Showing posts with label India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India. Show all posts

24 April 2017

How India Paid to Create the London of Today


A sudden change in the currency with which old debts to the colonies had to be paid helped Britain consolidate its status as a financial centre. 

The UK is a tax haven closely connected to other tax havens it has set up. Its trade deficit is therefore offset by the money pouring in from its own tax havens. Almost 90% of net capital inflows to the UK come from just Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man. So far, there has been no decline in such funds with the news of Brexit. Britain enjoys a significant measure of protection from the consequences of leaving the EU by virtue of this rush of cash. 

How did London achieve this status of being a major financial centre? Knowing this history might be useful, especially for Indians, as the country played a role in it, thanks to the steps taken by Prime Minister Clement Attlee’s Labour government in 1947, employing the resources of newly independent India. 

As war broke out in 1939, the trade surpluses run up by India, Egypt, Brazil and others trading primarily in sterling, were withheld by Britain. Total debt to all such creditors (excluding the US, which obtained British businesses and naval and aircraft bases in return for cash) amounted to £3.48 billion. In addition, two and an half million Indian soldiers fighting in Italy, North Africa, the Middle East and the Far East were paid salaries; when any died, their widows were to be paid pensions by the government of India, which remained uncompensated even as the war ended. All this made India (which included the future state of Pakistan) the largest Allied creditor after the US. Britain owed her £1.335 billion ($5.23 billion, which is about $59 billion today). Britain owed the next largest creditor, Egypt, £450 million. At a conservative estimate, the debt to India amounted to about a fifth of the UK gross national product, or seventeen times the annual government of India revenue at highly depressed prices. 

A New Season of Turmoil in Kashmir

By Sumit Ganguly

With spring, yet more turmoil has come to significant parts of Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir. Widespread violence has resulted in several deaths and has left at least 200 injured. The trigger this time appears to have been elections for two vacant seats in the Indian Parliament. One seat, in the capital city of Srinagar, had been vacated after its holder, Tariq Hameed Karra, quit the Peoples Democratic Party in a dispute over the handling of political disturbances in the state last year. The other seat had been empty since the current chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, left it last year to assume her present role after the death of her father, the veteran Kashmiri politician Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

As the April 2017 elections approached, various separatist organizations in the state, including the umbrella organization, the All Party Hurriyat Conference, called for a boycott. This was nothing new, and on previous occasions, most Kashmiris ignored the instructions and turned out to the polls in substantial numbers. This time, however, even the capital city, Srinagar, saw a precipitous decline in voter turnout. A mere 7.14 percent of the eligible electorate turned up to the polls during the first week of April—the worst showing in three decades. Violence was so widespread in the other constituency, Anantnag, that one of the candidates asked the election commission to postpone the election until late May, which it did.

Bye, Bye MNREGA Leakages? One Crore Assets Successfully Geotagged

Swarajya Staff

With the help of ISRO, the central government may rid the MGNREGA of its most well known characteristic—corruption.

In a move that would substantially increase the accountability and transparency of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) in collaboration with Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) National Remote Sensing Centre has successfully geo-tagged and publicly listed 10 million assets.

Based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Department of Rural Development, the MoRD, New Delhi and National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), ISRO, Hyderabad, in June last year, the NRSC had been entrusted with the task of developing the geo-spatial solutions on the Bhuvan Geo-portal and also the mobile based geo-tagging applications for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.

An on-going process, geo-tagging not only facilitates online recording and monitoring of assets to check leakages but also serves as a tool for effective mapping of terrain for future developmental works. Geo-tagging implies that the assets created under MGNREGA, which include those of farming and agricultural facilities like canals, dams, irrigation and sanitation projects, are identified via satellite technology. This ensures credible verification and effective dealing with the complaints of non-durability of such assets.

Geo-tagging involves capturing the latitude and longitude of the said asset with pictures which are then made visible on the government-owned mapping platform Bhuvan. This, in turn, provides 2D and 3D maps, and other geo-spatial applications.

Why Some Of The Rich, Famous And Powerful Didn’t Want You To Read The Panama Papers

Swarajya Staff

What exactly were the Panama papers, what did they reveal, and who all were named in it? 
The Supreme Court of Pakistan ruled on Thursday that there was insufficient evidence to order the removal of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from his post but ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the case that has its origins in what are called the ‘Panama papers’.

Petitioners, based on the revelations of the Panama papers last year, had alleged that the Sharif family held illegal assets in London and sought the ouster of the Prime Minister because they alleged he was involved in corruption and was no more "honest" and "truthful" as is required by the Pakistani Constitution.

What are the Panama papers?

The Panama papers are a set of 11.5 million leaked documents belonging to a Panamanian law firm and corporate service provider, and the world’s fourth-biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca. Obtained from an anonymous source by the German Newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists(ICIJ), the documents shocked the world as they revealed ways in which the rich and powerful make use of secretive offshore tax regimes.

Standing Up To China: Modi Govt Has Changed The Terms Of Engagement With Beijing

Harsh V Pant

Sino-Indian relations have entered uncharted territory as New Delhi seeks to engage Beijing strictly on reciprocity.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi consolidates his power over the Indian political landscape, his government should not lose sight of the fact that China poses the most significant strategic challenge to India. India and China continue to be at loggerheads on a range of bilateral issues, as China shows no signs of budging on key issues that matter to India. Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar visited Beijing recently for the China-India Strategic Dialogue but nothing much came out of it. Though Jaishankar suggested that he came with “a very strong sense of commitment to maintaining our relationship” and China’s top diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, underlined that he believed relations had seen “positive growth” in 2016, it was evident at the end of the dialogue that the two sides have failed in bridging their fundamental differences.

There was no change in Beijing’s stance on blocking efforts to get Pakistan-based militant Maulana Masood Azhar listed as a terrorist under UN norms as well as its opposition to India gaining entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group. New Delhi has also been left asking Beijing to explain how it can take part in the Silk Road summit being held in China when the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passing through PoK violates India’s sovereignty. And rather provocatively, Dai Bingguo, who served as China’s boundary negotiator with India from 2003 to 2013, recently suggested that the border dispute between China and India can be resolved if New Delhi accepts Beijing’s claim over the strategically vital Tawang region in Arunachal Pradesh. This was done knowing fully well that India would never agree to such a proposition and without specifying what concessions Beijing would be willing to make.

The Fight In Arunachal Is Not Just Territorial, It’s Cultural Too

Aravindan Neelakandan
The battle in Arunachal is not just between two sovereign states, but also between two ideas and cultures. Does India have its own house in order to fight this one?

The recent renaming of six towns in Arunachal Pradesh by China, in Mandarin, has shown the world that it has always been Han racism which has been the animating force of the Maoist-Marxist regime. The Chinese call this exercise ‘standardizing’ of the names.

At one level this is both propaganda war and staking of claims against India in Arunachal Pradesh. At another level, it is the denial of the cultural identity of Tibet, which has been the official policy of China. The sustained genocide and cultural cleansing of Tibetans by the Chinese is now being illegitimately extended to Arunachal Pradesh. The renaming of the towns in Mandarin is part of the decades long Sinicizing exercise, which has been justified by ideologues of the Maoist doctrine.

Dan Smyer Yu, anthropologist from the Yunnan Minzu University points out in his work on Tibetan Buddhism, that in the context of China, the Maoist-Marxist evolutionary paradigm reinforced the traditional Han Chinese prejudice of the non-Han populations being savage and barbarian.

23 April 2017

*** The Politics of Reincarnation: India, China, and the Dalai Lama

By Tshering Chonzom Bhutia

The Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh from April 7 to 11 garnered plenty of media attention. One of the most prominently discussed questions centered around the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation.

The Chinese side was unequivocal in not only objecting to the visit but also commenting on the reincarnation issue. The Chinese position, as encapsulated in remarks by scholars from important Chinese think tanks, is that the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation has to be approved by the Chinese government and selection has to be based on a combination of not just “historical rules” but also current “Chinese laws.” The reference to Chinese laws is with respect to the 2007 State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) regulation delineating procedures for the selection of reincarnated monks, including eligibility conditions, application procedures and the government and religious institutions to be approached for approval. The regulation basically excludes “any foreign organization or individual” from the reincarnation selection process, obviously in an attempt to legitimize China’s authority and exclude the Tibetan Diaspora (and others) in the selection of the next Dalai Lama.

The Chinese have consistently maintained that any reincarnation must be determined on the basis of the late 18th century procedure instituted by the Manchu Qing rulers of China. Under this “golden urn system” of selecting reincarnations, the names of prospective candidates would be placed in an urn, from which lots would be drawn to pick the real incarnation. Therefore, any other method being suggested by the Dalai Lama is seen as contrary to established rules and illegitimate, for it denies the Chinese government’s authority in the process.

The dangers of Hindi chauvinism


One of the most detailed debates in the Constituent Assembly was whether Hindi should be the official language of India. Even today, anybody reading the brilliant debates in the constituent assembly may be puzzled by why so much time was spent on the language issue compared to many other more fundamental constitutional design challenges. B.R. Ambedkar later revealed that no other issue had generated as much heat as the one on the official language of the new republic. Hindi was accepted by a slim margin of one vote. It was supposed to replace English in 1965 as the language of government. The status quo was maintained after violent agitations in several states of peninsular India.

Indian nationalists have for long recognized that a diverse country such as ours needs a common language for communication. The natural candidate for that is either the language most commonly spoken in India or the classical language of Indian civilization—Hindi or Sanskrit. The Zionists united Israel by reviving Hebrew. The overwhelming majority of national leaders—from M.K. Gandhi to Vinayak Damodar Savarkar—wanted some variant of Hindi. Ambedkar argued for Sanskrit and Subhas Chandra Bose was in favour of Hindi written in the Roman script.

What Champaran gave to Gandhi and India’s freedom struggle

Ramachandra Guha

A hundred years ago on April 10, 1917, Mohandas K Gandhi arrived in the district of Champaran in North Bihar. He spent several months there, studying the problems of the peasantry, who had been forced by European planters to cultivate indigo against their will. Farmers who refused to meet this obligation had their land confiscated.

Through his interventions with the colonial State, Gandhi was able to get substantial concessions for the peasantry. Rents were radically reduced, and the compulsion to grow indigo replaced by a system of voluntary compliance. This was a major victory for the peasants, and a significant triumph for Gandhi himself, since it established his credibility as a leader within India (as distinct from South Africa).

Understanding peasant life

Rather than rehearse the facts of the struggle in Champaran, this column identifies six distinctive features of Gandhi’s extended stay in the region, and how it determined his future course of work in India. This was Gandhi’s first direct experience of peasant life in his homeland. Gandhi had grown up in the towns of Porbandar and Rajkot, and worked as a lawyer in the great metropolis of Bombay. Then he spent two decades in South Africa. After his return to India in 1915, Gandhi travelled extensively through the country, but, before coming to Champaran, had interacted mostly with townspeople.

Lonely and disinterested

Happymon Jacob

Excess focus on bilateralism is leaving India isolated in its larger neighbourhood

Picture this: China is steadily increasing its geostrategic presence in South, Central and West Asia; there is a China-Russia-Pakistan axis on the rise in Southern Asia; China and Russia are revelling in a new-found rapprochement and aim to fill the geopolitical vacuum bound to be created by the U.S. withdrawal from the region; and, a retired Pakistan army chief is all set to take over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Saudi-backed Islamic Military Alliance (IMA). Now ask yourself: Which regional power has been missing from these significant developments on the regional geopolitical landscape?

New Delhi’s foreign policy establishment and its national security team are either clueless about what is happening in its broader neighbourhood or seem to lack the wherewithal to anticipate, engage and shape geostrategic outcomes in the region and beyond. Or are they simply disinterested? Either way, New Delhi is increasingly looking like a grumpy old man constantly whining about age-old fears, stubbornly unwilling to explore new opportunities and face new challenges.

What Really Is The ‘Buy American, Hire American’ Order And Will It Impact Indian Professionals?

Srikanth Ramakrishnan

The ‘Buy American, Hire American’ order would not have any direct effect on H-1B visas in the short term, but is rather being enforced to encourage government agencies to give priority to American companies when awarding contracts.

A lot has been said about United States President Donald Trump’s new executive order titled ‘Buy American and Hire American’ (BAHA) order. There is a lot of apprehension about its impact on H-1B visas and employment of foreign nationals in the United States (US). So what exactly is happening?

Here is a short guide to the entire issue.

What is an H-1B visa and how is it issued?

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows an employer in the US to employ foreigners in speciality professions for a period of up to three years. In case the employee is no longer employed with the employer who sponsored the visa, he/she must either change the visa type or find another employer or leave the country.

22 April 2017

** India’s Faux ‘Liberals’ Are Damaging Our Army’s Efforts To Douse J&K Fire

R Jagannathan

We are not losing the real war with jihadi militants and their stone-throwing mobs.

The war we are losing is the one launched by so-called “liberals” who think the army is fair game in their fight against the BJP.

In order to win a war – any war – you need to have a realistic analysis of your enemy’s aims, his strengths and weaknesses, your real strengths and weaknesses, and clarity on your ultimate goals in prosecuting the war. The truth is neither the Indian state nor its detractors in the national media, has thought this through.

The war we are losing is the information war, as the outrage over the video of a Kashmiri tied to an army jeep shows. If anything, the video shows that army officers are able to use innovative tactics to prevent violence and deaths, but the mainstream narrative is about the army using human shields when this is the perennial tactic used by stone-pelters in the Valley. What is the norm among stone-pelters is now shown as the army’s failure in one instance of a change of tactics.

We are not losing the real war with jihadi militants and their stone-throwing mobs. The war we are losing is the one launched by so-called “liberals” who think the army is fair game in their fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A space to watch - The Hindu nationalist tradition is not alien to West Bengal

Swapan Dasgupta

In the long and acrimonious run-up to the 2014 general election, there were political analysts who discounted the possibility of the Bharatiya Janata Party ever forming a viable government at the Centre. Their scepticism was based on two considerations. First, it was felt that Narendra Modi was too 'polarizing' a figure to be acceptable to the Indian electorate. Secondly, and much more significant, it was believed that the social and geographical spread of the BJP was too narrow to permit any pan-Indian presence.

The belief that the BJP was essentially a Brahmin-Bania or, at best, an upper-caste party confined to northern and western India was a caricature that seems to have been ingrained in the minds of many analysts. 'Hindi, Hindu, Hindustan' was a Hindu Mahasabha formulation of the 1940s that was uncritically applied to, first, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and, subsequently, to the BJP. This was coupled with astonishing social condescension of an elite that regarded itself as cosmopolitan and, consequently, very much superior.

In his novel, The Jewel in the Crown, centred on the twilight years of imperial rule, Paul Scott described the prevailing British attitudes to Hindu nationalists: "Hindu meant Hindu Mahasabha, Hindu nationalism, Hindu narrowness. It meant rich Banias with little education, landowners who spoke worse English than the younger sub-divisional officer his eager but halting Hindi. It meant sitting without shoes and with your feet curled up on the chair, eating only horrible vegetarian dishes and drinking disgusting fruit juice." This stereotype was inherited by the Nehruvian elite after Independence and helped shape its political attitudes. The Congress of those days did contain many Hindu nationalists, some of whom were ministers. To Walter Crocker, an Australian high commissioner to India, these functionaries were markedly different from "Nehru and the upper class Indian nationalists of English education". The non-Nehruvians, he wrote in his reminiscences of his years in India, "were provincial mediocrities, untraveled, ill-educated, narrow-minded, not a few were lazy; some were cow worshippers and devotees of ayurvedic medicine and astrology; some were dishonest".

21 April 2017

** Indian Nuclear Weapons Are Much More Than Mere Weapons Of Devastation

India pledged to never use its nuclear weapons first. An excerpt from Shivshankar Menon’s Choices: The making of Indian Foreign Policy tells us why.

After publicly testing her nuclear weapons for the first time at Pokhran, India under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government swore by the no-first-use doctrine. For these weapons of destruction beyond human imagination were not just that. They were political armament that could redefine power equations among the nuclear weapon states (NWS) in the nuclear age.

Though India declared that these were the nation’s defence against nuclear threat and blackmail, it was also made clear that if anyone dared use any such weapons against us, retaliation was assured, an unapologetic one at that.

Author and diplomat Shivshankar Menon’s decades of experience in various critical positions that include being the national security adviser to former prime minister Manmohan Singh, and the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and the ambassador to China and Israel, in his book Choices: The making of Indian Foreign Policy, sheds light on the nitty gritty of the reasons behind five crucial decisions that the nation has made, one of which is the thought behind India’s No First Use nuclear policy.

Here is an excerpt:

There has been debate in India over whether the country’s no-first-use commitment adds to or detracts from deterrence. Successive Indian governments that have reviewed the question repeatedly since 1998 have been of the view that a no-first-use policy enhances India’s deterrence efforts.

** Why are politicians uncomfortable with military men?

'Why can't a person who has supervised military intelligence head RA&W?'
'Why can't one who has overseen national security planning become our NSA or chair the National Security Advisory Board?' asks Vice Admiral Premvir Das (retd).

Much has been said and written about the government's decision to appoint a new army chief, overlooking two others senior to him.

The media, Opposition parties and even retired generals made it their business to air their views on a decision that lay fully within the preserve of the government of the day.

General Bipin Rawat is now in the chair and the other two generals have willingly decided to serve their full tenures under him. Full marks to them for their approach; in earlier cases those superseded had resigned, which also has logic.

Things having now returned to normalcy, it is time to look at some of the larger questions.

First, one selects people to occupy such high positions, implying that there must be four or five qualified and eligible persons to choose from.

Second, just because all of them are necessarily good does not mean that the most senior of them must be the automatic choice; the whole concept of selection then falls through.

So, some set of criteria have to be evolved and it is the business of those running the country to decide these.

SC Order On Tata, Adani Power Tariff Is A Reminder Of Risks India Inc Hasn’t Budgeted For

R Jagannathan

This may be a bitter lesson for both the Tatas and Adanis, but India Inc needs to learn deep lessons on managing such risks as they seek to become global players.

The Supreme Court’s decision to junk a ruling by the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (Aptel), that Adani Power and Tata Power can charge higher tariffs due to an increase in the cost of coal imported from Indonesia, is correct in law.

Aptel had granted relief to these two port-based power units, which were to run on cheap imported coal, after the Indonesian government suddenly changed rules in 2010 to levy a duty on exports. Aptel said this was a force majeure event, meaning this could not have been anticipated when the two companies made tariff-based bids for their power plants in coastal Gujarat.

But the Supreme Court bench, with Justices P C Ghose and Rohinton Nariman, ruled that only domestic policy changes could be called force majeure events, not foreign ones. Hence the tariff increases will have to be rolled back, damaging their bottomlines. Mint estimates the impact on Tata Power at Rs 800-1,000 crore annually, which may prompt the company to seek an exit from the project, which will become a new headache for the lenders.

Why Arun Jaitley As Defence Minister Ought To Be An Interim Arrangement

By Bharat Karnad

As far as Manohar Parrikar is concerned, it was a perfect storm. The Goa political scene was on the boil. The odd-makers who had favoured the Congress party to get more seats than the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state elections and to form a government by itself or in coalition with smaller pesky provincial outfits were all but proved right. The dissent in BJP seemed by and large immune to Parrikar’s remote management by telephone and weekly trips. Add to this mix Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party boss Amit Shah’s determination to not let this coastal state slip out of BJP’s grasp and, in parallel, Parrikar’s growing discomfiture with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) looking over his shoulder and subtly and not so subtly influencing his Ministry of Defence decisions, and you had a defence minister primed to leave at a moment’s notice. Once the election results were announced, and Shah suggested that Parrikar pack up and save the day for the BJP in Goa, he did just that, deftly maneuvering the power right out of the clueless and complacent Congress party’s state in-charge, Digvijaya Singh’s hands.

The trouble though is that instead of selecting a defence specialist – such as, say, VK Saraswat, the former head of the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) and Science Adviser to Defence Minister now being wasted in the NITI Ayog – the Prime Minister plonked, even if as an interim measure, for Arun Jaitley. Happy in the Finance Ministry, Jaitley is once again saddled with overseeing the military for which he had shown little interest in his earlier concurrent stint as defence minister.

20 April 2017

** American Global Primacy and the Rise of India

By Manjeet S Pardesi for East-West Center (EWC)

It’s almost night and day, observes Manjeet Pardesi. In the mid–twentieth century, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru called for the removal of all foreign militaries from Asia. Now, India openly welcomes America’s presence in the South Asia/Indian Ocean region. In fact, the two nations have agreed to access each other’s military facilities, continue their robust bilateral military exercises, and more. In this article, Pardesi highlights the factors that pushed both countries in this new, collaborative direction.

This article was originally published by the East-West Center (EWC) in March 2017.

As China asserts itself economically and militarily, the United States is faced with maintaining a balance of power in East Asia and safe-guarding its global dominance. In contrast to its competitive position with China, the US relationship with India--projected to be the third-largest economy by 2030--is set on a more collaborative course. American support for a rising India aligns with its broader security and strategic goals. India, for its part, remains intent on achieving a position of regional primacy, but welcomes the US presence in the South Asia/Indian Ocean region. The two nations, for example, have signed an agreement giving each other access to military facilities, and they conduct many bilateral military exercises. These developments are a far cry from the mid-twentieth century, when Jawaharlal Nehru called for the removal of all foreign militaries from Asia. What factors pushed the India-US relationship in this new direction? And what shared interests and goals does the partnership reinforce?

Indian IT is dead!

But Indian information technology workers might do better without the companies that held them back, says Mihir S Sharma.

Let’s give President Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he genuinely believes that he was elected to protect American workers.

He did promise on the campaign trail to “direct the Department of Labour to investigate all abuses of visa programmes that undercut the American worker”. But even if that were the stated motivation behind the changes his administration rolled out to the work visa programme recently, their effect is to help American companies, instead.

Three major alterations were made to the H-1B visa system by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. It said it would make more “targeted” visits to companies that hire workers on H-1B visas. It would focus on cases where the companies were difficult to validate; where there was a high ratio of H-1B to “regular” workers; and, finally, places where H-1Bs worked “offsite at another company or organisation’s location”.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Justice issued a “caution” to companies seeking H-1B visas to “not discriminate against US workers”. It threatened to “investigate and vigorously prosecute” claims that US workers were disadvantaged by companies that had applied for H-1B visas.

A third US government agency, the Department of Labour, is similarly energised; its head promised during his confirmation hearings to investigate any layoffs that “result” from H-1B visas being granted.

This may not, of course, be as much a product of Mr Trump’s own instincts - to the extent he has any in this domain - as the long-held beliefs of some of his appointees. The man Mr Trump set to head the Department of Justice, for example, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has had a long history of attacking work visa programmes.

19 April 2017

Energy Fact & Opinion: India Joins International Energy Agency as an Association Country

In March 2017, India activated the association status with the International Energy Agency (IEA), an organization comprising 29 member countries and 6 association countries. 

Membership in the IEA, which is restricted to advanced economy members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), requires them to demonstrate their net oil importer status, have reserves equivalent to 90 days’ average of crude oil and/or oil products imports in the prior years, and have a demand restraint program for reducing national oil consumption by up to 10 percent. 

In an effort to reflect the rising role of non-OECD economies with major impact on the global energy market, the IEA introduced the “association” status in 2015. Since its inception, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Morocco, and now India have become associated with the IEA. 

The association status allows these countries to participate in meetings of IEA standing groups, committees, and working parties, without prior invitation. Association countries can work with the IEA on matters of energy security, energy data and statistics, energy policy analysis, and benefit from priority access to IEA training and capacity-building activities. 
With India’s inclusion, the IEA accounts for about 70 percent of the world’s energy consumption.