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Bilateral Relations

Brief on India-Mongolia Relations

India-Mongolia Relations

India and Mongolia have interacted through history over a period of 2600 years. Following the emergence of Mongolia as a modern nation state in the 20th century, the two countries have continued to build relations based on shared historical and cultural legacy.

Political Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations: Diplomatic relations between India and Mongolia were established on 24 December 1955. India was the first country outside the Socialist bloc to establish diplomatic relations with Mongolia. India supported Mongolia in having UN and NAM memberships. 2015 marks the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Mongolia.

Exchange of High Level Visits: Mongolia was visited by Presidents Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil (2011) and President R.Venkataraman (1988); Vice-Presidents Dr. S. Radhakrishnan (1957), Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma (1992), Mr. KR Narayanan (1996), and Krishan Kant (1999) and Lok Sabha Speakers Dr. G.S. Dhillon (1974), Dr. Balram Jhakhar (1985), Mr. Shivraj Patil (1995), Mr. P.A. Sangma (1997) Mr. GMC Balayogi (2001) and Mrs. Meira Kumar (2010)

Important visits from Mongolia to India were the Chairmen of the Presidium U. Tsendenbal (1959) and Mr. Bathmunkh (1989); Presidents P. Ochirbaat (1994), President N. Bagabandi (2001) and President Ts. Elbegdorj (2009); Chairmen of the State Great Hural Mr. N. Bagabandi (1996), Mr. R. Gonchigdorj (1998), Mr. S. Tumur-Ochir (2003) and Mr. D. Demberel (2010); Prime Ministers Mr. Tsendenbal (1973 and earlier in 1959 as Chairman of the   Presidium), N. Enkhbayar (2004 and earlier as the then Leader of Opposition in 1999).

State Visit of President Pratibha Devisingh Patil to Mongolia in July 2011: President of India paid a State Visit to Mongolia from 27-30 July 2011.  She was accompanied by an official delegation, including Cabinet Minister and Members of Parliament, and a composite business delegation. India confirmed providing a line of credit of US $ 20 million for India-Mongolia Joint Information Technology Education and Outsourcing Centre to be established in Ulaanbaatar.  India also agreed to upgrade and modernize Rajiv Gandhi Polytechnic College for Production and Art and the Atal Behari Vajpayee Centre for Excellence in Information and Communication Technology Education and to work with Mongolian authorities on Joint India-Mongolia School to be set up at Ulaanbaatar. During the visit bilateral Defence cooperation agreement, an MOU on media exchanges and an MOU on cooperation between Planning Commission of India and National Development and Innovation Committee (NDIC) were signed. There were discussions on cooperation in peaceful uses of radioactive minerals and nuclear energy and improving air connectivity between the two countries. President of India felicitated President Elbegdorj on Mongolia assuming the Chair of ‘Community of Democracies’.  Mongolia reiterated its support to India becoming a permanent member of a reformed and expanded UNSC.

Visit of Mongolian Leaders: An India-Mongolian Joint Declaration was issued following the visit of Premier Yu. Tsendenbal in February 1973. The Declaration includes general principles to guide bilateral relations. In February 1994, a Treaty of Friendly Relations and Co-operation was signed during the visit of President Ochirbat to India.

During the state visit of Mongolian President Natsagiin Bagabandi in 2001, a Joint Declaration was issued outlining the future direction of bilateral relations. Six Agreements were also signed during the visit relating to Extradition, Defence co-operation, Co-operation in Information Technology, Investment Promotion and Protection, Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters and Mutual Legal Assistance concerning Civil and Commercial Matters.

Mongolian Prime Minister N. Enkhbayar paid a State visit to India in 2004. During the visit, a Joint Statement was issued. Three agreements were signed in the fields of Animal Health and Dairy; Space Science, Technology & Applications; and Biotechnology. Both sides also formalized the ratification of the Extradition Treaty and the Treaty on Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters.

Mongolian President Ts. Elbegdorj paid state visit to India in 2009.  A joint declaration was issued on Comprehensive Partnership on September 14, 2009. The following documents were signed: an intergovernmental Agreement on ‘Stabilization Loan’ of USD 25 million, a Cooperation Agreement in Health and Medical Sector, Cultural Exchange Programme for 2009-2012, an MOU on Statistical Cooperation and an MOU on the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy.

Bilateral Cooperation Mechanism: There is an institutional mechanism for enhancing bilateral cooperation between India and Mongolia through ‘India-Mongolia Joint Committee on Cooperation (IMJCC)’ headed by Minister of State for External Affairs on  the Indian side and Minister of Education and Science from Mongolia.  Fourth meeting of I-MJCC was held at New Delhi on 21 March 2013.

India and Mongolia also cooperate in the defence sector. There is India-Mongolia Joint Working Group for defence cooperation which meets annually. Sixth meeting of this Working Group was held on 21-22 November 2013 in India. Joint India-Mongolia exercise ‘Nomadic Elephant’ is held every year.   India is a regular participant in the multilateral exercise “Khan Quest”.  India contributes to various regular training of Mongolian officers.

A Working Group for cooperation in the field of nuclear energy has been set up between the respective agencies of the two countries i.e. the Department of Atomic Energy and the Nuclear Energy Agency of Mongolia. The second meeting of this Working Group was held in Mumbai from 10-12 December 2012.

Commercial, Economic and Technical Cooperation

During the visit of then Minister for Commerce Shri Pranab Mukherjee in 1994 two MOUs pertaining to the establishment of a Joint Trade Sub-Committee and Co-operation between the Planning Commission of India and the National Development Board of Mongolia were signed. An agreement for co-operation in the field of geology and mineral resources was signed in September 1996. In 1996 during the visit of the then Vice President, Mr. K.R. Narayanan to Mongolia, an Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between India and Mongolia was signed. The Agreement provides for MFN status to each other in respect of customs duties and all other taxes on imports and exports. During the visit of President Bagabandi in 2001, both sides signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement. The main items of exports to Mongolia include medicines, mining machinery and auto parts, etc. Imports from Mongolia include raw wool. India-Mongolia bilateral trade figures for the last five calendar years as per Mongolian statistics are as follows:

(Value in Million USD)

India’s Exports to Mongolia16.845.354.234.212.67
India’s Imports from Mongolia0.
Total Bilateral Trade17.446.760.235.015.71

ITEC Assistance: During President Elbegdorj’s visit to India, 120 slots per annum were earmarked to Mongolia under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC). From 2011-12 slots under ITEC civilian training programme was increased to 150 per year.

Rajiv Gandhi Polytechnic College for Production and Art (RGPCPA): During the visit of Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, Vice President in 1992, it was decided to set up a Vocational Training Centre in Mongolia.  The proposal envisaged training facilities in eight fields. The institution became functional thereafter. Six facilities for vocational training are being upgraded.

Atal Behari Vajpayee Centre for Excellence in ICT: Following an Agreement signed in September 2001 during the visit of Minister for Information Technology Mr. Pramod Mahajan to Mongolia, the Atal Behari Centre of Excellence (ABVCE) in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and 5 Community Information Centres (CICs) in 5 provinces were established.   In 2005, five new CIC were established. This Centre is now connected to all the 21 provincial centres of Mongolia and is extensively used for communication by Mongolian leadership and Members of Parliament. The networking systems of the Centre were upgraded in April 2012.

Solar Energy: A solar energy electrification project was executed by the Central Electronics Ltd. and formally inaugurated on April 29, 2006 in Dadal Soum.  Training of Mongolian experts on solar energy has been organized in India.

Cultural Relations

The India-Mongolian Cultural Agreement signed in 1961 has governed the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) between the two countries. The Agreement envisages co-operation in the fields of education by way of scholarships, exchange of experts, participation in conferences etc. The CEP was subsequently renewed in 2003, 2005 and 2009 for 3-year periods.

Government of India provides 40 scholarships per year to Mongolian nationals for pursuing higher studies in India. Also, 2-4 students are granted scholarships to study Hindi language at Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra every year.

During the visit of Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi, the then Human Resources Development Minister to Mongolia in July 2002 an MOU on cooperation in the field of education, which provided for setting up of an India-Mongolia Joint School in Mongolia and an Exchange Programme in the field of Education was signed. 

A large number of Indian literary work including Panchtantra, Ramayana, Shakuntala, Ritu Samhara, Kamasutra, Godaan, Gaban and Kati Patang have been published in Mongolian language as also major Buddhist scriptures of Indian origin.

Hindi films are fairly popular in Mongolia. The serial Mahabharata, dubbed in Mongolian, has been telecast on Ulaanbaatar TV. A photographic exhibition entitled “Path of Compassion”, another one titled ‘Amrita Shergil Revisited’ and an exhibition of 540 Indian paintings based on a private collection have been organized in Mongolia.

There are regular exchanges of cultural troupe and performances of Indian performing groups are well appreciated in Mongolia.  There is an exchange programme for school children between Bal Bhawan from India and Friendship Centre of Mongolia.

Indian Community

The Indian community in Mongolia is modest, numbering about two hundred according to Mongolian Immigration figures. Most Indians are either employed in organized sector or are self-employed such as operating Indian restaurants which are popular with the Mongolians and foreigners in Mongolia.

There is a small number of Persons of Indian Origin (PIO). They are holding good positions in International Organizations and working in Mongolia.

A small number of Mongolians are connected to India whether by way of being married to Indians or been born and raised in India.

January 2015

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