC experts visited Mongolia and completed Hardware, Software and Networking installation and commissioning tasks at the ABVCE and the CICs. Then Mongolian Prime Minister Mr. Enkhbayar and then Indian MOS for Information Technology Dr. Sanjay Paswan formally inaugurated the ABVCE on 2 October 2002. The ABVCE has (i) Video-conferencing facility; (ii) Data Networking Lab; (iii) Software Lab; (iv) JAVA Lab; and (v) Lecture Hall. NIC has also provided the Centre with laptops, clients, web Cameras, Firewall and has connected all the facilities to the Internet. During PM Enkhbayar’s visit to India in January 2004, Indian side agreed to set up five new community centers in five aimags of Mongolia and connect those with the ABVCEICT through video conferencing. In November 2005, five new CICs have been established in Sukhbaatar, Dornod, Khovsgol, Bulgan and Kharkhorin. This is now being connected to all the regional centres (21) in Mongolia and has become lifeline of communication between the capital city and regional centres. We are in the process of upgrading these facilities.

India-Mongolia Friendship Agropark:
varieties of wheat seeds totaling 1000 Kgs. and 200 Kgs. of potato seeds were sown in 1997. Two Indian agricultural experts visited Mongolia to assist the Mongolian side in sowing the seeds. Subsequently, Indian wheat seeds, RAJ-3077 and HS-240 were sown on experimental basis in 1998 and 1999 respectively. These varieties have proved successful under irrigated condition.

During the visit of the then Vice President Shri K.R. Narayanan in September 1996, it was agreed that India would assist Mongolia in attaining self-sufficiency in seed production and eventually in food production. To implement this, the Indo-Mongolian Friendship Farm was formally inaugurated in May 1997 at Darkhan. Four 

President Bagabandi during his visit in January 2001 conveyed Mongolia's request for further assistance in adapting wheat and potato seeds for normal cultivation so as to resolve the food supply issue. We conveyed our willingness to further cooperate in this regard. During PM Enkhbayar’s visit to India in January 2004 Indian side agreed to assist the Mongolian side in developing the Indo- Mongolian farm into a model farm.

A 2-member team of agricultural experts from India visited Mongolia in July 2004 to discuss the modalities of agricultural cooperation between the two countries and particularly to develop the existing Indo-Mongolian friendship farm into a model farm. Since the old farm has been privatized, it was decided to relocate the farm and to sign a new MoU to develop it into a model farm. Accordingly, a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation to establish an India-Mongolia Friendship Agropark in Darkhan-Uul city was signed during the visit of the Mongolian Foreign Minister in December 2005. Under the MoU, training has been provided to Mongolian agriculture and veterinary science related officials in India.

Solar Energy
The Government of India had agreed to do solar electrification of Dadal Soum in Khentti Aimag. This project was executed by the Central Electronics Ltd. and formally inaugurated on April 29, 2006. The project has been highly appreciated both by the Mongolian government and the people of Dadal Soum.

Bilateral Cultural Relations : 
India and Mongolia have a long history of contacts since the two countries share religious and cultural affinities. Indian cultural and religious influence found its way to Mongolia, primarily through the efforts of Buddhist Missionaries.

The India-Mongolian Cultural Agreement, signed in 1961, has governed the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between the two countries. The Agreement envisages co-operation in the fields of education by way of offering scholarships, exchange of experts and academicians, participation in conferences, holding of symposia/seminars as well as exchange of historical books, periodicals, journals, etc. The CEP was subsequently renewed and the CEP for the year 2003-05 was signed during the visit of then Minister of State for External Affairs Shri Vinod Khanna to Mongolia in September 2003. The CEP was renewed for 2006-08 during the visit of Foreign Minister Ts. Munh-Orgil to India in December 2005. The CEP for the year 2009- 2012 was signed during the visit of President of Mongolia in September, 2009. The CEP envisages exchange of exhibitions, performing artists, besides co-operation in the field of conservation and preservation of archaeological sites, including training in archaeological conservation. The Programme also provides for co-operation in the fields of information and mass media, sports and tourism.

Government of India provides 30 scholarships for Mongolian nationals; 10 under CEP and 20 under GCSS; for pursuing higher studies in India for the academic year 2010-2011. All the 30 scholarships have been utilized. In addition, 6 students are granted scholarships to study Hindi language at Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra every year. Mongolians have also started tapping direct admission route against payment in Indian higher institutes.

During the visit of Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, the then Human Resources Development Minister, to Mongolia in July 2002, an MoU on cooperation in the filed of education, which provided for setting up of an India-Mongolia Joint School in Mongolia and an Exchange Programme in the field of Education was signed . Currently five Indian teachers have been deputed to impart education in English language, mathematics and IT at a Mongolian school. This MOU is valid till the academic session 2011-2012. There are approximately 450 Mongolian nationals who are availing facilities of education in India both on scholarships and against payment of fee.

Over the years, a large number of Indian literary work including Panchtantra, Ramayana, Shakuntala, Ritu Samhar, Kamasutra, Godaan, Gaban and Kati Patang have been published in Mongolian language. Hindi films are fairly popular in Mongolia. The serial Mahabharata has been telecast on Ulaanbaatar TV dubbed in Mongolian. Almost all the major Buddhist scriptures of Indian origin are available in Mongolian language.

A photographic exhibition entitled “Path of Compassion”, another exhibition titled “Amrita Shergil Revisited” and an exhibition of 540 Indian paintings based on a private collection have been organised in recent past in Mongolia.
A ten member school children troupe of Bal Bhawan visited Mongolia in July 2010.

ICCR sponsored dance troupes visit Mongolia regularly: 
A five member ‘Odissi’dance troupe led by Ms. Geeta Mahalik visited Mongolia in April 2004 and gave five performances, which were well received. A six-member Kathak dance troupe led by Ms. Madhumita Roy visited Mongolia in September 2005. The Kathak dance troupe gave three performances in Ulaanbaatar and one performance each in Darkhan and Erdenet. In September 2007, a five-member Odissi dance troupe led by Ms. Meera Das visited Mongolia and gave 3 houseful performances. A 3-member Sarod classical music group led by Pt. Debojyoti Bose, a renowned sarod player gave musical performances in Ulaanbaatar on August 3, 4 and 5, 2009. A 10-day film festival was also organized by Indian Embassy in August 2009 which was well received in Mongolia.

Visit  of Indian President Pratibha Patil to Mongolia (July 2011):
Ms. Patil is the first Indian President to visit Mongolia in 23 years, President said “my visit seeks to strengthen our relationship, building upon the momentum generated by the visit of President Elbegdorj to India in September 2009, when our ties were expanded to a comprehensive partnership,”  during the visit Preisdent signed the  following agreement with Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj :
·       Both the countries signed bilateral military cooperation agreement

·    India agreed to extend a $20 million Line of Credit for a joint IT, education and outsourcing centre to be set up in their country.

·      India and Mongolia inked two pacts on media exchanges and cooperation between their planning commissions, There is considerable expertise on plan formulation and implementation in India. Which can be shared  with Mongolia

·    Two countries also discussed ways to further cooperation in the peaceful use of radioactive minerals and nuclear energy.

·    Both agreed to explore the possibilities of improving air connectivity between our two countries so as to enhance contacts between our peoples, including through tourism

·     India will also upgrade and modernise the Rajiv Gandhi Art and Production School as well as the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Centre of Excellence in Information and Communication Technology

·     India has also decided to increase the number of slots available to Mongolia under (ITEC) Programme to 150.

·   The number of Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholarships available to Mongolia will be increased to 50. India will assist in human resource development and capacity building efforts of Mongolia

·     On trade president said new silk route” needed to be developed to establish old trade ties and “weave together a new destiny”, 30-member strong Indian business delegation accompanied with president to strengthen the economic and trade relation.

·   But Indian businessmen were “rather slow to seize the opportunities” in Mongolia. Apparently, 57 to 60 per cent of the total foreign investment here was from China, and more recently, South Korea had stepped in in a big way, while the Russians were here before Mongolia gained independence. These countries had the advantage of proximity.

·    The only big project is Jindal Steel doing exploration work in the great Gobi desert for uranium after the India-Mongolia pact on civil nuclear energy a year ago.

·     Beside the Indian government is encouraging Indian businesses to come here and it seems the Mongolian government would also like a bigger Indian presence, perhaps to counter-balance the overpowering Chinese reach.

·    Mongolia is celebrating the “Year of Anniversaries”, including the 805th anniversary of the establishment of the Great Mongolian State under the leadership of Genghis Khan and 90th anniversary of the Mongolian Independence and Sovereignty.

·    Recently, a statue of Mahatma Gandhi was installed in a major public square in the capital.

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