India-USA relations

  • IASbaba
  • February 4, 2023
  • 0
International Relations
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  • The talks between India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan have concluded with the announcement of a new road map for deeper military and techno-economic cooperation between the two countries.
  • The bilateral Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) could lend a new strategic depth and breadth to the expanding engagement between India and the United States.
  • The idea was first mooted in the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden on the margins of the Tokyo summit of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) in 2022

Bilateral relations

  • The U.S.-India strategic partnership is founded on shared values including a commitment to democracy and upholding the rules-based international system.
  • The United States and India have shared interests in promoting global security, stability, and economic prosperity through trade, investment, and connectivity.
  • India and the United States cooperate closely at multilateral organizations, including the United Nations, G-20, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
  • India is an ASEAN dialogue partner, an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development partner, and an observer to the Organization of American States.
  • Together with Australia and Japan, the United States and India convene as the Quad to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific and provide tangible benefits to the region.
  • India is also one of twelve countries partnering with the United States on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) to make our economies more connected, resilient, clean, and fair.
  • India is a member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), at which the United States is a dialogue partner.

Political relations

  • President Biden and Prime Minister Modi have participated in multiple engagements of the Quad Leaders mechanism with Japan and Australia
  • The 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue between the U.S. Secretaries of State and Defense and their Indian counterparts is the premier recurring dialogue mechanism between the United States and India.
  • The United States hosted the fourth 2+2 Dialogue in 2022.
  • The United States welcomed India joining the UN Security Council in 2021 for a two-year term and supports a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.
  • Various working groups – Civil Space Working Group, the Education and Skills Development Working Group, Trade Policy Forum, Defense Policy Group, and Counternarcotics Working Group.

Economic relations

  • In 2021, overall U.S.-India bilateral trade in goods and services reached a record $157 billion.
  • The United States is India’s largest trading partner and most important export market.
  • Indian companies seek to increase their presence in U.S. markets and at the end of 2020, Indian investment in the United States totaled $12.7 billion, supporting over 70,000 American jobs.
  • USA accounts for 16 percent in the exports of goods exports and 50 percent of IT and BPO services.
  • Major items of exports to USA are apparels, diamonds, marine products and footwear – These industries are labour intensive and hence will pave the way for more employment opportunities in the sectors


  • India and USA launched the “Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD)”.
  • Under the Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 partnership
  • It was launched at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate in 2021
  • In 2021, the United States joined the International Solar Alliance headquartered in India
  • In 2022 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power became Co-chair of the Governing Council of the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) where India is a permanent co-chair.
  • In 2021, The India-USA Strategic Clean Energy Partnership (SCEP) was launched in accordance with the US – India Climate and Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership announced by both countries at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate


  • The Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) – is a bi-national autonomous organization established to promote cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation has continued to play an important role in strengthening cooperation in this field.
  • The iCET involves collaboration in a range of areas including quantum computing, semiconductors, 5G and 6G wireless infrastructure, and civilian space projects such as lunar exploration.
  • It will be monitored and driven from the PMO in Delhi and the White House in Washington
  • GE Aerospace has applied for an export licence for jet engine production and phased transfer of technology to Indian entities.
  • ISRO and NASA are working together to realize a joint microwave remote sensing satellite for Earth observation, named NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR).

Defence and Security

  • The Defense Policy Group (DPG) provides a platform for a comprehensive review of defense dialogues/mechanisms.
  • The last DPG was held in 2021.
  • The defense procurement activities are monitored through the Defense Production and Procurement Group (DPPG)
  • In August 2022, a U.S. Navy Ship (USNS) Charles Drew visited in Chennai for repairs and allied services. This was the first ever repair of a U.S. Navy ship in India.
  • US designating India as “Major Defence Partner,” a status unique to India, India is now at par with its closest allies.
  • There is a new panorama for elevated Indo-US cooperation, like signing of Defence Technologies and Trade Initiative (DTTI), BECA, COMCASA, LEMOA etc
  • The signing of Communication Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) –  paved the way for supply of equipment with transfer of technology.
  • The decision to start exchanges between US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT) and Indian navy was another milestone for strengthening maritime cooperation in the Western Indian Ocean.
  • Bilateral exercises include: Yudh Abhyas (Army); Vajra Prahar (Special Forces), a tri-services exercise– Tiger Triumph (inaugurated in 2019).
  • India joined the multilateral Combined Maritime Force (CMF) based in Bahrain, as an Associate Partner in 2022.
  • S. participated in India’s multilateral Exercise Milan 2022.

Indian Diaspora

  • The 3.5-million-plus strong Indian American community is an important ethnic group in the U.S., accounting for about 1% of the total population in the country
  • Almost 21% of total international students in the U.S. are Indians. In 2022 close to 82000 student visas were issued in India, mostly for graduate (Masters) programs
  • The nearly 200,000 Indian students in the United States contribute $7.7 billion annually to the U.S. economy.
  • With two Indian Americans occupying high level posts of Governor and several representatives of the people, the Indian Diaspora has assimilated into their adopted country and is acting as a catalyst to forge closer and stronger ties between India and the U.S.
  • An MOU has been signed in June 2016 to facilitate India’s joining of the Global Entry Programme for expedited immigration for eligible Indian citizens at U.S. airport

Suggestion for future

  • Enhance cooperation in emerging technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) as data regulation, information sharing, and privacy protection become increasingly salient issues crucial to the preservation of national security.
  • Strengthen coordination multilaterally and on international issues, including prioritising two multilateral strategic dialogues that have gained prominence in recent years—i.e., the Quad and the West Asian Quad or I2U2.
  • Pursue greater cooperation on counterterrorism, including coordinating strategies for managing a Taliban-led Afghanistan and leading multilateral efforts to apply pressure on the Pakistani military-intelligence complex to abandon support for terrorist groups such as the Taliban and Haqqani Network, and Kashmir-focused groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba.
  • Strengthen and integrate Global Value Chains(GVCs), using FDI in each other’s economies to strengthen bilateral trade and integrate GVCs as well as incentivise multinational corporations to participate in these initiatives.
  • Seek greater coordination between line ministries working on cybersecurity, especially identifying relevant counterparts on specific issues.
  • Embed security and defence issues into their emerging technology agenda, focusing for instance on identifying common principles for defence applications of artificial intelligence.

Way forward

  • In recent years, exigencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic have redirected the relationship to a forward-looking assessment of regional and global geopolitics
  • The sectors that will be key to shaping the arc of a strong Indo-US relationship in the years ahead are the following: emerging technologies; national security and defence cooperation; counterterrorism; and trade.

Source: Indian express


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