Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fourth US visit and meeting with President Barack Obama was marked by several key benefits for India in sectors ranging from defence, clean energy to science and support for India’s entry bid into Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG).
PM Modi and US President Obama pledged to pursue new opportunities to bolster economic growth and sustainable development, promote peace and security at home and around the world, strengthen inclusive, democratic governance.
From India being recognised as a ‘major defence partner’ to clean energy initiatives and Civil nuclear agreement, we take a look at 10 ways India will benefit from PM Modi’s meeting with US President Obama:
1) NSG entry & MTCR: Recalling their shared commitment to preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, the leaders looked forward to India’s imminent entry into the Missile Technology Control Regime.
President Obama welcomed India’s application to join the NSG, and re-affirmed that India is ready for membership. US called on NSG participating governments to support India’s application when it comes up at the NSG Plenary later this month. US also re-affirmed its support for India’s early membership of the Australia Group and Wassenaar Arrangement.
2) Defence & Make in India: In a first, US recognized India as a ‘major defense partner’. The leaders reached an understanding under which India would receive license-free access to a wide range of dual-use technologies in conjunction with steps that India has committed to take to advance its export control objectives.
In support of India’s Make In India initiative, US will continue to facilitate the export of goods and technologies, consistent with US law, for projects, programs and joint ventures in support of official US-India defense cooperation.
The leaders also committed to enhance cooperation in support of Make in India initiative and expand the co-production and co-development of technologies under the Defense Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI).
3) Permanent UNSC membership: The leaders reaffirmed their support for a reformed UN Security Council with India as a permanent member. Both sides committed to ensuring that the Security Council continues to play an effective role in maintaining international peace and security as envisioned in the UN Charter.
4) Civil nuclear agreement: The start of preparatory work on site in India for six AP 1000 reactors to be built by Westinghouse was acknowledged. Once completed, the project would be among the largest of its kind, fulfilling the promise of the US-India civil nuclear agreement. This will greatlt help India’s growing energy needs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
5) Solar power push: US is supporting India’s ambitious national goal to install 175 GW of renewable power, which includes 100 GW from solar power. US is jointly launching with India new efforts, to spur greater investment in India’s renewable energy sector, including efforts that can serve as a model for other International Solar Alliance (ISA) member countries.
US and Indi6) Clean Energy: a announced the creation of a $20 million US-India Clean Energy Finance (USICEF) initiative, equally supported by US and India, which is expected to mobilize up to $400 million to provide clean and renewable electricity to up to 1 million households by 2020; a commitment to establish the US-India Clean Energy Hub as the coordinating mechanism to focus US government efforts that, in partnership with leading Indian financial institutions, will increase renewable energy investment in India; a $40 million US-India Catalytic Solar Finance Program, equally supported by the US and India, that, by providing needed liquidity to smaller-scale renewable energy investments, particularly in poorer, rural villages that are not connected to the grid, could mobilize up to $1 billion of projects; the expansion of handholding support to Indian utilities that are scaling up rooftop solar and continuation of successful cooperation with USAID on “Greening the Grid”.
7) Military agreements & combating terrorism: Obama and Modi expressed their desire to explore agreements which would facilitate further expansion of bilateral defense cooperation in practical ways. In this regard, they welcomed the finalization of the text of the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA). US and India will work together to combat the threat of terrorists accessing and using chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological materials.
They resolved to redouble their efforts, bilaterally and with other like-minded countries, to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism anywhere in the world and the infrastructure that supports them.
The leaders committed to strengthen cooperation against terrorist threats from extremist groups, such as Al-Qa’ida, Da’esh/ISIL, Jaish-e Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, D Company and their affiliates, including through deepened collaboration on UN terrorist designations. In this context, they directed their officials to identify specific new areas of collaboration at the next meeting of US–India Counterterrorism Joint Working Group.
Recognizing an important milestone in the US-India counterterrorism partnership, the leaders applauded the finalization of an arrangement to facilitate the sharing of terrorist screening information. They also called for Pakistan to bring the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai and 2016 Pathankot terrorist attacks to justice.
8) Partners in Indian Ocean: They applauded the completion of a roadmap for cooperation under the 2015 US-India Joint Strategic Vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, which will serve as a guide for collaboration in the years to come. They resolved that the United States and India should look to each other as priority partners in the Asia Pacific and the Indian Ocean region.
9) Cybersecurity: They committed to deepen cooperation on cybersecurity and welcomed the understanding reached to finalize the Framework for the U.-India Cyber Relationship in the near term. They committed to enhance cyber collaboration on critical infrastructure, cybercrime, and malicious cyber activity by state and non-state actors, capacity building, and cybersecurity research and development, and to continue discussions on all aspects of trade in technology and related services, including market access.
10) Trade & economic ties: In order to substantially increase bilateral trade, they pledged to explore new opportunities to break down barriers to the movement of goods and services, and support deeper integration into global supply chains, thereby creating jobs and generating prosperity in both economies.
The leaders resolved to facilitate greater movement of professionals, investors and business travelers, students, and exchange visitors between their countries to enhance people-to-people contact as well as their economic and technological partnership.