India and US collaboration on technology is not about China: White House
“In order to address global concerns, the United States and India are collaborating more closely”, after the meeting, Blinken tweeted. “I had a nice meeting with Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval to discuss strengthening our strategic alliance”, he added.
NSA Doval is travelling to Washington, DC on official business from January 30 to February 1, 2023, and is being accompanied by senior government officials as well as business executives from India.
NSA engaged in discussions on a variety of bilateral, regional, and global issues of shared concern with US politicians and stakeholders from the government, Congress, business, academic, and research sectors during the visit.
He met with Jake Sullivan, the US National Security Advisor, as well as General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kathleen Hicks, the Acting Secretary of Defense, important Senators, and business titans.
NSA Doval and NSA Sullivan co-chaired the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCETfirst )’s meeting on January 31 at the White House, putting the announcement made by President Joseph Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting in Tokyo in May 2022 into action.
At the launch, the NSA was joined by the Indian Ambassador to the United States, the Principal Scientific Advisor, the Secretary of the Department of Telecommunications, the Chairman of ISRO, the Scientific Advisor to Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, the Director General of DRDO, and other senior officials from the National Security Council Secretariat and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
The objective, according to Sullivan, is for technical partnerships to be “the next significant milestone” in U.S.-Indian relations following a 2016 nuclear power cooperation pact, as reported by the New York Times. A “significant foundational piece of an overall strategy to place the entire democratic world in the Indo-Pacific in a position of strength,” was how he described the endeavour.
iCET aims to position the two countries as trustworthy technology partners by developing technological value chains and supporting the co-development and co-production of commodities. Through a standing mechanism, it also intends to address regulatory limitations, export limits, and mobility impediments. The US side also pledged cooperation for lowering export restrictions to India in a few crucial sectors, including by working to alter the law. Through expos, hackathons, and pitching sessions, a focus was focused on enhancing connections between startup ecosystems and creating innovation bridges in important areas between the two countries.
According to the NYT, the agreements will serve as a litmus test for whether the Biden administration can implement its plan for “friendshoring” by moving the production of some essential components to friendly nations. The persistent reliance of the United States on China for critical items like semiconductors and telecommunications components has alarmed Biden officials. They have tightened restrictions on the export of cutting-edge semiconductor technology to China in recent months in a bid to halt a sector that the White House claims may give China a military advantage.
The daily also stated that the two nations agreed to step up their efforts to develop and produce a number of defense-related technologies together, including artillery systems, jet engines, and armoured infantry vehicles. A fresh proposal by General Electric to manufacture a jet engine with India was said to be rapidly reviewed by the United States.
Both parties built a quantum coordination mechanism with involvement from business and academics as a result of their recognition of the significance of quantum technologies. In the area of semiconductors, the US fostered collaborative ventures and collaborations for sophisticated packaging and mature technological nodes, as well as the growth of an Indian fabrication ecosystem. It was decided to form a task force made up of representatives from the US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), India Electronics Semiconductor Association (IESA), and India’s Semiconductor Mission to create a “readiness assessment” that would help semiconductor ecosystems develop over the long term and identify opportunities in the short term.
IndiaNarrative.com claimed that the two parties decided to concentrate on cooperative production of important goods of shared interest in the defence manufacturing sector. The US promised to assess General Electric’s licence application for the production of jet engines in India for Light Combat Aircraft that are made domestically as quickly as possible. To link both sides’ defence startups, a new Innovation Bridge will be built.
The prospects made possible by the openness of India’s space sector and the involvement of Indian space tech businesses in the US were recognised in the realm of space. The collaboration between ISRO and NASA on potential human spaceflight missions, the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative, and STEM talent exchanges was agreed upon.
Given India’s scale and cost-competitiveness in next-generation telecoms, both parties decided to start a public-private discourse about 5G/6G and ORAN utilising reliable sources.
The Ambassador and the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) inked a new Implementation Arrangement between the Department of Science and Technology of India and the National Science Foundation of the US during the iCET launch. Joint research will increase as a result of the CET.
The conversations held during this visit serve as the foundation for enhancing India-US collaboration in cutting-edge fields and are an accurate reflection of how mature the two countries’ comprehensive, international strategic alliance is. Both nations committed to paying consistent attention to completing objectives with clear deadlines.
The “vital” India-US cooperation, according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, is between “two friends” who are eager to build a democratic technology ecosystem to support their democratic institutions and ideals.
The White House said that the initiatives are not specific to any one country or China when asked if they are directed at China.
“Considering that you asked me about China, you can’t ignore the geopolitical environment in which we live. However, this project is not focused on one country in particular. Actually, it’s about something far broader than that: a friendship between two nations that have been allies for a while.
“… When you consider the economies and the people throughout the world, it is in our interest to strengthen this alliance and deliver for our people. We are two of the world’s leading economies and democracies. So, in our opinion, this is a significant advancement. Additionally, we’ll keep expanding on this innovation-related endeavour, according to the White House Press Secretary.
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