World Politics

Indo-US Deals: Looks Like A New World Order?

India and the United States have recently reached a series of agreements that signify a deepening partnership between the two nations.

These agreements cover various sectors, including technology, defence, visas, student exchanges, and more. The collaboration aims to foster innovation, strengthen economic ties, enhance defence capabilities, and promote people-to-people exchanges. In this article, we will delve into the details of these agreements and explore their significance in shaping the future of India-US relations.

Technology Sector Agreements

  • Strengthening semiconductor supply chains: Micron Technology, Inc., in collaboration with the India Semiconductor Mission, has committed to investing over $800 million in a state-of-the-art semiconductor assembly and test facility in India. This substantial investment, part of a $2.75 billion project, will bolster India’s semiconductor industry and contribute to the global supply chain.
  • Critical minerals partnership: India has joined the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP), a multinational initiative focused on establishing sustainable critical energy minerals supply chains. Through financial and diplomatic support, the MSP aims to expedite strategic projects along the value chain, ensuring the availability of critical minerals for both India and the United States.
  • Advanced telecommunications: Joint Task Forces between India and the United States have been formed to drive the development and deployment of Open RAN systems and advanced telecoms research. The Bharat 6G initiative in India and the Next G Alliance in the US will collaborate to advance research in telecommunications, paving the way for groundbreaking technologies and improved connectivity.
  • New Frontiers in Space: India has signed the Artemis Accords, a commitment to peaceful exploration and utilisation of space for the benefit of all. By becoming a signatory, India reinforces its dedication to international collaboration in space exploration, propelling scientific discoveries and technological advancements.
  • Quantum, Advanced Computing, and Artificial Intelligence: The establishment of a Joint Indo-US Quantum Coordination Mechanism will foster collaborative research in the fields of quantum computing, advanced computing, and artificial intelligence. This mechanism, involving both the public and private sectors, will facilitate knowledge exchange and drive innovation in these cutting-edge domains.
  • Cutting-edge research: The US National Science Foundation has unveiled 35 joint research collaborations with the Indian Department of Science and Technology. These collaborations will address key scientific challenges and promote knowledge sharing between Indian and American researchers. Additionally, a cooperative arrangement has been established with the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to focus on emerging technologies, further enhancing research and development efforts.
  • Innovation Handshake: The US-India Commercial Dialogue has launched the “Innovation Handshake” initiative, fostering connections between start-up ecosystems in both countries. This collaborative platform will support the US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) and facilitate the exchange of ideas, expertise, and resources, fueling innovation in critical sectors.
  • Fibre Optics Investments: Sterlite Technologies Limited from India has made a significant investment of $100 million to establish an optical fibre cable manufacturing unit in South Carolina, USA. This venture will bolster the production capacity of high-quality optical fibres and promote exports, further strengthening the technological ties between the two nations.

Defence Sector Agreements

  • GE F414 Engine Co-Production: General Electric (GE) has proposed a pioneering initiative to jointly produce the F414 Jet Engine in India. This collaboration has garnered support from both the United States and India. The co-production of these engines will power the Tejas Mark 2 aircraft, benefiting Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • General Atomics MQ-9Bs: India has decided to procure armed MQ-9B SeaGuardian Drones from General Atomics, elevating its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. These advanced drones will enhance India’s defence capabilities and strengthen its security posture.
  • New Sustainment and Ship Repair: The United States Navy has entered into a Master Ship Repair Agreement (MSRA) with Larsen and Toubro Shipyard in Chennai, and agreements with Mazagon Dock Limited (Mumbai) and Goa Shipyard (Goa) are being finalised. This collaboration allows Indian shipyards to undertake the repair and maintenance of a significant portion of the US Indo-Pacific fleet. It not only strengthens bilateral defence ties but also boosts the Indian shipbuilding industry.
  • Defence “Innovation Bridge”: The inauguration of the India-US Defence Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) establishes a network of stakeholders comprising universities, incubators, corporations, think tanks, and private investments. This collaborative platform aims to foster innovation in defence technology by facilitating research, development, and prototyping of future military technologies.
  • Defence Industrial Cooperation Roadmap: A comprehensive roadmap has been introduced to guide defence industrial cooperation between India and the United States. This roadmap promotes policy guidance for defence industries, enabling the co-production of advanced defence systems and encouraging collaborative research and development. The initiative focuses on strengthening technological capabilities and enhancing defence self-sufficiency.

Visas, Student Exchanges, and More

  • Domestic Visa Renewals: The US Department of State will initiate a pilot programme for processing domestic renewals of certain petition-based temporary work visas. This programme eliminates the need for Indian nationals to leave the United States for visa renewal in eligible categories, streamlining the process and enhancing convenience for Indian professionals.
  • New Consulates: The United States plans to open new consulates in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad, which will facilitate increased people-to-people exchanges, promote trade and investment, and strengthen cultural ties between the two countries. Additionally, India aims to announce the opening of two new consulates in the United States, expanding its diplomatic presence and fostering closer engagement.
  • Student Exchanges and Scholarships: A Joint Task Force has been established between the Association of American Universities and leading Indian educational institutions, including the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). This collaborative effort aims to facilitate student exchanges, research collaborations, and scholarships, promoting academic excellence, cross-cultural understanding, and knowledge sharing.

The recent series of agreements between India and the United States signifies a comprehensive partnership focused on technological advancement, defence collaboration, and people-to-people engagement. These agreements pave the way for innovation, economic growth, and enhanced security cooperation. By strengthening semiconductor supply chains, advancing telecommunications research, and promoting critical mineral partnerships, both nations are poised to drive technological advancements in key sectors. The defence agreements will bolster defence capabilities, promote joint production, and facilitate ship repair, bolstering strategic cooperation. Additionally, initiatives related to visas, consulates, and student exchanges will foster closer ties and promote cultural understanding. As India and the United States embark on this path of collaboration, they are set to shape a brighter and more prosperous future together.

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