The National Security Advisors of India and the United States led the inaugural meeting of the U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET). Announced in May 2022, iCET’s objective is to elevate and expand the strategic technology partnership and defence industrial partnership between the two countries.
The partnership mainly focuses on artificial intelligence, Quantum computing, defence equipment and machinery like jet engines, maritime security and reconnaissance, telecommunication technology and semiconductor supply chains, among others.
In the space sector, both countries agreed to establish exchanges between NASA and ISRO — premier space agencies. Strengthening bilateral commercial space programs is also in the pipeline.
“To expand and deepen our technology partnership, the United States and India are launching new bilateral initiatives and welcoming new cooperation between our governments, industry and academia,” The White House said in a statement.
The partnership is expected to bring more infrastructural as well as skilled employment opportunities for both countries. To ease the world’s growing reliance on China for semiconductors, both countries have agreed to develop a semiconductor design, manufacturing, and fabrication ecosystem in India. Already, India’s mobile exports crossed $ 1 billion with iPhones comprising 40% of all mobile exports of the country.
New Delhi’s reliance on Moscow for weapons and high-tech defence equipment is a cause of concern for the US. India abstained from UN Security Council votes against Russia to the frustration of the West. India has also increased the crude oil supply from Russia.
“The larger challenge posed by China – its economic practices, its aggressive military moves, its efforts to dominate the industries of the future and to control the supply chains of the future have had a profound impact on the thinking in Delhi,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told The Reuters.
Recently, Chinese troops and Indian troops clashed on the border. China and the US are also at loggerheads in South China Sea and Taiwan. India is also part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), an important project by the Biden administration focusing on increasing Asian engagement.
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