Australian Minister for Resources, Mr Matthew Canavan, currently on a three-day visit to India, met the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh here yesterday and discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest between the two countries, particularly those pertaining to the growth and expansion of the nuclear programme.
During his meeting with Dr Jitendra Singh, the Australian Minister was assisted by an expert delegation including Mr. James Martin, Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Resources, Government of Australia and Mr. Paul Trotman, Senior Advisor in the Ministry of Resources in Australia. The Australian High Commissioner Ms. Harinder Sidhu was also present. Dr Jitendra Singh shared with his Australian counterpart, the progress made under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for implementing the India-Australia Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement. He said, this will further boost the expansion of nuclear programme and would be of mutual advantage to both the nations.
Dwelling on the traditional friendly ties between the two nations, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India has always shared a consistently uniform harmony with Australia, which makes it far more easier for the two nations to strike a common chord for mutual collaboration in every other field of bilateral interest. He said, under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India has made a fast-track headway in scientific areas, including Atomic Energy and Space Technology, and at the same time, there has been a more inclusive approach, which has resulted in placing India as a front-line nation in both its nuclear energy capabilities as well as Space technology achievements.
Dr Jitendra Singh informed the Australian delegation that, in the last two-and-a-half years of the present government, India’s nuclear programme, which was hitherto mostly confined to Southern and Western parts of the country, has now made itself visible with important installations coming up in other parts of the country, including in the National Capital’s neighbourhood at Haryana’s Gorakhpur town. At the same time, he said, the Indian nuclear planners have set a target of increasing the available Uranium reserve to twice or thrice the present quantity, because in the years to come, nuclear energy is going to be the most important as well as cost effective source for growing energy needs of India.
Mr. Canavan spoke about his experience in setting up credible nuclear programme in Australia. He also spoke of the Australian government’s earnest desire to expand its own nuclear programme and at the same time also referred to Australia’s capability to provide reliable Uranium supplies.