The Anna Hazare effect and the fight against anti-corruption resonated in faraway Austria on Wednesday.
The President Pratibha Devisingh Patil said India would soon join The International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) in Austria. The announcement came after her Austrian counterpart, President Heinz Fischer strongly urged the Indian Presidential Delegation to do so in the bilateral talks that were held in Vienna on Wednesday.
IACA, which was launched in March 2011, is a joint initiative launched by Austria along with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other stakeholders. Situated in Laxenburg, 15 km from Vienna, it is largely an educational body that aims to overcome shortcomings in knowledge and practice in the field of anti-corruption.
President Patil, who is on a state visit here, later told the press that India looks to fight corruption seriously and efficiently. "The modalities are being worked out - and we hope to soon join the IACA," she added.
The bilateral talks also touched upon India's elevation to becoming a permanent member in the United Nations Security Council. President Fisher said his country felt this was a legitimate demand and his country would back it. "We believe that the largest democracy and a country with the second largest inhabitants in the world should be a part of the expanded UNSC," he emphasised.
The bilateral talks also yielded two memorandums of understanding (MOU) that was signed by both parties today. The first MOU was between the Ministry of Railways and the Austrian ministry of transport and will help in technology transfer to the Indian Railways. The other one, signed by the Department of Science and Technology and the Austrian Science Fund, looks to augment research in mutual interest areas.