India US relation amid war prone axis
10th Mar 2023
The Hindu (10-March-23)
India US relation amid war prone axis
- India-U.S. bilateral relations have developed into a “global strategic partnership. Relationship is based on: Shared democratic values increasing convergence of interests on bilateral, regional and global issues.
- Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) between India and US: It involves collaboration in a range of areas including: quantum computing semiconductors 5G and 6G wireless infrastructure civilian space projects such as lunar exploration.
- The two sides are focused on cooperation in defense production. India and the US announced one concrete measure — the making of a fighter jet engine in India. Challenges in relations: Absence of any significant offer of high tech by the US to India, despite bilateral ties, growing steadily in warmth and closeness.
- Instead the transfer of multiple advanced technologies, including submarine nuclear propulsion to Australia. Accords and agreements, Next Steps in Strategic Partnership” in 2004 Defence Framework Agreement” in 2005
- “Indo-US Civil Nuclear Agreement” in 2008 “Defence Technology and Trade Initiative” in 2012 Major Defence Partner” status by US Congress in 2016 Institution of “2+2 talks” in 2018.
- US-India Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies spearheaded by the National Security Councils (NSC) of the two countries” 4/5 Heads of ISRO and DRDO, recently held the first formal talks in Washington with their US counterparts
Advantages of iCET
- It could become a “game changer” in catalyzing Indo-US technology cooperation persuading the US to lift existing export control restrictions encouraging the private sector of both countries to cooperate in sensitive sectors.
- Dispel the cloud of mistrust that has hung over this relationship Demonstrate a mutual commitment to investing in advanced technologies, such as quantum computing, AI and space, semiconductor design and manufacture.
- Areas in which India’s defense industrial complex has been struggling for decades iCET must focus urgently. Issues with them: The Indo-US “strategic partnership: It has delivered only $22 billion worth of military hardware, purchased by India via the foreign military sales programme. India’s defense industrial complex: It comprises the DRDO, defense public sector undertakings (DPSU) and the (erstwhile) Ordnance Factory Board, with the Soviet/Russian arms industry.
- Beginning in the mid-1960s, our DPSUs built, under license, 800 or more fighters of the MiG series along with about 2,000 aero engines, a few thousand battle-tanks, armored vehicles and their engines.
Consequence of oversight or lapse:
- Importer: India has remained amongst the world’s largest importer of arms buying from abroad weapons ranging from rifles and machine guns to battle tanks and fighters, and prime movers from diesel and aero engines to nuclear reactors.
- Way Forward Even though ownership of technology in the US may lie with the private sector, the US Arms Export Control Act not only requires clearances from the Departments of State and Defence for ToT but also imposes certain restrictions on the recipient state. An unstated but significant, long-term objective of the iCET: To wean India off its dependency on Russian military hardware.
- This is likely to face stiff resistance on various grounds from Moscow as well as from domestic quarters The time has come for India to break free of Russia’s apron strings and regain “strategic autonomy” in international affairs. 5/5 India is in dire need of technology, the US industry remains firmly focused on trade.
- India will, therefore, need to leverage its considerable purchases in the arms, energy, and civil aviation, nuclear and other sectors in a holistic manner to extract technology from the US. India must bear in mind that merely switching from Russian to American military hardware will be a case of “jumping from the frying pan into the fire”.
- Atmanirbharta must remain our ultimate aim.
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