By: Abhyuday Saraswat, Research Analyst, GSDN
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Washington DC, he was given a ceremonial greeting at the White House’s South Lawn by President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on a cloudy morning of June 22, 2023 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden marked what they have termed a new chapter in the relationship between India and the United States.
A few thousand people from the Indian diaspora, some of whom yelled “Modi, Modi,” and representatives from both sides of the cabinet were there. The two sides unveiled a long list of deliverables encompassing defence, critical and emerging technologies, health, energy, and mobility during the visit, which was more than just pomp and circumstance. This was described by Mr. Biden as a “next-generation partnership” between the two nations.
After the signing of an MoU with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), a division of General Electric (GE), General Electric Aerospace announced on June 22, 2023 that it will co-produce its F414 engines in India. This news coincides with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ongoing state visit to the United States. Plans were for just a 58 percent technology transfer for fighter aircraft engines in 2012. This increased to 80% following many rounds of discussions.
A day after PM Modi’s meeting with numerous prominent American business leaders, including H. Lawrence Culp Junior, Chairman and CEO of General Electric, and CEO of General Electric Aerospace, the company announced their statement via a press release. The subsidiary referred to the arrangement as a “major milestone” and stated that the F414 engines will power the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk II that is being manufactured in India.
Modi’s visit also saw the announcement of intentions to purchase General Atomics MQ-9B HALE UAVs, which is a significant milestone. The MQ-9Bs, which will be assembled in India, will improve India’s armed forces’ ISR capabilities across domains. General Atomics will also create a Comprehensive Global MRO facility in India as part of this strategy to help India’s long-term ambitions of increasing indigenous defence capabilities, according to the joint release.
Once deployed and operational, these HALE UAVs will be able to carry out and supplement the IAF’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. Armed with payloads, the weaponized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be able to hit critical targets in mountains and the marine sector during long-endurance missions.
India decided to join the Artemis Accords on June 22, 2023 and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Indian Space Research Organisation decided to launch a collaborative mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2024 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden State visit to the US. The Artemis Accords, which establish a shared vision for space exploration for the benefit of all people, are being signed by India.
The Artemis Accords are a non-binding collection of principles intended to direct civil space research and utilisation in the twenty-first century. They are based on the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 (OST). An American-led initiative aims to send people back to the moon by 2024, with the ultimate objective of extending space travel to Mars and beyond.
This year, NASA and ISRO will also work together to build a strategy framework for human spaceflight, along with working on NISAR.
Technology and Communication
According to the joint statement published, India and the US would concentrate on steps that encourage more knowledge exchange, co-production prospects with semiconductors, 5G and 6G communication networks, quantum computing, and high-end computing.
In a statement issued following a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the US, both governments committed to advancing policies and modifying regulations to enable more opportunities for technology sharing, co-development, and co-production between US and Indian business, government, and academic institutions.
In 2021, the Indian semiconductor market was valued at USD 27.2 billion, and it is predicted to rise at a high CAGR of approximately 19% to reach USD 64 billion in 2026. However, none of these chips are currently being developed in India.
During the visit, a US official announced that US semiconductor company Micron will invest $800 million in an Indian chip facility. Micron’s investment in India comes at a time when the country’s demand is expected to skyrocket.
Along with that, the producer of chipmaking equipment said that Applied Materials will invest $400 million over four years in a new engineering centre in India.
Bilateral talks and Joint sessions
- With your help, we were able to fortify the Quad in support of an Indo-Pacific region that is free, open, secure, and prosperous. People will recall the Quad in the future and claim that it changed the course of history for the betterment of humanity, said Joe Biden, US President.
- In his address to Congress, Modi warned that “the dark clouds of coercion and confrontation are casting their shadow in the Indo-Pacific.” “One of the main concerns of our partnership has evolved into the stability of the region.”
- The world order is changing in the post-Covid age. The partnership between India and the US would be crucial in this time period for boosting global power. As stated by PM Modi, India and the US are committed to cooperating for world peace, stability, and prosperity.
- The alliance is one of the most important in the world and is the strongest, closest, and most vibrant ever. Together with Prime Minister Modi, President Joe Biden issued a press release.
- “We are a democracy; democracy is ingrained in both India and America. Democracy is ingrained in our DNA as a way of life and is guaranteed by our Constitution. I can identify with the conflicts of tolerance, persuasion, and policy. I can comprehend the argument about ideologies and concepts. PM Narendra Modi tells the joint session of the US Congress, “But I am glad to see you come together to celebrate the links between two great democracies India and the United States.
- On India’s foreign policy, Prime Minister Modi said: “We live by the maxim ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” the world is one family. We interact with the world for the good of everyone. One Earth, One Family, One Future, which will be our G20 Summit theme, embodies the same attitude. Last Monday, all countries endorsed our UN request to erect a wall of honour for the peacekeepers.
- Indian Americans have made significant progress in the US and have consistently found a welcoming home in the nation. Indian Americans have significantly contributed to the development of the US economy and its inclusive society.
- PM Modi discusses the significance of the Vedas in the US Congress. The Vedas are one of the world’s oldest scriptures. They are a great treasure of humanity, composed thousands of years ago.”
- PM Modi on the diversity of India “All global religions have a place here, and we celebrate them all. Diversity is a way of life in India.”
- India’s ambition goes beyond simply focusing on development that helps women. In the words of PM Modi, it is about women leading the development process.
- On the significance of sustainable development, PM Modi noted that Indian culture holds the environment and the planet in the highest regard.
Terrorism and War
Modi said he has spoken explicitly and publicly that “this is not an era of war,” despite the fact that the situation in Ukraine is inflicting immense suffering in the area. However, it is one of negotiation and diplomacy. Which clearly marks that India is taking the neutral stand of Peace and urging others to follow suit as well.
In his speech to the US Congress, Prime Minister Modi demanded that the sponsors of terrorism be brought to justice. In his veiled criticism of Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there can be “no ifs or buts” when it comes to combating terrorism and calling for action against state sponsors of terrorism.
After 9/11 and more than ten years after the 26/11 in Mumbai, Prime Minister Modi stated in his speech to the Joint Meeting of the US Congress that radicalization and terrorism continue to pose a serious threat to the whole globe.
These philosophies keep changing their names and appearances, but their goals remain the same. There can be no ifs or buts in dealing with terrorism because it is an adversary of humanity. We must defeat all of these organisations that support and spread terrorism, he declared.
A new era for US-India ties
After the White House threw out the red carpet for the Indian Prime Minister, citing agreements on defence and trade geared at limiting China’s influence globally, U.S. President Joe Biden and Narendra Modi heralded a new era in their nations’ ties.
India has traditionally cherished its independence, and the two nations are not formally allied, but Washington wants Delhi to provide a strategic counterbalance to China. Although neither leader specifically criticised Beijing in their official speeches, they made references to the Xi Jinping-led administration.
This State visit comes at a time of War, Coercion, and Aggression, and the partnership of India with the USA is important in bringing the Global South closer to the USA and, more importantly, countering the threat of China in the Indo-Pacific.