German De­vel­op­ment Minister Müller visits India, signs agreements on renewable energy

Meetings with women's rights advocate and young people, visit to project for street children

Together with Indian Finance Minister Chidambaram, German Development Minister Müller signed two agreements on development cooperation in Delhi

05.02.2014 |

Delhi – German De­vel­op­ment Minister Gerd Müller is accompanying Federal President Joachim Gauck during his state visit to India. Today, for the first time, agreements on de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion with India were signed as part of such a high-ranking visit. Together with Indian Finance Minister Chidambaram, Minister Müller signed two agreements in Delhi totalling almost 900 million euros (including 5.45 million euros for consultancy projects of the German Environment Ministry). Almost all of this funding is being provided in the form of loans.

After the signing of the agreements, Minister Müller highlighted their importance for bilateral de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion. "We have developed our co­op­er­a­tion instruments in line with the times. India is an emerging economy that still requires high levels of investment. At the same time, it is an equal partner for us. By focusing our co­op­er­a­tion on energy efficiency and renewable energy, sus­tain­able use of natural resources and sus­tain­able growth, we are addressing issues that are im­por­tant for the future of both of our coun­tries. And we are tackling major challenges, such as climate change mitigation and pov­er­ty reduction in a coun­try that is home to the largest number of poor people worldwide."

The Indo-German agreements that have been signed include a commitment for 250 million euros to support the feeding of power from renewable sources into India's grid. At the second Indo-German intergovernmental consultations at Cabinet level, which were held in Berlin in April 2013, the German side promised a total of one billion euros in support of this flagship project (referred to as "Green Energy Corridors").

Later today, Minister Müller will have a meeting with Kamla Bhasin, a well-known Indian women's rights activist who is involved in various non-governmental organisations, doing powerful advocacy work for gender equality in India. One such initiative is the Jagori training centre, which was co-founded by Kamla Bhasin and receives financial support from the BMZ. Jagori is involved in campaign work and provides advice and training to women to educate them about their rights and encourage them to assert these rights. Jagori was also involved in the official commission which voiced recommendations for the protection of women's rights after a fatal rape incident in 2012.

Minister Müller said, "The protection of women's rights is a matter to which I attach great importance. Kamla Bhasin's long-standing commitment to women's rights merits great respect."

Minister Müller will also visit a non-governmental organisation in the centre of Delhi that is called "Butterflies" and seeks to reintegrate street children into society, and he will have a discussion with young people about ways of building a society that offers equal opportunities for women and ethnic and religious minorities.

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