Need to lead world together with India in tech ecosystem, says US.

The future will be made of two ecosystems of technology, one consistent with democratic values and the other not, and the United States wants India to be a partner in leading the world in the former.

The position was articulated at the highest levels, when US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo met Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an hour-and-a-half last month in New Delhi.

“The US and India need to lead the world together in this technology ecosystem,” Raimondo told Modi. Sharing the anecdote in the presence of finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday in Washington DC at a special spring celebration, Raimondo — who is among the most powerful cabinet members in the Joe Biden administration — called Modi an “unbelievable visionary”.

The Prime Minister, who Raimondo described as a “tech person” with whom she had been discussing details of open radio access networks (ORAN) and artificial intelligence, responded by saying AI did not stand for artificial intelligence. Raimondo was taken aback and asked, “Really?” Modi said, “AI is the America-India technology ecosystem.”

“His level of commitment to the people of India is indescribable and deep and passionate and real and authentic,” Raimondo said. “His desire to lift people out of poverty and move India forward as a global power is real and is happening.”

The spring celebrations were held at India House — the residence of Indian ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu — on Saturday with the theme of celebrating togetherness. The event showcased Indian diversity across regions, religions, festivals and languages; marked the shared ideals and values that formed the basis of India-US relationship; and commemorated the life and legacy of BR Ambedkar.

National Security Council Indo-Pacific coordinator Kurt Campbell; director of the Office of the National Drug Control Policy Rahul Gupta; and state legislators and key diaspora figures including FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam attended the event.

Marking the diverse festivals being celebrated at India House, Sitharaman said, “We always had this diversity. It is country that loves diversity. It is a country which loves celebrating and recognising diversity.” She said that India had turned every issue of diversity into an advantage.

It was also this positive spirit that governed the India-US relationship. “A positive thinking relationship of two democracy which have their own share of challenges and internal problems, but we have not allowed it to overwhelm us,” the finance minister said. “We are together and building strong foundations for a strong, peaceful and harmonious global community.”

Sitharaman also hailed the contribution of Indian diaspora, and said that while they recalled their heritage, they had integrated themselves and become a part of the US economy.

Suggesting that democracy formed the basis of the ties, Raimondo said: “Democracy is messy. Our democracy is diverse, messy, and imperfect, as is yours. But we value the diversity, education, human rights and equality and it is on the basis of that foundation we will see a greater flourishing of the relationship.”

Raimondo described the ties between the two countries as “entering into a new era of deeper collaboration and partnership”. “And I use that word partnership deliberately — equal partners working together,” Raimondo said. “India has arrived. India has already arrived.”

Both countries can show that they can both be committed to democracy and be among the most vibrant and productive economies the world had seen, Raimondo said. “I am committed to it and quite frankly, we have no choice.”

Campbell, who is among the architects of Quad grouping of nations of which India is a part, and the Indo-Pacific strategy in the Biden administration, said that the India-US relationship was not just a meeting of elites, it was not just about technology or security issues.

“This is a relationship based at people-to-people level. There is no stronger people-to-people ties that the US enjoys than with India. This is the most powerful connectivity between two peoples I have ever experienced,” he said. “And in many respects, we, as governments, just need to get out of the way.”

Campbell said it was the greatest honour of his professional life to see the bilateral relationship to come to fruition. Recalling an incident from 15-20 years ago when, in a difficult conversation with an Indian counterpart in New Delhi where they were going back and forth, Campbell lost his temper and told his interlocutor, “I am going to tell you something and it is going to really bother you. We are destined to be closer friends. And that is what we have done.” The relationship would only get stronger and deeper, he claimed.

Raimondo said she had travelled to reconvene the India-US CEO Forum and claimed they had an “electric meeting”.

“We talked about the most important issues of the day — technology, AI, supply chains, moving towards decarbonisation and working towards on renewables. But more than that, there was a palpable commitment in the room to take action beyond talk… and move forward around technology that is consistent with the shared values of democracy.”

Source- Hindustan Times.

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