India’s Minister of External Affairs Shri S.M. Krishna and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met in Washington, DC, on June 13, 2012, for the third annual U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue. The leaders reflected on the remarkable expansion and growth of the bilateral relationship since the inaugural Strategic Dialogue in 2010. They committed to further broaden and deepen the U.S.-India global strategic partnership and charted a vision for the future, centered on promoting shared prosperity, peace and stability.
Secretary Clinton was joined by Ambassador to India Nancy Powell, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Dr. John P. Holdren, Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security Jane Lute, Deputy National Security Advisor Michael Froman, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, and other senior officials. Minister Krishna was accompanied by Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Prime Minister’s Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation Advisor Sam Pitroda, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath, Minister of State for Planning, S&T and Earth Sciences Ashwini Kumar, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, Ambassador to the United States of America Nirupama Rao, Home Secretary R.K.Singh, Director of Intelligence Bureau Nehchal Sandhu, Secretary for Higher Education Ashok Thakur and other senior officials.
On the margins of this Strategic Dialogue, an unprecedented number of sub-dialogues have taken place, including the Global Issues Forum, S&T Joint Commission Meeting, the Counterterrorism Joint Working Group, the Higher Education Dialogue,co-chaired by Secretary Clinton and Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Cyber Consultations, the Information and Communications Technology Working Group, the Women’s Empowerment Dialogue, Homeland Security Consultations and other events. In addition, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited India on June 5-6, 2012.
Recognizing that the India-U.S. relationship draws its strength and dynamism from shared values, the breadth and diversity of the engagement and growing links between the people of the two countries, leaders of both countries have placed promotion of closer ties between the people, private collaborations and public-private partnerships at the center of the Strategic Dialogue.
The United States and India have engaged in comprehensive regional consultations that touched on nearly every region of the world.
The United States and India have a shared vision for peace, stability and prosperity in Asia, the Indian Ocean region and the Pacific region and are committed to work together, and with others in the region, for the evolution of an open, balanced and inclusive architecture. They reaffirmed their support for regional forums like East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum and ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus, and committed to regular consultations in this regard. The two leaders also welcomed the two rounds of trilateral dialogue between India, the United States and Japan, launched after the second Strategic Dialogue in July 2011, and the ongoing East Asia Dialogue. The United States welcomed India's actions to strengthen regional economic connectivity. Both sides intend to continue to support efforts that promote regional trade, transit, and energy linkages. Secretary Clinton welcomed India’s growing engagement in the Asia Pacific. They agreed to further enhance their consultations on the Indian Ocean region. Minister Krishna welcomed the U.S. interest in becoming a dialogue partner with the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), and conveyed that as the current Chair, India will take it forward with other IOR-ARC members.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna affirmed the importance of maritime security, unimpeded commerce, and freedom of navigation, in accordance with international law, and the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes. The two sides agreed to continue to consult closely on key global issues, including bilateral exchanges and information sharing in areas such as counternarcotics, countering piracy, maritime safety, and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief. Determined to curb the problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia, both governments planned to improve coordination of their anti-piracy efforts. They also planned to cooperate in addressing the problem of hostage-taking by pirates.
The two leaders stressed the importance of sustained international commitment to Afghanistan as it assumes full responsibility for governance, development and security. Noting that India and the United States have each signed Strategic Partnership Agreements with Afghanistan, Minister Krishna and Secretary Clinton welcomed their productive joint consultations on Afghanistan and intend to seek new opportunities to intensify their consultation, coordination and cooperation to promote a stable, democratic, united, sovereign and prosperous Afghanistan. They intend to explore opportunities to work together to promote Afghanistan’s development, including in areas such as agriculture, mining, energy, capacity building and infrastructure. Noting the importance of women’s economic empowerment for Afghanistan’s economic success, they plan to work to further increase their ongoing vocational training and empowerment initiatives. To support their efforts in Afghanistan, they agreed to hold a trilateral dialogue with the Government of Afghanistan.
They welcomed the announcement at the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago of progress in the security transition process and the participants’ commitment to supporting Afghanistan’s security and development needs into the “transformation decade” (2015-2024). Secretary Clinton welcomed India’s hosting of the Delhi Summit on Investment in Afghanistan on June 28 in New Delhi and both leaders looked forward to the July 8 Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan. The two leaders discussed the vision for enhanced regional connectivity through South and Central Asia. They reiterated the importance of taking concrete steps to promote expanded private investment and trade in Afghanistan. They acknowledged the critical importance of improving Afghanistan’s integration and linkages within the South and Central Asia region and welcomed the ministerial meeting in Kabul on June 14. They acknowledged that success in Afghanistan requires, in addition to building up Afghanistan’s capacity to defend itself, an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process. They reiterated that success in Afghanistan and regional and global security require elimination of safe havens and infrastructure for terrorism and violent extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The two leaders agreed to continue the dialogue on West Asia and Central Asia.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna expressed satisfaction with the progress in defense relations, which is an important dimension of their strategic partnership. They noted that India and the United States have conducted many military exercises and exchanges in the last six years across all uniformed service branches as well as with civilian relief and development agencies. The two leaders noted that Government of India has awarded defense contracts worth $9 billion in recent years to U.S. companies. Reflecting the United States’ support for India’s continued military modernization, both sides reaffirmed their desire to strengthen defense cooperation through increased technology transfer, collaborative joint research and development, and co-production of defense items. They also welcomed the progress made in the Defense Policy Group (DPG) and the resumption of the Political Military consultations between the two sides.
Reflective of the United States’ deep commitment to pursuing the fullest possible accounting of all Americans missing from past conflicts, the United States appreciated Government of India’s support for the renewal of missions to recover the remains of missing U.S. service members killed in air crashes during World War II.
The two sides expressed satisfaction with the Strategic Security Dialogue held in February 2012 in Washington on a wide range of issues on the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation agenda and their strengthened consultations in various multilateral forums. Both sides welcomed the successful conclusion of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit in March 2012 and expressed continued support for the early start of negotiations on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament.
The two sides welcomed progress towards the full implementation of the historic Civil Nuclear Initiative including the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Westinghouse and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) committing both sides to negotiate an Early Works Agreement for the preliminary licensing and site development work associated with construction of the new Westinghouse reactors in Gujarat state, and the ongoing progress between General Electric-Hitachi and NPCIL on their Memorandum of Understanding.
India expressed appreciation for the strong support extended by the United States for India’s full membership in the four multilateral export control regimes – Nuclear Suppliers Group, Missile Technology Control Regime, Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group. The United States welcomed steps India has taken in pursuing outreach with each of the regimes.
Counter-terrorism, Intelligence, Homeland Security and Cyber Security
Building on the progress in cooperation on counter-terrorism and related homeland security issues since the inaugural Homeland Security Dialogue Ministerial between Home Minister Chidambaram and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano in May 2011, the United States and India committed to implementation of a detailed action plan intended to share best practices, facilitate the exchange of operational approaches, and promote the development of concrete capacity building programs to secure our respective countries. The two governments also plan to exchange visits across the full range of homeland security issues to address port and border issues, transportation, illicit finance and counterfeit currency, cyber crime, megacity policing and capacity building.
The United States and India committed to continue to collaborate closely on technology approaches to security issues, including science and technology arrangements, to foster closer cooperation. They noted progress in cooperation and exchanges under the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) of the U.S. and India, including the first bilateral exercise to be scheduled in the fall of 2012.
Recognizing the growing threats and challenges in cyberspace, they welcomed the second round of Cyber Consultations held on June 4, led by their respective national security councils, during which the U.S. and India exchanged views and best practices on a broad range of cyber issues in the interest of advancing security and the effective and timely sharing of digital evidence and information to support counter-terrorism and law enforcement. The delegations agreed to form a working group chaired by the State Department and the Ministry of External Affairs to further discuss the issue of international norms in cyberspace and global Internet governance. The group would provide a forum for consultations will also in advance of important international events related to cyberspace.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna welcomed the decision by India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development to set up a Center of Excellence in Cyber Security and the dialogue between leading Indian and U.S. universities to enter into cooperation in the proposed Center.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna lauded the growing collaboration on counter-terrorism in the 13th meeting of the India-U.S. Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism held on June 1 in Washington D.C. and the outcomes of the 2nd meeting of the Coordinating Committee of Global Forum for Counter Terrorism (GCTF) held in Istanbul on June 6-7. They reiterated their commitment to further strengthening bilateral and multilateral counter-terrorism cooperation, including through intelligence sharing, information exchange, operational cooperation, and access to advanced counter-terrorism technology and equipment. They reiterated their commitment to bringing to justice the perpetrators of the Mumbai terror attack in November 2008 and to comprehensive sharing of information on the investigations and trials relating to that attack.
Energy and Climate Change
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna welcomed the progress in India-U.S. cooperation in the energy sector, including in the areas of clean and renewable energy, and energy conservation and efficiency.
They welcomed the selection of three public-private consortia for funding under the U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy R&D Center, announced by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Obama in November 2010, with annual commitment of $5 million each from the two governments and matching private contributions from the winning consortia, to promote research and development in the areas of advanced biofuels, solar energy and energy efficiency in buildings.
They also welcomed the new five-year, $20 million technical assistance partnership between USAID and the Indian Ministry of Power and the Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to accelerate the scale-up of clean energy technologies.
They noted that the Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE), launched by President Obama and Prime Minister Singh in November 2009, has mobilized more than $ 1.7 billion towards a wide range of clean energy projects. They expressed appreciation for the efforts of several U.S. agencies to support development and deployment of clean energy projects. They confirmed that both countries would continue to exchange best practices on low-carbon growth strategies to support a greener and more prosperous future.
They welcomed the productive discussions between India and the United States on energy security in May 2012 and planned to continue this conversation, through the Energy Dialogue and other appropriate forums. The two sides also agreed to continue exchanges on assessment of shale and other unconventional gas resource potential in India and on hydrocarbon potential in the Indian Ocean and other regions, and its impact on global energy security. Recognizing the importance of natural gas as a bridge fuel to a clean energy future, the United States reiterated its support as India seeks to secure stable supplies of natural gas. Minister Krishna stressed India’s interest in import of LNG from the U.S. and requested the U.S. Government to permit such exports to India.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna acknowledged broad collaboration on a range of bilateral climate change related programs, including those aimed at addressing adaptation to climate change, sustainable management of forests including reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, the U.S.-India task force on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and our respective domestic research programs in the area of black carbon.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna commended the progress made at the Durban climate change conference in December 2011. They also affirmed their commitment to address climate change at the multilateral level, including through the work of the Ad hoc Working Group on Durban Platform for Enhanced Actions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. They stressed the need to enhance international cooperation under appropriate multilateral bodies to address emissions from the international civil aviation and maritime sectors.
Education and Development
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna applauded the expansion of the U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue, which made significant strides in fostering cooperation between the two countries in higher education, research and innovation, and community colleges. The United States and India plan to hold the next annual Higher Education Dialogue in 2013 in India.
They welcomed the announcement of the award of the first eight grants under the Obama-Singh Knowledge Initiative, which aims to strengthen teaching, research, and administration of both U.S. and Indian institutions through university linkages and junior faculty development. The next call for proposals will be announced in July 2012, with both governments having committed $5 million dollars over 5 years.
The two leaders also applauded efforts by both governments to continue to expand educational opportunities and cooperation, including through the Fulbright Nehru Program for students and scholars. These include India’s goal of establishing 100 community colleges in India; the announcement of the C.V. Raman Fellowship, under which the first tranche of 300 junior faculty members would be placed for post-doctoral research in American higher education institutions; India’s launch of a higher education web portal to provide a platform to disseminate information and foster educational and research collaboration and exchanges, such as India’s new Connect to India program to facilitate more American students in Indian universities; and new private sector pledges in support of the United States’ Passport to India Initiative, which seeks to increase the number of American students participating in internships in India.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna noted that the third meeting of the Women's Empowerment Dialogue held in February 2012, focused on women's social and economic empowerment, political participation, early childhood education, skill development of women and girls, and strengthening of institutional linkages and exchanges. The U.S. welcomed India’s proposal to organize a regional South Asia Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference that will bring key policy makers, women entrepreneurs, civil society organizations, private sector institutions, and corporations together to work on concrete actions to expand women’s economic participation in the region and beyond.
Economic, Trade and Agriculture
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna noted that bilateral trade in goods and services continues to grow and will likely reach $100 billion by the end of 2012. They lauded the launch of the first Infrastructure Debt Fund in India, with a corpus of $2 billion, through the participation of Indian and U.S. financial institutions and welcomed the March 2012 visit to India by U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson with a private sector delegation of infrastructure companies as important steps to strengthen bilateral trade and investment in India’s planned investment of $1 trillion in its infrastructure sector.
The two leaders recognized that steps should be taken promote greater bilateral trade and investment flows, including facilitating greater movement of professionals, investors and business travelers, and encouraging research and innovation that further strengthen economic partnership between the two countries.
The Secretary and Minister called for an expeditious conclusion to negotiations toward a high standard Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) as a key part of the effort to deepen the economic relationship, improve investor confidence, and support economic growth in both countries. They welcomed consultations by experts from both governments on manufacturing best practices and policy.
They welcomed the decision of the two governments to launch a dialogue on Sustainable Manufacturing and another on Enhancing Cooperation in Standards under the Commercial Dialogue. They noted the conclusion in February 2012 of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Labour and Employment and U.S. Department of Labor for skill development, youth development, occupational safety and health, and mine safety and health.
The two leaders reiterated their governments’ efforts to foster cooperation in research, development and innovation in agriculture, especially on agricultural productivity, envisaged in the Agricultural Dialogue. They welcomed the recent agreements between agricultural universities in India and U.S. universities for agricultural research, and the proposed collaboration to create a Regional Center of Excellence at the National Institute of Plant Health Management in Hyderabad.
Secretary Clinton welcomed Minister Krishna’s proposal for a “Conversation between Cities” later this year to discuss urban challenges and their solutions in the 21st century and to foster greater economic ties, understanding and friendship between the people of the two countries.
Science & Technology, Health and Innovation
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna reviewed the outcomes of the second Science and Technology Joint Commission Meeting, held on June 11, which covered bilateral research cooperation on basic and applied sciences, atmospheric, environment and earth sciences, health and medical services, STEM education, facilitating technology commercialization for societal impact and retention and advancement of women in science and engineering. They applauded the first award of grants by the U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Board for entrepreneurial projects that commercialize technologies to improve health and empower citizens, which include a partnership to create a cold-chain storage solution to keep farmers’ produce fresh. They noted the ongoing activities of U.S.-India Science & Technology Forum, now in its eleventh year, which have brought together 11,000 Indian and U.S. scientists and technologists.
The two leaders welcomed the rich array of public and private science and technology cooperation between U.S. and Indian institutions and partners.
These include the new initiatives between India’s Department of Science and Technology and U.S .National Science Foundation on a Virtual Institute on Mathematics and Statistical Sciences and DST-NSF Summer Internship; the recent initiative (PC3) of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology and U.S. NSF to jointly fund collaborations between universities and institutions in the two countries on the application of electronics and IT for societal challenges, which has already resulted in five collaborations in the areas of wildlife management, air quality, water sustainability, healthcare and smart electric grids; India’s recent commitment of more than $100 million to the California Institute of Technology’s Thirty-Meter Telescope Project; the exchange of weather and monsoon forecasting, climate change information and global precipitation under the Civil Space Working Group; and the collaborative project of the U.S. National Science Foundation and the Indian Department of Atomic Energy and Department of Science & Technology to develop a Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, with a likely contribution of USD 100 million from India. The two sides also intend to explore opportunities for cooperation in the study of groundwater information systems and Decision Support Systems for optimal management of groundwater resources. The two sides plan to host the next Civil Space Joint Working Group in Washington, D.C. in the summer of 2013.
The two leaders acknowledged the June 9 launch of the Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development (GLORIAD), the first direct U.S.-India advanced science and education network supporting enormous data flows between the U.S. and India. Funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, and as part of a public-private partnership featuring a $6M contribution by Tata Communications and housed by the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS) of the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research in Bangalore, the new link is part of the NSF-funded advanced global GLORIAD network. Designed to support the most advanced big-data research today - as well as education and health-related research, GLORIAD's Indian partners at the ICTS are also launching the first open, science-driven, science-managed network exchange in India.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna lauded the completion of 25 years of the Vaccine Action Programme, a collaborative research venture between the two countries; welcomed the establishment of the Global Disease Detection India Center, announced by Prime Minister Dr. Singh and President Obama in November 2010; the proposed collaboration between the Department of Biotechnology of India and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on stem cell regenerative medicine research; and collaboration between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Diabetes Research. These are part of the wide-ranging collaboration between the two countries in the health sector.
The Secretary and Minister appreciated the December announcement of the USAID and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) partnership to establish the Millennium Alliance, an innovative development concept to leverage Indian creativity, expertise, and resources to support solutions to benefit vulnerable populations across India and around the world.
The two sides plan to hold an Innovation Roundtable on development challenges and solutions in New Delhi in the later part of 2012. The last roundtable was held in September 2010.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna commended the progress the two sides have made in implementing the initiatives for international partnership for development and capacity building announced by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and President Obama in November 2010.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna took note of the March release of an open-source web portal—the “Open Government Platform” (OGPL)—developed under the India-U.S. Dialogue on Open Government. OGPL allows any nation to download free software and create a site that provides its citizens access to government data for innovation, economic development, and transparency. Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna welcomed OGPL’s planned extension to additional countries, starting with Rwanda.
They welcomed the progress in their collaborative efforts to support agricultural development in Africa through initially offering training at Indian agricultural institutions through USAID support to Kenya, Liberia and Malawi.
They also welcomed progress in the initiative for capacity building and training for election management in interested countries.
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna lauded the initiative of the U.S. and India to host, along with the Government of Ethiopia and UNICEF, a Call to Action on June 14-15 in Washington, D.C., to launch a global movement to end preventable child deaths—A Promise to Keep—to demonstrate both countries’ commitment to leadership on this global priority, extending toward ambitious targets in 2035.
People –to-people ties
Secretary Clinton welcomed Government of India’s plans to open a Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., noting the powerful U.S.-India connections provided by the nearly three million Indian-Americans in the United States, as well as the more than 100,000 Indian students studying in U.S. universities.
The United States announced the launch of a new online philanthropy platform, a natural extension of the deep and vibrant people-to-people ties between the United States and India, providing private donors in the United States with information to help make decisions about contributing to NGOs in India more effectively (ProjectIndiaGiving.org).
Secretary Clinton and Minister Krishna appreciated the many actions taken to facilitate the travel of U.S. and Indian citizens, including the planned opening of India’s Atlanta consulate in 2012, the second round of the U.S.-India Consular Dialogue on March 22 in New Delhi, a new interview waiver pilot program to further streamline U.S. visa processing and facilitate legitimate travel between the two countries. The Secretary and Minister discussed various issues relating to inter-country adoptions and expressed the hope that these would be dealt with in a transparent and humane manner to protect the welfare of adopted children.
They also appreciated the establishment of the “Indian Ministry of Culture Vivekananda Chair” at the University of Chicago and an agreement signed between the Ministry of Culture and the Art Institute of Chicago for the “Vivekananda Memorial Program for Museum Excellence” for upgrading the skills of Museum Professionals of India as part of commemoration of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
The next meeting of the Strategic Dialogue is planned in New Delhi in 2013.