IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

2+2 Ministerial dialogue | India to sign geo-spatial cooperation BECA with U.S.

28th October, 2020 International Relations

Context: India and the U.S. will sign the last foundational agreement, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial cooperation (BECA) during the 2+2 ministerial dialogue.

  • S. is keen on India signing BECA and discussions continued to iron out the differences.
  • One of the major differences is the issue of reciprocity in exchange of geo-spatial data.
  • A maritime information agreement is also under discussion between India and the US.
  • India already has such agreement with other Quad countries, Australia and Japan.

Liason officers

  • Two Ministers “also discussed requirements of expanding deployments of liaison officers.”
  • India has posted a liaison officer at the U.S. Navy Central Command in Bahrain.
  • India is also considering U.S. request for posting liaison officers at the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) and the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

Focus areas

  • Talks focus on four themes
    • regional security cooperation,
    • defence information sharing,
    • military-to-military interactions, and
    • defence trade.


  • BECA will allow for expanded geospatial information sharing between our armed forces.
    • It seeks to expand secure communication capabilities between our respective militaries as well as between our foreign and defence ministries, and that too figures prominently on what we are trying to accomplish in the information-sharing space.

India-US defence relations

  • “India maintains the largest fleets of C-17 and P-8 aircraft outside of the United States, and as of 2020, the United States has authorised more than $20 billion in defence sales to India,”.
  • Beginning 2016, India has signed three foundational agreements:
  • The Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA),
  • Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA)
  • While the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was signed a long time ago.
  • An extension to the GSOMIA, the Industrial Security Annex (ISA), was signed at the last 2+2 dialogue.

India and Quad

  • India announced that Australia will join the Malabar exercise next month consisting of Japan and the U.S.
  • There has been a sharp increase in India’s maritime interactions with the Quad countries on a bilateral basis centered around information sharing for improved Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) in the Indian Ocean Region and Indo-Pacific.