President Obama’s visit to India | NDTV file photo

The hotlines or secure lines of communication between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama and their national security advisors have recently become operational, though it has not been put to use during its short lifespan so far.“It (hotline) has just recently been established,” Peter R. Lavoy, Special Assistant to US President and Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council of the White House said.

“It (hotline) has not been used so far,” he said when asked if the two leaders have used this latest tool of secure communication.

The decision regarding Obama-Modi hotline was made during Mr. Obama’s historic visit to New Delhi to attend Republic Day on January 26, as its chief guest. “Hotline has connotation of some crisis management phone or system that was used during the cold war to defuse crisis. That’s not what we have,” Mr. Lavoy explained.

“This is a secure line between two very very close partners so that they can exchange views at the heads of state level…exchange views and co-ordinate approaches to solving real problems,” said the top White House official.

With this India becomes only the fourth country- after Russia, Great Britain and China – with which the US has a hotline.

For India this is the first hotline at the level of head of state.