Modi’s US visit – envisages ‘Chalein Saath Saath’ mantra

Modis US visit envisages chalein saath saath mantra

Modis US visit envisages chalein saath saath mantra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was looking forward to substantial, effective and highly memorable visit of the US, and it proved true in every respect. He got what he wanted: a rock star reception at the Madison Square Garden, enthusiastic response from the top US businessmen and unprecedented warmth shown from President Barack Obama and his team members at the White House. Indeed, it was a headline-grabbing tour of US by any Indian Prime Minister in the past more than 60 years. Effervescence of Modi’s charm impacted the highly individualistic Obama deeply.

“Vision Statement for the Strategic Partnership” issued after talks between the two countries, reflects clearly the impact Modi’s visit has made on the US authorities. As it envisages not only “Chalein Saath Saath (we go together forward)”, a new mantra for Indo-US relationship, but also endorses a wide ranging “deep cooperation” between the two countries in every sector for the benefit of global stability over the next 10 years. However, things came for a shove when the two countries in order to consolidate criminal law enforcement system and to fight terrorism emphasized on joint and concerted efforts to dismantle safe havens for terrorist and criminal networks, disrupt all financial and tactical support for networks like Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, the D-company and the Haqqanis.

Putting pressure on Pakistan, India and the US called for bringing the perpetrators of the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai to justice. Before this too, the two countries had pledged to fight together against terrorism, yet for the first time, they reaffirmed the need for dismantling every infrastructure that supports terrorism in South Asia, West Asia or other parts of the world. This is of course, a new development and speaks volume of sweetness poured into the two countries’ ties during the five-day visit of Prime Minister Modi.

In defence, they agreed to build an enduring partnership in which both sides treat each other at the same level. Given this, they agreed for defence technology transfer, trade, research, co-production and co-development of high-end defence equipments. In this regard, the two countries decided to renew for ten more years the 2005 Framework for India-US Defence Relationship. Also, defence teams of the two nations were directed to develop plans for more ambitious programs and activities. They agreed to reinvigorate the political-military dialogue and expand its role to serve as a tool on the issue of export licensing, defence cooperation and strategic cooperation. Such measures have enthused Pentagon officials.

Even though they say that it would take a little while implementing all those agreed by the two countries, they agree that joint-production and development of some of the top brand equipments would prove to be a milestone in Indo-US relationship. Under joint Defence Trade and Technology Initiative with India, the US defence authorities have, for the moment, identified 17 specific defence projects for joint development.

Bilateral Ties to Improve

Nonetheless, what added strength to bilateral defence ties is Americans readiness to cooperate in the area of military education and training, and as such endorsed plans for the US to cooperate with India’s planned National Defence University. They also decided to expand military-to-military partnerships including expert exchanges, dialogues, and joint training and exercises. They also agreed to intensify cooperation in maritime security and upgrade their existing MALABAR series of bilateral exercise in the Indian Ocean.

In energy, they agreed to fully implement the Indo-US civil nuclear agreement signed in July 2008. As India’s liability law is coming between the implementation of the nuclear agreement, the two countries agreed to set up a Contact Group which will discuss all implementation issues minus administrative and liability ones. The Group will take into account licensing factor and facilitate the setting up of nuclear parks, including power plants with Westinghouse and GE-Hitachi technology. Indeed, a significant development which the two nations were missing in the last five years. Similarly, they agreed to a new and enhanced strategic partnership on energy security, clean energy, and climate change.

They agreed to strengthen and expand the highly successful US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy (PACE) through a series of priority initiatives, including anew Energy Smart Cities Partnership to promote efficient urban energy infrastructure; a new program to scale-up renewable energy integration into India’s power grid; cooperation to support India’s efforts to upgrade its alternative energy institutes and to develop new innovation centers; an expansion of the Promoting Energy Access through Clean Energy (PEACE) program to unlock additional private sector investment and accelerate the deployment of cost-effective, super-efficient appliances; and the formation of a new Clean Energy Finance Forum to promote investment and trade in clean energy projects.

In economy, as expected, Prime Minister Modi and President Obama agreed to increase two-way trade from current $100 billion to $500 billion in next five years. They reaffirmed their commitment to set up an Infrastructure Collaboration Platform to enhance US companies participation in infrastructure projects in India, which has, in turn, offered America a lead in developing smart cities in Ajmer, Vishakhapatnam and Allahabad. In 2015, two trade missions will visit India to assess the country’s infrastructure needs with US technology and services.

With regard to modernization of Indian railways, the US has agreed to provide technology, equipment to monitor rail system assets. They touched the sensitive WTO issue, but they agreed to further hold discussion on multilateral trading system and steps needed to sort out issues. It should be noted that at the just concluded WTO meet in Qatar, India had withdrawn itself from endorsing the trade facilitation agreement because of its stand-off with the West on the food security act. India’s stand is that the act is a guarantee to the poor who struggle to meet both ends.

Cooperation for space too

In space, India and America agreed to launch ISRO-NASA Synthetic Aperture Radar in 2021. They have also admitted to have cooperation for long term security and sustainability of the outer space environment, including awareness for avoidance of collision in outer space.However, the element that really put weight to Modi’s visit is the US’s decisive stand to work towards India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Wassenaar Arrangement and the Australia Group. Significantly, the US realized that India meets MTCR requirements and is ready for membership in the NSG. President Obama, in fact, supported India’s early entry and membership to all four nuclear regimes. On visa regulation and problem faced by India’s IT industry, the US agreed to resolve the problem. Effectively, there was no point except for Ukraine, where the two countries didn’t find meeting grounds. Experts say what previous Indian governments couldn’t achieve much, Prime Minister Modi did with fashion and in his inimitable style during his visit: he compelled US leadership to take India seriously.

Related Information:

One Year of Modi Sarkar

100 Days of Modi Government

Modi Foriegn Visits