India is playing host to the first-ever 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with Australia, which brings together Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Peter Dutton from the Australian side and Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from the Indian side.
The meeting, on September 11, highlights Australia as a partner in the Quad initiative and the Indo-Pacific. It is also a partner in trilateral constructs like India-Australia-Indonesia and India-Australia-France.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, Trade Ministers of India, Australia, and Japan have launched the Supply Chain Resilience Initiative (SCRI) to diversify and secure supply chains.
There is an active mechanism of regular consultations on various pillars, including the annual meetings of the Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers' Dialogue, Trade Ministerial Commission, Education Ministerial Council, Energy Dialogue at Ministerial level, Defence Policy Talks, Defence Services Staff Talks, and Working Groups in different sectors.
The India-Australia cooperation covers sectors like maritime cooperation, defence science exchanges, mutual logistics support, cooperation in cyber-enabled critical technology, critical and strategic materials, water resources management, vocational education and training, and public administration and governance.
Australia is seen as a resource powerhouse and has large deposits of several types of critical minerals, which India requires and is also a major educational destination for Indian students, who currently number over 100,000.