Washington: The United States and India are looking at each other as trusted partners and their trust is seen in the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET), Indian Ambassador to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu said.
In an interview with ANI, an Indian envoy said, "US and India are looking at each other as trusted partners & that trust is being reflected in the iCET. The iCET is a historic beginning that provides a platform for both sides to move ahead together in the field of technology." He also said the relationship between US and India strengthened after Prime minister Narendra Modi made his first visit to the US in 2014 and after President Joe Biden came into power, the interaction between the two countries and areas of discussion widened.
"One of the pillars of the India-US relationship has been technology which includes innovation & startup culture. All that comes together through the initiative on Critical & Emerging Technology (iCET) and iCET takes it much further ahead," Sandhu said.
He also stated, "The initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) is a unique initiative because this is perhaps the first time that not only the administration but academia & the scientific community have all come together."
Earlier, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval made an official visit to Washington from January 30-February 1. He was accompanied by senior government officials and leaders of Indian industry.
During his visit, both nations agreed to maintain sustained attention to achieve outcome-oriented deliverables within definitive timelines, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release.
The NSA interacted with US policymakers and stakeholders across government, Congress, business, academic and research communities on a range of bilateral, regional, and global issues of mutual interest, it said.
Apart from his meeting with US NSA Jake Sullivan, Doval held a meeting with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, Acting Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, key Senators, and industry leaders.
Doval and Sullivan co-chaired the inaugural meeting of iCET at the White House on January 31.
iCET aims to position the two countries as trusted technology partners by building technology value chains and supporting the co-development and co-production of items. It also aims to address regulatory restrictions, export controls, and mobility barriers through a standing mechanism.
The US side has assured support to ease export barriers to India in a few critical areas, including through efforts toward legislative changes. At the launch, emphasis was placed on strengthening linkages between the startup ecosystems and building innovation bridges in key sectors between the two countries, through expos, hackathons, and pitching sessions, as per the press release.
Considering the importance of quantum technologies, the two sides established a quantum coordination mechanism with participation from industry and academia, the Ministry of External Affairs said in the press release. In the field of semiconductors, the US supported the development of a fabrication ecosystem in India and encouraged joint ventures and partnerships for mature technology nodes and advanced packaging.
It was agreed to constitute a task force involving India's Semiconductor Mission, India Electronics Semiconductor Association (IESA), and the US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) to develop a 'readiness assessment' to identify near-term opportunities and facilitate longer-term development of semiconductor ecosystems, according to the press release.
In the defence manufacturing sector, India and US agreed to focus on joint production of key items of mutual interest. The US committed to an expeditious review of the license application submitted by M/s General Electric to produce jet engines in India for the indigenously manufactured Light Combat Aircraft. A new Innovation Bridge will be established to connect defence startups on both sides.