60 Years of Indo-German Development Cooperation (2018 | Issue 2)

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Indo German Ties

Relationships are based on mutual respect, understanding and support—be it a friendship, marriage or political alliance. Indo-Geman ties have been built on this solid foundation. Both countries value their strategic partnership and continue to nurture it across various areas. They share common goals and democratic values. Both seek a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

As India and Germany celebrate 60 years of development cooperation in 2018, they are ready to buckle down and face global challenges together to ensure a more stable and inclusive world. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s rewind to the beginning. What’s Up, Germany? traces the journey of Indo-German friendship. We sure go back a long way!

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1956)

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (1956)

Image: © picture alliance /
Fritz Fischer

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Chancellor Willy Brandt (1971)

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Chancellor Willy Brandt (1971)

Image: © German Federal
Press Office / Lothar Shaack

(L–R) Hannelore Kohl, Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi (1986)

(L–R) Hannelore Kohl, Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi (1986)

Image: © picture alliance / dpa

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Joachim Gauck (2013)

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Joachim Gauck (2013)

Image: © picture alliance / dpa

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2015)

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2015)

Image: © picture alliance / dpa

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (2018)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (2018)

Image: © picture alliance /
Bernd von Jutrczenka / dpa

1886 The Federal Republic of Germany opened its first consulate in Calcutta.

1951 After World War II, India was among the first countries to recognise the Federal Republic of Germany.
Germany established its Consulate General in Bombay.

1952 A full-fledged embassy was opened in New Delhi.

1956 Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Germany and met its first chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, setting the course for a bilateral relationship between the two countries.
The Indo-German Chamber of Commerce was formed.

1957 The first Max Mueller Bhavan was founded in Calcutta.

1958 Indo-German development cooperation started. In 2018, India and Germany celebrate 60 years of working together as partners.

1959 The Rourkela Steel Plant and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras were set up with assistance from Germany.

1969 Chancellor Willy Brandt visited India and a cultural agreement was signed.

1971 Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Germany.
Cooperation in science and technology began with the signing of an S&T agreement.
The Indo-German Parliamentary Friendship Group was formed in the German parliament.

1986 Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi met Chancellor Helmut Kohl in India.

1991 India’s economic reforms paved the way for more cooperation in trade.

1994 The Tagore Centre was set up in Berlin by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

2000 Both countries adopted the Agenda for
the Indo-German Partnership in the 21st Century
, laying the foundation for a strategic partnership.

2006 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chancellor Angela Merkel jointly inaugurated the Hannover Messe, where India was the partner country. They also established the Indo-German Energy Forum.
The India-Germany Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed.

2010 The Indo-German Science & Technology Centre (IGSTC) was formed with joint funding.

2011 The first Intergovernmental Consultations were held in New Delhi. Since then, the Indian and German governments have been holding these consultations every two years, further deepening Indo-German ties. Important MoUs are inked during these biennial consultations.
To mark 60 years of friendship between both countries, these events took place: the Year of Germany in India (2011–2012) and Days of India (2012–2013), which was celebrated in Germany.

2013 The second Intergovernmental Consultations took place in Berlin. Ten MoUs were inked in the fields of vocational education and training (VET), railways, science and technology, and renewable energy.
The German Embassy New Delhi held a landmark concert in Kashmir with Zubin Mehta and the Bavarian State Orchestra at the Shalimar Gardens in Srinagar.

2015 Chancellor Angela Merkel visited New Delhi for the third Intergovernmental Consultations. Both countries emphasised their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Renewable energy and climate-friendly urban development featured high on the agenda.

2017 During the fourth Intergovernmental Consultations, which took place in Berlin, 12 MoUs were inked.

2018 President Frank-Walter Steinmeier made a state visit to India.