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Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement

The U.S. is keen that India sign the last foundational agreement, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-Spatial cooperation (BECA), at the next India-U.S. 2+2 ministerial dialogue.

Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement

  • A maritime information agreement is also under active deliberation between India and the US. Once concluded, India will have such arrangements with all Quad countries — Australia, Japan and the U.S.
  • Beginning 2016, India has signed three foundational agreements: the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), the 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.
  • There has been a sharp increase in India’s maritime interactions with the Quad countries on a bilateral basis centred around information sharing for improved Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) in the Indian Ocean Region and Indo-Pacific.

About GSOMIA 

  • It was signed in 2002 between India and USA.
  • GSOMIA paved the way for greater technology cooperation in the military sector.
  • It allows the sharing of classified information from the U.S. government and American companies with the Government of India and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSU) but not with Indian private companies.

About LEMOA 

  • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) is a logistics support agreement signed in 2016.
  • It gives both the nations access to each other’s military facilities. But it does not make it automatic or obligatory.
  • It is a tweaked India-specific version of the Logistics Support Agreement (LSA) which the U.S. has with several countries it has close military to military cooperation. 
  • The agreement will primarily cover four areas — port calls, joint exercises, training and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. Any other requirement has to be agreed upon by both sides on a case-by-case basis.

About COMCASA 

  • COMCASA is an India-specific version of the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA). It comes into force immediately and is valid for a period 10 years.
  • It would facilitate access to advanced defence systems and enable India to optimally utilise its existing U.S.-origin platforms.
  • COMCASA allows India to procure transfer specialised equipment for encrypted communications for US origin military platforms like the C-17, C-130 and P-8Is.

About Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement 

  • BECA will allow India to use US expertise on geospatial intelligence and to enhance military accuracy of automated hardware systems and weapons like cruise, ballistic missiles and drones.
  • It would set a framework through which the US could share sensitive data to aid targeting and navigation with India.