This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “INDIA VIETNAM RELATIONS”. The topic “INDIA VIETNAM RELATIONS” has relevance in the International Relations section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

About INS Kirpan?

Facts About Vietnam?

For Mains:

GS 2: International Relations

Areas of Cooperation Between India and Vietnam?

Challenges in India-Vietnam Relations?

Why in the news?

The Navy has decommissioned INS Kirpan and handed it over to Vietnam People’s Navy, Reflecting the growing defence ties and strategic partnership between New Delhi and Hanoi.

About INS Kirpan

INS Kirpan is a warship belonging to the Indian Navy. It is classified as a Khukri class missile corvette. The Khukri class corvettes are a group of naval vessels equipped with various capabilities to fulfill multiple roles, including coastal and offshore patrol, surface warfare, coastal security, anti-piracy operations

key features of INS Kirpan:

  • Commissioning: INS Kirpan was commissioned into the Indian Navy on January 12, 1991. It became an active part of the Indian Navy’s fleet to fulfill its designated roles and responsibilities.
  • Propulsion: The corvette is powered by Diesel Engines assembled in India under license by Kirloskar Group. This use of indigenous engines showcases India’s efforts in self-reliance and the growth of its defense capabilities.
  • Indigenous Content: Approximately 65% of the ship’s components and systems are indigenous, further highlighting India’s commitment to domestic defense production and technological advancements.
  • Speed and Maneuverability: INS Kirpan is capable of achieving a speed of more than 25 knots, which allows it to operate effectively in various maritime environments and execute its missions efficiently.
  • Armaments: The missile corvette is equipped with a range of armaments, including missile systems, guns, and other offensive and defensive weaponry. These armaments enable it to engage threats effectively and protect vital sea lanes.
  • Versatility: INS Kirpan’s design and capabilities make it a versatile naval asset, capable of carrying out various tasks in different scenarios. From safeguarding coastal regions to conducting combat operations, it contributes significantly to India’s maritime security.

INS Kirpan decommissioned

Facts About Vietnam:

  • Location: Southeast Asia, bordered by China, Laos, Cambodia, and the South China Sea.
  • Capital: Hanoi
  • Largest Rivers: The Mekong in the south and the Red in the north, ending at the South China Sea.
  • Currency: Vietnamese Dong (VND)
  • Independence: September 2, 1945, from France.
  • Historical Events: Vietnam War (1955-1975) involving the US and North and South Vietnam, followed by reunification in 1976.


Areas of Cooperation Between India and Vietnam:

Historical and Diplomatic Relations:

  • In 1956, India took a significant step in strengthening bilateral ties by establishing the Consul General’s office in Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. 
  • India supported Vietnam in opposing US intervention during the Vietnam War, which contributed to strengthening bilateral ties.

Strategic Partnership: In July 2007, India and Vietnam elevated their relations to a “Strategic Partnership,” signifying a deeper engagement in various fields.

Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: In 2016, the bilateral relations were further elevated to a “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” indicating a comprehensive and multifaceted cooperation.

Economic Cooperation:

Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC): Both countries are members of MGC, working towards enhancing ties between India and Southeast Asian nations and promoting development cooperation.

Bilateral Trade: In the financial year 2021-22, bilateral trade between India and Vietnam reached USD 14.14 billion, with a 27% growth rate.

Capacity Building: India provides training programs and scholarships under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) to Vietnam, contributing to Vietnam’s socio-economic development.

Political Backing:

  • Both countries support each other in various international forums and organizations, exemplifying their commitment to global cooperation.
  • Vietnam has supported India’s bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Defense Cooperation:

  • India extended a Line of Credit (LoC) of USD 100 million in September 2014 for the procurement of 12 high-speed patrol boats for the Vietnamese border guard force.
  • In 2016, an additional USD 500 million defense LoC was extended to Vietnam.
  • A Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam defense partnership towards 2030 was signed in June 2022.
  • The countries conduct joint army exercises, like the Vietnam-India Bilateral Army Exercise (Ex VINBAX).

Maritime Security and Cooperation:

  • Both countries firmly support freedom of navigation, overflight, and lawful commerce in national waters, in accordance with international laws, particularly UNCLOS.
  • India and Vietnam emphasize that the South China Sea Code of Conduct should be consistent with relevant UN conventions and respect the legitimate rights and interests of nations not participating in the discussions.


Challenges in India-Vietnam Relations:

  • Regional Geopolitical Complexities: Both countries navigate complex regional dynamics, particularly concerning the South China Sea, which may impact their bilateral cooperation.
  • Economic Imbalances: While trade has grown, addressing trade imbalances and promoting more balanced economic ties remains a challenge.
  • Connectivity: Improving physical and digital connectivity between India and Vietnam to enhance trade and people-to-people exchanges.
  • Competition for Influence: Amidst growing engagement, both nations face competition from other major powers seeking to expand their influence in Southeast Asia.
  • Non-Tariff Barriers: Addressing non-tariff barriers and ensuring a conducive business environment for investments and trade.
  • Defense Coordination: Enhancing coordination in defense cooperation and joint military exercises to address regional security concerns.


Q.1 In the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, an initiative of six countries, which of the following is/are not a participant/ participants?

  1. Bangladesh
  2. Cambodia
  3. China
  4. Myanmar
  5. Thailand

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1 and 3
(d) 1, 2 and 5

Answer: (c)

Q.2 Consider the following pairs: 

River Flows into
1. Mekong Andaman Sea
2. Thames Irish Sea
3. Volga Caspian Sea
4. Zambezi Indian Ocean

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only
(c) 3 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2 and 4 only

Answer: (c)

Q.3 Discuss the evolving dynamics of India-Vietnam relations and the challenges faced in deepening their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Also, analyze the potential areas of cooperation and the role of regional geopolitics in shaping their bilateral ties.

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