Angela Merkel, accompanied by a delegation of several cabinet ministers and top officials, arrived here Sunday night on a three-day visit. She will hold wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. Merkel was received at the airport by Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha.
Soon after her arrival, Prime Minister Modi tweeted, “Namaste Chancellor Merkel! Warm welcome to you & the delegation. I look forward to fruitful discussions & strengthening India-Germany ties.”
The talks between Modi and Merkel are likely to focus on deepening bilateral engagement in defence, security, education, renewable energy, high technology, skill development, science and technology, railways, water and waste management, urban development and agriculture.
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Merkel’s visit comes around six months after the Prime Minister’s tour of Germany and there have been expectations of “path-breaking results” from the summit-level Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) between the two leaders, who have been pushing for taking the ties to higher trajectory.
Both the leaders are expected to delve deep on removing bottlenecks for expanding bilateral trade and investments.
The German Chancellor is also accompanied by a delegation of CEOs of top German companies. She is expected to convey problems faced by German industries in proceeding with planned investments.
Both the leaders are also likely to exchange views on regional and global issues of common concern such as climate change.
On Monday, Merkel will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan. She will also visit Rajghat to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
Both Modi and Merkel will have one-on-one meetings before delegation-level talks. Merkel will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee.
Merkel and the Prime Minister will visit Bengaluru on October 6, where both will participate in a business event hosted by NASSCOM and the Fraunhofer Institute.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) October 4, 2015
During Merkel’s visit, both the countries are likely to address the sticky German language issue as they are learnt to have made “substantial progress” in this regard. As per sources, under the broad understanding between the two sides, India will continue to teach German as an additional language in keeping with its three-language policy while Germany will promote Indian languages, including Sanskrit, in their educational institutions.
German was introduced as a third language in Kendriya Vidyalaya Schools on the basis of a memorandum of understanding signed between the KVS and the Goethe Institute in 2011. However, in November last year, the Human Resource Development ministry had decided to discontinue teaching of German as an alternative to Sanskrit and cited “national interests” for its decision.
With PTI inputs