India and the United States launched a program to enhance their strategic partnership with delegations led by the National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his American counterpart, Jake Sullivan at their meeting in Washington for the inaugural dialogue of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET).
A Timeline of this Development:
The initiative is a particularly significant milestone in the bilateral relationship, having been announced at the highest level — by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden at the Quad summit in Tokyo in May, 2022.
Aim of The iCET Dialogue:
The two sides announced a set of programmes whose aim is to increase the depth and scope of bilateral cooperation in cutting edge technology, including in the defence sector. The iCET seeks to build supply chains which increase co-production and co-development between the countries and increase linkages between the countries’ start-up ecosystems, both governments said in their statements describing the dialogue.
iCET: Areas of Co-operation:
A White House ‘fact sheet’ released after the meeting highlighted six areas of planned cooperation:-
1.Strengthening innovation ecosystems
2. Defence innovation and technology cooperation
3.Resilient semiconductor supply chains
5. STEM talent and
6. Next generation telecommunications.
A Comprehensive Research Partnership Under iCET:
The programmes include a Research Agency Partnership between the U.S. National Science Foundation and Indian science agencies; a mechanism to cooperate on quantum computing that will also involve academia and industry; developing a new defence industrial cooperation roadmap; supporting the development of semiconductors in India, including by setting up a taskforce to identify opportunities; and increasing space cooperation including human spaceflight.
5G/6G cooperation Under iCET:
Also announced was a private-public dialogue to further 5G/6G cooperation and the adoption of Open RAN (technology to connect phones to each other and to the internet) in India.
A Critical Jet Engines Manufacturing Under iCET:
The US also committed to ensure a speedy review of the application of the General Electric to produce in India jet engines for India-manufactured Light Combat Aircrafts.