New Delhi: India and the United States will sign the landmark defence pact, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) during the third round of 2 + 2 India-US ministerial dialogue on Tuesday.Also Read - Atanu Das vs Takaharu Furukawa Men's 1/8 Eliminations: When And Where to Watch India's Archery Match Online And on TV
“Timing (of India-US 2+2 dialogue) is significant as it’s the last one before US Presidential election. Significance will be seen in a number of defence agreements signed, most notably BECA”, said Dhruva Jaishankar, Director of US initiative at Observer Research Foundation. Also Read - Attempt to Camouflage Illegal Occupation: India Lodges Strong Protest With Pakistan Over 'Cosmetic' PoK Elections
Notably, the BECA, which is the last of four foundational agreements for strengthening defence ties would enhance the geospatial cooperation between India and the US and it is likely to help in improving the accuracy of missile systems of India. Also Read - Viral Video: US Man Dances Energetically to Viral 'Bachpan Ka Pyaar' Song, People Are Super Impressed | Watch
Before this, India has signed three foundational agreements —In 2016, The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA);
In 2018, the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA); In 2019, the Industrial Security Annex (ISA) — the extension of the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) which was signed in 2002.
What is BECA And How Will it Help India?
BECA is said to be one of the few basic deals that the United States signs with its close partners. The agreement pertains to exchange of Geospatial-Intelligence information for use by the governments for defence and other purposes.
Under the agreement, the US would exchange technical and procedural information about standardisation of methods, specifications and formats for the collection, processing and production of Geo intelligence information with India.
It shall also include the tools and models to process GPS data and transform Latitude, Longitude and Height coordinates across various reference frames and others. It will also allow India to use global geospatial maps of the US for accuracy of stand-off weapons like cruise and ballistic missiles.
BECA is considered as a win-win deal for New Delhi as it would get access to military-grade data that can help draw up target coordinates.
Earlier on Monday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar held talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, focussing on a broad spectrum of issues of mutual interests.
Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in the national capital yesterday on a two-day visit for the third edition of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue. The Indian side at the 2+2 dialogue will be led by Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The Indian delegation at the talks included Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar and DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy.
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla too held a separate meeting with US Under Secretary of State Brian Bulatao who is part of the US delegation.
The issue of China’s aggressive military behaviour is expected to figure prominently during Tuesday’s talks, sources indicated. In the last few months, the US has been strongly critical of China over a range of contentious issues including the border standoff with India, its military assertiveness in the South China Sea and the way Beijing handled the anti-government protests in Hong Kong.