King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands paid a 5 day official visit to India at the invitation of Indian president Shri Ram Nath Kovind, from October 13-17 2019 to boost bilateral and political cooperation between the two nations. This was the first visit to India by the king since his ascension to the throne in 2013. Their visit in Detail are as follows,
25th DST-CII India Netherlands Summit in New Delhi:
On october 15, 2019 the 25th edition of two day organised DST (Department of Science & Technology)-CII India Netherlands Technology Summit was held in New Delhi. The summit was inaugurated by King Willem-Alexander. The Netherlands is the partner country of the summit. The central theme of the summit was ‘NEXUS’ to co-create on pioneering innovative solutions for global challenges.
- Focus: The core focus of the summit was Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), NEXUS of water-agriculture-health, entrepreneurship, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence(AI), Internet of Things(IoT), cybersecurity, Design Thinking, Education, Geo Data & Space.
- Book released: Ms. Mona Keijzer, Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare(MoHFW) and Science and Technology , together released a book titled,“Science, Technology and Innovation Partnership”.
- Netherlands served as the gateway for India’s 20% of exports to the European Union(EU), where India is the 28th largest trading partner globally and 6th largest trading partner from EU.
- Investment: India is one among the top 5 investors of Netherlands and between 2000 and 2017, the Netherlands too had invested $24.31 billion in India. India developed 40,000 startups over the last 5 years, with 31 of them having achieved the Unicorn status (company valued at over 1 billion dollar). It also ranks 3rd globally in terms of number of start-ups. The Netherlands is India’s 4th largest trading partner in the EU. Bilateral trade turnover of both the nations has been USD12.87 billion(2018-2019).
- India and the Netherlands celebrated 10 years of cooperation in areas like science, technology, innovation space, urban water management, smart energy grids, and anti-microbial resistance.
- The two nations discussed to work on climate change, terrorism and depletion of natural resources. Netherlands also expressed its interest to help India in doubling farmers income by improving water technology in the Indian farm sector.
- Members present: Queen Maxima, Shri Vikram Kirloskar, President of CII; Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary of DST and other officials were present.
Indo-Netherlands to cooperate on 8 projects:
Indian govt and institutes of India have announced a partnership with the Netherlands on 8 projects during the CII India Netherlands Technology Summit. They are as follows
- Testing of a flying car developed by a company from the Netherlands in Gujarat for border control, policing, and first aid.
- Prevention of pollution and efficient water use in Kanpur-Unnao leather cluster in Uttar Pradesh.
- Waste to wealth project in Hindon, Uttar Pradesh.
- Healthy villages through primary health and wellness centres.
- Next generation automotive.
- Internet innovations.
- Netherlands to cooperate with India to become the food factory of the world.
Second phase of the LOTUS-HR launched:
The 2nd phase of the Indo-Dutch project called Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse, or LOTUS-HR was launched at India-Netherlands water laboratory Barapullah drain in New Delhi by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Earth Sciences, and the Netherlands King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.
- Aim: The project was first initiated in July 2007 with the aim of demonstrating water management approach to produce clean water that could also be reused.
- In this second phase 10 thousand lakhs sewage water will be treated per day after commissioning of pilot scale modular plant.
- Generated data: The data generated at the pilot scale would be used as a toolbox for water treatment at other sites of Delhi too. The technologies from this toolbox would depend on quantity (flow rate) and quality (pollutant load) of drain water, land availability, site accessibility and topography.
- Project support: The project is supported by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research(NWO- accordingly to Dutch translation), govt of Netherlands.
- A part of this LOTUS-HR initiative was Wetlab, a networking platform for both nation professionals in contributing to the cleaning up of Indian rivers with innovative ideas.
- Members present: The Lieutenant Governor(LG) of Delhi, Shri Anil Baijal; Principal Scientific Advisor to GoI, Shri Vijay Raghavan; Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Ms. Renu Swarup and other officials were present at the event.
Visit to Mumbai and Kerala:
Visit to Mumbai: The Dutch King and Queen on October 16, 2019 visited Mumbai as part of their second leg of visit and inaugurated an exhibition titled ‘Indo-Dutch Connections in the Age of Rembrandt’ at an iconic museum celebrating 400 years of shared cultural heritage of the two nations in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Art work of Dutch painter Rembrandt was showcased during the exhibition. The exhibition also commemorated the 350th death anniversary of Rembrandt.
- The exhibition is the first ever cooperation in India between the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
- A book, titled ‘The Unseen World: India & the Netherlands from 1550’ published by Rijks museum and commissioned by same to highlight the cultural ties between both countries was conceptualised during the exhibition.
Visit to Kerala: The Dutch King and Queen paid a two day visit to Kerala from October 17-18,2019 where they attended seminar titled ‘India and the Netherlands – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’ at the Dutch palace in Mattancherry, Kerala.
- Map of Kerala which was prepared by the Dutch centuries ago was unveiled by the Dutch king. The map was readied at the Dutch Gallery at the museum by the Netherlands National Archives(NA).
- Archived documents exchange: Both nations signed agreement to exchange copies of archived documents.
- As part of two day visit, the dutch couple visited Kochi, where they were welcomed by Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Minister for Education C. Ravindranath, Chief Secretary Tom Jose, State Police Chief Loknath Behera, District Collector S. Suhas and finally met the Kerala Chief Minister(CM) Pinarayi Vijayan.
About the Netherlands:
Capital: Amsterdam (also the largest city)