Australia returns 29 Indian artifacts ahead of Modi-Morrison bilateral meet
Australia on Monday returned 29 antiquities to India ahead of a virtual meeting between PM Narendra Modi and his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison. The antiquities--primarily sculptures and paintings--fall into six categories: Shiva and his disciples, worshipping Shakti, Lord Vishnu and his forms, Jain tradition, portraits, and decorative objects. Notably, PM Modi has also inspected all the artifacts.
- The development comes ahead of the bilateral meeting between Modi and Morrison on Monday.
- In this meeting, Australia is likely to announce Rs. 1,500 investment in India.
- Monday's virtual meet is the second such summit between the two leaders. The first one was held on June 4, 2020.
- This marked the elevation of the relationship between the two nations to a 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.'
The artifacts find their roots in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and West Bengal. They belong to different periods, with the earliest dating to the 9-10th century CE. The information was shared by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). The PMO also shared a video, in which PM Modi was seen observing these objects of archeological importance.
According to reports, at the virtual bilateral summit scheduled to be held at 12:30 pm, Australia will announce investments worth Rs. 1,500 crores in India. The investments will reportedly spread across sectors such as education, cleantech, critical minerals, space, foreign trade, skills, innovation, and defense exchanges. This will be the largest investment by Australia in India so far.
Out of the Rs. 1,500 crore investment, Rs 193 crore will be for clean tech and critical minerals. Rs. 136 crore will also be invested in space cooperation. Rs. 152 crore will be invested on a center for foreign trade in Australia, Rs. 97 crores on an initiative on trade, skills, and innovation, and Rs. 93 crore on scientific innovation.
As per reports, an Australia-India young defense officers' exchange program will be launched on Monday. The two countries will also launch scholarships on the lines of the Fulbright or Rhodes scholarships, which will be called the Maitri scholarships, The Indian Express reported. A center for excellence in critical and emerging technologies will also be launched in Bengaluru.