India US Defence cooperation

India US Defence cooperation

#GS 02 International Relations

For Mains

Initiative On Critical and Emerging Technologies (ICET)

  • Initiative On Critical and Emerging Technologies (ICET) was announced in May 2022 to elevate and expand the strategic technology partnership between US and India.
  • The ICET is perhaps better positioned to improve India-US defence ties since it comes at a time when India, too, has developed technological and managerial capacities and is emerging as a major economic power.

Focus areas of ICET

ICET have identified six focus areas of co-development and co-production:

  • strengthening innovation ecosystems,
  • defence innovation and technology cooperation,
  • resilient semiconductor supply chains,
  • space,
  • STEM talent, and
  • next generation telecom.

India-US Cooperation through History

  • S. has played a significant role in India’s development efforts and quest for technological capability since the 1950s.
  • While the Soviet Union gave immense support in areas like steel, heavy electricals, petroleum and mining, the U.S. was focused on modernising engineering and management education, science and technology (S&T), and agriculture.
  • It is significant to remember that U.S. helped build India’s first reactors for research and power.
  • But this cooperation was abruptly ended post Pokhran I (India’s first nuclear test) in 1974.
  • S. provided massive aid to modernise Indian education, especially engineering and management.
  • However, the economic stagnation in 1960s resulted in IIT and IIM graduates ending up in the U.S. economy.
  • The Bangladesh War of 1971 and the 1974 nuclear tests led to a three-decade estrangement between India and US.
  • However, in 1987, the U.S. agreed to assist India’s Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) programme and allowed the sale of front line GE 404 engine to India.
  • There was another round of sanctions after the 1998 nuclear tests, but due to challenge U.S. faced from China, it wanted better relations with India.
  • This ultimately resulted in the India-U.S. nuclear deal of 2008.
  • India is now deemed to be a Major Defence Partner, though not a Major Non-NATO Ally.

Source “A new chapter in defence and tech