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NSA Ajit Doval and US NSA Jake Sullivan launch India-US initiative on iCET

Diplomat Times (WDC)-  NSA Ajit Doval on Tuesday met his US NSA Jake Sullivan to launch the US-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET). The Indian Embassy in the United States has provided the information on its official Twitter handle.

The launch of the India-US initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his American counterpart Jake Sullivan is an important signal that the two countries are ready to break down barriers, foster ties in technology and bolster defence cooperation, experts said.

President Biden and Prime Minister Modi announced the U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) in May 2022 to elevate and expand our strategic technology partnership and defense industrial cooperation between the governments, businesses, and academic institutions of our two countries.

The United States and India affirm that the ways in which technology is designed, developed, governed, and used should be shaped by our shared democratic values and respect for universal human rights. We are committed to fostering an open, accessible, and secure technology ecosystem, based on mutual trust and confidence, that will reinforce our democratic values and democratic institutions.

Today, the two National Security Advisors led the inaugural meeting of the iCET in Washington, DC. They were joined on the U.S. side by the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Executive Secretary of the National Space Council, and senior officials from the Department of State, Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Council.

On the Indian side, the Ambassador of India to the United States, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India, the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, the Secretary of the Department of Telecommunications, the Scientific Advisor to the Defense Minister, the Director General of the Defense Research and Development Organization, and senior officials from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the National Security Council Secretariat participated.

The two sides discussed opportunities for greater cooperation in critical and emerging technologies, co-development and coproduction, and ways to deepen connectivity across our innovation ecosystems. They noted the value of establishing “innovation bridges” in key sectors, including through expos, hackathons, and pitch sessions.

They also identified the fields of biotechnology, advanced materials, and rare earth processing technology as areas for future cooperation.

“The holding of the inaugural iCET meeting between the Indian and US National Security Advisors is a major milestone for the relationship and signals that the two sides are ready to break down barriers to closer technology and defense cooperation,” Lisa Curtis, Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Programme at Centre for New American Security told PTI.

Curtis, a former CIA official, was deputy assistant to the president and NSC senior director for South and Central Asia from 2017 to 2021, during which she played a key role in shaping India-US ties.

“The launch of iCET is a pivotal moment in the US-India partnership,” Mukesh Aghi, president of US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) told PTI. Completing the work on the long-awaited NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) earth observation satellite is an excellent example of how the US-India partnership in space can benefit the world.

The United States and India look forward to the next iCET meeting in New Delhi later in 2023. The National Security Councils of both countries will coordinate with their respective ministries, departments and agencies to work with their counterparts to advance cooperation, and to engage with stakeholders to deliver on ambitious objectives ahead of the next meeting.

The United States and India underlined their commitment to working to resolve issues related to regulatory barriers and business and talent mobility in both countries through a standing mechanism under iCET