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India, US are ready to break down barriers to closer technology and defense cooperation: Experts | India news

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WASHINGTON: The launch of the India-US Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and his US counterpart Jake Sullivan is an important signal that the two countries are ready to break down barriers, build ties in the field of advance technology and strengthen defense cooperation, experts said.
Sullivan and Doval met at the White House on Tuesday along with their respective high-powered delegations for the inaugural iCET dialogue.
Announced during the bilateral talks of US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Tokyo last May, the iCET is led by the National Security Councils of both countries.
It aimed at strengthening the partnership between the US and India on technologies that will boost global growth, strengthen the economic competitiveness of both countries and protect shared national security interests.
“Helding the inaugural iCET meeting between Indian and US national security advisers is an important milestone for the relationship and indicates the two sides are ready to break down barriers to closer technology and defense cooperation.” Lisa CurtisSenior Fellow and director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at Center for New American Security told PTI.
Curtis, a former CIA official, served as Deputy Assistant to the President and NSC Senior Director for South and Central Asia from 2017 to 2021, during which she played a key role in shaping India-US ties.
“Both sides benefit from the emerging technology partnership: India will gain access to defense technologies that will enhance its capabilities at a time when border friction between China and India is increasing and clashes such as those at Galwan Valley in June 2020 and at Tawang in December 2022 are becoming more common before,” explains Curtis.
“For its part, the US will benefit from improving scientific collaboration and harmonizing standards and ethical approaches to technology development with an influential democratic force with a vibrant economy and burgeoning engineering talent in the heart of the Indo-Pacific,” said she.
Curtis said it was important to establish the technology dialogue at the NSA level because it can convene the various government agencies and departments within their respective bureaucracies to take action and move cooperation forward.
“The launch of iCET is a pivotal moment in the US-India partnership,” Mukesh Aghi, president of the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) told PTI. The completion of work on the long-awaited NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) Earth observation satellite is an excellent example of how the US-India partnership in space can benefit the world.
“Climate change is a real threat to us, and NISAR brings both countries closer to fighting this threat,” he said.
“The launch of iCET is like the big bang moment for the scientists in both countries. It will provide opportunities for deeper collaboration and more research between the two countries. USISPF is excited to see the launch come to fruition,” said Aghi.
The US India Business Council commended the Biden administration for working with India to launch the iCET.
“By strengthening our technology partnership with India, we will make both of our economies stronger and ready to shape the next phase of global growth,” it said. According to Ronak D. Desai, a leading Indian practitioner at Paul Hastings LLP and an expert at the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University, said the iCET is a powerful reminder of the truly multidimensional nature of US-India ties, as well as the extent to which bilateral relations span virtually every arena of human collaboration imaginable.
“The promise of iCET is tremendous and offers the opportunity for the United States and India to achieve new, unprecedented levels of convergence in critical areas of interest to both countries,” he said.
The symbolism of the iCET dialogue is just as important as the content that underpins it.
The initiative represents another formidable investment by the United States in its strategic partnership with India. It underscores the Biden administration’s desire to further expand and improve its relationship with India at a particularly crucial international moment, Desai said.
The historic dialogue provides an unprecedented opportunity for key segments of the US and Indian private sector to further collaborate and become key stakeholders in the burgeoning relationship between the US and India, Desai added.

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